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15 shows to binge while you’re chilling out during this deep freeze

Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb, the hard-drinking, sour-tempered, slovenly, and brilliant leader of a group of demoted MI5 agents, in "Slow Horses."APPLE TV+

The world is ending! OK, it’s not, but it’s going to be terribly cold, and you may find yourself staying home for some snacking and TV bingeing. Here are a few suggestions, beyond the shows that made it onto my Top 10 list of 2022.

“Slow Horses” Gary Oldman is outstanding as the hard-drinking, sour-tempered, slovenly, and brilliant leader of a group of demoted, sidelined MI5 agents. I’m not sure why the awards shows have ignored him; he’s a wry delight. Adapted from the books by Mick Herron, the show is taut and takes its spy thriller cues from John le Carre, but it can also be quite funny. Watching Oldman go up against Kristin Scott Thomas as an MI5 boss is the kind of treat that more than compensates for some of the little tangles in the plotting. Two six-episode seasons are available. (Apple TV+)

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“The Patient” This riveting 10-episode half-hour miniseries, from the makers of “The Americans,” features Domhnall Gleeson as a serial killer who kidnaps his therapist, a highly dramatic Steve Carell, and insists on being cured of his murderous impulses. There’s an “In Treatment” comparison to be made, when we see the two having deep, revelatory sessions together, but the series is also a thriller that digs deep into the elements of sociopathy and the power and limitations of therapy. Carell’s therapist is fighting for his life, and, chained up in a basement, he flashes back to his marriage and his role as a father. At its best, it’s riveting. (Hulu)

“The Capture” This timely British thriller revolves around the terrifying deep-fake phenomenon. It’s set in London, a famously heavily surveilled city loaded with CCTV cameras, where detectives often rely on street footage to solve crimes. But sophisticated deep fakery is changing the game, as they try to find a murderer in season one, or as a politician (played by a wonderful Paapa Essiedu) gets manipulated in season two. Two of our most historically dependable faculties — sight and hearing — have been rendered unreliable as criminals, as well as cops, can doctor footage. The plot logic in the twisty stories in each six-episode season can be a little loose, but the concept is consistently haunting. (Peacock)

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Himesh Patel and Matilda Lawler in "Station Eleven."Ian Watson/HBO Max

“Station Eleven” Now that “The Last of Us” is eliciting kudos, it may be time for some of its fans to check out this powerful miniseries, which is also set after a pandemic that has wiped out most of the world. It has a deeply affirmative twist; it’s more about the value of storytelling and the powerful role of the arts than it is about grimy survivors battling for resources and power. Based on the 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel and adapted by Patrick Somerville, the 10-parter zeroes in on a tribe of performers — and a young woman named Kirsten in particular — who travel in the Great Lakes area putting on Shakespeare plays for other survivors. It’s transporting. (HBO Max)

“Paul T. Goldman” And now for something completely different. This unusual six-episode semi-comedy is a true-crime-type tale about a man — Paul T. Goldman — who discovers that his wife is a con artist whose secret life is tied to an international prostitution ring. But it’s also about the process of making a TV series about Goldman’s story and Goldman’s skewed perspective on what actually happened. If that sounds complicated, it’s not when you watch it unfold. From director Jason Woliner, who directed 2020′s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the show toys with viewers, peeling back layers of truth one by one so that we hardly know what to believe. It’s the counter-argument of sorts to all of the many true-crime series currently grabbing lots of eyes, especially on Netflix. (Peacock)

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“Fleishman Is in Trouble” This eight-episode miniseries adaptation of Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s novel is about divorce, being newly single, and coming of age all over again in your 40s. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a doctor who is divorced from Claire Danes’s theater agent. One night, she drops off their two young children at his apartment and vanishes. Why? Doesn’t she care about her kids anymore? As he tries to figure it out with his two best friends, played by Lizzy Caplan (who narrates the show) and Adam Brody, other complicating layers to the story emerge. In a way, “Fleishman” is a study in the gray areas that make easy judgments impossible when it comes to love and relationships. Our need to place blame is foiled at every turn. (Hulu)

Sarah Lancashire in "Happy Valley."Ben Blackall/Netflix

“Happy Valley” This older series (the first season is from 2014) is returning this spring for its third and final season, so now’s the time to play catch-up with the first two seasons. But don’t be misled by the title. In truth, the valley is extremely not happy. You’ve got to like dark, twisted British crime stories to fall in with Sally Wainwright’s unremittingly intense story, which stars a heartbreaking Sarah Lancashire as a detective caught up in a case involving the man who drove her daughter to suicide. As that man, James Norton, is horrifyingly good. He brings us further than we’d like inside the malicious, twisted thinking of the criminal mind. (AMC+, Fubo)

