Tired of watching shows that fit into just one genre? Watching a thriller, a romance or a comedy is fun but can get quite taxing in the long run. Such shows, if not done well can be quite one-dimensional and it’s easy to get bored. But no fear, for I am here to give you a list of the top ten genre-breaking shows you must watch today.
10. Jane The Virgin
Set in Miami, the show follows Jane Gloriana Villanueva, who is a waitress at the lavish hotel Marbella, but also an aspiring writer. Her grandmother is a chaste woman who believes in celibacy before marriage and teaches Jane the same values. So when Jane goes in for a Pap smear, she gets accidentally artificially inseminated, which comes as a shock to everyone including her boyfriend, unraveling a whole new life filled with drama, surprises, and romance. Jane the Virgin is an adaptation of the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen. The show parodies common Telenovella tropes like surprise deaths, sudden resurrections, and over-the-top plotlines.
It also has a narrator who involves himself in the plot by making funny quips about the situation on screen. Jane the Virgin first aired in 2014 on The CW and concluded its final episode in 2019. The show doesn’t fit just one genre and finds its footing in drama, comedy, satire, and mystery and comes together in a perfect blend. The show is incredibly well written and honors different cultures coming together in a vibrant and colorful manner. Jane the Virgin stars Gina Rodriguez as Jane, Justin Baldoni as Rafael Solano, Brett Dier as Michael Cordero Jr with an ensemble cast. The show was developed by Jennie Snyder Urman.
9. Julie and The Phantoms
Sunset Curve, a rock band is an up-and-coming band in LA. Twenty-five years later, Julie Molina meets 3 of the band members who help her find her passion for music again after the death of her mom. The twist? The 3 boys, Luke, Alex, and Reggie, are ghosts after they died unexpectedly, leaving their dream to show their passion to the world, unfinished. They form a band together called Julie and The Phantoms. The show may seem a little silly at first because it is essentially meant for kids, but it gets better and better with every episode.
The band has incredible chemistry and talent. The original music of the show is extremely heartfelt, inspiring, and catchy. The show does not fit a specific genre as it is a comedy, musical, romance, coming-of-age, and deals with true friendship. Julie and The Phantoms is an American adaptation of the Brazilian television series Julie e os Fantasmas. The show is created by Kenny Ortega, the creator of the High School Musical franchise, and stars Madison Reyes as Julie Molina, Charlie Gillespie as Luke, Owen Joyner as Alex, and Jeremy Shada as Reggie.
Lucifer, the Archangel, abandons his post in Hell and comes to Earth to reside in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. He owns a club called ‘The Lux’ and gets involved with law enforcement when he witnesses a crime. Soon he partners up with Chloe Decker, a detective with the LAPD, as a civilian consultant, who intrigues him as she is immune to his charms.
Lucifer is the definition of a genre-breaking show, as it deals with the occult while also being a crime drama. The show highlights the chemistry between Lucifer and Chloe and deals with their feelings in a creative manner by making Lucifer befriend a therapist, who navigates him through his feelings. Lucifer is based on a DC character and began to air on FOX in 2016 and shifted to Netflix in 2019. The show stars Tom Ellis as Lucifer and Lauren German as Chloe Decker with an ensemble cast. Lucifer is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Television.
Set in post World War II, Hollywood follows aspiring and desperate actors trying to make it big on the silver screen. The show has an ensemble cast, each one of them trying to prove their worth as actors, writers, and directors. The show is loosely inspired by some real-life instances that took place in the 1940s. It tackles the racism that people of color faced in the industry; being given only minor roles of little to no importance. It also shows gay relationships in a time where it was unthinkable. Although essentially a drama series, Hollywood is funny and heartwarming and shows wonderful friendships between the most unlikely people. Hollywood stars David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello, Dylan McDermott, Jake Picking, Jeremy Pope, Holland Taylor, Samara Weaving, Jim Parsons, and Patti LuPone. The show is created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan and released in 2020.
6. The Haunting Of Bly Manor
When a young Au Pair is hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at their country manor, Bly, a series of events unfold that put her and the children in danger. The Haunting Of Bly Manor is the second in The Haunting series, coming after The Haunting Of Hill House. It features much of Hill House‘s crew and some of the same cast, but the two series’ narratives are not connected. The show is a loose adaptation of the 1898 Novella, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. Dani, an American who comes to England after a tragic loss in her life, finds herself as an Au Pair for 2 children.
