Binge Guide

Staff Picks: 11 TV Shows From 2015 You Should Binge-Watch Right Now

The Rotten Tomatoes Staff Picks Their Favorite TV Shows of 2015

by | December 28, 2015 | Comments

With 409 original scripted television shows in 2015, it’s not easy to pick a favorite, but here at Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve done just that! See our staff picks for the programming highlights of 2015 — from under-the-radar gems to downright cultural phenomenons. The best part? All of these shows are available for you to watch right now from the beginning — and, of course, they’re all Fresh!


Better Call Saul: Season 1 (2015) 98%

What it is: This spinoff of Breaking Bad gives us an early look at Jimmy McGill, the man who will later become Saul Goodman. In season one, we see Jimmy try to leave his grifter, “Slippin’ Jimmy” past behind and be an honest (if not entirely successful) representative of the law. And if Jimmy is trying to turn over a new leaf, those around him — even his own brother — may not be ready to let go of Jimmy’s past.

Why you should watch it: Saul Goodman was a reliable source of comic relief in Breaking Bad, but who would have suspected that Jimmy’s first-season character arc would be so emotionally moving? The series deftly moves from a comedy about a mostly competent small-time lawyer to a moving drama about two men whose pasts still overshadow their futures. Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks make the most of the opportunity to delve deeper into Saul and Mike, and the writing from Vince Gilligan is simply terrific. And “Five-O,” the sixth episode of this first season, may well be the finest hour of television in all of 2015.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, Google PlayiTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: Nine hours.

Picked By: Matt Atchity, Editor-in-Chief


Marvel's Daredevil: Season 1 (2015) 99%

What it is: Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights organized crime in New York City as a lawyer during the day, and as a super-powered, martial arts-fighting vigilante at night. Daredevil is Netflix’s first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why you should watch it: Daredevil is one of the best-executed comic book adaptations on television to date — if not the best. With incredible fight scenes and a fascinating performance by Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin), this origin story centers on both the hero and villain’s journeys, giving them much more depth than your average superhero story. The series raised the bar very high for serialized MCU shows, having unexpectedly earned a second season after the immensely positive reaction from fans and critics alike.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Julio de Oliveira, Project Manager


American Crime: Season 1 (2015) 95%

What it is: The murder of a war veteran in Modesto, California and the brutal attack on his wife sparks an emotionally-charged chain of events enveloping the victims’ and suspect’s families during the subsequent legal battle.

Why you should watch it: American Crime exhibits no fear or hesitation in tackling topics ripped directly from today’s headlines in nearly any American city. You won’t find any simple answers here, though. The sensitivity showed to characters on every side of the equation paints a vivid picture of just how complicated these stories always are — and how important it is that we discuss them with rationality and compassion. Be sure to watch it with a friend so you can ruminate on everything it’s saying.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.

Picked By: Grae Drake, Senior Editor


The Leftovers: Season 2 (2015) 93%

What it is: HBO’s somber drama, created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, is set in the emotional aftermath of a global event known as “The Departure” in which 140 million people (two percent of the world’s population) inexplicably vanished.

Why you should watch it: Love it or hate it, The Leftovers is a show that taps into human feeling. The remarkable ensemble cast delivers one stirring performance after the other — particularly in the critically acclaimed second season. HBO has announced that there will be a third, and final, season of The Leftovers in 2016 so enjoy this unique piece of storytelling before it departs.

Where to watch: HBO Go and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: 20 hours.

Picked By: Zayre Ferrer, Review Aggregator


Rick and Morty: Season 2 (2015) 95%

What it is: An alcoholic mad scientist moves in with his daughter’s semi-dysfunctional family and begins involving his apprehensive grandson in wild cosmic and interdimensional adventures.

Why you should watch it: If you like your jokes quick, clever, and pregnant with pop culture references, you’ll feel right at home with Rick and Morty, an Adult Swim series co-created by Justin Roiland and Community showrunner Dan Harmon. But while most animated comedies are content to showcase a collection of single-serving vignettes, Rick and Morty dares to offer some pathos alongside its absurdist humor. Sure, you’ll laugh at a hilarious gag referencing David Cronenberg, but you’ll also balk at the horrifying meaning behind it, and that’s what makes this such a deliciously funny, sometimes surprisingly multi-layered treat. Season two upped the ante, and in addition to some standout episodes (including my favorite, “The Ricks Must Be Crazy”), the season finale delivered with an unexpected cliffhanger.

