Remember the '80s? Don't. They were a terrible time, full of hairspray and scary STIs. Music was quantifiably at its lowest point. For every Clash, there were 90 Flocks of Seagulls. But one thing that reached its absolute peak at the time was the randy teen sex-comedy. Time for a throwback! Starring Jennifer Grey! Yeah, this is nostalgia done right.
Not too long ago, sitcoms would have used a transgender character as a punchline, and the comfort of family life as its reassuring return to normalcy. The refreshing, universally acclaimed Transparent does the reverse, with Maura Pfefferman's newfound acceptance of herself the one fixed point of reference amid a family of semi-neurotics. It mines deep feeling (and laughs) from its thesis: "Life is complicated." What, are you going to skip a chance to watch Jeffrey Tambor do comedy?
Middle-aged men go down South to party. What sounds like every knockoff of a Judd Apatow comedy in the last decade quickly turns dark instead. After creating The Shield, Shawn Ryan should be allowed to do anything he wants forever. Unfortunately, that's not the case, as Mad Dogs, like its similarly named sibling Terriers, concluded at season one, full stop. Maybe, if we all deluge its traffic counter with views, we can revive it?
Detective shows aren't short of hard-bitten cops on the edge, but dang, man, Bosch stands out as a particularly durable hard case. The guy is on fire, and not in a good way... drawn into particularly dark cases, but keeping his back turned on an even darker past.
You're on the Internet, so we assume you've already laughed at a Rob Delaney joke today. Good news! He's on a show with Sharon Horgan, whom you remember fondly from The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. She gets pregnant after they have a fling, and then they agree to give this parenthood thing a go together. What makes this somewhat-trod concept fresh is that everyone in their lives thinks it's an awful idea... and they may be right.
John Goodman could make a four-car pileup funny. Plus, this is a nice relief from overwritten political dramas. Hey, wait... that's a personal pronoun away from a perfect description of Veep. Crossover time? What you definitely can't say about Veep is that it's a frat comedy for Beltway junkies. Created by Doonesbury maestro Garry Trudeau, who knows a thing or two about political satire.
Mozart in the Jungle
Everyone you know is talking about it. You should probably watch it so you're not left out. It's probably the new Downton Abbey. But with more sex and violent upheaval of the stodgy old order. (Not that it's too late for you to drop trou, Downton!) Gael García Bernal is a firebrand conductor, and everyone has differing opinions about why that's good or bad. Special appearance by Mozart.
OK, so it was only announced last week and it isn't actually back yet, but you can't keep a good Tick down. SPOOOOOOOOOOON!
Well, here it is. You might as well watch the most realistic crime drama ever made. What it lacks in tension (hush, you know it's true), it makes up for in verisimilitude. Besides, if you binge it, you might actually keep track of its two-dozen-plus concurrent story lines. Still a great portrait of America's self-inflicted wounds, and how each layer of power grinds down the ones below it. Starring everyone you love from all the series developed since.
Sean Bean may always die, but Ray Stevenson always kills (with a mix of savagery and humanity). This is the series that started that trend, including what's probably the most stunning murder in TV history. Fantastic for its portrayal of the street-level speculation of what influenced the uppermost echelons of politics.
A sci-fi show so acclaimed and cult-devoted, you'd naturally assume it's a BBC import, but the truth is somewhere in between. A Canadian production, it subsists here on the word of its rabid fanbase, and they might not be wrong.