Seeing that I cancelled my live TV subscription at the beginning of the year, I’ve been forced to feed on a constant diet of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime. Sure, I miss traditional channels like Bravo and HGTV, but mostly because I can’t have them on in the background while my attention dips in and out. After all, if you miss a segment on Vanderpump Rules, it’s not like you can’t catch up in five seconds: Jax is probably trying to sleep with someone, Katie is most likely crying and there’s a good chance Stassi just insulted Scheana. That’s the show in a rose-drenched nutshell.
Aside from not being able to get the nightly 411 from Andy Cohen, I’m totally satisfied with my decision to give up the cable box, mostly because I would’ve missed out on discovering some of the most innovative and important TV shows that aren’t actually on TV.
1. Transparent (Amazon): The only bad thing I can say about the breakout Amazon series is that there aren’t enough episodes in Season 1. Thankfully, the second season has already been given the greenlight, which means a whole lot more of the Pfefferman clan. I can’t wait to see where creator Jill Soloway takes the show, especially now that there’s a transgender writer on staff.
2. The Killing (Netflix): I jumped on The Killing bandwagon pretty late, but that didn’t stop me from bursting with fruit flavor when it was announced Netflix would pick up the series’ fourth and final season. In six episodes, the show was able to tie up (most of) the lose ends left in Season 3’s riveting finale, while also giving fans what they’ve wanted most all along: The romantic pairing of [redacted] and [redacted].
3. Orange Is The New Black (Netflix): The second season of OITNB started off a little wonky—with Piper being taken out of “the shu” and transferred to another facility after her smackdown with Pennsyltucky—but quickly readjusted itself after Dandelion was reunited with the women of Litchfield Penitentiary. With no lack of action, lust and bitch-slaps, the show remains the perfect small-screen treat for bingewatchers everywhere.
4. The Awesomes (Hulu): While this animated action-hero series might be the brainchild of Seth Meyers and former Saturday Night Live producer Mike Shoemaker, there’s one person singlehandedly responsible for getting me to watch this show on the regular: Paula Pell (a/k/a the voice of Gadget Girl). Fans might recognize Pell as Pete Hornberger’s wife on 30 Rock or Ron Swanson’s mom, Tammy Zero, on Parks And Recreation. Not only does Pell have fierce comedic chops, but she’s also a wordsmith, having penning the upcoming film Sisters, formerly known as The Nest, starring besties Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
5. House Of Cards (Netflix): This show is simply bananas. Sure, the lighting is super dark and sometimes I can barely see the actors. And, yes, I don’t understand ALL of the political jargon they throw around. But the character of Francis Underwood might be one of my all-time favorite villains and I’m counting the days until the launch of Season 3 so we can see what the devious former House Majority Whip does now that he’s taken the ultimate position of power.