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Saturday, March 2, 2024

The 15 TV Shows You Need to Binge This Fall

Between toilet paper hoarding and Zoom happy hours, the coronavirus pandemic has forced individuals and industries around the world to adapt to a world in quarantine. Just as Hollywood has had to pause production on some of its most anticipated film projects, television has run into production dilemmas too. Which means that, like so many other things in 2020, the fall TV schedule won’t be as jam-packed with new shows as it has in previous years. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any new shows—nor does it mean there isn’t still plenty to watch. Whether you’re looking for something brand-new, or just new-to-you, here are 15 of the TV shows everyone should be watching this fall. (Plus, share your recommendations in the comments section below.)


Television producers don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to translating beloved movies into TV shows. (Remember 1983’s Casablanca series with Ray Liotta? Neither does anyone else.) But Noah Hawley may have cracked the code with Fargo, which isn’t a direct remake or continuation of the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning 1996 crime-drama/comedy, but simply exists within the same quirky, funny-accented universe. The anthology format has allowed the series to travel back and forth in time from the original movie, with loose connections from one season to the next. But where it really excels is in its uncanny reinterpretation of the Coens’ idiosyncratic style, which can be both bitingly funny and exceedingly violent—often simultaneously. It’s also filled with dozens of references to the Coens’ entire filmography. Whereas the first three seasons follow the movie’s heroic-cops-versus-bumbling-criminals storyline, the upcoming fourth season—featuring Chris Rock as the head of a crime family in 1950s Kansas City—takes a broader approach where the line between good and evil is not always so clear cut.

Where to stream it: Hulu


Sarah Paulson is always the best thing about whatever she’s in, especially in her collaborations with Ryan Murphy. Now she’s taking center stage in this One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel, which lays out the road that nurse Mildred Ratched—played by Paulson here and Louise Fletcher (who won an Oscar for the role) in Miloš Forman’s 1975 film adaptation—took to become the monster we later see.

Where to stream it: Netflix

The Crown

It didn’t take long for The Crown to become one of television’s most talked-about series—in part because it’s one of the most expensive shows ever produced, and it shows in every frame. Kicking off in 1947, the series traces Queen Elizabeth II’s unexpected ascension to the British throne at the age of 25 and the challenges she has faced since her coronation. While Her Majesty’s demeanor is often seemingly cold, The Crown humanizes the royal matriarch in a way that has rarely been seen before and offers a deeper understanding of what it takes to rule a country and still be a wife, mother, sister, and daughter. The series—which began its first two seasons with Claire Foy and Matt Smith as the queen and Prince Philip, before Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (the queen of acceptance speeches) and Tobias Menzies took over—is as enthralling for history buffs as it is for royal enthusiasts. (John Lithgow playing Winston Churchill was one of the show’s highlights.) As the series marches forward in time (season 4 will drop on November 15), Princess Diana (played by Emma Corrin) will make her royal entrance and Gillian Anderson will introduce Margaret Thatcher into the proceedings. The main cast will change once again for its final two seasons (5 and 6), with Imelda Staunton taking over the throne.

Where to stream it: Netflix

The Haunting of Hill House

Writer-director Mike Flanagan has spent the past 20 years quietly building up a résumé that has him poised to become one of the next great masters of horror. While he’s made a name for himself with a couple of Stephen King adaptations, including Gerald’s Game (2017) and Doctor Sleep (2019), King isn’t the only big-name horror writer with whom Flanagan has tangled. In 2018, the Salem, Massachusetts, native turned Shirley Jackson’s 1958 novel The Haunting of Hill House—about a family who moves into a home in order to flip it, only to encounter not-so-friendly paranormal spirits—into an acclaimed 10-part miniseries, which kicked off a new anthology show. The next installment, The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, will premiere on October 9.

Where to stream it: Netflix

The Boys

Eric Kripke is no stranger to flipping the script on genre television. He’s been doing it for 15 years as the creator of the urban-legend-centric Supernatural, and last year he pulled the same trick again with The Boys. Probably best described as “a superhero show for people who are tired of superhero shows,” this adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book does what Kripke does best, playing to and upending the audience’s expectations all at once. Imagine what the Avengers would be like if the group’s members were corrupt assholes using their powers for evil as puppets for a mass conglomerate, and you’ve got a sense of what The Boys is all about. Its second season, which premiered earlier this month, digs deeper into its characters' backstories but also ratchets up the action.

Where to stream it: Amazon Prime

The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series may be called The Mandalorian, but it might as well be called The Child—or, hell, just Baby Yoda. The miniature version of everyone’s favorite contraction-phobic Jedi Master is still a bit of a mystery, but the new season (which premieres on October 30) should clear up many of the questions viewers have as Mando (Pedro Pascal) tries to uncover his tiny green friend’s origins with bad guy Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) hot on their trail. If nothing else, it’s a chance to watch Werner Herzog interact with a puppet.

