(Photo by AMC)
The Walking Dead fans have hung with AMC’s zombie series for over 10 seasons now — 161 episodes — and helped the show break several ratings records, including the most-watched cable episode in history when its season 5 premiere aired.
Apparently, the saga of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Morgan (Lennie James), and the rest of the gang has legs — and feet and arms and decapitated heads — to spare.
We looked at how each of its episodes so far have fared on the Tomatometer and found the most Rotten episodes occurred in season 6, with five of the 16 episodes in that season being deemed Rotten by a consensus of critics (although the season fared well overall — it is Certified Fresh at 76%).
The fifth season is the Freshest of the bunch, with eight TWD seasons overall Certified Fresh, and with the highest overall score at 90%.
Seasons 5 and 3 scored the most episodes in the top 10, claiming four slots each standing at 100%. Season 7’s premiere, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” had the most reviews of any individual episode with 54 — unsurprising, given that it was the episode in which viewers found out which characters Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) had brained.
Where did “For Blood,” episode 8 of season 11 land? Read on to find out!
What was your favorite episode of The Walking Dead? Tell us in the comments.
Two beloved series bid adieu this month on NBC and AMC, while we welcome in much-anticipated sophomore seasons from the likes of Comedy Central, HBO Max, Showtime, and more. With plenty of binge-worthy series to go around, let’s break down what you should be catching up on this August.
What it is: From creators Michele Abbott, Ilene Chaiken, and Kathy Greenberg, the original Emmy-nominated series (decorated elsewhere by GLAAD for its landmark lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters) and its years-in-the-making sequel series, The L Word: Generation Q, charts the intersecting friendships and love lives of a group of queer women living in Los Angeles.
Why you should watch it: As heralded today as it is maligned, there’s no denying that The L Word made leaps for LGBTQ representation onscreen upon its 2004 premiere, even if it didn’t always hit its mark. While its first season was Certified Fresh for all its bombastic soapiness and memorable characters, critics didn’t follow it into its subsequent seasons, resulting in years without Tomatometer scores — and its sixth and final season was ravaged with a measly 8%. But the show still has its fans and its merits. Plus, its reboot welcomely (and freshly) revisits the components that first made us fall in love with these ladies (including original stars Katherine Moennig and Jennifer Beals) while expanding and bettering itself where there is room to grow. The L Word: Generation Q season 2 premieres August 8 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 77.5 hours (for all six seasons of The L Word and The L Word: Generation Q season 1)
What it is: Based on the character from the DC Comics by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, DC’s Stargirl follows teenager Courtney Whitmore, who, upon discovering the Cosmic Staff and learning that her stepfather was once sidekick to Starman, takes up the cause of the Justice Society of America and recruits a whole new crew of superheroes to join her cause.
Why you should watch it: Already renewed for a third season before its second even airs, star Brec Bassinger has woven some superpowered magic with her hit DC Universe–turned–CW series. With action and family-friendly fun for all ages, it strikes an inspiring narrative of the powers of good that can rise up in the face of evil. Season 2 premieres August 10 on the CW.
Commitment: Approx. 9.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: This hit comedy series from creators Dan Goor and Michael Schur is a workplace sitcom featuring some very distinct personalities — the aloof and gregarious Detective Jake Peralta (Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg), his fictional precinct’s dry commanding officer, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), and the rest of the motley crew of the Nine-Nine.
Why you should watch it: We’ve seen fan-initiated primetime resuscitations before, but rarely do they happen as swiftly as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s after its unceremonious cancellation at Fox. The online outcry had barely begun before Universal Television began shopping the sitcom around, and it was scooped up by NBC just a day later — with good reason. The series is beloved by fans, which is why it comes as particularly sad news that its eighth season, premiering August 12, will also be its last.
Commitment: Approx. 52 hours (for the first seven seasons)
What it is: This series is centered on its titular group of young superheroes — led by none other than Nightwing (formerly Robin of Batman-sidekick fame) — as they save the world from forces that want to end it. A long-in-the-making effort, Titans is a welcome addition to DC Comics’ TV footprint.
Why you should watch it: Greg Berlanti is the mastermind behind DC Comics’ takeover of the small screen, so you know you’re in good hands for this streaming hit with him and co-creators Akiva Goldsman and Geoff Johns (also of Stargirl fame) at the helm. The Titans action is slick and laid on thick, and buoyed by a stellar young-Hollywood cast. We can’t wait to see what superhero adventures are in store next. Season 3 premieres August 12 on HBO Max.
Commitment: Approx. 18 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: From director and showrunner John Carney (best known for musical romances Once, Begin Again, and Sing Street) and based on the New York Times’s much-loved column of the same name, Modern Love is a anthological series charting the love lives of various disparate New Yorkers played by the likes of Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Catherine Keener, and more.
Why you should watch it: The acting talent alone is enough reason to tune in, but this series packs on the charm in ways both expected and surprising, sending its material over the edge from just basic rom-com fare to something a little more special. Season 2 premieres August 13 on Amazon Prime Video.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Creator Awkwafina stars here as Nora Lin, a Flushing, Queens, native comically trying to get her young adulthood life together with the help of some family and friends.
Why you should watch it: Fresh off the breakout acclaim of Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell, Awkwafina’s self-titled Comedy Central series became the latest semi-autobiographical half-hour to take a hold of us. With supporting and scene-stealing turns from BD Wong, Lori Tan Chinn, and Bowen Yang as her father, grandmother, and cousin respectively, it’s a series that showcases the universality of coming-of-age. Season 2 premieres August 18 on Comedy Central.
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Don’t know what The Walking Dead is? You may want to check your pulse…
Why you should watch it: Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series developed by creator Frank Darabont indulges in gore and “what if” fascinations. These are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust, but that’s admittedly part of the fun, too. Its eleventh and final season premieres August 22 on AMC.
Commitment: Approx. 114 hours (for the first 10 seasons)
What it is: Following the highs and lows of a self-proclaimed fat, queer dyke who suffers from OCD and depression while living in Chicago, co-creator and star Abby McEnany turns the lens inward and makes one heck of a debut.
Why you should watch it: Not many entertainers can say they had their “mainstream” breakout after 50, but McEnany can count herself among the lucky few. A mainstay of Chicago’s comedy scene via Second City and a one-time student of Stephen Colbert, the multi-hyphenate finds ways to turn the cringingly personal into universal reflections on contemporary humanity. Season 2 premieres August 22 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: From director Kwang Il Han and based on the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a prequel spinoff film of Netflix’s hit Henry Cavill starrer from creator Lauren Schmidt that charts the monster-slaying adventures of Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir, in stunning anime.
Why you should watch it: If you haven’t already read the source material, we recommend the best way to catch up for this feature is to binge the first season of The Witcher. Ambitiously violent and larger-than-life, it certainly ranks as one of Netflix’s best fantasy series and will give you all the knowledge you need to appreciate this animated vision of what came before. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf premieres August 23 on Netflix. (Season 2 of the live-action series premieres on December 17.)
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Now going into its 10th season, the spooky anthology series is a favorite of critics and audiences alike. Previous seasons featured haunted houses, witches, vampires, crazed killers, and every manner of unhinged human.
Why you should watch it: You don’t have to watch every season of American Horror Story to catch up for season 10, but don’t you want to!? The acclaimed anthology series is known for being as campy as it is horrific. The upcoming season, American Horror Story: Double Feature, is divided in two parts for two times the fun; one half is set by the sea, the other by the sand. Returning stars to the franchise include Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters after taking a break from 1984, Frances Conroy, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, Finn Wittrock, Denis O’Hare, Matt Bomer, and more. Season 10 premieres August 25 on FX.
Commitment: Approx. 85 hours (for the first nine seasons)
What it is: Even the sleekest of action-packed espionage thrillers have an air of cartoonish hyperbole to them, but FXX’s Archer does away with that suspension of disbelief by making the whole thing a cartoon to begin with. The half-hour comedy from creator Adam Reed can land a joke as deftly as its titular man-child spy can land a punch, so expect to be thrilled while laughing yourself silly.
Why you should watch it: Over 11 hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation. Season 8’s Dreamland and 9’s Danger Island were particularly high-concept highlights, with season 10 following suit with 1999, which saw Archer not as the ass-kicking spy of ISIS we know from earlier incarnations, but a futuristic explorer of space on the M/V Seamus alongside our longstanding favorite characters and the voice actors behind them. Season 11 marked the spies much-anticipated return to reality after he wakes up from his coma and does away with those bottle-themed seasons. Season 12, which features the late, great Jessica Walter’s final bow as the voice of Malory, premieres August 25 on FXX.
Commitment: Approx. 45 hours (for the first 11 seasons)
What it is: Cary (Drew Tarver), and his sister, Brooke (Heléne Yorke) had dreams of fame of fortune, but now fast-approaching 30 with not much to show for it, they’re forced to contend with overnight, Justin Bieber–style viral fame of their teen brother Chase (Case Walker).
Why you should watch it: With a never-better Molly Shannon as the central three’s supportive (but a bit delusional) mother, this laugh-out-loud series from Saturday Night Live vets Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider parodies pop culture as much as it celebrates it — and it’s just about perfect. Season 2 premieres August 26 on HBO Max.
Where to watch: HBO Max
Commitment: Approx. 3.5 hours (for the first season)
Thumbnail photo credits: Josh Stringer/AMC; Matt Sayles/The CW; Comedy Central
This month boasts some buzzy sophomore efforts from Fresh new series alongside the final swan songs of some small-screen gems — plus one massive The Walking Dead binge that’ll keep you busy all the way through Halloween. Check out our 10 must-watch binges of October below!
