Unmissable TV Box Sets

34 mins read


United States – 2020 (Amazon Prime)

1 Season (10 Episodes)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Within the first 10 minutes, David Weil’s Amazon series sets out its unconventional stall, as a 70s family barbecue turns to slaughter on a guest realising her host is an ex-Nazi war criminal. We are then whisked back to New York City in May 1977, where we join three young men as they step out of a movie theatre, having watched Star Wars for the first time. Here the boy’s conversations centre on the political dimensions of the Nazi-like Empire and the rebellion it has inspired. But, as events progress, a hidden Nazi empire may be a reality.

Mixing the realities of the Nazi atrocities during the Second World War with an action-thriller that equally plays fast and loose with characters that may jar with some viewers. However, Hunters is addictive viewing and carries a fascinating sub-text, speaking to the current march of right-wing politics worldwide. While simultaneously dissecting racism and oppression in all its forms with a comic book-inspired landscape of heroes and villains.

Sex Education

United Kingdom – 2019 – Present (Netflix)

3 Seasons (24 Episodes)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

From the first episode, Laurie Nun’s comedy/drama shines with optimism and charm, the screenplay captivating the viewer’s attention while single handily reinventing teen drama. Here, laugh out loud comedy is combined with teenage life’s pure anxiety, echoing the late great John Hughes. The result is a comedy/drama that continues to push genre boundaries as it swings from outrageous comedy to heartfelt emotion in the blink of an eye.

Meanwhile, the adults who pretend to have all the answers are just as confused by the sex and relationships surrounding them as the teens. But, it is in its casting choices that Sex Education truly shines above and beyond any of its contemporaries. Here Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, and many others shine as a group of teenagers struggling to find their way in an adult world that is just as confused.

Queer as Folk

United Kingdom – 1999/2000 (Channel 4)

2 Series (10 Episodes)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Fancy a slice of genuinely groundbreaking television? Then look no further than the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk. Now celebrating its 21st Birthday, Queer as Folk changed gay representation on TV and lit a fuse of public acceptance. And while some aspects may now seem dated, Queer as Folk still shines with humour, power and sexuality. Its episodes, filled to the brim with shocking, engaging and enthralling characters. While at the same time, it smashes the rainbow coloured glass ceiling. Here Russell T Davies sparked a global transformation in queer TV, with Queer as Folk USA, The L Word and many more given the green light in the years following his drama. His groundbreaking slice of TV, the start of what would become a golden period of LGBTQ drama.

You may also like It’s a Sin.

Generation War (Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter)

Germany 2013 (Arrow Films)

1 Mini-Series (3 Episodes)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How would a war directly affect your family and friends? And what does it mean to engage in a conflict where your values and beliefs oppose the pervading political ideology? These issues of morality, conflict, friends and family sit at the heart of Generation War. One of the best explorations of conflict and belonging ever produced for TV. Its episodes, wrapped in unflinching bravery as it explores the effects of World War Two on the German citizens living under polarising Third Reich.

Generation War opens up the debate around politically ideology, personal belief and duty. While reflecting on the destruction war creates in personal, social and cultural identity. And if you find yourself questioning how intelligent and cultured people can be blindsided by political rhetoric and barbarism, then Generation War has done its job. Meanwhile, Its story reflects the complexity, hurt and anger of those consumed by conflict, hatred and holocaust.

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