(Photo by Amazon)

She’s back! Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is returning to Amazon for its second season on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Season 2 will see Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) dealing with the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon, making her climb up the comedy ladder even more challenging — especially since she’s still keeping her new career as a standup comedian a secret from her family.

Recently added (updated 12/3): History Remembers George H.W. Bush (Dec. 5), Mysterious Islands (Dec. 26), Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration (Dec. 28)


December | TBD

ARCHIVE: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

Also: Renewed & Canceled | 2019 Premiere Dates


December


Sunday, Dec. 2
Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve (2018) 40% 9 p.m., Freeform
Berlin Station: Season 3 (2018)  9 p.m., Epix
Inside Syria’s Deadly Dynasty, 9 p.m., Nat Geo
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Holiday Special, 10 p.m., ABC
() % 10 p.m., Syfy

Monday, Dec. 3
Finding Joy, Acorn TV
Vanderpump Rules: Season 7, 9 p.m., Bravo
Unanchored, 10 p.m., Bravo

Wednesday, Dec. 5
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 2 (2018) 92% Amazon
Deal or No Deal, CNBC
History Remembers George H.W. Bush, 10 p.m., History Channel

Thursday, Dec. 6
Top Chef: Season 16, 9 p.m., Bravo

Friday, Dec. 7
RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-slay Spectacular, 8 p.m., VH1
Love After Lockup: Season 2, 9 p.m., WE tv
Icebox, HBO

Sunday, Dec. 9
Counterpart: Season 2 (2018) 100% 9 p.m., Starz
Deadly Legacy, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Monday, Dec. 10
9th Annual CMA Country Christmas, 8 p.m., ABC
Pentatonix: A Not-So-Silent Night, 10 p.m., NBC

Tuesday, Dec. 11
Jeff Beck: Still on the Run, 7:30 p.m., Showtime

Wednesday, Dec. 12
Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, Marvel HQ YouTube Channel
Champaign Ill, YouTube Premium
Agnostic Front: Godfathers of Hardcore, 7 p.m., Showtime
Paris to Pittsburgh, 9 p.m., National Geographic
Susan Powell: An ID Murder Mystery, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Thursday, Dec. 13
Dr. Pimple Popper: The 12 Pops of Christmas, 9 p.m., TLC
The Carbonaro Effect: Season 4 (2018) 10 p.m., tru TV (midseason premiere)
GG Allin: All In the Family, 10 p.m., Showtime

Friday, Dec. 14
Roma (2018) 96% Netflix
Fuller House: Season 4 (2018) Netflix
Tidelands: Season 1 (2018) 77% Netflix
Travelers: Season 3 (2018) Netflix
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 8 (2018) 86% Netflix
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 1 (2018) 91% A Midwinter’s Tale, Netflix
Cuckoo, Netflix
The Innocent Man, Netflix
The Protector, Netflix
Sunderland Til I Die, Netflix
LOL: Last One Laughing, Amazon
RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars: Season 4 (2018) 86% 8 p.m., VH1
High & Mighty, 8 p.m., HBO Latino
k.d. lang: Landmarks Live in Concert – A Great Performances Special, 9 p.m., PBS
Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch: Loud Krazy Love, 10 p.m., Showtime

Saturday, Dec. 15
Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean, HBO
Dannemora Prison Break, 7 p.m., Oxygen

Sunday, Dec. 16
Springsteen on Broadway, Netflix
The Simpsons 30th Anniversary Marathon, 9 a.m., FXX
2018 Miss Universe, 7 p.m., Fox

Monday, Dec. 17
Blood, Acorn TV
America’s Got Talent: A Holiday of Champions, 10 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Dec. 19
Overthinking with Kat & June: Season 1 () YouTube Premium
Schitt's Creek 93%: Holiday Episode, 10 p.m., Pop
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents “Christmas on I.C.E.” 10:30 p.m., TBS

Thursday, Dec. 20
Timeless 91%: Series Finale, 8 p.m., NBC

Friday, Dec. 21
Marvel's Runaways: Season 2 (2018) 87% Hulu
Vanity Fair: Miniseries (2018) 89% Amazon
Bird Box (2018) 64% Netflix
Perfume: Season 1, Netflix
38Below: Tales of Arcadia, Netflix
Derry Girls, Netflix
Tales By Light, Netflix
Bad Seeds, Netflix
Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski, Netflix
Last Hope, Netflix
Sirius the Jaeger, Netflix
Back With the Ex, Netflix
Wolf, Netflix
7 Days Out, Netflix
The Casketeers, Netflix
American Dream/American Knightmare, 8:30 p.m., Showtime

