Underrated gems that you need to discover

Looking for a new show? Our writers have you sorted- take a look at their recommendations for shows you probably haven't watched

multiple writers
10th March 2021
Credit: Wikimedia Commons, IMDb, Netflix, Antony & Cleopatra Series Ltd. 2012
If, like many of us, you've spent the last year scrolling through streaming services watching everything on the 'popular now' section, perhaps you're looking for something new. Our writers discuss the shows that deserve more attention and are definitely shows not to miss.

Netflix underrated gem: Lovesick

A 20-minute per-episode underrated comedy answering a question I never knew needed answering: How do you tell your former flames about your chlamydia diagnosis?

The show was originally called Scrotal Recall, but proved to be off-putting to Netflix viewers, the name changed to Lovesick. A very suitable name for the rom-com with the cute will-they-won't-they trope.

Lovesick is a warm comedy at its heart about love, friends, flatmates, and mistakes...it just starts with chlamydia

A show about love, friendship and chlamydia...what more could you want? Credit: IMDb.

Starring Johnny Flynn (Emma) as Dylan calling back his chaotic love life, Angie Thomas (Misfits) as his best friend Evie, and Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) as the almost carefree, best friend Luke.

Lovesick begins with Dylan getting diagnosed with chlamydia and choosing to reach out to all the women he had sex with, in the past few years, to tell them the bad news. Trust me, it’s funnier than it sounds. Of course, the recall couldn’t be complete without flashbacks of Dylan, Luke, and Evie meeting his lovers for the first time, adding some intrigue and hilarity to their friendship.

I promise, Lovesick is a warm comedy at its heart about love, friends, flatmates, and mistakes...it just starts with chlamydia. It’s hilarious, and by the end of an episode, you’ll be smiling. What more can we ask for after this year?

Rebecca Sykes

BBC iPlayer underrated gem: Last Tango in Halifax

Hidden in the depths of BBC iPlayer is Sally Wainwright's Last Tango in Halifax, the story of two people who rekindle their love after 60 years apart, all thanks to their respective grandsons setting them up with a Facebook profile.

The drama doesn't stop there, though.

Sarah Lancashire plays Caroline, alongside Nicola Walker as Gillian, who both really shine on the screen. Credit: IMDb, Antony & Cleopatra Series Ltd. 2012

Celia Dawson, the more glamorous of the aforementioned couple lives with her grandchildren and her daughter, Caroline - the no-nonsense, witty and incredibly successful headmistress, who finds herself in a fog of depression following her husband's affair and a grapple with her own sexuality. Celia and Caroline's relationship is mostly positive, but the odd disagreement can provide both entertaining and incredibly difficult viewing.

Although Celia is an extremely problematic character (racism and homophobia for one, as well as implied support of Brexit and the Daily Mail), for some reason, Celia brings out something quite lovely in Caroline. She doesn't suffer fools, not even her own mother.

Last Tango in Halifax remains at its core, a story of love and the importance of family

Alan Buttershaw has been infatuated with Celia since his time at school, but believed he had missed his chance with her when Celia's family moved from Halifax to Sheffield when he was just 16. Going on to find love in Celia's friend, Eileen, Alan has a daughter, Gillian - whom Caroline refers to as 'brain-dead, low-life, trailer-trash'.

Gillian leads a seemingly humble existence compared to the Dawsons, working on a sheep farm as well as a checkout assistant in a local grocery store. What she seems to lack in wealth, she makes up for in loyalty and innate kindness - Gillian would be a great person to have on your side.

The Last Tango in Halifax cast brings us some familiar faces. Credit: IMDb, Antony & Cleopatra Series Ltd. 2012.

The Last Tango in Halifax cast boasts some icons of British TV; as Celia, the wonderful Anne Reid (Coronation Street) and Alan, played by the talented Derek Jacobi (Gosford Park), Caroline portrayed by the unbelievably distinguished Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) and lastly, Nicola Walker (Unforgotten) as Gillian. Sally Wainwright's skills as a screenwriter means that big-name actors always seem keen to be involved: think Suranne Jones joining her for both Scott & Bailey and Gentleman Jack, and additionally, Sarah Lancashire as the lead in Happy Valley.

Last Tango in Halifax manages to take on big issues, such as homophobia, suicide, sexual assault, adultery and addiction, all the while having moments of being light, charming and even incredibly funny. Dealing with engrained ideas of classism and intolerance, Last Tango in Halifax remains at its core, a story of love and the importance of family.

Carly Horne

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