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.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, ShowtimeVudu

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.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, HBO MaxMicrosoftVudu

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, PeacockVudu

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.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HBO MaxVudu

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google PlayHBO Max, Microsoft, Vudu

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.

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

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft, ShowtimeVudu

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.

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

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

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


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Is that a whiff of fall TV we smell? We’ll all have to wait a bit longer for the full haul of the annual dump of new and returning series (which will of course look a bit different this year due to stalled production and development in light of COVID-19), but we are very happy to welcome these six returning series back to our small screens! Catch the details on what to binge during September 2020 below.


What it is: Now new to NBC streaming platform, Peacock, A.P. Bio charts the journey of a sad-sack, award-winning philosopher and disgraced Harvard professor who is forced to teach high schoolers the title subject to mixed results.

Why you should watch it: Grounded by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s always-hilarious Glenn Howerton, A.P. Bio also packs the laughs (and heart) in thanks to its supporters played by industry vets like Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell and new-coming scene-stealers filling out his high school classroom. Season 3 premieres Sept. 3 on Peacock.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle PlayMicrosoft, PeacockVudu

Commitment: Approx. 9 hours (for the first two seasons)


What it is: With the highly anticipated spinoff from showrunner Courtney Kemp hitting this month, a Power binge is in order. Omari Hardwick stars in the original series as New York City nightclub owner James “Ghost” St. Patrick, who doubles as a drug kingpin to an elite clientele.

Why you should watch it: We’ve written before of this series’ addictive brand of soapy melodrama, and we expect more of the glorious same this outing. The new series, Power Book II: Ghost picks up just days after the action of the series finale earlier this year, and Michael Rainey Jr. continues his star-making turn villain-turned-hero Tariq St. Patrick, who’s still living in the shadow of his father’s legacy. Co-starring Naturi Naughton, the new series also invites franchise newcomer Mary J. Blige to join in the fun, who we’re thrilled to see again after her 2017 double Oscar nomination. To better know the characters we’re dealing with in the spinoff, we recommend you watch all of Power beforehand. Power Book II: Ghost premieres Sept. 6.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle PlayHuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: 52.5 hours (for all six seasons of Power)


What it is: What would happen if superheroes, instead of for good, used their powers for self-serving purposes, power, and greed? That’s the irreverent-but-relevant twist The Boys presented in its first season as things kicked off with the rise of a vigilante group that decides to put the “heroes” back in their place.

Why you should watch it: You know you’re in good hands with Seth Rogen and oft-creative collaborator Evan Goldberg. Pair them with sci-fi TV veteran Eric Kripke (Supernatural, Timeless, Revolution as co-creators, and The Boys was off to a roaring start upon its premiere last year. Its turning of well-worn comic book tropes on their head, all enacted by a stellar cast of veterans like Karl Urban and up-and-comers, that’ll keep you coming back for more. Season 2 premieres Sept. 4 on Amazon Prime Video.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Microsoft, Vudu

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


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 10 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 sees 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 marks the spies much-anticipated return to reality after he wakes up from his coma and does away with those bottle-themed seasons — and we can’t wait. Season 11 premieres Sept. 16 on FXX.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first 10 seasons)


What it is: You’ve never seen a coming-of-age comedy like this. The premise is simple: Two best friends, Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Kone, are new to middle school and learn a lot about their friendship, their bodies, their families, and the world they live in along the way — all to laugh-out-loud effect.

