Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad; Finn Jones in Iron Fist keyart; Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) - Mad Men - Season 2 (AMC/courtesy Everett Collection; Netflix; Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

(Photo by AMC/courtesy Everett Collection; Netflix; Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

Great new shows leave critics and fans clamoring for their second seasons, but new series don’t always deliver when they return for round two – many suffer the dreaded sophomore slump.

That’s not the case with these titles — in fact, just the opposite. We’ve pulled together a list of TV series that enjoyed the biggest sophomore bumps between season 1 and season 2, according to our Tomatometer. To ensure a fair accounting of opinion, we only included series with at least 20 reviews determining their scores in both their first and second seasons (you could find, if you dug deep, shows with bigger season-on-season improvements, but the pool of reviews would be pretty shallow).

A few of the shows here weren’t very good to begin with, so any improvement is noticeable, but others started strong and managed to get even stronger by their second seasons.

Some of the most prestigious titles in television turned up — hello, Breaking Bad and Mad Men — but the series with the biggest bump of all is Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix, which on Friday releases season 2. The second season has a 58% Tomatometer score (updated) from 45 reviews, giving the title a 40% bump between its first and second seasons. The next biggest bump was for Fox’s Human Target, which experienced a 26% jump between season 1 and 2.

Read on to see which other titles were competing with Marvel’s Iron Fist bump.

Updated on February 24, 2019 to reflect season score changes.


15. Narcos: Season 1 (2015) 78% | Narcos: Season 2 (2016) 93%

UP 13%

The show: The first two seasons centered on Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal)’s pursuit of notorious druglord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura).

The ratings: Netflix won’t say, but they’re still producing the show, this week announcing that the fourth season, set in Mexico, will premiere November 16. Season 3 tackled the Cali cartel.

What improved: Season 2 was building up to the death of Escobar. Screenrant’s Kevin Yeoman wrote, “By streamlining the narrative into a compelling manhunt that makes far better use of actors like Pascal and Holbrook, while still giving Moura room to shine, Narcos has definitely improved in season 2.” AV Club’s Joshua Alston wrote, “Even with less ground to cover, Narcos is pleasantly dense and steadily introduces intriguing new characters to fill its impending power vacuum and firm up the show’s historicity.”


14. The Good Wife: Season 1 (2009) 83% | The Good Wife: Season 2 (2010) 96%

UP 13%

The show: Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) stands by her husband (Chris Noth) when he admits to an affair, and ultimately becomes a successful lawyer with a complicated love life of her own.

The ratings: It was a juggernaut from the beginning by modern broadcast standards. The first two seasons each averaged 13 million viewers and only dipped slightly below 11 million by the end. Spin-off The Good Fight is still going on CBS All Access.

What Improved: The supporting cast became every bit as important as Margulies. Many critics lauded Archie Panjabi for her role as in-house law firm investigator Kalinda Sharma, while USA Today’s Roberto Bianco singled out another: “Wife has expanded its reach to envelop all of its well-acted main characters, a growing stable that now includes Alan Cumming‘s Eli Gold (a great addition).” The show also rewarded viewers who watched every episode making it a worthwhile investment. EW’s Ken Tucker wrote, “The Good Wife is so layered with previous-episode details that are never forgotten that it already has its own sort of mythology.”


13. Mad Men: Season 1 (2007) 85% | Mad Men: Season 2 (2008) 100%

UP 16%

The show: Hard-drinking, womanizing ad man Don Draper (Jon Hamm) tries to survive the ’60s while times change around him; meanwhile, female employees Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) rise through the ranks.

The ratings: After a strong premiere to 1.65 million viewers, season 1 averaged 900,000. It nearly doubled for season 2 as the show’s acclaim made AMC a major player in cable originals.

What Improved: Critics caught on that Mad Men was a slow burn. TV Guide’s Matt Roush said, “Mad Men sizzles, simmering with erotic tension and crackling with cynical wit.” Alan Sepinwall, then with the Newark Star-Ledger, wrote, “as with a great baseball game, the leisurely pace gives you more time to marinate in the details.”


12. You're the Worst: Season 1 (2014) 82% | You're the Worst: Season 2 (2015) 97%

UP 16%

The show: Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) are both dysfunctional, but they may be perfect for each other. Their friends Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) may be on their own.

