By Lauren Burnham
Tired of binge watching the same old mainstream shows like Supernatural and Bones? Satisfy your zombified hipster brain with some not-so-mainstream TV!
The Finder is # 1 on my list, not because I think it’s the best, but because this show is the most relaxing show I’ve watched. Since I finished the series for the first time, I’ve watched every episode at least five times each (not hard, it’s only one season), usually while doing homework or solitary math work in class. The first time I watched it, I was drawn in by the interesting premise; a guy finds things, and he always finds what he’s looking for. Walter Sherman, an odd man who lives at the Ends of the Earth bar-house on Looking Glass Key with two out of three of his beautiful assistants, Leo Knox, bar owner and former attorney, and Romani juvenile delinquent on probation, Willa Monday. His third most beautiful assistant is Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada, who helps him and gets help from him on cases. Walter uses “Walter Math”, and odd and backwards method he uses to single out clues for a finding job, or to recreate the crime scene of the day. This technique often involves strange objects and bemused helpers, but it never fails to reveal something to Walter. Whatever the case, this show entertained me when I first watched it, and even as it plays in the background I still enjoy it immensely.
2. Warehouse 13
Warehouse 13 was a show my parents watched casually, and that I binged watched upon watching it with them for a season. It’s a Syfy show and thus as most Syfy shows are fated to have, it’d writing is a little below-par. However, that doesn’t take away from it’s awesome story. Warehouse 13 is a massive storage unit in smack-dab the middle of nowhere, South Dakota, used to store every mystical relic, strange object, and wacky item that it’s Agents snag on missions. I love this show, and even though it’s ended, I still watch my favorite episodes from time to time, like “Don’t hate the player”, one of their crossover episodes with Eureka, a show on the same network and on my list, where they enter a virtual reality based off the Warehouse, and have to defeat the game to get out safely. This show is definitely on my ‘forever favorites’ list, but unfortunately is not fully up on Netflix because the world hates us.
This show is one that I’ve been watching for what feels like my whole life, and I’m actually watching one of my favorite episodes as I write this. It’s a Christmas episode of course, and once again something has gone wrong in the town of Eureka. Eureka itself is a town full of genius scientists that work for Global Dynamics, a company that answers to the Department of Defense. The scientists here don’t work with your average lab rats and computer programs, oh no, they develop supercomputers, shrinking rays, time travel machines- every single out-of-this world thing you can imagine and most things you can’t. Unfortunately, not even I have watched all the episodes, even though it’s ended. Netflix only has seasons 4 & 5, whereas I only made it through those two when I was younger, and have only recently watched the first season. So, avoiding shady websites as much as you can, I suggest you take a peek at this show.
Sense8 is a Netflix original series about 8 individuals scattered throughout the world who share a telepathic and emphatic bond. Now, as it is Netflix, and not on general television, that means they’re given a go on more…adult TV. That is to say, I skipped past the sex scenes in the first few episodes completely. But! That’s not all that Sense8 is about. It’s a story about interpersonal relationships and family, about new experiences and moving on. With characters spanning from the United States to South Korea, every single one of them has their own story to tell, their own relationships to figure out, and their own struggles to overcome. But they don’t have to do it alone, they have their other Sensates to help guide them and love them through the troubles, with a lot of ass-whooping on the way. I absolutely loved watching this, bar the sex scenes, and I consider each and every one of these characters, even ones outside of the main group, to be my favorites. Except for the bad guys of course. Watch it with the rest of us as the second season is being filmed!
I’m realizing now that I watch a lot of Syfy shows. This show is about a town in Haven, Maine, filled with people who have troublesome abilities, appropriately dubbed the ‘Troubles’. Haven’s got everything from pyrotechnics to Dr.Frankenstein’s, with a few odder abilities thrown in. I really like Haven because it’s a very serious show, but it has humor that makes me laugh, and relationships that grow from actual friendships or common interests. It’s got this deep underlying mystery that has me hooked, but I’ve been avoiding watching it because I never want it to end it’s so good. The cast we have for this show is great as well, because all the personality clashes lead to delicious conflict and choices, which makes for good plot devices! I love me some good writing, that’s for sure, and this show, along with a few others on my list definitely have it in spades. This show is in it’s 5th season, so catch up on Netflix and watch the latest episodes on Syfy!
Okay, so if you know me, you know I absolutely adore mythology and legends. The Arthurian Legends were some of my most loved tales from when I was littler, and when I found this show (on Netflix, where else?) I was ecstatic! It’s not everyday you find this tale being retold. This show takes place during the reign of King Arthur’s father, King Uther, who has banned magic under pain of death from Camelot and the surrounding kingdom. Well, who comes along to live in the heart of the city? Merlin, the most magical lad in all the realms, come to live with the court physician. If you’re starting to think shenanigans happen, they do, and they are either quite silly or violent, or a combination of the two, often involving a dragon. I love this show because it gives me the magic I love and the plot lines that make me cry or shout, as well as having fantastic actors that portray the relationships between characters very, very well. Now I just have to work up the courage to watch the last season ?.
I’ve seen zombies portrayed as mindless beasts, crazy outsiders, servants, friends, TV stars, but before watching this show I could honestly say I’ve never seen them as crime-solvers who eat brains and get visions of their victim. But if I’m being honest, that wasn’t what drew me into the show- Bradley James, who played Arthur in Merlin, showed up in snapshots of the show as a character, and I eventually ended up watching it. I was not disappointed! The story follows Liv Moore, a doctor who was turned into a zombie after a unfortunate boat party, thus turning her name ironic and her diet into ‘BRAINS’. She enters into a job at the coroner’s office, finding a friend who doesn’t mind her Zombie-ness, and a co-worker who thinks she’s psychic. For a show about psychic zombies it can be surprisingly light-hearted at times, with silly scene names like “Behind closed drawers” and “Electricity killed the radio star”, and increasingly weird ways to hid the taste of brains with real food. iZombie is still a show about crime-solving zombies though- that means blood, death, and murder, and lots of it. But the mix of light-hearted and serious, that’s what make the show good. It combines the gory parts of Zombie mythology with harsh realism, but still manages to show it, or part of it, in a soft light. It’s ongoing, only on the CW 9/8 central!
8. Code Lyoko
Originally airing in France, Code Lyoko is a cartoon about young boarding school kids who find a supercomputer that transports people to a virtual world called ‘Lyoko’, where they find a virtual girl who has no memories. They decide that they want to help her escape Lyoko into the real world. But there’s a catch- by turning on the supercomputer they’ve released a virus called X.A.N.A. on reality. The kids have to become the “Lyoko Warriors” in order to defeat X.A.N.A. and save the virtual girl from the supercomputer. When I watched this as a little kid, I loved the animation switch between the ‘real world’, where it’s a 2D cartoon style, and ‘Lyoko’, where it switches to more like 3D. One thing I loved most about the show was the differing character dynamics between the main characters. If Lyoko hadn’t pulled them together, they probably wouldn’t have been grouped together as close friends. They all have their own deal, their own dreams and family issues. They all seem very real, even if they are a little more mature than normal middle schoolers in some ways. I really love this show, even though I haven’t watched it through in a very long time.