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What’s Worth Watching: Nine shows to binge watch this Memorial Day weekend

UPDATED: Wed., June 2, 2021

Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s “Hannibal.”  (NBC)
Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s “Hannibal.” (NBC)

The long weekend has arrived, and here are nine shows you might’ve missed over the past several years and a few comedies that are always good for a laugh (selected from a long list of shows I’m constantly telling people to watch).

“Peaky Blinders” (2013) – Between the police and the Peaky Blinders, the English town of Birmingham is a cesspool of corruption and organized crime. Just returned from serving in World War I, Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the brains behind the notorious gang, and his close-knit family run a tight ship. But when rival gangs from London start encroaching on Shelby territory, Tommy’s abilities are put to the test. The first five seasons of “Peaky Blinders” are available on Netflix.

“What We Do in the Shadows” (2019) – Set in the same universe as the 2014 mockumentary horror film of the same name, “What We Do in the Shadows” follows a new trio of incompetent vampires – Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Laszlo (Matt Berry) and Nandor (Kayvan Novak) – their energy vampire roommate, Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), and Nandor’s familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), on a series of doomed, laugh-out-loud adventures through Staten Island. “What We Do in the Shadows” is available on Hulu.

“Succession” (2018) – The Roy family, known for owning the largest media and entertainment company in the world, finds their already shaky foundations rocked when the patriarch, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), announces his intention to step down as CEO. But before Logan can decide which of his children will inherit the company, he begins second-guessing himself. The first two seasons of “Succession” are available on HBO Max.

“Broadchurch” (2013) – The English coast town of Broadchurch struggles to cope as detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) work together to solve the shocking murder of a young local boy. As the case unfolds, no one is above suspicion. “Broadchurch” is available on Netflix.

“Good Omens” (2019) – Based on Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel of the same name, “Good Omens” follows the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) as they attempt to save the world by high-jacking the upbringing of the antichrist. Despite their many differences, Crowley and Aziraphale are determined to work together to prevent the apocalypse, and, in so doing, save the world they’ve come to love. “Good Omens” is available on Amazon Prime Video.

“Chernobyl” (2019) – At 1:23:45 a.m. on April 26, 1986, an explosion that should have been physically impossible – one that would come to be known as one of the most catastrophic nuclear events in history – sent shockwaves throughout the surrounding cities. Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard and Emily Watson, HBO’s “Chernobyl” revisits the explosion through the eyes of the scientists and party officials tasked with the cleanup and containment. “Chernobyl” is available on HBO Max.

“The Man in the High Castle” (2015) – Based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, “The Man in the High Castle” is a dystopian, sci-fi exploration of what might’ve happened if the Allies had fallen to the Axis Powers. The series follows Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos), a rebel with a heart of gold on a mission she doesn’t quite understand; John Smith (Rufus Sewell), an SS Obergruppenführer in the Greater Nazi Reich; and Takeshi Kido, the chief inspector tasked with maintaining order in San Francisco, now the capital city of the Japanese Pacific States. All four seasons of “The Man in the High Castle” are available on Amazon Prime Video, but I especially recommend the first two.

“Hannibal” (2013) – Drawing characters and plot points from Thomas Harris novels like “Red Dragon,” director Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal” follows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), an FBI consultant with an empathy disorder that allows him to assume the perspective and motive of any criminal just by visiting a crime scene. Hoping to keep a hold of his own identity, Will begins seeing an eminent surgeon turned psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Lecter seems all propriety and politeness, but beneath all of those tailored suits and pocket squares lies something darker than even Will could have imagined. “Hannibal” is available on Netflix.

“The Orville” (2017) – Starring writer and director Seth MacFarlane as Capt. Ed Mercer, “The Orville” follows Mercer and his crew of misfits as they explore the galaxy and overcome the perils of interplanetary travel. MacFarlane approaches his space adventure series with the kind of seriousness and sensibility that would make “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry proud, all the while never sacrificing a good laugh. “The Orville” is available on Hulu.

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