What it is: A 19th century San Francisco–set Peaky Blinders–style action-drama, Warrior follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts expert who immigrates to the U.S. from China to search for his missing sister. Portraying the city’s brutal Tong Wars, he is soon entangled with Chinatown’s most powerful organized crime family.
Why you should watch it: Originally plucked from the mind of the late, great Bruce Lee, Warrior was finally realized onscreen last year thanks to his daughter Shannon Lee, Fast and the Furious director Justin Lin, and Banshee creator Jonathan Tropper. The series runs on high-octane, gritty action, lush period set pieces, and a sprawling ensemble of memorable and complex characters — you’ll care what happens to them as the wheeling, dealing, and killing gets underway over the first season’s 10 episodes. Season 2 premieres Oct. 2 on Cinemax.
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Funnyman Anthony Anderson stars as Dre Johnson, a Black, upper-middle-class family man who — in a predominantly white neighborhood, school, and culture — still wants his kids to retain a sense of black identity.
Why you should watch it: Creator Kenya Barris is a writer who boldly goes there. Even within the confines of the network TV sitcom structure, he has conjured stories over the past six seasons that are absolutely resonant, timely, fearless, and hilarious. Tracy Ellis Ross and Anderson are especially show-stealing (and Emmy-nominated several times over). Barris’ Grown-ish, and Mixed-ish also boast Certified Fresh first seasons. He’s also responsible for -ish-unleashed Netflix comedy #blackAF, which he also stars in and, though it wasn’t as popular with critics, it has a higher audience score on its first season than any of the -ish shows. Catch up on the family series that started it all before Black-ish returns with an Oct. 4 election special and its seventh season premiere Oct. 21 on ABC. Plus, watch for the upcoming Old-ish.
Commitment: 51 hours (for the first six seasons)
What it is: If you don’t know what The Walking Dead is, you may want to check your pulse…
Why you should watch it: Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series developed by creator Frank Darabont indulges in gore and “what if” fascinations. These are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust, but that’s admittedly part of the fun, too. We recommend you strap in for a super binge of this beloved franchise by first watching the original Walking Dead in the lead up to Oct. 4’s season 10 finale, which marks the return of a series-favorite: Maggie Rhee! Then make your way over to spin-off No. 1, Fear the Walking Dead, before its sixth season premieres Oct. 11, and — since you’ll surely be wanting more blood, guts, and zombie gore — may we suggest the next addition to the franchise? The Walking Dead: The World Beyond premieres Oct. 4. The Walking Dead universe airs on AMC and streams on the network’s streaming service AMC+.
Commitment: Approx. 109 hours (for the first 10 seasons of The Walking Dead) and approx. 52 hours (for the first five seasons of Fear the Walking Dead)
What it is: Ghosts, demons, and other monsters better watch out for Sam and Dean Winchester. After their mother is killed by an unknown demonic force when they are just children, the brothers’ father trains them to be soldiers against the world’s paranormal evil. Supernatural charts their journey as they hunt down and kill those otherworldly enemies.
Why you should watch it: Not all network series are lucky enough to be renewed for a second season, much less 15! It’s an astounding feat that Supernatural has accrued such a devout fanbase over the years. Creator Eric Kripke (most recently the mind behind The Boys) is a master of the genre, and we’d follow Sam and Dean (played with charisma and complexity by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively) to just about any haunted house, vampire den, or unearthly plain they want to take us. Its season 15 rollout was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we’ll be sad to see it go after it returns with its final seven episodes Oct. 8 on the CW.
Commitment: Approx. 235 hours (for all 15 seasons)
What it is: Loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name, The Haunting of Hill House jumps between 1992 — when Hugh and Olivia Crain and their children Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Nell move in to renovate the titular mansion — and 2018 — when the surviving family is forced to revisit their dark past with the home and the supernatural tragedies therein.
Why you should watch it: It’s not often that a horror series is universally acclaimed as a must-watch series, but The Haunting of Hill House provided some of the best and most addicting hours of television around with its 2018 Netflix launch. It really is scary as all hell — the “Bent-Neck Lady” guarantees chills that will haunt your dreams. In the spirit of the Halloween season, we recommend a binge of the first installment of this anthology series before creator Mike Flanagan does it again with an all-new story, The Haunting of Bly Manor, which premieres Oct. 9 on Netflix.
Commitment: Approx. 9 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Star Trek: Discovery is set 10 years prior to the original series and in the same universe as Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, and sees the titular ship venturing out to discover new worlds and quell violent alien forces. As always with a Trek series, the cast of characters on board is the series’ beating heart — and you can expect some returning franchise-favorites along the way.
Why you should watch it: Creators Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, as well as star Sonequa Martin-Green and the rest of the ensemble cast faced the franchise fandom’s lofty expectations when the series premiered in September 2017. They were rewarded with Certified Fresh Tomatometer scores of 82% on season 1 and 81% on season 2. The third season premieres Oct. 15 on CBS All Access.
Commitment: Approx. 26 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: Revisiting one of the most famous families on network TV after over 20 years off the air, The Conners stars Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, and the rest of the original clan (minus Roseanne Barr) and is as insightful and heartwarming as ever.
Why you should watch it: You’ll likely remember the off-screen controversy and Roseanne reboot cancellation that led to The Conners hitting the small screen, but the series quickly found its groove and audience without Barr and is still going strong with positive ratings and reviews. Telling it like it is for working-class, family-first Americans, it resonates widely in today’s divisive times, while still making us laugh.
Commitment: Approx. 14 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: Everyone knows a “work family” is essential to getting through the day-to-day, even when they’re as eccentric as the workforce of Superstore’s Walmart-esque Cloud 9. This is their story.
Why you should watch it: We’re so glad Superstore found its footing. After a promising, but slightly jumbled start out the gate, the beloved comedy series is now six seasons in and better than ever. As the central Amy, America Ferrera (who we will always stan for Ugly Betty) is a stalwart of the screen you can always count on to bring the heart and laughs. Throw in a wacky crew of other comic actors at the top of their game (no one steals a scene like Crazy Rich Asians breakout Nico Santos), and Superstore may just be her best project yet. Her departure from the series was pushed back due to the pandemic, so catch up before the coronavirus-themed season 6 premieres Oct. 22; Ferrera will be in the first two episodes before bidding Cloud 9 adieu.
Commitment: Approx. 36 hours (for the first five seasons)
What it is: From creator Jon Favreau and starring Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian is Star Wars’ first live-action television series. Set five years after the action of Return of the Jedi, it follows the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin (Pascal), a lonely and mysterious bounty hunter as he traverses the outskirts of the galaxy just outside the New Republic’s reach.
Why you should watch it: Two words: Baby. Yoda. But that criminally cute, internet-famous creature aside, The Mandalorian is the best thing to happen in a galaxy far, far away in a very, very long time. A Western action-adventure that both reboots the Star Wars universe while reinvigorating the aspects we’ve loved about it all along, the series truly has something for everyone. And the industry at large agrees: Who had “The Mandalorian scores an Emmy nomination for outstanding drama series” on their 2020 bingo card!? Season 2 premieres Oct. 30 on Disney+.
Where to watch: Disney+
Commitment: Approx. 5.5 hours (for the first season)
Fall TV is still in full swing this month, which means more and more shows for your viewing pleasure. While you decide which new ones to tune into, catch up on the 13 series below — all of which are Certified Fresh returnees with zombies, superheroes, and brainiacs to spare.
What it is: Elizabeth Olsen stars as Leigh Shaw, a widow in mourning who, unable to bear living in the apartment she shared with husband, quits her job as a magazine writer and moves in with her mother. What follows is a nuanced character study of those left behind in death’s wake.
Why you should watch it: It’s not easy to make a show on grief, much less sell it. But I’m Sorry for Your Loss is benefited by its thoughtful and thought-provoking scripts from playwright-turned-series creator Kit Steinkellner and nuanced, heartbreaking performances from Olsen, Janet McTeer as her mother, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Kelly Marie Tran as her sister. Plus, it’s perfectly timed at just 30 minutes per episode. Season 2 premiered October 1 on Facebook Watch.
Where to watch: Facebook Watch
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Co-created by Nick Kroll and featuring the voice talents of comedy heavy-hitters like John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Jenny Slate, Big Mouth is a coming-of-age series about awkward teens discovering their sexuality through the raging hormones of puberty.
Why you should watch it: We’ve seen plenty of naughty comedies in the past, but none of them excavate the triumphs and traumas of pubescent adolescence quite as fearlessly or uproariously as Big Mouth. Season 3 premieres in full on October 4.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 10.5 hours (for the first two seasons, plus a Valentine’s Day special)
What it is: The going’s rough and tough in this BBC and Netflix co-production from creator Stephen Knight. Charting the rise of the notorious Peaky Blinders gang in post-WWI England, the long-running drama is led by a never-better Cillian Murphy as the fearless, cold-blooded leader, Tommy Shelby.
Why you should watch it: Between its production design, its larger-than-life performances, and airtight writing and direction, this period series takes some big swings and lands each one. Murphy delivers as the icy Tommy, and Helen McCrory is stellar as the series’ hard-as-nails matriarch. Throw into the mix a strong, talent-heavy ensemble — including turns from the likes of Tom Hardy and Aidan Gillen — and Peaky Blinders earns its reputation as one of the best series that you just might be sleeping on. Season 5 premieres on October 4 on Netflix.
