The Newsroom has received it’s fair share of flack for a number of reasons (misogyny, plagiarism, self-positioning, manipulative use of Coldplay), and when you boil all this unrest down you get one thing: pride. In today’s post-Sopranos world, the TV elite have high expectations for their shows, especially from networks — nay, institutions — like HBO. AMC has joined the ranks with Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and recent hits like Homeland and Louie have put Showtime and FX on a similar playing field. Broadcast networks continue to be game players, but finding their best shows requires some sifting, and then of course there’s an array of web platforms, like Hulu, that are serving up new series or exclusives that are actually good, if not great.
The point being, watching TV is now a great balancing act, one in which “the little guys” sometimes get overlooked. And understandably so, because y’all have actual lives in the living breathing world and important things to do. We, on the other hand, don’t, and therefore found the return of STARZ’s Boss to be the perfect pretext to highlight the networks that often get ignored in elite circles, or simply forgotten because they don’t stream their content for free. Not every show on this list is for everyone, and some are certainly more of an acquired taste, but perhaps you’ll find something to fill that tiny sliver of space you have in your nearly booked TV calendar.
Boss on STARZ
Any lingering associations to Dr. Frasier Crane will be purged from your memory after watching this dark and increasingly fantastical political drama about a ruthless Chicago mayor with a degenerative brain disease, fighting to keep a grip on both his power and sanity. Not a STARZ subscriber? The premium channel is currently streaming the first episode of Season 2, which brings some promising talent on board in the form of Kane’s new inner circle, including Broadway alum Jonathan Groff, who we are excited to see cut his teeth in something a bit grittier than Glee.