Why you should watch it: In talking about Pen15, everyone is always quick to mention how incredible the illusion of 30-something creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle playing tweens of the early aughts is, but it really is good enough to mention yet again! It’s not an physical illusion (these actors still very much look like grown women playing half their age), but their performances (both comic and emotive) and the world-building of sets and costumes around them honestly make for one of the most transporting comedies on TV. And that means we’re cringing in adolescent awkwardness right alongside them. Season 2 premieres Sept. 18 on Hulu.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google PlayHuluMicrosoft

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)


What it is: Based on the Coen brothers film of the same name, FX’s anthology miniseries explores new characters, new crimes, and new eras tangentially related to the film each season, deftly adapting the trademark Coen brothers mix of violence, dark humor, and compelling characters for the small screen. Season 4 shifts gears to 1950s Kansas City, Missouri, as two crime syndicates (one a group of Black Americans fleeing the Jim Crow south (led by Chris Rock as Loy Cannon), the other the city’s resident mafia) duke it out for power.

Why you should watch it: What do Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Timothy Olyphant, Kirsten Dunst, Billy Bob Thornton, Ewan McGregor, Jesse Plemons, Carrie Coon, Jean Smart, Bob Odenkirk, Martin Freeman, Patrick Wilson, and (phew) Jim Gaffigan all have in common? They’ve all starred (or come season 4, will star) in the small-screen adaptation of Fargo, and that impressive cast alone makes it worth watching. FX and Noah Hawley’s Fargo, which debuted all the way back in 2014, is at least in part to blame for the rise and saturation of prestige miniseries and limited series, and for good reason. An ingenious blend of humor — both silly and gallows — and enrapturing crime mystery, the series succeeds in translating its Oscar-winning source material into Emmy-winning must-see TV. After a three-year break (and a delay due to the novel coronavirus pandemic), Fargo finally returns with its fourth season Sept. 27 on FX.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google PlayHuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: About 27 hours (for the first three seasons)

Lucky number 13 is the name of the game this May. The month features several long-running summer favorites returning to the screen alongside several standouts hoping to avoid the sophomore slump. Catch up on the supernatural with iZombie and Lucifer, the character-driven with Deadwood and Fleabag, and the crime-ridden with Line of Duty and Elementary before new episodes drop in the coming weeks.


iZombie 92% (The CW)

What it is: A wonderfully original spin on the TV zombie craze started by The Walking Dead, iZombie stars Rose McIver as Olivia Moore, a med student-turned-zombie who helps the Seattle police solve homicides by eating victims’ brains and reliving their memories.

Why you should watch it: There’s no limit to the creative turns TV writers can take the simple premise of “zombies exist” — hat tip to the dearly departed Santa Clarita Diet — but as iZombie heads into its fifth and final season, it remains one of the genre’s best, most off-kilter examples. Season 5 premieres May 2 on The CW.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first four seasons)


Lucifer 88% (Netflix)

What it is: Most people escape their locale to vacation where it’s warm, but where do you vacation when your home is in Hell? Los Angeles, apparently. That’s where our titular antihero Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) sets his sights, at least, after resigning his post as ruler of the underworld and wanting to spice up his life. Once in LA, he opens up a nightclub and stumbles into becoming a civilian consultant for the LAPD.

Why you should watch it: Based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, Lucifer Morningstar is a protagonist like we haven’t seen before. Ruler of Hell, sure, but also charismatic as hell (and charming, witty, and handsome), proving himself to be the perfect right-hand man for homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). (Over the course of three seasons, their beguiling relationship is one of the reasons to stick around, too.) Lucifer was cancelled by Fox last year, but revived by Netflix, which will premiere its fourth season on May 8.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 42 hours (for the first three seasons)


Easy 90% (Netflix)

What it is: With Netflix’s romantic comedy series, it’s all in the name. That’s because there’s nothing, well, easy about modern love. Easy’s first two seasons follow an intertwining group of friends and couples living and loving in Chicago.

