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RECOMMENDED TV

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CHERNOBYL - HBO / Sky Atlantic

ONE OF THE BEST DOCU-SERIES EVER!  The threat of nuclear war may have abated but as metaphors, radiation and fallout are as powerful as they were 30 years ago. Timely, bleak, intelligent and compelling, Chernobyl is a triumph of a disaster.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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BORDERTOWN - Netflix

Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland when his wife barely survives brain cancer. Sorjonen then takes a new job leading SECRI, the Serious Crime Unit in Lappeenranta, and moves his family to the town near the border of Russia for a more peaceful life. But life turns out to be less than peaceful there.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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THE WALKING DEAD - AMC

I tell everyone to watch this show EVEN IF THEY DON'T LIKE ZOMBIES.  The stories, characters and plot lines run deep. Only two characters have survived from the first season  - that's a sign that a great show can carry on without the original cast.  Since taking over as show runner Angela Kang has made TWD more interesting. If you don't have time to watch from the beginning, you can start with Season 9.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

RECOMMENDED TV

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DEADWIND - Netflix

If you love international crime dramas then Netflix’s latest series has your number. The Finnish thriller Deadwind follows Sofia Karppi, a no-nonsense detective who has to balance dealing with an incompetent rookie detective and her own personal tragedy as she tries to get to the bottom of a gruesome murder case. 

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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BIG LITTLE LIES - HBO

Big Little Lies weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, CA. Amidst doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, and stunning homes exists a community fueled by rumours and divided into haves and have-nots.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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GILMORE GIRLS - Netflix

in 2018, Netflix did the four part reboot of the popular Gilmore Girls series.  Why is this so popular with everyone? Answer: Family Issues.  It wryly documents the lives of three generations of Gilmore girls in an dramedy that's irreverent and mirrors family life. The caffeine in the coffee is no joke. They talk fast, so put down your phone.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

tv / tele

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BODYGUARD - Netflix

Bodyguard  was a massive hit when it was originally broadcast by the BBC in the UK, where it achieved the highest viewing figures of any new drama in the multichannel era.  When it was released internationally on Netflix the success kept growing, with US audiences becoming hooked on its heart-pounding story of a war veteran turned Specialist Protection Officer who is tasked with protecting a controversial Home Secretary (Secretary of State for US Viewers), whose politics stand for everything he despises.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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THE RAIN - Netflix

The world as we know it has come to an end, due to a rain-carried virus that wiped out nearly everybody in Scandinavia. Six years after that event, two Danish siblings emerge from the safety of the bunker where they have been staying. After discovering all remnants of civilization gone, they join a group of fellow young survivors, and together they head out on a danger-filled quest throughout the abandoned land in search of signs of life. The survivors think they have been set free from societal rules of the past, but they quickly find that even in a post-apocalyptic world there is love, jealousy and other coming-of-age dilemmas that young people have always faced.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✩

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THE PASSAGE - Fox

If you haven't read Justin Cronin's Apocalypse trilogy,  do so and in quick succession - there are multiple characters across vast time & space.  The Passage  focuses on Project Noah, a secret medical facility where scientists experiment with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease.  When a young girl is chosen to be a test subject, a federal agent is tasked with bringing her in, but he becomes her surrogate father, determined to protect her at any cost -- even as Project Noah's work threatens to unleash an unimaginable apocalypse.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✩

tv / tele

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BLACK SUMMER - Netflix

For Zombie purists only.  I went into this series with trepidation as it's from the Asylum Team behind Z Nation, and I find their work appalling.  But Netflix helped improve their oeuvre slightly.  It's amazing how The Walking Dead has influenced this genre.  Black Summer incorporated a Korean actor and lifted a significant story line as well.  Again, this is only for people who really like Zombie Dramas.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✩✩

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MINDHUNTER - Netflix

Catching a criminal often requires the authorities to get inside the villain's mind to figure out how he thinks. That's the job of FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench. They attempt to understand and catch serial killers by studying their damaged psyches. Along the way, the agents pioneer the development of modern serial-killer profiling.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✩

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THE FIRST - Hulu

This sci-fi drama set in the near future tells the story of a crew of astronauts who are attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Seriously, you gotta check out Sean Penn's body, he's fit!  

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

tv / tele

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THE LOOMING TOWER - Hulu

The Looming Tower traces the "rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and-Al-Qaeda n the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. It follows members of the I-49 Squad, the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil.. 

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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WILL & GRACE - Hulu

It's a bit worrisome when a network brings back a sitcom or drama.  A decade after their unforgettable eight-season run, comedy's most fabulous foursome returned fresher and funnier than ever.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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MANHUNT: UNIBOMBER - History Channel & Netflix

Ted Kaczynski, dubbed the Unabomber by the FBI and the media, evaded capture for almost 18 years. He’d been hiding AND writing a manifesto under the pseudonym “Freedom Club” (or FC) on a portable typewriter. After releasing his 35,000 word manifesto titled “Industrial Society and its Future” to the media in 1995, it became apparent that Kaczynski was fighting, in his mind at least, against the rise of technology and the perceived sickness with which it had infected the world. This series is fascinating especially for viewers from the Bay Area.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

tv / tele

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GRACE and FRANKIE - Netflix

They’re not friends, but when their husbands leave them for each other, proper Grace and eccentric Frankie begin to bond in this Emmy-nominated series. It's amazing to see Jane Fonda (80 years of age) so fit, astute, and beautiful work with the brilliantly funny Lily Tomlin.  

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

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ALTERED CARBON - Netflix

When your body isn't your own: The politics of Altered Carbon. More than 300 years in the future, society has been transformed by new technology, leading to human bodies being interchangeable and death no longer being permanent. Takeshi Kovacs is the only surviving soldier and his mind was imprisoned for centuries until impossibly wealthy businessman Laurens Bancroft offers him the chance to live again only if  he'll do one thing for him...

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✩

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HANNA - Amazon Prime

Hanna is an extraordinary girl who has been raised in the forest, evading the relentless pursuit of an off-the-book CIA agent. This series -- part high-concept thriller, part coming-of-age drama -- follows the girl on her journey as she tries to unearth the truth behind who she is.  Based on the Academy Award winning movie.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭

tv / tele

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A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES - BBC and AMC

Reluctant witch Diana Bishop discovers a bewitched manuscript in the Bodleian library and is forced back into the world full of vampires, daemons, witches and forbidden love. Forming an unlikely alliance, geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont helps Diana to attempt to protect the book and solve the riddles within, whilst dodging threats from the magical creature world.

SCORE: ✭✭✭✩✩

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HARD SUN - BBC and Hulu

Hard Sun is an ultra-violent, not very believable and mostly unlikeable hot mess that has bits and pieces that would, separately, make for more interesting series.

For example, someone just takes David Bowie's "Five Years" song, which inspired Hard Sun (they share the same premise of the world dying in five years' time and what that means) and does a better job of it. I enjoyed it, but loosely recommend it. 

SCORE: ✭✭✭✩✩

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THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE - Amazon Prime

What happens if Japan and Germany had won WW2.  In this dystopian scenario, the Axis powers won the war, leading to the United States being divided into three parts, an area controlled by the Japanese, a Nazi-controlled section, and a buffer zone between the two. Despite the oppression, a new hope emerges when films turn up that seem to show a different world.  

SCORE: ✭✭✭✭✭