TV Shows That You Don’t Know But Should Watch

ARE you the FOMO brand of series bing watchers? Did you watch GOT under immense peer pressure? Have you run out of recommendations and have exhausted all Top 10 lists?

Fear no more. We’ve created a list of TV shows that you probably haven’t heard about but should watch immediately.

Ethos / Bir Başkadır (2020) by NETFLIX, 8.5 IMDb

A show of Turkish origin, written and directed by a revered Turkish writer, Borkun Oya, it created quite a stir in intellectual circles upon its release. It explores the intricate and complex lives of people caught between the two failing polar ends of society, i.e, modernity and tradition. The narrative brings forth to us a nuanced and an honest description of how characters from both ends of society are unhappy and unsatisfied with their lives, owing much to their rigid outlooks of the world. Unlike the infamous stereotypical Hollywood representation of traditional societies, this show breaks the stereotypes and presents the cross-section of society in a much more eloquent and nuanced manner. The candid representation of their behaviours and therefore their psyche brings forth something very profound to ponder upon, which is essentially asking questions about how exactly do we humans fall in err in a society where our psyches are in a constant perpetuation of making hasty generalisations, and thereby basing our whole worldview on them. The show doesn’t give any answers, instead it gives a candid and nuanced representation of characters who are captives of their own insufficiencies, just like we are, and it compels one to  ‘think’ regardless of one’s leaning towards modernity or tradition.

After Life (2019) by NETFLIX, 8.5 IMDb

A truly bittersweet, deeply thought provoking and probably the magnum opus of the British writer and director, Ricky Gervais, ‘After life’ is an exceptional TV series that focuses on death, existentialism and the force of life. The plot revolves around a guy named Tony, who is devastated after losing his wife to breast cancer, leaving him shattered and contemplating of suicide. Considering to end his life, he discovers a new freedom: to say or act in whatever manner he pleases, knowing that if the consequences become too much, he can always commit suicide since he no longer cares about anything. However, as he alienates his friends, family and co-workers, his interactions with other people in similar situations drive him to question his future. That is how the plot evolves, to subtly address the question of whether he cares about anything. It is often regarded as the ‘13 reasons why’ for mature audience since it puts life, death and suicide in a realistic frame as opposed to romanticising it. It's a fantastic meditation on the long-term impacts of grief and loss, as well as a comedy with at least one episode that makes you laugh out loud.

Yunus Emre (2015) by TRT, 8.0 IMDb

From the director of the famous TV series Diriliş: Ertuğrul, Mehmet Bozdağ, this series explores the life of the famous Anatolian Sufi Mystic poet, Yunus Emre of 13th century Anatolia. In this series, Mehmet Bozdağ, who is recognised for emphasising the importance of traditional and religious ethos in his works, does so by diving thoroughly into the spread and teachings of mysticism in 13th century Anatolia. The show, despite being about a Turkish poet resonates with most of the Asian regions owing to the shared history of Islamic Mysticism across the regions. It explores the journey of a student of knowledge, the traditional education of the sciences of language and religion, to the student of love, owing much to his murshid (spiritual teacher) Tapduk Emre, another famous mystic. The much known relation of mureed and murshid is explored, however in a much detailed and nuanced manner, much of which can be related with our history of mystics. The show is a great effort in materialising and perpetuating the traditional tenets and teachings in the form of films and TV. As instructive and informative as it is, being a historical series, it also proves to be quite an entertaining watch.

Durr-e-Shehwar/ Dhoop Chhaon (2012) by MD Productions, Six Sigma Plus, 8.7 IMDb

We are all familiar with popular Pakistani shows like Humsafar (2011), Alif (2019), Zindagi Gulzaar Hai (2012) and so on. However the show Durre-e-Shehwar hasn’t found its renown like the others despite being equally as brilliant, if not more. Durr-e-Shehwar is an Urdu Pakistani drama serial written by Umera Ahmad and directed by Haissam Hussain. It is a beautiful, heart-warming and though-provoking story that touches the issues of domestic married life in a south-Asian society from a woman’s perspective. The plot follows Durr-e-Shehwar as she recounts her married life to her daughter, who is facing marital problems. Shehwar's tale is one of suffering, effort, and perseverance, which her daughter was unaware of. After marriage she had expected to relocate with her husband to his army assigned house, but she was forced to stay with her in-laws. She describes how she was denied the respect she had at her home because his husband saw her through his mother's frigid eyes. The story of her suffering continues, until her husband, because of her perseverance and guidance from her father, recognised her worth and took her with him, which finally made her in-laws respect her. The whole story is told in a beautiful, eloquent manner which really puts the essence of patience and perseverance forward along with the impending emphasis on the problems a typical south-asian household. The story is a testament on the importance of marital preservation through patience and perseverance, as well as on husband's obligation to make his wife's dignity known.

The Good Doctor by ABC (US), 8.1 IMDb

‘The Good Doctor’ features Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocated from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital surgical unit. This series brings the autistic individuals in the focus and differs to tell how they can perform among the normally abled people. Shaun Murphy, who is blessed with an extraordinary medical insight puts his skills to use in saving lives, however his autism is a factor of scepticism for his colleagues. Unlike the most incorrect representation of medicine and surgeries in popular TV and cinema, this show is far accurate in terms of its representation of the surgical units and procedures –which makes it more informative and educational. The show also subtly addresses some issues of discrimination prevalent in the west along with its focus on specially-abled people. This show might not be everyone’s favourite but it’s a positive step for the representation of specially-abled people.

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