It's easy to forget about fall-to-spring television, now that cable networks like AMC and FX and streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon have joined HBO in unconventional seasons. But for those of us who like our TV to line up with the school year, there's still plenty of television—both network and not—premiering over the next month or so. You'll never have to leave your apartment again! Here are some of our favorite fall shows, along with a few newcomers that look promising:
Do not let the fact that this show has musical numbers deter you, for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the greatest thing to happen to television, and Rachel Bloom's cast of zany West Covinians will Broadway-belt their way right into your hearts, no matter how hard you resist.
On Season 1, heroine Rebecca Bunch (Bloom) ditches her big money lawyer job in NYC to move to West Covina, a Southern California strip-mall city that's two hours from the beach (four in traffic!). She makes this big jump for Josh, a dude she briefly dated one summer in high school, hence the "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" moniker—but the situation's a lot more nuanced than that! SPOILER ALERT Rebecca gets with Josh at the end of the first season, so expect Season 2—which premieres on October 21st on The CW—to deal with that fallout. This show is amazing. Binge what you can now, and thank me later.
We've made no secret about our excitement over the Gilmore Girls reboot—Netflix is giving our favorite ladies four mini-films on November 25th, and the gang's all back, including Lorelai, Rory, Luke (ugh), Emily, Sookie, Kirk, Lane... and Logan, Dean, and Jess OH THE DRAMA. We spoke with Milo Ventimiglia (who portrays Jess) back in May, and he told us the return of his character is "100 percent Jess. It's new situations and new scenarios, but with the same guy you love and hate, and hate to love, and love to hate."
Amazon Prime's best "comedy" isn't funny so much as it's a rollercoaster of emotion, but the heartbreak served up here is well worth the binge. Seasons one and two showed the Pfefferman family struggle with Jeffrey Tambor's character's transition from male to female as they dealt with plenty of their own dark stuff and, frankly, rampant selfishness.
Season three, which streams in full starting on September 23rd, sees Tambor's Maura explore her femininity even further, with Anjelica Huston returning as Vicky, her love interest. It looks like Judith Light's matriarch gets an even bigger role this season, too; plus, more from the ever-fucked up Pfefferman children, played by Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker.
YOU'RE THE WORST
This FX comedy about two Los Angeleno commitment-phobes dresses itself like a silly sitcom, but there's a lot to unpack here about relationships, mental illness, and navigating the Grown-Up world. The show really came into its own in its second season, and judging from the first three episodes of season three, which premiered in August, it's still going strong. So far, the season's dealt with main character Gretchen (Aya Cash)'s treatment for clinical depression; Edgar (Desmin Borges)'s PTSD; Lindsay (Kether Donohue)'s attempt to reconcile with her husband; and issues with Jimmy (Chris Geere)'s estranged family. As a bonus, Orange Is The New Black's Samira Wiley has a recurring role as Gretchen's therapist. You're The Worst airs on Wednesdays, and is also available on FX NOW.
This ABC family sitcom, which follows a black ad executive (Anthony Anderson) who tries to keep his upper-middle-class family tied to their roots in a predominantly white world, was one of the best new shows of 2014 and the best shows overall last year. And when it returns on September 21st, Daveed Diggs will join the cast, fresh off his spectacular run in Hamilton. Plus, it looks like the Johnsons are going to Disney World!
I mean, okay, this show isn't really GREAT, or, actually, that good at all, though the second season was rather enjoyable. Still, there's something soothing about an ensemble sitcom like this one—like Friends, nothing bad ever really happens on this show, which makes it a necessary antidote when you've been binge-ing Jessica Jones and keep dreaming about chopping up your friends with scissors. Plus the trio of roommates—Nick, Winston, and Schmidt—make up for Zoey Deschanel's insufferableness. Anyway, I still watch it, and you can, too!
The sixth season starts on September 20th on Fox—Schmidt and Cece are married, Jess has feelings for Nick again, and probably some other fun stuff will happen.
History's best webseries about a pot dealer just became history's best television show about a pot dealer, thanks to HBO. We said all that needed to be said about High Maintenance before it premiered on September 16th, but to revisit quickly: Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld have created a beautiful portrait of New York City and its inhabitants, whose quirks, anxieties, and inner lives are examined so purely it's almost as if a camera's been set up inside your own apartment. Plus, HBO's bucks have made the show look even better than it did on Vimeo.
MARVEL'S LUKE CAGE
Fans of previous Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones already know title character Luke Cage (the insanely charming Mike Colter), the unbreakable military experiment turned Harlem bar owner who just wants to mourn his dead wife in peace. But if that happened, we wouldn't have a show — and by the end of the first episode (which takes place following the events of Jones) he's forced back into the superhero business by Biggie Smalls-worshiping baddie Cottonmouth (Hunger Games vet Mahershala Ali), Cage's prison rival Shades (Theo Rossi), and corrupt city council member Mariah Dillard (the great Alfre Woodard, in a discrete role from her big-screen Marvel work in Captain America: Civil War).
Though it starts a little slow, Cage ramps up to "compulsively watchable" by the middle of the second episode — by episode three, I was so sucked in to its sexy and violent world that I watched the rest in one crazy gulp. All episodes will be available on Netflix on September 30, so, Marvel fans, I suggest you clear that weekend, because you won't be able to stop at just one. (Eve Batey)
CRISIS IN SIX SCENES
It's hard to imagine Miley Cyrus in a Woody Allen film, but perhaps a Woody Allen television show is more palatable? Either way, she's one of the stars of Allen's new upcoming show on Amazon, which premieres on September 30th. The six-episode comedy series, which also stars Elaine May, Rachel Brosnahan, John Magaro, and Allen himself, follows septuagenarian suburbanites as they navigate the turbulent 1960s. This is the last TV show Allen will ever do, so strap in—the costumes look fantastic.
