Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV - you know the names, and odds are that you probably subscribe to at least one of these outlets. Streaming has become the new normal for countless individuals, often taking precedence over the standard cable television outlets across the country. Now, I'm not saying that Network and Cable television is a thing of the past because they aren't relevant, but what I am saying is that entertainment has evolved because of the popularity of streaming services. Cable networks have even begun changing HOW they do television because of how services like Netflix and Amazon have drastically changed what viewers expect to be able to see.
No longer are we permanently tied down to turning on the television at a specific time or to a specific channel, because at the tips of our fingers are countless options that we can start and stop at will. Yet, the top tier outlets (AMC, Showtime, HBO and the like) have radically changed their lineup to offer a much more focused. This shift in programming offerings is an effort to reach the streaming audience and pull them into returning to the television screen at pre-programmed times. To a point it has worked, but it wouldn't have happened had the streaming craze not altered the make-up of what we want to watch. There are 6 shows currently streaming that helped revolutionize entertainment, and some still are.
6. Daredevil (Netflix)
Probably one of the most well known unique streaming options, Daredevil set out to re-invent the superhero show. Premiering after The CW had already established a few comic-book based shows in the last decade (Smallville, Arrow & The Flash) but what Daredevil did was throw the entire genre on its head. Daredevil introduced a dark, gritty, dangerous atmosphere that hasn't been rivaled since it appeared in 2015. Now granted that it was only a year ago doesn't diminish what the Marvel/Netflix team has accomplished because they wove a story so well that we all binge-watched the entire series in the weekend that it was released.
Season 2 was released on March 18th, 2016.
5. House of Cards (Netflix)
Now, even if the political thriller isn't your cup of tea, House of Cards is a show that should be on your radar regardless. There have been countless political shows over the years on mainstream television, but where House of Cards changed the genre is in it's primary character. In the majority of political television series we watch as the primary character serves as the moral backbone of how we want politicians to act (West Wing, Madam Secretary & Commander in Chief). Yet, through House of Cards we are given an exquisite performance by Kevin Spacey as the conniving congressman works to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.
Season 4 was released on March 4th, 2016 and Season 5 is expected in 2017.
4. The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime)
Honestly, The Man in the High Castle took me by surprise, as I didn't really know much about it before I started watching. Once I got into the first episode I was hooked, and I haven't looked back. The Man in the High Castle ventures into science fiction in a way that many shows haven't up to this point. We are introduced to an alternate history of sorts in which the Axis powers won World War II rather than the Allied forces. The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything on television as we are entrenched in a post-WWII dystopian America (now split into the Japanese Pacific States, the Neutral Zone and the Greater Nazi Reich).
Season 1 was released on January 15th, 2015 and Season 2 is expected in 2017.
3. Transparent (Amazon Prime)
Transparent pushes the boundaries of comedy as we follow a Los Angeles family as they discover that their father is transgender. Transparent moves into un-tested waters by digging into the human journey that some face. It invites conversation by raising the bar through sophisticated dialogue and sincere dedication to creating a relate-able and earnest look at what it means to deal with a decision such as the Pfefferman family is facing.
Season 2 was released on December 11th, 2015 and Season 3 is expected in 2016.
2. Narcos (Netflix)
Following the exploits of Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, Narcos takes viewers down a dark and dangerous true-life story of the growth of the cocaine drug cartels across the world. Narcos expands the story outside of what is expected of a drug-trafficking tale, it centers around the notorious drug lord, Escobar, and the DEA agent who travels to Colubia on a mission to capture and ultimately kill Escobar.
Season 1 was released on August 28th, 2015 and Season 2 is expected in 2016.
1. Dinotrux (Netflix)
You may ask how an animated show can redefine the genre, but Dinotrux has accomplished just that. Based on the illustrated book series, we're introduced to a fictional prehistoric world inhabited by characters that are part construction vehicle and part dinosaur. You've got to imagine that when it comes from the people at DreamWorks Animation it carries a certain pedigree, and it ushers in a new era of animated series that utilizes the beauty that we'd expect from a major animated feature.
Season 2 was released on March 11th, 2016.