If there's anything to say about the state of television, it's that It is the golden age of television. That's right. The GOLDEN AGE, which is like saying it's the best age. We're so deep into the golden age that it might be hard to remember a time when television wasn't a respected medium, but that's how it was for a long time.
It used to be that films were the most respected type of video content, but with the rise of hour-long serialized series, as well as risk-taking networks like HBO and Netflix, TV is now on par with movies. Some would even say that TV has more storytelling advantages than TV, but that's a debate for another day.
We're looking into the upcoming Fall season of television shows, both new and returning, to see which ones are worth your time and which ones you can skip. It may be the golden age of television, but that doesn't mean you have to watch everything. In fact, it would be impossible, so let us do the dirty work for you.
Skip: "God Friended Me" - CBS
If you're like me, having a reference to Facebook in a show title makes me gag. If we're lucky 'friending someone' won't even be a thing in a couple of years, so for the show's premise to rely on Facebook makes me a little weary. It's about an atheist who has his life turned upside down when God friends him on Facebook. It sounds more like a premise for a Saturday Night Live sketch than a show, but it could possibly confront a lot of philosophical questions. Seeing as though it's on CBS, those philosophical questions will probably be very tame.
Give this show a chance, but be prepared to give up on it if it sticks to the whole Facebook thing too much. Sometimes the ideas with the most potential turn out to be the corniest.
Must Watch: "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser" - Netflix
'Sierra Burgess is a Loser' is a Netflix original movie starring someone many Netflix fans have been itching to see more of. I'm talking about Barb from 'Stranger Things.' Her real name is Shannon Purser, but most people know her as Barb, the character who barely gets any screen time in 'Stranger Things.' She plays the titular character, so she's bound to get plenty of time in the movie.
If you're looking for a lighthearted movie, this is a movie you're not going to want to miss. Since it's just a movie it won't have you binge watching for ten hours straight like a tv show, so that's the good thing. Catch up on the Barb episode of 'Stranger Things' before you watch and make it a Shannon Purser themed movie party. I've heard of stranger movie parties.
Skip: "You" - Lifetime
'You' is a show from the Lifetime network, which has more of a reputation for shows that are very women-centric and sometimes ridiculous. The women-centric comment isn't meant to be derogatory, but the ridiculous comment might be. Lifetime has more movies about spousal abuse than any other network. When you dominate that genre for so long, you end up getting into weird territories with your plot lines.
'You' definitely fits in their line up. It's about a guy who stalks a girl until they fall in love, but then he murders the people in her life that don't like him. That sounds like the plot of one of Lifetime's movies but extended out to fill an entire series. If you're into trashy, so-dumb-it's-fun television, then you might want to watch this series, but if you're at all hesitant, go with your gut.
Must Watch: "The Romanoffs" - Amazon
The style of this show is sure to be interesting. It follows eight separate stories about people who believe they are related to the famous Russian Romanoff family. Expect to get a lot of different perspectives and storyline from this show, which will surely keep audiences engaged and entertained. That is until the show spends too much time on a storyline fans don't like (AKA Sun and Jin from 'Lost').
The premise might sound a little odd, but the eight different storylines make it so that this show is stacked with great actors. Amanda Peet, Aaron Eckhart, and Kathryn Hahn just to name a few. The show's creator is also no slouch. It's Matthew Weiner, creator of the hit 'Made Men.' That alone makes this a highly recommended show, though this one has more of a comedic edge than 'Mad Men.'
Must Watch: "Forever" - Amazon
There are enough talented people involved with 'Forever' for fans to get excited. The creators of the show have been involved in some of the most popular shows in recent memory. Alan Yang, creator of 'Master of None,' and Matt Hubbard, creator of '30 Rock,' have joined forced for this comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. You may recognize them both from SNL fame, though they've both gone on to do incredible work after that including 'Portlandia' and 'The Happytime Murders.'
I won't give too much away about this series, but it's about a married couple living a perfectly fine life until something happens that changes their outlook on their lives. This is a show you definitely want to watch, especially if you're a fan of any of the people mentioned above.