It's hard to describe Donald Glover's surreal new FX show. It's a far cry from Community, certainly, even though it too seems to toy with reality. Glover plays Earn Marks, a Princeton dropout who's trying to manage his cousin's fledgeling rap career. The first three episodes of the season have already aired; you can catch the show on Tuesday nights, though it's imperative you catch up on what you missed if you can.
Mumblecore king Joe Swanberg created this new Netflix series, which streams in full on September 22. The show is an anthology centering on the love lives of a whole host of Chicagoans, and the impressive ensemble cast includes Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress, Emily Ratajkowski, Michael Chernus, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Aya Cash, Jane Adams, Elizabeth Reaser, Evan Jonigkeit, Aislinn Derbez, and Mauricio Ochmann.
This new drama series, which premieres on September 22nd on FOX, is about a young pitcher who becomes Major League Baseball's first female player—so, basically, it's a fantasy, but we can dream. The series stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos, and Mo McRae, along with Kylie Bunbury as aforementioned pitcher Ginny Baker.
Sarah Jessica Parker's back on HBO as a woman who asks her longtime husband, played by Thomas Haden Church, for a divorce. The show, which premieres on October 9th, is styled as a comedy, but based on the trailer, there's definitely some darkness there. Anyway, Church's mustache is clutch.
Gotham is entering its third season on September 19th, and while it hasn't quite matched up to what Netflix has delivered with their Marvel universe shows, it's a nice, dark version of the world that DC Comics characters live in. The show shoots in New York City, and does a stellar job of turning its corners and alleys into a seedy and perennially rain-soaked Gotham. Ben McKenzie plays James Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department, and the show features several Batman villains, including the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman,Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, and Hugo Strange. The characters and production are so on-point that it can often make up for what the show lacks in depth and story, but perhaps season 3 will bring more to the table than season two did (season one is certainly the best so far). (Jen Carlson)
Empire returns with a new season on my and Bill Murray's birthday, September 21st. Which is fitting, as I've often daydreamed of being in a soap opera with Bill Murray, but this is otherwise unrelated to our births or existence. As far as I know.
This will be the show's third season, and while some people will tell you that season one was better than season two, both seasons are perfectly serviceable and will deliver melodramatic entertainment the likes of which we haven't seen since Dallas. The music, however, was much better in the first season—as good as hip-hop can be when written for fictional performers on a Fox television show.
Are you sick of cynical shows about zombies, robots, dystopian futures and spandex-clad superheroes? Are you bored of cliched shows following lawyers, doctors, cops and difficult men doing difficult tasks? Then maybe it's time you binge-watched the first three season of Rectify, which returns for its fourth and final season on October 26th.
Rectify is Sundance's little-viewed but transcendent show about a man who spent 19 years on death row for the murder of his high school girlfriend before he was released thanks to new DNA evidence. There are no explosions or high-wire deal making—just one family dealing with grief and trauma and the uncertainty of everyday existence in the wake of a tragedy. It may sound depressing on paper, but it's lifted in its nuanced performances and subtle humor. It's a character study in the Southern gothic tradition: religiously curious, contemplative, mysterious and utterly transfixing. (Ben Yakas)
The existential saga of Forrest McNeil will finally come to an end when the third and final season premieres on Comedy Central later this fall (no date has been set yet, but we're getting at least three or more episodes). Review is a starring vehicle for longtime "oh hey, that guy!" comedian Andy Daly; he plays Forrest MacNeil, a critic whose job is to review real life experience on his program, "Review with Forrest MacNeil." His devotion to his work fucks up his life in increasingly hilarious and absurd ways. Even in a golden age of comedies (Veep, Silicon Valley, Rick & Morty, Girls, Broad City, Nathan For You, You're The Worst, etc!), no show made me laugh out loud more than this one over the last two years. Also: R.I.P. Clovers. (Ben Yakas)
HBO + Jonathan Nolan (Christopher Nolan's younger brother who cowrote several of his films, including The Prestige & The Dark Knight) + Michael Crichton property (loosely remade from the 1973 movie of the same name) + robots becoming conscious of being robots + western vibes (R.I.P. Deadwood) + ED HARRIS (as Yul Brenner's role in the original) + Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood + $88M budget (reportedly) + really great trailers + really great early buzz = yes, take my money, I will watch this. (Ben Yakas)
Hell yeah baby, we got more Arrow. At the end of last season, Team Arrow broke up after dispatching big bad Damien Dahrk. Of course, that doesn't mean that's the end of the series (there's still money to be made!), so Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, will be training a new crew of crime fighting vigilantes to protect Star City. He's the mayor of Star City now, but sadly that probably doesn't mean any Veep-style hijinks as Oliver balances his roles as vigilante protector of the citizenry and guy who should probably be working really hard to get federal funds to help rebuild Star City after its latest huge disaster. Oliver and crew will also have to deal with a new big bad this season: he's named Prometheus, and he dresses like the Green Arrow, but evil. (David Colon)
Arrow is the dark side of the D.C. televised universe, but if you want something like jokes or characters who smile with more than gritted teeth, there's always The Flash. Last season things got kind of dark as Barry Allen (The Flash) and pals dealt with the consequences of Barry opening a wormhole to another dimension. Barry managed to prevent the destruction of the Multiverse at the end of last season but then in a fit of pique also decided he'd undo reality as he knew it and go back in time to save his mom. So, he'll be dealing with the consequences of once again disrupting reality, with a whole host of people he knew in his other reality telling him what a terrible mistake he's made and otherwise being rude. Just once, it would be nice if despite someone changing reality as we knew it, there weren't awful consequences for everyone. You don't see him in the trailer, but never fear, Tom Cavanagh will apparently be back this season too. (David Colon)