Film & TV

Hidden TV Gems on Streaming

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

We’re always looking for more to watch on streaming platforms, in an age where we’re truly spoilt for choice. Here, our contributors share series that they’ve been watching on streaming that they feel are not talked about enough, despite being hugely entertaining and binge-worthy. Perhaps you’ll find your new favourite show in here?

Inside No. 9 (BBC iPlayer)

By Leona Franke

Available for free on BBC iPlayer, Inside No. 9 is quite unlike anything I have ever seen, and was developed, written, and starring Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith – who are also responsible for the infamous surreal comedy The League of Gentlemen. Despite being compared to Black Mirror, this anthology series has its own distinct charm and sincerity that sets it apart from any other programme. 

Every episode in its six seasons throws us into a different situation, with some episodes being set in more realistic situations, whilst others may focus more on fantasy – one episode even involving a vampiric police officer. The only link between all episodes is the presence of the number nine being somewhere in the story, as well as a randomly placed brass hare statue for viewers to keep an eye out for. Another appeal of the show is the excellent usage of twists that often leave you with your jaw dropped open at its unpredictability.

Here, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are at their best; striking us with sadness, mystery, horror, comedy, and everything in-between. Here, they have worked tirelessly to create an incredible, intense and intelligent programme with something for everyone. It is a must-watch.

Good Trouble (BBC iPlayer)

By Rume Otuguor

Good Trouble is truly a hidden gem. You won’t find it on mammoth streaming platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, but it is available on BBC iPlayer. A spinoff of the hit TV show The Fosters, this drama features themes such as activism, romantic entanglements, and one we can all relate to- a complicated communal living situation. It sees Callie and Marianna Foster move to Los Angeles where their big girl dreams can be fulfilled. One is an opinionated naïve lawyer whilst the other is a doe-eyed computer technician at a highly esteemed tech company. It’s not long after they U-Haul into their new lives, do they realise that Los Angeles a.k.a The City of Angels is not the paradise on Earth that was promised to them. Good Trouble shows viewers that the city’s nickname is only apt if we look at the fallen Black youth at the hands of the police or the relentless pursuit for women to be given the same recognition as men in the workplace.

Good Trouble does not shy away from these crucial themes that plague society today. Nor does it cower from accurate representation. The Coterie gang at the heart of the show boast a range of identities. Latinx, the LGBT+ community, Black, and the socially awkward are just a few that are fully realised on Good Trouble, which has just been renewed for a fourth season. 

Modern Love (Amazon Prime Video)

By Emily Plaisted

Amazon Prime’s Modern Love is a perfect feel-good series, which beautifully captures the complexity and wonder of love and human connection in all its different appearances. Rather than being a continuous saga, the episodes are individual narratives that have been inspired by the The New York Times’ ‘Modern Love’ column, where ordinary people have shared their captivating love stories. Whether it is a bipolar woman trying to juggle a relationship with a crippling mental illness, a grieving wife mourning the loss of her husband, or two strangers coincidentally sitting next to each other on a train and starting a conversation; this series deals with the heartache and joy that we dare ourselves to feel when we love another person. With an all-star cast, including the likes of Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, and Kit Harrington, you become invested in each individual story and find yourself laughing, crying, and wanting more. 

My favourite aspect of this series was the diversity of forms in which we can express love. This could be anything from sexual, romantic, platonic, familial, or even self-love, and the variety of different ways we can demonstrate the incomprehensible, mind-blowing madness that is love, to ourselves and others in modern society. 

Alias Grace (Netflix)

By Tilda Skene

When I stumbled across Alias Grace on Netflix, I knew I had hit the jackpot. A mini-series of just six episodes, it is an adaptation of a Margaret Atwood novel of the same name. It follows the story of an accused murderess in the 19th century as she speaks to a psychiatrist during her time in prison about a murder she doesn’t remember committing. Her character is full of intrigue and suspense, each episode tantalisingly revealing more of her story, leaving you questioning what you think you know. It remains relevant to this day as it discusses attitudes towards and the treatment of women which are still having to be challenged in modern society.  

Not only is it an addictive watch because of its story (I finished it in a day), it is beautifully shot. The cinematography and costume design truly immerses you into  19th century Canada, which only adds to the suspense – it’s as if you are in the room with her! 

For some reason, anytime I mention Alias Grace to anyone, they reply with ‘never seen it’. It’s a series that seems to have slipped under the radar, but it deserves way more recognition than it gets. It’s a must-watch this winter.