5. “Luke Cage”
Luke Cage is an ex-convict who went to prison because he was wrongly accused of a crime. After he escapes he is given superhuman strength and unbreakable skin by a sabotaged experiment. He then decides to fight crime in his hometown Harlem (New York). Luke Cage is based on the Marvel comics character of the same name but in the comic books he was first a hero for hire. In the TV series on the other hand he wants to bring justice to his fellow citizens and fight against corruption.
I think the first season had a great story and awesome actors. The writers took their time to develop a back story for Luke Cage which gives the character depth. The series has the same quality as “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” so far. Let’s hope that with “The Defenders” it will stay this way.
Creator: Cheo Hodari Coker
Stars: Mike Colter, Simone Missick, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson
Genre: Crime, Drama, Action, Neo-blaxploitation, Superhero
Original Network: Netflix
4. “Hap and Leonard”
The show is set in the late 1980’s and was adapted from the novels by Joe R. Lansdale. The story of the first season is about two best friends named Hap and Leonard (surprise, surprise) who want to help Hap’s ex-wife and her hippie commune to find a long lost treasure in a river. But in the end they find themselves fighting against a pair of murderous psycho killers.
The show plays with genres like dark comedy and film noir which you can see for example in the character of Christina Hendricks who plays a femme fatale. This is what makes the show unique and interesting and simply fun to watch.
Creators: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
Stars: Michael Kenneth Williams, James Purefoy, Christina Hendricks, Jimmi Simpson, Pollyanna McIntosh
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Dark Comedy, Mystery, Noir
Original Network: SundanceTV
3. “The Night Of”
“The Night Of” is a miniseries with eight episodes that are based on the British show “Criminal Justice”. It’s about a young man who borrows the cab of his father one night to go to a party but picks up a strange girl instead. They spend the night together and after he wakes up he finds her in her appartment stabbed to death. He tries to escape but by accident the police picks him up and he is accused with the crime. Then an unsuccessful lawyer tries to prove his innocense.
An intense series with great actors (John Turturro, Michael Kenneth Williams, Riz Ahmed), a lot of symbolism and interesting investigation work. Careful, it’s addictive!
Creators: Richard Price, Steven Zaillian
Stars: Riz Ahmed, John Turturro, Bill Camp, Michael Kenneth Williams
Genre: Crime, Drama
Original Network: HBO
2. “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”
Already the third series on the list that is based on a book (this time of Douglas Adams). Dirk Gently is a detective who investigates with his sidekick Todd cases involving the supernatural. Dirk Gently is the anti-Sherlock if you will. He is also pretty crazy but at the same time nice, social and sometimes you think he just wants to find friends.
The show convinces because of its narrative style and the unique characters like the one of Fiona Dourif who kills randomely people with her afraid and geeky hostage Ken. One of best shows of last year or at least the funniest and weirdest.
Creator: Max Landis
Stars: Samuel Barnett, Elijah Wood, Hannah Marks, Fiona Dourif, Jade Eshete, Mpho Koaho
Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy, Detective Fiction
Original Networks: BBC America, Netflix
1. “Stranger Things”
In “Stranger Things” a young boy disappears one night and his three best friends, the local police chief, his mother and his older brother try to find him. In doing so they encounter supernatural forces like a young girl with psychokinetic powers.
The series reanimated the 1980’s by using a lot of movie references of that time. The adventures of the four young boys remind you of films like “The Goonies”, “Stand by Me” or “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. Aesthetically it was inspired by the works of John Carpenter, Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. The series is a successful homage to a an inspiring decade and a must-see for pop culture nerds!
Creators: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer (aka the Duffer Brothers)
Stars: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton
Genre: Science Ficton, Horror, Drama, Fantasy
Original Network: Netflix