(Photo by KC Bailey / ©Hulu / courtesy Everett Collection)
Hulu, one of the OG streamers, has one of the deepest catalogues out there – browsing the service can be a little bit like drowning in TV history. There’s a ton of old-school classics, a collection of game-changing peak TV series, plenty of currently-airing network and cable shows, and, of course, a slew of acclaimed Hulu originals, like The Handmaid’s Tale, Ramy, and Little Fires Everywhere. Finding something to watch isn’t hard – there’s so much – but finding something special, a hidden gem you weren’t expecting, well that can take some time.
Fortunately, time is something we have at Rotten Tomatoes and we’ve done the Hulu hidden-treasure hunt for you. In this guide, you’ll find Hulu originals with high Tomatometer scores that never got their time in the sun, staff-favorite network and cable series worth rediscovering, throwback classics you’ll be surprised to find on the service, and a bunch of gems from overseas – including a variety of great British comedies. And while many of the selections have multiple seasons, we linked to the page for each show’s first season because that’s generally the best place to start and get a sense of whether the show is right for you. To help you navigate our selection, we’ve categorized the list by genre so you can jump straight to selections to match your mood.
If you’re after the very best Hulu series, we’ve got that, too, along with the very best movies available on Hulu. But if you’re looking for something a little more off-the-beaten track, add one of the shows below to your queue.
Found a hidden gem on Hulu that’s not on our list? Let your fellow fans know in the comments.
Thumbnail image: Jean Whiteside/©Fox, Steve Dietl / ©WGN America, KC Bailey / ©Hulu
(Photo by Michael Parmelee/USA Network)
Amazon’s new series Homecoming joins programs like USA’s Mr. Robot, HBO’s Westworld, FX’s Legion, and CBS’ The Twilight Zone in the extremely specific genre of insane-in-the-brain TV shows. Meant to challenge our senses of reality, these series can make even the most educated TV viewers immediately scan Twitter or fan forums for answers to plot twists and for theories into whether what they saw on screen is just scratching the surface of what these shows are trying to tell us. Some do it better than others: Netflix’s Maniac, which has an 81% Tomatometer score, has been called “clever and inventive” by critics, while Fox’s Wayward Pines has a 61% Tomatometer score with reviewers and audience members particularly dogging the second season. But the shows all have one thing in common: they tried a fresh approach to storytelling.
For those who manage to make it through Homecoming without feeling the need to question authority, we’ve created a list of these and other series that make your mind work overtime (we did our best to avoid spoilers). We simply ask that you don’t hold us responsible if watching too many of these programs makes you want to switch off your devices, draw your curtains and hide out in a bunker for awhile.
Now, who wants some pineapple?
What it is: This psycho-thriller set in a more high-tech, high-indebted version of our own world follows two strangers coping with their own demons – Emma Stone’s Annie is an addict; Jonah Hill’s Owen is schizophrenic – who meet during a three-day clinical trial that doesn’t go according to plan.
What is the major malfunction: Fantasies become heightened as Annie and Owen (and the audience) lose track of what’s real and what’s a dream-like simulation.
Who’s responsible: Cary Joji Fukunaga and novelist/TV writer Patrick Somerville adapted the Netflix miniseries from a Norwegian program. Other stars include Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno, Gabriel Byrne, and Sally Field.
What it is: A kaleidoscopic story that, although it’s based on an X-Men character, redefines the definition of a superhero show. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller, an extremely powerful mutant who also happens to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
What is the major malfunction: A lot of the drama can be blamed on Amahl Farouk / Shadow King (Navid Negahban), a shape-shifting supervillain who excels at mind-control and thus makes it hard for audience members to know whom to trust.
Who’s responsible: Fargo creator Noah Hawley adapted the FX series from the comics. It also stars Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Jermaine Clement and, in what is frequently a truly disturbing role, Aubrey Plaza.
What it is: Just here to find out who killed high school homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee)? Then you’re missing the point of this journey.
What is the major malfunction: Kyle MacLachlan’s FBI special agent Dale Cooper unearths a supernatural wonderland of the bizarre and beautiful through the various iterations of this story, including the chapters that aired on ABC in the 1990s and on Showtime in 2017.
Who’s responsible: It’s Mark Frost and David Lynch’s world. We’re just living in it.
What it is: Not all episodes of Netflix’s anthology show about our precarious relationship with technology mess with your mind. But they often make you think.
