Lockdown watch: the overlooked TV shows you should binge next

A few weeks into lockdown, and odds are, you’ve probably rinsed the very best new shows that telly has to offer. The final season of This Country is finished, Tiger King left you suitably baffled, and Killing Eve is drip-feeding us portions of season three a mere once a week – and meanwhile you’ve probably caught up on that one show you always meant to get around to. What to do now? Twiddle your thumbs?

Fortunately enough, there are plenty of slightly more overlooked shows tucked away – from hidden gems, to early career highlights from your current faves.

Words: El Hunt, Andrew Trendell, Hannah Mylrea, Alex Flood

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's 'Crashing'
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s 2016 show ‘Crashing’

Crashing (2016)

What’s the deal? If you’ve exhausted all of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other ace shows – the Fleabag star and creator was also head writer on the first season of Killing Eve – her first telly project is worth a whirl. Set in a disused London hospital, Crashing follows the highly-irritating, ukulele-wielding Lulu (Waller-Bridge) as she joins a group of 20-something property guardians at their chaotic – and temporary – home. With all of PWB’s usual hallmarks – dark comedy, a self-absorbed lead – the residents of this tumbledown building are ludicrously mismatched; Adrian Scarborough is scene-stealing as Colin Carter, a middle-aged divorcee who becomes the unlikely muse of French artist Melody. Short, and sweet, there’s only one season – all the better for rattling through in a single day. EH

For fans of: Fresh Meat, Fleabag
Streaming on: All4

Bored To Death (2009-11)

What’s the deal? Jason Schwartzman plays failing fiction writer Jonathan Ames, who accidentally becomes a private detective. Together with his best friend Ray (an artist played by Zach Galifianakis who draws himself as a comic book hero who fights evil with his massive penis) and George (an ageing and philandering magazine editor played by Ted Danson), the pathetic trio smoke a lot of weed and get into quite a few scrapes, existential quandaries and humiliating misadventures. It’s so binge-able. It should never have been cancelled after just three seasons. AT

For fans of: Parks And Recreation, Community
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Sally4Ever (2018)

What’s the deal? When it comes to bleak, pitch-black comedy humour that’ll leave you perched on the edge of the sofa wincing through hysterics, nobody trumps acting icon Julia Davis. And when Sally, a bored and dreary marketing executive from the suburbs, becomes embroiled in a passionate fling with Davis’ Emma, nothing can prepare her – or us – for the deliciously sociopathic evil that unfolds. Tapping into something truly grotesque and macabre, Emma’s enthusiasm for cruel-spirited schadenfreude is infectious; and it’s impossible to look away. EH

Streaming on: Now TV
For fans of: Nighty Night, Chewing Gum

Lovesick (2014-18)

What’s the deal? Originally titled Scrotal Recall (before Netflix rebranded it), this funny, tender-hearted sitcom stars Johnny Flynn as a man who learns he has an STD and must tell his former sexual partners about his condition. It’s very British, impossibly relatable and stuffed with fantastic one-liners like “I never have sex outdoors in the missionary position because if someone walked in halfway through they might think I’m boring”. To seal the deal, there’s only 24 episodes at less than 30 mins each, so you’ll rip through them in no time. AF

Streaming on: Netflix
For fans of: Catastrophe, Detectorists

Strangers (2017)

What’s the deal? Not to be confused with the alpaca-riddled Netflix murder mystery The Stranger, Mia Lidofsky’s web-series is only available on Facebook Watch – but despite the modest production scope and snappy run-times, this watches like a fully-fledged TV show, and also features a cast to match. Look out for appearances from Kathleen Munroe, Girls’ Jemima Kirke, and The L Word’s Leisha Hailey. After cheating on her now ex-boyfriend Isabel (Zoe Chao) is reckoning with her sexuality, and is forced to lodge in a different Airbnb each episode – and it’s a pacey formula with plenty of room for eccentric new strangers who help her to figure things out. Thoughtful, kind, and often hilarious storytelling ensures. You’ll be mad you didn’t watch it sooner. EH

Streaming on: Facebook Watch
For fans of: Broad City, The L Word Generation Q

The Righteous Gemstones (2019-2020)

What’s the deal: Created by Danny McBride, this show centres around the brilliantly dysfunctional Gemstones, a famous family of uber-rich televangelists headed up by widowed patriarch Eli Gemstone (John Goodman). As Eli’s squabbling children Jesse (Danny McBride), Judt (Edi Patterson) and Kelvin (Adam DeVine) struggle internally with their roles in the family’s megachurch – the entire business is thrown into jeopardy when eldest son Jesse’s (Danny McBride) not-so-Godly indiscretions (aka a penchant for cocaine and prostitutes) are threatened to be exposed in a blackmail plot. HM

Streaming on: Now TV
For fans of: Succession, Brooklyn 99

Weeds (2005-12)

It figures that Weeds was written by Orange is the New Black’s creator – as with Jenji Kohan’s more recent hit, the story centres around an everyday woman (this time, a Californian housewife) who accidentally gets into organised crime. After her husband dies, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) starts selling weed to bring in money to support her two sons. The scheme soon spirals out of control as Nancy develops her own marijuana strain called MILF, and quickly ascends to cartel level. Not exactly overlooked, Weeds was successful the minute it aired back in 2005 – but if it’s always been on your to-do list, now is the time to delve in. EH

Streaming on: Amazon Prime
For fans of: Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad

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