Saturday, Dec. 22
Demon’s Path, Netflix

Sunday, Dec. 23
Watership Down: Miniseries (2018) 74% Netflix
The Simpsons 85%: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, 8 p.m., Fox
Marilyn Monroe For Sale, 9 p.m., Smithsonian Channel

Monday, Dec. 24
Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam, Acorn TV
Hi Score Girl, Netflix

Wednesday, Dec. 26
41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors, 8 p.m., CBS
Mysterious Islands: Georgia’s Island of the Geechee People, 11 p.m., Travel Channel
Mysterious Islands: Islands of Eternal Life, 11:30 p.m., Travel Channel

Friday, Dec. 28
Into the Dark: New Year, New You, Hulu
Instant Hotel, Netflix
Murder Mountain, Netflix
Selection Day, Netflix
A Twelve-Year Night, Netflix
When the Angels Sleep, Netflix
Yummy Mummies, Netflix
Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration, 9 p.m., PBS

Sunday, Dec. 30
The Orville: Season 2 (2019) 100% 8 p.m., Fox
The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic?, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Monday, Dec. 31
Taylor Swift reuputation Stadium Tour, Netflix
Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square, 8 p.m., Fox
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, 8 p.m., ABC
NBC’s New Year’s Eve, 10 p.m., NBC

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Also: Renewed & Canceled | 2019 Premiere Dates

Courtesy of ABC

(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Time to hit the local drug store and pick up a bottle of your fave hair-hardening product. Dudes, get out your denim, your leather. Dudesses, make sure you look prettier than your dudes. Time to rock it old-school hair-metal style in Wicked City.

Jeremy Sisto stars in the new ABC show, plopping him smack in the middle of the infamous Sunset Strip in the 1980s as a detective investigating a serial-killing charmer who ravages the pool of female youth ever present in the historic rock clubs of the era. Of course, the world famous Whisky-a-Go-Go is the backdrop of the premiere episode, shown here at the height of its popularity, with the likes of Billy Idol and Mickey Ratt gracing the stage. If you blink, you may miss a rock star cameo.

Sisto, who’s no stranger to television success with roles in Law & Order, The U.S. version of The Returned, Suburgatory, and Six Feet Under, took some time to chat with Rotten Tomatoes about the show, his fondness for hair metal, and how his role of Detective Jack Roth compares to other fan favorites.


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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Kerr Lordygan for Rotten Tomatoes:  I’m a big metal-head from the 1980s myself, which is part of what initially draws me to the magic of Wicked City. Were you into that music scene?

Jeremy Sisto: Yeah, man. I’ve actually been listening to Hair Nation on Sirius recently. And I kinda thought, “Oh, it was before my time,” but not really. I mean, I was into rock in high school and, you know, Poison comes up, and Tesla, and Ugly Kid Joe. And these were all songs that I danced to. [Bands] like Ratt were a little before me, I think — but there’s Bon Jovi and that “Blaze of Glory” stuff. So I definitely hit the tail end of it. There’s a real sweet spot in my heart for good guitar solos.

Rotten Tomatoes: Me too, man.  And I’m loving how there are all these band-doubles playing at the Whisky — in Wicked City‘s version of the Whisky anyway — like Mickey Ratt, later known as Ratt.

Sisto: Yeah, and then we have some of the real people from back in the day that, if you did live in that time, you’ll recognize.

Rotten Tomatoes: I saw Stephen Pearcy as the bouncer.

Sisto: Yeah, that’s right. 

Rotten Tomatoes: Are there more surprises like that coming?

Sisto: Oh, yeah.  Oh, yeah. we’ve got some good ones.

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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Rotten Tomatoes: That’s a trip. And then the other side of this coin is that the show’s about a serial killer investigation.  It’s a really dark thing happening in this hair metal environment. 

Sisto: So this particular case is based more on the time. It was the serial killer capital of the world at the time. There was a lot — there was the reign of the Hillside Strangler and the Night Stalker. There was a slew of them. So the idea of the show is that these sick people came to Hollywood to kinda make a name for themselves, just like so many other people throughout the world came to Hollywood for the same reasons — just with not quite as dark intentions. And it’s really all kind of mixed up in the murders  — it’s all mixed up in what this world is. It’s so intent on making superficial aspects the most important things in life: how you look and who you know, what drugs you’re on. You know, you’re living the dream, but the dream is actually a little darker.  You talk to anyone who lived through those 1980s times, and it’s not like, “Oh, it’s was an amazing time.” Its like, “Yeah, it was a wild time. I can’t believe the things I did.” There is an underbelly of something more wicked, and I think that’s what the show is.

