The 2016 holidays are almost upon us, and though the new series offerings have thinned, November still offers a few notable premieres worth a catch-up binge.
What it is: Assistant tennis pro David Meyers (Craig Roberts) tries to figure out his future while working at a suburban New Jersey country club in the mid-1980s.
Why you should watch it: “Bittersweet Red Oaks has more Fast Times than Caddyshack in its DNA,” reads the headline of Erik Adams’ A.V. Club review. And with just one season under its vintage canvas belt, this Amazon Originals comedy should be a breeze to binge if you need to catch up before season 2 begins streaming on Amazon November 11.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: About 8.5 hours once season 2 becomes available
What it is: When Alison (Ruth Wilson) and Noah (Dominic West) meet in Montauk at the end of Long Island, the titular affair ensues, destroying their respective marriages to Cole (Joshua Jackson) and Helen (Maura Tierney). Told from four perspectives, season 2 explores the next phase in their lives.
Why you should watch it: The Showtime drama won a best television drama Golden Globe award for its first season. Wilson won lead actress in a television drama Golden Globe that same year, while Tierney took a supporting performance Golden Globe the following year. The Affair‘s third season premieres November 20.
Commitment: About 20 hours
What it is: The quirky residents of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, color the lives of single mom Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her teen daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) in this heartfelt drama that aired from 2000 to 2007.
Why you should watch it: On November 25, Netflix delivers event series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life that picks up nine years later with Rory a professional journalist, while Lorelai still runs the Dragonfly Inn. The four 90-minute movies will feature many of the same faces from the original seven-season series, including Kelly Bishop, Scott Patterson, Melissa McCarthy, Jared Padalecki, and more.
Commitment: About 111 hours. That’s over four and a half days of uninterrupted binging — good luck! Try not to clot. (For the record, we do not actually recommend that you watch TV for four days straight.)
What it is: Nearly four full seasons of medieval Nordic muscle slashing and burning across the region and into England and France. Vikings provides an adventurous fictional account of the political and theological development and influence of the northern European pirates.
Why you should watch it: In the season 4 midseason finale in April, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) growls a challenge: “Who wants to be king!?” Finding out how he got there is a binge worthy of Valhalla! (If Valhalla has a widescreen and considers TV-marathoning an acceptable pastime.) Season 4 returns with three final episodes, starting November 30 on History.
Commitment: About 28.75 hours
What it is: In this bonus binge-watching option, the Peanuts gang learns about Thanksgiving in the Holiday favorite A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and, separately, about the first English settlers of the New World in the Mayflower episode of eight-part TV miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.
Why you should watch it: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET November 23 on ABC, but you can also find it online. The 1973 Charles M. Schulz special won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming. “The Mayflower Voyagers” tells the story of the first pilgrims to America and how the natives saved their hides.
Commitment: Under 2 hours if you watch only A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and “The Mayflower Voyagers” episode. About 4.5 hours if you decide to watch the Thanksgiving special and all eight episodes of This Is America, Charlie Brown, which also includes “The Birth of the Constitution,” “The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk,” “The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” and more.
This week, we’re taking a look back at the best TV Premieres so far this fall, including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Grinder, Casual, Red Oaks, The Last Kingdom, Quantico, and Indian Summers (and also a bonus look at Supergirl). Check out the video to see where they rank, and how to get caught up on all of them!
Over 30 new shows debuted since the start of the fall TV season last month, but not all of them are Fresh — in fact, the majority of them did not fare so well with critics. And then there was Dr. Ken…
Now that we’re a month into the madness, we’ve compiled a list of the best-reviewed new TV shows of the fall, including where you can see every episode right now to get on track!
What Critics Think: Red Oaks offers an affectionate nod to 1980s sex comedies that — largely thanks to a talented ensemble cast — finds fresh humor in its familiar premise.
Airs: The entire first season is currently available on Amazon Prime.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: 10 episodes.
Where to Catch Up: Amazon Prime.
What It’s About: Priyanka Chopra is Alex Parrish, a recruit rigorously trained at the Quantico FBI base, who finds herself the top suspect in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.
What Critics Think: Obvious copycatting aside, Quantico provides ludicrously entertaining thrills from a well-balanced cast.
Airs: Sundays on ABC at 10 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Four
What It’s About: This miniseries from Masterpiece captures the twilight era of the British Empire and the friction between the English ruling class and their Indian subjects.
What Critics Think: Indian Summers gathers intrigue slowly but effectively, building into an addictive political thriller with exotic overtones.
Airs: Sundays on PBS at 9 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Four episodes.