Why you should watch it: The best of television is often character-driven, and Easy gives you plenty of characters to work with. While this Windy City–set series focuses on people and relationships that occasionally overlap, each episode largely stands on its own as a singular meditation on a given couple’s romantic dynamic and exploration of intimacy. And with Drinking Buddies writer-director Joe Swanberg at the helm, the whole thing goes down smoothly (you thought there was going to be another “easy” joke, didn’t you?). Plus, it’s just a hoot to see some of our favorite talents (from Judy Greer to Aubrey Plaza to Dave Franco to Orlando Bloom) pop in for a quick half-hour installment.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first two seasons)


Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 95% (ABC)

What it is: S.H.I.E.L.D. is the kind of agency you want at your back. Led by fan-favorite Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, who caused uproar upon his character’s death in 2012’s The Avengers), Marvel Comics’ fictional Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division fights the behind-the-scenes battles that the average human wouldn’t dare face (see: Project Centipede and more). It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it’s a heck of a fun time for Marvel superfans.

Why you should watch it: Sure, this puzzle piece within the Marvel Cinematic Universe maintains the franchise call-backs and tonally checks all the boxes of what we look for in a Marvel romp, but you don’t have to be a die-hard lover of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and co. to fall for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s extraterrestrial adventures and the now-beloved ensemble of characters it has built throughout its 100-plus episodes. Season 6 premieres on ABC May 10. 

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 82 hours (for the first five seasons)


Sneaky Pete 96% (Amazon Prime Video)

What it is: Longtime character actor and standout supporter Giovanni Ribisi gets top billing as conman Marius who, once out of prison, takes on the identity of his cellmate, Pete. On the run from a cold-blooded mobster, Marius holes up with Pete’s unsuspecting small-town family.

Why you should watch it: This Amazon original series from creators David Shore and Bryan Cranston (who also co-stars as the aforementioned mobster, Vince) will sneak up and floor you — and we don’t say that simply as a play on words. Each ensemble member (but especially Ribisi and series breakout Marin Ireland) delivers lived-in and moving dramatic turns with fast-paced scripts that don’t skimp on nuance or character. In other words, Sneaky Pete doesn’t have to con its way onto your must-watch list. Season 3 premieres May 10 on Amazon Prime.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 18 hours (for the first two seasons)


Line of Duty 96% (Acorn TV)

What it is: Netflix’s Bodyguard may have taken the world by storm last year (along with a Golden Globe win for star Richard Madden), but it’s another cop thriller from creator Jed Mercurio that has us itching for more: Line of Duty. Five seasons in, the series remains one of the U.K.’s highest-rated dramas. Line of Duty follows D.S. Steve Arnott after he’s transferred to an anti-corruption unit and is partnered with a brilliant undercover investigator, D.C. Kate Fleming.

Why you should watch it: While dry in summary, the performances and procedural dramas here are absolutely astounding — some of the best nail-biters TV has to offer. Season 5 is already acclaimed overseas, but premieres for U.S. audiences May 13 on Acorn TV.

Where to watch it: Acorn TV, Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu

Commitment: Approx. 23 hours (for the first four seasons)


Fleabag 100% (Amazon Prime Video)

What it is: Well it’s about time! Fleabag’s six-episode first season premiered to critical acclaim back in 2016 — which means we’ve been waiting for quite a while to reacquaint ourselves with creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her titular and adrift heroine, who is learning to cope with the death of her best friend in varying self-destructive ways while building a life in London.

Why you should watch it: Few other creators are as exciting as Fleabag’s Waller-Bridge. The beloved and all-too-short first season of Amazon’s fuss-free comedy is based on the writer and actress’ hit one-woman play of the same name, which just wrapped a sold-out Off-Broadway run after its 2013 debut overseas. Crass, fearless, and heartbreaking in equal measure, the series trumpeted the arrival of a thrilling new creative voice. And now that Waller-Bridge has other hits with Killing Eve and an arc in Star Wars under her belt, she’s going into season 2 of Fleabag as a bonafide international superstar. Do yourself a favor and learn what the buzz is about. Season 2 premieres May 17 on Amazon Prime Video.

Where to watch it: Amazon

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)


Elementary 95% (CBS)

What it is: A contemporary (and gender-bending) update on the classic Sherlock Holmes, Elementary is a New York crime procedural starring Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as the iconic Holmes. Watson begins as Holmes’ sober companion (the ex-Scotland Yard consultant is also a recovering drug addict), but as the series progresses, she becomes his apprentice and partner in solving NYPD’s most chin-scratching mysteries.

