JOE looks at the best shows on TV you're not watching... 8 years ago

JOE looks at the best shows on TV you're not watching...

Sure, we’re all sad that the ridiculously ace Breaking Bad has come to an end and that Love/Hate’s seasons are painfully short; but fear not, that black hole of emptiness in your TV watching existence can be plugged.

The problem nowadays with visiting shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Love/Hate etc. is that if you’re on any social networking site then it’s pretty much damn near impossible to avoid spoilers. So, what about latching onto a show that’s just as addictive and fantastic that you just might not have heard about?

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Like a warm blanket on a bollock-shiveringly cold night, JOE has you covered.

Justified

Broadcasting on the increasingly prolific American cable network, FX, this show is as slick as its title character, US Marshall Rylan Givens (the criminally underrated Timothy Olyphant) and as addictive as the drugs peddled by its hick bad guys.

Managing to balance humour, action and drama is a difficult thing to do, but the fact that Givens is an Elmore Leonard character certainly helps. As does superb writing, a fantastic foe in Walton Goggins and one of the most charismatic performances currently on your telebox. We dare you not to have a mancrush on Olyphant – we’re even thinking about rocking a cowboy hat.

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The first three seasons are on Netflix and are ridiculously entertaining.

Archer

Part Mad Men, part James Bond and utterly hilarious, Archer is one of the few American shows that has seen its viewership steadily rise over the course of its three seasons as word-of-mouth builds. Always a great sign…

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Based on the exploits of a Secret Agent who works for cloaked spy agency ‘ISIS’ (run by his pisshead Mother), its lead character is up there with Cartman as one of the most loveable pricks ever drawn. In-jokes aplenty, action packed and endlessly requotable, Archer is rammed to the absolute brim with one-liner brilliance. You may also find yourself falling in love with the dulcet tones of one Kenny Loggins once again. When you watch the show for long enough you’ll understand…

Another belter that’s available on Netflix for watching at your leisure.

How to Make it in America

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Coming from the brain of a couple of the lads behind the mighty Entourage (no, we’re not counting the sporadically shitty last couple of seasons either), and same producer Mark Wahlberg, this New York-set rags to, eh, nicer rags, tale has a similar vicarious wish-fulfillment feel as its LA set predecessor. Entourage on a budget, if you will…

Based on two working class lads trying to catch a break in the fashion industry, it’s far more fun that that sounds and with each episode running in at a swift twenty-five minutes or so, you’ll always find yourself wanting more.

It’s painfully hip, has a cool cast, the cool factor in abundance, belting tunes (it was the first show to feature M83) and relatable characters; criminally, How to Make it in America only ran for two seasons. If you hunt hard enough, you can find it online – it’s worth being sneaky for.

Louie

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There are few comedians on the planet now as funny as Louis C.K.; for JOE, only Bill Burr comes close (must be a ginger thing…). In another series from FX, Louie is as unique as it is hilarious, mixing some original stand-up from C.K., with often odd storylines that feature an exaggerated version of the man himself.

Conceived, starring, edited, directed and written by the Mexican-born New Yorker, he managed strike an intriguing deal with FX that gave him blanket creative control in exchange for keeping the budget at a certain level. There’s no chronological order, episodes often go off in slight tangents that are a little ‘out there’, but it’s never less than brilliant and the barrage of Emmy nominations for pretty much every aspect of the show underline this.

The show sporadically features on the UK version of FX. Because of how C.K. structures his seasons you can dip in and out whenever suits and it won’t affect your enjoyment at all. C.K. is as close to comedy genius as exists nowadays and this show is an absolute extension of his comedy and personality.