Difficult People

(Photo by KC Bailey / ©Hulu / courtesy Everett Collection)

80 Hidden Gem Series on Hulu

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 TaleRamy, and Little Fires EverywhereFinding 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. 


Action and Sci-Fi 

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Black Sails boasts visual appeal, but the show's bland characters aren't strong enough to keep the show from being dragged down into its murky depths of aimless exposition.

Firefly: Season 1 (2002)
77%

#7
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Firefly earns its audience's adoration with the help of Nathan Fillion's dry delivery, a detailed fantasy world, and compelling storylines -- even if it doesn't stand with creator Joss Whedon's most consistent work.
Directed By: Joss Whedon, Tim Minear

The Quest: Season 1 (2014)
79%

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: It's familiar stuff, but The Librarians offers family-friendly fun with a mixture of silliness and adventure.

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Sleeper Cell approaches its provocative high-concept with a respectful exploration of religious extremism, but the series works better as a gritty thrill-ride than the nuanced drama it aspires to be.

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The nonsensical time travel in 12 Monkeys makes it less watchable than its original source material, but the high quality execution and cool characters are top-notch.

Dollhouse: Season 1 (2009)
62%

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Joss Whedon's provocative procedural poses troubling questions about autonomy and consciousness, but repeatedly hitting the reset button on Eliza Dushku's character makes Dollhouse feel dispiritingly empty.

Misfits: Season 1 (1970)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The premise of ordinary people gaining superpowers has been done before, but this irreverent yet gritty drama stands out from the crowd by making its heroes a group of young offenders doing court-mandated community service.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Odd and ambitious, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency sometimes overdoses on pure weirdness but offers absurdist rewards to those who stick with it.


Comedies

#22
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: Stephen McCrum, Tom George

#21
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: Kyle Newacheck

#20
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Bouyed by strong acting and a sharp, funny script, Better Off Ted is a fresh, clever satire, even if it may not appeal to a particularly broad audience.

#19
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Though sometimes juvenile in nature, Getting On finds the funny, even in a somber setting, with humorous yet sensitive narratives and characterizations.

#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Before shows about struggling actors were done to death, there was Party Down.
Directed By: Fred Savage

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Aided by Chris Rock's humorous narration, Everybody Hates Chris' first season offers refreshingly honest insights into real life by addressing race, class, and adolescence.

#15
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Starring:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Difficult People makes the unlikable likable with mean-spirited, unhappy characters who still can't help but amuse.

Awkward.: Season 1 (2011)
95%

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, well acted, and emotionally resonant, Awkward captures the anxiety of teenage life with wit and insight.
Directed By: Lauren Iungerich

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: An odd couple sitcom with a modern twist, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is sleeker and smarter than expected, thanks to strong acting and snappy dialogue.

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Happy Endings has its moments, but overall, it's an uneven sitcom that strands a likeable cast in unbelievable situations.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

Spaced: Season 1 (1999)
100%

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Amusingly surrealistic and enjoyably odd, Man Seeking Woman is easy to fall for, taking a ridiculously funny approach to a common theme.

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Carried by Desiree Akhavan's dry wit, The Bisexual explores identity politics with humor and heart.

Legit: Season 1 (2013)
88%

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Legit is proudly rude, crude, and politically incorrect, but thanks to strong writing and sharply-drawn characters, it's frequently hilarious and often oddly charming.

Terriers: Season 1 (2010)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and quite funny, Terriers breathes quirky new life into the detective show.


Horror and Supernatural

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: David Kerr

NOS4A2: Season 1 (2019)
70%

#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Though Nos2a2 strains to build the necessary atmosphere to pull off its ambitious premise, it does capture the spirit of Joe Hill's singular work and provide a new psychopath for Zachary Quinto to sink his teeth into.

#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The Exorcist doesn't come close to its classic source material, but still boasts a tense narrative that manages some legitimate scares and credible special effects.

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The Strain makes the most of its familiar themes through an effective mix of supernatural thrills and B-movie gore -- though it may not appeal to everyone.

Salem: Season 1 (2014)
48%

#7
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: While the horror scenes are well-executed, Salem lacks enough substance to sustain even a guilty-pleasure interest.