Hit or Miss: "The First" - Hulu
Sean Penn starring in streaming television. Now that's exciting! We're used to seeing Sean Penn on the big screen, or in rehab, but in this case he's taking on the small screen. 'The First' chronicles the first manned missions to Mars. It's a fiction, but much like 'The Martian,' it has a realistic tone that really puts you into the reality of the situation. This isn't the type of series you'd see on SyFy, no disrespect to SyFy. This is realistic science-fiction drama set in a future that isn't totally unrealistic.
This show might be a miss for people who don't appreciate the intricacies of launching a space mission, so feel free to skip it if that's you. If you are interested in the topic, you'll definitely want to see watch this series on Hulu.
Hit or Miss: "Sorry for Your Loss" - Facebook Watch
This is an exciting series because it will be on Facebook Watch, Facebook's long-form video service. That's right, you can check your notification AND watch prestige television all in the same place. The future is here. This foray into television looks like it might be quite interesting. It stars Elizabeth Olsen, sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Kelly Marie Tran from 'The Last Jedi.' If you're a fan of those actresses, this is a show you can't miss - at least for the first couple of episodes to see if it's your style.
The story is about a woman (Olsen) whose husband suddenly dies, which sends her life into a whirlwind of transformation. More importantly, it leads her to find out that there was a lot about her husband that she didn't know. It's a dark comedy, so expect some cringy laughs.
Must Watch: "The Good Cop" - Netflix
'The Good Cop' is a cop show. Big surprise there, right? Let's face it, most shows are cop shows, plus it has cop in the name. Who would have figured? What makes this one special is that it's from the creators of 'Monk.' That means it's bound to have some oddball humor mixed in with the sleuthing adventures of its two main characters. Both are named Tony (Tony Jr. and Tony Sr.) and they are played by Tony Danza and Josh Groban.
You may know Josh Groban more for his singing career, but in 'The Good Cop' he'll be acting across from Tony Danza, an actor who has been in the business longer than Groban has been alive. I recommend this show, especially since it'll be on Netflix, so the show can get plenty weird.
Must Watch: "Maniac" - Netflix
There's no way you can miss 'Maniac' on Netflix. It stars two actors who fans have been waiting for years to reunite. I'm talking about two of the stars from 'Superbad,' Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. They return together on the screen, but not in a raunchy comedy. These two will be in this trippy series about two people (Stone and Hill) who sign up for a pharmaceutical trial where they are promised nothing will go wrong, unfortunately things do go wrong in a very weird way.
Netflix is putting a lot of faith in this show's success given the big stars in it. That's because the creator of the show has had some success before. The creator, Cary Fukanaga, is responsible for 'True Detective' season one, so if you were a fan of that season, check this out.
Must Watch: "Nappily Ever After" - Netflix
This is another movie coming from Netflix, who has been doing a great job of making quality movies. Sure, some of them may not be big screen quality, but they aren't meant to be. These are meant to be movies for a night in with some microwave popcorn. If you were a fan of Netflix' 'Set It Up' or 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before,' and you enjoy dark humor, then this movie will definitely satisfy you. This movie is especially important for anyone interested in current race relations.
This movie is about a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend after a long relationship where he hasn't proposed yet, but she gets jealous once he starts dating another girl. Although that plot may sound simple, there's a lot more to it. This movie gives you plenty reason to fire up the Netflix.
Skip: "Manifest" - NBC
I hate to say it, because I love 'Lost,' but I think it may have had a negative impact on television in some ways. Many copycat shows came out following the success of 'Lost,' but very few of them captured the magic of 'Lost,' even when they were made by the same creators. The show is about a plane that lands five years in the future - meaning that they had been gone for five years while to them it only seemed like a couple of hours. Sounds intriguing, but how many of us have another five seasons of mystery in us?
With that being said, you can pass on this one. If it ends up being really good you can always binge watch the first season, which means you won't have to wait week after week for the mystery to unfold.
Skip: "A Million Little Things" - ABC
'A Million Little Things' is already being described as a 'This is Us' clone, which doesn't bode well for the future of the genre, if you can call it that. Much like all of the 'Lost' clones, the 'This is Us' clones may even be good, but it will be difficult to escape the shadow of such a behemoth series. This show does have a great cast going for it though, which may give it a chance at success.
