Each week, we bring you our editor-curated “watch list,” filled with all the quirky hidden gems, salacious reality stars, comedy geniuses, and award-worthy newcomers that have us binge-watching and setting our DVRs. We hope this weekly list will help broaden your viewing horizons and fill you with escapist joy. Happy watching!
Watchers rejoice! With fall officially upon us, it’s time to clear your DVR and make room for all of the addictive new shows premiering this month. Fans of The OC, you’ve waited a long time for Adam Brody to return to the small screen, and he’s doing so in a very un-Seth Cohen way as a Miami tech entrepreneur in Crackle’s new drama, StartUp. If you’ve been craving a juicy new soap, Queen Sugar is on the menu as of Tuesday. The Southern-set show from Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay promises to be one of the best additions to fall TV, so make sure your cable includes OWN. And foodies will devour Netflix’s new French edition of Chef’s Table, which is as mouthwatering as the show’s previous incarnations—even subtitles can’t distract from the gratuitous food shots. Plus, check out what’s new to streaming, and what you still have time to catch up on before the season is over.
1. Queen Sugar
“Bring on the popcorn and the cabernet! I am SO ready for a juicy, sexy, smart, heartfelt family drama to sink my teeth into—and Queen Sugar is it. I saw an early screener of the first episode and now can’t wait to tune in each week. Brought to you by Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay, it’s got everything—steamy sex, crime, class tension, scandal, death, family dysfunction and reconciliation. It’s also beautifully shot. At the core are three siblings in very different places—there’s Dawn-Lyen Gardner who plays Charley, a kick-ass manager married to an NBA superstar. Living a chic L.A. life in a modern manse, Charley’s world is shattered when her basketball hubby is involved in a mega-scandal. Back in her home town of New Orleans, Charley’s hot brother, Ralph Angel, played by Kofe Siriboe (look for him soon in the pages of InStyle!) is an ex-con struggling to make ends meet as a single father raising his young son. Meanwhile their sister, Nova, played by Rutina Wesley from True Blood, is a journalist leading a double life. When family crisis brings them all back together, they realize they must bond together to save their dad’s sugar cane farm.” Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m. ET; later episodes air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on OWN. —Glynis Costin, West Coast bureau chief
“The OC is my favorite TV show of all-time, so anytime I get the chance to see Seth Cohen—I mean Adam Brody—back in action, I jump at the chance. Brody’s latest project is StartUp, an original series streaming on Crackle, and it’s just about as far from Orange County as you can get. The actor is all grown up playing Nick Talman, a Miami financier turned tech entrepreneur, who finds himself in trouble with an FBI agent (Martin Freeman) after investing his father’s ill-gotten money in a tech startup. While the drama seems a lot more serious than The OC (it almost has a Mr. Robot tech world feel), it’s fun to see Brody in scenes back on the beach, even if it is Miami, not Newport. No word yet if his character has the same dislike for water polo players that he does for the FBI.” StartUp premieres Sept. 6, streaming on Crackle. —Jennifer Ferrise, associate editor
3. Chef’s Table: France
“If you watched the previous seasons of Chef’s Table, or Netflix’s other food documentary series, Cooked, you’ll surely fall in love with Chef’s Table: France, which premiered Sept. 2. With just four episodes, it’s a quick watch that’s perfect for a Saturday evening binge. Just make sure you have dinner and snacks on hand; your stomach will be growling from the moment you tune in. The new season chronicles four of the world’s best chefs—Alain Passard of L’Arpege, Michel Troisgros of Maison Troisgros, Adeline Grattard of Yam’Tcha, and Alexandre Couillon of La Marine—who are revolutionizing French cuisine, and takes you on a sensory tour of the country. It’s the next best thing to a Parisian vacation.” Streaming on Netflix. —Angela Salazar, senior editor
4. Difficult People
"After a guest-star-studded and utterly ridiculous nine episodes this summer, Difficult People wraps Season 2 on September 6, and the finale promises to keep the jokes coming. Stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner have consistently one-upped themselves all season as their comedian characters struggle to find success in the entertainment industry—but from what we can tell, the duo has saved the best for last. This Tuesday, we’ll see Julianne Moore play a development exec working on a movie based on Julie’s just-optioned essay. Klausner recently told InStyle that Moore’s character is a “really bitchy and fake girly-girl,” which will undoubtedly be a treat to watch. Debbie Harry, Richard Kind, and Amy Sedaris will also guest star. And if you need any extra motivation to tune in, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of chaos as Billy helps Matthew (Cole Escola) plan his wedding." Available to stream on Hulu. —Samantha Simon, assistant editor
5. Gossip Girl
“My roommate recently informed me that all six seasons of Gossip Girl are currently streaming on Netflix, and suffice it to say, my weeknights have forever changed. It’s been far too long—four years, to be exact—since I swooned over Serena and Dan’s Romeo and Juliet-esque love affair, marveled over Blair’s queendom, and thoroughly enjoyed Chuck being, well, Chuck Bass—in all his glory. I had even completely forgotten about the epic cameos (ehem, Hilary Duff). Take a walk down memory lane—it’s even better the second time around. Trust.” Streaming on Netflix. —Claire Stern, associate editor
6. You’re The Worst
“One of my favorite TV critics, Andy Greenwald, has been championing FX’s You’re the Worst since the first episode of the first season. So I tuned in about halfway through and haven’t looked back. The central cast—Aya Cash as music exec Gretchen; Chris Geere as her boyfriend, British writer Jimmy; Desmin Borges as Edgar, Jimmy’s roommate; and Kether Donohue as Lindsay, Gretchen’s best friend—excellently portrays how funny, mean, selfish and myopic we can all be. What I like about the show is that just because some of the characters can be terrible to each other, it doesn’t mean they’re terrible people. The show balances absurd situations (like Lindsay recording a pop/rap collaboration called “New Phone, Who Dis’?”) with some very real life ones (like Gretchen’s bout with depression last season). I'm very excited to get into the third season, which just premiered August 31.” Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET or stream season 1 and 2 on Hulu. —Leigh Belz Ray, features and news director