In recent years, the Lebanese have really started to embrace TV shows. It’s not exactly surprising, because we could all use a distraction from the often-terrible circumstances that surround us. But apart from the obvious choices, like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, here are five overlooked shows that every Lebanese should consider watching.
Let’s face it, we all need a little vengeance in our lives. If you often feel like a bundle of rage, Revenge can be very satisfying. The show’s premise is about one woman’s vengeful quest against the people who wronged her. Sure it stumbled for a while (especially in its second season) but it’s better than ever now and certainly worth trying out. Plus, Madeleine Stowe is incredible in it.
Watch if: You’re feeling especially pissed off after a terrible drive home from work. Instead of letting your anger loose on the streets of Beirut, watch Emily Thorne unleash hell on the Hamptons instead. Her devious ways are bound to bring a smile to your face (just don’t get any ideas).
American Horror Story
We Lebanese endure trauma on a daily basis. So it can be downright therapeutic to watch a cast of characters with lives even crazier than ours. And let me be clear: American Horror Story is absolutely nuts. It’s dark, perversely funny, and frequently insane. And the best part is you can pick any of the three seasons and start there, because each of them tells a self-contained story. The one link between all three? The lead actress, Jessica Lange, who masterfully assumes a different role every year. Seriously, she’s magnificent.
Watch if: You want to try something a little bit different. Season one is about a haunted house (and it’s not just the hot water that’s messed up); season two focuses on a mental asylum (a place I feel most Lebanese would feel at home in), while three is about modern day witches in New Orleans (it might be my favorite). Just be sure to watch the show with the lights on, because it has its share of creepy moments.
I love losing myself in Arrow‘s world. I’ve always been a huge fan of superheroes (Batman, Spiderman, etc.) so it’s thrilling to watch Oliver Queen rid his city of dirtbags and super villains. Arrow‘s got pulse-pounding action, increasingly complex characters, and a number of excellent twists. The show might have started out a bit slow, but it just keeps getting better and better with every passing week. There’s no better time to jump on board.
Watch if: You feel like escaping Lebanon and immersing yourself in some comic-book adventures. Plus it’s a show the whole family can enjoy.
Probably the most accurate representation of Lebanon’s plastic elite. Noticeably inspired by Desperate Housewives, Suburgatory is a delightful and hilarious satire about a single Manhattan dad and his teenage daughter who move to the suburbs and end up facing an army of plastic smiles and manicured lawns. It’s an impeccably-written comedy with great music and sharp performances.
Watch if: You’re in need of some light-hearted entertainment. God knows this country is stressful enough, and you might get a kick out of this extremely underrated gem and its charming representation of Beirut’s bimbos.
The Walking Dead
There’s an argument to be made that Lebanon is already a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by brainless flesh-eating zombies. If you’re not entirely convinced by that comparison, give The Walking Dead a shot. It’s a suspenseful and oh-so-addictive look at a lawless world where society is a thing of the past, and the hopeless survivors have to make due with utter chaos (sound familiar?).
Watch if: You want to see people living in a land that’s even worse than ours. And hey, you might just end up being thankful for our volatile nation. Trust me, we’re surprisingly better off.
Previously posted on Beirut.com