Television can bring viewers the most absurd content out there, but it's also something we find ourselves thankful for time and time again. "Odd TV" shows are plentiful in the world of streaming platforms, but not all are great to start with compared to others. Sometimes it simply becomes difficult to know where to start or which is best for someone else instead of yourself. So if you're looking for a personal "starter pack" of shows that twist and contort numerous television tropes until viewers are presented with something original and unique, here's a line-up to consider: Twin Peaks, Night Gallery, Alice, Portlandia, and Documentary Now!.
Below, I've laid out my top five shows that I believe are some great places to start on your absurd television journey.
"Twin Peaks": From iconic yet weird dialogue to the flowing but disjointed structure, this cult classic series is the epitome of odd TV. David Lynch and Mark Frost worked to make a show that stuck with audiences back in 1990 to a point that it was brought back for a limited time in 2017. The murder of a prom queen, plenty of secrets, love of coffee and pie, and log lady all make this a perfect oddity to view and enjoy.
"Night Gallery': Rod Serling is known for The Twilight Zone, but there's another series of his that many fail to recognize and it is the classic Night Gallery series. Starting with a singular painting, Serling narrates the beginning of an odd or strange tale behind the artwork. This odd TV series is a classic alongside Serling's other creations, and it's one you should definitely take a look at.
"Alice": The limited series premiered on SYFY in 2009 with not many remembering its debut. An unusual take on the classic "Alice in Wonderland' story, this version takes a modern look at iconic characters such as Alice, The Mad Hatter, and more. It's a fun place to start for those looking for unique shows that won't take up much of their time.
"Portlandia": With a hilarious take on the region of Portland, Oregon, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein star in and make this TV series amazing. With plenty of reoccurring sketches and character work, each episode is a favorite for someone watching.
"Documentary Now!": Taking various documentary films and making self-contained episodes that are a satire of those films, Bill Hader and Armisen make comedic gold with this TV series. A favorite of mine you can start with would be the "Sandy Passage" episode in season one, the flag dancing and random animals are only a portion of the amazing absurdity found in this gem.