Five shows you weren’t watching in 2011

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Unless you’ve got mad cash to subscribe to those premium channels, we’ve got four dramas and one comedy you weren’t watching, but should’ve been, in 2011

Jonathan Petrychyn
A&C Editor

I will confess: I’m about a decade behind the television times. I spent most of my Christmas break watching the last half of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the first season of Community. We can chalk it up to being a student and being unable to afford premium cable channels to allow me to watch the high quality television that the new Golden Age of American Television is pumping out.

As such, I have to rely on what a basic cable package can offer, which means I can watch as much Whitney and New Girl as I want, but can’t watch much of the programming put out by HBO, FX, or Showtime in the United States. At this time, it would seem fruitful to turn to Netflix to fill in the gaps, but even then, there is usually a considerable wait before we can get a feel for what the critics and audiences have been drooling over in the United States. Here are five shows that you can’t watch in Canada unless you’ve got the cash to subscribe to what few premium channels we can get.

Treme

Set in New Orleans three months after Katrina, the show follows a handful of Katrina survivors as they attempt to rebuild their lives in a New Orleans neighbourhood, Treme. The show was created by David Simon and Eric Overmeyer, the minds behind The Wire, another critically acclaimed HBO show that we are hard-pressed to find in Canada without forking over a sizable chunk of a paycheque.

Homeland

Following the theme of American disasters, Homeland follows Claire Daines as she tries to determine if a returning American prisoner of war was indeed turned by the enemy and is a terrorist threat. The whole terrorist shtick is getting quite tiresome, but now that fear has turned to a homegrown threat, and not some outside threat, it would be interesting to see the treatment and the dynamic between the characters.

American Horror Story

Chalk this up to my unabashed love for horror movies, good and bad, but Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck’s ghost story seems infinitely appealing, despite middling reviews. Who doesn’t want to see Dylan McDermott and Jessica Lange in a haunted house on a weekly basis? Moreover, who wouldn’t want to see the suspense of a horror movie drawn out over 12 episodes?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Apparently this show has been broadcasting on Showcase for a while now, but because it’s mandated to run only Canadian content until 10 p.m.; most of us won’t see it. The show is currently in its seventh season, and it still hasn’t surfaced on Netflix or on any other easily viewable station. Simply speaking, it’s a show about assholes being assholes. That should be reason enough for it to appear on Netflix instead of all eight seasons of Charmed.

Boardwalk Empire

Martin Scorcese directed the pilot of this HBO series, and it’s been eating up awards and accolades ever since. Set in prohibition era Atlantic City, it appears to be a political fable for the ages. And how nice is it to say that it stars Steve Buscemi? This guy has been quietly character acting his way through his career and now stars as a corrupt treasurer. If Netflix is going to keep suggesting I watch new episodes of Bones, it has to at the very least give me this show’s pilot episode.

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