Some of 2017’s best new series are finally returning for round two this month, and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Catch up on those — plus a handful of favorite long-running offerings — below with our monthly roundup of what to binge.
What it is: Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) gets the leading lady treatment with CBS All Access’ hit spin-off of The Good Wife. Set one year after the events of that acclaimed series’ finale (and picking up on the morning of President Donald Trump’s storied inauguration), The Good Fight follows Lockhart after she’s forced out of her own firm with Maia Rindell (Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie) and joins up with Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo).
Why you should watch it: Sure, if you loved The Good Wife, you’ll love The Good Fight — but believe it or not, Baranski is better than ever here and finds exciting new shades to our beloved Lockhart. Season 2 premieres March 4.
Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours
What it is: If you’re up to no good, Jessica Jones is the last person you’d want to bump into in a dark alleyway. The super-strong P.I. has thrown in her towel as a superhero and instead taken to bringing justice to New York City’s most nefarious by more traditional means — until a super-villain from her past named Kilgrave comes back into her life, that is.
Why you should watch it: Even if you’ve already seen Season 1 of Jessica Jones, and even if you got a much-needed fix from Marvel’s The Defenders last year, Krysten Ritter alone is worthy of repeat viewing for a quick catch-up before season 2 on March 8. Daring, crass, and ball-busting, she and her Jones take on a whole new significance in the era of Times Up and #MeToo. But most importantly, she’s addictively watchable, now more than ever.
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours
What it is: This half-hour comedy from Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin charts the unlikely relationship of goofy everyman Gus (Paul Rust) and the beautiful-but-flawed Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), both of whom live and work in Hollywood.
Why you should watch it: They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and particularly with Love, it’s best to not judge a series by its title, either. More a darkly comic look at 20-30something aimlessness, addiction, and the things we do to make a connection in the modern world, Love likely won’t leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. What is worth loving, though, are stop-you-in-your-tracks performances from Community vet Jacobs and Rust. Season 3 premieres March 9.
Commitment: Approx. 11 hours
What it is: Longtime character actor and standout supporter Giovanni Ribisi gets top-billing as “titular” conman Marius who, once out of prison, takes on the identity of his cellmate, Pete. On the run from a coldblooded 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 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 of character. Sneaky Pete doesn’t have to con its way onto your must-watch list; it deserves to be there. Season 2 premieres March 9.
Commitment: Approx. 7.5 hours
What it is: This time-hopping, sci-fi adventure series from creators Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke stars Abigail Spencer, Malcolm Barrett, and Matt Lanter as a history professor, a scientist, and a soldier, respectively, who travel through time to stop another more sinister time traveler from altering the course of history.
Why you should watch it: Oftentimes, high-concept big swings from the networks take a little while to find their footing, but Timeless on NBC stormed out of the gate in fall 2016 as an admirably audacious drama with tricks up its sleeve to spare. Season 2 premieres March 11.
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours
What it is: Showtime’s Billions dramatizes the high-stakes world of Wall Street when Chuck Rhoades, a U.S. attorney, sets his sights on bringing down hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod for insider trading and other illegal proclivities.
Why you should watch it: Paul Giamatti has built a career on playing the everyman, and here, he’s fighting for him. Giamatti’s turn as the hard-hitting U.S. attorney Rhoades would be reason alone to watch (scenes of unexpected BDSM and all), but Billions also boasts a timely, engrossing premise and firecracker performances from Damian Lewis and Maggie Siff that meet Giamatti mark for mark. Season 3 premieres March 25.
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours
What it is: This decorated 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 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.
Commitment: Approx. 19 hours
What it is: Now entering its sixth and final season, this slow-burning espionage series stars real-life couple Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as married KGB spies infiltrating the nation’s capital at the height of the Cold War.
Why you should watch it: We know, we know: You’ve heard enough about Russia in today’s headlines, so why should you want to watch a show about KGB spies infiltrating the States? Trust us: The Americans isn’t just any show. In Russell and Rhys, the FX critical darling boasts two of television’s finest performers matched with airtight scripts and sublime direction and cinematography well deserving of its slew of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations over its five-year run. Season 6 premieres March 28.
Commitment: Approx. 48 hours
What it is: Those poor, poor Baudelaire orphans — always getting caught up in events that are, well, unfortunate. Netflix’s whimsically dark series follows Violet, Klaus, and Sunny who, after they’re parents’ death, are put in the care of an evil distant cousin, Count Olaf, who’s set on getting his hands on their sizable inheritance.
