Wow. This has been a year filled with extraordinary debuts. Some of them were expected – like a spinoff from one of the best dramas ever – and some of them weren’t – a techno-thriller that debuted on a network known for campy sitcoms – but all of them were stellar. What’s scary is that I haven’t even seen remotely close to all of them. I debated putting HBO’s miniseries Show Me a Hero on here, but decided to only include continuing series. Similarly, The Jinx was left off because it is a docu-series, and I only wanted fictional shows. However, I wanted to give them a shout out for captivating my attention.
Here we go:
What it’s about: two timelines jumping between FBI recruits at Quantico and the investigation months later into which one of them blew up Grand Central Station.
Why you should watch it: okay, so this isn’t groundbreaking or original television, but it sure is fun. It’s a good serial whodunnit mixed with episodic themes and lessons.
What it’s about: a spoof on the horror genre, it explores a serial killer attacking a sorority.
Why it’s worth watching: it’s totally over the top. Too much so at times, but Emma Roberts and company are hilarious. If you want something different, then take a peek at this.
8. Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix)
What it’s about: a prequel about the first day of camp to the cult classic film that took place on the last day of camp.
Why you should watch it: technically this may just be a one off series, but I included it anyway. It’s laugh out loud from start to finish, but it definitely is for fans of the film. Others should watch that first to see if you’d be interested in this.
7. The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)
What it’s about: an alternate history depicting what America would have been like if the Allies lost WW2.
Why you should watch it: It’s shocking every step of the way. There’s always something intriguing about “what if” types of shows. It’s completely imaginative and deserves your attention.
What it’s about: the origin story of Matthew Murdock become Daredevil.
Why you should watch it: it’s a good mix between Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the grittiness the Dark Knight trilogy brought to the superhero genre. This is dark (subject matter and actual filming). However, there are still good comedic elements.
What it’s about: everybody’s favorite crooked lawyer, before he became who he was in Breaking Bad.
Why you should watch it: it’s more of a dark comedy that it’s predecessor was. Still, it’s just as much of an edge of your seat show than watching Walter White was. It uses the same great writing and techniques that makes each show seem completely vital. There’s never a down moment.
What it’s about: a commercial actor and his attempts to find love in the modern world.
Why you should watch it: it’s probably the most realistic portrayal of dating in the 21st century. Aziz Ansari expands on his standup routines to offer thoughtful insights into what it’s like to be a man in this world. It also tackles race in media better than any show out today.
What it’s about: a superhero who quit doing the hero thing and drinks a lot of booze and is a private eye.
Why you should watch it: it’s everything Daredevil is, but better. It’s female driven, is an allegory to rape and abuse victims and is more grounded even though there’s actual magic involved with characters. Kristen Ritter is phenomenal and is surrounded a strong cast.
2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
What it’s about: a girl is released into the Big Apple after being held captive in an underground cult.
Why you should watch it: Tina Fey brings her smart humor up a notch. It also has one of the best characters in Titus, who will prove that there can be an over the top, but relatable character on TV. It’s off beat and quirky, but not in an annoying way. Since it was originally produced for NBC, I can’t wait to see what season two brings when it’s completely unleashed.
What it’s about: a thriller about hackers trying to bring down a big business.
Why you should watch it: this is the biggest surprise out there. There were so many twists and turns in the debut season that you need to watch this now to avoid any spoilers. It quietly became the most clever and thoughtful thriller out right now.
Next up: favorite albums.
Don’t forget to read about my favorite returning shows.