Where to watch: Adult Swim (with cable subscription), Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Ryan Fujitani, Editor


You're the Worst: Season 2 (2015) 97%

What it is: After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding, narcissistic writer Jimmy (Chris Geere) and cynical PR exec Gretchen (Aya Cash) attempt to forge a lasting relationship.

Why you should watch it: While the first season was the pitch black romantic comedy we always wanted, featuring the kind of twenty-something Los Angelenos the rest of the country loves to hate, the second season goes even deeper. Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship is put to the test and the supporting cast also has a stellar season. Although You’re the Worst deals with heavy stuff, it does so with a light and raunchy touch, perfectly balancing raw emotions with belly laughs.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: 11 hours.

Picked By: Marya E. Gates, Social Media Specialist


Game of Thrones: Season 5 (2015) 95%

What it is: Inspired by the series of novels written by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is the fantasy epic that out epics all others. Set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, the series follows the dynastic struggles among the realms of noble families for control of the Iron Throne.

Why you should watch it: If you are someone who still hasn’t jumped on the GOT bandwagon, do not be daunted by the task — or by the hype. It lives up to it all and this year did nothing but enhance the show’s stockpile of jaw-dropping and superbly written, performed, and directed moments. Even after five seasons, you will still catch yourself astounded that this is television at all.

Where to watch: HBO Go.

Commitment: 50 hours.

Picked By: Andria Hopkins, Review Aggregator


Poldark: Season 1 (2015) 90%

What it is: Ross Poldark is a British soldier who returns home from the Revolutionary War to find his family business bankrupt and his love betrothed to another, forcing him to rebuild his life.

Why you should watch it: It’s a romance novel brought to life. Aidan Turner is fantastic as Poldark, with flowing locks and shirtless scenes that are almost as gorgeous as the show’s sweeping shots of the English countryside. If you’re looking for something to keep you going until Outlander returns in the spring, this should serve you nicely.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Beki Lane, Associate TV Editor


Banshee: Season 3 (2015) 100%

What it is: A psycho-sexy action drama, Banshee throws a dangerous ex-con into, wait for it… sheriffdom. When he attempts to reconnect with his true love and former cohort-in-crime, he ends up replacing the new sheriff who got killed before anybody could meet him, making for some crazy-ass goings-on in the Banshee PD.

Why you should watch it: It’s hard to find a show so crazy, so nasty, so sexy. The amazing cast makes it difficult to choose who to root for: the bad-ass, violent ex-con disguised as the sheriff? His ex-partner/lover-in-crime hiding her past, who now lives with her politician husband and two kids? The “businessman” mob-boss type who excommunicated himself from his Amish family to run the town? What about his promiscuous niece who was banished from the family? Explosive!

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesMax Go (with cable subscription), Vudu, and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: 30 hours.

Picked By: Kerr Lordygan, Associate TV Editor


Documentary Now!: Season 1 (2015) 88%

What it is: From IFC and Lorne Michaels’ production outfit Broadway Video (Man Seeking Woman, Portlandia) comes Fred Armisen and Bill Hader‘s series of half-hour documentary parodies.

Why you should watch it: There’s a moment partway through Documentary Now!‘s season premiere spoofing the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens when you realize that you’re not only watching a spot-on send-up to the original, but also a story brilliantly taking on a life of its own. Perfect for cinephiles and comedy nuts alike, Documentary Now! is best when you’re familiar with the source material, but anyone who appreciates silly, weirdly specific humor should check this one out.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, IFC.com (with cable subscription), iTunes, and Microsoft.

Commitment: Three hours.

Picked By: Sarah Ricard, TV Editor


Mr. Robot: Season 1 (2015) 98%

What it is: Elliot (Rami Malek), a young computer programmer with mental health issues, is recruited by a group of revolutionary hackers to help them bring upon the destruction of some of the world’s largest corporations. But as the stakes are raised, our hero discovers that nothing is as it first seemed.

Why you should watch it: Plenty of shows — even very good ones — can be enjoyed on a surface level. Mr. Robot, on the other hand, demands your undivided attention. Everything — everything — about this show feels precise and premeditated; it draws you into a paranoid mindset, one that embodies the old conspiracist’s adage that there are no coincidences. Hallucinatory, insanely topical, and blessed with one of the best soundtracks (and undoubtably the best title screens) of any show on television, Mr. Robot will reward obsessives with plenty of unsettling layers to uncover.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, MicrosoftUSANetwork.com (with cable subscription), and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Tim Ryan, Senior Editor

  • Martine

    Now,how about a tv show with an actual plot. Not just style, soundtracks, and character development. Not a single good show here.

