Television can be really spotty in terms of what’s good and what’s not. Sadly, there’s a lot more “not” out there than “good” thanks to the woke takeover of our culture. Most shows made nowadays fall so far into the political that finding one without “the message” is like finding a unicorn.
Luckily for you, I’ve found quite a few and will now them to you in one convenient list! Add your own in the comments if you feel one that I didn’t recommend should be listed.
“The Last Kingdom” – Netflix
This show was recommended to me just under a month ago but it’s been around since 2015, and with five seasons under its belt. I’m halfway through the fourth season because I can’t stop binge-watching it.
The show takes place just before the formation of England around the time of Alfred the Great and focuses on the character Uhtred of Babbenburg. During this time, the Saxon lands of England are being raided by Danes. As a child, Uhtred watches as his father is killed by the Danes but he is quickly adopted by them, turning him into a Saxon/Dane hybrid. His ultimate goal becomes to retake his home of Babbenburg from his uncle who tried to have him killed, but his tumultuous life takes him to many different places. Uhtred’s journey through life, the friends and enemies he makes, and the victories and defeats he wins are fascinating to watch.
The show has about as much intrigue as Game of Thrones but without the flash, flare, and gratuitous nudity and overt gore. You won’t find dragons or magic in this show, but it doesn’t need it. There’s no message in this show and even religion is handled even-handedly as it does play a large role in the series. The acting is always incredible, and the stories and situations will have you fixated. Even people who typically don’t like these shows seem to be drawn to this one. I recommend giving it a go.
“The Expanse” – Prime Video
Let’s leave ancient England and head out in the future in space. Let’s be honest, SciFi shows today are absolute garbage. Star Trek has gotten so political that they literally have Stacey Abrams showing up in their episodes as the President of Earth, and the same could be said of Star Wars which has become so hit or miss that even its hits are tainted by the misses. Luckily, all is not lost. Prime Video plays host to what I might consider being one of the greatest SciFi shows to ever exist.
“The Expanse” is a show that takes a look into the future Elon Musk will inevitably create with Mars not only becoming colonized but also existing under its own government, one that has now entered into a very unstable relationship with Earth. On top of that, there are the workers in the asteroid belt. While Earth and Mars live relatively well, “belters” are poor, filthy, and looked down on by everyone else. It’s here we’re introduced to a random assortment of characters who eventually come together to become the crew of a stolen Mars ship called the Rocinante, and the adventure they embark on changes the relationships between Earth, Mars, and the belters forever.
This show is so good that it redefined what space-born shows should look like. You won’t find teleporters or even small space fighters. “The Expanse” handles space very seriously to the point where it gets very scientific about it. The effects that space has on both the body and the mind are always present to the point where the black becomes its own character. Ship travel looks nothing like it does in Star Wars or Star Trek. There’s no warp drive. It’s all propulsion and inertia. There’s no anti-gravity device. You walk using magnetic boots or you float.
The characters are loveable, and even the ones you hate will eventually become endeared to you. The writing is so good that even the slow moments in the show can be fascinating to watch. There’s enough politics and intrigue to satisfy those who love a good drama, and the action is unique be it the problem solving to the space battles. Also, no message. It’s just a fun apolitical show to sink your teeth into.
“Attack On Titan” – Funimation
While it’s not for everyone, Japanese anime has proven itself to be a serious contender for solid entertainment. While most of it could be considered throwaway garbage or geared toward kids, every now and again a show comes along that wows the 18 and up demographic, and “Attack on Titan” is that show.
“Attack on Titan” takes place in a fictional world where the last remains of humanity live behind giant walls in order to protect themselves from the human-eating giants that live beyond them. Called “titans,” these giants look humanoid but have oddly shaped bodies and faces. They lack intelligence beyond “find and eat humans.” It’s in this world we find the main protagonist, Eren Yeager, a child with two best friends named Armen Arlert and Mikasa Ackerman. One day, a super-massive titan appears out of nowhere and knocks down one of the outer walls, allowing titans to stream into the area and begin destroying and eating the people in that area. Yeager watches helplessly as his mother is eaten alive, and the trauma sends him to enlist in a branch of his nation’s military with the lowest survival rate, “The Scouts.” His two best friends join with him, but when the colossal titan makes a return, a secret is revealed about Eren that changes the course of the human/titan war forever.
This show isn’t just one of my favorite animes, it’s also one of my all-time favorite shows. As the story goes on, the show morphs over time and branches into new themes. Some of the best characters and character arcs I’ve ever seen take place here, and the story’s twists and turns are masterful. Unlike many shows today, this show really makes you feel emotions for the characters you meet, some of whom will take you on a roller coaster ride. It’s a unique world with a unique premise and is beautifully animated. Don’t let the fact that it’s an anime dissuade you from watching it. It’s not something you’d want to miss.
“The Terminal List” – Prime Video
I’ve already given a full review of this show recently, but I felt the need to reiterate the quality of this show and how its entertainment value can’t be overstated.
You can read the full review, but the elevator pitch here is that Chris Pratt shines like the sun in one of the best action thrillers I’ve seen since John Krasinsky’s “Jack Ryan.” The show revolves around Navy Seal James Reese and his journey to uncover the truth about a failed op that lead to the death of all his men. From there, things only take a turn for the worse as his family is caught up in the crossfire. After uncovering the guilty parties, he begins a revenge mission that goes far deeper than he could have ever believed.
I can’t recommend this show enough.
“Peaky Blinders” – Netflix
Take a little walk to the edge of town and go across the tracks.
After “Peaky Blinders” was recommended highly to me by people I trust, I gave it a shot and at first, I didn’t have high hopes for it. Fast forward to today and the plight of the Shelby family has enraptured the Morse household.
The show takes place in Birmingham, England, around the 1920s and 30s and follows the Shelby family which leads a crime gang called the “Peaky Blinders,” so known for the fact that they keep razors in the brim of their newsboy caps which they use to blind their opponents. Tommy Shelby, their leader, is a clever and ruthless man with ambitions to lead his family from being a low-level local gang to an international crime syndicate. What happens over the course of the seasons is nothing short of addicting.
While the setting is interesting, it’s the characters and acting that truly bring it to life. Tommy is played by Cillian Murphy, an actor born to play a war veteran turned crime lord. Paul Anderson plays his brother Arthur, who acts as the gang’s bruiser with a lot of heart. The standout for me, however, is Tom Hardy’s Alife Solomons, a Jewish crime lord that has a frienemy type of relationship with Tommy. Watching the two spar with words should go down as some of the best moments in television history.
Settle in and get ready for a really fun ride. My personal favorite is season four when the Shelbys go to war with the Italian Mafia, led by Adrien Brody’s Luca Changretta. Just be sure to turn on the subtitles. They don’t temper the accents in this show for American audiences.