The plot is where this show runs into trouble. The plot follows a group of friends who reevaluate their lives following the suicide of a friend. It's dark territory, which can make for great dramatic fodder, but we'll see if they can nail such a delicate topic. If you're looking for a recommendation for this one, signs are leaning towards no.
Hit or Miss: "FBI" - CBS
I'm a little surprised it took this long for a show called 'FBI' to come out. We've had CSI and NCIS already, and those are pretty obscure. We even have Chicago PD. 'FBI' was the next logical step for procedural crime dramas. This one takes place in New York, following the team of New York FBI agents to show off what the FBI is all about. Maybe it will make you less worried about them spying in on your computer's webcam.
Procedural crime dramas tend to be very popular, so if you like the genre you might find something in this series. Otherwise, this one is probably one of the more generic and uninteresting shows in the genre. Then again, it's created by Dick Wolf who is a master of creating engaging television, so take with that what you will.
Hit or Miss: "Mr. Inbetween" - FX
'Mr. Inbetween' is your standard anti-hero story about a guy who is a criminal, yet must juggle his personal live. That includes having a daughter. You can already imagine all the shenanigans that ensue from a career criminal having a child to take care of, but if you've had your fill of anti-hero stories, this is one you can easily skip. If not, this easily digestible show is only thirty minutes long, so it won't kill your entire week when you eventually binge watch it.
The casting choice for the show's main character is interesting. The main character is played by an actor named Scott Ryan who hasn't been in much other than this series. For that reason it might be fun to watch in case his career continues to rise. Years later you can remember those early years watching him on the small screen.
Must Watch: "Single Parents" - ABC
'Single Parents' follows the lives of a group of single parents who act as each other's support systems. There's no doubt this show will be a good time given the cast. It starts Taran Killam from Saturday Night Live as well as Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett. Brad Garrett has enough comedy chops and experience to carry the show himself, but the entire case is great.
If you're a single parent, this show may just speak to you. Seeing as there aren't all that many shows that focus on single parenting, I could see this connecting with a lot of people. We'll see how it does on ABC, seeing as though a show about single parents might do better on Netflix or Hulu - single people television networks. Let's face it. Network TV is for families. Netflix is for watching alone with a carton of ice cream.
Must Watch: "Murphy Brown" - CBS
One of my main criticism of TV are all the reboots and remakes. What made the mso great when they first came out is that they were original and fresh. That's what contemporary audiences want - original and fresh. A reboot or remake is the exact opposite of that. That being said, 'Murphy Brown' might actually stand a chance in this day and age because of its subject matter.
'Murphy Brown' is about a female journalist working on television. The show never shied away from the tough issues at the time. Given all of the issues with the news and politics, this show will have plenty of fresh things to say. In fact, I'd argue that this is a reboot that we actually NEED. Whether you loved the show before, or you're just hearing about it now, this show might satisfy a very specific itch.
Hit or Miss: "The Cool Kids" - Fox
This show is very unique because it is one of the few shows that focuses on elderly people as its main characters. When's the last time you can think of that that happened? 'Golden Girls?' If 'Golden Girls' is the expectation with 'The Cool Kids,' then we can expect something incredibly funny and timeless. That being said, if you're not into watching older people be funny, you may not connect with this. The same way that an elderly person may not be interested in watching 'The Hills.'
The show is produced by Charlie Day of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' fame, so I'm confident it will be funny. Plus it has comedy legend David Alan Grier as one of its stars. The other starts include Leslie Jordan, Martin Mull, and Vicki Lawrence, so the entire case is very good.
Must Watch: "King Lear" - Amazon
If you are not a fan of Shakespeare then this is a big no as far as my recommendation goes. This show is set in modern times, however, everyone speaks in Shakespearean English. Joss Whedon tried the same thing in 2013 with his movie 'Much Ado About Nothing' (based off the Shakespeare play). If that movie didn't work for you, then this show definitely won't. For many, it will be odd to see modern day situations spoken in Shakespearean English. For others, even hearing Shakespearean English in classic Shakespeare is weird.
