Binge Guide

13 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This May

Deadwood, Fleabag, Archer, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and more series are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | May 3, 2019 | Comments

Lucky number 13 is the name of the game this May. The month features several long-running summer favorites returning to the screen alongside several standouts hoping to avoid the sophomore slump. Catch up on the supernatural with iZombie and Lucifer, the character-driven with Deadwood and Fleabag, and the crime-ridden with Line of Duty and Elementary before new episodes drop in the coming weeks.


iZombie 90% (The CW)

What it is: A wonderfully original spin on the TV zombie craze started by The Walking Dead, iZombie stars Rose McIver as Olivia Moore, a med student-turned-zombie who helps the Seattle police solve homicides by eating victims’ brains and reliving their memories.

Why you should watch it: There’s no limit to the creative turns TV writers can take the simple premise of “zombies exist” — hat tip to the dearly departed Santa Clarita Diet — but as iZombie heads into its fifth and final season, it remains one of the genre’s best, most off-kilter examples. Season 5 premieres May 2 on The CW.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first four seasons)


Lucifer 86% (Netflix)

What it is: Most people escape their locale to vacation where it’s warm, but where do you vacation when your home is in Hell? Los Angeles, apparently. That’s where our titular antihero Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) sets his sights, at least, after resigning his post as ruler of the underworld and wanting to spice up his life. Once in LA, he opens up a nightclub and stumbles into becoming a civilian consultant for the LAPD.

Why you should watch it: Based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, Lucifer Morningstar is a protagonist like we haven’t seen before. Ruler of Hell, sure, but also charismatic as hell (and charming, witty, and handsome), proving himself to be the perfect right-hand man for homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). (Over the course of three seasons, their beguiling relationship is one of the reasons to stick around, too.) Lucifer was cancelled by Fox last year, but revived by Netflix, which will premiere its fourth season on May 8.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first three seasons)


Easy 90% (Netflix)

What it is: With Netflix’s romantic comedy series, it’s all in the name. That’s because there’s nothing, well, easy about modern love. Easy’s first two seasons follow an intertwining group of friends and couples living and loving in Chicago.

Why you should watch it: The best of television is often character-driven, and Easy gives you plenty of characters to work with. While this Windy City–set series focuses on people and relationships that occasionally overlap, each episode largely stands on its own as a singular meditation on a given couple’s romantic dynamic and exploration of intimacy. And with Drinking Buddies writer-director Joe Swanberg at the helm, the whole thing goes down smoothly (you thought there was going to be another “easy” joke, didn’t you?). Plus, it’s just a hoot to see some of our favorite talents (from Judy Greer to Aubrey Plaza to Dave Franco to Orlando Bloom) pop in for a quick half-hour installment.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first two seasons)


Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 95% (ABC)

What it is: S.H.I.E.L.D. is the kind of agency you want at your back. Led by fan-favorite Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, who caused uproar upon his character’s death in 2012’s The Avengers), Marvel Comics’ fictional Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division fights the behind-the-scenes battles that the average human wouldn’t dare face (see: Project Centipede and more). It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it’s a heck of a fun time for Marvel superfans.

Why you should watch it: Sure, this puzzle piece within the Marvel Cinematic Universe maintains the franchise call-backs and tonally checks all the boxes of what we look for in a Marvel romp, but you don’t have to be a die-hard lover of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and co. to fall for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s extraterrestrial adventures and the now-beloved ensemble of characters it has built throughout its 100-plus episodes. Season 6 premieres on ABC May 10. 

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 82 hours (for the first five seasons)


Sneaky Pete 96% (Amazon Prime Video)

What it is: Longtime character actor and standout supporter Giovanni Ribisi gets top billing as conman Marius who, once out of prison, takes on the identity of his cellmate, Pete. On the run from a cold-blooded mobster, Marius holes up with Pete’s unsuspecting small-town family.

