Traditionally, fall is the season for major TV returns. That's still true today, and many of the biggest shows of the year come back for new seasons then. Some of them are infinitely rewatchable. Even though there's plenty of TV to watch at all times, the fall sees the return of many of the biggest shows on TV. Because there's so much TV, it's virtually impossible to watch all of it. As a result, you're probably behind on things you don't want to be behind on.
Don't worry, though! There's still time to catch up on these releases. You can binge your way through several shows, and discover new favorites you might not even be aware of. Many of the shows on this list reward a binge, either because they're incredibly funny or very fulfilling. You can't watch everything, but hopefully, this list helps you catch up on a few things you may have missed.
Brooklyn Nine-nine is a fairly conventional sitcom. It follows the ongoing stories of cops in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Thus far, the show has produced six seasons, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down.
Like many great sitcoms, the show works well because of the deep characterization of its characters, and the show knows how to pull a variety of laughs out of its central premise. That's not to say that nothing happens, but plot developments are always secondary to the show's desire to get laughs out of its audience. As a result, it's one of the funniest shows on TV.
Through its first three seasons, The Good Place has undoubtedly been one of the best shows on TV. It's a show that's willing to constantly reinvent itself, and manages to create comedy out of an insanely high-concept premise. The show initially follows a woman who is placed in a version of heaven and realizes that she's been mistaken for someone else.
On The Good Place, though, the initial premise hardly matters at all. What does matter is how exciting the show frequently is, and how well it knows each of its characters. It's a great show, and one worth catching up on before its fourth and final season.
Black-ish is a conventional family sitcom that follows a black family, and often deals with issues of race in hilarious, thorough ways. Whatever the show chooses to focus on, though, Black-ish works. It works not because it's always focused on issues, but because its stories feel real and grounded in ways that most sitcoms aren't.
Unlike most sitcoms, Black-ish is also willing to upset the family dynamics at its core. The engages with the issues its central couple has. It doesn't shy away from stories about their struggles, and it never allows things to resolve themselves too quickly. It's complicated in all the right ways.
Animated comedies are hit and miss. Sometimes, their humor is too broad, too silly, or completely unoriginal. Thankfully, none of those things are true for Bob's Burgers, which is one of the funniest shows on TV, animated or not.
The series follows a family that runs a burger joint together, and they're a peculiar bunch. The show's children are the real stars, in large part because they're so off-kilter. All kids are strange, but Tina Belcher is really in a category all by herself. The show is good because its characters are such weirdos, and because it loves them even as it pokes fun at them.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow got good as soon as it realized just how silly it could be. The show follows a team of superheroes tasked with saving the world from things that have happened in both the past and the future. Because time travel is involved so regularly, the show realized that it could get up to a whole bunch of shenanigans right off the bat.
Once it figured that out, it became one of the best shows on TV, purely for entertainment value. Does every single thing that happens make perfect sense? No. Does it need to? Absolutely not. When you have this much fun, the actual plot matters very little.
The premise of Good Girls sounds like a movie, but it works surprisingly well as a TV show. Following two sisters and their best friend as they decide to rob a grocery store to take control of their own lives, the show spins out from that pivotal event in ways that are compelling and fun to follow.
Good Girls neatly toes the line between comedy and drama. It's a show about ordinary people who make a terrible choice, and are forced to deal with the fallout. What's more, the show is buoyed by strong central performances, all of which makes us excited to see where the show goes in its third season.
This is Us has proven during its three seasons that there are still plenty of people interested in family dramas. On This is Us, that drama gets a boost by a wonderful cast delivering great performances, and plenty of cliffhangers and twists.
Although the show's first season is its best, every season has given audiences plenty of reasons to return to the show. This is Us knows how to evolve, and it knows how to write engaging stories for all of its central characters. As TV gets more interested in fantasy and sci-fi stories, This is Us reminds us that families have plenty of fodder for drama.
There are many comedies that widely recognized as great. Superstore isn't usually on that list, but it definitely should be. The show follows the employees of a superstore akin to Wal-Mart, and they're certainly a colorful group.
The gets at the stress and monotony of working at a large department store, but it isn't afraid to dive into its characters personal lives as well. Superstore has only gotten better as it's gone on. It was good when it started, but it managed to carve out an identity all its own in subsequent seasons, which have made it a total pleasure to watch week to week or in a binge.
Roswell, New Mexico is one of the newer CW offerings, and its premise is certainly unique - even if it is a reboot. Following a woman who returns to her hometown after ten years away and falls back in with an old flame, the show's ultimate reveal is that this woman's flame is secretly an alien.
From there, things get even stranger, but that's not to say that strangeness is a bad thing. Roswell makes its various twists and turns work, and it ends up telling a smart story about how fear of the unknown can drive bigotry and hate. It may not be a very subtle metaphor, but it's undoubtedly a pretty effective one.
