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5 TV Series that deserve the 'hidden gem' status in 2023

While we’re all waiting for the next season of House of the Dragon, rewatching Game of Thrones or moaning about the plot of The Rings of Power, other excellent series are confidently flying ‘under the radar’ and some are truly excellent.

What a shame to miss on them!

The below list features 5 ‘gems’ that have ended or are ongoing and are not necessarily released in 2023, they’re just good and deserve a watch. These are not high-budget or well known series (of which are a lot and plenty of them very good), these are truly ones that didn't capture the noise of the others but are absolutely worth watching.

In no particular order, he's the list as of September 2023:

1. Moving (2023)

Episodes released: 20

Where to watch: Disney+

This South Korean series produced by Disney+ is a super-hero series with a twist. It focuses on the lives of 3 teenagers that have special abilities (read “superpowers”). But this is not anywhere near the vibe of ‘The Boys’ but more aptly deals with teenager issues while having these abilities that are strange, different and most of all, hard to control. These secret powers have forced families to relocate, make sacrifices and confront their fears only to ensure the unique children have a normal life. There’s no capes or fighting bad guys here. Instead, it focuses on the dynamics in families that have to deal with a child that is uncontrollably floating in the air or cannot get hurt. While the first episodes take a more comedic approach, the villain is present and the show itself changes pace as the story develops.

Photo credit: @Disney+

2. The Diplomat (2023)

Episodes released: 8

Where to watch: Netflix

If you’re missing House of Cards or always dreamed of a less-darker version of it, well, The Diplomat is exactly that.

It centres around Kate Wyler, a career diplomat reassigned as the US ambassador to the UK at the request of the US president. Her previous assignment in Kabul makes her an unlikely candidate to navigate the international crisis that she quickly finds herself in the middle of, but skilfully played by Keri Russell (who was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama) and with words by Debora Cahn (The West Wing, Homeland, Grey’s Anatomy), the show brims with biting sarcasm and dark humour while easily bouncing from comedy to drama like a well-seasoned ballerina.

Already renewed for season 2, this is definitely one we will hear more of.

Photo credit: @Netflix

3. Silo (2023)

Episodes released: 10

Where to watch: AppleTV+

Based on the series of sci-fi novels Wool by Hugh Howey and published between 2011 and 2013, this Apple TV+ series transports us to a future where above-ground is toxic and deadly and human society has moved underground, living inside giant silos. It is a very well put together sci-fi and we are introduced into this world via a mysterious murder inside the Silo. This allows for great character introductions and development, a good understanding of what life looks like in such a harsh environment and what are the pressure points in a community always on the brink of collapse.

With top-notch performances from Rebecca Ferguson (Dune, Mission Impossible) and Tim Robbins (Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption), this is a solid sci-fi series that knows well what it needs to be and delivers a lot of prime TV moments.

Photo credit: @AppleTV+

4. Warrior (2019 - 2023)

Episodes released: 30 (series ended)

Where to watch: HBO Max | NOWTV (UK)

This gem of a series is a breath of fresh air that doesn’t take itself very seriously, which is not a bad thing. It is executive produced by Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee’s daughter) and created by Jonathan Tropper (of Banshee fame). The story is set in the 1800s San Francisco during the Tong Wars and follows a Chinese immigrant that happens to be a martial arts prodigy.

The scheming and literal back-stabbing between the tongs are peppered with excellent action scenes that match the quality and choreography of The Raid films. It doesn’t shy away from promoting the ‘cool factor’ of martial arts and the actors and settings are spectacular. But there are more important themes explored too: immigration, slavery, discrimination and the 'ethics' of politics (if such a thing exists!). The story is based on an original concept and treatment by Bruce Lee himself.

Photo credit: @Cinemax & @HBO Max

5. Rogue Heroes (2022)

Episodes released: 6

Where to watch: BBCiPlayer | HBO Max

This 2022 series was created by Steve Knight, a writer/creator at the top of his game at the moment with credits such as Peaky Blinders, Taboo and films such as Eastern Promises, Spencer and Locke.

And this series follows the trend of well written, stylish and gripping action/drama that will not disappoint. It tells the story of the founding of the Special Air Service (SAS) during World War 2 following its charismatic founder David Sterling and based on the book by Ben Macintyre. While the story is presented as an outrageous undertaking in North Africa during the war, it also delicately highlights the struggles of misfits, hopeless and outcast men in an environment where all life values have gone out the window. This is TV gold with great actors, music and above all, story.

Also, a new season is coming in 2024.

Photo credit: @BBC

Honorable Mention

Gentleman Jack (2019 - 2022)

Episodes released: 16 (series ended)

Where to watch: BBCiPlayer | HBO Max

Imagine this: the year is 1832, Halifax, England. A queer woman returns home after travelling the world, poised to restore her family’s estate in a society dominated by men.

You can put this story in 2023 and it will make for great drama, nevermind the 18th century. The woman is the landowner and industrialist Anne Lister - played expertly by Suranne Jones (of Doctor Foster, Vigil fame) - and the series is written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Unforgiven), so expect witty dialogue, twists at every turn and a remarkable protagonist that is ahead of her times.

Photo credit: @BBC



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