What is the major malfunction: Episodes like “Playtest,” “White Bear,” and “White Christmas” toy with our sense of reality and can make us wonder if we should believe everything we see.
Who’s responsible: Charlie Brooker created the series, which was inspired by the storytelling format of The Twilight Zone.
What it is: A granddaddy of TV’s sci-fi genre, episodes of this anthology certainly put in the scares – that’s why it’s on our list of best horror shows of all time – but they also gave their original mid-century audiences cause to think about such matters as racism, fascism, and redemption. And, sometimes, they’re still referenced in shows like The Simpsons.
What is the major malfunction: Classics like “The Hitch-Hiker” and “Twenty Two” are just a couple of these stories that mock us for accepting what we see to be fact.
Who’s responsible: Science-fiction legend Rod Serling brought the original CBS show to life. Other iterations include an upcoming revival for CBS All Access spearheaded by Jordan Peele and others.
What it is: Every season of FX’s AHS is meant to surprise and disturb us; it is, after all, a horror show. But there is something particularly resonant about the seventh season, which drew heavily upon the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
What is the major malfunction: Sarah Paulson’s Ally Mayfair-Richards represents many liberals when her paranoia and questioning of reality go into overdrive. Consider the masked clowns that terrify her to be a metaphor.
Who’s responsible: Paulson received an Emmy nomination for this role – her second for the series, which was created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
What it is: Based on the characters and settings familiar to fans of Stephen King’s best-sellers, viewers get a not-so-quaint small town, a mysterious murder, and a certain prison by the name of Shawshank that has its own secrets.
What is the major malfunction: Timeline shifts and alternate realities should have been expected for a series that counts Lost’s J.J. Abrams as an executive producer. But they weren’t.
Who’s responsible: Manhattan creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason developed this Hulu series, which stars Andre Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgard, Jane Levy, and Sissy Spacek.
What it is: Android “hosts” at a fantasy camp are rising up after years of abuse at the hands of rich and powerful humans who use them whilst enacting their sickest desires. Some won’t let anyone get in their way – even their fellow hosts.
What is the major malfunction: What door?
Who’s responsible: Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy created the HBO series, which is based on the Michael Crichton film.
What it is: A young, blind woman suddenly returns after seven years. Although she can now see, she has scars on her back and refuses to explain her disappearance to authorities. She also now only wants to be called OA.
What is the major malfunction: Portals to other dimensions, science experiments, and references to Homer’s Iliad mean this isn’t a show to be watching while doing laundry.
Who’s responsible: Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij created the Netflix series. She stars in it and he directed all episodes from the first season.
What it is: Starting out as the hackers’ version of The Sixth Sense meets Fight Club, this show takes on everything from consumer culture and wealth inequality to mental illness.
What is the major malfunction: The first major plot twists happen in the eighth and ninth episodes of the first season. There’s clearly a glitch in your system if you still trust this show after that.
Who’s responsible: Sam Esmail created the USA Network series. Rami Malek has an Emmy Award for playing Elliot, a skilled hacker and hoodie aficionado.
What it is: Even devotees of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s ABC drama couldn’t always tell you what it was about. But they did know that they had to go back.
What is the major malfunction: Time jumps, alternate universes, smoke monsters, and a nefarious Australian mean this show is about way more than just a plane crash.
Who’s responsible: Counting Abrams as a co-creator, the extremely large cast includes Matthew Fox, Terry O’Quinn, Daniel Dae Kim, Naveen Andrews, Evangeline Lilly, and Josh Holloway.
What it is: It isn’t so much that Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Lecter is a cannibalistic serial killer; the audience learns that point fairly quickly. Rather, it’s the mesmerizing way he entrances Hugh Dancy’s criminal profiler Will Graham – and, by default, we the viewers.
What is the major malfunction: Dreamlike scenarios, elaborate dinner parties, hypnotism, and characters who don’t seem to stay dead all somehow make us wonder if the season 3 finale was, in fact, a cliffhanger.
Who’s responsible: Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller adapted the NBC series, which is based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ best-selling books.
What it is: A conversation on existentialism as much as a mystery about people who disappear into thin air, this HBO drama was a thought experiment on religion, mortality, and survival.
What is the major malfunction: Surprise season openers, a psyche-haunting ghost, and a lead who doesn’t seem to die.