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: This decorated, mind-teaser of a series from creator Sam Esmail is at its core the story of Elliot, played by 2018 Oscar winner Rami Malek in a role that nabbed him an Emmy for best actor after season 1. Elliot is a mentally unstable (see: socially anxious, depressed, and drug-addicted) hacktivist recruited into “fsociety” by one Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). Confused? Intrigued? Just watch it.
Why you should watch it: Over the course of three seasons, Mr. Robot has made it near-impossible to look away. Few other series today make for water-cooler fare at work, but Esmail — with the help of Malek, Slater, and an impressive supporting ensemble cast — taps into the cultural consciousness with a premise as timely as it is ambitious. Its fourth and final season premieres on October 6 on USA Network.
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: Ever wonder what the other surviving Kryptonians (what few of them are left) are up to while Superman is out there saving the world? Well, turns out his cousin, Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl) is up to just about the same thing. This is her story.
Why you should watch it: It took until the second season for this DC Comics series to really nail down its tone on the CW with star Melissa Benoist and co., but there’s no doubt that it today ranks as one of the most formidable hour-long outings in the superhero comics-to-screen universe. Season 5 premieres on October 6 on The CW.
Commitment: Approx. 65 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: Don’t know what The Walking Dead is? You may want to check your pulse…
Why you should watch it: Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series developed by creator Frank Darabont indulges in gore and “what if” fascinations. These are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust, but that’s admittedly part of the fun, too. Tune into this season to catch Black Panther star Danai Gurira’s final outing. Season 10 premieres on October 6 on AMC.
Commitment: Approx. 98 hours (for the first nine seasons)
What it is: Inspired by the true story of former NFL-er Spencer Paysinger, this drama series from creator April Blair follows a talented high school football player from South L.A. who’s drafted to play for Beverly Hills — and the social and professional tensions that build when two worlds collide.
Why you should watch it: Hailed by the Hollywood Reporter the best new broadcast network drama of 2018, All American bears ingredients from some of our favorite teen and sports dramas of yesteryear while managing to stand out from the pack thanks to its central performances: newcomer Daniel Ezra as the recruited football star Spencer James and Taye Diggs as the NFL star-turned-Beverly Hills coach who sees a future in him. Season 2 premieres on October 7 on The CW.
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Grant Gustin is crime scene investigator–turned–crime scene vigilante Barry Allen (aka the Flash), a lightning-enhanced fastest man alive. The story follows Barry’s crime-fighting adventures alongside a group of friends with their own special abilities.
Why you should watch it: You don’t gain an adoring following like that of The Flash without bringing edge-of-your-seat comic-book action and suspense, lovable characters and story arcs, and pitch-perfect performances week to week. Equal parts charming and high-octane in all the right ways, this DC Comics offering keeps us coming back for more. Season 6 premieres on October 6 on The CW.
Commitment: Approx. 82 hours (for the first five seasons)
What it is: Riverdale is the latest TV adaptation of the beloved Archie comics of yore — only this time, it gets the CW treatment as a murder mystery–thriller with hot, live-action high schoolers played by KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, and Cole Sprouse. This is not your mom and dad’s Archie.
Why you should watch it: We’ll say it: Riverdale ranks among the best teen dramas to come out of primetime since Gossip Girl, and it deserves the viewership and brand ubiquity to match. It’s the classic Archie we know with a heaping serving of sex appeal and a dash of True Detective. What’s not to love? Season 4 premieres on October 9 on The CW.
Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: Walter White is a high school chemistry professor who, after a terminal cancer diagnosis, begins cooking and selling methamphetamine to pay off his mounting medical bills and take care of his family. With that, what starts as a compelling enough premise in Vince Gilligan’s genre-defining character study builds to become one of the greatest series ever to grace the small screen.
Why you should watch it: As played by Bryan Cranston (who won a whopping five Emmys for the role), Walter White is one of the most iconic television characters of the 21st century. Meeting him mark for mark is Emmy winner Aaron Paul as his delinquent co-conspirator and cook, Jesse Pinkman. To watch the two of them play off each other while diving deeper into the underbelly of drugs and crime in New Mexico is about as good as TV gets. Binge all five groundbreaking seasons before its much-anticipated feature film bookend, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, premieres on October 11 on Netflix.
Commitment: Approx. 46.5 hours (for all five seasons)
What it is: Set in the fictional, titular Maine town and drawn from the expansive works of Stephen King, this anthology series from creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason uses characters both classic and new to re-imagine the author’s best works for the small screen. Season 1 was largely inspired by The Shawshank Redemption, while the second outing looks to pull from Misery.
Why you should watch it: With executive producers like King himself and blockbuster filmmaker J.J. Abrams at the helm, you know you’re in for some tricks along with your treats. And with Halloween right around the corner, the return of this hit horror series is sure to get you in the appropriate holiday spirit. Season 1 features standout performances from the likes of Andre Holland, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Skarsgård (himself a King-universe vet thanks to his Pennywise role in the record-breaking It films). Lizzy Caplan promises to light up the screen in season 2, which serves as something of a prequel or origin story for Misery’s demented nurse Annie Wilkes. Get a taste of the King-inspired mayhem before the new season’s October 23 premiere on Hulu.
Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Chuck Lorre knows TV, but we’ve never seen The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men mastermind tackle something quite like The Kominsky Method, a half-hour, single-cam comedy that follows an aging acting coach and his agent in contemporary Hollywood. Both a stinging comedy on the industry’s lasting truths and a revealing, humorous look at men of a certain age, the series racked up two Golden Globes earlier this year, including Best Musical or Comedy Television Series.
Why you should watch it: Few things have been more satisfying over the last few years than watching Hollywood heavy-hitters deliver career-best work on the small screen. Among them are Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin as the central Sandy Kominsky and his longtime agent and friend Norman Newlander, respectively. The pair’s rat-a-tat everyman rapport goes down easy, even when they’re not on their best behavior. Season 2 premieres on October 25 on Netflix.
Where to watch it: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: This acclaimed HBO comedy from creators John Altschuler, Mike Judge, and Dave Krinsky is the story of wunderkind coder Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) as he and partner Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) struggle to get their startup off the ground during Northern California’s tech boom.
Why you should watch it: Few shows pack as many laughs-per-episode as Silicon Valley. Through its hilarious portrayal of a company on the rise, it also taps into the real-world “brotopia” of the West Coast’s tech industry in more than just name with an assortment of memorable (and in the case of Middleditch, Emmy-nominated) performances across the board. Its sixth and final season premieres on October 27 on HBO.
Commitment: Approx. 23 hours (for the first five seasons)
There’s a lot to binge up on going into this month — so let’s get right to it, shall we? Below, catch our roundup of 15 series boasting Certified Fresh seasons that are returning in October.
Why you should watch it: Few series can claim to have brought the situational comedy into the modern age, but with its fresh, incisive, and most of all hilarious take on contemporary life in New York city — while featuring a pair of gay men and their best girlfriends to match — Will & Grace is one of the series that did. The best episodes of last season prove a) why NBC revived this hit series and b) why it’s still essential viewing all these years later. Season 10 premieres Oct. 4.
Commitment: Approx. 77 hours
Why you should watch it: We’ve seen plenty of naughty comedies in the past, but none of them excavate the triumphs and traumas of pubescent adolescence quite as fearlessly or uproariously as Big Mouth. Season 2 premieres in full October 5.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours
Why you should watch it: Fresh off Amazon’s Emmys-sweep with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, now’s as good a time as ever to go back and discover some other standouts in the streaming service’s catalog. First thing we’d suggest is The Man in the High Castle. Epic and engrossing — not to mention timely — it takes viewers into an utterly foreign world that still hits a little too close to today’s political climate for comfort (the way that so many of TV’s very finest manage to do). Season 3 premieres October 5.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: Approx. 20 hours
Why you should watch it: A refreshing take on Asian Americans for the small screen? Check. Well-earned laughs from a trio of talented young actors? Check. A heaping dose of ’90s nostalgia? Check. And the combined powers of the hilarious Park and Constance Wu (now of Crazy Rich Asians fame)? Check and check. Need we say more? Season 5 premieres October 5.
Commitment: Approx. 22 hours
Why you should watch it: Doctor Who is making a case for being one of those timeless sci-fi properties that’s earned a devout following akin to Star Wars or Star Trek. The decades-spanning series always finds ways to one-up itself, and with Jodie Whittaker appearing as the first female Doctor this season, there’s never been a better time to jump aboard. Season 11 premieres October 7 — to get ready, we recommend you begin with the 2005 relaunch.
Commitment: Approx. 90 hours
Why you should watch it: One of cable’s highest rated dramas returns with its season 9 premiere on October 7. Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series developed by creator Frank Darabont indulges in gore and “what if” fascinations. These are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust. (That’s admittedly part of the fun, too.)
Commitment: Approx. 86 hours
Why you should watch it: If you’re a fan of the Greg Berlanti–led DC Comics universe on The CW, then you know what you’re in for here, and you’ll love Black Lightning. But this series goes one step further by being an awesome first of its kind, spotlighting not only black superheroes on the small screen, but LGBTQ ones, as well. Season 2 premieres on October 8.
Commitment: Approx. 9.5 hours
Why you should watch it: You don’t gain an adoring following like that of The Flash without bringing edge-of-your-seat action and suspense, lovable characters and story arcs, and pitch-perfect performances week to week. Season 5 premieres October 8.
Commitment: Approx. 66 hours
Why you should watch it: We’ll say it: Riverdale ranks among the best teen dramas to come out of The CW since Gossip Girl, and it deserves the viewership and brand ubiquity to match. It’s the classic Archie we know with a heaping of sex appeal and a dash of True Detective. What’s not to love? Season 3 premieres October 10.
Commitment: Approx. 25.5 hours
Why you should watch it: Whatever you do, don’t be put off by the series’ title — even if you’ve got one! Starring as Rebecca, Rachel Bloom is a musical genius, concocting show-stopping comedic melodies inspired by the best of Broadway and Top 40 week after week. And as if the comedy’s song-and-dance wasn’t entertaining enough, it’s buoyed by excellent performances and tight, creative scripts that tackle everything from broken hearts to mental health. Last season got especially dark, and we love it all the more for continuing to break the mold. Season 4 premieres October 12.
Commitment: Approx. 30 hours
Why you should watch it: It took until the second season for this DC Comics series to really nail down its tone with star Melissa Benoist and crew, but there’s no doubt that it now ranks as one of the most formidable hour-long outings in the superheroic comics-to-screen universe. Plus some behind-the-scenes trivia: Benoist is fresh off a Broadway run as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. We love a multi-talented Supergirl! Season 4 premieres October 14.
Commitment: Approx. 45 hours
Why you should watch it: Arrow is the series that first kickstarted the DC Comics universe for Berlanti and The CW, and for six seasons now, it hasn’t let up the fun. Season 7 premieres October 15.
Commitment: Approx. 102 hours
Why you should watch it: Creator Kenya Barris is one of those writers who just goes there. Even in what some would call the confines of network TV — which, incidentally, has been seen pushing up against him this last year — he conjures stories in the sitcom structure that are resonant, timely, and fearless. Plus, they’ll make you laugh, too! Tracy Ellis Ross and Anderson are especially show-stealing. Season 5 premieres October 16.
Commitment: Approx. 35 hours
Why you should watch it: As the first Marvel original series venture on Netflix, Daredevil had a lot buzz and high expectations to live up to. We’re glad to report that it did and then some. Certainly among the best-executed comic adaptations for TV to date, it’s gritty, character-driven, and entertaining. Watch the first two seasons followed by The Defenders season 1 before diving into Daredevil season 3, which premieres Oct. 19.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 34 hours
Why you should watch it: When Ray Donovan premiered on Showtime in 2013, it promised the arrival of an exciting new anti-hero. It’s since stayed true to that promise and hasn’t let up, bringing us into the hidden underbelly of Los Angelean elite and slowly unveiling the many layers of a complicated and troubled man. Season 6 premieres October 28.
Commitment: Approx. 52 hours
(Photo by ABC/Kurt Iswarienkio; Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani; Cara Howe/Netflix; Richard Ducree/The CW; Katie Yu/The CW)
Sometimes the major heroes of television shows based on comic books just need some support. It can be in the form of a best friend, a worthy opponent, a character to carry a secondary plot or someone just to be there and literally tell the main character that they’re doing a great job. Characters can start out as the latter and emerge as fan favorites. They can also remain on the periphery of the frame, offering commentary or a key piece of info. And then there are also a few who are just criminally underutilized.
So let’s celebrate the characters who help make the heroes look good, be they guests, recurring parts, or reliable presences. Here are a few of the best supporting characters in 2018.
In some ways, it is a cheat to bring the superlative Carl Lumbly onto Supergirl as J’onn J’onzz’s (David Harewood) father M’yrrn. But as Lumbly defined the role of the Martian Manhunter on television – he voiced J’onn in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series – it was also fitting to bring that persona of dignity and gravitas to the part.
In doing so, it opened up M’yrnn to a wealth of new experiences and some of the best moments in Supergirl’s third season. His delight in discovering coffee, his karaoke night with the gang, and J’onn’s attempt to give them more of a family life by moving them both out of the DEO and into an apartment all revealed added and welcome dimensions for both characters. Sadly, Lumbly and M’yrnn were not to be permanent additions, as the writing team saw fit to almost immediately give the character a degenerative brain disease. But even as that story line continued to its inevitable conclusion, both performer and character embraced their scripted fate with dignity and a performance far beyond the material as written.
As opposed to his comic-book counterpart, it is easy to imagine the Herr Starr of AMC’s Preacher would like a quiet retirement. Despite being the most efficient and ruthless agent of The Grail, the strain it puts on him is easy to see even as he carries out its directives. It is also the underlying reason why he’d rather see Jesse (Dominic Cooper) become the Messiah over The Grail’s inbred scion Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter). Granted, any sane person would make that choice as well, even in the insane world of the show.
But for all his motivations and skills, the guy can’t catch a break and finds himself forever at Jesse’s heels, even when he should have the upperhand. That said, it seems he finally has a way to hold sway over Jesse thanks to a deal with Gran’ma Marie (Betty Buckley) and the ever-present carrot of Jesse’s Genesis-infused soul. Will he finally get everything he wants exactly how he wants it?
Well, if the show follows even just 10 percent of Starr’s story from the comics, it seems unlikely. Nonetheless, it makes Starr the best of the supporting foils on Preacher.
As the top lawman in Purgatory, Sheriff Nedly would like nothing more than to see the town resume its sleepy ways. But that’s really a front, as he has always known Purgatory and the surrounding Ghost River Triangle is a magnet for supernatural happenings. He does his best to keep the strange incidents Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) and her friends get into from becoming public knowledge. And while initially standoffish with Black Badge Division agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson), he ultimately embraced his presence as another line of defense against the demonic forces in the region. He also proved to be an able mentor to Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell), a woman who, like Nedly, seems destined to tangle with the unexplained.
And yet, Nedly faces those horrors with a quip and that gruff, irritable manner we saw in the first season — even if he has become something of a teddy bear to the main cast. He faced down the widows of Sheriff Clootie by asking if they were Pokemon and had, perhaps, the best reaction to being glamored by vampires by dropping his irascible facade entirely and embracing an ascot. Nedly may not be a constant presence on the show, but he is definitely welcome whenever he appears.
(Photo by David Giesbrecht/Netflix)
Malcolm has come so far since his days as Killgrave’s (David Tennant) victim and Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) junkie neighbor; in fact, this may even be the last time he will still be considered a “supporting character.”
While The Defenders and the early parts of Jessica Jones’ second season saw him dutifully fulfilling his self-appointed role as her sidekick, we soon saw Malcolm’s own innate detective skills and sense of justice leading him away from Jessica. In his spare time, he replaced his drug habit with a long string of hook-ups, leading to a one-night stand with Trish (Rachael Taylor) that both seemed to regret in the end.
And though moving away from Jessica as a truly supporting player, his emerging B-Plot highlighted one of Jessica’s big faults – her inability to embrace people – while defining him as one of the best characters in the second season. Sadly, his success meant he had to leave Alias Investigations entirely for a rival P.I. firm and stealing away Jessica’s best client, Jeri Hogarth (Carrie Anne Moss). Hopefully, it will work out for Malcolm and, just maybe, he and Jessica will mend things before too long.
(Photo by )
When Ashe was first announced as a new permanent member of the Legends team, the character was said to be something of a foil for the established characters. But when she finally debuted, she quickly went from criticizing the ne’er-do-wells’ habit of making situations worse to munching on kettle corn while watching them do it. But considering she came from a 2042 in which A.R.G.U.S. turned the United States into an anti-metahuman police state in which food was scarce, it makes absolute sense she would abuse the Waverider’s food replicator and collection of video games.
Though haunted by the death of her brother in 2041 and stand-offish with the team for the first few months, Zari finally embraced them as friends after spending an incalculable amount of time inside a time-loop which reset with the Waverider exploding. While still sarcastic and occasionally emotionally distant, Zari accepted the ship as home, aiding the team in fashioning a Beebo doll powerful enough to stop the demon Mallus.
And even though the treat to her life from Mallus was over, she choose to remain with the Legends. We’re definitely glad she did.
(Photo by Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)
Making her presence felt in the second episode of Cloak & Dagger as an almost completely silent detective, O’Reilly quickly distinguished herself as an upstanding officer of the law. With a keen eye for detection — she knew almost instantly that Tandy Bowen’s (Olivia Holt) first stabbing was in self-defense — and a true sense of justice — she chaffed after being told she could not pursue Tandy’s case any further — she quickly became Tandy and Tyrone Johnson’s (Aubrey Joseph) only real support; in fact, she was more supportive of the two than they were of each other.
When neither the light-wielding Tandy nor the darkness-controlling Tyrone could turn to their parents, she became the go-to adult. But as viewers saw, her willingness to bend some laws for a greater good or even do a line of coke for pleasure and business suggests she is more than just a good cop, making her a rough balance of the Johnsons’ tendency toward precise order and Melissa Bowen’s (Andrea Roth) love affair with chaos. Created by Bill Mantlo in the first issue of Cloak & Dagger in 1985, O’Reilly was always a supporting character for the duo. Including after she died and became something else – a change in status seemingly teased in the closing moments of the show’s first season.
For some, The Walking Dead never quite worked because Morgan was missing for so long. Debuting in the first episode as a distraught man readying himself to shoot his zombified wife’s corpse, James made a staggering impression in what was his only appearance until a single episode in season 3. The character remained alive in the story via a walky-talky and Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) constant attempts to give him some clue of where his group was headed.
But when the pair finally reunited in season 5, Morgan was a changed man. His journey to Alexandria was not an easy one, and it saw his strength collapse into profound grief over the loss of his family and a willingness to kill anyone who got in his way. Eventually, he met a man who helped him recover some of his humanity. After which, he choose to find Rick.
Despite learning a way of peace, events since joining Rick’s group have led him back to violence. Still suffering from PTSD, the control Morgan thought he had wavered in the face of the world Rick and other groups were building. Consequently, he began to kill again and later suffered hallucinations of some of his victims. When last seen, Morgan appeared ready to leave the group and heal.
Now, on Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan is maintaining his wish to be alone while healing, even if he’s coming to understand that isolation is just not practical. To those he encounters, he’s something of a soothsayer, but it may just be a matter of time before Morgan resumes the way of violence.
(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)
If there is one character on Riverdale who genuinely remains in the support category, it’s Kevin Keller. While presented as important part of the gang – he is Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) confidant – he is not one of the main four and often finds himself either aiding Betty or offering quippy commentary on the events of the week while passing through the halls of Riverdale High. Early in the second season, the Black Hood story line dovetailed with Kevin’s penchant for cruising, but it was dropped before anything truly meaningful could come of it, and that’s despite Kevin’s decision to come out to his father.
Nonetheless, Kevin is always around to back up the gang or literally set the stage with his production of Carrie: The Musical. And his continued presence as a supporting player may be rewarded in the third season as he and Josie (Ashleigh Murray) – another underutilized character – find themselves living under one roof when their parents decide they should become a family. Hopefully, it will lead to more of a presence for Kevin (and Josie) going forward.
After all these years, it is difficult to remember a time when Mack was an agent of a rival version of S.H.I.E.L.D., looking to steal Nick Fury’s Toolbox from Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). But as the show looked back on itself during season 5, Mack’s original status on the show underscores where he is now – the resident healthy skeptic. Even after traveling through time, experiencing another life in a computer and becoming possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance, Mack is always the first to call shenanigans on any new ridiculous threat or tech the team encounters.
But even as a plant, Mack endeared himself quickly by becoming Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) interpreter while he recovered from brain trauma and an indispensable part of Coulson’s core team when the two S.H.I.E.L.D.s merged late in the second season. Not that it’s been easy for him. He’s tried to quit multiple times and always ends up with more responsibilities as a consequence. He also carries the memory of a child he lost in real life and in that computer simulation, and his relationship with Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) has hit one of its roughest patches going into the sixth season. Through it all, Mack perseveres, though. Sometimes thanks to his faith — he’s also the only truly religious member of the team — and sometimes because he’s the guy holding the shotgun-axe.
Though Black Lightning is still a young series – its first season ran 13 episodes – it worked hard to get to places some of its CW brethren would reach far later in their runs. Consequently, the show opens with a team practically assembled already – the Pierce family; in fact, a threat to the family forces Jefferson (Cress Williams) into taking up his Black Lightning identity again.
But in the subsequent weeks, younger daughter Jennifer distinguished herself as a character to watch. While headstrong, she is not necessarily bratty. And in those times when her antics are the legitimate actions of a brat, she always finds a way to square things with Jefferson, her mother Lynn (Christine Adams) or older sister Anissa (Nafessa Williams). Despite being the odd one out in the family, the bond she felt for them was strong and always workable. And that’s before the onset of her powers.
Once her abilities emerged, and her family learned about them, Jennifer became one of the most intriguing characters on the show because she did not want them. Finally revealing that she wants “a normal life,” she took a key step toward maturity and defining who she will be even as it seems she has embraced her powers.
While much of the talk about Luke Cage’s second season centered on new villain John McIver — aka Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) — the show-stealing Mariah Dillard elevated the program in unexpected ways; for one, Bushmaster’s real conflict was with the former councilwoman and criminal mastermind. Luke (Mike Colter) just kept pushing his way into the crossfire. The character’s attempts to go legitimate underscored the legacy of her grandmother and the ugly truth about her daughter Tilda Johnson (Gabrielle Dennis), revealing the real theme of the season while also giving Mariah a layered relationship with Shades (Theo Rossi). As Bushmaster unraveled Mariah’s schemes and pushed her closer and closer to the Stokes legacy, so too did Mariah’s ability to maintain her composure and lie convincingly to those closest to her.
Add a legitimately award-worthy performance by Woodard and you get a stunningly complex look at a woman on the brink of getting everything she wanted, but failing to get it or the peace she was really looking to find. Even in her final acts, she chose to be vindictive instead of resolving her remaining grief with Luke or Tilda.
(Photo by DC Universe)
The Comic-Con International: San Diego programming schedule is a mammoth list of competing ideas and events for fans of movies, television, animation, games, cosplay, and, yes, comic books. It is also an exciting look at the sort of experiences con-goers will find themselves lining up for next week. For those at home, it also offers a glimpse at some of the videos they might be watching on Twitter and YouTube soon after. And as the convention becomes more and more focused on television – and TV based on comic books – learning about all of those events could be a troublesome task. But we’ve sifted through the schedule to give you this round-up of the panels, presentations, and Q&As about your favorite comic book shows taking place across the week.
The upcoming series of animated shorts brings together Quake (voiced by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Chloe Bennet), Squirrel Girl (Milana Vayntrub), Ms. Marvel (Kathreen Khavari), and Patriot (Kamil McFadden) to form a new supergroup for a new generation. The session will feature the voice cast and Marvel’s Cort Lane, Marsha Griffin, and Sana Amanat as they offer a sneak peek at the series and, quite possibly, make a special announcement.
Time & Location: 3:15 p.m. in Room 6DE
For Those At Home: If the sneak peek includes one of the first Marvel Rising shorts, it may end up online shortly after the panel.
(Photo by Netflix)
Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel’s TV division, and “surprise guests” will offer the first inside look at the second season of Iron Fist. Considering the thoroughly rebooted Danny Rand (Finn Jones) seen in the second season of Luke Cage, it will be interesting to see if the new year – and new showrunner Raven Metzner – will follow through on that promise as both he and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) take to defending downtown.
Time & Location: 6 p.m. in Ballroom 20
For Those At Home: A trailer almost seems like a given, as well as a release date announcement.
It is now a Comic-Con tradition for the two shows to do back-to-back panels and 2018 will be no exception. During Fear’s hour, members of the cast like Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Lennie James, and Danay Garcia – alongside FX wizard Greg Nicotero, showrunners Andrew Chambliss, and Ian Goldberg and executive producers Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and Dave Alpert – will discuss the road so far and what to expect when the show returns in August. In the second hour, Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang and stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan will offer their insights into the upcoming ninth season of the long-running zombie series. Both sessions will include fan Q&As in which cast and crew will deftly avoid spoilers.
Time & Location: 11:15 a.m. in Hall H
For Those At Home: Another Walking Dead tradition is the intense season previews, which generally appear on AMC’s YouTube page before the panel ends.
(Photo by Warner Bros. Animation)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’s Lauren Faust brings the DC Super Hero Girls brand to Cartoon Network in a new animated series focused on teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl. Faust and other members of the creative team will offer a first look at the new show.
Time & Location: 12:20 p.m. in Room 6DE
For Those At Home: It would be quite surprising if a clip from the show did not surface after the presentation.
(Photo by Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy)
As the series’ third season debuts on the same day, the stars of Wynonna Earp, showrunner Emily Andras and creator Beau Smith will present a special screening of the premiere, “Blood Red and Going Down.”
Time & Location: 5 p.m. at the Horton Grand Theater
For Those At Home: Sadly, this one sounds like a genuine Comic-Con exclusive. But as the episode airs the same night – and, in fact, also airs during a special preview on Monday, July 16 – Earpers will be in the know and ready to discuss the episode on Twitter.
(Photo by Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)
Stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Emma Lahana, Ally Maki, and showrunner Joe Pokaski will present “never-before-seen footage” and take audience questions. Since it is the show’s first convention panel following its debut in June, you can bet fans of the show will be ready to ask about the changes to the traditional Cloak & Dagger.
Time & Location: 5:45 p.m. in Ballroom 20
For Those At Home: That never-before-seen footage may make its way to Freeform’s YouTube channel, but it will be surprising if it is anything different from the episode preview seen during the show’s regular timeslot.
(Photo by Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)
Stars Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, and Joseph Gilgun join executive producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and showrunner Sam Catlin for a talk about the current state of play going into season 3’s halfway point. Expect to hear about the Tombs, the Allfather, and maybe even some of God’s plan for Jesse. Or maybe the cast will talk about what they had for dinner.
Time & Location: 7:30 p.m. in Hall H
For Those At Home: Since the season will be at the midway point, you might expect some sort of extended trailer for the latter half. Or an extended “next week on Preacher” promo.
(Photo by The CW)
The series makes its Comic-Con return for an “electrifying look” at the upcoming second season. Stars like Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, and Christine Adams are scheduled to appear alongside showrunner Salim Akil.
Time & Location: 11 a.m. in Ballroom 20
For Those At Home: As these panels often occur before production resumes on the show, it is possible the video presentation will not be available online later. But if they have begun shooting, you may find a season 2 sizzle reel online before too long. Meanwhile, more than few people are hoping an Arrowverse crossover announcement will emerge from the Q&A.
(Photo by Steffan Hill/Syfy)
Cast members Cameron Cuffe, Ann Ogbomo, Wallis Day, and Shaun Sipos alongside showrunner Cameron Welsh and DC Entertainment’s Dan Evans will take a look back at the surprising first season and tease what is to come in the program’s second year.
Time & Location: 12 p.m. in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel
For Those At Home: Like Black Lightning, the chances of a trailer depend entirely on whether or not they resumed production in time. But there is a good chance a season 2 casting announcement may be made.
The cast and crew of the new Big Hero 6 television series will discuss bringing the movie’s characters to television and offer some never-before-seen clips from the series. With Scott Adsit reprising his role as Baymax, you can expect a lot of his responses to have a certain gentle, robotic tone to them.
Time & Location: 12:30 p.m. in Room 6A.
For Those At Home: That never-before-seen footage might be available online at some point.
(Photo by Miller Mobley/FOX)
Executive producers Matt Nix and Jeph Loeb, and stars Stephen Moyer, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind, and Skyler Samuels intend to offer an extended first look at the upcoming second season and, most likely, answer fan questions about certain characters’ choices in the season 1 finale.
Time & Location: 2:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20
For Those At Home: You can be sure that first-look video will be uploaded to YouTube before too long.
(Photo by Robert Voets/Warner Bros)
Another Comic-Con tradition is the Arrowverse’s absolute takeover of Ballroom 20 on Saturday afternoon. All four shows offer fans ample opportunities for questions and special sneak peeks of their upcoming seasons. Cast and producers will be on hand to tease future events and maybe even reveal more information on Batwoman, who will make her Arrowverse debut in this year’s crossover event.
Time & Location: 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20
For Those At Home: The CW is pretty good at getting their sizzle reels onto its YouTube page fairly quickly, but it remains to be seen how much new footage each show will have to share.
The upcoming SYFY series based on the comic book by Remender and Wes Craig will make its Comic-Con debut. Both will be on hand with castmembers like Benjamin Wadsworth and Benedict Wong and showrunners Miles Orion Feldsott and Mick Betancourt to offer a sneak peek of the series, due out in 2019.
Time & Location: 6 p.m. in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel
For Those At Home: Unless the sneak peek ends up being the full pilot episode, expect to see the video sooner rather than later.
(Photo by Syfy)
Stars Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell, Varun Saranga, Chantel Riley, showrunner Emily Andras, and comic book creator Beau Smith return to Comic-Con for the third lovefest dedicated to everyone’s favorite Revenant hunter. While there is the promise of exclusive material, the panel usually becomes an opportunity for fans to offer their heartfelt praise to the cast and crew.
Time & Location: 6:45 p.m. in Room 6DE.
For Those At Home: Traditionally, the cast and crew have announced the show’s renewal at the Comic-Con panel. Fans are hoping it will be three-for-three and what better news can you give the Earpers at home?
Riverdale takes over Hall H for the first time as cast and crew convene to discuss the implications of Archie’s (KJ Apa) arrest at the end of the second season. The hour also promises to include a special video presentation and a fan Q&A in which some fans will attempt to learn star Cole Sprouse’s relationship status.
Time & Location: 11:45 a.m. in Hall H
For Those At Home: Should that video presentation offer a very early look at season 2, that footage will be repurposed and uploaded for all to see in the fullness of time.
Time & Location: 1:30 p.m. in Room 6A
Marvel Senior Vice President for Animation and Family Entertainment Cort Lane will offer a preview of the upcoming seasons of Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest and Marvel’s Spider-Man. Sneak peeks and surprises are also promised.
For Those At Home: Marvel tends to be pretty good about getting clips and trailers up quickly.
(Photo by Suzanne Tenner/FX)
Series creator Noah Hawley, executive producers John Cameron, Marvel Televison’s Jeph Loeb, and members of the cast will discuss season 2’s shocking revelations and tease things to come in season 3.
Time & Location: 2:15 p.m. in Hall H
For Those At Home: Considering Legion is in between production blocks, it seems unlikely any new footage will be available during the event or afterward.
And outside the convention center, DC Universe will offer a larger-than-life installation to fans centered on the shows and other content the upcoming streaming service will offer later this fall. Guests of the DC Universe Experience will visit Dick Grayson’s loft from Titans, peruse the lab of Doom Patrol’s Dr. Niles Caulder, avoid the deadly virus of Swamp Thing, create some chaos with Harley Quinn, and examine some rare DC Comics artwork and memorabilia not usually available to the public. The experience will be open throughout the convention from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 22). Fans attending the con can pre-register at dcuniverse.com.
Location: Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 401 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101
For Those At Home: This one is a genuine Comic-Con exclusive.
Be sure to check out Rotten Tomatoes’ own live event during Comic-Con, Your Opinion Sucks! It’s the ultimate fans vs. critics face off, and you can watch it live in San Diego or on video at Rotten Tomatoes.
Halloween is nigh upon us, and ’tis the season for ghoulish celebrations. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a handy list of well-reviewed movies and TV shows you can stream on Netflix right now, in case you want to get a head start on the spooky festivities. Whether you’re looking for a classic slasher flick, a pyschological thriller, a horror comedy, or even something you can watch with the kids, we’ve got you covered. See below for all of the selections.
(Photo by Magnet Releasing)
This follow-up to the 2013 omnibus film features 26 horror segments — one for each letter of the alphabet — helmed by 26 different directors.
(Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX)
Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series boasts spooky environs, provocative themes, and top-notch acting from Jessica Lange, Dylan McDermott, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto, and Frances Conroy. Seasons 1-6 are available to stream.
(Photo by IFC Midnight)
Writer-director Jennifer Kent’s Golden Tomato Award-winning horror film tells the deeply unnerving story a widow and her six-year-old who are bedeviled by a storybook monster.
(Photo by IFC Midnight)
This Turkish horror film tells the terrifying tale of a group of cops who stumble into an otherworldly realm.
(Photo by Joe Lederer/A&E)
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, and Olivia Cooke star in this reimagining of Norman Bates’ teenage years — those carefree days before he took over the family business and had to deal with constant nagging from Mother. Seasons 1-4 are available.
Arguably considered the first true horror film, this silent era classic tells the story of a traveling hypnotist with a murderous secret.
(Photo by The Orchard)
A film archivist discovers that the home he shares with his family was the site of a brutal murder and soon finds himself terrorized by evil visions and a dark presence in this Irish import.
(Photo by Netflix)
This Netflix animated series based on the classic video game franchise centers on the last in a long line of monster hunters, who attempts to keep his country safe from a vengeful vampire.
(Photo by Warner Brothers courtesy Everett Collection)
Tim Burton’s first foray into stop-motion animation follows a young groom-to-be named Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp) who unwittingly marries an undead woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) while practicing his wedding vows.
(Photo by RADiUS-TWC)
Mark Duplass and director Patrick Brice star in Brice’s psychological thriller about an amateur videographer who agrees to film a man who lives in the woods for a day, only to discover the man may not be all that he seems.
(Photo by Allen Fraser/Universal Pictures)
The latest installment of the long-running horror franchise finds the demonic doll terrorizing a woman in an asylum, while his old nemesis attempts to save her.
(Photo by IFC Midnight)
This horror-tinged drama centers on two people who travel to a remote house to experiment with occult rituals.
(Photo by MPI Media)
While trying to escape their restrictive lives, two teens in a heavy metal band perform a piece of forbidden music that unlocks the gates of hell.
(Photo by Bernard Hunt/IFC Midnight)
After witnessing what she believes is a murder on an internet video chat site, a young grad student decides to investigate it herself and becomes the next victim.
(Photo by IFC Midnight)
Ethan Embry and Shiri Appleby star as a couple who move with their daughter into a new home, where the husband — and a deranged former resident who returns to terrorize them — is haunted by mysterious voices.
(Photo by Mélusine Productions)
Edgar Allan Poe’s dark words come to life in this animated anthology including stories such as “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” narrated by the likes of Christopher Lee and Guillermo Del Toro.
(Photo by Magnet Releasing)
This indie horror film centers on the immensely disturbing life led by a young woman after a shattering act of violence.
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Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood star in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix original adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a woman who is left chained to a bed when a sex game with her husband goes tragically wrong.
(Photo by Columbia Pictures)
Jack Black stars in this fantasy adventure as author R.L. Stine, whose various Goosebumps creations come to life and terrorize his town. He must team up with his daughter and next door neighbor to stop the madness.
(Photo by IFC Midnight)
In this thriller from the UK, a young family moves in to a secluded house, disturbing an ancient evil that resides in the woods nearby.
(Photo by Vertical Entertainment)
Henry Rollins stars in this horror comedy about a grizzled depressive who literally cannot expire.
(Photo by New World Releasing courtesy Everett Collection)
Clive Barker’s 1987 feature debut is a grisly affair that takes full advantage of his twisted imagination and births a memorable villain.
(Photo by Magnolia Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)
South Korea’s highest grossing film ever at the time of its release, The Host is director Bong Joon-ho’s breakout film, a sci-fi monster flick that combines scares, laughs, and satire in service of a popcorn flick as entertaining as it is intellectually satisfying.
(Photo by Xlrator Media)
In this horror comedy from New Zealand, a woman sentenced to home confinement discovers her house is occupied by a malevolent spirit.
(Photo by Intrepid Pictures)
Kate Siegel plays a young deaf author living alone who is terrorized by a masked killer (John Gallagher Jr.)… who then turns the tables on her attacker.
(Photo by Drafthouse Films)
A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions.
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Maika Monroe stars as a suburban Michigan teen who becomes infected with a malevolent spirit after a sexual encounter, and it won’t stop pursuing her until she gives it to someone else — or dies.
(Photo by Diyah Pera/The CW)
In this CW series loosely based on the DC comic, Rose McIver stars as Liv, a zombie who helps police solve murders by eating dead victims’ brains and absorbing their memories. Seasons 1-3 are available.
(Photo by Magnet Releasing courtesy Everett Collection)
Scoot McNairy stars in this a low-budget sci-fi thriller about an attempt by the millitary to contain quarantined alien life.
(Photo by Jonathan Hession/Showtime)
Eva Green and Timothy Dalton lead an ensemble cast in Showtime’s gothic supernatural drama, which draws characters from classic literature like Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and Dracula. All three seasons are available.
(Photo by Focus World)
This unusual horror/dark comedy/coming-of-age film centers on a lifelong vegetarian who discovers a taste for raw meat during her first year of veterinary school.
(Photo by Haut Et Court/Canal +/Sundance Channel)
This French series, which aired in the US on SundanceTV and was subsequently remade in English, follows a small mountain community where the deceased begin reappearing, accompanied by unexplained supernatural phenomena. Both seasons are available.
(Photo by Erica Parise/Netflix)
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star in this Netflix original horror-comedy about a suburban couple dealing with the wife’s sudden appetite for human flesh.
Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, and John Heard star in this eerily plausible sci-fi adventure about a devastating storm that facilitates a shark attack on Los Angeles.
Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Walken star in Tim Burton’s take on the classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.
(Photo by GlassEyePix/IFC Films)
Directed by Jim Mickle, Stake Land is a post-apocalyptic indie horror road movie about vampire hunters that’s brimming with atmosphere.
(Photo by MPI Media Group)
This sci-fi horror hybrid tells the tale of an ambitious actress who is unwittingly enlisted by a sinister organization for a strange performance.
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This wildly popular Netflix original series follows a group of precocious teens in a small Indiana town in 1983 as they attempt to make sense of the supernatural phenomena happening around them. Season 1 is available now, and season 2 is set to drop on October 27.
(Photo by Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)
The demon-hunting Winchester brothers (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) continue their quest to fight evil wherever they find it in this long-running CW horror series. Seasons 1-12 are available to stream.
(Photo by Weinstein Company courtesy Everett Collection)
Jess Weixler stars in this tongue-in-cheek horror comedy about a teenager who discovers she has teeth in her vagina. Yes, you read that correctly.
(Photo by Gravitas Ventures)
This psychological thriller centers on a man who is convinced the world is on the verge of being overtaken by demons and attempts to hide his fear from a friend. Is he going mad, or is it real?
(Photo by Well Go USA Entertainment)
This apocalyptic action-horror film from South Korea follows a group of passengers on a commuter train fighting to survive a zombie outbreak.
(Photo by Strand Releasing)
This thriller follows a trouble teen fascinated by vampires who meets another outcast and forms a potentially fraught bond with her.
(Photo by Magnet Releasing courtesy Everett Collection)
This Norwegian found footage horror comedy follows a group of college students in pursuit of a suspected bear poacher who instead stumble upon an unexpected discovery.
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This acclaimed horror hybrid from debuting writer-director Babak Anvari is set in war-torn Tehran and centers on a mother and daughter who may or may not be suffering from the presence of a Djinn.
(Photo by Screen Media Films)
This horror film centers on the supernatural chaos that erupts after a policeman discovers a dying man and rushes him to treatment at a nearby hospital.
(Photo by Well Go USA)
This South Korean horror drama centers on a small town reeling from a series of brutal murders after the arrival of a mysterious stranger.
(Photo by Frank Ockenfels/AMC)
Thoughtful and gory in equal measure, AMC’s wildly popular action drama follows the lives of a handful of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Seasons 1-7 are available.
(Photo by Dark Sky Films)
Writer/director Ted Geoghegan makes a strong, stylish feature debut with this horror story about a grieving couple who move to a secluded home after the tragic death of their son; little do they know that their new home has a bloody past.
(Photo by New Line Cinema)
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a self-conscious meta deconstruction of horror films that also happens to be one of the strongest entries in the Freddy Krueger saga.
Where does season 4’s heartbreaking episode “The Grove” stand compared to season 5’s emotional premiere “No Sanctuary“? Find out in our infographic tracking the Tomatometer score of every episode of The Walking Dead so far.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC
It’s the end of the year and, as we see it, you have two choices: waste hours of your life trying to find fun, or enjoy hours of your life, bringing the fun to your living room. To facilitate the latter, we’ve put together a list of the best TV marathons happening this week so you can ring in the new year with style! (And by style, we mean footie pajamas and central heating.)
Ash vs. Evil Dead Marathon
Starz, Monday, Dec. 28 through Wednesday, Dec. 30, starting at 9 p.m.
TV’s favorite chin (sorry, Jay Leno) is getting his own TV marathon, starting tonight when Starz will play every episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead starring Bruce Campbell. For three nights this week, catch three half-hour episodes of Sam Raimi‘s cult classic rebooted for TV just in time for Saturday’s season one finale!
The Walking Dead and Fear Marathons
AMC, Tuesday, Dec. 29, starting at 2 p.m.
For that niche group of doomsday’ers who believe that with the New Year comes the end of the world, feast on the fall of humanity with a mega TWD marathon, which will include every episode since the beginning of season two (not sure why they skipped the six hours of season one, but you can watch them now on Netflix), and wrapping up with the latest episode, “Start to Finish.” The marathon will also feature all six episodes of Fear the Walking Dead.
Mr. Robot Marathon
USA Network, Tuesday, Dec. 29, starting at 11 p.m.
Watch every episode of the first season of Mr. Robot, considered by critics everywhere to be one of the best shows of 2015. Whether you’re meeting Elliot for the first time, or giving fsociety a second look, this is one marathon that’s sure to keep you questioning everything into the New Year.
The Twilight Zone Marathon
Syfy, Wednesday, Dec. 30, starting at 7 p.m.
For its 21st annual marathon of The Twilight Zone, Syfy will air all 156 episodes of Rod Serling’s legendary TV series chronologically in HD — a first for the network. If you can’t make time for the entire 87-hour marathon, be sure to DVR “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” starring William Shatner and “The Encounter” starring George Takei. Other highlights include “Time Enough At Last,” “Living Doll,” “To Serve Man,” and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”
Breaking Bad Weekly Marathons
SundanceTV, starting Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m.
Here’s a marathon you can savor for weeks to come. Beginning on Dec. 30, SundanceTV will run four episodes of the highly-acclaimed series Breaking Bad starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul every week in chronological order until they air all five seasons (which, by our count, should take you all the way through April). Not a bad start to the year — by the time you finish the marathon, it’s already a third over. Yeah, bitch!
The Twilight Zone (2002) Marathon
El Rey Network, Thursday, Dec. 31, starting at 6 a.m.
Black and white not your thing? El Rey is hosting a 24-hour marathon of the 2002 remake of The Twilight Zone, which aired for just one season on UPN and featured host Forest Whitaker in the Rod Serling role as narrator. Be sure to look out for “One Night at Mercy,” starring Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander as Death; “The Pool Guy” with Lou Diamond Phillips as the titular pool cleaner; and “Cradle of Darkness,” featuring Katherine Heigl on a time-traveling mission to kill baby Hitler.
Doctor Who Marathon
BBC America, Thursday, Dec. 31, at 6 a.m.
It’s a bit of a random sampling over 24 hours, but after this year’s stellar season, who doesn’t want more Doctor Who? This New Year’s Eve marathon will feature episodes from series two and three, plus a smattering of holiday specials, including “Voyage of the Damned,” “The Next Doctor,” “The Snowman,” and “The Husbands of River Song.”
The Thin Man Marathon
TCM, Thursday, Dec. 31, starting at 5 p.m.
Make your New Year’s timeless with TCM’s marathon of Thin Man movies, starring Myrna Loy and William Powell as master husband-and-wife sleuthing team Nick and Nora Charles. The network will run all six classic films, starting with The Thin Man, and following with After the Thin Man, Another Thin Man, Shadow of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home, and Song of the Thin Man.
“The Simpsons New Year’s Resolutions” Marathon
FXX, Thursday, Dec. 31, starting at 6 p.m.
Kicking off with The Simpsons Movie, FXX will ring in the New Year, Springfield-style, with 30 hours of resolution-themed programming featuring Marge, Homer, and the rest of the gang as they make life-changing decisions over a 27-season time period.
The A-Team Marathon
Encore Classic, Thursday, Dec. 31, starting at 7 p.m.
We pity the fool who misses this 24-hour marathon featuring a “crack commando unit” who survives the Los Angeles underground by working as soldiers of fortune. Highlights include a guest-star appearance from Hulk Hogan and Murdoch’s big win on Wheel of Fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help — and if you can find them — maybe you can binge-watch The A-Team.
Even with over 20 new shows premiering in September (not to mention all the existing series returning with new seasons), we can’t blame you for wanting to binge whole seasons of tried-and-true TV. This month, we’ve pulled together a collection of shows for your bingeing pleasure, including some off-the-radar series, and a few biggies that you need to start right now if you want to catch up before they come back!
What it is: A disparate group of people attempts to survive the zombie apocalypse; existential malaise and bloody mayhem ensues.
Why you should watch it: We’re not gonna lie: The Walking Dead has its share of dead patches and dull characters. But the basic setup is so compelling — how would you respond if the whole world went to hell? — that you’re likely to press on regardless. Plus, when it comes to creative zombie slaughter, this show can’t be beat — you get the feeling that every stabbing, every shooting, every beheading has been lovingly conceived and executed by some of the finest craftspeople in the business. Season six premieres on October 11, so you’d better start catching up now!
Commitment: 69 hours.
What it is: American Horror Story is the show that kick-started the recent anthology trend, with shows like Fargo and American Crime picking up the cue. Each season of AHS is its own horror-themed storyline (a haunted house, a demonic asylum, a home-school for young witches, a carnival freak show, and finally, this year, a terrifying hotel), often using the same cast members in different roles.
