Binge Guide

10 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This August

Mindhunter, Preacher, Power, Succession, GLOW, and The Terror are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | August 2, 2019 | Comments

We’re reaching the dog days of summer, people! Sometimes, you’ve just gotta post up in front of the air conditioner between trips to the beach and enjoy a nice TV binge. That’s where we come in. With several returning sophomore series and two long-running favorites bidding adieu, there’s plenty to keep you busy this August. Catch it all below.

Dear White People 95% (Netflix)

What it is: Based on writer-director Justin Simien’s 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People takes place on a predominantly white Ivy League college campus and, through the perspective of several different African-American characters, explores and satirizes the racial tensions, microaggressions, and social injustices experienced while there.

Why you should watch it:  As funny as it is revealing, this ensemble piece for Netflix fearlessly goes where other network and primetime programs don’t dare to, not just representing the current social and political climate, but crystallizing lasting truths within it. Airtight scripts and a bevy of standout performances make the upcoming third season a must-watch for fans new and old. Season 3 premieres in full Aug. 2 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first two seasons)

Preacher 87% (AMC)

What it is: Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen teamed up back in 2016 to adapt Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s cult comic book about a preacher named Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) who’s on a violently allegorical quest to “find God” — plus vampires, exploding holy men, extraterrestrial entities, and gun-slinging exes (played by Ruth Negga, no less). The series, now entering its fourth and final season on AMC, has reached comparable cult status.

Why you should watch it: If the above soundbite wasn’t at least enticing, this series is probably not for you. But if your interest is piqued, Preacher is sheer perfection. Unapologetically bloody, brazen, and bad to the bone, this series came at the height of peak genre TV and to this day runs with the best of them. Season 4 premieres Aug. 4 on AMC.

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

Commitment: Approx. 25 hours (for the first three seasons)

GLOW 92% (Netflix)

What it is: From creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, GLOW (taken from the real-life ’80s entertainment series, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), follows a pair of down-and-out actresses who unwittingly find themselves cast in a televised women’s wrestling league. Following both their personal and professional lives, the dramedy centers on Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), and the man who runs the league, Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron).

Why you should watch it: On paper, GLOW sounds like the kind of series that’s just so crazy it might work. Then again, it is from producer Jenji Kohan (Weeds, Orange Is the New Black), so it boasts a creative team that has a track record of doing just that. Utterly unique in the world of the half-hour dramedy, this standout series is lead by a stellar cast of kickass ladies (and even more behind the camera). Season 3 premieres in full Aug. 9 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first two seasons)

RELATED:Video: GLOW Stars Alison Brie, Marc Maron, and Betty Gilpin Play ‘Wrestler or Rapper’

Succession 92% (HBO)

What it is: Succession is all about what happens when powerful people behave badly and — sometimes — are faced with consequences. Charting one media mogul family’s changing of the guard (with back-stabbing, side-dealing, and bribing a-plenty), the series, from creator Jesse Armstrong, stars Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Natalie Gold, and Emmy winner Brian Cox as the central Roy family patriarch.

Why you should watch it: If HBO viewers love two things, it’s watching disparate characters fighting for a throne (hello, Game of Thrones) and extreme, dramatic family discord (Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Big Love…need we go on?). Fortunately, the power-hungry media family of Succession has both in spades, and it boasts top-tier performances to match. Why else would it be recognized with a fistful of 2019 Emmy nominations, including best drama series? Catch up before season 2 premieres Aug. 11 on HBO.

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

Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first season)

Lodge 49 93% (AMC)

What it is: Set in the sun-drenched but dry-spelled locale of Long Beach, California, creator Jim Gavin’s Lodge 49 follows ex-surfer and current burnout Dud Dudley (Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) as he tries to get his life back together by going with the flow — a fate that brings him to the adrift, philosophically-minded community of Lodge 49.

Why you should watch it: What an odd little series Lodge 49 is, but if you stick with it, the magic that’s at play slowly comes to the fore and makes the experience all the more worthwhile. To say much more of the fate that’s in store for viewers of this wholly-original hour-long comedy is to do a disservice to its long-view intention, but you won’t be sorry for following Russell’s “The Dude”–esque hero to the titular lodge’s doorstep. Season 2 premieres Aug. 12 on AMC.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft

Commitment: Approx. 7.5 hours (for the first season)

The Terror 87% (AMC)

What it is: Based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel of the same name, The Terror is a horror anthology series from creators David Kajganich, Max Borenstein, and Alexander Woo. Season 1 takes the real-world tragedy of the 1845 disappearance and ultimate mass death aboard two British expedition ships and fictionalizes it as a tale of monsters and survival.

Why you should watch it: While it’s an anthology series, you’d be remiss to skip out on The Terror’s first season before tuning into round 2: The Terror: Infamy. Creatively suspenseful, tragic, and altogether horrifying, it’s a 10-episode order that fans of the genre will love. Season 2 premieres Aug. 12 on AMC.

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

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)

RELATED:The Terror Truths Revealed in a Gruesome Finale and Insights from the Horror Series’ Showrunners

Sacred Games 76% (Netflix)

What it is: Netflix’s first original series made in India is a doozy of a police thriller. Based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name, Sacred Games follows Sartaj Singh of the Mumbai police as he battles personal demons and dives head-first into the city’s dark underbelly of crime and corruption in an effort to save it.

Why you should watch it: The series begins with an anonymous call to Sartaj claiming that a looming disaster will wipe out Mumbai’s population in 25 days. Sacred Games’ race-against-the-clock premise does wonders here, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and eager for more. Season 2 premieres in full Aug. 15 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 6.5 hours (for the first season)

Mindhunter 97% (Netflix)

What it is: Mindhunter follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench — co-founders, along with psychologist Wendy Carr, of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit — as they interview imprisoned serial killers in hopes of understanding patterns of behavior and solving open murder cases in 1977.

Why you should watch it: Ripped from the pages of Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Joe Penhall’s twisty series from executive producers David Fincher and Charlize Theron will keep you guessing to the very end — which is exactly why it became a bit of a phenomenon at the time of its 2017 premiere. Now, two years later, an excellent Jonathan Groff returns as Agent Ford to tackle one of the best-known killers of our time: Charles Manson. Season 2 premieres in full Aug. 16 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)

RELATED:Mindhunter Stars on Diving Too Deep Into Serial Killer Psychology, Hopes for Season 2

The Affair 86% (Showtime)

What it is: As the old adage goes, love is a battlefield, and with The Affair, we’re here to witness some emotional warfare. The titular indiscretion comes about when Alison and Noah meet on Long Island, consummate their desires, and in turn destroy their respective marriages to Cole and Helen, respectively. The Affair is told through the four main players’ rotating perspectives.

Why you should watch it: The Golden Globes love to honor a rookie series, but it’s not for nothing that The Affair swept the ceremony after its first season by winning best drama series and best lead actress for Ruth Wilson. Maura Tierney then went on to win for her supporting turn the following year. Male leads Dominic West and Joshua Jackson, though lacking trophies for their roles, are also stellar. Dense and emotionally trying as it may be, they each play characters that you’ll feel for as the dissipation of their happiness and potential reconciliation plays out each week. As the seasons progress, The Affair ups its drama and stakes until what is sure to be a blistering finale. Its fifth and final season premieres Aug. 25 on Showtime.

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

Commitment: Approx. 40 hours (for the first four seasons)

Power 81% (Starz)

What it is: From creator Courtney Kemp Agboh and starring Omari Hardwick as main anti-hero James St. Patrick, Power charts James’ life as he runs a popular nightclub in New York City while moonlighting as an underground drug kingpin. How he keeps it all together while leading a double life is just the tip of the iceberg of this series’ juicy, dramatic hit.

Why you should watch it: Over the course of its five seasons, this gritty crime drama has succeeded with a formidable ensemble cast, providing criminally compelling and gloriously soapy performances. Its sixth and final season, which will be split into two halves between 2019 and and 2020, premieres Aug. 25 on Starz.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: About 50 hours (for the five seasons)

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