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Here Are The Fall 2017 TV Shows We Can't Wait To Watch
The Summer TV Season turned out to be something of a mixed bag: Glow was an unexpectedly delightful show, Rick & Morty made its triumphant return and Game Of Thrones was the cultural juggernaut we all expected/needed. But Gypsy was a complete bust, Snowfall and The Defenders were both flawed, and I've already forgotten about Room 104 (and it's still on air!).
But you'll have plenty to watch with the dozens of new and returning shows coming to streaming, premium and network TV this fall—it's the busiest television season of the year. Below, you'll find 20 notable ones that'll help get you through the months of September, October and November without having to leave the comforts of your couch.
YOU'RE THE WORST (FXX, September 6th): After embracing a clinical depression storyline in season two, this anti-romcom tackled bereavement and PTSD last season, with the Edgar-centric episode "Twenty-Two" a big highlight. The show risked making Gretchen and Jimmy almost too repulsive in the early episodes, but they were able to bring it all back together for the spectacular season finale...which of course ended with a heartbreaking cliffhanger. The new season will focus on the breakup of the central couple, and how it reverberates into everything Gretchen, Jimmy, Edgar and Lindsay do.
BOJACK HORSEMAN (Netflix, September 8th): Although there's no official trailer yet, the most depressing show on TV about a talking horse is finally back in just a few weeks. Season three was a nihilistic bender that climaxed with the devastating "That's Too Much, Man!" in which a drug-fueled blackout binge ended in blunt tragedy. The newest season will continue to revolve around "the burdens of being comfortable," but was mostly written before Trump was elected (so don't expect any of that to trickle into the story...until season five).
THE DEUCE (HBO, September 10th): The latest show from David Simon and George Pelecanos (The Wire, Treme) looks like it was worth the wait: The Deuce is a sprawling look at the porn industry in Times Square in the 1970s, starring James Franco as twin brothers and Maggie Gyllenhaal as an entrepreneurial sex worker. Zoe Kazan, Ralph Macchio, and several Wire alums (Anwar Glover, Chris Bauer, Larry Gilliard Jr., Gbenga Akinnagbe) fill out the cast; Michelle MacLaren directed the pilot; and the writers room includes some of the best in the industry, including Richard Price, Megan Abbott, and Lisa Lutz.
TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL (SundanceTV, September 10th): One of the most brutal (and beautifully-shot) crime series on TV returns for an improbable but very welcome second season. In addition to returning director/showrunner Jane Campion and star Elisabeth Moss, new additions to the cast include the towering Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie.
BROAD CITY (Comedy Central, September 13th): Season three wasn't quite as strong as the two before, but we still got fantastic episodes in which we visited Abbi's childhood home and enjoyed an episode-long Mrs. Doubtfire homage. Season four stories will include Abbi and Ilana getting new jobs, celebrating their "friendiversary," receiving a visit from Abbi's mom, tripping on mushrooms, discovering their witchdom and traveling to Florida. RuPaul, Steve Buscemi and Fran Drescher will also guest star.
SOUTH PARK (Comedy Central, September 13th): Season 20 of South Park started out strong (Member Berries!) before collapsing under the weight of a continuity-heavy election plot that was completely derailed by Trump's election. But creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are very aware of what went wrong last season, and plan on laying off the Trump stuff this year and getting back to what makes South Park one of the best long-running comedies of all time. Parker explained to Deadline the problem with parodying Trump: "If you have like a little monkey and it’s running himself into the wall over and over and you’re like, 'That’s funny, but how am I gonna make fun of the monkey running himself into the wall?' I can discuss the monkey running himself into the wall, I can copy the monkey running into the wall, but nothing’s funnier than the monkey just running himself into the wall."
BETTER THINGS (FX, September 14th): Pamela Adlon already was pulling triple duty or more for her semi-autobiographical single mom comedy as creator/writer/star. For season two, she is truly embracing the auteur tag by directing every episode. The show has the casual surrealism and poetic profanity of Louie, but adds a lot of warmth thanks to Sam's relationship with her three very different daughters.
THE GOOD PLACE (NBC, September 20th): If you haven't seen it yet, we strongly encourage you to catch up ASAP on the 13-episode first season of the best new comedy of 2016. The less we say about the twists and turns of the story, the better. And if you have seen it, then just know there will be more clowns, more Janet reboots, and more clam chowder fountains.
