From edgy crime to political thrillers, romance to comedy-dramas, there are some standalone series that have, over the years, achieved cult classic status in their respective genres. Liven up the lockdown by adding these to your quarantine watch list.

‘House Of Cards’

House Of Cards is a political thriller based on Michael Dobbs’ 1989 book of the same name. It follows Congressman Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife, Claire (Robin Wright), and their ambitious machinations to steer Underwood into the chair of the President of the United States of America.
Creator: Beau Willimon
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Michael Kelly, Kristen Connolly, Sakina Jaffrey
Seasons: 6 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘Veep’

A political satire, Veep revolves around Senator Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a rising political star and to-be Vice President of the United States of America. This new position throws unexpected challenges her way and she ends up having to juggle between extinguishing political fires and maintaining strained personal relationships.
Creator: Armando Iannucci
Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons
Seasons: 7 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019)
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

‘Breaking Bad’

A crime-drama, Breaking Bad (pictured above) is considered one of the greatest television series of all time. It tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer. To ensure his financial security, he partners with his student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), to cook and sell methamphetamine.
Creator: Vince Gilligan
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito
Seasons: 5 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012-13)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘The Wire’

The Wire revolves around the inner-city drug trade in Baltimore, which has a pecking order that spans junkies, dealers, kingpins, police officers and politicians. Detective James McNulty (Dominic West) and his team solve city crimes, working around the nexus between drug lords and official bureaucrats. Each season focuses on a different aspect of crime and society in Baltimore – the docklands, the education system, politics. The drug trade is the vein that runs through these spheres.
Creator: David Simon
Cast: Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Frankie Faison
Seasons: 5 (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008)
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

‘The Sopranos’

Set in New Jersey and New York City, this series follows the life of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), leader of an Italian-American mafia family. His professional burdens, strained private life and complications with rival mob families often lead to panic attacks, resulting in regular therapy sessions with his psychiatrist.
Creator: David Chase
Cast: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, Robert Iler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Seasons: 6 (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006-2007)
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

‘Girls’

Lena Dunham’s Girls follows the friendship and adventures of four girls in their 20s living in New York City. They navigate life, “one mistake at a time” as they deal with finances, jobs and relationships.
Creator: Lena Dunham
Cast: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Jake Lacy
Seasons: 6 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Sex And The City’

Based on Candace Bushnell’s 1997 book of the same name, this iconic series hinges on the friendship between four vibrant women: Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis). They brave everything life throws at them together.
Creator: Darren Star
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg
Seasons: 6 (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003-2004)
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

‘Entourage’

Entourage chronicles the life of Vince Chase (Kevin Connolly) and his friends in LA. Chase learns the ropes of surviving in Hollywood and swiftly rises to stardom, living the good life with his childhood buddies. Just like Sex and the City, this series too made it to the silver screen in 2015.
Creator: Doug Ellin
Cast: Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Debi Mazar
Seasons: 8 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

‘Flight Of The Conchords’

Flight of the Conchords, a two-man band from New Zealand tries to make it big in New York City. The show stars band members Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie who play fictionalised versions of themselves.
Creators: James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker
Seasons: 2 (2007, 2009)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime