TAGGED AS: Apple TV+, FX, HBO, IFC, Netflix, Pop, streaming, television, TV
This March showcases returning seasons of prestige dramas (Ozark, My Brilliant Friend, Westworld), anticipated reboots (Amazing Stories), fan-favorite minority stories (On My Block, One Day at a Time), and half-hour comedies (Better Things, Brockmire). All that and more in this month’s binge guide below.
What it is: The semi-autobiographical, humanistic half-hour dramedy is not new terrain for television. But Better Things stands out from the pack thanks to Pamela Adlon, who stars as a version of herself, Sam Fox — a single mother to three daughters who is juggling life as a working actor in Hollywood.
Why you should watch it: Adlon is an Emmy Award–winning voiceover artist for King of the Hill and Golden Globe and Emmy nominee for starring on and creating FX’s Better Things. Her series is an emotional concoction of dry witticisms and familial love unlike anything else on TV. The fact that it’s one of the most realistic portrayals of single motherhood to grace the small screen is just the cherry on top. Season 4 premieres March 5 on FX.
Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu
Commitment: Approx. 14 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: This now-classic but short-lived Emmy-winning sci-fi and fantasy series from creator Steven Spielberg not only featured a who’s-who cast of guest stars each week enlivening bold and boundary-pushing television, but it also helped further establish Spielberg’s bold and boundary-pushing filmmaking career as one of the auteurs of his age, sci-fi or otherwise.
Why you should watch it: The newly rebooted series takes inspiration from the original Amazing Stories to transport streaming audiences to never before seen worlds and creations. Spielberg serves as executive producer. The new series premieres March 6 on Apple TV+.
Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play
Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the original two seasons)
What it is: This hit dramedy with critics and audiences alike from creators Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft follows a teen quartet played by relative newcomers Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, and Diego Tinoco as they navigate high school hallways set in a very real inner-city world.
Why you should watch it: What’s groundbreaking about On My Block is its articulation of everyday coming-of-age hiccups (first loves, first heartbreaks, shifting friendships, growing parental pains, party culture, and more) through the lens of a world not often depicted onscreen. A rivetingly talented and diverse young cast set in the heart of inner-city Los Angeles truly takes the series’ international audience to the confined intimacies of a single American block — and all that entails. Season 3 premieres March 11 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: This Spanish-language thriller series from creators Darío Madrona and Carlos Montero follows three teens from working class families — Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani), and Christian (Miguel Herrán) — who, after their school collapses, are enrolled on scholarship at a prestigious private school.
Why you should watch it: With Elite, it’s all in the name. But what begins as a socially-tinged story of the haves and have-nots, as Samuel, Nadia, and Christian assimilate into their new school primed with society’s elite, eventually builds to a lurid and soapy murder mystery — with streaming-only sex appeal to spare. Season 3 premieres March 13 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 13 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: In this hit series, the titular Westworld is a vacation destination for regular men and women to live out their most elaborate — and at times, sickening — fantasies in a Wild West–inspired society manipulated by behind-the-scenes programmers and otherwise populated by artificially intelligent “hosts.” The series’ main action begins, however, when Westworld’s hosts begin realizing they may have more control over their false reality than they think.
Why you should watch it: Has any other new series of the last five years excited and divided critics and audiences in quite the same way as Westworld? Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s HBO debut marks one of the most thought-provoking, epic sci-fi dramas seen on the pay cable channel to date. Matched with its ambition are breathtaking performances from Hollywood heavy-hitters as varied as Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Ed Harris, and now Aaron Paul. Season 3 (finally) premieres March 15 on HBO.
Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HBO Now, Microsoft, Vudu
Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: Based on the beloved first installment of Italian author Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, My Brilliant Friend begins with the disappearance of Lila Cerullo. The vanishing inspires her lifelong friend, Elena Greco, to reflect on the early days that brought the two girls of different backgrounds together 50 years prior in Naples.
Why you should watch it: My Brilliant Friend’s first season became a bit of an international phenomenon upon its first season’s November 2018 premiere — and what’s not to love? Transporting period-specific sets and costumes; impeccable performances from the multi-generational actors playing the central pair of lifelong friends; an entrancing, time-hopping story told from the perspective of one of the most compelling first-person narrators to come around the small screen in some time — it all made for appointment television, and we imagine its second installment, titled My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name, will have that in spades. Season 2 premieres March 16 on HBO.
Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HBO Now, Microsoft
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: After suffering a public meltdown in the aftermath of his wife’s string of affairs, nationally acclaimed sports announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) turns to drugs and alcohol to cope. Then one day, 10 years later, he decides to pick himself up, move to a small town, and get back to work calling games for the minor league Morristown Frackers.
Why you should watch it: Six-time Emmy winner Azaria is perhaps best known for his voice work on The Simpsons, but it’s always a pleasure to watch him get to work in front of the camera. The laughs still land. To watch his growth through the titular Brockmire’s character arc in the first three seasons is simply great (and easily binge-able) comedic TV — and that’s not to mention the firecracker energy Amanda Peet brings as Azaria’s co-lead. Season 4 premieres March 18 on IFC.
Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: A remake of Norman Lear’s long-running 1975 sitcom of the same name, what began as Netflix’s little comedy that could is now making its grand, fan-pushed return on Pop. Stars like Justina Machado and West Side Story Oscar winner Rita Moreno all returning to continue telling the story of three generations of a Cuban-American family as they live under the same roof.
Why you should watch it: Few series today are as un-cornily heartwarming, funny, and timely as this long-in-the-making reboot. Each new season renewal, however, has come with a photo-finish, down-to-the-wire announcement, and when Netflix announced it was pulling the plug after season 3, fans corralled around it and it got saved by Pop (best known as the home of Schitt’s Creek). That fourth season premieres March 24.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 19 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: Ozark, from creators Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, is the story of Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman, who’s also attached as director and executive producer), 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. The Emmy-winning series brings bleakness to the deceptive 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 and Julia Garner, no less) that tackles the power of wealth and greed, human nature, and the ties that bind within family and beyond. Season 3 premieres March 27 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 21 hours (for the first two seasons)
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