4 Mind-Bending Episodes of 'Black Mirror' You Have to See
Fall is a time for foliage trips, pumpkin spice, and the ominous feeling that you'll never be able to keep up with the world's unending onslaught of TV. The coming months promise more than two dozen new (and revived) shows, including comedies, dramas, and comic-book adaptations, many with high-caliber talent and many worthy of your attention. To keep track, we've noted what's on the horizon, and why you should care. As always, binge responsibly:
Premiere date: September 10 Network: HBO Reason to be excited: This'll be kind of like Boogie Nights: The TV Show. Coming from the mind of David Simon, aka The Wire guy, The Deuce tackles the birth of pornography and the evolution of Times Square in New York, circa 1970-1980, with James Franco playing twins Vince and Frankie Martino, and Maggie Gyllenhaal a prostitute-slash-single-mom who sees promise in porn. Quick point of clarification for any hormonal teens (and adults) reading: This show isn't porn; it's about porn. "If we've made something that's purely titillating," Simon told reporters at TCA, "then damn us." Sorry! Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 10 Network: FOX Reason to be excited: This is Seth MacFarlane's love letter to Star Trek, specifically The Next Generation. Episodes will be closer to 60 minutes, so don't expect it to be as gag-filled or as breezy as Family Guy. It's more of a sci-fi dramedy -- tonally like M*A*S*H, but in space. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 15 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: This is a riotous parody of all the true-crime docuseries you love watching. Just change incarceration to high school expulsion, and murder to graffiti penises. Watch the trailer
The Vietnam War
Premiere date: September 17 Network: PBS Reason to be excited: You'll learn a shitload. This is a 10-part, 18-hour docuseries from Ken Burns and his longtime creative partner Lynn Novick, stuffed with archival material and trademark Burns-ian interviews. "A good deal of the problems we have today had their seeds planted in the divisions" the Vietnam War would produce, Burns toldMother Jones recently. "I thought I knew a lot about it. And so I went in with the kind of arrogance that people with superficial knowledge always have. Lynn and I have spent 10 years shedding our feeble preconceptions. It was a daily humiliation." Watch the trailer
Channel Zero: No-End House
Premiere date: September 20 Network: Syfy Reason to be excited: "Six rooms. Each one scarier than the last. Most people don't even make it to the sixth room. The people who do? Never seen again." So goes the teaser for No-End House, the next installment in Syfy's under-appreciated horror anthology. If you enjoyed how the Channel Zero writers fleshed out Candle Cove last year, expect similarly ambitious moves here. The story comes from Brian Russell's Creepypasta of the same name, one of our all-time favorites. Watch the trailer
Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus
Premiere date: September 22 Network: Cinemax Reason to be excited: The Silicon Valley co-creator re-embraces animation with "tales of some of country music's most eccentric characters." Remember: Judge is the guy who brought us Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill. He knows what he's doing. So this is like when Michael Jordan returned to basketball after giving baseball a try -- but even better!
