While we're all isolating at home and practicing physical distancing, we're also likely consuming a lot more television than we normally do. Though sometimes the options from streaming services can be completely overwhelming. To help make things a little easier, we went to film and TV critic Richard Crouse and asked for his top picks for hidden gems you may not know about, and amazing shows you may have missed when they first came out.
Stephen King’s “The Outsider” mixes-and-matches a police procedural with some supernatural shenanigans to create one of the most unsettling, and interesting horror series to come along in some time. (10 episodes)
Before she became famous Phoebe Waller-Bridge made “Crashing,” a show about six twenty-somethings saving money by living together and working as property guardians in an abandoned hospital. Funny but occasionally bleak, it’s like “Friends” without the laugh track. (6 episodes)
In the legal drama “Goliath” Billy Bob Thornton so effectively plays a brilliant lawyer on the skids after a case gone wrong that you can practically smell the cigarette and booze breath. His redemption and search for truth are the things that make his character and the show compelling. (24 episodes)
Stream now on Amazon Prime
“Euphoria” is the kind of show that may well give parents nightmares. A devastatingly honest portrayal of students as they navigate their teen years, it is unflinching in its depiction of the soft underbelly of high school life. (8 episodes so far)
Rachel Brosnahan plays the title character in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with such charm that the word marvelous doesn’t seem strong enough to describe the performance. She is witty, occasionally slap your knee funny while exuding warmth and empowerment. Marvelous? Let me add astounding and wonderful. (26 episodes so far)
Stream now on Amazon Prime
“Succession’s” story of greed and depraved family dysfunction is almost Shakespearean in its scope. As aging media mogul Logan Roy contemplates stepping down from his company his four children will do almost anything to take control. This is a portrait of back-stabbing that would make Machiavelli blush. (20 episodes so far)
Unlike most reality shows “Next in Fashion,” hosted by “Queer Eye’s” Tan France and fashionista Alexa Chung, isn’t interested in the on-set in-fighting between contestants. Instead, it pits eighteen brilliant designers against one another using nothing but their talent. There’s loads of drama, but also some amazing clothes. (10 episodes)
Comedies don’t come much darker than the hitman humour of “Barry.” Bill Hader plays a contract killer who wants to leave his violent past behind and become an actor. All the episodes are great but the show where he fights a 12-year-old girl who may have supernatural Taekwondo powers is a classic. (16 episodes)
“Billions” takes a legal drama, a soap opera and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” throws them into a pot and gives a good stir. The result is a look at greed-heads driven by a thirst for power, money and one-upping the other guy at any cost. (36 episodes)
It is rare that a series starts off string and gets better as it goes along but that is the case with “Ozark.” A crime drama about a middle-class family who launder money for a drug cartel, it has more twists and turns than any country road. If you liked “Breaking Bad,” you’ll definitely enjoy this series.