For every Lost, Broadchurch and Game of Thrones there are hidden gems that did’t set the small screens on fire, but blaze quietly if you know where to look. The following shows deserve to be shouted from the rooftops, and in lieu of a loudspeaker I shall write of their wonder hence:
So much better than the BBC’s Merlin, yet somehow this more cultured Camelot landed in the latter’s shadows and lasted only a season. Eva Green as the dark and sensual powerhouse that is Morgan La Fey, and Joseph Fiennes as magic addict himself, the mighty Merlin. Two very good reasons to NOT cancel a show, right there. Just saying.
2. STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP
Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet and Bradley Whitford all wrapped up in the bow of Aaron Sorkin’s script. A topical sketch show is brought back from the dead by a dynamic but controversial writing team.
Set in the American depression a group of carnies trudge around the dust-ridden dreary roads of America, dealing with dark supernatural forces as well as the hidden horror humanity hides. Hellish yet enchanting, with a cast of talented unknowns.
Post Buffy, Joss Wheedon and Faith once more joined forces in a witty dystopian masterpiece which no one but me seems to have heard of. Imagine a world where pretty young things with with wiped memories are rented by the hour to fulfil the client’s fantasies. Accelerates into a morality nightmare with more twists than a curlywurly.
6. JOAN OF ARCADIA
An American teenager’s life is turned upside down when she talks to God- and God talks back. Punchy rather than preachy and raising some deep philosophical questions dressed in it;s wholesome warmth, one to devour in your PJs with a cup of tea
7. THE LEFTOVERS
Is it the rapture? A mass alien abduction? A supernatural catastrophe? A tenth of humanity spontaneously disappears, and those who remain have to deal with the aftermath. Characters with more layers than an onion, dark depths to be plumbed and the new Mr Aniston (aka Justin Theroux) at the helm.