Star Trek: Discovery
Premiere date: September 24 Network: CBS/CBS All Access Reason to be excited: Set roughly a decade before the original series, this prequel centers on Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), a Starfleet First Officer who holds the distinction of being the Vulcan Science Academy's first human pupil. The writers say Discovery will be the most serialized Trek yet (more so than Deep Space Nine), bring back familiar characters (like The Office's Rainn Wilson as intergalactic space criminal Harry Mudd), and explore fresh vantage points. "The advantage to [Michael] not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a very different point of view," explained showrunner Gretchen Berg. "We get access to more parts of the ship." Watch the trailer
Me, Myself & I
Premiere date: September 25 Network: CBS Reason to be excited: Close your eyes and picture a Boyhood-style TV show, but funnier and not as linear. If you're not smashing your head into a wall in a fit of rage, you might give this ambitious single-cam comedy a spin. It tracks the past, present, and future lives of genius inventor Alex Riley, a good guy, but not a very lucky guy, especially when it comes to love and success. SNL hero Bobby Moynihan plays present-day Alex, so you're guaranteed to like at least 33.3% of this. Watch the trailer
The Good Doctor
Premiere date: September 25 Network: ABC Reason to be excited: Finally, something to fill your House void. This time, the genius is Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), a pediatric surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 25 Network: CBS Reason to be excited: This Big Bang Theory prequel nixed the laugh track. Watch the trailer
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Premiere date: September 26 Network: NBC Reason to be excited: You'll get a better look at the motive, psychology, and politics that made the Menendez brothers go down in history -- like the network version of The People v. O.J. Simpson. Anchored by a strong cast, including Edie Falco as controversial criminal defense attorney Leslie Abramson, and Josh Charles as the brothers' psychiatrist, this anthology might also change the way you view the case's outcome. "I don't care what attitude you go in with, your mind is going to receive information that I think will change a lot of people's attitudes," creator Dick Wolf said at TCA. "This is a show that has an agenda." Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 27 Network: CBS Reason to be excited: What if we gave David Boreanaz... bigger guns? OH SHIT!!!!!!! That's basically what this is, a low-brow but perfectly fine military procedural that lets the former Bones star shine in some real action. Just as long as he's home before his daughter's recital. If you don't like the sound of that, don't fret: The CW has an even soapier take on special forces (Valor), NBC has another (The Brave) they're touting as "realistic," and CBS is rebooting S.W.A.T. with Shemar Moore. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 28 Network: NBC Reason to be excited: If you hated the 2006 finale, you'll get to pretend like it never happened. (Recall: Will and Grace became estranged and reunited when they moved their kids into the same dorm.) The show's creators are erasing the kids and picking this 10-part revival up in the present. "If they have children, then it has to be about them being parents," David Kohan told EW. "We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace." As the cast has teased, it'll kind of be like watching a more modern version of Season 4. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: September 29 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy) went the animation route to tackle the painfully awkward years of puberty and middle school. It might take you a couple episodes to really be sold on this mature toon, but it's worth it, because the cast is stacked (see: John Mulaney, Jason Mantzoukas, Maya Rudolph, Jessi Klein, Jenny Slate, Jordan Peele, and Fred Armisen, among others); the writers don't hold anything back (see: raunchy songs, nudity); and the format allows for some spectacularly weird shit (see: ghosts of musical legends, horny puberty monsters). Watch the trailer
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Premiere date: October 1 Network: HBO Reason to be excited: It's been roughly six years since a new Curb episode, and HBO has given Larry David carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wants.
Premiere date: October 1 Network: FOX Reason to be excited: Adam Scott and Craig Robinson co-star in this comedy, about two guys -- one skeptic, one not-so-skeptic -- recruited to work as paranormal investigators. It's basically a mix of so many of your favorite things: Ghostbusters, The Office, The X-Files, etc. Or, as Scott says, "Best case scenario: Stranger Things and Midnight Run have a baby, and that's Ghosted. And for me, that baby would be my favorite baby." Watch the trailer
Ten Days in the Valley
Premiere date: October 1 Network: ABC Reason to be excited: Kyra Sedgwick kills it in this meta drama, as a controversial TV writer whose daughter goes missing. If you're on the fence about having kids, this will probably help you make your decision. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 2 Network: FOX Reason to be excited: Another X-Men story is coming to TV! This one revolves around Lauren and Andy Strucker, a brother-sister mutant duo forced on the run after their powers are discovered. Though X-Men honcho Bryan Singer directed the pilot and served as producer, you should still be ready for a slower, more intimate yarn. "It's a story that definitely comes at the world of mutants from the side," the show's creator has said. "It doesn't exclusively take place inside the world of people who are already X-Men and know that world." So, yeah, think Legion, but more straightforward. (N.B.: Die-hard Marvel fans will also have The Runaways and The Inhumans, though the latter has not been picking up good reviews.) Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 3 Network: ABC Reason to be excited: This might look like socially conscious edutainment, but it's also a lot of fun. A 27-year-old struggling rapper (Brandon Michael Hall) runs for mayor to get some exposure for his mixtape. Then he accidentally becomes mayor. Insane? Yeah. But, as his mom says, it's an opportunity to go from critiquing the status quo to changing it. Watch the trailer
Do You Want to See a Dead Body?