The children are clearly affected by the apparitions they have seen in the house, and Dani discovers that the previous Au Pair died on the grounds too. The show is obviously a part of the horror genre, but also takes influence from gothic films. It is also a story about love and the different kinds of love; the ones that destroy me another and the ones that persevere. It stars Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve, T’Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli, Tahirah Sharif, Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, and Henry Thomas.
During the Regency Era in England, the siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love in a gossip-filled, misogynistic world. The show follows Daphne Bridgerton as she comes of age to be married. In an attempt to attract potential suitors and to keep some away, Daphne and Simon, one of the most eligible Dukes, strike up a deal to court each other. Bridgerton is a mix between period pieces like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Gossip Girl.
Lady Whistledown, this show’s very own Gossip Girl, finds her way around the various intricacies of these families’ personal lives. The show is extremely entertaining, with classic period drama elements of romance as well as comedy and mystery attached to it. The show premiered in December 2020. With a viewership of 82 million households, it has become the most-watched series on Netflix. One of the main reasons people have appreciated the show as much as this is the color-blind casting in a period piece. It is rare to see people of color in a period piece, especially in big roles like Dukes and Queens. Bridgerton made it really refreshing to see a diverse cast in such a setting.
Two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, drive all across America in their 67′ Chevy Impala hunting monsters, demons, and every other thing that goes bump in the night. Before bringing Supernatural to television, creator Eric Kripke had been developing the series for nearly ten years, having been fascinated with urban legends since he was a child. He had originally envisioned Supernatural as a movie. He later developed it as a TV series and spent a few years pitching it before it was picked up by The WB.
It was first broadcasted on September 13, 2005, on The WB, and subsequently became part of successor The CW’s lineup. The show now has a cult following with fans all across the world. The main reason for this is the bond between the two brothers. The show does a great job of portraying sibling love full of laughs as well as sacrifice. It’s not just a horror show, but also a show about family, whether blood or not. The boys meet many different people along their 15 seasons journey, a lot of them becoming fan-favorite characters. Breaking the genre is part of the reason why the show is so loved. Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester with many recurring characters, mainly being Misha Collins playing Castiel.
After the Second World War, Claire Randall, a nurse in the war, reconnects with her husband as they go on a second honeymoon to Scotland. Frank Randall, her husband who is a history fanatic, shows her various landmarks in the countryside, including boulders that legends say are magical. Claire who is curious comes back to these boulders on her own. Suddenly, she is transported to 1743 and into a mysterious world where her freedom and life are threatened. She is called Sasanach or Outlander in Scotland because of her being English. There she meets Jamie Fraser, a scot warrior who helps her make sense of this new world. The show is a historical drama based on the 1991 book series by the same name, written by Diana Gabaldon. The show dips its toes into many elements by breaking genres, romance being the primary one. It shows passionate love between characters but also has fantasy and adventure elements in it. Outlander stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.
Eight strangers all over the world are suddenly connected after seeing a woman die. They then discover their shared ability to connect with one another’s thoughts and actions. As they pursue answers, a mysterious organization hunts them down, intent on destroying them. Sense8 explores issues related to identity, sexuality, gender, and politics that its creators felt had been rarely addressed on television. Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the creators of Matrix were the masterminds behind the making of this show. Sense8 is a show about inclusivity and finding family in the rarest of places and circumstances. Sense8 is the definition of genre-breaking. The show’s first season introduced a multinational ensemble cast, with Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, and Brian J. Smith.
1. The Haunting Of Hill House
In the summer of 1992, Hugh and Olivia Craine move into Hill House with their 5 children. They intend on fixing the house to be able to sell it. Increasing paranormal experiences and an unexpected tragedy tears the family apart, as they move out of the house. The trauma of their experiences follows the children into their adulthood as another tragedy brings the family together, forcing them to face their fears. The Haunting Of Hill House is based on the 1959 novel of the same name written by Shirley Jackson. The show is the first installment in the Haunting Series directed by famous horror director, Mike Flannagan. Hill House is not just a horror story filled with ghosts, but also a story about family, trauma, and love. The show breaks the genre by not just being a horror show. It’s essentially a story about a broken family and various ‘ghosts’ of their own life that they have to face.
These were my picks for genre-breaking shows that you must watch. What are shows that you think don’t fall into a particular genre?