What Critics Think: The Grinder‘s humor is buoyed by Lowe and Savage’s chemistry as a hilarious new odd couple.
Airs: Tuesdays on Fox at 8:30 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Four
What It’s About: Casual is a new Jason Reitman comedy about a bachelor (Tommy Dewey) whose sister (Michaela Watkins) moves in with him after divorcing her husband — and brings her teenage daughter (Tara Lynne Barr) along with her.
What Critics Think: Reitman’s Casual is a funny — albeit very specific — look at modern dating, sharpened by edgy dialogue and self-assured performances.
Airs: Wednesdays at 12:01 a.m. on Hulu
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Three episodes.
Where to Catch Up: Hulu
What It’s About: Based on The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom is set in the 9th century where Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of northern Europe face attacks by Viking forces.
What Critics Think: The Last Kingdom fuses beautiful cinematography and magnificent action sequences to create highly gratifying historical drama.
Airs: Saturdays on BBC America at 10 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Two episodes.
What It’s About: Rachel Bloom stars as Rebecca Bunch in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a musical comedy about a young woman who moves across the country to be near her high school boyfriend from camp.
What Critics Think: Lively musical numbers and a refreshing, energetic lead make Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a charming, eccentric commentary on human relationships.
Airs: Mondays on The CW at 8 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: Two
What It’s About: Melissa Benoist is Kara Danvers, who, after 12 years of keeping her superpowers a secret, decides to finally embrace her true identity: Supergirl.
What Critics Think: Benoist shines as Superman’s plucky little cousin in Supergirl, a family-friendly comic-book adaptation that ditches cynicism for heart.
Airs: Mondays on CBS at 8:30 p.m.
Number of Episodes You’ve Missed: None
Where to Catch Up: Premieres Monday, October 26 at 8:30 p.m. and then moves to its regular time (8 p.m. to 9 p.m.) on Monday, November 2 on CBS.
This week at the movies, we’ve got a captured pilot (Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance), terrified teenagers (Goosebumps, starring Jack Black and Dylan Minnette), a haunted novelist (Crimson Peak, starring Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain), and a team of underdogs (Woodlawn, starring C. Thomas Howell and Sean Astin). What do the critics have to say?
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are about as dependable as any director-star combo in movie history, and with Bridge of Spies, they bring gravitas to a little-known slice of Cold War intrigue. Critics say the film is finely crafted and deeply involving, its old-fashioned-ness belying some inspired stylistic touches. Hanks stars as James Donovan, an American attorney called upon to defend a Soviet agent at a trial, and who subsequently finds himself involved in a clandestine prisoner exchange between the CIA and the KGB. The pundits say Bridge of Spies simmers with low-key tension, and Spielberg captures the uneasy mood of the period with painstaking detail.
What if all the monsters, ghouls, and creepy-crawlies in R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books were real? And what if they got loose and wreaked havoc on a small town? That’s the premise behind Goosebumps, a spooky, family-friendly adventure that critics say is charming enough to overcome some minor flaws. Dylan Minnette stars as Zach, a big city teen who moves in next door to Stine (Jack Black) and his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). When Zach inadvertently unleashes the very real creatures that Stine has been keeping captive within the pages of his books, the three of them must act quickly to save their town. The pundits say Goosebumps is mostly a fun, over-the-top ride that should please fans of the source material, even if the cheeky humor is hit-or-miss.
Guillermo del Toro is undoubtedly one of contemporary cinema’s most distinctive visual stylists — and critics say his unparalleled eye goes a long way toward making Crimson Peak watchable, though this old-fashioned ghost story is decidedly short on scares. Set in turn-of-the-century Buffalo, the film stars Mia Wasikowska as Edith Cushing, an aspiring novelist who’s swept off her feet by Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), a mysterious, rakish Englishman who spirits her away to a crumbling estate haunted by both ghosts and grim secrets. The pundits say Crimson Peak is extravagantly crafted and always pleasing to the eye, though its narrative is often far less compelling.
The inspirational sports drama Woodlawn was barely screened for critics prior to its release in theaters this weekend. Based on a true story, it’s a faith-based drama about a high school football team struggling to come together in racially-divided Birmingham in the early 1970s. Guess the Tomatometer!
Season two of Fargo retains all the elements that made the series an award-winning hit, successfully delivering another stellar saga powered by fascinating characters, cheeky cynicism, and just a touch of the absurd.
Jane the Virgin stays true to its over-the-top telenovela roots in season two while layering in more humor and increasingly complex storytelling.
The Last Kingdom fuses beautiful cinematography and magnificent action sequences to create highly gratifying historical drama.