Why you should watch it: Liu is endlessly watchable in just about anything, so her involvement in this Robert Doherty series is reason enough to tune in. But Elementary is more than just a spellbinding leading lady: it’s a solid, reliable procedural that puts a clever twist on an old classic. Season 7 premieres May 23 on CBS.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 103 hours (for the first six seasons)


Vida 100% (Starz)

What it is: Set in the rarely depicted neighborhood of East Los Angeles, Vida follows estranged Mexican-American sisters Lyn and Emma Hernandez, who are forced to revisit their childhood home and memories after the sudden death of their mother. Familial secrets and personal growth abounds.

Why you should watch it: Shows don’t get much more refreshingly original than Vida, Starz’s half-hour dramedy from showrunner Tanya Saracho. Centering queer, Latinx voices both in front of and behind the camera is a feat in and of itself, but the fact that the series is compellingly alive (and bingeable) is what will keep you sticking around. It’s wonderfully grounded by Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada as the central reunited sisters. Season 2 premieres May 23 on Starz.

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

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)


She's Gotta Have It 78% (Netflix)

What it is: Spike Lee updated his original 1986 film in series form. She’s Gotta Have It is the story of Brooklyn-based artist Nola Darling and her three lovers — a love life she juggles while navigating her personal life in an ever-gentrifying Brooklyn and ever-shifting social and political climate.

Why you should watch it: Talk about a star-making performance: you simply can’t take your eyes off the magnetic DeWanda Wise. While season 1 admittedly goes a bit off the rails with some of its sillier subplots, She’s Gotta Have It is a series that packs a timely, sociopolitical punch while laying the drama (and sexiness) on thick. With Lee at the helm and Wise front and center, She’s Gotta Have It is a televisual update that’s an absolutely engrossing joy to watch. Season 2 premieres May 24 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 5 hours (for the first season)


Animal Kingdom (TNT)

What it is: Based on the 2010 Australian feature film of the same name from writer-director David Michôd, Animal Kingdom reconfigures itself in Southern California and showcases the city’s grittier side through a crime family led by iron-fisted matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody (Ellen Barkin). Our point of entry is Joshua “J” Cody (Finn Cole), a 17-year-old who’s swept up into the family business after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.

Why you should watch it: Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin. The series’ thrilling writing and direction, led by creator Jonathan Lisco, is well worth the binge, but Barkin, a Tony and Emmy winner and two-time Golden Globe nominee, brings a conniving richness to Smurf that must be seen to be believed. Season 4 premieres May 28 on TNT.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google PlayMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 27 hours (for the first three seasons)


Archer 90% (FXX)

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 nine hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation. Season 8’s Dreamland and last season’s Danger Island were particularly high-concept highlights. Season 10 continues the genre-jumping trend of Archer’s coma-dream with 1999, which sees 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. While it’s a bottle season and therefore easily accessible to newcomers, we still recommend you catch up on all things Archer that have come before it. That’s where the payoff is! Archer: 1999 premieres May 29 on FXX.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 38 hours (for the first nine seasons)


Deadwood 92% (HBO)

What it is: In what is quickly proving to be one of the television events of the year, Deadwood’s long-awaited feature film finale is finally coming to HBO on May 31. The fan-favorite Western from creator David Milch reunites stars Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock and Ian McShane as Al Swearengen (along with the majority of the original ensemble) for a bookend installment set 10 years after the events of season 3’s unexpected ending. 

Why you should watch it: A fascinating, lurid, and original take on the classic Western genre, Deadwood built its devout fan base thanks to its ability to explore the human condition in tandem with the principles of early American society. With a smattering of scene-stealing performances from its expansive cast, it also has the writing, direction, and design to be one of the most gritty and authentic takes on America’s roots to ever hit the small screen. Deadwood: The Movie premieres May 31 on HBO.

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

Commitment: Approx. 36 hours (for all three seasons)


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Thumbnail image photo credit: Matthias Clamer/ABC; Warrick Page/HBO; David Lee/Netflix

Looks like April showers bring a heaping dose of science fiction entertainment along with those May flowers — we’re not complaining! — including a Lost in Space reboot and the return of Westworld, The Expanse, and The Handmaid’s Tale (plus, of course, other comedies and dramas for good measure). We’ve got you covered with everything worth catching up on this month before new installments hit your small screen.


The Expanse 94% (Syfy)

THE EXPANSE -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Steven Strait as Earther James Holden (Jason Bell/Syfy)

What it is: Based on the series of novels by James S. A. Corey (the pen name of collaborators Daniel Abraham and T Franck), this space-hopping science fiction series follows Earth-bound United Nations executive Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), asteroid belt-dwelling police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), and officer of an ice freighter Jim Holden (Steven Strait, pictured) as they uncover a conspiracy that risks intergalactic peace within disparate colonies and the survival of humanity as they know it.

Why you should watch it: We see enough social and political turmoil here on Earth to know that if and when we expand our humanly horizons to other planets in the solar system, tension is likely to continue. Here, it just makes for great TV with some timely allegorical themes to spare. Season 3 premieres April 11.

Where to watch it: AmazonFandangoNowGoogle PlayMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Lost in Space (CBS)

What it is: A classic of the genre, 1965’s Lost in Space from Irwin Allen tells the story of the Robinson family, a clan of space colonists who must adapt to survive after their ship gets flung off course (living up to the series’ title) and crash lands on an alien planet. From there, they’re met with increasing intergalactic dangers with each passing day.

Why you should watch it: The original Lost in Space is one of those series that every sci-fi lover should watch simply because of the influence it wielded over future series of the genre to come — whether it be The Expanse above, or the forthcoming Netflix reboot of the same name. At three seasons and 83 episodes, the original makes for a full week of binge-watching entertainment and cultural education all in one. Netflix’s reboot premieres April 13.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft

Commitment: Approx. 83 hours


Fear the Walking Dead 75% (AMC)

Jenna Elfman as Naomi, Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

What it is: An extension of the zombie apocalypse world of AMC mega-hit The Walking Dead, Fear starts in Los Angeles, showing how city dwellers deal with the virus outbreak.

Why you should watch it:  The season 4 premiere on April 15 features a crossover with the mothership, when Morgan (Lennie James) from The Walking Dead shows up.

Where to watch it: AmazonFandangoNowGoogle PlayMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 27.5 hours


Into the Badlands 84% (AMC)

What it is: Into the Badlands, starring Daniel Wu (pictured), promised to be an exciting genre-fusion of post-apocalyptic Western–Kung Fu, and it hasn’t lost its bite over the course of two standout seasons. Set 500 years after a global war that destroyed today’s world as we know it, the series explores the struggle for power among the feudal lord barons, their lowly contemporaries, and their world’s lawless nomads in a post-society landscape.

Why you should watch it: Here’s another futuristic action-thriller seeped with timely themes. Set in a world where guns are no longer in use, war combat and protection has resorted to martial arts and melee weapons. Not only is it a creative twist on the shoot-em-up style of most sci-fi epics, but it also makes for some of the most thrilling actions sequences on TV today. Season 3 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 11 hours


Westworld 81% (HBO)

Westworld Season 2 Season 2: Jeffrey Wright. photo: HBO

What it is: In this hit series, the titular Westworld is a vacation destination for regular men and women to live out their most elaborate — and at times, sickening — fantasies in a Wild West–inspired society manipulated by behind-the-scenes programmers and otherwise populated by near-human artificially intelligent hosts. The series’ main action begins, however, when Westworld’s hosts begin realizing they may have more control over their false reality than they think.

