This year has been amazing for TV on our home streaming services.
Netflix, for example, has seemingly provided a constant pipeline of massive new shows, plus returning favourites, However, not all of them have been talked about around the water cooler quite as much.
That's why we've put together this quick guide to three TV series on Netflix that you might not have tried in 2023, but really, honestly should.
The Fall of the House of Usher
- Stars: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Mary McDonnell, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, Samantha Sloyan, Kate Siegel, Mark Hamill
The last entry in Mike Flanagan's Netflix universe, The Fall of the House of Usher is a sprawling ode to the works of Edgar Allen Poe. It takes full advantage of Flanagan's outstanding regular cast and adds to it, creating one of the year's best horror anthology shows.
Following the Usher family, an unbelievably powerful and corrupt pharmaceutical business, the show charts their downfall as, one by one, they die in horrific and mysterious circumstances.
As you would expect from anything with Flanagan's name on it (having also created The Haunting of Hill House and The Midnight Club for the platform, among others), the show looks amazing, is perfectly paced, consistent in tone and delivers jump scares, shocks and enough gothic mystery to keep viewers happy. Each episode weaves around the demise of a specific family member and drives the narrative forward perfectly.
The show is a lot more lighthearted and fun than Flanagan's arguably greatest work, Midnight Mass, and this is intentional. As farewells go, it's a really solid piece of work and well worth a watch.
- Stars: Matthew Broderick, Taylor Kitsch, Uzo Aduba, West Duchovny
Part documentary, part drama, Painkiller charts the rise of the Sackler family, Purdue Pharma, and the causes and consequences of America's opioid epidemic.
It is based on first hand evidence from investigations into Purdue, so we are shown how the company turned opioids, what should have been a last resort pain relief system, into a household and recreational drug for millions across the country. It's a drug so powerful that addiction was certain despite a huge marketing campaign stating the opposite. Puedue made billions, thousands died.
Painkiller sports an outstanding ensemble cast headed up by a career-defining role by Matthew Broderick. His Richard Sackler is as cold and calculating as the man himself, the head of the company and the mastermind behind one of the greatest crimes in American history.
Painkiller is brutal, honest and, sadly, massively entertaining.
Lockwood & Co.
- Stars: Ruby Stokes, Cameron Chapman. Created by Joe Cornish from the novels by Jonathan Stroud
Lockwood & Co is based on the novels by Jonathan Stroud and set In London, where the most gifted teenage ghost-hunters venture nightly into perilous combat with deadly spirits. And specifically, it focuses on the eponymous agency, which is run by two teenage boys and their newly hired female ghost hunter.
The good thing about Lockwood & Co is that it is a really well made, well written and completely enjoyable romp through a paranormal cityscape, with solid performances, some decent effect work and a really well devised and realised tone.
The only bad thing is that after just one season, it fell foul to the almighty Netflix algorithm and was cancelled despite solid reviews and a loyal fan base. Much to the outcry of many.
So, with just one season to watch it's perfect for a day binge. If you like your teen drama a bit spooky with solid lore and good character work then Lockwood & Co is well worth a look…. just don't be sad when it ends, the algorithm cannot be bargained with.