Premiere date: October 11 Network: YouTube Red Reason to be excited: What started as a Funny or Die gem has graduated into a full-fledged comedy. Original star Rob Huebel returns with more celebrity friends -- including John Cho, Judy Greer, Craig Robinson, and Adam Scott -- to basically fart around and, yeah, look at dead bodies. Watch a clip from the Funny or Die version
Premiere date: October 11 Network: CW Reason to be excited: You'll get to see two crazy rich families on their worst behavior. In fact, you could say the original Dynasty (1981-1989) was the OG Real Housewives series -- just scripted. Though this revival brings back many of the original characters, it's moving them to Atlanta, slashing their homophobic roots, and adding more diversity. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 13 Network: Amazon Reason to be excited: Aaron Mahnke's addictive folklore podcast is turning into a docuseries with star-studded re-enactments. As an example, you'll see Teen Wolf"s Holland Roden take on Bridget Cleary, the Irish woman whose husband murdered her because he thought she was abducted by fairies and replaced with a changeling. "It's easy to look back 360 to 70 years and go, ha-ha-ha," showrunner Glen Morgan told us earlier this year. "Given what [our ancestors] believed in, we're trying to show, like, what do we believe in, or are into, that somebody's going to be laughing at in the future." Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 13 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: David Fincher helped direct this grim-looking thing. Based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, the show basically follows an FBI agent who figures out ways to hunt serial killers. If you're thinking, TV version of Se7en and/or Zodiac, you're probably not far off. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 15 Network: Showtime Reason to be excited: Where the heck has Jay Pharoah been since talking to DJ Khaled at the MTV VMAs? Here!!! Working hard as the star of this show, about a comedian on the rise. Ah, so glad we found him. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: October 17 Network: AT&T Audience Network Reason to be excited: Peter Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber, Shallow Hal, The Heartbreak Kid) has avoided shifting to TV for a long time because it sounded like a pain in the ass. That's changed now with Loudermilk, a dark comedy about a recovering alcoholic named Sam who runs an AA support group. "What we didn't want it to do was turn into In Treatment," Farrelly has said of the show, "where it's devastating every episode." Rest assured you'll get some laughs, because, per the show's tagline, Sam puts the S-O-B in sobriety. Watch the trailer
The Last O.G.
Premiere date: October 24 Network: TBS Reason to be excited: If you're hungry for more of Jordan Peele's genius, you'll want to see The Last O.G. He co-created and executive produced the project, which stars Tracy Morgan as an ex-felon adjusting to life outside of prison. "What the hell happened to Brooklyn?" he'll wonder, as he works toward redemption. Watch the trailer
Drop the Mic
Premiere date: October 26 Network: TBS Reason to be excited: Each week, four celebs will face off in a rap battle royale, and a studio audience will vote for a winner. If this sounds familiar, it's because this is another one of those James Corden segments-turned-full-TV-shows. Method Man and Hailey Baldwin host, and will supposedly create an atmosphere that is not mean, but joyful.
Premiere date: November 3 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: Fans of The Handmaid's Tale, rejoice! Six hours of another Margaret Atwood classic, based on the true story of a Canadian maid who was convicted of murdering her employer in 1843, are heading to the red streamer near you. (Atwood also writes stories that aren't about maids, for the record.) Watch the trailer
Premiere date: November 22 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: Steven Soderbergh helped create this limited series about a gang of outlaws on a revenge mission. Surely a nice little something to tide you over until that Deadwood movie gets here.
She's Gotta Have It
Premiere date: November 23 Network: Netflix Reason to be excited: Tonya Lewis Lee helped her husband, Spike Lee, update his feature debut by blowing it out to 10 episodes. It still revolves around Brooklyn artist Nola Darling -- as she balances her friends, work, and three lovers -- but it promises to address more contemporary issues, like gentrification. Phil Jackson's No. 1 supporter directed every episode, and he set the finale during Thanksgiving. Binge accordingly. Watch the trailer
Premiere date: November 29 Network: Syfy Reason to be excited: Based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's graphic novel, this adaptation has Patton Oswalt voicing a flying blue unicorn alongside Christopher Meloni's cop turned hitman. Does it sound like something your friend came up with when he was high? Maybe. Will it be entertaining as hell? Definitely. Watch the trailer
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Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter: @srkfitzgerald.