Since May 2016, The Buffalo News has published a series called "You Should Be Watching," which suggests enticing shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and more streaming networks.
Here's a rundown of the shows we've discussed - spoiler-free - from deranged themes like those in "Bates Motel," the violence in "Dexter" and the cultural relevance of "The Hollow Crown."
March 27, 2017: "Lovesick" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Johnny Flynn, a British musician, stars as Dylan, a handsome, lovesick, caring and carefree romantic who has to find all the women he has slept with over the years to tell them he has a social disease.
March 20, 2017: "Love" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Character Gus Cruikshank finds love in all the wrong places, including a convenience store and the trailer on the set of a television show where he works as the tutor of a spoiled child actress.
March 13, 2017: "Six Feet Under" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: While it may seem difficult to imagine televised entertainment centered on a mortuary, "Six Feet Under" offers a rich and rewarding series about life thriving in a cold world. With exquisite directing and excellent soundtracks, "Six Feet Under" is engaging, thoughtful, and often genuinely moving.
March 6, 2017: "Arrow" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Lost to the world for five hellish years, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns to Starling City, intent on washing his city clean of the criminal, corporate and political elements that are bent are remaking his home to serve their own interests.
Feb. 20, 2017: "Alias" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: With its high-octane international narratives and its complicated web of emotional connections, "Alias" consistently convinces us to suspend our disbelief and enjoy the dramatic ride. Created by J. J. Abrams, "Alias" features excellent filming locations, fine directing and wonderful soundtracks.
Feb. 13, 2017: "Cinco" with Jim Gaffigan - Why you should watch it
Teaser: With over an hour of material, including bits on clothing for the overweight, the outdoors, cars, modern technology, marriage and food, Gaffigan has something to appeal to everyone. If you like to be lazy, even better, because that seems to be his default mode.
Feb. 6, 2017: "Bates Motel" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Even though viewers know what Norman becomes, the show doesn't take the easy, I-could-have-guessed-this-is-where-it's-going road to get there. There's depth to the journey. The family's got troubles – chief among them abuse, violence and mental illness. Still this unbalanced boy and his over-protective parent strive to have a normal family.
Jan. 30, 2017: "One Day at a Time" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The comedy comes first and the laughs are big, but there’s always an underlying message, usually one of tolerance.
Jan. 23, 2017: "The Hollow Crown" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The show serializes William Shakespeare’s history plays covering events from Richard II’s dethroning to Richard III’s violent fall. Following courtiers and kings, we experience a tense England in the eras of the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses.
Jan. 16, 2017: "The OA" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: A young woman named Prairie Johnson resurfaces suddenly after being missing for seven years. Blind when she disappeared, Prairie now has the ability to see. She also calls herself “OA,” and has unexplained scars on her back.
Jan. 3, 2017: "Too Close to Home" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Just wait until Heather Locklear chews up the scenery as the First Lady (she’s returning in the new episodes) or Instagram phenom Brock O’Hurn engulfs the screen with his hulking and hunky 6-foot 7-inch frame, flowing hair and oddly hypnotic monotone.
Dec. 28, 2016: "Phineas and Ferb" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: While it qualifies as a kids’ show, there’s a dark, subversive undertone that makes “Phineas and Ferb” a groundbreaking achievement. It’s also really, really funny.
Dec. 20, 2016: "Wonders of the Solar System" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Whether it’s walking on Arctic ice to help you visualize the ice particles composing Saturn’s rings, or traveling to Africa’s Namib Desert to illustrate Mars’ barren but ordered landscapes, Cox literally travels to the ends of the earth to help us understand the wondrous laws of nature.
Dec. 12, 2016: "Dexter" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Playing the show’s predatory protagonist as a monster who wears a mask of normalcy, Michael C. Hall gives a consistently mesmerizing performance, providing Dexter with subtle psychological tics and quirky comedic stylings.
Dec. 6, 2016: "The Sarah Silverman Program" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The show satirizes us through its self-obsessed star – Sarah Silverman, a crass, clueless, dangerous and economically dependent narcissist who at each episode’s end communicates to Doug all the wrong moral lessons about her misadventures.
Nov. 28, 2016: "Fargo" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: “Fargo” might be the least predictable series on TV. There is one specific moment in season one, for example – a faceoff between “Sherlock” star Martin Freeman’s insurance salesman protagonist and Billy Bob Thornton’s deadpan hitman – that is jaw-droppingly surprising.
Nov. 20, 2016: "Black Mirror" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Following the kidnapping of a member of the Royal Family, Kinnear’s Prime Minister Michael Callow faces one of the more, ahem, difficult decisions a politician could possibly face: whether to have sexual intercourse with a … pig, live on television. This absurd story is taken to a believable, troubling conclusion.
Nov. 14, 2016: "United States of Tara" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Created by Diablo Cody and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, The United States of Tara dramatizes both the suffering brought by mental illness and the coping mechanisms that keep families together.
