TV X-Streamist | Binge Ideas for Deep State Streaming

Rusty Unger Finds Three Overlooked Political Dramas

Niv Sultan in 'Tehran' | Credit: Courtesy

I’m assuming that we’ve all been on the same planet with only Netflix and its cousins to keep us company. Even given that we all have different tastes, great new offerings have shrunk. Now that we’ve ticked off The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, and a few other widely publicized premium content, it can feel as if we’ve seen EVERYTHING. Yet scavengers like me still dig up addictive things to binge on. 

Admittedly, there was nothing darker and more sickeningly suspenseful than the political machinations taking place in real-life U.S.A. in January. Still, some effective televised ones appeared from overseas, with no Confederate flags amid the scenery.

Tehran (Apple TV+, subtitles): Mossad sends a pretty young hacker-agent to that capital (her birthplace) on a mission to thwart an Iranian nuclear program. Things don’t go as planned, and there are enough nuanced twists, turns, impersonations, chases, and betrayals to make you actually wonder if the good guys will win, not to mention, if they’re even all that good.

COBRA (Amazon Prime): This PBS drama draws every significant player in the British government into a sudden crisis sparked by the chaos of a major power outage. Their already stressful personal lives and internecine rivalries play out alongside the desperation of a frayed population, and this is happening before Brexit took effect.

Roadkill (Amazon Prime): The fabulous Hugh Laurie plays a U.K. Cabinet minister in this BBC production, and because it’s Hugh Laurie, you care what happens to him, despite his serious character flaws. While his private life becomes increasingly disastrous, his serpentine political fortune improves. Sometimes sadly and sometimes justifiably, the fates of nearly all the secondary characters implode. If you can follow the plot, you’ll have a good time. 

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