Why you should watch it: This Amazon original series from creators David Shore and Bryan Cranston (who also co-stars as the aforementioned mobster, Vince) will sneak up and floor you — and we don’t say that simply as a play on words. Each ensemble member (but especially Ribisi and series breakout Marin Ireland) delivers lived-in and moving dramatic turns with fast-paced scripts that don’t skimp on nuance or character. In other words, Sneaky Pete doesn’t have to con its way onto your must-watch list. Season 3 premieres May 10 on Amazon Prime.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 18 hours (for the first two seasons)


Line of Duty 95% (Acorn TV)

What it is: Netflix’s Bodyguard may have taken the world by storm last year (along with a Golden Globe win for star Richard Madden), but it’s another cop thriller from creator Jed Mercurio that has us itching for more: Line of Duty. Five seasons in, the series remains one of the U.K.’s highest-rated dramas. Line of Duty follows D.S. Steve Arnott after he’s transferred to an anti-corruption unit and is partnered with a brilliant undercover investigator, D.C. Kate Fleming.

Why you should watch it: While dry in summary, the performances and procedural dramas here are absolutely astounding — some of the best nail-biters TV has to offer. Season 5 is already acclaimed overseas, but premieres for U.S. audiences May 13 on Acorn TV.

Where to watch it: Acorn TV, Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu

Commitment: Approx. 23 hours (for the first four seasons)


Fleabag 100% (Amazon Prime Video)

What it is: Well it’s about time! Fleabag’s six-episode first season premiered to critical acclaim back in 2016 — which means we’ve been waiting for quite a while to reacquaint ourselves with creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her titular and adrift heroine, who is learning to cope with the death of her best friend in varying self-destructive ways while building a life in London.

Why you should watch it: Few other creators are as exciting as Fleabag’s Waller-Bridge. The beloved and all-too-short first season of Amazon’s fuss-free comedy is based on the writer and actress’ hit one-woman play of the same name, which just wrapped a sold-out Off-Broadway run after its 2013 debut overseas. Crass, fearless, and heartbreaking in equal measure, the series trumpeted the arrival of a thrilling new creative voice. And now that Waller-Bridge has other hits with Killing Eve and an arc in Star Wars under her belt, she’s going into season 2 of Fleabag as a bonafide international superstar. Do yourself a favor and learn what the buzz is about. Season 2 premieres May 17 on Amazon Prime Video.

Where to watch it: Amazon

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)


Elementary 95% (CBS)

What it is: A contemporary (and gender-bending) update on the classic Sherlock Holmes, Elementary is a New York crime procedural starring Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as the iconic Holmes. Watson begins as Holmes’ sober companion (the ex-Scotland Yard consultant is also a recovering drug addict), but as the series progresses, she becomes his apprentice and partner in solving NYPD’s most chin-scratching mysteries.

Why you should watch it: Liu is endlessly watchable in just about anything, so her involvement in this Robert Doherty series is reason enough to tune in. But Elementary is more than just a spellbinding leading lady: it’s a solid, reliable procedural that puts a clever twist on an old classic. Season 7 premieres May 23 on CBS.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 103 hours (for the first six seasons)


Vida 100% (Starz)

What it is: Set in the rarely depicted neighborhood of East Los Angeles, Vida follows estranged Mexican-American sisters Lyn and Emma Hernandez, who are forced to revisit their childhood home and memories after the sudden death of their mother. Familial secrets and personal growth abounds.

Why you should watch it: Shows don’t get much more refreshingly original than Vida, Starz’s half-hour dramedy from showrunner Tanya Saracho. Centering queer, Latinx voices both in front of and behind the camera is a feat in and of itself, but the fact that the series is compellingly alive (and bingeable) is what will keep you sticking around. It’s wonderfully grounded by Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada as the central reunited sisters. Season 2 premieres May 23 on Starz.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)


She's Gotta Have It 78% (Netflix)

What it is: Spike Lee updated his original 1986 film in series form. She’s Gotta Have It is the story of Brooklyn-based artist Nola Darling and her three lovers — a love life she juggles while navigating her personal life in an ever-gentrifying Brooklyn and ever-shifting social and political climate.

Why you should watch it: Talk about a star-making performance: you simply can’t take your eyes off the magnetic DeWanda Wise. While season 1 admittedly goes a bit off the rails with some of its sillier subplots, She’s Gotta Have It is a series that packs a timely, sociopolitical punch while laying the drama (and sexiness) on thick. With Lee at the helm and Wise front and center, She’s Gotta Have It is a televisual update that’s an absolutely engrossing joy to watch. Season 2 premieres May 24 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 5 hours (for the first season)


Animal Kingdom (TNT)

What it is: Based on the 2010 Australian feature film of the same name from writer-director David Michôd, Animal Kingdom reconfigures itself in Southern California and showcases the city’s grittier side through a crime family led by iron-fisted matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody (Ellen Barkin). Our point of entry is Joshua “J” Cody (Finn Cole), a 17-year-old who’s swept up into the family business after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.