Nov. 4, 2016: "Crisis in Six Scenes" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Similarly, the concept of the series — the most wanted criminal in America is hiding out in the suburbs — wonderfully exploits the nebbish-ness of Woody Allen, and the matter-of-fact-ness of Elaine May.
Nov. 2, 2016: "Blackadder" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Much of the show generates purely outrageous humor by having its self-destructive characters create high-jinks in tense historical scenarios. However, the show also sneaks in much sly commentary on social and political history, exposing the pettiness and incompetence of those entrusted with power.
Oct. 21, 2016: "The Killing" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: At the heart of the show is the excellent chemistry between detectives Linden and Holder, whose status as ethical outsiders highlights the systematic corruption of their world.
Oct. 17, 2016: "Star Wars Rebels" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: While “Star Wars Rebels” is appropriate for kids, what makes the show unusual is its ability to simultaneously entertain younger viewers and adult “Star Wars” fanatics.
Oct. 10, 2016: "Battlestar Galactica" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: While the tropes of machines that rebel against their masters and humanlike cyborgs might lead to clichéd storytelling, “Battlestar Galactica” produces a fresh, thrilling and intriguingly spiritual narrative. Refusing to limit questions of ethics or desire to humanity, the show compellingly blurs the lines between human and machine.
Oct. 4, 2016: "The Spoils of Babylon" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The stars of the miniseries itself, Maguire and Wiig, display stunning comedic skills as Devon and Cynthia Morehouse, whose privileged backgrounds and forbidden desires propel them into lives of financial triumph and personal tragedy.
Sept. 27, 2016: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Sarah Michelle Gellar offers a performance for the ages as Buffy, who combines grace, power and vulnerability as she develops through her literally hellish high school years into a uniquely responsible adult.
Sept. 13, 2016: "Grace and Frankie" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Jane Fonda is uptight country-clubber Grace Hanson, who spars with Lily Tomlin’s hippie-dippie nutty granola Frankie Bergstein as they navigate the devastation of their husbands leaving them behind.
Sept. 6, 2016: "Rome" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: At the show’s core lies one of television’s greatest bromances – between Lucius Vorenus, a stoic centurion family-man who deeply respects Roman tradition, and Titus Pullo, a boisterous soldier with chaotic, thrill-seeking habits.
Aug. 30, 2016: "The Bridge" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Featuring moody cinematography and thoughtful pacing, “The Bridge” uses outdoor locations, excellent casting and much Spanish-language dialogue to immerse its viewers in borderlands culture.
Aug. 22, 2016: "Twin Peaks" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: With a deep cast of excellent actors and consistently cutting-edge scripts, “Twin Peaks” successfully blends small-town pastoral and avant-garde ambience.
Aug. 9, 2016: "Wolf Hall" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: "Wolf Hall" develops at a wonderfully easy pace, with excellent directing and a minimalist soundtrack that allows the cast’s exquisite acting to take center stage.
Aug. 2, 2016: "Stranger Things" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Not since “Twin Peaks” and “The X-Files” has there been a sci-fi (ish) series that truly warrants this level of theorizing and analysis.
July 26, 2016: "Absolutely Fabulous" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: At the show’s center is Edina Monsoon, whose appropriately chaotic surname conveys the wild energy generated as this hard-drinking, chain-smoking, ever-intense woman makes her way through the ever-changing, absurdly superficial world of high fashion.
July 19, 2016: "Orphan Black" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Con artist Sarah Manning finds her life thrown into chaos when she steals the identity of a woman who looks exactly like her, and who kills herself right before her eyes.
July 12, 2016: "The Americans" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The acting is exceptional, the predicaments the characters get into are involving, and the problems the Jenningses have in their marriage and raising their teenage daughter (Taylor) add an extra dimension.
June 21, 2016: "Mr. Robot" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: “Mr. Robot” manages to be both dreamlike and realistic, conveying the paranoia and power of a financial system built on income inequality and digital vulnerability.
June 14, 2016: "Outlander" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: This series has many moments of grace and beauty, but it is graphic in its nudity, sexuality and war-time violence and has a sadistic character whose actions are not hidden.
May 31, 2016: "Catastrophe" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Rob Delaney is a tall, somewhat clumsy American advertising man with a big heart who meets an Irish schoolteacher (Sharon Horgan) in London, England, in this, at times, crazy romantic comedy.
May 19, 2016: "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: Somewhere between amateur sleuths Nancy Drew and Jessica Fletcher is Phryne Fisher (pronounced Pry-nee), a woman of impeccable taste with a nose for murder.
May 10, 2016: "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" - Why you should watch it
Teaser: The combination of Tina Fey's joke-a-second comedy writing perfected as the brains behind “30 Rock” and Ellie Kemper’s pitch-perfect portrayal of a fish out of a water – or perhaps a mole out of a cave – has put “Kimmy” at the top of many a “to binge” list.