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: In the Flesh exists within several genres, growing into profound entertainment that haunts as it entertains.
Directed By: Jonny Campbell

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Despite its overstuffed plot, Sleepy Hollow is a fun romp with exciting action scenes and sparkling production values.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Stan Against Evil is a light, gruesome horror-comedy with a fun premise, but the series has yet to solidify its tone and characters.
Directed By: Jack Bishop, Justin Nijm

The Fades: Season 1 (2011)
82%

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The Fades succeeds as a genuinely unnerving horror chronicle, striking a fine balance between gruesome set-pieces and likable characters.
Directed By: Farren Blackburn

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A thriller wrapped in a prestige drama package, The Terror makes for gripping, atmospheric supernatural horror.

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Creepy and strange in the best way possible, Wayward Pines is a welcome return to form for M. Night Shyamalan.

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Too tasteless for mainstream viewers and too silly for horror enthusiasts, Scream Queens fails to satisfy.

Medium: Season 1 (2005)
67%

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Medium may have a unique premise, but with bland storytelling, the outcome -- well, you can see it coming.

Siren: Season 1 (2018)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Siren turns traditional lore on its tail with a unique, well-paced show that presents dangerous, violent mythical creatures in a surprisingly empathetic and exciting light.


Dramas, Crime, And Historical 

#23
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Emily Watson plays a dangerous game with exceptional finesse in Apple Tree Yard, a rattlingly intense erotic thriller that deftly explores disturbing dilemmas and themes.
Directed By: Jessica Hobbs

Brockmire: Season 1 (2017)
94%

#22
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Brockmire insinuates itself as the series goes on, elevated by assured, compelling performances from Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet -- and a raw humor all its own.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: An engrossing drama with a fun '80s soundtrack, Deutschland 83 chronicles an intense spy story that brings viewers uncomfortably close to the Iron Curtain.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Bittersweet and beautifully performed, Looking For Alaska is the rare adaptation that deviates from its source material only to find something even better.

The Path: Season 1 (2016)
78%

#18
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With strong performances, deep writing, and skilled direction, The Path offers an absorbing observation of the human condition, even if a rushed pace occasionally blunts the impact.

Bunheads: Season 1 (2012)
100%

#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sharp, and effortlessly charming, Bunheads is a captivating blend of drama and comedy that succeeds on the strength of a terrific ensemble cast.

#16
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Brotherhood achieves an authentic sense of place while unleashing ferociously good actors onto a story rife with thought-provoking moral quandaries, but some viewers may find the series too glum and patient in its storytelling.

#15
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Underground blends credible terror with enough compelling thrills to overcome the storyline's occasional cliches.

Das Boot: Season 1 (2018)
85%

#14
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Das Boot possesses the atmospheric pressure of its cinematic forebear while adding new depth to its compelling ensemble, making for a riveting international production.

Harlots: Season 1 (2017)
92%

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Harlots uses its titillating subject matter to draw the viewer into a deeper drama about the intersection of survival, business, and family.

Snowfall: Season 1 (2017)
62%

#12
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Despite Singleton's accurate recreation of 1983 Los Angeles and a strong lead performance from Damson Idris.Snowfall struggles to create a compelling drama from its separate storylines.

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With an authenticity of culture and place and strong performances throughout, Queen Sugar rises above melodrama in this alluring, unhurried and powerful portrait of a fractious black American family.

Trust: Season 1 (2018)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Donald Sutherland delivers a powerful turn as the titular Getty in Trust, yet another telling of the affluent family's saga.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: National Treasure offers a unique perspective on celebrity crime through the eyes of its perpetrator -- and gripping performances from a strong ensemble cast.
Directed By: Marc Munden

()
%

#7

Lodge 49: Season 1 (2018)
86%

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Lodge 49 takes a surreal journey into the television dreamscape that can prove quite rewarding for viewers who stick with it.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A powerfully impressive -- and still relevant -- update on a television classic, Roots boasts remarkable performances, deep emotion, and occasionally jarring beauty.
Starring:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Top of the Lake remains impressively idiosyncratic and ambitious in its second season, even if the plot of this six-episode arc isn't quite as tightly wound as its predecessor's.