    • jolly

      lol sry but youre an idiot if you dont like a single one of rick and morty, banshee, got, or mr robot…..

    • Jim Southworth

      Agreed

    • David Kern

      You’re so cool

  • CamAssassin

    You can not watch American Crime on Hulu. All there is a clip!

    • Sarah Ricard

      Sorry about that! I’ve removed Hulu from the list. Thanks.

  • Grant Sansom-Sherwill

    Orange is the New Black Season 3 would be my pick from 2015 but I haven’t seen Better Call Saul yet.

    • Jack Dee

      BCS obliterates OITNB. Not even close.

  • Jim Southworth

    Daredevil is basically unwatchable. The “acting” is horrible, and the story line is going nowhere fast…

    • Chad Bombast

      I mostly agree. I have been struggling to watch it since the summer. I guess when watching a show falls in the same category as getting around to cleaning the windows, it’s time to just let it go.

    • thedanielcorp

      The acting is superb, Vincent D is amazing. Are you watching the movie or the series?

    • Nikh

      The first three episodes might be slow but the show is really good throughout…

  • Chris Hubble

    Just started (and finished) season 1 of Strike Back. Loving it. So goofy and over the top

  • Jack Dee

    Daredevil stinks. (So does Jessica Jones, btw). Mr Robot is the most fun I have had watching tv. The only show I made an appointment to watch. Game of Thrones jumped the shark in Season 4.

    • jolly

      Give Banshee a try. Similar to daredevil in some ways id say, but much better

  • Matt Ross

    Fargo?

    • Andrerion

      Easily one of the best written shows this year.

  • Nikh

    The commitment for Daredevil is 10 hours…

    • ResurrectRider

      actually more like 11.5 hours.

  • Keith Taylor

    I think they missed a amazing chance of using the word America in all the titles like ‘Mr American Robot’ or ‘American Banshee’ that’s what i wanna see, more use of the word ‘America’ U…S…A …. U…S…A ….. best country in the world ….. and yer i know the word ‘Best’ is subjective and one country couldn’t possibly be ‘the best’ but yer where still the best can’t wait for the next series of American Poldark 🙂

    • Jamespfit

      You’re such a douche

      • Keith Taylor

        Says James P Fit! Bwaa Ha your name makes you Douche general front and center ….. dismissed …. nup American Dismissed!

  • A.W.

    O no! I just KNEW Grinder would be on this list. But alas…
    It’s an excellently funny show.

    • Nilan25

      Agree. Rob Lowe has good comic chops.

  • Adam Bradford

    Master of None should have been on this list as well.

  • Galvan Center

    No Jessica Jones, come on, probably the best superheroe show on tv by a lot right now.

  • j main

    Daredevil requires a real commitment in concentration. Just not easy to watch. Gave up on Jessica Jones after one episode as that was supposed to be better than Daredevil.

    Banshee and You’re the Worst are the best of the lot.

  • Mike

    Master of None is the best TV show ever

    • Quin1515

      Except episode 2, lol.

  • Laurel Williams

    Discovered Banshee by chance. OMG. I was hooked from the first scene. I binged on 3 seasons in 2 days. Can’t wait for season 4!

  • bs

    Well that does it then, I am going to watch Game of Thrones now.

  • Dr. Gonzalez

    Outlander?

  • BoruBrian

    Black Sails, season 1 was slow setting up a complicated story, but the show has now hit its stride and has absolutely fantastic historical fiction storytelling mid way last year and all of this year. Casting is spot on.

    Banshee’s is about as fun as it gets on TV. The fight scenes are simply as good as it gets.

    Better Call Saul, was really, really slow last year, but this year, the story line is moving forward. The show finally started to deliver the quality that the Breaking Bad fans expect from Vince. Slippin Jimmy is one great character, and Bob Odenkirk’s is simply brilliant in the role.

    Leftovers, since the show runner already admitted he has not ending (same guy as LOST), it is hard to invest the time with a show where the writer’s continue to tell us they can only tell half a story. They are like comedians who leave out the punch line. Stop telling everyone “you do not get it” and start learning how to tell a story.

  • larry

    Bates Motel. – In place of Better Call Saul.

  • kivenaberham

    BEST OF THE BEST must watch shows.

    1.australia drama -THE CODE

    2. RICK AND MORTY,

    3. MR. ROBOT,

    4.BBC THE NIGHT MANAGER,

    5.BBC FORTITUDE,

    6.THE MAGICANS

    7. THE EXPENSE.

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