Binge Guide

7 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This August

Ozark, Ballers, Better Call Saul, and Insecure are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | August 1, 2018 | Comments

Late-summer TV is underway, and we’ve got a nearly equal number of years-running returning series and sophomore season entries. From corrupt lawyers and Hollywood producers to megachurch pastors and struggling millennials, there’s plenty to choose from to get you through this last leg of the hot months, so curl up, cool off, and get ready to binge.


Better Call Saul 97% (AMC)


What it is: Ever wonder how, exactly, Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman got to be so darn slimy? AMC’s acclaimed spin-off, Better Call Saul, is here to help. The companion series satisfyingly builds on the original Vince Gilligan drama, while also coherently etching an identity of its own for viewers of all proclivities.  

Why you should watch it: The series takes a character we think we know — the Saul Goodman who Breaking Bad’s Walter White eventually meets in that Albuquerque, New Mexico, strip mall — and breaks him down to his nuts and bolts, starting at Jimmy McGill. Played wonderfully by Bob Odenkirk in what could become his career-defining (certainly career-changing) role, Saul/Jimmy and his uneasy partnership with Jonathan Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut make for must-watch hours for any lover of prestige TV, Breaking Bad die-hard or not. Season 4 premieres August 6 on AMC.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 23 hours


Ballers 72% (HBO)


What it is: From creator and multi-Emmy nominee Stephen Levinson (Entourage), Ballers stars movie star of the world Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a Miami Dolphins retiree who finds a second-wind career as a financial manager for the footballer pros and rich industry friends he left behind.

Why you should watch it: Yes, Johnson ranks among the world’s highest paid and biggest movie stars (and that’s not just in terms of his 6′4″, 260 lb. build), but Ballers is definitive proof that he’s got the acting chops to back up his paycheck and larger-than-life appeal. Plus — like Entourage before it — watching high-rolling men butting heads and behaving badly often makes for entertaining TV. Ballers season 4 premieres August 12 on HBO.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HBO NOW, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours


Get Shorty (Epix)


What it is: The sheen of Hollywood and its surrounding City of Angels can turn even the coldest heart to one of gold — at least that’s the underlying notion behind Get Shorty, which charts hit man Miles Daly’s (Chris O’Dowd) unlikely journey to becoming a Hollywood producer.

Why you should watch it: There’s something inherently funny about a murderous mobster finding his inner artist and sensitively grappling with those two divisions of his character. We saw it play out to great success earlier this year with Barry on HBO, but Get Shorty really mastered the formula nearly 30 years ago with Elmore Leonard’s 1990 novel and its 1995 film adaptation starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, and Danny DeVito. That film, however, Get Shorty the series is not. Darker and more character-driven than its feature counterpart, Get Shorty also boasts a welcome return to form for Ray Romano, whose B-movie producer Rick Moreweather is his juiciest role in years. Season 2 premieres August 12 on Epix.

Where to watch: Amazon, Epix, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours


Insecure 96% (HBO)


What it is: Inspired by creator Issa Rae’s web series Awkward Black Girl, Insecure follows the awkward day-to-day happenings of Issa Dee, her best friend Molly, and her love-on-the-rocks boyfriend, Lawrence, with notes as often comedic as they are heart-wrenching and true-to-life.

Why you should watch it: Issa Rae is utterly fearless, and Insecure is all the better for it. The freshly minted Emmy nominee weaves hot-button issues like gentrification, race, gender, and poverty into solid storytelling and character development. If you want to see what tough love and hard truths look like both in friendship and romance, Insecure serves those down-deep, human universals in spades — and it’s among the best series on television to do so. Season 3 premieres August 12 on HBO.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HBO NOW, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours


Mr. Mercedes 91% (Audience Network)


What it is: From esteemed showrunner David E. Kelley (most recently of Big Little Lies fame), Mr. Mercedes is a cold-blooded, small-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy. The series follows longtime career detective Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) as he’s forced out of retirement by ruthless serial killer Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), who knows just how to get under Hodges’ skin and into his mind.

Why you should watch it: Gleeson is the kind of actor who offers a natural gravitas to any situation, but Detective Hodges especially gives him a lot to chew on. Met mark-for-mark in this twisted game of cat and mouse by an impressive Treadaway (previously of Penny Dreadful) and a reliably pitch-perfect supporting turn from Holland Taylor as Hodges’ neighbor Ida, Gleeson’s latest isn’t just one of his strongest projects in recent memory — it’s one of TV’s finest hidden gems. Seek it out. Season 2 premieres August 22 on the Audience Network.

Where to watch: Audience

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours


Greenleaf (OWN)


What it is: An original scripted drama from Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, Greenleaf stars Broadway veteran Merle Dandridge as Grace, a pastor who returns to her estranged family — megachurch bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David) and Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield) — after a 20-year absence. The occasion? The mysterious death of her sister Faith.

Why you should watch it: Greenleaf packs an emotional punch, thanks largely due to its trio of lead performances and a hearty supporting turn from Ms. Winfrey herself. To little surprise, the drama in this Tennessee family runs thicker than their shared blood, and it makes for a savory and soapy hour of must-watch TV. Season 3 premieres August 28 on OWN.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours


Ozark 81% (Netflix)


What it is: Ozark, from creators Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, is the story of Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman, who also directed six of the first season’s 10 episodes), a financial adviser in Chicago who’s been laundering money for the cartel with his partner for years. But despite his meek, follow-the-leader personality, Marty talks his way out of a death sentence when things go awry with his crime boss and moves his family — including wife Wendy (Laura Linney) — to the Ozarks to keep the dealings afloat and the family alive.

Why you should watch it: Ozark isn’t the first series of its kind to portray good people doing bad things, but it’s about as good as those series come. Now sitting pretty with three Emmy nominations going into September’s ceremony (including both Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series nods for star and director Jason Bateman), the series conjures an all-encompassing bleakness situated snug in the apparent beauty of the Ozarks, and it establishes Bateman as so much more than the comedic actor most know him as today. Even more than just a vehicle for Bateman, however, it’s an ensemble drama (with an equally stellar Laura Linney, no less) that tackles the power of wealth and greed, human nature, and the ties that bind within family and beyond. Season 2 premieres August 31 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 10.5 hours

Tag Cloud

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