Who’s responsible: Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta created the series, which is based on a book the latter was inspired to write when he watched the way the U.S. healed after 9/11.
What it is: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Instead, you are about to enjoy a sci-fi- and horror-themed anthology show famous for its monsters and plot twists over its various iterations.
What is the major malfunction: The message behind 1963’s “The Zanti Misfits” seems particularly prevalent today.
Who’s responsible: Leslie Stevens created the original series, which aired for two seasons on ABC.
What it is: Stories of a young man with a power to heal and a preacher with the power to command convene in HBO’s Depression-era drama.
What is the major malfunction: A show with themes of good versus evil and discussion of theology is bound to have some what-just-happened moments.
Who’s responsible: Comic book author Daniel Knauf created the series. Battlestar Galactica and Outlander’s Ronald D. Moore served as showrunner.
What it is: Matt Dillon plays a U.S. Secret Service agent who gets trapped in a small town while investigating the disappearance of two of his coworkers.
What is the major malfunction: Well, for starters, why can’t he leave this town?
Who’s responsible: Chad Hodge developed the Fox series based on Blake Crouch’s novels. M. Night Shyamalan directed the first episode and executive-produced along with Hodge, Crouch, and others.
(Photo by Beth Dubber/Netflix)
UPDATED Feb. 24, 2019
Sometimes the first season of a show is so good that the second season just can’t measure up, resulting in the dreaded sophomore slump. The 2018 season 2 release of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why notably stumbled in its follow-up season, scoring an abysmal 25% on the Tomatometer after being Certified Fresh with a 79% score for 2017’s season 1.
How does that plummet compare to other sophomore slumps we’ve seen before? We’ve put together a list of shows with the biggest drops from season 1 to season 2 by Tomatometer, each with at least 10 reviews on each season. The series on this list fell for different reasons – some had good second seasons that simply weren’t as great as their first; others truly lost their way. Few that made it past season 2 ever truly recovered.
And if you’re wondering where shows like The Walking Dead, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Glee, and even the original run of Twin Peaks are on this list, their second seasons still got good reviews even though word-of-mouth seemed to suggest otherwise. If you disagree, let us know in the comments.
Here are the 11 biggest sophomore slumps on television by Tomatometer score.
Please note that the percent change is based on the scores at the time of the update — scores may change as additional reviews are added to the Tomatometer.
The show: Marvel’s first Netflix series told a grounded version of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), the blind lawyer who uses his other enhanced senses to fight crime as Daredevil.
The ratings: Netflix famously does not reveal their ratings, but the success of Daredevil launched several more Marvel series and more seasons of Daredevil.
What happened: Season 1 was a revelation, both compared to the derided Ben Affleck movie and to show how serious superhero shows could work on streaming. By the time season 2 rolled around, Daredevil couldn’t measure up to the monster it created in Jessica Jones. “It’s still nowhere near as interesting or innovative as Marvel’s Agent Carter or Jessica Jones,” wrote The Daily Dot’s Gavia Baker-Whitelaw. “It’s hard to do anything new in the superhero genre, but the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil seems resolutely determined not to try,” wrote Abraham Riesman 0f New York Magazine/Vulture. Sharing the spotlight with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) just made people more excited for The Punisher than Daredevil. Aggressive Comix’ Steph Cozza called Punisher “the true MVP here” in her Fresh review.
(Photo by ABC)
The show: A modern-day reboot of the ’80s series, in which lizard-like aliens arrive wearing human skin.
The ratings: Season 1 dropped from 14.3 million viewers to below five, but ABC still gave it another chance. Season 2 couldn’t rise much above 5.7 million so that was that.
What happened: V went on hiatus after only four November episodes. By the time it returned in March following the Olympics, viewers just didn’t come back. A second season may have been a chance to establish stability, but critics assured viewers it hadn’t improved. Uproxx’s Alan Sepinwall said, “This one’s not working, and it doesn’t matter how many fresh coats of paint or new showrunners they try to slap onto it.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand said, “The groan-worthy dialogue, usually spoken in a monotone by alien and human alike, is rarely credible and lacks the kind of self-aware irony that might make this enjoyable.”
(Photo by NBC)
The show: The NBC series featured all of the drama of putting on a Broadway musical, the fictional Bombshell about the life of Marilyn Monroe, along with the backstabbing and rivalries behind the scenes.