The ratings: Season 1 only averaged 300,000 viewers on FX, so they moved it over to FXX where season 2’s 200,000 was just fine. The show will wrap up in its fifth season next year.

What Improved: Season 2 went deeper into the characters’ psychological issues like Gretchen’s depression. Critics appreciated the frank portrayal of delicate subjects. GQ’s Joshua Rivera praised “the way it handles a sobering character arc while remaining one of the sharpest comedies around.” And like life, You’re the Worst’s problems can’t be solved in 22 minutes. “It resists learning the lesson that each installment would seem to set out to teach its characters,” wrote TV Fanatic’s Caralynn Lippo. The show hits 100% in seasons 3 and 4.


11. Enlightened: Season 1 (2011) 79% | Enlightened: Season 2 (2013) 96%

UP 16%

The show: Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) visits a mental-health retreat after she suffers an epic breakdown at the office. When she returns, she is reassigned to the company’s basement operations with other corporate misfits.

The ratings: Enlightened was never a ratings juggernaut for HBO. The first season barely averaged 170,000 viewers. Season 2 jumped up to 250,000.

What Improved: The show connected with the viewers who saw it, but its season 2 critical surge ultimately couldn’t save it. Alternet’s Eileen Jones said, “Unleash Amy and watch the endless repercussions in unsparing detail and laugh sardonically at your own stumbling way through the poisoned world.” Francine Prose of the New York Review of Books marveled at the strength of the show’s characters, especially “how much of ourselves we may see in them, if we only have the temerity to allow it.”


10. Halt and Catch Fire: Season 1 (2014) 76% | Halt and Catch Fire: Season 2 (2015) 91%

UP 17%

The show: The early days of the computer business were full of drama for Joe (Lee Pace) and Gordon (Scoot McNairy). But by season 2, the show became more about Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna (Kerry Bishe) developing online games.

The ratings: Season 1 averaged 750,000 viewers. Season 2 was down a tad to half a million, but the show held on for four seasons on AMC.

What improved: Turns out software is more dramatic than hardware, and focusing on the women helped. “The fact that two young women are bossing the enterprise gives it an added piquancy,” Globe and Mail’s John Doyle wrote, while Andy Greenwald wrote in Grantland, “Its inversion of decades of prestige-drama gender convention seems painfully obvious, and yet I’m not sure if any other show has actually attempted it.”


9. The Magicians: Season 1 (2016) 74% | The Magicians: Season 2 (2017) 91%

UP 17%

The show: Harry Potter for twentysomethings, the series takes place in a secret magic academy, where young adults learn how to practice the magic they only read about in storybooks.

The ratings: The Magicians averages 750,000 viewers on Syfy with a high of a solid million for the second season premiere. It’s still going with a fourth season on the way.

What Improved: The second season gave fans more of what they wanted: more sex, bad behavior, witty banter, and whimsical magic, but with higher emotional stakes, too. Black Girl Nerds’ Kyndal Wilson wrote, “There is no truer statement than ‘more magic, more problems.’ If you’re already a fan of the show, you won’t want to miss this.” Screenrant’s Molly Freeman called it “another season focused on the darker, more cynical side to magic grounded in the whimsy of the show’s characters.”


8. Breaking Bad: Season 1 (2008) 86% | Breaking Bad: Season 2 (2009) 97%

UP 17%

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _Season 5 - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

(Photo by )

The show: After a cancer diagnosis, high school teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) becomes the crystal meth cook Heisenberg with his partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), to the chagrin of his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn).

The ratings: As AMC’s follow-up original series to Mad Men, Breaking Bad started out modestly. Its first two seasons averaged 1.5 million viewers. It wasn’t until after season 3 that people started binging and catching up to follow the saga as it aired.

What Improved: Season 1 was only seven episodes, so it was just getting started. Season 2 may have been when critic Alan Sepinwall decided it was a modern classic, writing, “This brilliant second season of Breaking Bad is starting to earn a place in any discussion of the classics of the genre.” Sepinwall would go on to write a book on the series, Breaking Bad 101. Newsday’s Verne Gay also accurately predicted the show’s Emmy dominance saying, “if the rest of the season matches Sunday’s premiere, an Emmy nomination for best drama seems certain.”