If you do like Shakespeare though, this show will definitely be up your alley. The cast is completely stacked, including Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, and Anthony Hopkins as the titular King Lear. It feels like the role that Anthony Hopkins was born to play.
Skip: "New Amsterdam" - NBC
'New Amsterdam' is a.... Hospital drama. There really isn't much more to say about it than that. We've had dozens of hospital drama - some wildly successful, other not - so it's hard to get excited about a new one. At least it has a better name than 'The Good Doctor,' but not by much. 'New Amsterdam' follows an idealistic doctor who starts work at a new hospital with dreams of cutting through the bureaucratic red tape and actually saving lives. You'd think they'd give the show more of a punch than that, but no.
This is definitely a no as far as my recommendation goes. There's too many other shows with interesting twists to their plotlines for this one to be worth your time. If you really need your hospital-show fix, there are plenty of seasons of 'House' to go pop in the DVD player.
Must Watch: "Made in Mexico" - Netflix
Here's one thing I have to say about this show. Thank god it's not called 'Maid in Mexico,' because I'm sure that title has been pitched at some point, whether it was for this show or another. Let's face it, that's a title made for Hollywood. This is a reality show, which might immediately turn some people off. If reality isn't your thing, this show will not make you a believer, but that's not to say that it's bad.
For those of you not turned off by reality shows, this is one you'll want to check out. It's about social elites in Mexico City, as well as the people who want to be a part of their circle. Having a Mexican reality show on Netflix bodes well for the future of Latino entertainment, so give this a watch for pleasure, and because it could lead to more exciting Latino-driven shows.
Skip: "Lethal Weapon" - FOX
'Lethal Weapon' is a reboot from a movie to a TV show. Can you guess how I feel about that based on my previous comments? I was never thrilled about this show for that reason, and the execution didn't change my mind either. Then there was controversy with the show to add on top of all of that. The original star, Clayne Crawford, was fired from the show for inappropriate behavior. Clayne Crawford is the perfect creep name, isn't it? We should have known. Now Sean William Scott is taking on the role, which I wish would have happened from the get go.
It's possible that Sean William Scott brings some much needed energy to the show, but I don't see it happening. You should skip this at all costs. Let the remakes and the reboots die.
Hit or Miss: "I Feel Bad" - NBC
It could go either way with 'I Feel Bad.' The show has a fairly simple premise. The main character, Emet, is a struggling mom, boss, friend, and daughter. There's not much to go on there, so it's going to be up to the characters to drive this series. If the characters are fun and have you rooting for them, I see no reason why this show won't be a good time, but if the characters are generic, this will get you bored very quickly.
The main character of Emet is played by Sarayu Blue who has had many roles over the course of her career, though you may have seen her recently as one of the mothers in the blockbuster comedy 'Blockers.' That movie was hilarious, but she'll have to bring much more to the table than the mother role she played in that movie.
Must Watch: "All American" - The CW
This is a show that is inspired by the life of professional football player Spencer Paysinger. It's about a South Central football player who is recruited to a Beverly Hills school because he's just that good. Don't expect to get bogged down by facts from Spencer Paysinger's life. This is a CW show after all, which is why this might be one to check out if you like that network's vibe. No one does teen shows like the CW. If you're reading this and don't even know what the CW is, then maybe it won't be for you, but only if that's the case.
This is a definite recommend, especially if you're a fan of either the CW or football shows. There are plenty of great football shows out there, but not nearly enough great ones. This has the potential to make its mark as a 'Friday Night Lights' for teens.
Must Watch: "Big Mouth" - Netflix
'Big Mouth' was a surprise hit from Netflix. A cartoon meant for adults about adolescents? It sounds like a recipe for WTF, but it actually ended up connecting with people of all ages. It's about kids going through puberty, which is represented by monsters that hang out with them. The voice cast is full of notable names. It's pretty much a who's who of comedians. Even if you're not into animated shows for adults, this show is worth watching. It'll speak to your soul unless you somehow lost all your adolescent memories.
You should be able to jump right into season two, but trust me, you'll just end up watching season one later anyway. It's Netflix, so there's no reason not to start from season one, but it's your life. Live it how you want to live it.
