Remember when TV was exclusively dumb procedurals? Seems like forever ago, especially considering just how incredible TV has become in the last several years. And with fall just around the corner, a lot of that incredible TV is also just around the corner. We all know that there ain’t a lot better than relaxing with a few jazz cigarettes after a long day of work and watching some great TV, so here’s what we’re watching this season, along with some tried-and-true hits.
The Show That Seemed Dumb But is Actually Really Great: Castle Rock
J.J. Abrams has plastered his name over enough nonsense that and it probably made you shrug Castle Rock off. Guess what? Stop shrugging. It’s bad for your neck. Castle Rock is an expertly crafted supernatural drama, with (finally) a ton of interesting and well-developed characters and excellent writing, all living on the backbone of Stephen King’s universe. You don’t need to be a King fan to like Castle Rock; just a TV fan.
The Show You Cannot Watch Without Food in Front of You: Chef’s Table
We get it, a show full of slo-mo food shots isn’t really for everybody.
But it’s most certainly is for us. Don’t watch this show hungry or if you have the munchies.
The Show Everybody Keeps Telling You to Watch But You’ve Been too Stubborn: BoJack Horseman
Has somebody told you BoJack Horseman is the best show on TV? Have you then wondered how an animated show about an alcoholic horse could be the best show on TV? Despite a rocky first five episodes, BoJack quickly righted its course to become an incredibly emotional study of depression and anxiety, all while continually drilling us with great animal puns and a ton of LA-based “in” jokes. Season 5 is upon us, but if you still need to be swayed, check out last season’s “Time’s Arrow”. It’s about as good as TV can be.
The Show That Might Be Far Too Difficult to Follow: Jack Ryan
Earth’s most perfect boy John Krasinski teams up with Carlton Cuse (one of the gentlemen behind LOST, Bates Motel, and Colony) for what is bound to be a solid addition to Amazon’s roster. But, if you’re an idiot like me, spy movies and shows are already pretty difficult to follow. Add your favorite flower to the mix, and it might be a whole lot to keep up with. Only one way to find out.
The Show Hoping to Top Its Near-Perfect First Season: American Vandal
The show that made dick jokes funny again is back for Season 2, this time with its sights set on making poop jokes funny again. Blessed be the fruit.
The Show That Might be a Sneak Attack Emmy Gobbler: Kidding
Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry, who previously teamed up for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, are here to give you all the feels with the series premiere of Kidding. In it, Carrey plays Mr. Pickles, a Mr. Rogers-type children’s show host who begins to battle his own darkness. I’m a firm believer in Jim Carrey’s dramatic roles, so sign. Me. Up.
The Show You’re Using to Fill the Breaking Bad-Sized Hole in Your Heart: Ozark
If you’re missing a show full of violence and drug cartels led by a former sitcom star, look no further than Ozark. Besides Jason Batman’s supreme under-reactions to all of the insanely violent stuff he witnesses, it’s a top-notch show with some even-more-top-notch performances.
The Show That Space Nerds Are Going to Eat Up: The First
A show about the first people on Mars from the creator of House of Cards? Yes please. Even that anthropomorphic field mouse Sean Penn can’t ruin this one for me.
The Show That You Were Curious About, But Completely Forgot to Watch: Barry
Bill Hader stars as Barry Berkman — a hitman who discovers a love for acting — in a show that hits all the right notes from start to finish. Hader (surprise, surprise) is outstanding, and Barry rides the line between comedy and serialized drama like an absolute pro. Watch this show ASAP.
The Show Gearing Up for Its 13th Season of Greatness: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
FXX / Netflix
Sunny is undoubtedly one of the best stoney shows out there, and luckily still streaming on Netflix. Here’s hoping for a lot more of Dennis’ freakouts this season, please.
The Show That Will Never, Ever, Ever, Ever, Get Old: The Office (U.S.)
NBC / Netflix
The American version of The Office is about as good as sitcoms get. Already watched it all the way through? Who cares. Fire it up again. Then think about how Steve Carell never won a single Emmy and try not to Andy Bernard-style punch a hole in a wall.
The Show You Told Yourself You’d Watch Someday, But Never Got To: LOST
ABC / Hulu
LOST is up in its entirety on Hulu, so it’s time to finally take the plunge. Did you avoid the acclaimed, trippy, sci-fi adventure because people told you it had a bad ending? Tell them they’re dumb and wrong. Tell them they weren’t dead the whole time. Everything that happened happened. Any person who insists the characters were dead the whole time watched the wrong show. And perk up them ears for Michael Giacchino’s score, because it’s one of the best in all of TV.
The Show You Should Re-Watch And then Stop After Season 5 So You Don’t Have to Relive How Awful it Became: Dexter
Showtime / Netflix
Remember when Dexter was good? Treat yourself to the golden years of Seasons 1-5, and then tell yourself you just watched the series finale. Because, (and here come some spoilers) by the end of Season 5:
- Dexter had eliminated Jordan Chase, his inbred goons, and RoboCop.
- Dexter had done Quinn a favor by clearing the blood from Quinn’s shoe, thus causing Quinn to stop investigating him.
- Deb and Quinn were happily dating, and Quinn had not yet become a nightmarish cartoon character.
- Dexter had not yet taken a quick five-day road trip to Nebraska to stab a random hotel worker with his dead brother (the same dead brother that later gets called the WRONG NAME in a Season 6 episode).
- Dexter had not yet walked out of a hospital with his sister’s dead body (which I guess is a thing you can do when hospitals are busy), driven his boat into a big CGI storm wall, had an obituary written about the death of a random blood spatter analyst on the front page of an Argentinian newspaper, and gotten a secret lumberjack job in the forest.
Okay, clearly I’m not over the way Dexter ended and I need to just move on.