Where to stream it: Disney+

Schitt’s Creek

Even if you’ve never watched Schitt’s Creek, you’ve surely heard its title. Probably more so in recent days, as the comedy—which was created by Dan Levy and his dad, Christopher Guest regular Eugene Levy—became the first show to sweep all seven main categories at the 72nd annual Emmy Awards. What that means for you is that you’re missing out on a major pop culture moment if you don’t have a full supply of Moira Rose memes (based on Catherine O’Hara’s eccentric character). It’s the story of a wealthy family who loses it all and ends up having to move to the tiny town of Schitt’s Creek, which they bought as a joke because the name made them laugh. Let the Schitt jokes fly!

Where to stream it: Netflix

We Are Who We Are

If just hearing the name “Elio” triggers a dramatic emotional response, you’ll be happy to know that Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino has got more than a dozen new projects in the works. The latest, a limited series for HBO that could easily spawn a second season, shares a lot of the same DNA as Call Me by Your Name (minus any Timothée Chalamet or Armie Hammer). It, too, is a coming-of-age story of an American teenager living with his family in Italy (in this case, on a military base) and dealing with the highs and lows of first loves and self-discovery. Jack Dylan Grazer (It) stars.

Where to stream it: HBO Max

Cobra Kai

When the news first broke that The Karate Kid was being turned into a TV series, that it would reunite Ralph Macchio and William Zabka as current-day dads, and that it would stream on YouTube’s new pay streaming service, expectations for the series weren’t high. Which is unfortunate, as Cobra Kai ended up being a clever take two for The Karate Kid franchise that hit close to home for many viewers who grew up watching the movie (and probably practicing at least one crane kick). In this version, however, it’s Macchio who is the success and Zabka who’s still reliving his glory high school days—and it’s hard to tell who the real bad guy is. Cobra Kai recently made the jump from YouTube to Netflix, and though no official date has been given yet, the show’s third season will premiere on Netflix sometime soonish (many people suspect sometime next year).

Where to stream it: Netflix

What We Do in the Shadows

In 2014, Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement made a hilarious mockumentary about a group of vampires sharing a house in New Zealand. Five years later, What We Do in the Shadows came back as a small-screen effort—this time with the action moved to New York (well, Staten Island to be precise). Whereas the original movie was fun, the small-screen version is painfully funny. This is due in no small part to the absolutely stellar acting of Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Kayvan Novak, Harvey Guillén, and Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson—who is what’s known as an “energy vampire,” because he sucks the will to live out of pretty much everyone he encounters. The writing team, too, just keeps upping the ante with each new episode. Though fans don’t know when season 3 will air (it has been greenlit and fingers are crossed that it will be April 2021), you might want to get a refresher course before it does.

Where to stream it: Hulu

The West Wing

If the current three-ring circus that is the 2020 presidential election has got you feeling frustrated, tune in to The West Wing, a perennial political drama that never seems to age. Created by Aaron Sorkin, the series—which chronicled the presidency of Jed Barlet (Martin Sheen) and his ever-loyal staff, from the campaign’s earliest days to its final ones—boasts its creator’s brilliantly verbose style. Given the dangerously divisive relationship between America’s two main political parties, the short version here is: It’s great to see a country not in total disarray. Also, if you’ve never seen the series, you can binge-watch it in time for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, a theatrical presentation of one of the show’s most popular episodes (season 3’s “Hartsfield’s Landing”), which will screen on HBO Max on October 15th.

Where to stream it: Netflix

Unsolved Mysteries

Having witnessed firsthand the enormous appetite today’s viewers have for nostalgia, following the success of Stranger Things, producer Shawn Levy decided the time was right to bring back Unsolved Mysteries for a new generation. But this isn’t your parents’ Unsolved Mysteries: For one thing, there’s no host (longtime front man Robert Stack will forever be associated with the series, though the late Dennis Farina hosted it from 2008 to 2010). Also gone is the idea that multiple cases can be covered in one episode, and a seeming love of paranormal stories. Still, Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot is a notch above many of today’s true crime shows. And thanks to the magic of streaming, you can still go back and watch the original episodes on Peacock, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Where to stream it: Netflix

The Simpsons

If you’re looking for a binge-watch that could last you all the way into 2021, you may want to buckle in for a Simpsons marathon of your own making. Though the long-running series just premiered its 32nd season, it shows no signs of slowing down. And its humor is just as topical and biting today as it was when the show first began.

Where to stream it: Disney+


Adapted from her one-woman show, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's show is nothing short of phenomenal. Raw, emotional, messy—it breaks a lot of the rules of TV, including the one about stars (in this case Waller-Bridge herself) talking to the camera. Everything wonderful that could be said about Fleabag has already been said before, including by us, so we'll just leave you with this: If you haven't watched it already, now is the time.

Where to stream it: Amazon Prime

High Fidelity

Earlier this year, Hulu canceled High Fidelity far too soon. Even though the show was a bit of a slow burn, it had gained a following during the Covid-19 lockdown and ended its first season on the kinda note that begged for a second. Alas. That said, this fresh spin on Nick Hornby's book—and, to some extent, the movie adaptation of it—still deserves your time. It's still impossible to hang out inside Brooklyn's dive bars and argue with your friends about love and music, so watching Rob (Zoë Kravitz) and her friends do it is the next best thing.

Where to stream it: Hulu

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