You know those TV shows that everyone in your Twitter feed can’t stop talking about? The ones you keep meaning to get into on your next Netflix binge-watch, but then never manage to actually get started?
Well, now that they’re officially Emmy nominees, it’s time for you to finally add these critically acclaimed shows to your DVR queue. Forget fall: it’s now binge-watching season.
FX’s cult hit spy drama has earned raves from fans and television critics alike thanks to its emotionally complex portrayal of the professional and personal lives of two Russian KGB officers posing as a married couple. The combination of thrilling, suspenseful covert operations and the intricate domestic dramas of Phillip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) make it one of the most intense, addicting and incredibly well-plotted shows on television right now, and now, has finally earned the show some awards recognition.
In addition to the magnificent character actress Margo Martindale winning her second outstanding guest actress in a drama Emmy, both Rhys and Russell earned nods for their performances, and the show itself is up for best writing and best drama. The Emmys have finally given in to one of the best shows on TV, so it’s high time the rest of us do too, before it comes to an end in 2018.
Though you won’t hear its name called on Sunday night – the show won two awards, for choreography and editing, at the Creative Arts Emmys last week – all you need to become completely addicted to The CW’s new musical-comedy is to listen to its crazy-catchy theme song. Rachel Bloom, who created the show and stars as Rebecca Bunch, a lawyer who gives up her job at a high-powered New York firm to move to West Covina, California, manages to find the perfect amount of humor and pathos in Rebecca’s hysterical hijinks without shying away from the honest side effects of living with a mental illness. Add in a cast of wacky, equally damaged and hilarious characters and a soundtrack full of catchy, ridiculous songs like “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” and “Settle For Me,” and you’ve got your new favorite TV show.
First of all, Luther stars Idris Elba as a brooding, morally ambiguous detective willing to go to whatever lengths it takes to catch the bad guy. And in case that isn’t enough to entice you to spend an evening with one of the most handsome, talented men on the planet, BBC America’s hit show manages to elevate the crime procedural to newer, twistier and more emotionally intense heights. Everything from the long cat-and-mouse game between DCI John Luther and the murderer he’s never been able to outsmart (or does he even want to?) Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) and the complicated bond between Luther and his partner, Ripley (Warren Brown), to the show’s deep, darker elements make it one of the most riveting dramas on TV.
Key & Peele
Sure, you’ve seen stars Keegan-Michael Key (a best supporting actor nominee this year) and Jordan Peele pop up in everything from sitcoms and the MTV VMAs to the White House Correspondents Dinner, but none of those appearances hold a candle to the insane, creative and downright hysterical episodes of their sketch show. Though the show ended in 2015, it’s worth digging through the treasure trove of sketches online in order to find something for everyone: Les Mis parodies, a take on extremely passionate pop culture fans and pitch-perfect commentaries on race in America. Oh, and who could forget the iconic East/West bowl sketch?
If you like your dramas with a side of paranoia and all of the dark twists that you can handle, look no further than the breakout hit of 2015, Mr. Robot. Starring Rami Malek (the Internet’s newest obsession) as Elliot, an anxious, depressed hacker working as a cyber vigilante, and Christian Slater as the titular Mr. Robot, an anarchist who attempts to recruit Elliot to his cause, this physiological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat – and questioning everything you thought you knew about the show and your computer.
HBO’s irreverent comedy about a group of socially awkward young men who found an Internet start up and their attempts to navigate the world of the Silicon Valley is exactly the kind of witty, awkward sitcom you’ve been looking for all this time. With comedy stars like Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods and Kumail Nanjiani in the cast, jokes fly at a mile and minute, leaving you too busy laughing to catch them all the first time around. That is, when you’re not watching the show through the fingers as Middleditch’s Erlich Bachman tries and tries to establish himself as a major player in the business world.
ABC’s anthology drama series isn’t afraid to tackle the tough subjects: race, class, gender politics and the justice system. And luckily, its all-star cast, which includes Felicity Huffman, Regina King and Timothy Hutton, brings its A-game to these complex, difficult and moving stories. The first season – which earned Emmy nominations for those three actors, along with a win for King – chronicles the difficult investigation into the murder of a war veteran, while the second – which earned Huffman and King another nomination, along with one for costar Lili Taylor and another for the show – tackled the complexities and consequences of a school’s investigation into a sexual assault. American Crime is sharp, unflinching, and deserves a much larger audience.
Have a weakness for family sitcoms? Have we got the show for you. Starring Emmy nominees Anthony Anderson as patriarch Dre, who worries that his children are losing touch with their cultural roots, and Tracee Ellis Ross as his wife, Rainbow, a dedicated anesthesiologist raised by hippies, black-ish tackles all of the typical domestic issues, and specifically black ones like the use of certain words, the struggle to be taken seriously at work and in one gorgeous, tear-jerking episode, the issue of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards will broadcast live Sunday on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.