Why you should watch it: Did any other new series excite and divide critics and audiences in quite the same way as Westworld? Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s HBO debut marks one of the most thought provoking and epic sci-fi dramas seen on the pay cable channel to date. Matched with its ambition are breathtaking performances from Hollywood heavy-hitters as varied as Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright (pictured), Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Ed Harris. Season 2 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HBO NowMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 10 hours


The 100 93% (The CW)

What it is: Here’s another intelligent, original take on the post-nuclear apocalypse from Jason Rothenberg for the CW. Set 97 years after nuclear war wiped out humanity, the mere thousands remaining survived by escaping on an ark-like spaceship that remained within Earth’s orbit. The twisty caveat? The series’ title represents the 100 juvenile prisoners who, against their will, are forced out of the Ark and back to Earth to learn if it’s habitable. To their surprise, it turns out that some humans lived through the nuclear war from the century prior — and not all of them are ready to befriend the young visitors.

Why you should watch it: As is the case with much of the CW’s slate of programming, The 100 is led by an impressive ensemble of young, breakout actors who are made all the more impressive by their series’ meatier material. Plus with an air-tight concept as its foundation, there’s a reason we’ve been coming back for four seasons now. Season 5 premieres April 24.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 40 hours


Genius 71% (National Geographic)

What it is: From creators Kenneth Biller and Noah Pink and executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer comes National Geographic’s first major foray into prestige television, Genius. An intimate, life-charting look into history’s greatest minds and personalities, season 1 follows Geoffrey Rush (pictured) as Albert Einstein, and season 2, which premieres April 24, follows Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso.

Why you should watch it: An enthralling premise that’s ultimately as educational as it is entertaining (as the very best of narrative nonfiction is), Genius’s first outing rightfully earned a handful of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and was widely regarded as one of the year’s best programming options. While you don’t have to watch Einstein to understand Picasso, we recommend you do simply for the quality time spent.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours


Archer 90% (FXX)

ARCHER -- "Season 9, Episode 1 (FXX)

What it is: Even the sleekest of action-packed espionage thrillers have an air of cartoonish hyperbole to them (James Bond’s invisible car, anyone?), but FXX’s Archer does away with that suspension of belief 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 eight hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation — season 8’s Archer Dreamland was a particular highlight. Season 9 continues the genre-jumping trend with Danger Island, which sees Archer not as the ass-kicking spy of ISIS we know from earlier carnations, but as an alcoholic seaplane pilot living in a supposed paradise at the brink of World War II. We’ll also be treated, of course, to Danger Island re-imaginings of all our favorite Archer characters and the voice actors behind them. To truly appreciate the new season, viewers need to have the emotional and intellectual foundation of the seasons before it; that’s where the payoff is. Danger Island premieres April 25.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 35 hours


Brockmire 98% (IFC)

What it is: After suffering a public meltdown in the aftermath of his wife’s string of affairs, nationally acclaimed sports announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria, pictured) turns to drugs and alcohol to cope until one day, 10 years later, deciding to pick himself up, move to a small town, and get back to work calling games for the minor league Morristown Frackers.

Why you should watch it: Six-time Emmy winner Azaria is perhaps best known for his voice work on The Simpsons, but it’s always a pleasure to watch him get to work in front of the camera. The laughs still land. To watch his growth through the titular Brockmire’s character arc in season 1 is simply great (and easily binge-able) comedic TV — and that’s not to mention the firecracker energy Amanda Peet (pictured) brings as Azaria’s co-lead. Season 2 premieres April 25.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours


The Handmaid's Tale 83% (Hulu)

Elisabeth Moss in THE HANDMAID'S TALE (Take Five/Hulu)

What it is: Set in a not-too-distant future and adapted from Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is the harrowing imagining of a society where fertile women are forced into slavery to help procreate for society’s rich and powerful. A gripping and prescient look at modern patriarchy’s darkest corners (and possible futures), it’s one of the few programs airing today that truly is must-watch TV.

