My taste in movies and television swings like a pendulum. So does my taste in books, now that I think about it. I am happiest while consuming the most profound misery or cloying sentiment. Mentally unstable detective walks a path of self-destruction that threatens to destroy the tattered remains of her life? Don’t mind if I do! Super cute jock falls in love with the chubby nerd on a quest to lose her virginity? Saw it twice!
Right now, perhaps predictably, I am in what I like to call a phase of enchantment. I want jocks and nerds and proms and unrealistic happy endings. I want to float in a state of suspended reality and snark at the screen that “no way does that girl look like a junior in high school” and then rewind to my favorite parts. I want smoldering glances from across the room between members of polite society. I want John Thorton to look up and smile when he sees Margaret Hale in the train station.
I’m having a bit of trouble finding “enchanting” television. I’ve been enjoying watching fictional despair on TV for so long now that I don’t know how to find a proper romantic comedy or drama. I’m incapable of finding joy in life! This discovery is in line with my enneagram results, so at least I know I didn’t waste that $19.99.
Turmoil, on the other hand, is my specialty. I decided it would be convenient to post a list of my favorites here and update it regularly. I present to you my List of Turmoil Beyond Reproach. I am working on a List of Enchantments, but that will take time. Ronald Miller didn’t win over Cindi Mancini overnight.
List of Turmoil Beyond Reproach
(in alphabetical order)
I’ve linked to where you can watch when possible. Most Amazon links should be free if you have Prime. I haven’t paid to watch anything, and, aside from Prime, I don’t have any select subscriptions. Assume none of this is uplifting or family-friendly. You may recognize many of these if you have followed me online for more than a minute.
- The Americans: This was another show my husband enjoyed. My husband is a big government action/thriller guy, whereas I am a more tortured detective gal.
- Bodyguard: My husband enjoyed this more than I did, but I loved Richard Madden’s inscrutable countenance throughout.
- The Bridge: Yes, it’s in Svenska. Yes, it’s worth reading the subtitles and I’ve written about it before. There is an American adaption set on the US/Mexico border, but it’s just okay.
- Broadchurch: This series featured both David Tennant and Olivia Colman, so you know to expect complicated characters and outstanding performances. I don’t care if it’s a Cheetos commercial; I will watch anything with David Tennant or Olivia Colman (especially Oliva Colman).
- Endeavor: slow to start, but I was eventually charmed by his mess of a life.
- Father Brown: This is the closest to family-friendly you will get with this list. I watched it for free on Netflix, but it looks like it’s only available on Amazon with BritBox.
- The Frankenstein Chronicles: Not going to lie, this got weird.
- Good Omens: David Tennant. Mostly tween-friendly.
- Grandchester: Not my favorite (think of it as an alcoholic Anglican Father Brown knock off), but Al Weaver kept me coming back.
- Hell on Wheels: This is a Western, which isn’t usually my cup of tea, but Anson Mount is a strong character actor. The first few seasons are better than the last.
- Hinterland: Once you accept Mali Harries’s suburban mom’s haircut, you’ll be fine.
- Hunters: My husband enjoyed this more than I did. It has that Quentin Tarantino vibe he likes, and has me shrugging my shoulders.
- Jack Taylor: Good if you’re in a pinch, but it’s nothing special.
- The Killing: This is a classic and one of the first canceled series that Netflix picked up and made their own. It’s not available on Netflix anymore, but you can be alerted when it is or just watch it on Amazon.
- Lucifer: Not dark! It’s quite goofy and ridiculous, but I Iove it and can’t wait until the final 5th season.
- Luther: This series is exceptionally dark but very, very good. I would happily listen to Idris Elba recite tax code. Ruth Wilson is also excellent.
- Manhunt: Unabomber: Great if you’re a fan of true crime and want to debate if Ted Kacynzski had a point.
- Marcella: This female detective is an absolute disaster. Dark and satisfying. I’m waiting for the next season.
- Mindhunter: It’s all the more disturbing because of the hints of truth. Cameron Britton, as Edmund Kemper, makes my skin crawl.
- Narcos: My husband loved it.
- Ozark: I have what I call a two-season curse. Sometimes I will enjoy a show until the second season and then be done with it. Ozark was like that for me. I’m trying to get back into it because I know so many people love this show.
- Paranoid: Enjoyable, if not memorable.
- Peaky Blinders: I picked this one out for my husband when it first came out, and he loved it. I suspect this show started the undercut hair trend.
- River: It’s no longer available on Netflix, but it is on Amazon. Stellan Skarsgard is fantastic in this. The ending. Ugh.
- Sherlock: The BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch, which is outstanding, not the Robert Downey Jr. movie, which is not. Sherlock is one of my favorite shows of all time. I’ve watched the series twice, which I have never done before.
- Shetland: This was on Netflix, but it looks like it’s only available via BritBox now.
- The Suspicions of Mr. Witcher: Olivia Colman
- The Umbrella Academy: I normally steer clear of superheroes, but this one I enjoyed.
- Unforgotten: SO GOOD
- Unorthodox: Do not ask me why I found Orthodox Yanky Shapiro (Amit Rahav) so sexy, but boy, I sure did. I’m not alone.
- Wallander: Kenneth Branagh not doing Shakespeare or Star Wars! (I’m still not over his split with Emma Thompson)
- Wind River: I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I forgot to add movies. Here’s one about a murder on a Native American reservation.
- Zodiac: no longer available on Netflix, but check Hulu.