The ratings: Starting strong with 11.44 million viewers, season 1 steadily lost viewers week by week, ending with 6.74 million. Season 2 began with only 4.48 million and by the middle of the season NBC moved the show to Saturday to dump the remaining episodes.
What happened: Show creator Theresa Rebeck departed the series following the first season, and the plot veered Off Broadway, literally, splitting its focus between Bombshell and a new independent rock musical, and in so doing losing some of its glitzy central appeal. “Its failure wasn’t so much that it didn’t reflect the real workings of Broadway; it never came close to reflecting any aspect of the real world,” New York Times critic Charles Isherwood wrote. With the grind of writing new songs every week and rehearsing the same show, basically it was never as good as the pilot. Or as Boston Herald’s Mark A. Perigard put it, “It still feels as if you’re trapped in the middle of opening night of a third grade dance recital.”
The show: Each season centers on a different set of detectives investigating a harrowing case.
The ratings: The first season debuted mid–Hunger Games mania for Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey‘s career “McConaissance” (coming off of acclaimed performances in the likes of Dallas Buyers Club and Magic Mike) and captivated 3.5 million HBO subscribers by the finale. Season 2 stars Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch were each probably hoping for their own career renaissance (“Vaughnaissance”? “McAdaissance”?) after collectively starring in a number of Rotten movies around the time they signed on for the series. But the HBO thriller held onto viewers (2.7 million, which was on par with season 1 regular viewing), who stuck with season 2 hoping it would get good again.
What happened: They rushed it. With the first season’s success, HBO asked creator Nic Pizzolatto for another season, but a show as intricate as True Detective takes time. HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo copped to essentially setting Pizzolatto up to fail. Lombardo told radio show The Frame: “When we tell somebody to hit an airdate as opposed to allowing the writing to find its own natural resting place, when it’s ready, when it’s baked — we’ve failed … I take the blame. I became too much of a network executive at that point. We had huge success. ‘Gee, I’d love to repeat that next year’ … I think that’s what I learned from it: Don’t do that anymore.” We’ll see if more time and new directors save the third season.
The show: Based on Stephen King’s 1,000-plus page novel, the town of Chester’s Mill becomes enclosed in a clear dome leaving the residents to deal with a lack of resources and laws.
The ratings: A summer hit for CBS, season 1 averaged 11 million viewers. By season 2, they were down to six or seven million, still enough to earn a third season. By the time season 3 hit a low of 3.7 million, there was no plan for season 4.
What happened: Under The Dome straying from the book showed early potential for keeping the story going beyond the finite novel. By the second season, viewers and critics alike felt the story was stretched too thin to try to make it last. Showbiz Junkies’ Rebecca Murray said the show “has taken itself so seriously and yet it’s one of the most nonsensical prime time shows to ever survive more than three episodes.” Backing her up, Screenrant’s Kevin Yeoman called it “one of the most frustrating and dim-witted shows on television.”
The show: The dysfunctional Rayburn family admits in the series premiere that they killed Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), compelling viewers to find out just what tore this Florida dynasty apart. Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, and Sissy Spacek played the Rayburns.
The ratings: Netflix does not release ratings, but the creators of the show were planning five or six seasons. They got three.
What happened: Danny died by the end of the first season. The season finale ended with a cliffhanger reveal that his long-lost son came looking for his aunt and uncles, but the real mystery was over. The Young Folks’ Katey Stoetzel called the season “a long, drawn out plot that at times seemed to make up mysteries on the spot in an effort to be just as mysterious as the first season.” In Vulture, Brian Tallerico wrote, “This year’s story never felt as confident as the first.”
The show: When you imagine what the world would be like if Hitler had won World War II, that’s good drama. Based on the Philip K. Dick novel.
The ratings: Amazon called The Man in the High Castle their most streamed original series. Season 2 came with no such announcement, but they are still making season 3.
What happened: The setup was great! The follow-up started treading water with aimless subplots and villains failing to remain threatening. “The scary people who were villains in season one ultimately become antiheroes,” said YouTube reviewer Jeremy Jahns. Andy Hartup of Gamesrada went further, saying, “Thanks to dull characters and mostly flaccid story lines, it falls short of being essential viewing.”
The show: Based on the Danish series, detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) investigate the death of Rosie Larson, which has ties to mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell).