7. Hannibal: Season 1 (2013) 82% | Hannibal: Season 2 (2014) 98%

UP 17%


The show: Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) works with Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) to help the FBI catch serial killers. Fans of films Red DragonThe Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal and the novels of the same name by author Thomas Harris know, of course, that Hannibal the Cannibal is the most evil one of all.

The ratings: NBC gave series creator Fuller three seasons to tell the story, at least up through the end of the Red Dragon story line. Season 1 dropped from just over 4 million viewers to just below 3 million. The ratings didn’t improve in season 2, but those who kept watching agree that the show did.

What Improved: Fuller rewarded loyal viewers, never compromising the series’ artistic sensibility or explicit gore to try to win new fans. Critics, at least, noticed the level at which Fuller was working; TV Guide’s Matt Roush said, “[It] is a feast of macabre freakishness, going beyond the realm of guilty pleasure in a sustained nightmare of horrific yet elegantly hypnotic design.” Slate’s Willa Paskin marveled, “Somehow it has become an engrossing, psychologically dense show that is also visually stunning.”


6. The Expanse: Season 1 (2015) 78% | The Expanse: Season 2 (2017) 95%

UP 18%

The show: Based on the James S. A. Corey novels, the trio of U.N. executive Chrisjen Avasaraia (Shohreh Aghdashloo), detective Joseph Miller (Thomas Jane), and captain Jim Holden (Steven Strait) combat espionage and hostile alien technology in the colonized solar system.

The ratings: Ratings for the expensive sci-fi series went from 700,000 viewers in season 1 to half a million in season 2 on Syfy. The network ordered a third season, but then cancelled the show. Fans rejoiced when Amazon founder, president, and CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company’s premium streaming service will distribute the fourth.

What Improved: With a whole solar system, you can imagine there’s a lot of ground for the first season to cover. Those who stuck with it were rewarded with more focused storytelling.“Unburdened with introductory world building and backed by surefooted writing, The Expanse returns as thrilling and intriguing as ever,”  We Got This Covered’s Mitchel Broussard wrote. Indiewire’s Liz Shannon Miller said, “There’s more focus to the first four episodes of the season than expected, thanks to more of the characters uniting in proximity to similar goals.”


5. Penny Dreadful: Season 1 (2014) 80% | Penny Dreadful: Season 2 (2015) 100%

UP 20%

The show: Famous characters from horror literature team up to save Victorian London from monsters, including Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Van Helsing (David Warner) with American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and the haunted Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) added to the mix.

The ratings: Season 1 averaged 750,000 viewers for Showtime. Season 2 dropped to about half a million, but surged back by the season finale. The series got a third season, but the season finale ended with “The End,” though Showtime never announced that the show was cancelled.

What Improved: Season 2 didn’t offer a jumping-in point, according to New York Daily News’s David Hinckley, but “it should nicely satisfy those who hopped onto the ride last year.” Salon’s Sonia Saraiya wrote, “If anything, the return from hiatus has shifted Penny Dreadful into even higher gear.”


4. Sense8: Season 1 (2015) 72% | Sense8: Season 2 (2016) 93%

UP 22%

The show: Eight people around the world discover they are linked by extraordinary mental abilities and must team up to survive being hunted by Whispers.

The ratings: Even though Netflix does not release ratings, the streaming service clearly wasn’t happy with the performance of the second season, because the series was cancelled. There were enough passionate fans demanding more Sense8, however, that Netflix agreed to a finale movie, but the Wachowski siblings and J. Michael Straczynski had a five-season plan for this story.

What Improved: The Wachoskis’ bold new mythology takes a while to explain, but patient viewers are rewarded, according to Indiewire’s Liz Shannon Miller, who wrote, “Sense8 may have had a slow start in season 1, but season 2 is a hell of a ride.” The Washington Post’s Sonia Roo wrote that she was just getting into the characters: “Sense8 avoids tokenizing its characters, which involves giving each sensate a full backstory that helps viewers understand what motivates them.”


3. The Newsroom: Season 1 (2012) 48% | The Newsroom: Season 2 (2013)

UP 22%

The show: After a breakdown, newsman Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) tries to redeem himself while working under ex-girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), while young producers Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) and Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) try to prove themselves.