Hit or Miss: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" - FX
I feel like the people who are going to watch the newest season are going to watch it, and those who aren't just aren't. I know that sounds like a stupid sentence, but it's true. At this point the show has been on so long that you're either into it or not. If you've never seen or heard of it before, you can always check out the first season pretty easily on streaming services to see if you like it, but there's also no reason not to jump right into the new season since it's not super serialized.
It may be a good time for old fans who fell off after season four to get back into the show. Although some people may be tired of the Always Sunny schtick, the cast still has plenty of laughs to give.
Hit or Miss: "Atypical" - Netflix
Netflix' series 'Atypical is hitting its second season, which means it's still early to get into it if you haven't already. The show follows a family with an 18-year-old autistic son who is looking for more independence in his life. If you didn't like season one, there is no reason for you to keep watching. The show finds its footing a bit more in season two, but that's not to say it's perfect.
It's great to see a show with an autistic main character, but shows with autistic characters never seem to please everyone. Many will always find the portrayal too reductive, while many others will applaud the depiction of autism. No one is right or wrong, but if you can't stand how the show has depicted autism, then you're not going to connect with this series.
Hit or Miss: "Marvel's Iron Fist" - Netflix
Marvel is a movie-making kingpin, churning out hit after hit. Not only are the Marvel movies cash cows, they are also fairly good all around. The same can't be said for Marvel's foray into television, especially Netflix. It's easy to put season one of 'Marvel's Iron Fist' as one of the worst Marvel television shows ever produced, so what reason is there to get into season two?
For one, the creators hopefully learned from their mistakes, so there is a lot of room for course correction in season two. Netflix Marvel shows also tend to start slowly in their first seasons. In fact, most episodes are slow. Season two will be a definite upgrade, but it most likely won't be enough. Skip unless you're a die hard Marvel fan or loved season one (if so, who are you?).
Must Watch: "Shameless" - Showtime
'Shameless' is a great example of exceptional television that has stayed exceptional for eight seasons. How many shows can you say have done that while keeping things fresh and exciting? It enters it's ninth season this fall, which is a lot of seasons to dig into. If you haven't seen the previous season I'd highly suggest putting your sweatpants on and binge watching it. That might take you quite a while at one hour per episode, but it's well worth it.
It's not that you won't be able to enjoy the show if you start at season 9, but there's so much history to the show at this point that you'd be doing yourself a disservice to just jump right in. This will be Emmy Rossum's last season on the show which might not bode well for the future of the series.
Hit or Miss: "The Deuce" - HBO
'The Deuce' is jumping into its second season which should be even bigger, sexier, and grimier than the first. It follows the story of several people in New York in the 70s when prostitution and porn were as commonplace as Uber and poki (seriously, there is a Poki place on every corner now). Maggie Gyllenhaal gives exceptional performance in each episode, and love him or hate him, James Franco isn't too bad either. Despite sexual allegations towards him, he remains on the show.
If you liked season one, this second season is a must watch, but if you found yourself bored or turned off by the subject matter, things aren't going to clean up anytime soon. It's not exactly family programming either, so watch out who you watch it with, AKA watching it with your mom could be a bad idea.
Hit or Miss: "American Horror Story: Apocalypse" - FX
Here is the great thing about the 'American Horror Story' series. You can pick up any season and know exactly what's going on since every season begins a new horror story. This season is going to have callbacks to characters from previous seasons, but that shouldn't be confusing to new viewers of the show. Plus, it'll give you reasons to watch the old seasons if you like this one. If you've been devotedly watching the series since the beginning, of course you're going to watch this one.
This is one of those "yes if you like it, no if you don't" recommendations. Ultimately, if you aren't into horror, you're not going to be into this show. It's a major skip if you're squeamish, despite the great cast of actors. However, if you're intrigued despite being scared, give it a shot. You just may like being afraid.
Must Watch: "American Vandal" - Netflix
'American Vandal' is another non-serialized seasoned show, meaning you can watch season two without watching season one because it explores an all new storyline. That being said, what are you doing if you haven't seen season one? It's such a good show with what appears to be a ridiculous premise at first. It's a satire of the true-crime genre, however, it's about a ridiculous case: penises keep getting drawn on cars. The show is not as low brow as that case, so don't worry if you think it'll be a silly show. It's not.