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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Rotten Tomatoes: We all saw Decline of Western Civilization Part Two: The Metal Years. We all saw the kind of mayhem that was going on.  Did you learn anything fascinating or disturbing while you were researching or working on this role?

Sisto: I think as a young actor, like many young actors, you get obsessed with serial killers when you’re first starting out as an actor.  Probably because those are the brains that are the furthest gone and — 

Rotten Tomatoes: Or that’s our next stop as actors.

Sisto: (Laughing) Exactly, exactly. And it’s just like, all strippers are in school for psychology — all actors are obsessed with serial killers.  I didn’t have to pick up any new books and, to be honest, I have a couple of small kids, so I’m not trying to read a bunch of stuff about serial killers right now. That’s the show. My character thinks serial killers should not be out there. And they mess up his understanding of the world, and yet he has his own dark side that the show goes into. But his connection to serial killers isn’t so much that he wants to be a serial killer himself.  Somebody who actually is out there killing people [and] it screws up our notion of humanity and what to expect in the world. So, I think anyone who is aware there is that kind of evil in the world — so bad, that it’s a part of their daily life — it can definitely be traumatic, but it also is addictive. You talk to any homicide detectives that have been on these cases; when they retire, they miss it more than anything in the whole world.

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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Rotten Tomatoes: Is it difficult to be in that world?

Sisto: Well, I just pretend to [laughing]. So that’s the key. My brother’s a cop. I go on drive-alongs with him. The people doing the real thing are the ones it’s difficult to live in. We’re portraying them. And this is a fun show. Not that we don’t go into some really cool character stuff, and I think people will have a notion and ideas about human [nature].  I think it’ll bring up all the cool things that great TV shows do, but at the same time we want you to have a good time for the hour.  Because we think in this show, it’s entertainment.  We want to get people excited and thrilled and I think as the season continues, it gets pretty amazing, pretty intense. So I’m really excited for people to check it out.

Rotten Tomatoes: I definitely got drawn in by this first episode.  I need to know what happens next.

Sisto: Yeah, the second one is awesome.

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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Rotten Tomatoes: So tell me what fans of, say, Six Feet UnderLaw & OrderThe Returned, Suburgatory what might they be most excited about watching you in this role?

Sisto: Well in Law & Order, I think, if you’re into crime sort of drama, then obviously we have that. What’s fun about this show [is the] technology… This is 1982.  So obviously, no cellphones. We have beepers. I think we just have the first computer: this big hulking beast that’s super slow. So we’re really having to do police work that is very different than today.  We don’t have any DNA stuff. And it’s all very grassroots kind of police work. So I think that’s really fun to watch. But then I think the fans of Six Feet Under might be interested in some of the layers that the writers are writing for the characters. I have a teenage daughter again, so maybe Suburgatory fans will want to tune in to see what my other teenage daughter relationship is like.  I don’t know. I’m not sure how I’m gonna pull Clueless fans in.  They were young — well, it is Hollywood — a different side of Hollywood–

Rotten Tomatoes: 1980s, though —

Sisto:  Cher would’ve been maybe 5 or 6, I think. 1982? No, she was probably born right around then. 

Rotten Tomatoes: So we can call it a prequel to Clueless.

Sisto: [Laughing]It’s a prequel to Clueless that’s exactly right.

(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)

Rotten Tomatoes: And it is such a great, all-star cast. How did you get involved?

Sisto: They had shot a pilot and they decided to go a different way with my role and another role. You know, they do that sometimes. I don’t understand it all that much, but in this situation, I was the beneficiary of the recasting.  So I sat down with them — and honestly I wasn’t interested in doing a crime procedural thing again where every week there’s a new case. Obviously, it’d be great — I’d be lucky to do that again if that happens. But at the time, I was trying to not do that as much just because it’s not really my taste. I like things to go on for longer — I like storylines to continue and change in a much bigger way.  They pitched me what they wanted to do with the character, and I said yes and we started our journey. And the cast was a real deciding factor. I’ve known Erika [Christensen] a long time. She’s a killer actress — no pun intended — and everyone brings some great stuff to the show.

