1. The Crown
Reportedly Netflix’s most expensive series produced so far, The Crown tackles Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. What keeps audiences so transfixed on this show is that we get a glimpse of the private life and past of the monarch we now know as a frail little lady immaculately garbed in her bright colored uniform. It’s basically a Manners & Misdemeanors masterclass and a history review rolled into 10 episodes starring jewel-clad royals with issues.
2. Grand Hotel
If telenovelas are your guilty pleasure, Grand Hotel should be right up your alley. The Spanish period drama has all the elements that fuel telenovela bingers—from the over-the-top antics and the seemingly impossible and winding plot to the mystery the whole series revolves around. We mustn’t leave out the great romance that ensues between the dashing hero Julio and the enchanting heroine Alicia. The pair’s set up is like Titanic’s Leo and Kate, especially with the apparent caste system between the Grand Hotel guests and the staff. Apart from the duo, the cast of dynamic archetypes—a serial killer on the loose, the Casanova-type brother Javier, the scheming villain Diego who feels entitled to Alicia’s affections—will keep you on your toes.
3. Madam Secretary
A sharp and calculating character like U.S. Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord presents us the best reason to tune out depressing news channels and tune into the events that surround her in Madam Secretary, which unceasingly surprises audiences. While the series does show the more glamorous side of politics—the galas, the wonders of Washington D.C., and the constant travel—it provides a much needed break from the real politics that live outside our TV screens.
This isn’t your typical period drama, and features two points in history. It begins just as World War II is winding down, while Claire and her husband, Frank, are visiting Scotland. Suddenly, Claire is transported back in time—to 1743—where she is caught in between a battle between two Scottish factions. She discovers the violent Redcoat Captain Black Jack Randall is her husband’s ancestor and exact replica. To save herself from him, she eventually gets involved with the rebel Jamie Fraser.
5. This Is Us
In this new series by NBC, which stars Mandy Moore, This Is Us portrays the modern American family, flaws and all. Each of the show’s main characters faces problems: battling obesity, reuniting with an estranged father, dealing with the strains of married life, and fighting for creative control. By the end of the first episode, you find that all the characters are related, literally. The show airs flashbacks of new parents Jack and Rebecca simultaneously with the lives of their three grown kids in the present. Before you watch this drama, you’ll need a tissue box close by because each episode will find a way to make you bawl before the credits roll.
We’ve already been acquainted with artificial intelligence and a future where robots walk among us humans (see I, Robot and A.I.), but Westworld is something else. It takes the very real human desire to live in a world without consequences and dramatizes it the way only and HBO Original Series—makers of both Game of Thrones and Sex And The City—can. Apart from its thrilling plot, each episode will make you think about the possibilities of these events happening soon. That’s sci-fi for you.
What makes this series from PBS stand out is the grandeur that comes with the Victorian Era and the young monarch to first occupy Buckingham Palace. Unexpectedly, the episodes are fast paced and packed with drama so it’s tough to fall asleep on. Jenna Coleman gives a commendable portrayal of the 19-year-old queen and lends her an attitude that commands the viewer’s attention.
In present day New York City, Liza is leading a double-life. Make no mistake, she isn’t in the field of espionage. Liza Miller is a 40-something divorcee with a daughter almost off to college and debts to pay. She lives in her best friend Maggie’s apartment in Brooklyn and has been a house wife most her years. To land her dream job in publishing, Liza passes herself off as a 26-year-old in order to work as a marketing assistant at Empirical Publishing and there she struggles with keeping up with all things millennial, while her two worlds collide.
On Our Radar:
Z: The Beginning of Everything
We’ve only seen the trailer but this Amazon bioseries on the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, takes us back to the Jazz age. The author had crowned his wife the “first American flapper” as she was a celebrity of sorts during her time and a true wild child. Christina Ricci gives life to the muse that inspired some of her husband’s greatest works and the whole series feels like one big party.