The ratings: Creator Aaron Sorkin’s opinionated dramatization of real news stories from recent history polarized audiences and critics, and seasons 1 and 2 hovered around 2 million viewers. Sorkin, who also created acclaimed NBC White House drama The West Wing, decided to end his HBO series after its third season.

What Improved: Sorkin won over some Rotten reviews to Fresh in the second season, like LA Times’ Mary McNamara and People’s Tom Giliatto. A few critics posting negative reviews for season 1 simply didn’t come back to review the second season, like Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz and Time’s James Poniewozik, which also gave Fresh reviews more weight in season 2’s score.


2. Human Target: Season 1 (2010) 62% | Human Target: Season 2 (2010) 88%

UP 26%

Human Target promo art (Fox)

(Photo by Fox)

The show: Based on the DC Comic, Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) keeps his clients safe by making himself the target.

The ratings: A lead-in from American Idol, the action series brought a lot of eyeballs to season 1, though its initial audience of 10 million viewers dropped. By season 2 it was only getting six million, not enough for Fox to give it a third season.

What Improved: If viewers had listened to the critics, they might have known that Human Target really brought it in season 2, adding Indira Varma and Janet Montgomery as two strong female characters. That sold What Culture’s Dan Owen on season 2, writing, “The inclusion of two strong women is an obvious but welcome change to Human Target‘s dynamic.” For HollywoodChicago’s Brian Tallerico, season 2’s changes should have made it must-see TV: “Human Target seems to be taking itself more seriously in season 2, trying to add the emotional weight that might have kept it from becoming a water-cooler hit last season.”


1. Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 1 (2017) 20% | Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 2 (2018) 55%

Up 40%


The show: After studying Kung Fu in Asia, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York, where he fights crime as the superhero Iron Fist.

The ratings: Netflix does not release ratings, but it’s no secret that season 1 of Iron Fist was a bust. Fans and critics complained about the choppy editing (kind of a problem when showcasing his super power requires badass fight scenes), its slow pace, and derivative echoes of other origin stories.

What Improved: Praise of season 2 credits the show with hearing those complaints and addressing them. TVLine’s Matt Mitovich said in his Rotten review, “Iron Fist season 2 marks an improvement over its well-derided freshman run, but still lacks punch,” while Den of Geek’s Mike Cecchini said in his Fresh review, “A new showrunner, a new fight coordinator… all help tremendously, along with better villains, a more focused story, and a willingness to put the show’s supporting cast to better use.”


Want more?

Here are titles 16-30 of series measured by Tomatometer whose scores increased most between seasons 1 and 2 and the size of their bumps:

16. The Leftovers – 12%
17. American Horror Story – 11%
18. The Knick – 10%
19. The Good Place – 9%
20. Love – 9%
21. The Americans – 9%
22. How to Get Away With Murder – 8%
23. Masters of Sex – 8%
24. Pushing Daisies – 8%
25. Bates Motel – 7%
26. Justified – 7%
27. The Sinner – 7%
28. Game of Thrones – 6%
29. The Missing – 6%
30. Rectify – 5%

summer prem collage

While not as chock full of premieres as the fall TV season, summer can churn out some doozies of its own. Like we did around this time last year, we’ll be treated to shows that draw immediate engagement (Mr. Robot, Penny Dreadful, Orange is the New Black, Wayward Pines), television movie premieres (Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, The Dresser, All The Way), and special events (Just Let Go – Lenny Kravitz Live, Every Brilliant Thing, SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con). Add some anticipated series premieres (Roadies, Lady Dynamite, Outcast, Preacher) and miniseries (Roots, Houdini & Doyle, O.J.: Made in America) to the mix, and your DVR hard drives are sure to reach max capacity. So the questions is, which shows will you be deleting first, and which will rise to the pinnacle of your summer viewing list of faves? Check out the full (ever growing) list here:


 

May | June | July | August | TBA 


 May

Sunday, May 1
Penny Dreadful season three premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime

Monday, May 2
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah television movie premiere, HBO
Houdini & Doyle miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., FOX

Tuesday, May 3
Person of Interest season five premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, May 4
Maron season four premiere, 9 p.m., IFC

Thursday, May 5
Flowers series premiere (US), Seeso
Marseille series premiere, Netflix

Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie

Friday, May 6
Grace and Frankie season two premiere, Netflix

Sunday, May 8
Wallander season four premiere, 9 p.m., PBS

Monday, May 9
Every Brilliant Thing special event premiere, HBO

Tuesday, May 10
First Impressions series premiere, 10:30 p.m., USA

Wednesday, May 11
Chelsea series premiere, Netflix

Submission_103_3423086_UN_009

Submission

Thursday, May 12
Submission series premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime

Friday, May 13
Just Let Go –  Lenny Kravitz Live special event premiere, 8 p.m., Showtime

Wednesday, May 18
Royal Pains season eight premiere, 10 p.m., USA

Friday, May 20
Doctor Thorne series premiere (US), Amazon
Lady Dynamite series premiere, Netflix
Masters of Illusion season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Saturday, May 21
All the Way television movie premiere, 8 p.m., HBO

Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer; Preacher _ Season 1, Gallery - Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Preacher

Sunday, May 22
Preacher series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

Monday, May 23
Whose Line is it Anyway? season 12 premiere, 9 p.m., CW

Wednesday, May 25
Wayward Pines season two premiere, 9 p.m., FOX

Friday, May 27
Bloodline season two premiere, Netflix
The Do-Over television movie premiere, Netflix

roots

Roots

Monday, May 30
So You Think You Can Dance season 13 premiere, 8 p.m., FOX
The Dresser television movie premiere (US), 9 p.m., Starz
Roots miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History, Lifetime, and A&E
Mistresses season four premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Tuesday, May 31
Peaky Blinders season three premiere, Netflix
Powers season two premiere, Playstation Network
Maya and Marty series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Scream season two premiere, 10 p.m., MTV

 

Back to Top


 June


NUP_168867_0337.JPG

The Night Shift

Wednesday, June 1
Rock this Boat: New Kids on the Block season two premiere, 8 p.m., POP
Young & Hungry season four premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Baby Daddy season five return, 8:30 p.m., Freeform
Kingdom season two return, 9 p.m., DirecTV
Cleverman series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
The Night Shift season three premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Thursday, June 2
Hibana: Spark series premiere, Netflix
Beauty and the Beast season four premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Quincy Jones: Burning the Light television movie premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

outcast

Outcast

Friday, June 3
Comedy Bang! Bang! season five premiere, 11 p.m., IFC
Outcast series premiere, Cinemax

Sunday, June 5
Feed the Beast series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

Monday, June 6
Angie Tribeca season two premiere, TBS
Barbarians Rising miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
Devious Maids season four premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime
Rizzoli & Isles season seven premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
UnREAL season two premiere, 10 p.m., Lifetime

ae8ba2ac-ca47-4051-b99e-5a7fb0678ad6

Casual

Tuesday, June 7
Casual season two premiere, Hulu

Friday, June 10
Voltron: Legendary Defender series premiere, Netflix

Saturday, June 11
Hell on Wheels season five return 9 p.m., AMC
O.J.: Made in America miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
The American West miniseries premiere 10 p.m., AMC

Sunday, June 12
Difficult People season two premiere, Hulu
Ride with Norman Reedus series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

140457_0340

Guilt

Monday, June 13
Guilt series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform
BrainDead series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Major Crimes season five premiere, 10 p.m., TNT

Tuesday, June 14
Animal Kingdom series premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
Uncle Buck series premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
Wrecked series premiere, 10 p.m., TBS

Thursday, June 16
Aquarius season two premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Friday, June 17
Orange is the New Black season four premiere, Netflix

Saturday, June 18
Mother, May I Sleep with Danger television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime

jim gaff

The Jim Gaffigan Show

Sunday, June 19
Endeavour season three premiere (US), 9 p.m., PBS
The Last Ship season three premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
The Jim Gaffigan Show season two premiere, 10 p.m., TV Land
The Tunnel series premiere (US), 10:30 p.m., PBS

Monday, June 20
The Fosters 
season four premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Odd Mom Out 
season two premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo

Tuesday, June 21
Pretty Little Liars 
season seven premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform

Wednesday, June 22
Big Brother 
season 17 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
American Gothic 
series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Thursday, June 23
Queen of the South series premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Thirteen 
series premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America