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Shots Fired tackles tough topics commendably -- and remains consistently compelling despite an occasionally meandering plot.


Throwback

#11
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Family Matters' first season proves that a simple sitcom built from basic ingredients can still deliver plenty of laughs if there's the right kind of chemistry between the cast -- particularly one with a breakout star waiting in the wings.


Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Although the jokes don't always stick the landing, the excellent actresses alone make Designing Women worth watching.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: An exceptional ensemble and a smart sense of humor suggest The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its titular star may just make it after all.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: You're about to enter a show, a show not only of frights and fears but of mind. A journey into the limitless world of imagination. A show that pushes the boundaries of what a show can be. Next stop, The Twilight Zone.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A comedian swaps standup for domestic duties in The Bernie Mac Show -- and proves you can still have a few laughs along the way.
Directed By: Larry Wilmore

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Not content to settle for Twilight Zone knockoff status, The Outer Limits set the bar for gruesome monster anthology series and stands the test of time.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A smart teen show with magic and a talking cat, Sabrina the Teenage Witch won our hearts and went on to be a 90s TGIF staple.

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: While it is fun to watch the core quartet mingle, Living Single's ribald humor won't be to everyone's taste.

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Although this sleek summertime soap oozes melodrama, Melrose Place struggles with one-dimensional storylines and shallow characterizations.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Although the jokes don't always stick the landing, the excellent actresses alone make Designing Women worth watching.


Animated 

Daria: Season 1 (1997)
94%

#9
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: While balancing sarcasm and subversive sensibility, Daria challenges social norms most teens can relate to.
Directed By: Karen Disher

#8
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With a distinctive color palette and profoundly good-natured sensibility, Steven Universe beams onto screens as a fully realized gem that will appeal to all demographics.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: The Venture Bros. is both affectionate towards the science fiction hallmarks that it parodies and disdainful of its own characters, making for a pastiche that is easier to admire than love -- but viewers who enjoy dense riffs on the genre should find much to relish here.
Starring:

Animaniacs: Season 1 (1993)
100%

#6
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:
Directed By: Craig McCracken

Hey Arnold!: Season 1 (1996)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus:


Thumbnail image: Jean Whiteside/©Fox, Steve Dietl / ©WGN America, KC Bailey / ©Hulu

MR. ROBOT -- "eps3.1_undo.gz" Episode 302 -- Pictured: Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/USA Network)

(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?


Homecoming 79%


What it is: A paranoia-inducing thriller that pulls in everything from government conspiracies and PTSD to lack of care for veterans and the privatization of health care. The Amazon show is also a reminder that we should probably never trust a character played by Bobby Cannavale.
What is the major malfunction: We can’t remember exactly. Maybe we should break for lunch?
Who’s responsible: Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail created the series, which is based on Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg’s popular podcast. Other stars include Julia Roberts, Shea Whigham, Stephan James, and Jeremy Allen White.


Maniac 84%

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.


Legion 91%

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.


Twin Peaks 82%

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.


Black Mirror 84%

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.


The Twilight Zone 82%

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.


American Horror Story: Cult (2017) 73%

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.


Castle Rock 88%

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.


Westworld 81%

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.


The OA 84%

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.


Mr. Robot 94%

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.


Lost 85%

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.


Hannibal 92%

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.


The Leftovers 91%

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.


The Outer Limits 92%

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.


Wayward Pines 60%

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.

13 Reasons Why stars Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford (Beth Dubber/Netflix)

(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.


Marvel's Daredevil: Season 1 (2015) 99%Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 (2016) 81%

DOWN 19%

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.


V: Season 1 (2009) 60%V: Season 2 (2011) 40%

DOWN 23%

(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.”


Smash: Season 1 (2012) 80% | Smash: Season 2 (2013) 56%

DOWN 23%

(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.”


True Detective: Season 1 (2014) 87% | True Detective: Season 2 (2015) 62%

DOWN 23%

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.


Under the Dome: Season 1 (2013) 83% | Under the Dome: Season 2 (2014) 61%

DOWN 25%

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.”


Bloodline: Season 1 (2015) 81%Bloodline: Season 2 (2016) 53%

DOWN 28%

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 Man in the High Castle: Season 1 (2015) 95%The Man in the High Castle: Season 2 (2016) 64%

DOWN 31%

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 Killing: Season 1 (2011) 94%The Killing: Season 2 (2012) 67%

DOWN 31%

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.”


Wayward Pines: Season 1 (2015) 78%Wayward Pines: Season 2 (2016) 43%

DOWN 36%

(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.”


Genius: Einstein (2017) 84% | Genius: Picasso (2018) 57%

DOWN 38%

The show: Each season told the biography of a different genius. Season 1 was Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush), season 2 was Pablo Picasso (Antonio Banderas). Season 3 will be Mary Shelley.

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.


13 Reasons Why: Season 1 (2017) 77%13 Reasons Why: Season 2 (2018) 28%

DOWN 54%

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.

summer prem collage

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:


 

May | June | July | August | TBA 


 May

Sunday, May 1
Penny Dreadful season three premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime

Monday, May 2
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah television movie premiere, HBO
Houdini & Doyle miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., FOX

Tuesday, May 3
Person of Interest season five premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, May 4
Maron season four premiere, 9 p.m., IFC

Thursday, May 5
Flowers series premiere (US), Seeso
Marseille series premiere, Netflix

Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie

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

Submission_103_3423086_UN_009

Submission

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

Friday, May 20
Doctor Thorne series premiere (US), Amazon
Lady Dynamite series premiere, Netflix
Masters of Illusion season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Saturday, May 21
All the Way television movie premiere, 8 p.m., HBO

Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer; Preacher _ Season 1, Gallery - Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Preacher

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

Friday, May 27
Bloodline season two premiere, Netflix
The Do-Over television movie premiere, Netflix

roots

Roots

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

Tuesday, May 31
Peaky Blinders season three premiere, Netflix
Powers season two premiere, Playstation Network
Maya and Marty series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC
Scream season two premiere, 10 p.m., MTV

 

Back to Top


 June


NUP_168867_0337.JPG

The Night Shift

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

Thursday, June 2
Hibana: Spark series premiere, Netflix
Beauty and the Beast season four premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Quincy Jones: Burning the Light television movie premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

outcast

Outcast

Friday, June 3
Comedy Bang! Bang! season five premiere, 11 p.m., IFC
Outcast series premiere, Cinemax

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

ae8ba2ac-ca47-4051-b99e-5a7fb0678ad6

Casual

Tuesday, June 7
Casual season two premiere, Hulu

Friday, June 10
Voltron: Legendary Defender series premiere, Netflix

Saturday, June 11
Hell on Wheels season five return 9 p.m., AMC
O.J.: Made in America miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
The American West miniseries premiere 10 p.m., AMC

Sunday, June 12
Difficult People season two premiere, Hulu
Ride with Norman Reedus series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

140457_0340

Guilt

Monday, June 13
Guilt series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform
BrainDead series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS
Major Crimes season five premiere, 10 p.m., TNT

Tuesday, June 14
Animal Kingdom series premiere, 9 p.m., TNT
Uncle Buck series premiere, 9 p.m., ABC
Wrecked series premiere, 10 p.m., TBS

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

jim gaff

The Jim Gaffigan Show

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

Monday, June 20
The Fosters 
season four premiere, 8 p.m., Freeform
Odd Mom Out 
season two premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo

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

Thursday, June 23
Queen of the South series premiere, 10 p.m., USA
Thirteen 
series premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America

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

ROADIES

Roadies

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

Tuesday, June 28
Dead of Summer series premiere, 9 p.m., Freeform
Zoo season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Thursday, June 30
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll season two premiere, 10 p.m., FX

 

Back to Top


 July


NUP_169772_0011.JPG

Dark Matter

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

Wednesday, July 6
Duck Dynasty season nine premiere, 9 p.m., A&E
Tyrant season three premiere, 10 p.m., FX
Wahlburgers season five premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

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

NUP_169192_0241.JPG

Mr. Robot

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

Friday, July 15
East Los High season four premiere, Hulu
Stranger Things series premiere, Netflix
Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru television movie premiere, Netflix