If you don't already watch Riverdale, you likely know that you're way behind. Still, as its fans get ready for the show's fourth season, you have time to catch up with the first three. Although the series is based on the Archie comics, Riverdale takes a darker, seedier look at the town it's named after.
The show's set against the backdrop of high school, but it's real stories are about the intrigue that governs the city. There's always some criminal conspiracy afoot, and those conspiracies always involve the show's central quartet. It's utterly gripping from the very first episode.
How to Get Away With Murder is the kind of show most people are interested from the title alone. It follows a criminal defense attorney and some of her students as they deal with various crimes in an ongoing, serialized fashion. The show's twist and turns are what keep people watching, but the show wouldn't work without its central performance from Viola Davis.
She's one of the best actresses in the world, and in the first five seasons of How to Get Away With Murder, she brings all her talents to the small screen. The show's stories of crime and murder may be intriguing, but what ultimately matters most is Viola.
Black Lightning is another CW superhero show that seems to be flying under the radar. That might be because it's about a less well-known superhero, but the show itself deserves plenty of attention. The series is among the more acclaimed superhero shows on TV, and that's because it's confident in the story it's telling, and knows how to weave in complex ideas without losing its fun comic book aesthetic.
The show is also telling a different kind of superhero story. Black Lightning isn't a new superhero; he's coming out of retirement. He's putting the cape back on, not putting it on for the first time, which makes the story feel fresh and different.
9-1-1 might just be the dumbest show on TV. Believe it or not, that's a compliment. The show tells the story of first responders who get called to the site of some truly absurd situations. Bounce houses fly away and babies get flushed down toilets.
It's absurd, and it would be unbearable if the show didn't feel at least a little aware of its own absurdity. Although it seems like a drama, 9-1-1 is way more rewarding if you treat it like a comedy. If you find yourself laughing at the show, go with it. It's only as funny as you think it is.
The Blacklist is one of the longer running shows on this list, but it's also one of the more captivating. It's not high art, exactly, but it is a show that layers plenty of surprises onto its story. At its core, the show is a riff on Silence of the Lambs. A young, female FBI agent gets help catching notorious killers from a notorious killer.
From there, the show spins out into a much broader story. It's a great show to watch while you're doing other things. Every moment isn't essential, but the story is compelling, and eventually, it's sure to suck you in.
The Goldbergs is a throwback in the truest sense of the word. It's a retelling of the creators' childhood in the 1980s, and while it's a fairly standard family sitcom, the era in which it takes place allows the show to reflect with a different perspective.
Past that, though, the show follows the two golden rules of all good sitcoms: it's kind to its characters, and it's consistently funny. With an outstanding cast and plenty of other charms, The Goldbergs is worth catching up with, especially if you want something a little more laid back.
Making It has no plot. It's got no deeply compelling characters or genius dramatic storytelling. It's a reality competition show about crafts, and it rules. The show is hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, who together make up a huge part of the show's appeal.
Past that, the show is exactly the kind of thing you might watch if you want to cheer yourself up. It's pure joy. There's no huge conflict, no big reveals. It's just TV for the times in your life when you need something to watch that will make you smile a whole lot. There are also tons of puns, which never hurt.
Mom is a totally conventional sitcom that's way smarter than you think it is. The show tells the story of a mother and daughter, and the complicated relationship between them. What separates it from standard sitcoms is its frankness about addiction and the ongoing struggles that sobriety brings with it.
In that way, the show is revolutionary. It's willing to tackle the topic without ever being preachy or judging its characters. That's thanks in large part to strong central performances from Allison Janey and Anna Faris. Both actors elevate already solid material and make the show worth watching even if you're allergic to sitcoms.
The premise of The Rookie is undoubtedly a little silly. The show follows an older man who, after a life-altering incident, decides to pursue his dream and become a cop. He's an older rookie. As the show evolves, though, it smartly interrogates what that might mean, and the challenges that would come with starting a career as a police officer later in life.
The show is strengthened immeasurably by Nathan Fillion, who's been a consistently excellent TV presence for years now. The show's first season is engaging, and it offers the pleasure of watching Nathan do what he does best.
S.W.A.T. is a very real story made a little more digestible for CBS's audience, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth your time. The show follows the commander of a S.W.A.T. team assigned to the neighborhood where he grew up and is forced to straddle the two worlds.
The show occasionally delves a little too deeply into how honorable the life of a cop is, but it's a smart look at how minute the differences sometimes are between cops and the people they arrest. Through its first two seasons, S.W.A.T. has provided a human look at what it's like to be a cop and looks at the people those cops often stop.
The 100 is the perfect blend of fantasy and sci-fi elements and normal teenage problems. The show, set in a post-apocalyptic future, quickly evolved into one of the most interesting sci-fi stories on TV.
In part, the show's brilliance came from its willingness to shake off ideas and storylines that weren't working in favor of others that did. It also has a compelling central cast of young actors who have proven themselves more than capable throughout the show's six seasons on the air thus far. It's a long binge, but a worthwhile one if you have the time.