Why you should watch it: Last year, The Handmaid’s Tale became the first-ever streaming series to take home the Television Academy’s top honor: the Emmy for best drama. It has big expectations to live up to with season 2, which expands upon the Atwood book that was adapted in full through season 1. But with one of the most formidable ensembles on TV — both Elisabeth Moss (pictured) and Ann Dowd took home Emmys, as well — we’d follow them and their female-heavy behind-the-camera creatives anywhere — including to Gilead. Season 2 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours


Quantico 70% (ABC)

What it is: Named after the real-life FBI Academy in Virginia, creator Joshua Safran’s Quantico follows Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra, pictured) who, once graduating from the academy and becoming an agent, is arrested for treason after becoming a prime suspect in a terrorist attack on Grand Central Station. The first season runs with two timelines: one depicting Alex’s arrest and eventual escape to prove her innocence, and the other depicting her time training with her colleagues to become an agent. The question lingers then: If not Alex, then who’s the sleeper terrorist in their midst?

Why you should watch it: Quantico rightfully earned acclaim for its diverse cast, namely for employing Chopra as as the first South Asian actress to headline a network series. Its representational landmarks aside, the series holds up as a tightly knit cat-and-mouse thriller. Season 3 premieres April 26.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Elementary 95% (CBS)

What it is: A contemporary (and gender-bending) update on the classic Sherlock Holmes, Elementary is a New York crime procedural starring Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as the iconic Holmes himself (both pictured). Watson begins as Holmes’ sober companion (the ex–Scotland Yard consultant is also a recovering drug addict), but as the series progresses, she becomes his apprentice and partner in solving NYPD’s most chin-scratching crimes.

Why you should watch it: Lucy Liu is endlessly watchable in just about anything, so her involvement in this Robert Doherty series is reason enough to tune in. But Elementary is more than just a spellbinding leading lady and a clever play on an old classic. Tune in for a few episodes and you’ll see why it’s caught audiences’ devotion for five years and 120 episodes strong. Season 6 premieres April 30.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 88 hours

This week on streaming video, we’ve got a couple of buzzworthy dramas from last year, a nature documentary narrated by one of the best voices in the business (Morgan Freeman), and a Canadian horror-comedy. Plus, Netflix offers up a brand new original comedy from Tina Fey and a couple of other new additions to their library. Read on for details:


A Most Violent Year
90%

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, and Albert Brooks star in this slow-burning thriller about a heating oil supplier whose business is attacked by an unknown rival.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
81%

Morgan Freeman narrates this nature documentary about the adorable but endangered primates.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Unbroken
51%

Angelina Jolie’s second directorial effort tells the true story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, a track star who served in World War II, where he survived a plane crash by clinging to a raft for more than a month before being captured by Japanese troops and held in a prisoner of war camp for more than two years.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play


Wolfcop
65%

He’s a wolf. But he’s also a Cop. Also, he’s Canadian.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season One

Ellie Kemper stars in this Certified Fresh, Tina Fey-produced Netflix sitcom about an impossibly upbeat young woman who is rescued from an underground apocalypse cult and moves to New York to start a new life.

Available now on: Netflix


Archer: Season Five

Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), Malory (Jessica Walter), Cheryl (Judy Greer), Pam (Kate Nash), and the rest of the ISIS gang take an unexpected new direction in Archer‘s fifth season.

Available now on: Netflix


Crash
74%

Paul Haggis’ Best Picture-winning drama examines the dangers of bigotry and xenophobia in the lives of interconnected Angelenos, whose ranks include Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Brendan Fraser, and many more.

Available now on: Netflix

Welcome to the Weekly Binge, where we take a closer look at the shows that are worth your time. This week, we take you undercover with the outrageous agents of ISIS (or the agency formerly known as ISIS) from the animated FX comedy series Archer.