TRANSPARENT (Amazon, September 22nd): Last season was about re-connecting the ridiculously narcissistic Pfefferman clan with their Jewish heritage (or not, in the case of Josh, who briefly accepted Christ as his lord and savior for his son). The best episodes of the season let the family energetically bounce off of each other ("To Sardines and Back"), explored the spiritual crisis of sweet Rabbi Raquel ("Life Sucks and Then You Die"), and offered a glimpse into Mort and Shelly's childhoods ("If I Were A Bell"). Best of all, the finale gave Shelly her finest, most cathartic moment ("Exciting And New"). This season, the whole family continues that spiritual journey by heading to Israel, where we're sure they'll make plenty of mistakes and have some fleeting revelations.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (CBS/CBS All Access, September 24th): We still don't quite understand how we're going to watch the first new Star Trek series in 12 years, but we're sure we can figure it out by the end of September. The cast, including Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs and Doug Jones, is already impressive. According to a long piece in EW, the series will have "a greater focus on characters’ personal lives, and with fatally realistic life-and-death stakes." And it will also include the first openly gay Trek series regular.
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (Fox, September 26th): B99 is entering its fifth season, and it may very well be the best comedy on network television not named The Good Place. But the main reason I watch B99 is for Andre Braugher's laugh out loud line readings. He deserves all the supporting actor awards in the world, why won't you people listen to me!?
NATHAN FOR YOU (Comedy Central, September 28th): Besides some cameos in a few movies (including the underrated Popstar), Nathan Fielder was unusually quiet in 2016. Almost too quiet. But that's because he was hard at work performing small business miracles across the country for the latest season of this brilliant, uncomfortable show. And in addition to the new episodes, there will also be a one hour reunion special with some of Nathan's most memorable guests.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO, October 1st): We're not saying that Bernie Sanders had to be sacrificed so that we could get Curb back...but that is what happened. After six years on hiatus, David has gotten the band back together for a new season of sublime neurotic comedy. This seems as good a time as any to renew our vows with the show: it's a very good show. Nine years! Pretty, prettttty, pretty goooood. And I am your devoted servant. Well, I don’t know about servant. I’ll certainly watch you.
MR. ROBOT (USA, October 11th): It is hard making Important TV Shows, and Sam Esmail and the team behind Mr. Robot learned that with season two of their hit USA show. Last season was both more ambitious and more frustrating than the first (especially the fact they isolated Elliot from the rest of the cast—and the audience—for the first half of the season), but when it was good (as with the experimental "Master-Slave" or Elliot-free "Successor"), it was still one of the best on TV. We'll catch up with Elliott, Angela, Whiterose and all the rest (including a new character played by a mustachioed Bobby Cannavale) soon enough.
MINDHUNTER (Netflix, October 13th): This adaptation of the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit is set in 1979 and will revolve around two FBI agents, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, who interview and analyze imprisoned serial killers in order to apply it to solving ongoing cases: "How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?" The trailer looks fantastic, the cast (Anna Torv!) is good, and David Fincher is on board as an executive producer for this "sinister investigative odyssey."
THE LAST O.G. (TBS, October 24th): Tracy Morgan makes his long-awaited return to scripted television after his devastating car crash a few years back. In the new sitcom, which was co-created by Jordan Peele (!), Morgan plays Tray, an ex-con released after a 15-year prison stint "who's a fish out of water in his old Brooklyn neighborhood."
STRANGER THINGS (Netflix, October 27th): Removed from the Barb mania and the Eggo waffles fandom and the endless thinkpieces, this was a very enjoyable sci-fi throwback show that went down really easy. Maybe it was a bit derivative at times, but it leaned into its Spielbergian qualities in a lot of good ways. The creators think they have four seasons worth of story to tell, so you should expect a darker and more emotional season compared to the first, with everyone dealing with something like PTSD.
ALIAS GRACE (Netflix, November 3rd): Following up this year's The Handmaid's Tale, another Margaret Atwood adaptation is coming to TV: Alias Grace is a work of historical fiction about convicted murderer Grace Marks. The six-episode miniseries stars Sarah Gadon as the titular Grace, director Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol, American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page) behind the camera, and best of all, Sarah Polley as writer/adapter.
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Starz, November 5th): One of the most challenging & rewarding shows last year returns for a second season, but it's shedding everything from season one. The story of law intern/sex worker Christine Reade (played by Riley Keough) is over, so season two will instead have dual-storylines over the course of its 14 episodes. One story is set against the backdrop of the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections in which a finance director of a Republican super PAC gets involved with a GFE provider and a blackmailing scheme; the other follows a former high-end escort who enters the Witness Protection Program to escape an abusive relationship, and then revives her career as a sex worker in New Mexico.
MARVEL'S THE PUNISHER (Netflix, TBA): There are at least three Marvel TV shows coming out this fall: Marvel's Inhumans on ABC (which looks horrible), Marvel's Runaways on Hulu (which has The OC's
Josh Schwartz as co-showrunner), and Marvel's The Punisher, with Jon Bernthal stepping into the role of Frank Castle once again after debuting in Daredevil season two.