Wilfred is one of those shows with a premise that seems narratively overwhelming. It stars Elijah Wood as a man who begins seeing his neighbour’s dog as an Australian man in a dog costume and questions whether he’s going mad. Much of the series balances the natural comedy of the situation with darker issues about the protagonist’s sanity. Overall though, it’s a fairly merry way to spend half an hour, particularly for dog-owners familiar with the ins and outs of canine habit.
Vikings was The History Channel’s first fictional offering, obviously looking to compete with the recent rise of prestige cable programming. The show is exactly what it sounds like, a tale of Viking culture. It follows Ragnor Lothbrok – the man who pioneered the first raid to England – in his exploits, raping and pillaging all over the place. It’s not a particularly layered show, but it is fantastically rendered, with fight scenes which stand out for their meticulous choreography. It’s also wonderful at evoking a modern impression of Viking culture, so definitely one to binge watch on Amazon Prime.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Sunny is a veteran show at this point, ten seasons in and yet not showing any signs of a dip in quality. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, as it evolves around five aggressively narcissistic, disastrous people running a bar together. The unlikable protagonists, combined with near constant shouting,
puts a lot of people off. It’s a real shame though because there is not a show on air today with such consistent, wonderful humour. Sunny might seem inaccessible, but it’s a special show that deserves far more attention than it receives.
After three seasons of consistently abysmal ratings, NBC has cancelled Hannibal, one of the finest examples of critical acclaim not translating into commercial popularity. It charts the relationship of FBI profiler, Will Graham, and his friend/therapist/nemesis, Hannibal Lectre. It’s not for everyone, being horrifically gory,dark and arty, but if that is your bag, it’s unsurpassable. Last year, How I Met Your Mother ended its final season with an episode that cheapened the entirety of the series’ back catalogue. The reverse is true of Hannibal, meaning that binge watching all three seasons is going to be a satisfying experience, if not an incredible one.
Rick and Morty
This cartoon comes from Dan Harmon, creator and writer of Community, meaning more of the same surreal, terrifyingly creative humour. It plays like a warped version of Back to the Future, with Rick, a mad scientist, dragging his grandson Morty around on dimension hopping, planet exploring adventures. Being a Dan Harmon show, there’s also a dark side to the comedy, which serves to deepen the overall tone. With only two seasons broadcast so far, it’s easy to catch up on, although the density of the jokes within each episode means they definitely necessitate re-watching