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(Photo by Courtesy of ABC)


Wicked City premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC. It also stars Ed Westwick, Erika Christensen, Taissa Farmiga, and Evan Ross.

[Warning: Contains season one spoilers!] The Manhattan Project lasted four years, from 1942 to 1946, so WGN America’s period piece drama Manhattan is just getting started. We learned in a panel for the Television Critics Association this summer that season two would jump around further in history, up to six months in one jump. What exactly that means for the fictional characters of Manhattan, we’ll find out when season two airs tonight.

We’re especially eager to find out what happens to Charlie this season. Season one ended with a big interrogation. While Charlie was spared a false conviction as a spy, all his other secrets came out, including his affair and his wife Abby’s affair. We also discovered who the real spy is, but that’s a different story. We sat down with Ashley Zukerman, the Australian actor who plays the American scientist Charlie, to find out what’s coming up on Manhattan.


Fred Topel for Rotten Tomatoes: How intense was the interrogation scene in the season finale?

Ashley Zukerman: It seems like a year ago. I’m a huge fan of The West Wing. I’ve watched all seven seasons at least five times. So being able to be in a small room with Tommy Schlamme and Richard Schiff for three days was really a dream. To be honest, I look at that scene as intense as the other scenes. Some of them are even more subtle in terms of the amount you can actually release or show, but every one of them, especially the first season, [has] that much tension, that much decision-making, and that much secrecy, but thanks for noticing that.

Rotten Tomatoes: I’m jealous that you’re able to watch seven seasons of a show five times. I can’t even watch all the shows I want to see once.

Zukerman: Me also. That’s the ridiculous part of it. I spent most of my time just watching The West Wing.

Rotten Tomatoes: So how does that interrogation impact Charlie in season two?

Zukerman: Something happens to him in that cell. I think season one is bookended by that projection of equations against the blackboard. In episode one, you see him looking at the equations and figuring it out — that’s the moment he realizes it’s an atomic bomb he’s creating — not the hope and dreams that a young physicist has. At the end of the season, last time we see Charlie, he’s looking at the equations again but this time with new eyes. It’s those new eyes that I guess you see in season two, where he actually makes the decision to stop f—ing around and actually get the job done… We see a much more dogmatic, much more cerebral, much less concerned Charlie. He’s still who he is. There’s still a pervasive belief, a wish that he’s a moral guy but he’s just able to jump that hurdle a little quicker I think this year.

Rotten Tomatoes: Does that change occur during the six-month jump?

Zukerman: Huge character jumps and emotional jumps happen in that six-month period. We get told about them retroactively. I think that’s fascinating to think about actually. I think often in our story, the characters engage in the moment and often they also engage outside of the moment. It’s less interesting to see the break-up. It’s sometimes more interesting to see the moment after the break-up. I think our show continually plays with form and time.

Rotten Tomatoes: How strained is Charlie’s relationship with Abby?

Zukerman: I guess at the end of the first season, almost every secret is out of the bag. I’m aware that she’s been sleeping with Elodie. She’s aware that I’ve been sleeping with Helen. The one thing that she doesn’t know, which is really the biggest crime, is what it is that I’m working on. At the end of season one, you find out that Abby’s pregnant. Charlie finds out at the beginning of season two and that’s the instigation for him deciding to work for his family as best he can, which gives his relationship with Abby an incredible thrust in season two — that they’re really trying now. That’s what we see with every one of these characters. It doesn’t matter what I’ve been doing that day, complications with my work and my time, or what she’s been up to during the day. When these characters meet, they’re constantly trying to make the marriage work. I think ultimately because of who they are and where they are, it might prove impossible.

Rotten Tomatoes: Since she was brought into the interrogation room, does that weigh on their relationship?

Zukerman: Actually, I believe that moment was actually quite beautiful. Her coming in was a rejoining. We had fallen apart up until that point but, in that crisis, we actually found each other again. I think Charlie’s ultimately so alone as a human being. He doesn’t have a family that’s close to him. He’s never fit in anywhere. Abby’s really the only person that has ever seen something in him. I think in moments of crisis, they really find a connection, but I think it was the moment after she was brought into the prison cell, that’s when Charlie gets told by Occam, Richard Schiff’s character that she’s been sleeping around not with Lancefield, but with a woman. So there’s cracks that appear after that moment that we have to deal with at the beginning of season two.

Rotten Tomatoes: Was the voice of Charlie ever a challenge to get in the beginning?