Sunday, July 17
Power season three premiere, 9 p.m., Starz
Ballers season two premiere, 10 p.m., HBO
Vice Principals series premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO

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

Sunday, July 24
Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour series premiere, 10 p.m., History
Survivor’s Remorse season three premiere, 10 p.m., Starz

Tuesday, July 26
MadTV series premiere, 9 p.m., CW
Born This Way, season two premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

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

 

Back to Top


 August


get down

The Get Down

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

Tuesday, Aug. 23
Halt and Catch Fire season three premiere, 9 p.m., AMC
Better Late than Never series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

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

Back to Top


TBA


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

Back to Top

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.


Penny Dreadful 91%

Penny-Dreadful-Binge

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes, PlayStation VideoVudu, Showtime Anytime with a cable subscription, and you can watch the season three premiere for free now on Rotten Tomatoes

Commitment: About 16 hours


Bloodline 62%

Bloodline-Binge

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


Wayward Pines 60%

Wayward-Pines-Binge

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.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, and Vudu

Commitment: About 7 hours


Angie Tribeca 96%

Angie-Tribeca-Binge

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.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation VideoVudu, and on tbs.com with a cable subscription

Commitment: 3.5 hours


UnREAL 81%

UnReal-Binge

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.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google PlayHulu, iTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and Vudu

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’S ANITA HILL BIOPIC STARRING KERRY WASHINGTON HAS A RELEASE DATE

anita hill

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 StoryPocahontas) 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.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Washington divulged how terrified she was at the prospect of playing a real, live person. As part of her research, she met personally with Ms. Hill, and also attended sexual harassment orientation prior to production.

WAS MELISSA MCCARTHY NOT ASKED TO JOIN THE GILMORE GIRLS REUNION?

melissa_mccarthy_tv_talk
After TVLine broke the news last week that the Gilmore Girls reunion was officially a go, there has been much speculation about which cast members will be returning. Series leads Lauren Graham (Lorelai) and Alexis Bledel (Rory), as well as regulars Kelly Bishop (Emily), Scott Patterson (Luke), Sean Gunn (Kirk) and Keiko Agena (Lane) have all been confirmed. But where was Melissa McCarthy as Lorelai’s best friend Sookie? McCarthy tweeted that she was not asked to return to Stars Hollow. However, according to Variety, series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino says she was in talks with McCarthy’s people and that, “She’s really f—ing busy… But the thing I have said [to her team] is, ‘Look, if Melissa is available and has an afternoon free, I’ll write her a scene. Melissa was one of us, if she has a spare moment to run over [to the set] — even if for just a cameo — we would be totally game. And if it’s a last-minute thing, I would write her in and we would figure it out. That’s the way we left it.” As Oprah would say, what is the truth?

LOUIS C.K. PULLS A BEYONCE AND RELEASES SECRET TV PILOT FOR HORACE AND PETE

Horace&Pete
Louis C.K. pulled a Beyonce last Saturday and dropped a brand new unannounced TV series on his website, LouisCK.net. Written and directed by C.K., Horace and Pete is a 67-minute dramedy with a definite theatrical feel, and stars Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Alan Alda, and Jessica Lange. Episode one is available for $5, and the website appears to be setting aside room for three more episodes, but no one knows when they’ll be available.

CASTING NEWS FOR WAYWARD PINES, MARVEL’S LEGION, AND BRAINDEAD

legion
Wayward Pines season two has a doctor in the house. TV Line reported that Jason Patric has been tapped to star in Season 2 of Fox’s mind-bending drama, the network announced Thursday. Patric will play newcomer Dr. Theo Yedlin; a confident, driven surgeon whose leadership skills become invaluable to Wayward Pines’ residents. Season two of Wayward Pines will air this summer on Fox.

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.


SUPERGIRL GETS A VISIT FROM THE FLASH

superflash
DC Comics’ superheroes are joining forces for an epic crossover. Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen aka The Flash will be racing from his CW show onto fellow superhero, Supergirl‘s show on CBS. The particulars of their joint adventure are yet to be announced, but the episode will air on Monday, March 28th (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) 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!