Manhattan‘s slow-building intrigue and sense of impending doom deepen in season two, further enriching an already well-acted period drama.
Six seasons in, The Walking Dead is still finding ways to top itself, despite slow patches that do little to advance the plot.
Red Oaks offers an affectionate nod to 1980s sex comedies that — largely thanks to a talented ensemble cast — finds fresh humor in its familiar premise.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
It’s time for our weekly Fall Premieres TV Review Countdown. Here are the best premieres for the week of Friday, Oct. 9. See how this week’s Fresh shows Casual, The Last Kingdom, and Red Oaks stack up against each other on the Tomatometer!
Stay up to date on these scores and more with our Fall TV coverage!
Emmy nominations are out for last season, but it’s already time for a new one. Television continues to rival, and sometimes surpass, the quality and success of film industry releases, with more networks than we ever thought possible 20 years ago. And, with the growing number of cable networks, we witness the capability of catering to more adult-oriented content. This fall, we will continue to see television grow, for better and for worse. Which new shows will achieve Fresh, or even Certified Fresh, status? Which will quickly go Rotten? And which of your favorite returning shows made the cut this year? Here’s the list as we know it, and we’ll continue to update it as premiere dates continue to be broadcast.
Monday, Aug. 3
Significant Mother series premiere, 9:30 p.m., CW
Tuesday, Aug. 4
Playing House season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Saturday, Aug. 8
Funny or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman series premiere, 11 p.m., TBS
Sunday, Aug. 16
Show Me a Hero miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., HBO
Tuesday, Aug. 18
The Hotwives of Las Vegas series premiere, Hulu
Thursday, Aug. 20
Documentary Now! series premiere, 10 p.m., IFC
Monday, Aug. 24
Switched at Birth season four return, 8 p.m., ABC Family
Wednesday, Aug. 26
The Carmichael Show series premiere, 9:30 p.m., NBC
Friday, Aug. 28
Narcos series premiere, Netflix
Tuesday, Sep. 1
Drunk History season three premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central
Friday, Sep. 4
Hand of God series premiere, Amazon Instant Video
Sunday, Sep. 6
Arthur & George series premiere, 8 p.m., PBS
Thursday, Sep. 10
Longmire season four premiere, Netflix
Saturday, Sep. 12
Ferrell Takes the Field special event premiere, 10 p.m. HBO
Friday, Sep. 18
Black Jesus season two premiere, 11 p.m., Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)
Saturday, Sep. 19
Doctor Who season nine premiere, 9 p.m., BBC America
Sunday, Sep. 20
67th Primetime Emmy Awards special event, 8 p.m., Fox
Monday, Sep. 21
The Big Bang Theory season nine premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
Gotham season two premiere, 8 p.m., Fox
The Voice season nine premiere, 8 p.m., NBC
Life in Pieces series premiere, 8:30 p.m., CBS
Minority Report series premiere, 9 p.m., Fox
Scorpion season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS
Blindspot series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Castle season eight premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
NCIS: Los Angeles season seven premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Tuesday, Sep. 22
NCIS season 13 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
The Muppets series premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Scream Queens series premiere, 8 p.m., Fox
Fresh off the Boat season two premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC
NCIS: New Orleans season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS
Limitless series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Wednesday, Sep. 23
The Middle season seven premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
The Mysteries of Laura season two premiere, 8 p.m., NBC
Rosewood series premiere, 8 p.m., FOX
Survivor season 31 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
The Goldbergs season three premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Empire season two premiere, 9 p.m., Fox
Law & Order: SVU season 17 premiere, 9 p.m., NBC
Modern Family season eight premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
black-ish season two premiere, 9:30 p.m., ABC
Nashville season four premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Thursday, Sep. 24
Grey’s Anatomy season 12 premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Heroes Reborn series premiere, 8 p.m., NBC
Scandal season five premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
The Player series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
How to Get Away with Murder season two premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Friday, Sep. 25
The Amazing Race season 25 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
Last Man Standing season five premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
Margaret Cho: psyCHO comedy special premiere, 9 p.m., Comedy Central
Hawaii Five-0 season six premiere, 9 p.m., CBS
Blue Bloods season six premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Saturday, Sep. 26
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series premiere, 9:30 p.m., Disney XD