 

Archer

Archer

What’s the premise? Sterling Archer is a top agent at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), the spy agency owned and run by his mother. The agents of ISIS are skilled operatives of dubious moral fiber, driven by personal gain and acts of interoffice sabotage, and Archer is the worst offender.

What’s it like? Adam Reed, the creator of the series, calls it “James Bond meets Arrested Development.” But it could also be Bond spliced with Charlie Sheen or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Reed had past projects featured on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (Frisky Dingo, Sealab 2021), and Archer possesses the same snappy dialogue and
manic, rapid-fire irreverence.

Where can I see it? The first four seasons are available on DVD and Blu-Ray, while seasons one through three are streaming on Netflix, and available for download on iTunes, Amazon and Vudu. Season five is currently airing on FX.

How long will it take? The first season is ten episodes, and the subsequent seasons were bumped up to the standard 13-episode order. That clocks in at a little less than 1,000 minutes; so you can get through all four seasons in a couple of hilarious weeks.

What do the critics think? TV Guide’s Matt Roush calls Archer “a brisk, naughty little show,
among the freshest of genre parodies” and USA Today’s Robert Bianco thinks it is “one of TV’s funniest and most scurrilous cartoons.” Season one is 92 percent on the Tomatometer, seasons two, three and five are all at 100 percent, and season four is not far behind at 94 percent. So it’s safe to say that Archer is hitting the bulls-eye with critics.

Why should I watch this? Archer delivers consistently hilarious comedy, thanks to a top notch ensemble of voice actors. The current season sees the ISIS agency disbanded by the government and the agents forming a drug cartel to raise their retirement funds; we know that sounds crazy, but that’s par for the course. The show intentionally plays with time, pulling from multiple decades to create its own world. For seasons one through four, the look is a lot like Mad Men meets SPECTRE; the Cold War is still on (except for when it isn’t), but the technology is (mostly) modern and the idioms in the dialogue are all over the place. The current fifth season is going for a 1980s Miami Vice style, but expect plenty of other homages and references thrown in. You may sometimes question yourself for laughing at some of Archer‘s debauched shenanigans, but laugh you will.

What’s my next step? You could take the obvious step and delve into the anthology of James Bond.
Or you could check out some of the other shows that have influenced Archer, such as The Pink Panther and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Also check out Arrested Development, which features many of the actors that voice the characters on Archer.

What do you like about Archer? How would you explain it to a newbie? Get in on the conversation here.

U. N. goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie has once again put her money where her humanitarian mouth is, adopting a newborn Ethiopian baby girl. Jolie, who adopted her 3-year old son, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002 with ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton, has named her new daughter Zahara Marley Jolie and is reportedly overjoyed to give Maddox an African sister. While recent speculations have suggested the adoption is a result of the actress’ rumored romance with "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" co-star Brad Pitt, Jolie is making it clear that Zahara is an addition to a strictly single-parent family.

Rap superstar Lil’ Kim, she of the diminutive stature, the raunchy lyrics, and the pasties-count-as-coverage outfits, will soon be going where few female rappers have gone before — to prison. Found guilty of three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy in relation to a 2001 New York shootout, the woman known as the Queen Bee (or, by her civilian name, Kimberly Jones) was sentenced Wednesday to serve a one year and one day sentence starting September 19. Lil’ Kim was convicted last March for lying twice to cover up two associates involved in the incident, in which members of her Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew exchanged gunfire with rap rivals Capone-N-Noreaga over a track in which Kim got dissed by fellow rhymer Foxy Brown.

And finally, in a twist of your normal everyday celebrity identity theft, a personal ad posted on Yahoo! boasts the picture and profile of director, Brett Ratner. The posting, entitled ‘Hollywood Hunk Seeks Starlet,’ describes the candidate as a 6’2" athletic small-time director, looking to meet some New York ladies. Interested? If you can believe it, give him a shot — we hear he’s still casting for "Rush Hour 3."

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