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“We Own This City” Media coverage of the Tyre Nichols story keeps reminding me of this miniseries from last April. Both expose the twisted culture that can develop among cops in the special police units that have been created in a number of big American cities. Based on the true story of the Baltimore Police Department’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force, set up in 2007 to get violent criminals off the streets, the scripted six-episode show is true to the unblinking, almost docu-dramatic approach usually taken by its creators, David Simon and George Pelecanos of “The Wire.” In a 10-year reign of terror, the task force officers planted weapons, stole drugs and cash that they confiscated, and pulled over and beat people with no probable cause. The cast is strong, featuring Jon Bernthal as a bullying sergeant and Josh Charles as a brutal cop who gets moved to the task force as a kind of solution to the many formal complaints filed against him. (HBO Max)

“Julia” I liked a lot about this lighthearted, affectionate dramedy about Julia Child, particularly Sarah Lancashire’s big performance as the famous chef. Like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the show gives us a female entertainer starting out in the early 1960s who overcomes plenty of resistance, much of it from men. She is surrounded by a warm ensemble of friends who can tease one another with no love lost, including Julia’s husband, Paul (David Hyde Pierce), and her pal Avis (Bebe Neuwirth). They form the team that takes care of her, as the men at WGBH (and there is plenty of our local PBS station depicted on the show) roll their eyes about her — until she’s a star, that is. (HBO Max)

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Jenifer Lewis in "I Love That for You."Nicole Wilder/SHOWTIME

“I Love That for You” This comedy is set in a media outlet, but the kind many of us know little about: a home shopping network. I grew fond of this light series across the eight-episode first season, which stars Vanessa Bayer from “Saturday Night Live” as a new host. The home-shopping hosts are required to develop a narrative around their persona in order to get sales, and Bayer’s Joanna impulsively lies and says she has cancer. Meanwhile, her colleague and friend, played by Molly Shannon, has rigged her own story around her marriage — but her marriage has just fallen apart. The action becomes a battle between perception and reality, as their boss — an outstanding Jenifer Lewis — pressures them to keep lying. (Showtime, Fubo)

“The Offer” Can you refuse this 10-episode miniseries about the making of one of the best movies ever, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather”? A lot of critics did, finding it too untethered to the true story; but I enjoyed it, nonetheless, as a piece of whimsy. Written by Michael Tolkin of “The Player,” it stars Miles Teller, Juno Temple, Colin Hanks, Giovanni Ribisi, and, in a brilliant turn, Matthew Goode as a drug-fueled Robert Evans. Teller plays “Godfather” producer Albert S. Ruddy, who fights to get the film made, even while the Mafia tries to shut down production. Yeah, don’t leave your skepticism at the door. (Paramount+)

“Loot” If you’re a Maya Rudolph fan, this is a must-see. lan Yang and Matt Hubbard of “Forever” created the warmhearted workplace comedy starring Rudolph as a bored billionaire divorcee who decides to run a charitable foundation to keep herself busy. It’s a perfect vehicle for her, as she works mock grandiosity with the expert charm of Martin Short. She’s also present and moving during some of the more emotional scenes, of which there are a few. The rest of the ensemble is a plus, too, including Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, and Joel Kim Booster. (Apple TV+)

Zahn McClarnon (right) as Joe Leaphorn and Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee in "Dark Winds."Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC

“Dark Winds” Based on the “Leaphorn & Chee” books by Tony Hillerman, this evocatively filmed and concise thriller is set in the Navajo Nation in 1971. Zahn McClarnon, with his steady gaze and weary demeanor, leads a strong cast, playing a Tribal Police officer in the difficult position of protecting his people while having to police them. He’s working murder cases on the reservation while facing micro- and macro-aggressions against Native Americans from outsider cops. It’s six episodes of goodness, and it has been renewed for another season. (Amazon, AMC+)

“The Shrink Next Door” I’m a fan of this New York-set eight-episode series, which didn’t get much appreciation when it was released in 2021. Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell — and especially Rudd — are remarkable as an exploitive therapist and his dupe of a client, respectively. Rudd’s Dr. Isaac Herschkopf is a narcissistic heel, a wolf in mensch’s clothing, and Ferrell’s extremely shy Marty Markowitz is his doormat, as well as his bank and his servant. Together, the two actors create a fascinatingly intricate psychological system of adulation and abuse. Based on a true story, “Shrink” also features Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson. (Apple TV+)

“Anatomy of a Scandal” Cheese please? The very busy David E. Kelley delivers a tabloid drama meant to be binged (so you don’t have time to think about plot logic). It’s a bit like his “The Undoing,” but even more like an airport or beach read than that HBO miniseries with Hugh Grant, Nicole Kidman, and Nicole Kidman’s coats. The six-parter is set in London, where a member of Parliament played by Rupert Friend is accused of raping an employee with whom he was having an affair. Sienna Miller is his wife, who stands by him, despite the affair. Meanwhile, Michelle Dockery, the barrister prosecuting the MP, is holding on to a few big secrets. (Netflix)



Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.