The ratings: Season 1 averaged two million viewers — pretty strong for AMC. Season 2 was down to 1.5 million and AMC canceled it. Thanks to a deal with Netflix, they revived it for a third season, and Netflix streamed the fourth and final.
What happened: They solved Rosie’s murder, but it was too little too late. By then, critics grew tired of the mystery and its characters. Slant’s Mike Lechevallier called it “a mystery show whose mysteries agitate and bore rather than mesmerize and astound.” The Mercury News’ Chuck Barney wrote, “The longer we spent with the show’s brooding characters, the more we came to realize that they were an unbearably dour and detestable bunch.”
(Photo by Fox)
The show: A Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) wakes up in the mysterious town of Wayward Pines after an accident, and the authorities in town just will not let him leave.
The ratings: Season 1 was a solid summer hit with about 3.82 million viewers. Season 2 dropped to 2.0.
What happened: Once season 1 revealed what Wayward Pines actually was, season 2 was just about new characters (Jason Patric, Djimon Hounsou) who didn’t know as much as the audience. IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote, “You almost feel bad for the series in its second season, limping along, trying to rebuild from what little was left.” THR’s Dan Fienberg wrote, “If what you liked about the first season was the insidious unknown, that’s gone with little to replace it.”
The ratings: Only two-thirds of Einstein’s audience of a million tuned in for Picasso, down to only half in week two, and only about one-third by midway through the season.
What happened: Perhaps artistic genius was too abstract to contain in episodic format. Surely an artist as complex as Pablo Picasso cannot be encapsulated in a TV series, but critics complain Genius didn’t even try. The Straits Times’ Alison de Souza called it “disappointingly conventional” and New Statesman’s Rachel Cooke said the script failed both Picasso and Banderas. “Even he can’t make his lines sound convincing,” Cooke said. Plus, the creative magic that led to season 1’s 10 Emmy nominations, including one for Rush’s buzzy performance, may have set the bar impossibly high for any subject or lead actor that followed.
The show: Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes for her classmates. As Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) listens to the tapes, each one reveals one of the reasons Hannah ended her life.
The ratings: Netflix does not release ratings, but the first season was a water-cooler conversation piece, as well as the center of controversy. Some mental health advocacy groups worried it glamorized suicide. But season 2 remained a trending topic on social media, and on Wednesday, Netflix announced that 13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a third season.
What happened: We already found out the 13 reasons in season 1. Season 2 tried to add more reasons, and stretch out the story with the civil trial Hannah’s mother (Kate Walsh) filed, but it was obvious to fans and critics that the story had naturally concluded. ScreenRant’s Kevin Yeoman wrote, “Right away it becomes clear this season’s narrative foundation is built on sand, which is worsened by a lack of forward momentum and over-reliance on rehashing the past.”
Trying to tackle gun control only gave critics more reasons to grouse about the show’s handling of sensitive issues. “It is bleak and depressing, scarringly graphic and stupidly glamorizing in its treatments of guns and ideas of vengeance,” wrote Siena Yates of the New Zealand Herald.
While not as chock full of premieres as the fall TV season, summer can churn out some doozies of its own. Like we did around this time last year, we’ll be treated to shows that draw immediate engagement (Mr. Robot, Penny Dreadful, Orange is the New Black, Wayward Pines), television movie premieres (Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, The Dresser, All The Way), and special events (Just Let Go – Lenny Kravitz Live, Every Brilliant Thing, SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con). Add some anticipated series premieres (Roadies, Lady Dynamite, Outcast, Preacher) and miniseries (Roots, Houdini & Doyle, O.J.: Made in America) to the mix, and your DVR hard drives are sure to reach max capacity. So the questions is, which shows will you be deleting first, and which will rise to the pinnacle of your summer viewing list of faves? Check out the full (ever growing) list here:
Sunday, May 1
Penny Dreadful season three premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
Tuesday, May 3
Person of Interest season five premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Wednesday, May 4
Maron season four premiere, 9 p.m., IFC
Friday, May 6
Grace and Frankie season two premiere, Netflix
Sunday, May 8
Wallander season four premiere, 9 p.m., PBS
Monday, May 9
Every Brilliant Thing special event premiere, HBO
Tuesday, May 10
First Impressions series premiere, 10:30 p.m., USA
Wednesday, May 11
Chelsea series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, May 12
Submission series premiere, 11 p.m., Showtime
Friday, May 13
Just Let Go – Lenny Kravitz Live special event premiere, 8 p.m., Showtime
Wednesday, May 18
Royal Pains season eight premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Saturday, May 21