Zukerman: The accent and where it’s placed? No. I mean, we’re lucky that we get to work on a show which reads more like a play than television. Sam [Shaw] writes all the clues, puts all the clues within the script. This kid is a gambler’s son in 1940. So he comes from a family of gangsters in a subtle way. We explore that a little more this year. He’s from east St. Louis. He’s a working-class kid who happens to be a genius and he’s constantly trying to fit in with wherever he is. The east St. Louis accent was something I just wanted to try to get right, to actually place him somewhere and make it period, make it a little clearer, a little crisper — there’s stuff like that that I was interested in. Moreover, I was interested in the idea that he was, as a working class person, very much grounded in his body but has this intellectual side. He’s also a little bit of a pretender. That he tries to put on something else as well. So I think he constantly switches between his head and his gut in terms of his voice. That seemed to play well into the stories. With those kinds of decisions, you just kind of make them because they’re enjoyable and they worked out. That one did, I guess. I make a lot of decisions that don’t end up working out and you have to throw them away very quickly and adapt to whatever the show needs.

Rotten Tomatoes: Could you share any of the ideas you scrapped for Charlie?

Zukerman: I think the biggest one, I guess, is my way of working. I immediately, when I got this job, was already doing classes in chemistry online at University in Australia, just out of enjoyment. I love learning. It doesn’t matter what it is. I guess that sounds ridiculous but I signed up for a physics class and I threw myself into understanding of physics as much as possible. But as soon as I got on set, what became very apparent is that this isn’t a story where that was going to be helpful. The bigger questions we’re going to answer are the emotional questions about what these people went through. So I did abandon a lot of the physics training I was going to do and actually delved more into the people’s lives and what they were trying to manage. That really comes from Tommy’s work. He cares very little for the window dressing of television. He’s very interested in the emotional connection between two people and the complications between people. So that’s where all my energy had to go in.

Rotten Tomatoes: Is walking on the set like traveling back in time to the 1940s in this little bubble?

Zukerman: It is entirely. It’s an 11-acre set. We have a set in Santa Fe where, once we’re inside it, you cannot see any other part of the city at all. We also have a set out in the desert as well. We’re very, very fortunate that once I leave the makeup bus, we’re done [up], we’re in costumes, and we step onto the set, it means that I can really exist there. I was showing some friends around the set recently. I got there and I was very moved because I could actually see it for the first time through someone else’s eyes. I could see the walls and I could see the set and I could see where it is that we actually get to play because in our work, our objective has to be to feel like none of this stuff is impressive. It’s just where we happen to work. It’s just where we happen to live. That’s my bed, there’s my sheets, these are my dishes. That’s what that set gives us so that when you step on it, actually there’s no pretending in terms of that stuff. It allows us to focus just on what’s going on between people. All those cupboards are filled with period things. You can lift any drawer and pull out a pan.

Rotten Tomatoes: Not empty cans?

Zukerman: Not empty cans. They’re real things. When we’re rehearsing, often, we’ll just find [stuff], especially in the kitchen scenes and things like that. When you’re walking through the set, suddenly the dramatic work seems to make sense, that we actually go somewhere else entirely. The staging as it is makes sense. We have to work so quickly in television that we can suddenly say, “You know what? Let’s just set up over here, or let’s turn this corner and then work in this area.” We can because it’s all set and it’s all fine, it’s all there.

Rotten Tomatoes: Do continuity supervisors ever get mad at you for playing with the stuff?

Zukerman: It’s one of the assets of modern television that even though everything looks so great, we have to work so quickly. We only ever get a few takes. So often there’s a loose relationship to that kind of stuff that usually they’ll use the take that works dramatically. It doesn’t matter what it is that we’re actually doing. The focus is all in keeping it right, not being too specific about that stuff. And it always works. Once it’s alive, it works.

Season two of Manhattan premieres tonight on WGN. Read reviews here.

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


Better Call Saul

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

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

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

Commitment: 10 hours.


Orphan Black

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

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

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

Commitment: 20 hours.


Sons of Anarchy

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

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

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

Commitment: 85 hours.


Silicon Valley

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

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

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

Commitment: 4 hours.


Penny Dreadful

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

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

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

Commitment: Eight hours.


Black Sails

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

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

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

Commitment: 20 hours.


Looking

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

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

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

Commitment: Nine hours.


Manhattan

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

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

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

Commitment: 13 hours.


Louie

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

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

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

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


The X-Files

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

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

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

Commitment: 154 hours.


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

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