Sunday, Sep. 27
Bob’s Burgers season six premiere, 7:30 p.m., Fox
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation two-part series finale, 8 p.m., CBS
Once Upon a Time season five premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
The Simpsons season 27 premiere, 8 p.m., Fox
Brooklyn Nine-Nine season three premiere, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Blood & Oil series premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
Family Guy season 14 premiere, 9 p.m., Fox
Indian Summers miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., PBS
The Last Man on Earth season two premiere, 9:30 p.m., Fox
Quantico series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Blood & Oil
Monday, Sep. 28
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah series premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central
Thursday, Oct. 1
Bones season 11 premiere, 8 p.m., Fox
The Blacklist season three premiere, 9 p.m., NBC
Sleepy Hollow season three premiere, 9 p.m., Fox
Benders series premiere, 10 p.m., IFC
Gigi Does It series premiere, 10:30 p.m., IFC
Friday, Oct. 2
Dr. Ken series premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Saturday, Oct. 3
Saturday Night Live season 47 premiere, 11:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, Oct. 4
Home Fires series premiere, 8 p.m., PBS
Madam Secretary season two premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
The Good Wife season seven premiere, 9 p.m., CBS
Homeland season five premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime
The Leftovers season two premiere, 9 p.m., HBO
The Affair season two premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
CSI: Cyber season two premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
The Widower miniseries premiere, 10 p.m., PBS
Saturday, Oct. 10
The Last Kingdom series premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America
Sunday, Oct. 11
The Walking Dead season six premiere, 9 p.m., AMC
The Walking Dead
Wednesday, Oct. 14
Kingdom season two premiere, 9 p.m., DirecTV
Thursday, Oct. 15
Nathan for You season three premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central
Friday, Oct. 16
The Knick season two premiere, time TBD, Cinemax
Truth Be Told series premiere, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Please Like Me season three premiere, 10 p.m., Pivot
Satisfaction season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Saturday, Oct. 17
Amy Schumer: Live from the Apollo comedy special premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Wednesday, Oct. 20
Being Mary Jane season three premiere, 9 p.m., BET
Friday, Oct. 23
Hemlock Grove season three premiere, Netflix
Billy Elliot the Musical: Live special event, 9 p.m., PBS
Saturday, Oct. 24
Da Vinci’s Demons season three premiere, 8 p.m., Starz
Monday, Oct. 26
Supergirl series premiere, 8:30 p.m., CBS
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Wicked City series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Friday, Oct. 30
Exorcism: Live special event, 9 p.m., Destination America
Grimm season five premiere, 9 p.m., NBC
Ash Vs. Evil Dead
Monday, Nov. 2
Legends season two premiere, 10 p.m., TNT
Friday, Nov. 6
Master of None series premiere, Netflix
Saturday, Nov. 7
Untitled U2 Documentary, HBO
Flesh and Bone
Tuesday, Nov. 10
Donny! series premiere, 10:30 p.m., USA
Thursday, Nov. 12
2 Broke Girls season five premiere, 9:30 p.m., CBS
Friday, Nov. 13
With Bob and David series premiere, Netflix
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Chicago Med series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Thursday, Nov. 19
The Art of More series premiere, Crackle
Friday, Nov. 27
South of Hell series premiere, 3 p.m., WE
Unforgettable season four premiere, 9 p.m., A&E (new network)
Monday, Nov. 30
Superstore series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Tuesday, Dec. 1
Real Rob series premiere, Netflix
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce season two premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo
Wednesday, Dec. 2
RocketJump: The Show series premiere, Hulu
Thursday, Dec. 3
The Wiz Live! special event, 8 p.m., NBC
Friday, Dec. 11
Transparent season two premiere, Amazon
Sunday, Jan. 3
Downton Abbey season six premiere, 9 p.m., PBS
Sunday, Jan. 10
73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards special event, 8 p.m., NBC
Thursday, Jan. 14
Colony, series premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Sunday, Jan. 17
Mercy Street series premiere, 10 p.m., PBS
Sunday, Jan. 24
The X-Files season 10 premiere, 10 p.m., FOX
Sunday, Jan. 31
Grease: Live special event, 7 p.m., FOX
Monday, Feb. 15
58th Annual Grammy Awards special event, 8 p.m., CBS
Sunday, Feb. 28
88th Annual Academy Awards special event, 4 p.m., ABC
11/22/63 series premiere, Hulu
American Dad season 12 premiere, TBS
Crowded series premiere, NBC
Emerald City series premiere, NBC
First Dates series premiere, NBC
Game of Silence series premiere, NBC
Haven season five return, SyFy (October)
Heartbreaker series premiere, NBC
Hot & Bothered series premiere, NBC
Legends season two premiere, TNT
Shades of Blue series premiere, NBC
Uncle Buck series premiere, ABC
The Way series premiere, Hulu
You, Me and the End of the World series premiere, NBC