I love a far-flung show that takes me to distant lands, or a romantic time-traveling fantasy, or a cartoon horse, or heck, a real-live horse. But now that Sunday nights are bringing me both “Game of Thrones” and “Twin Peaks,” I find myself craving something a little more real — a balance, I guess, to the grandiosity and abstraction of last night.
So this week I’m turning to lived-in shows that depict the genuine wins and losses we all experience. I also picked shows that fly way, way under most people’s radar, because it seems as though a lot of Watchers sometimes have that “I’ve watched everything already” feeling. Human-driven deep cuts, straight ahead! Have a lovely week. Let the British pony-jockey children in this New York Times Op-Doc inspire you as they have inspired me.
I Want an Intense Drama
Where to watch: Netflix
This gritty, often gutting drama is set on and around the fictional Blackstone First Nation reserve, in Canada, where people are in substantial distress. Drug abuse and suicide, particularly among teenagers, are rampant, and political corruption threatens to destabilize community leadership. Some shows use stories about power, corruption, dynasty, imperiled youth and puppet-master-style scheming from elders to create sweeping fantasy epics. “Blackstone” takes those same ideas and turns them inward, creating a smaller, intimate, grounded show. It’s bleak — but it isn’t gratuitous.