Why you should watch it: Audiences who scare easily are terrified by it. The rest of us eat it up. The shocks keep coming; if you don’t like one twist, you know there will soon be another jaw-dropper around the corner! And the most intriguing new(ish) development is the unraveling of inter-season stories that are connected with each other (most evident so far in season four). Season five premieres on FX on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Where to watch: All four seasons are available on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, and on DVD and Blu-ray. The first three seasons are also available on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix.
Commitment: 55 hours.
What it is: Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is a criminal defense attorney and professor teaching law students how to defend the accused, while tangling them up in a real-life murder mystery of their own.
Why you should watch it: Viola Davis’ Emmy-nominated performance, mixed with the twisty drama stylings of Shondaland Productions (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy) will deliver a barrage of riveting mystery right into your lap. A darker tone than Grey’s and Scandal, HTGAWM has surprised audiences with its unrelenting, austere tone, permeated with intense character drama. With the premiere of its second season coming up on September 24, you should have enough time to run through season one before things heat up again.
Commitment: 10.5 hours.
What it is: Bob and Linda Belcher run a restaurant with the help of children Tina, Gene, and Louise. Between the funeral home next door, a relentless health inspector, the children’s misadventures, and Bob‘s unreliable business strategies, the restaurant is always struggling to stay open.
Why you should watch it: Bob’s Burgers is a funny animated sitcom full of satirical and absurd situations that works both as a family and a workplace comedy. All the main characters have strong and quirky personalities, and you will quickly find yourself picking favorites. Even though the show received mixed reviews when it came out in 2011, it won critics’ praise over the time, and currently has two seasons at 100% on the Tomatometer. Season six premieres on September 27.
Commitment: 33 hours.
What it is: A man is framed by an organization known as “The Company” and sentenced to death for murdering the brother of the Vice President of the United States. His own brother then devises an elaborate plan to have himself thrown into the same prison in order to break them both out.
Why you should watch it: The show was nominated for several awards when it first premiered in 2005, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Series Drama, and is now enjoying a second life thanks to its popularity on Netflix. No matter how outrageous the plot in Prison Break, you can’t help but root for the siblings as they fight for their freedom in and out of prison over four seasons. Plus, Fox recently announced a forthcoming reboot, so now is the perfect time to lock yourself up with Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell.
Commitment: 56 hours.
What it is: A Chicago-set ensemble comedy about five guys (Mark Duplass, Stephen Rannazzisi, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Jon Lajoie) and one gal (Katie Aselton) whose obsession with fantasy football begets hilarious trash-talk, outrageous deceit, and harebrained schemes.
Why you should watch it: In a lot of ways, The League is a throwback to ’90s network sitcoms about wacky friends — only it’s been updated with the raunchiness of an FX comedy. Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm alum Jeff Schaffer created The League along with his wife, Jackie Marcus Schaffer, so you can expect intricately woven — and often absurdly conceived — plots with heavily improvised interplay skewering pop culture, friendship, parenting, sex, religion, drugs, and, of course, insane football fandom.
Commitment: 27 hours.
What it is: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a bipolar CIA agent, works overtime to prevent a terrorist attacks on American soil.
Why you should watch it: If ever there was a series that consistently left you with your mouth agape in shock at the end — and sometimes, even in the middle — of each episode, this is it. Homeland is often unbearably tense, not just because of its national security plotlines, but also because of the personalities (and often opaque motives) of its characters, who are played with aplomb by Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, and Rupert Friend. If you really put your mind to it, you might be able to get caught up before season five premieres on October 4.
Commitment: 48 hours.
What it is: Difficult People is a new comedy on Hulu, executive produced by Amy Poehler. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner star as struggling performers in New York who hate just about everyone, except each other.
Why you should watch it: Critics say the show succeeds in making the unlikable likable with mean-spirited, unhappy characters who can’t help but amuse. A talented supporting cast and an impressive array of guest spots and cameos keep the laughs up and the cringes to a minimum. Plus, Difficult People is Certified Fresh at 85 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s airing right now.
Where to watch: Difficult People is available exclusively on Hulu.
Commitment: 2.5 hours currently (new episodes are available on Wednesdays), so not difficult at all.
What it is: Robert Taylor is gruff and gritty as Sheriff Walt Longmire, a complicated hero who dutifully fights the bad guys in big sky Wyoming, following the tradition of screen cowboys John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
Why you should watch it: Blending case-of-the-week with a slow-burning multi-season arc, Longmire is the strong, silent type, thanks to fine acting from its leads — Taylor, whose character is coming to grips with his wife’s death; Katee Sackhoff as the mysterious deputy sheriff Vic Moretti; and Lou Diamond Phillips as Walt’s good friend Henry Standing Bear. Axed by A&E after three seasons (and a humdinger of a cliffhanger), Longmire will return for a fourth season on Netflix on Thursday, September 10.
Commitment: 25 hours.
What it is: Supernatural is a fantasy horror show on The CW that follows the Winchester brothers (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as they battle vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts and other monsters from the supernatural world.
Why you should watch it: The series enjoys an obsessive cult following, and the show seems to keep picking up speed like a 1967 Impala. Nine of its 10 seasons (all the ones that have a score) are Fresh on the Tomatometer, which is a credit to its consistency. Season 11 premieres on October 7, so if you binge like a bat out of hell, you might be able to catch up.
Where to watch: Seasons one through 10 are available on Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Netflix, PlayStation, Vudu, and Xbox. Seasons one through nine are available in a DVD or Blu-ray box set, and season ten is on both DVD and Blu-ray.
Commitment: Hopefully watching 215 hours of demon-hunting doesn’t scare you away.
This week on home video, we’ve got an Oscar-winning documentary, a star-studded romantic dramedy, an Oscar-nominated Criterion drama, a couple of cult classics, an oddball action flick, and a couple more. Read on for details:
Thoughtful and gory in equal measure, AMC’s wildly popular action drama follows the lives of a handful of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. You can catch up on the fifth season in time for the season six premiere on October 11.
This Academy Award-winning documentary chronicles NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s life in exile.
Marion Cotillard stars in the Dardenne brothers’ Certified Fresh, Oscar-nominated drama about a woman who tries to return to work after suffering a nervous breakdown.
In Cameron Crowe’s latest, Bradley Cooper stars as a pilot who travels to Hawaii to work for a private space firm, where he falls for fellow pilot Allison (Emma Stone) and reconnects with his ex Tracy (Rachel McAdams).
Samuel L. Jackson and Ray Stevenson star in an action adventure about a teenager who helps to save the president of the United States after Air Force One is shot down.
This Certified Fresh documentary portrait of fashion maven Iris Apfel was the final film from legendary documentarian Albert Maysles.
Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa star an action thriller about two guys on the trail of the head of a human trafficking cartel.
(In Blu-ray) Motown meets martial arts in this tale of a budding karate master in love with a DJ who happens to be a gangster’s girlfriend.
This anime cult classic — about a young girl who goes to battle against a wide variety of bizarre creatures — is sci-fi/fantasy of a decidedly gothic stripe.
Fans of The Walking Dead are eager to experience this year’s new spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, but, as writer/producer Robert Kirkman told us, audiences will not need to be familiar with the seed series in order to enjoy the new one, which takes us back to the beginnings of the plague outbreak. Here are five things we thought you’d like to know about the differences between the two shows and our chat with Kirkman, who’s been relatively silent about the new show until now.
Kirkman told us that fans of The Walking Dead will be surprised by the new show, that we’ll see elements previously glossed over in the original series. “Having Rick wake up from his coma was certainly a fun dynamic and a great way to open the original show,” he said, “but actually watching civilization crumble around these people and getting to experience them learning how to adapt in a much faster way, with much more danger and much more uncertainty, I think, is going to make the show very different.” He promised a “very unique experience for people, even if they have watched the first five seasons of The Walking Dead.”
Kirkman and the other producers felt strongly that Fear the Walking Dead should stand alone with regard to story and characters. The location is Los Angeles at the beginning of the plague and will look very different visually from the seed series. “For one,” he said, “we’re not shooting on 16 millimeter. It’s actually shot digitally. And so there’s just going to be a very different feel to this show which is really exciting and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
The look of the zombies themselves will be different, as well, since the timeframe begins at the outburst of the plague. They won’t look as decayed or as monstrous yet which, Kirkman feels, will make the violence startling because the Walkers will be much more human than what audiences are used to. But he assured us, “There’s not going to be any loss of zombie action or excitement… So, I think we’ll be bringing you the best of both worlds.”
Kirkman maintains that the origin of the plague is “not an important aspect of the story,” though “there will certainly be aspects of watching civilization crumble that will give you a better insight into what is happening here.” He doesn’t think it’s important to the story to dwell on the origins because “if we were to do a spinoff of The Walking Dead and it was about a bunch of scientists that were working to find the cure and finding out the origins, I just — that would bore me to tears. And I don’t really know where that show goes…
Struggling in a world where civilization is breaking down is much more interesting than trying to fix a virus. So that’s not an angle that we’re taking.”
Where The Walking Dead revolves more around the lives of individuals and strangers being forced together, Fear the Walking Dead will focus on the “extended, unique family,” according to Kirkman. “What we have is Madison and her family and we have Travis and his family. And they’re both building a relationship. They’re getting ready to be married. Civilization is crumbling around them and they both have kids from separate marriages and it’s just an interesting family dynamic to deal with in any story. But having all of the intricacies that come from that kind of family dynamic and setting it against the fall of civilization and the face of the zombie apocalypse just makes things that much more interesting.” Such family dynamics have yet to be explored in the seed series, allowing both show to live similtaneously and separately, without overlap.
Fear the Walking Dead premieres this summer on AMC.