All the Way television movie premiere, 8 p.m., HBO
Sunday, May 22
Preacher series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Monday, May 23
Whose Line is it Anyway? season 12 premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Wednesday, May 25
Wayward Pines season two premiere, 9 p.m., FOX
Monday, May 30
So You Think You Can Dance season 13 premiere, 8 p.m., FOX
The Dresser television movie premiere (US), 9 p.m., Starz
Roots miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History, Lifetime, and A&E
Mistresses season four premiere, 10 p.m., ABC
Wednesday, June 1
Rock this Boat: New Kids on the Block season two premiere, 8 p.m., POP
Young & Hungry season four premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Baby Daddy season five return, 8:30 p.m., Freeform
Kingdom season two return, 9 p.m., DirecTV
Cleverman series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
The Night Shift season three premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Sunday, June 5
Feed the Beast series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Monday, June 6
Angie Tribeca season two premiere, TBS
Barbarians Rising miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
Devious Maids season four premiere, 9 p.m., Lifetime
Rizzoli & Isles season seven premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
UnREAL season two premiere, 10 p.m., Lifetime
Tuesday, June 7
Casual season two premiere, Hulu
Friday, June 10
Voltron: Legendary Defender series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, June 16
Aquarius season two premiere, 9 p.m., NBC
Friday, June 17
Orange is the New Black season four premiere, Netflix
Saturday, June 18
Mother, May I Sleep with Danger television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime
Sunday, June 19
Endeavour season three premiere (US), 9 p.m., PBS
The Last Ship season three premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
The Jim Gaffigan Show season two premiere, 10 p.m., TV Land
The Tunnel series premiere (US), 10:30 p.m., PBS
Tuesday, June 21
Pretty Little Liars season seven premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Wednesday, June 22
Big Brother season 17 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS
American Gothic series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Friday, June 24
The Fundamentals of Caring television movie premiere, Netflix
Saturday, June 25
Center Stage: On Pointe television movie premiere, 8 p.m., Lifetime
Sunday, June 26
Dancing on the Edge series premiere (US), 8 p.m., PBS
Ray Donovan season four premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime
Murder in the First season three premiere, 10 p.m., TNT
Roadies series premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime
Thursday, June 30
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll season two premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Friday, July 1
Between season two premiere, Netflix
Marcella series premiere (US), Netflix
Marco Polo season two premiere, Netflix
Killjoys season two premiere, 9 p.m., SyFy
Dark Matter season two premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy
Sunday, July 3
The Hunt series premiere (US), 9 p.m., BBC America
Sunday, July 10
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth season one return, 8 p.m., Showtime
DB Cooper miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., History
The Night Of series premiere, 9 p.m., HBO
Monday, July 11
Making of the Mob season two premiere, 10 p.m., AMC
Wednesday, July 13
Penn & Teller: Fool Us season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW
Suits season six premiere, 9 p.m., USA
The A Word series premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance
Mr. Robot season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Thursday, July 21
SyFy Presents Live from Comic-Con special event premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy
Friday, July 22
Bring It! season three return, 9 p.m., Lifetime
Saturday, July 23
Looking: The Movie television movie premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Thursday, July 28
Ripper Street season four premiere (US), 10 p.m., BBC America
Friday, July 29
Home: The Adventures of Tip and Oh series premiere, Netflix
Sunday, July 31
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens television movie premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy
Friday, Aug. 12
The Get Down series premiere, Netflix
Thursday, Aug. 18
60 Days In season two premiere, 9 p.m., A&E
Sunday, Aug. 21
Fear the Walking Dead season two return, 9 p.m., AMC
Wednesday, Aug. 24
Gomorrah series premiere (US), 10 p.m., Sundance
Sunday, Aug. 28
The Strain season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Wednesday, Aug. 31
You’re the Worst season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Frontier series premiere, Netflix
Halt and Catch Fire season three premiere, AMC
Happy Valley season two premiere, Netflix
Masters of Sex season four premiere, Showtime (July)
Suits season six premiere, USA
Summer draws ever closer, and while there are a lot of great movies to catch, we know you can’t spend all of your time and money going to the theater. Luckily, there’s a lot of great stuff to catch on the small screen, too. With that in mind, here are five choices we think are worth your precious binge time in May.
