Tuesday, September 4, 2018

12 Shows to Binge-Watch Before the Fall TV Season Begins [Contributor: Megan Mann]

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After months of unending heat and humidity, the summer is starting to come to a close which means that all of your favorite shows will soon be returning! But before that, we have this small window of time where nothing is airing and we’re stuck wondering, “What should I watch now?”

Luckily, I am here to help you with that quandary!

I myself have often wondered over the summer what I will watch next. With so many streaming services available to us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and find ourselves watching the entire series of 30 Rock or House all over again. But fear not: I have compiled a list of some of the best and easiest shows to entertain you over the next few weeks before our DVRs are full all over again.

Animal Kingdom (TNT)

If you’re a big fan of family drama and maybe a little bit of crime, this is the show for you. Based on the Oscar-nominated 2010 Australian film of the same name, Animal Kingdom follows the Cody family as young J discovers the family his recently-deceased mother had kept him from. J is thrown into a world of wild partying, crime, and family drama that has you wondering how many more episodes you can squeeze in each night. All episodes are streaming on the TNT app or Amazon Prime.

Insecure (HBO)

I could literally scream from the rooftops about how amazing Insecure is and still be amazed at the fact that so many have yet to discover this gem! I recently wrote about all of the reasons why you should watch it (seen here), so I cannot stress enough how amazing this show is. It follows Issa as she tries to figure out her life in terms of job, friendships, relationships, and who she is as a person. It’s hysterical and relatable and I cannot imagine why anyone isn’t watching this. Stream seasons one and two, and the episodes of season three as it airs now on HBO. Each episode is only 24-28 minutes! Where’s the downside?!

Humans (AMC)

If you’re fearful of the future involving artificial intelligence, maybe don’t tune into this show. If not, I assure you that you will not be disappointed watching this amazing series. The premise of Humans is this: in a not-so-distant future, synths have become the norm. They’ll do your shopping, clean your house, and tend to your children. But what if the creator of the technology managed to take it what step further? What if he figured out how to create a consciousness in synthetics that replicates the human consciousness? Humans is so good, and each season is only eight episodes. Stream it on Prime or the AMC app.

Poldark (Masterpiece on PBS/Amazon Prime)

If you like period pieces and shirtless men, I would suggest heading over to Amazon Prime or your local library to check out Poldark. It follows Ross Poldark, played beautifully by Aidan Turner, as he returns home from war to discover that he’s essentially penniless. Poldark shows how the titular character struggles to gain fortune and find a wife now that the woman he loved and was meant for is no longer available. In addition to Poldark, I would also suggest Victoria and Mr. Selfridge if you want to keep up the period dramas.

Riverdale (The CW)

Not on the Riverdale train yet? Well, hurry up and get your ticket! This gritty take on the Archie comics follows Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead as they navigate the criminal underbelly of their hometown of Riverdale. There’s a murder, sultry drama, Cole Sprouse with dark hair, and the return of Skeet Ulrich to your living rooms. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to catch up on one of the hottest shows of the last few years? Did I mention it also eventually involves a cult? I know — you’re ready to watch now. Stream both seasons on Netflix now.

Pose (FX)

Pose is another show from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, but they seemed to have learned from their Nip/Tuck and Glee failings and they knock it out of the park with this one. It is for all of you who are obsessed with the counterculture of 90s underground New York, between its literary scene and ball culture. It’s a fascinating look at an era of New York that’s somewhat forgotten and deserves its due, and stars an LGBTQ+ cast. I’m purposely underselling it because the dichotomy between the underground and the economic boom of the city is just really great. Catch up now on the FX app.

Alias Grace (Netflix)

If you’re a fan of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll need to check out Netflix’s Alias Grace. Also based on a Margaret Atwood novel, the show centers on the 1843 murders of a farm owner and his housekeeper by the hands of his servants, James and Grace. While the murders are real, the story is a fictionalized version that gives the crime — and Grace Marks — life beyond the headlines. It’s a dark and twisted tale that leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what is exactly going on. You’ll be blown away, I promise.

Mr. Mercedes (Audience)

I am not what you would call a big fan of horror, but the suspense and intensity of this Stephen King adaptation is so good that I am addicted. I’ve thought just last week, “I wonder how many episodes I can watch tonight?” This serial killer drama has so much going on between the killer and the retired cop who hates that he never solved the case. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how you can catch it unless you’re an AT&T customer (it’s on a specialty channel), but if you can find a way to watch, it is worth it!

The Magicians (SyFy)

Based on a series of books, The Magicians is often billed as a Harry Potter for adults. Well, yes and no. It’s about magic, but magic in the real world. It has spells and drama, tackles difficult subject matter and darkness and love. It’s got it all! But the conversations alone between Margo and Elliot are enough to make any pop culture fan die of laughter. If you like magic, but you wish it had a smidge more realism, this is the show for you. You can catch up on The Magicians now on Netflix.

Last Chance U (Netflix)

I love a good docuseries and this Netflix original is one of the best. Even if you’re not a sports fan, Last Chance U — which documents the lives of players and coaches and staff at two junior colleges — is enthralling. Most of these kids have come from major schools and are looking to reconstruct their image in order to take their football careers to the next level. The players and coaches come from all different backgrounds, and you’ll find yourself more connected and invested in these people than you thought possible.

Friday Night Lights (Netflix)

Speaking of sports though, this is hands down one of the best fictional series you’ll ever watch. Friday Night Lights follows the inhabitants of a small town in Texas — a state where football reigns supreme and the residents live for Friday nights. There’s so much going on and the cast (hi, Taylor Kitsch, Connie Britton, and Kyle Chandler, just to name a few) is absolutely perfect. I don’t even need to sell it more than this because it’s one of the absolute best shows to ever exist and the series can be found in its entirety on Netlfix. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

The Path (Hulu)

If you’re interested in cults, you’re interested in Hulu’s The Path. Aaron Paul plays Eddie Lane, a man who came into the Meyerist faith when he was on hard times and found the love of his life and his family. But he begins to have doubts of the validity of the faith and wonders if maybe it’s all a big hoax. However, questioning the faith can have dramatic consequences. Will he continue down the path toward the garden or walk away?

What shows are you binge-watching before fall TV returns? Sound off in the comments below!


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