TelevisionJuly 4, 2016

Inside the Lightbox: Get into the spirit this Independence Day


Independence Day. 4th of July. ‘MERICA. To celebrate the most patriotic of days, here are the best, like totally, American shows currently available on Lightbox. USA! USA! USA!

The Americans

“The best show on TV, period” – Aaron Yap, The Spinoff

The name hits the nail squarely on the head. The Americans is all about non-Americans pretending to be American. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Soviet spies living and working in Washington DC. Unbeknownst to all their loved ones, including their children, the couple spend their nights infiltrating relationships and uncovering lies. The show’s creator is a former CIA case agent, so it’s the real deal.

Rating: Infinite lies.


“They’ve got so much right it’s a little intoxicating.” – José Barbosa, The Spinoff

A preacher, an alcoholic Irish vampire, a gun-loving Texan, and an unholy child born from an angel and a demon. These are the core characters in the brand new, smash hit Preacher. A modern western slash supernatural horror that follows a rag-tag group of misfits on a quest to find God and bring him to account for abandoning the world. It’s raw, it’s funny, it’s America.

Rating: Five Hail Marys and a Lord’s Prayer



Perhaps the most recognisable show in the history of television, Seinfeld is the ultimate homage to New York City . Whether you’re a Jerry, a George, an Elaine, or god forbid, a Kramer, there’s a struggling New Yorker in all of us. Luckily, instead of living next to a Kramer in NYC, we can watch Elaine dance like a maniac from the comfort of our own freezing winter homes.

Rating: 5 humourous observations and 2 angry New Yorkers.

Mozart in the Jungle

“Mozart in the Jungle looks past the penguin suits, modest black dresses and stuffy conventions to reveal the messy turmoil at the orchestra’s heart. Sharp, fresh and funny, it also scored the overall 2016 Golden Globe for best comedy series. Must be time you tuned in, huh?” – Lindsey Dawson, The Spinoff

Rating: 3 New York Pizzas

Scream Queens

A serial killer infiltrates a sorority house and begins killing of its residents one at a time. Scream Queens is Glee meets American Horror Story, unsurprising since all three shows share a creator in Ryan Murphy. It’s a slasher show with dark comedy that gives you the sense you are indulging in some sort of guilty pleasure.

Rating: 3 Greek symbols and 10 red cups.

Blue Bloods

“Something for everyone, just like a good Sunday dinner” – Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

Following the ruling family of the NYPD, Blue Bloods has everything you need in an American drama. It stars Donnie Wahlberg alongside two of America’s greatest treasures; Tom Selleck and Tom Selleck’s moustache. My grouchy uncle from Lincoln, Nebraska absolutely loves this show, so you know it’s true blue ‘Merican.

Rating: 4 family arguments and 1 licence to carry.



With a giant nuclear mushroom cloud appearing on the horizon, residents of Jericho, Kansas (AKA the literal middle of America), may be the only Americans left. The town crumbles and is rebuilt, only to then be threatened by a rival town. They’re just ordinary ‘mericans doing extraordinarily ‘merican things.

Rating: 3 cornfields, 1 dusty pickup, and a man with a toothpick

Sons of Anarchy

“Bloody, disturbing, and maniacally addictive” – Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald

Sons of Anarchy explores one man’s strained loyalty to his outlaw biker gang. There’s drugs, sex, money, and beautiful men on motorbikes doing horrific and disturbing things to each other. It’s the rugged side of America with all its warts and people love it.

Rating: 4 guns and zero licences to carry.

The Good Wife

“One of the most addictive shows I have ever seen, and I’m jealous of all who are yet to embark on this journey.” – Aaron Hawkins, The Spinoff


After her husband is outed publicly as both an adulterer and a corrupt politician, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Marguiles) is forced to take control of her finances, her family, and her life. The well-crafted supporting characters and ripped-from-the-headlines plotlines make The Good Wife so much more than a courtroom drama.

Rating: 2 class action lawsuits and 1 political dick pic.

Parks and Recreation


Forget the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Parks and Recreation provides a hilarious look into small town government in America, specifically Pawnee, Indiana. Among the shambolic staff in the Parks department is Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) a man who loves meat, guns, woodwork, and women. He may seem like a caricature of an American but amazingly, he is a pretty accurate portrayal of a midwestern man. Cook up a steak and settle in for some feel-good American fun.

Rating: 3 cookouts, 2 large flags, and 1 bald eagle.

God Bless America.

Click below to enjoy these American delights, as well as myriad of other television shows on Lightbox today


This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.

This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. 

You can also check out Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original, made by The Spinoff, that follows Hayden Donnell on an ambitious quest to collect underappreciated Kiwi cultural artefacts (The Waitangi Dildo, the DEKA sign, Suzanne Paul herself) and get them into New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Do yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service and all six episodes of this wonderful show.
Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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