What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, and Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.
Why you should watch it: It’s gory, it’s sexy, it’s action-packed, and it’s full of high drama, often with a supernatural twist, which makes for a highly addictive combination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun watching Eva Green vamp it up as a gothic femme fatale alongside Timothy Dalton, with his dignified swagger. Critics agreed, too: season one is Certified Fresh at 78 percent, and season two sits at 100 percent. With season three premiering on the first of May, you might as well get caught up before you tune in.
Commitment: About 16 hours
What it is: A successful Florida family is forced to contend with dark secrets from their past when their troubled, estranged brother returns home and begins to shake things up.
Why you should watch it: Bloodline is simply the latest drama to prove the folks over at Netflix know how to deliver high quality television. The cast — which includes Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, and Sissy Spacek, among others — is absolutely top notch, and the writing walks a fine line between psychodrama and crime thriller territory. Season two drops in its entirety on May 27, which gives you plenty of time to run through the first season’s 13 episodes.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: 13 hours
What it is: A US Secret Service agent involved in a car accident wakes up in a small town he is mysteriously unable to leave and whose peculiar residents share a dark secret.
Why you should watch it: Consider this a mix of David Lynch and M. Night Shyamalan; the former’s Twin Peaks series and overall aesthetic serve as a clear inspiration for Wayward Pines, while the latter infuses the show with his own twisted sensibilities as executive producer. Beyond that, the cast is peppered with vets like Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, and Toby Jones, among others, and its sharp storytelling will keep you guessing. Season two premieres on May 25, so there’s plenty of time to jump on board this crazy train.
Commitment: About 7 hours
What it is: In the vein of Police Squad! comes this hysterical slapstick single-camera police procedural spoof created by Steve and Nancy Carell.
Why you should watch it: An homage to the Leslie Nielsen school of deadpan farce, Angie Tribeca revels in its drop-dead serious devotion to ridiculous humor. Fans of silly sight gags and absurd one-liners will find lots to appreciate, and folks like Lisa Kudrow, Danny Trejo, and Gene Simmons turn in hilarious cameos to up the laugh factor. It’s unclear if TBS will make season two — which premieres on June 6 — available in full, like they did with season one, but those of you who missed out on it during its first run can catch it on DVD on May 17.
Commitment: 3.5 hours
What it is: As a behind-the-scenes look at the reality competition television industry, UnREAL is a darkly compelling exploration of humanity vs. commercial success.
Why you should watch it: The fascination comes with the understanding that it is loosely based on the real life experience of showrunner Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. The show-within-a-show, Everlasting, can be compared to several reality dating competition shows currently airing, and the real tensions and drama occur behind the camera.
Commitment: Just over 7 hours
This week in TV news, Louis C.K. pulls a fast one, Supergirl will meet The Flash, HBO’s Anita Hill biopic sets an air date, and more!
HBO announced this week that Confirmation, its Anita Hill biopic starring Kerry Washington, now has a release date of Apr. 16. The screenplay by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Pocahontas) is directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope, Talk to Me) and will also star Wendell Pierce as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Treat Williams as Ted Kennedy, Grace Gummer as Kennedy aide Ricki Seidman, and Greg Kinnear as Joe Biden.
Leading the pilot news is Marvel’s announcement that Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Jean Smart have joined the cast of the pilot for Legion, the story of a troubled young man. Legion is the latest project from Noah Hawley and John Cameron, two of the Executive Producers of the award-winning FX series Fargo. Stevens (Downton Abbey), Plaza (Parks and Recreation), and Smart (Fargo) join Rachel Keller (also Fargo) in the pilot, which will begin production in March.
Award-winning actor Tony Shalhoub has joined the cast of BrainDead, a new comic-thriller set in the world of Washington, D.C. politics. The series comes from Robert and Michelle King, creators and executive producers of The Good Wife. Shalhoub will play Red Wheatus, a hard-drinking, fun-loving Republican senator who has spent decades in Washington making deals, until a radical transformation turns him into a health-conscious extremist who would rather destroy the government than compromise. BrainDead is scheduled to air this summer on CBS.
2016 is here, but are you approaching the future kicking and screaming? Then let’s stay here in past, and binge watch all of 2015’s quality shows you didn’t get around to the first time. Our gallery of Certified Fresh TV shows can help!