Feeling the summer TV void? The Bachelorette is over, so is Game of Thrones, and fall shows won’t begin until September (the Olympics will only get us so far, after all). Luckily for us, there’s an endless stream of quality TV (and plenty of guilty pleasures, too) at our fingertips. The problem? With so many options, it’s hard to know what’s worth watching and what will suit your every mood. So we’re bringing you our editor-curated “watch list” each week.
Filled with quirky hidden gems, salacious reality stars, comedy geniuses, and scary newcomers that have us binge-watching (with the lights on!) until 2 a.m., we hope this weekly list will help broaden your viewing horizons and fill you with escapist joy. Whether you’re looking for hours of Netflix originals, a juicy prime time drama to watch with your bae, or just mindless background entertainment while you clean the house, we’ve got you covered thanks to the diverse TV tastes of our team. This week it’s all about the best of August’s cable offerings, and the little-known shows we’re sure will hook you. So ready your remote and dive into something new. Happy watching!
1. BoJack Horseman
“I’m just finishing up the latest 12-episode third season, which premiered on Netflix on July 22. The show’s concept may be tricky to wrap your head around—in the BoJack world, animals and humans coexist in Los Angeles, the main character is a washed-up former sitcom star who’s also a horse, etc.—but if you watch this show with the idea that it’s essentially a bizarro Mad Men, the show’s pace—and the depth of the characters—might make more sense. That BoJack can operate on a really serious dramatic level (hence the Mad Men comparison), but also be full of animal-pun related sight gags, makes it one of my favorite recent shows. Have I mentioned that the character names include: Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface, Quentin Tarantulino and 'A Ryan Seacrest Type'?” Stream all three seasons on Netflix. —Leigh Belz Ray, features and news director
2. The Night of
“With just two episodes remaining in this eight-part limited series, this week’s episode of The Night of is sure to be one of the most thrilling yet. Breakout star Riz Ahmed and John Turturro will have you on the edge of your sofa (usually cringing) as the gory details of this N.Y. murder drama play out—gruesome prison scenes and a weird eczema subplots, included. If you aren’t already watching but loved Serial, catch up now! The Night of will leave you questioning everything about our criminal justice system.” Tune in Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO or catch up on the series via HBO Now, HBO Go or On Demand. —Angela Salazar, senior editor
3. Odd Mom Out
“After a long Monday, there’s nothing better than tuning into Jill Kargman’s hilarious Bravo series, Odd Mom Out. The Manhattan-centric plot brings some major LOLs as Kargman’s down-to-earth character navigates her way through life among the Upper East Side’s elite. Tonight’s episode looks promising as ever, with Jill and her husband, Andy, roped into trying out the city's hottest new trend of 'Dinner in the Dark' with Andy’s brother, Lex, and his wife, Brooke. Based on the episode preview, in which a waitress reads off a list of dietary restrictions that Brooke and Lex provided, it’s going to be worth watching. Here’s to hoping that Lex gets his asparagus served just right—no tips or bottoms, just the middle.” Tune in Monday at 10 p.m. on Bravo or catch up on the series On Demand. —Samantha Simon, editorial assistant
“In an effort to fill my Downton Abbey void, I’ve been binge watching another Masterpiece original, Poldark. The seven-episode first season, available on Hulu, takes place in 1783 Cornwall, where a dashing Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner) returns from war to find his world upside down. His father has died and their family estate is left in ruins. To make things worse, the love of his life is now betrothed to his cousin. You’d think he’d just give up right then and there, but instead, Poldark focuses his energies on rebuilding the crumbling economy of his beloved seaside town (and finding a new love interest). Swoon.” Stream Season 1 of Poldark on Hulu, then tune in to Season 2 when it returns to Masterpiece Theatre on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET —Janelle Grodsky, associate editor
5. Stranger Things
“I’m not usually one for horror, or even sci-fi, but somehow I got sucked into Netflix’s Stranger Things and now I’m addicted. This eight-episode series, which debuted July 15 and quickly garnered a cult following, will have you on edge every time your lights flicker. An homage to Goonies, E.T., Stand by Me, and Super Eight, it’s a love note to 1980s coming-of-age movies—think kids, bikes, monsters/aliens, teen romance, unexplained mysteries, and a possible government conspiracy, all in small town America. Throw in some ’80s music (the Clash’s song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” has a prominent role) and you’ve got a hit. Winona Ryder plays Joyce Byers, mom to Will Byers, a 12-year-old boy who mysteriously vanishes while riding bikes with his pals. While trying to figure out what happened to Will, his friends meet up with a strange girl named Eleven who possesses supernatural powers and ends up being the heart and soul of the show. I’ve been glued to the storylines every step of the way, watching back-to-back episodes until 2 a.m. every night and I can’t wait to finish.” Stream season one on Netflix now. The show was just picked up for a second season; release date to be announced. —Glynis Costin, West Coast bureau chief
6. The Real Housewives of New York City
"This show definitely isn’t new, but we’re eight seasons and a hundred some-odd episodes in and its unique brand of Page Six headline-inspiring drama still holds up. With last season’s return of the fast talking, 'tell it like it is' brutality of veteran cast member Bethenny Frankel, and this season’s sordid love web between Luann de Lesseps’s playboy fiancé, Tom D’Agostino, and, well, everyone, the rumor mill in N.Y.C. is churning out the juiciest gossip ever. Previews for this week’s episode show Frankel dropping a bomb on de Lesseps about D’Agostino’s philandering ways and, by the looks of it, it’s going to be the most talked about moment of the entire season. Honestly, though, I’m hoping it’s not what it seems, because there’s no one on this earth who brings me more joy than The Countess Luann! I mean, I bought her 2010 single, 'Money Can’t Buy You Class' on iTunes—she’s bae." Tune in to Bravo on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET. —Courtney Higgs, editorial assistant