Nobody has time to watch all of the hyped-up TV shows that have come out recently, but I’m an unemployed postgrad student, so I’ve had time to watch a fair few, and I thought I’d put this knowledge to good use by compiling a list of the shows I think are worth your time.
I’m focusing on shows that have debuted in the past six months, but I’ll include a couple at the end that have been around for longer, but had new seasons premiere in 2017.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Brought to you by the woman behind Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is an Amazon original show about a woman who turns to comedy when her husband (himself a failed standup comedian) leaves her for his secretary. Rachel Brosnahan, who you may recognise from House of Cards, is delightful in the role; her character’s comedy is obviously inspired by women like Joan Rivers, and it makes for such enjoyable viewing. The first season is eight episodes long, and you can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.
The End of the F***ing World
This British dark comedy, based on the graphic novel ‘The End of the Fucking World’ by Charles S. Forsman, launched on Netflix less than a week ago and is already receiving praise from all corners of the internet. The eight-part series follows James, who thinks he’s a psychopath, and Alyssa, who hates her life in their boring town, as they run away from home and find themselves in several sticky situations. It manages to be funny, touching, insightful and disturbing, and Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther do a fantastic job as Alyssa and James. It is available to watch on Netflix.
You may recognise SMILF as the show with the questionable name that was nominated for a Golden Globe despite seemingly few people knowing about it, but once you start watching it, you’ll quickly understand why the HFPA felt compelled to nominate this brand-new show. It’s about a single mum, Bridgette Bird (played by the show’s creator Frankie Shaw) as she raises her son (named Larry Bird, and played by twin girls) in Boston. It’s a refreshing look at single motherhood and struggling to make ends meet (in a similar vein to shows like Shameless, which comes just before it on Showtime’s lineup), and the latest episode was a faux-homage/huge fuck-you to Woody Allen and Hollywood’s silence regarding his crimes. Molto bene. Australians can watch SMILF on Stan.
This show that centres on a white guy who falls in love far too easily has somehow managed to enthral almost everyone I know, despite the premise that makes it sound like something you’d avoid like the plague. The show’s third season premiered on Netflix just a few days ago, and I devoured it in record time. If you love romcoms, or even just coms, this is a good’un.
Other Shows I Love
The Good Place: If you’re not watching this brilliant rumination on good and evil and morality and philosophy brought to you by the man behind The Office, Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine Nine, run, don’t walk, to your Netflix account and remedy that immediately. Thank me later.
The Bold Type: Basically Younger’s cousin, except focused on the magazine industry. It keeps things relatively light and fluffy, but also manages to deal with issues like a character learning that she carries the BRCA1 gene very sensitively.
Nathan For You: Watch one of Canada’s top business school graduates give struggling small businesses advice on how to turn things around. It’s ludicrous and hilarious and so easy to binge watch.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: I stopped watching the show at the end of season 2, because Rebecca’s antics were exhausting me, and the focus on Josh was extremely dull/inexplicable (he’s just not that great??) Luckily, I recently decided to give season 3 a second chance, and I wasn’t disappointed. There is way less Josh, way more of Rebecca’s hot boss, and it handles things like Rebecca’s mental health sensitively while continuing to turn every situation into a singing opportunity.
Channel Zero: I only know of like, one other person who watches this show, but if you enjoy being creeped out by urban legend-type horror (it’s based on popular creepypastas), this is a fun watch.
Jane the Virgin: If you still haven’t seen JtV in 2018, why on earth not? It’s over-the-top (it is styled after telenovelas, after all), heartwarming, hilarious and one of the few shows I’ve seen where the characters move in and out of the two languages they speak like it’s no big deal.
Stranger Things: I mean, obviously. I even bought a shirt with Steve Harrington’s face on it.
Shows You Can Skip
Broad City season 4: The show started going downhill fast after that bizarre episode dedicated to fawning over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and unfortunately, season 4 was little better. Give it a miss and hold on to your memories of enjoying the first two seasons instead.
Riverdale: I know everyone on your Twitter feed is watching it, but if you haven’t seen it yet, then it’s not too late for you to just avoid it altogether. The rest of us are lost causes, but you should continue in your blissful ignorance of this hot mess of a show.
Black Mirror season 3: With the exception of a couple of episodes (USS Callister and Hang the DJ, although I am also partial to Black Museum), this season was a letdown. Just watch the pig episode or San Junipero again instead.
Friends from College: You’d expect this to be good, considering the cast includes Keegan Michael-Key and Cobie Smulders, but it just… isn’t. It’s a chore to get through, frankly. Watch Key and Peele instead.
Season Premieres I’m Looking Forward To
- American Gods
- RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia