Western, English-language television shows tend to surpass the movies in these cultures when it comes to how clever and interesting they can be. There’s been more of a focus lately on how capitalism or hyper-individualism tends to hurt us.
Enough with leftist ideology. What were Ariana’s top picks for this year? Let’s hear from a woman, not from the guy who mainly runs the site.
The Rehearsal Season One (HBO, 6 episodes)
I am still trying to decipher what Nathan Fielder was doing and just how false it was. It’s brilliant and heartbreaking. Sometimes I think about it and feel disgusted to some degree as if I witnessed someone I shouldn’t have. He inserts personal truths about himself, leaving you wondering if this was a bizarre form of self-therapy or all a setup to lull you into thinking you’re safe. I want to live in a world where people are honest, but Nathan makes you question if everyone else is putting on an act to save face all the time. It’s both the best and worst of “reality” television. If you feel angry during & after watching this, that’s good. That’s the point. American media is faking reality constantly.
Severance Season One (Apple TV+, 9 episodes)
The twists and turns that happened in this show left me on edge. Am I a little concerned they won’t be able to pull it off next season? Yes. Am I worried it might end with a neoliberal speech because of how privileged Ben Stiller is since he is the main director? Also, yes. This show reminded me of what a stellar actor Patricia Arquette is and made me excited to see how she matures and takes on new types of roles.
Atlanta Seasons 3 & 4 (FX, 10 episodes each)
Atlanta isn’t perfect 100% of the time. In prior seasons there’s been snubbing toward darker-skinned Black women, and certain scenes make one furrow their eyebrows if you’re more aware of internal racism. I am not the person to pick those topics apart. However, it is one of the few shows that have a whole Black cast that is as well-regarded as this show has been. Visually stunning, with interesting characters and beautiful cinematography. One can just get lost in it. I will miss this show and hope it influences more shows to come.
Star Wars: Andor Season One (Disney+, 12 episodes)
I feel weird having a Star Wars show on here. I’ve continuously been burnt by Star Wars. This show was everything (or almost everything) I wanted from a Star Wars show. Some ignorant people will say that this show is about how we could all vote and that they’re fighting fascism without taking direct action. No, this is a clear message to people that we need to come together, shake the liberal thoughts out of our heads, and fight the fascist, imperialist power that keeps trying to crush us. You have to get off your ass and do something.
Undone Seasons One & Two (Amazon Prime, 8 episodes each)
This is the most personal one for me. Undone is one of those shows for someone working through trauma or people who are striving to become better, whether through meditation, mindfulness, or some other form of managing anxiety. You will get. It felt as if it was written for someone like myself, for people who have felt that the past had left them unraveled with regrets and what if’s, but reminding you that it will be okay.