Friday, June 24
The Fundamentals of Caring
television movie premiere, Netflix

Saturday, June 25
Center Stage: On Pointe 
television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime

ROADIES

Roadies

Sunday, June 26
Dancing on the Edge series premiere (US), 8 p.m., PBS
Ray Donovan season four premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime
Murder in the First season three premiere, 10 p.m., TNT
Roadies series premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime

Tuesday, June 28
Dead of Summer series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform
Zoo season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Thursday, June 30
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll season two premiere, 10 p.m., FX

 

Back to Top


 July


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Dark Matter

Friday, July 1
Between season two premiere, Netflix
Marcella series premiere (US), Netflix
Marco Polo season two premiere, Netflix
Killjoys season two premiere, 9 p.m., SyFy
Dark Matter season two premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy

Sunday, July 3
The Hunt series premiere (US), 9 p.m., BBC America

Wednesday, July 6
Duck Dynasty season nine premiere, 9 p.m., A&E
Tyrant season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Wahlburgers season five premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

Sunday, July 10
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth season one return, 8 p.m., Showtime
DB Cooper miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
The Night Of series premiere, 9 p.m., HBO

Monday, July 11
Making of the Mob season two premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

NUP_169192_0241.JPG

Mr. Robot

Wednesday, July 13
Penn & Teller: Fool Us season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW
Suits season six premiere, 9 p.m., USA
The A Word series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
Mr. Robot 
season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA

Friday, July 15
East Los High season four premiere, Hulu
Stranger Things series premiere, Netflix
Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru television movie premiere, Netflix

Sunday, July 17
Power season three premiere, 9 p.m., Starz
Ballers season two premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Vice Principals series premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO

Thursday, July 21
SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con special event premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy

Friday, July 22
Bring It! season three return, 9 p.m., Lifetime

Saturday, July 23
Looking: The Movie television movie premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

Sunday, July 24
Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour series premiere, 10 p.m., History
Survivor’s Remorse season three premiere, 10 p.m., Starz

Tuesday, July 26
MadTV series premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Born This Way, season two premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

Thursday, July 28
Ripper Street season four premiere (US), 10 p.m., BBC America

Friday, July 29
Home: The Adventures of Tip and Oh series premiere, Netflix

Sunday, July 31
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens television movie premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy

 

Back to Top


 August


get down

The Get Down

Friday, Aug. 12
The Get Down series premiere, Netflix

Thursday, Aug. 18
60 Days In season two premiere, 9 p.m., A&E

Sunday, Aug. 21
Fear the Walking Dead season two return, 9 p.m.,  AMC

Tuesday, Aug. 23
Halt and Catch Fire season three premiere, 9 p.m., AMC
Better Late than Never series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Aug. 24
Gomorrah series premiere (US), 10 p.m., Sundance

Sunday, Aug. 28
The Strain season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX

Wednesday, Aug. 31
You’re the Worst season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX

Back to Top


TBA


Frontier series premiere, Netflix
Halt and Catch Fire season three premiere, AMC
Happy Valley season two premiere, Netflix
Masters of Sex season four premiere, Showtime (July)
Suits season six premiere, USA

Back to Top

Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!


Better Call Saul

What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.

Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.

Where to watch: Every episode of season one is available on Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Orphan Black

What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.

Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.

Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Sons of Anarchy

What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).

Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.

Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.

Commitment: 85 hours.


Silicon Valley

What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.

Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.

Where to watch: Seaon one is available on HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox Video, and DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 4 hours.


Penny Dreadful

What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.

Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.

Where to watch: Penny Dreadful season two begins May 3 on Showtime. Seasons one is available on Showtime Anytime, iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. It’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Commitment: Eight hours.


Black Sails

What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).

Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”

Where to watch: Both seasons are streaming on Starz Play. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Commitment: 20 hours.


Looking

What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.

Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.

Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).

Commitment: Nine hours.


Manhattan

What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.

Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.

Where to watch: Season one is available on Hulu Plus, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox Video ,and YouTube Purchase.

Commitment: 13 hours.


Louie

What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.

Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.

Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.

Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!


The X-Files

What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.

Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.

Where to watch: All nine seasons of The X-Files are available on DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. You can also download every episode from iTunes and Vudu.

Commitment: 154 hours.


Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!

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