Why you should watch it: Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin. The series’ thrilling writing and direction, led by creator Jonathan Lisco, is well worth the binge, but Barkin, a Tony and Emmy winner and two-time Golden Globe nominee, brings a conniving richness to Smurf that must be seen to be believed. Season 4 premieres May 28 on TNT.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google PlayMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 27 hours (for the first three seasons)


Archer 90% (FXX)

What it is: Even the sleekest of action-packed espionage thrillers have an air of cartoonish hyperbole to them, but FXX’s Archer does away with that suspension of disbelief by making the whole thing a cartoon to begin with. The half-hour comedy from creator Adam Reed can land a joke as deftly as its titular man-child spy can land a punch, so expect to be thrilled while laughing yourself silly.

Why you should watch it: Over nine hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation. Season 8’s Dreamland and last season’s Danger Island were particularly high-concept highlights. Season 10 continues the genre-jumping trend of Archer’s coma-dream with 1999, which sees Archer not as the ass-kicking spy of ISIS we know from earlier incarnations, but a futuristic explorer of space on the M/V Seamus alongside our longstanding favorite characters and the voice actors behind them. While it’s a bottle season and therefore easily accessible to newcomers, we still recommend you catch up on all things Archer that have come before it. That’s where the payoff is! Archer: 1999 premieres May 29 on FXX.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 38 hours (for the first nine seasons)


Deadwood 92% (HBO)

What it is: In what is quickly proving to be one of the television events of the year, Deadwood’s long-awaited feature film finale is finally coming to HBO on May 31. The fan-favorite Western from creator David Milch reunites stars Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock and Ian McShane as Al Swearengen (along with the majority of the original ensemble) for a bookend installment set 10 years after the events of season 3’s unexpected ending. 

Why you should watch it: A fascinating, lurid, and original take on the classic Western genre, Deadwood built its devout fan base thanks to its ability to explore the human condition in tandem with the principles of early American society. With a smattering of scene-stealing performances from its expansive cast, it also has the writing, direction, and design to be one of the most gritty and authentic takes on America’s roots to ever hit the small screen. Deadwood: The Movie premieres May 31 on HBO.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HBO NowHulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 36 hours (for all three seasons)


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.


Thumbnail image photo credit: Matthias Clamer/ABC; Warrick Page/HBO; David Lee/Netflix