Season two starts with an equally weird case that I won't spoil for you, but it's more intense than the first. All I'll say is that this show is highly recommended whether you want to go back to season one or start at season two.
Must Watch: "BoJack Horseman" - Netflix
If you've never given 'BoJack Horseman' a chance, I get it. It's a cartoon about a horseman with the last name Horseman. It's not exactly crying for your adult attention. The thing is, this is one of the best shows on TV right now, and it's certainly the most consistently good Netflix show. Despite being a cartoon, and a cartoon about animals at that, the show is extremely poignant. It's able to tackle serious issues by using the animal characters to make those ideas more palatable.
As far as jumping right into this show, you may want to catch up on old seasons first, but that's just because they are so good. Give season one a couple of episodes to warm up, but that might be my recommendation for most shows. By season two this show is firing on all cylinders.
Skip: "9-1-1" - FOX
'9-1-1' is a Ryan Murphy show, which for some people may be reason enough to dive in without even worrying what the show is about. That's because Ryan Murphy is responsible for such shows as 'American Horror Story,' 'Glee,' 'Scream Queens,' and 'Pose.' That's quite a resume, but one thing you may notice is that all of those shows have a hyper stylized vibe. How does that fit into the perilous world of 9-1-1 operators and first responders? Not well.
The first season was so ridiculous that it was hard to tell if the show was a comedy or not (hint: it's not!). It often teeters on being fun and horrible, but mostly lands on horrible. As it turns out, when you're dealing with very real feeling storylines, Ryan Murphy's specific charm doesn't work well. Skip this one.
Skip: "The Good Doctor" - ABC
I have a lot of feeling about this. 'The Good Doctor' is a very ridiculous show. It's about an autistic doctor who gets his first job as a resident at a hospital in San Jose. Although he's great at analyzing the patient's problems, his autism gets in the way of him doing his job perfectly. It's not ridiculous because the main character is autistic. It's ridiculous in every other single way. It found an audience in people who seems to enjoy its cliche storylines, but I personally thought the show left a lot to be desired.
I would skip season two. The characters are not interesting at all, and the main characters autism seems more like a caricature than anything we'd actually see in real life. It's bound to be one of the better NEWish doctor shows, but that's not saying much.
Skip: "The Big Bang Theory" - CBS
I always didn't want to put this one on the list because by this point you either hate 'The Big Bang Theory' or you just put it on so after a long day of work you don't have to do any thinking while watching a TV show. Sitcoms tend to get extremely stale over time, especially if nothing big happens in the series. 'The Big Bang Theory' is no exception. People have been sick of this shows schtick for quite some time already, so it's about time the show ends. This is its final season, but there's no reason to tune in.
I blame this show for giving sitcoms a bad name. I don't mind laugh tracks or traditional multi-cams at all. In fact, I have a close relationship with them that I can't get into, but this show set the bar to a new low.
Hit or Miss: "This Is Us" - NBC
We've already referenced 'This is Us' several times throughout this article as a way to measure quality television (albeit we've done this by pointing out how many copycat shows there are). That's because this show is just plain good. When I first started watching it, I didn't want it to be good and I didn't think it would be good. It hooked me instantly. I'm not the only one either. America loves 'This is Us.'
Season two has plenty of storylines locked, loaded, and ready to go. Just when you thought this family was safe, there is a storm coming. They will each encounter new sets of problems to deal with in this upcoming season. This is a definite must-watch, even if you haven't seen season two. Everyone will be talking about it.
Skip: "Law and Order: SVU" - NBC
This show has been around for a whopping 19 seasons. You'd think these people would run out of special victims, but the world is a dark place. There will always be new special victims to help. This hasn't been must-see-TV for quite some time now. The procedural genre is overdone at this point, although it's still very enjoyable. If it wasn't enjoyable, you wouldn't see so many procedural TV shows on the air throughout all the years.
The format for 'Law and Order: SVU' is predictable at this point, so it's a great show to turn on if you're feeling brain dead or cleaning around the house. It won't break your brain like some other more complicated shows, so there's that going for it. Still, I don't see any new fans jumping into this show now. Skip it.