Why you should watch it: Here, Neil Patrick Harris is doing more than just stealing the show here, as he did on for nine seasons on How I Met Your Mother. He is the show, making each master-of-disguise get-up as the menacing Olaf more beguiling than the one before it. It’s just an added bonus that the sets, music, and just about everything else about this series is technically dazzling.
Where to watch it: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours
What it is: While Legion is among the most original — and, as a result, undefinable — series on TV today, in the simplest of terms, it’s the story of psych-ward patient David Haller (Dan Stevens) and his sidekick-turned-nemesis Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) as David more fully becomes what he’s always known himself to be: a mutant.
Why you should watch it: To anyone who says they’re tiring of the superhero genre overtaking film and TV, we say, “Have you seen Legion?” Noah Hawley’s absolutely singular X-Men–based vision is a mind-bending and engrossing head-scratcher that’s well worth committing to. And committing is exactly what Stevens and Plaza do with their no-holds-barred, fearless performances. Season 2 premieres April 3.
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours
With season two now available on DVD and season three fast approaching this January, we thought a visit back to the Reagan Era for a hang with our fave KBG spies is essential. Here’s what you need to know to catch up on FX’s The Americans before season three pounces upon us Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10:00 pm.
What’s the premise? A couple of KGB spies pose as a married American couple in 1980s Washington, D.C.
What’s it like? It’s like your favorite Russian spy movie… but as a television series. Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters) and Keri Russell (Felicity) star as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the two spies who are oh-so-smooth with every move. In order to make their marriage seem legit, Philip and Elizabeth even have children together — and now they’ve got two American kids to raise, adding some family drama to the mix. They’ve grown to love each other, but even fake marriages can go awry. Margo Martindale (August, Osage County, The Millers, Masters of Sex) appears as their KGB handler in America, and when she tests their loyalty, the Jennings make violently clear exactly how they feel about it.
Where can I see it? Season one and two are available on Vudu, Amazon Prime, and iTunes. Seasons one and two are now available on DVD too. Season three begins January 27 (Wednesdays at 10pm on FX), so catch up now!
How long will it take? Not long; only 26 episodes make up all of seasons one and two. So, without commercials, it should just take you about 20 hours.
What do the critics think? Season one is Certified Fresh at 90 percent — pretty awesome. Amy Amatangelo of Paste Magazine said, “What I liked most about the drama is that Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are so utterly believable as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings.” And Popmatters’ Cynthia Fuchs wrote, “As much as the series’ pitch seems clear — it’s another period series, with terrific design details, long story arcs, and complex performances — it is also something else, a reframing of what it might mean to be ‘Americans,’ then and now.” For season two, Certified Fresh at 97 percent, Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post raved, “Holy Mother Russia, you need to be watching The Americans. Very few shows are able to combine pleasurable episodic storytelling so deftly with solid character building and delicious suspense.”
Why should I watch this? It’s gripping as all get-out, and seeing Keri Russell in a dramatic adult role is just cool. As Claudia, Margo Martindale has a take-no-prisoners attitude that knocks you to your knees, and Russell and Rhys as the Jennings more than hold their own, with quick thinking and uber-dextrous slaying skills. Watching The Americans also provides a great opportunity to brush up on your 1980s pop culture. (We could, however, stand to see more shoulder pads, neon-patterned gym pants, Swatch watches, and jellies; it’s sort of a wasted opportunity there.) The current struggles facing the two lead characters are what we find so compelling today. There is serious emotional warfare raging in their heads and we sit anxiously awaiting answers from season two. Add in the dramatic appeal of the Jennings’ eldest child beginning to unravel the mystery of who her parents are, and the result is a thought-provoking concoction that will satiate your taste for action and mystery.
What’s my next step? If you’re into spy films, check out Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Man Who Knew Too Much (both versions), True Lies, Gotcha!, and Fair Game. As for television series, try BBC America’s limited-run spy show The Game or Hulu’s comedy The Wrong Mans. Margo Martindale fans should see the film August: Osage County, and on TV, she appears in The Millers, Justified, and Masters of Sex. Keri Russell, of course, was TV’s Felicity and recently starred in the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And you can see more solid acting skills from Matthew Rhys in old episodes of Brothers and Sisters.
What do you like about The Americans? How would you explain it to a newbie?
Written and directed by professional goofball Steve Oedekerk, "Barnyard" seems to be about bovine hijinks of the silliest sort.
Providing voices for the loquacious livestock are Kevin James, Sam Elliott, John ("Bender") Di Maggio, and Wanda Sykes, with Andie McDowell as a hen, David Koechner as a coyote, and Dom Irrera as a dog.
The Paramount production is set for release on January 13th.