Tag Cloud

BET Sundance TV award winner FX NYCC Photos Pet Sematary FXX Creative Arts Emmys Freeform Ovation Mudbound Sundance franchise Opinion Endgame Best and Worst AMC Paramount TruTV Heroines Food Network christmas movies Chernobyl Logo rotten movies we love Marvel Television VICE CMT Amazon Mindy Kaling kong cancelled 24 frames Ellie Kemper best superman Mary poppins Amazon Prime Video Box Office Exclusive Video Pixar quibi IFC festival Country 21st Century Fox Disney zombie A24 Masterpiece slashers Thanksgiving Marvel Studios Turner robots Trailer Pop animated blockbuster Trophy Talk godzilla Martial Arts SDCC cartoon LGBT Teen Sundance Now PBS Calendar anthology indiana jones comic Sneak Peek The Academy 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards rotten Sci-Fi films screen actors guild Super Bowl discovery worst movies BBC America Interview President Sony Pictures Summer Tomatazos National Geographic Alien rt archives unscripted hist medical drama book Crackle Reality History GIFs Tarantino OneApp Binge Guide Classic Film Arrowverse halloween Western Emmy Nominations Netflix Christmas movies TNT streaming X-Men mission: impossible TLC Rocky Horror Musicals Legendary GoT golden globes Mystery Walt Disney Pictures cancelled TV series twilight travel Hallmark Christmas movies ABC Signature screenings crossover CBS All Access binge ITV zombies aliens adventure revenge HBO Max Polls and Games Comedy Central Set visit dceu TCA Awards Music obituary Superheroes Paramount Plus Toys talk show heist movie The Purge TIFF spain werewolf RT History Cannes high school golden globe awards news San Diego Comic-Con reboot kaiju Quiz Columbia Pictures PlayStation toy story die hard free movies Broadway a nightmare on elm street stoner Cosplay dragons 2015 japanese war TV One MSNBC Travel Channel zero dark thirty universal monsters documentary Netflix Elton John documentaries BBC ABC E3 SundanceTV The Walking Dead sports video VOD APB black hispanic politics First Look Rom-Com FX on Hulu Film Comics on TV australia 2018 Anna Paquin festivals Fox Searchlight scorecard chucky DC Comics Academy Awards BBC One Shudder CW Seed HBO Comedy Holiday First Reviews DC Universe green book 2019 batman diversity Extras indie cancelled television Certified Fresh Warner Bros. Vudu Grammys BAFTA game of thrones Star Wars parents based on movie biography witnail Amazon Prime italian elevated horror Nickelodeon Adult Swim Awards Song of Ice and Fire crime 2020 true crime sequels SXSW laika DGA foreign sequel OWN vampires Election boxing TCA 2017 Lifetime casting book adaptation Amazon Studios supernatural PaleyFest anime hollywood WarnerMedia Spike Star Trek Year in Review independent period drama asian-american classics Brie Larson The Witch mutant Watching Series Kids & Family historical drama rom-coms YouTube Syfy scary movies WGN cults Pirates nfl comiccon Tumblr children's TV singing competition CNN venice Rocketman Dark Horse Comics ESPN french Women's History Month USA 007 docuseries monster movies MCU Fantasy YA Discovery Channel Writers Guild of America video on demand ghosts women Universal blockbusters Nominations Winter TV Television Critics Association breaking bad cops comic books king kong reviews Character Guide directors Cartoon Network facebook Christmas RT21 spanish language Family Apple USA Network spanish theme song Nat Geo harry potter worst Stephen King tv talk Trivia Fall TV TCA Winter 2020 dark Musical mockumentary crime thriller richard e. Grant A&E game show Premiere Dates TV renewals latino romantic comedy Hallmark docudrama TBS south america psychological thriller TCA Paramount Network Disney streaming service dc adaptation justice league razzies Tubi Spring TV pirates of the caribbean El Rey criterion boxoffice IFC Films LGBTQ Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Video Games strong female leads Lionsgate TV Land emmy awards Acorn TV television remakes Rock Mary Poppins Returns YouTube Premium Countdown Animation Britbox comedies 2021 Lifetime Christmas movies 4/20 romance hidden camera Red Carpet 2016 concert cats Baby Yoda critics Apple TV Plus fresh DC streaming service disaster child's play HBO Go technology saw Lucasfilm transformers Winners dramedy YouTube Red versus The CW 71st Emmy Awards Shondaland ID Drama political drama spinoff Podcast New York Comic Con ratings cancelled TV shows Disney Channel 2017 Apple TV+ spy thriller Captain marvel Showtime Pop TV new star wars movies satire DirecTV Peacock Television Academy Hear Us Out james bond canceled TV See It Skip It doctor who cars GLAAD blaxploitation ABC Family jamie lee curtis kids teaser crime drama BET Awards 99% Schedule Pride Month nbcuniversal Hulu Holidays 93rd Oscars name the review Comic Book Action stop motion football Emmys Ghostbusters Bravo Spectrum Originals police drama Oscars Turner Classic Movies science fiction Marvel all-time Film Festival canceled TV shows Biopics The Arrangement renewed TV shows toronto 72 Emmy Awards ViacomCBS 20th Century Fox Crunchyroll cinemax trailers Infographic sitcom Marathons prank Avengers deadpool telelvision Black History Month MTV Disney Plus Epix sag awards Awards Tour The Walt Disney Company CBS Starz fast and furious VH1 miniseries archives movies TCM what to watch Black Mirror comics finale composers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt psycho Esquire space stand-up comedy natural history American Society of Cinematographers Superheroe cooking movie popular series halloween tv dogs Fox News spider-man NBC Funimation Mary Tyler Moore serial killer superhero Valentine's Day jurassic park E! Disney+ Disney Plus Reality Competition joker FOX nature 45 social media thriller