Hit or Miss: "The Gifted" - FOX
'The Gifted' is one of Marvel's better shows, and that includes any of their Netflix series. It follows the lives of mutants who are being persecuted for their powers. Just like Magento and Professor X, there are two sides. One that wishes for nonviolence, and another that has had enough. It's a classic X-Men/Marvel type of story, but delivered in a fresh way. Season two is guaranteed to be bigger and better than season one.
You should be able to jump into this season without too much trouble. If you're over Marvel shows, I get it. I can't blame you, but there are good ones and they are definitely worth watching. Binge watch season one on Hulu if you want to get caught up, or watch a recap on Youtube. Either way, you'll be happy with season two.
Skip: "Modern Family" - ABC
It's fun to see a show like 'Modern Family' over the years. I watched the first season and then fell off. Now I see the show's poster and the little Asian baby girl is a teenager now. Nothing shows the passing of time in a TV show more than having a baby character. Heck, pretty much everyone has grown up, especially the son character who we've had to watch grow through his awkward teen years. It's almost bizarre to watch now.
This is a definite skip, as much as I hate to say it. The show has lost its stride and needs to end. All of the actors are top notch, and I'd love to see them in something else, but there's only so many family stories to tell in sitcom form.
Must Watch: "Empire" - FOX
I've always been confused by 'Empire' because it always seemed like it was some sort of TV sequel to 'Hustle and Flow,' but I could never figure out if it was one. That's on me for not doing even the most basic research, but what can you do? I can't know about EVERY show. It's safe to say that 'Empire' is a massive hit though, and although its hit a story lull, the characters are so top notch that it's still worth watching.
If this is your first time watching the series, it may be a bit much to get into. There are other, better shows to go back and binge watch, so I might not even suggest that. For long standing fans of the show, of course you'll be tuning you. You have to get your cookie fix.
Must Watch: "The Good Place" - NBC
It's so hard to talk about 'The Good Place' if you haven't seen season one or two yet (especially if you haven't seen season one). Just trust me when I say that it's better to watch than to be spoiled. Avoid spoilers at all costs. The show is just plain good too. It's one of the funniest shows on network television, and at the same time, the most unique shows on Network television. The plot follows a woman who is incorrectly sent to heaven when she should have gone to hell. It stars Kristen Bell and was created by the creator of 'Parks and Rec.'
You definitely need to not only watch this show, but also go back to season one and two and binge those as well. You'll thank me for it later. Hurry. Go now. I'm not kidding!
Hit or Miss: "Grey's Anatomy" - ABC
Most people at this point are thinking, "'Grey's Anatomy' is still on?" I know that's what I've been thinking every time someone has mentioned it in the last five years. That's because the show has been on for 15 seasons. I can't even believe that a show could go on that long. Maybe you're someone who has seen every season, maybe you're someone who has jumped in and out throughout the years, or maybe you're someone who has never seen a single episode. No matter what the case is, this show is still going to be better than 'The Good Doctor,' so at least there is that.
You can skip this season unless you're still a die hard fan. Even then, I'm sure you can skip it. Do something else with that hour every week.
Hit or Miss: "How to Get Away with Murder" - ABC
This Viola Davis helmed show is coming up on its fifth season, so if you're not into it by now, you may never get into it. The synopsis on IMDB reads: A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives." I've never seen the show myself, but at five season, they must be doing something right.
You don't need to jump into this show now if you haven't already, but you also can't deny the power of Viola Davis. I could watch her do just about anything, especially anything involving crime. Still, at five seasons, you may want to at least watch the pilot to understand what's going on first. Then again, there's a lot of other TV watching to get to.
Skip: "Mayans MC" - FX
Fans of the popular show 'Sons of Anarchy' may be very excited for this next chapter in the 'Sons of Anarchy' world. It follows a biker who recently gets out of prison and becomes a prospect for a biker gang. You won't see any of your favorite characters from the original series, but the same creators are involved. Expect the same motorcycle magic you know expect from this series. You can also look out for legendary actor Edward James Olmos playing in the series as well.
