Though i’m a little far behind on today’s most popular shows, i.e. The Walking Dead and Daredevil, instead I’ve been coming home and delighting myself with a handful of pilot TV series that I’ve been meaning to catch for some time, one of which was actually on my list of 2016’s must-see things to watch — no judgements allowed.

Downton Abbey

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That’s right, I took the plunge. The smash-hit BBC series, created by Julian Fellowes, has officially finished its run on television, so it’s the perfect time for myself to binge watch. The pilot delves into the happenings of Downton ala 1912, the day after the Titanic sinks. Instantly, I’m hooked. Introduced to the variation of characters both upstairs and downstairs, the seemingly aimed audience ideals are smashed out of the water when the drama, the costumes, the sets and the smorgasbord of charismatic characters (headlined by a variation of British talent including Maggie Smith, Huge Bonneville and the brilliant Michelle Dockery) have me intrigued to progress through the first series. Romance, death, secrets and lies; it’s all addressed in the first season and I can only hope it continues. A pleasant surprise.

Girls

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Lena Dunham’s penultimate series hits out with a comedic bang as Marnie (Allison Williams) hits wedding day disaster as she attempts to walk the aisle with series annoyance Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), cueing Dunham’s expected writing brilliance, directed with fierce wit and intellectual poignance. Girls‘ success has grown, though subtly, over the years, but this wittier Sex and the City fable about four women in New York hits mostly high notes, and hasn’t disappointed in its fifth season. Season fillers are a few when episodes run at a mere 30 minutes, but we have moving episodes highlighting her dad’s (played by Peter Scolari) coming out and how her mother (Becky Ann Baker) attempts to deal with this, including an episode where her and Hanna (Dunham) hit up an all-female retreat. The fifth series has so far concluded with episode 6 titled “Panic in Central Park”, a clear fan favourite as one of the earlier season’s characters makes a comeback and enlightens a dampened Marnie, filling the episode with spontaneous happenings in and around the city and ending with a dramatic thud.

Looking

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Another show I intended to catch before now. Though ending really before it began, Looking, created by Michael Lannan, was cancelled after two measly seasons, though popularity of the show garnered HBO to greenlight a TV movie to tie up all loose ends. Sad, however, as season one was thoroughly enjoyable. Looking follows the lives of three gay men in San Francisco; Patrick (Glee’s Jonathan Groff), Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) are all best friends who attempt to survive the world of work, sex and relationships, all of which gives an enticing insight into the gay community in San Francisco. The boys discover new endeavours as well as past problems that complicate new. Directed by Andrew Haigh (the director of the gay romance Weekend — one of the finest LGBT films I have ever seen), the show is written admirably, detailing the lives of these men in a grounded and realistic manner, a rare feat in regards to anything LGBT.