8 brilliant US shows we desperately want to come to the UK
While the UK television industry appears to be eternally fixated on dreary period dramas or detective features about two unexciting white men (or both), American television is experiencing a magnificent resurgence that many are referring to as a “golden age”. It’s an era that’s brought us countless hits like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and House of Cards.
There’s probably a heap of television you’re planning to start watching, but unlike the UK’s barren TV landscape, there’s still more from American shores that we think would make perfect viewing on British screens. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite shows from across the pond that just HAVE to get picked up in the UK sometime soon. Otherwise we might, like, die.
1. American Crime
American Crime is a gritty crime anthropology, portraying a different story each season with different characters played by the same actors. It’s the same sort of idea as American Horror Story, but not to be confused with the upcoming series from AHS creators American Crime Story. The first season focused on the aftermath of the murder of a war veteran and an attack on his wife, primarily on the impact on two devastated and vengeful families and the legal investigation to find the perpetrator. It was highly-praised by the American press for emotional portrayals, haunting narratives and a determined attitude, receiving 10 Primetime Emmy nominations last year.
What could be better than a fairytale-themed musical comedy, complete with singing guest appearances from Ricky Gervais (a medieval drug-dealer) and Kylie Minogue (Queen of an enchanted gay bar)? Galavant is the story of a dashing knight who goes on an adventure to save the woman who once spurned him from her terrible marriage to the evil King Richard, while also saving the Kingdom of Valencia from Richard’s clutches. Galavant is tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness, filled with catchy tunes, ample jokes and engaging characters. There’s nothing pretentious about it, and it’s exactly the sort of show we need to cheer us up on rainy British evenings.
3. Fresh Off The Boat
Fresh Off The Boat may not have made it across the border so far because it is location-specific, loosely following the memoir of American food personality Eddie Huang and his Taiwanese family’s move to Florida to open a cowboy-steak restaurant in the 90s. However, it is also the sort of hilarious that can carry over that potential gap in period knowledge. It deals with the family’s culture shock, as Eddie struggles to fit in at his new school, typical Asian tiger-mom Jessica tries to get the best for her kids, and dad Louis relentlessly follows the American Dream. The series has evolved into a heartwarming family comedy, and one we should all be able to enjoy.
The newest take on the resurgent zombie genre, iZombie is a zombie tale with a twist. When Seattle medical resident Liv accidentally becomes a zombie at a boat party (you know, as you do), she must attempt to hide her new insatiable desire for human brains from her loved ones and colleagues. Fortunately, she gets a job in a morgue, so this isn’t as hard a task as it might be. However, she soon discovers that eating the brains of the diseased causes her to have flashbacks of that person’s memories, enabling her to solve crimes. This is a DC Comics adaptation that might be geared towards younger audiences, but is undeniable fun.
The world of high finance has never been so deliciously melodramatic as in this new premiere for 2016. Billions follows the ruthless United States Attorney Chuck Rhoades, a man who hates criminals escaping justice in his home of New York, and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, a well-regarded 9/11 survivor and hedge-fund manager who is secretly hiding a bunch of serious white collar crimes behind his charitable facade. While this one has only just got started, we’re looking forward to seeing more of these enigmatic characters and larger-than-life setting (preferably on British TV).
Another newbie for 2016, Colony is the tale of a family trying to survive in a futuristic Los Angeles occupied by militaristic alien forces. These aliens separate human loved ones, exert strict curfews, employ all-encompassing surveillance and use powerful propaganda to keep the human population under control. In the midst of this harsh reality, the Bowman family are forced to become secret agents for the resistance forces when their son goes missing. It’s not an entirely original idea, but seems to be entertaining audiences stateside well enough.
7. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
We are still not free from the musical comedy genre, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – a musical series about a single woman who decides to ditch her successful job to hunt down the soul mate who dumped her ten years prior – has beaten all odds to become very well received by the American press and public. This is largely to do with energetic, entertaining musical numbers and a powerfully charming performance from series lead and creator Rachel Bloom.
8. The Expanse
Recently renewed after a successful first month in the US, science-fiction series The Expanse is set 200 years in the future in a fully colonised Solar System. It follows the converging stories of Josephus Miller, a detective from the asteroid belt looking for a missing young woman; James Holden, an ice freighter pilot who is involved in a tragic incident that may destabilise life on Earth, Mars and the asteroid belt; and Chrisjen Avasarala, a UN executive who works tirelessly to prevent war between Earth and Mars. It seems a conspiracy is at hand that will involve all three.