As far as whether you should watch it or not depends on how much you enjoyed the original series. While it may give you the same feeling, it's not quite as good as 'Sons of Anarchy,' so if you could live without more motorcycle mayhem, this show is perfectly fine to skip. Edward James Olmos is in the show.
Must Watch: "Kidding" - Showtime
There's a lot to be excited about when it comes to Showtime's 'Kidding.' It stars everyone's favorite comedy icon, Jim Carrey. Who doesn't love Jim Carrey? What's even better is that he's playing a character who is very similar to another one of America's national treasures - Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers was the host of a children's show called 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.' The similarities are very apparent, even if he's not playing a character that isn't exactly based off of Rogers.
There's no way you can miss this show, simply out of curiosity. It has a great chance of being good, but it'll be worth it just to see Jim Carrey do his thing. It's not often you get to see Jim Carrey in serialized television. Expect this show to be a big deal.
Hit or Miss: "Flight of the Conchords: Live at the London Apollo" - HBO
The Flight of the Conchords are back! That's exciting news for fans of this duo of comedic singer/songwriters. They had a show on HBO many years ago, but haven't made any additional shows since then. Both of them have been busy on other projects which have been good as well, but having The Flight of the Conchords back on TV is an exciting thing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is a definite watch.
This is a one night special, so it won't eat up your time with a ton of episodes or anything like that. If you're not familiar with the Flight of the Conchords you should check out some of their music videos on Youtube. They'll be stuck in your head all day, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Must Watch: "House of Cards" - Netflix
'House of Cards' has had its fair share of controversy due to the lead actor, Kevin Spacey. As we all know, he was accused of sexual assault of a minor, so the show fired him. Many were unsure if the show would continue, but thankfully for the rest of the talented crew and cast, the show did go on. Now Robin Wright helms the lead, which fans are incredibly excited for. You should be too. This is a definite watch. Send a message to the network that Kevin Spacey is trash.
There may be one barrier of entry for this show though, and that's the number of seasons that already exist. I'm sure jumping in now might actually be the best point though, since the show has to restart in a way. It'll be exciting to see how it progresses.
Must Watch: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" - Amazon
If Emmy wins is any indication of whether or not you should watch this show, then you should have watched this show a year ago. It won a ton of Emmys this year, and rightfully so. The show is from the creator of 'Gilmore Girls,' Amy Sherman Palladino. Her writing is as sharp as ever in this series which is about a housewife who begins doing standup comedy. Think if Lorelei had a stand-up plotline in 'Gilmore Girls,' but even better than that. I hope that isn't reductive, but its the best I can give.
This show is going into its second season on the streaming service Amazon Prime, so there's no reason to rush into season two. Enjoy season one. You won't be disappointed. Just make sure you have nowhere to be. You may end up in a binge hole.
Must Watch: "Marvel's Daredevil" - Netflix
'Marvel's Daredevil' is easily Marvel's strongest Netflix show, despite some shortcomings. The second season wasn't quite as good as the first, but it was still a good season. The show is all about the blind superhero Daredevil. Lawyer by day. Crime fighter by night. As far as dark superhero shows go, you can't get any better than Daredevil. You need to jump into this series right away. Start from the beginning if you can, but if you want to be a part of the conversation, start with three.
Daredevil's dark, slow style was a hit, which might have influenced other Marvel Netflix shows which have the same tone. The thing is, it doesn't work as well on those other shows. You and many others may disagree with me, and you might not even be wrong. I don't have a high stock in Netflix Marvel shows.
Must Watch: Norm Macdonald Has a Show
Norm Macdonald. You either love him or hate him. If you're like me, you love him. He's a masterful comedian with a very distinct style. Recently he got into some trouble for his comments about Louis CK and Roseanne, but don't let those comments affect you watching the show or not. If you liked Norm before, you'll like him even more after his new show. If you hated him before, this will make you hate him even more.
It has a very low-fi look, shot in front of a green screen with a simple table set he sits at with his guest and co host. His bizarre interview style is interesting to watch in contrast with the typical late night format. Norm Macdonald fans would be dumb to miss this show. The rest of the world will want to save themselves the thirty minutes.
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