So you’re done binging Money Heist and now you’re craving for another series to dive into. Like a heroin addict who desperately needs a fix, you don’t just want it, you need it or your body threatens to internally combust and disintegrate. So you turn on Astro/Astro Go/HBO Go, but you’re spoilt for choice. You keep scrolling and scrolling but it’s all a clutter. Don’t worry! We’ve got some suggestions for you. Below is a list of completed TV series on Astro Go that you must watch.
1. Game of Thrones (8 Seasons)
Let’s start with the obvious. If you’ve for whatever reason not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, now would be a great time to start. Game of Thrones follows nine noble families, all eyeing for the Iron Throne and reign supreme over the lands of Westeros (in the meantime, an ancient mythical enemy that has been dormant for thousands of years, is slowly growing in strength and numbers). What makes this fantasy-drama so bloody pulsating lies in A Song of Ice and Fire (the novels in which the series is adapted from) author, George R.R. Martin’s critique of The Lord of the Rings.
Lord of the Rings ends with the good guys defeating the villainous Sauron and the noblest of noble, Aragorn, ruling the lands. Martin once said, “But I want to know: what was his tax policy? What did he do when famine struck the land? And what did he do when all those Orcs…? [There were] a lot of Orcs leftover. They weren’t all killed, They ran away into the mountains. … Did Aragorn carry out a policy of systematic Orc genocide? … Or was there Orc rehabilitation going on?”
And that’s what Game of Thrones is about — what happens after the “great war.” The series may have dragons, giants, ice zombies and epic battles, but it’s the layered and distinct characters and political games that they play that makes the show highly addictive. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call it an intricate and smart political thriller that just so happens to be set in a fantasy world.
2. The Sopranos (6 Seasons)
These days, we tend to credit Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad as the hallmarks that forever changed the landscape of television. However, many would also argue that The Sopranos, which started in 1999 was the first TV series that showed the world that television need not be switch-of-your-brain family-friendly weekly entertainment, and that the format allowed for long-form storytelling that’s rich in nuanced characters. If you’re a fan of films like The Godfather and Goodfellas, then The Sopranos is a must-watch.
But this series isn’t about gangsterism, per se, though it does follow New Jersey Italian mob boss, Tony Soprano. It’s about family, friendship, society, greed and the dark side of capitalism and the American Dream. The first episode opens, not with Tony Soprano being an absolute badass and shooting people, but rather him collapsing while grilling sausages, due to an anxiety attack. The writing is phenomenal, always effortlessly blending, dark humour, drama, thrills and fucking brilliant dialogue, and the performances, even more so. Game of Thrones may be my personal favourite TV series of all time due to my affinity for fantasy, but there’s no denying that The Sopranos is the most flawless.
3. The Newsroom (3 Seasons)
Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter of The Social Network, A Few Good Men, The American President, etc. is a goddamn genius. He is one of the best writers of dialogue of the modern era, if not of all time. And though his scripts for films are great, it was on Television where he truly felt like the Leonardo Da Vinci of the writing world. And that my friend, is saying something.
The title is literal. The series follows the goings-on in a newsroom of a TV Network. If you’re an aspiring journalist, this is a must-watch in particular. The series follows a bunch of smart and passion-fuelled broadcast journalists (fictional) as they go through their day to day life at work. You will be on your knees, lapping up every line of dialogue that these characters engage in like a dog whose owner is dangling a piece of bone in front of.
PS: I would also recommend the series that put Sorkin on the map, The West Wing, but it’s not on Astro Go.
4. The Leftovers (3 Seasons)
The Leftovers is created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, based on Perrota’s novel of the same name. Lindelof is the dude who’s known for creating the hit TV series Lost, that had us hooked, made us pissed off and then caused us to wonder why on earth we spent years investing in the series in the first place. Thankfully, The Leftovers has a far more satisfying ending than Lost.
The series is set three years after the mysterious disappearance of two per cent of the global population and follows the lives of a small community in New York City. This fantasy-drama-mystery is the realistic counterpart to the climactic sequence in Avengers: Infinity War, as it dives into the psychological, societal and religious fallout of such an event.
5. The Wire (5 Seasons)
Much like The Sopranos, David Simon’s The Wire is another series that showed the world what the television episodic format is really capable of. It’s realistic, gritty and explores the Baltimore drug scene, through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement. I can’t quite remember who said it (I must have read it on Reddit), but it’s a perfect way to sum up the show: If Breaking Bad is Shakespearian tragedy (how one man makes bad choices and falls), The Wire is Greek Tragedy (when all players are subject to the whims of the gods, which in this case is the institutions). What’s interesting is, The Wire is revered only in recent years. When it first dropped on TV in 2002, it struggled to find a viewership and it won no Emmys. Now, many consider it to be one of the greatest TV series ever made.