Open Thread: TV, Streaming, and Movies

fall TV open threadSince we’re all getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend, I thought we’d have a fun open thread today: what new TV shows are you looking forward to this fall? What second, third, and beyond seasons are you eagerly awaiting? What shows are you so glad you’ve caught up with via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Prime — and have you seen any great documentaries or movies lately? (Here’s another great question: for those of you who love to binge watch things or tie TV-watching to workout time — what are your favorite shows?) Do you put limits on your TV watching (e.g., no more than 7 hours per week, only on the treadmill)? (Cord cutters / those without a TV, I’d love to hear from you too — how’s it going?) 

For my $.02: With two small kids and limited grown-up/unscheduled time outside the house, we almost never go to movies in theaters — the last time I can remember going was when I saw Gone Girl by myself the week it opened… oh and of course we saw The Force Awakens the week it opened. So almost all of my picks will be TV-based! For new TV, I just set my TiVo to record (links go to the official trailers on YouTube):

  • MacGyver – I’m kind of really psyched about this reboot; we watched the old series all the time while growing up. (Pictured.) It premieres Sept. 23.
  • Bull – I read the description (it’s loosely based on the backstory of Dr. Phil and his jury consultant years) and thought, OK, fine, it sounds interesting — but the trailer makes it look like a really fun mix of a procedural/character study, so I’m now properly excited. It premieres Sept. 20.
  • The Good Place – Kristen Bell plays a woman who dies and wrongly goes to Heaven instead of Hell; the comedy is about her trying to change her less-than-stellar ways.  It looks OK to me, but I like Kristen Bell, so I’m hopeful. It premieres Sept. 22.
  • One Mississippi – I mostly set the TiVo based on the recommendation of Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker’s TV critic (but a quick Google shows it’s getting a TON of good traction from the critics, along with Fleabag and Atlanta — here’s the NPR article on all three).  One Mississsipi is a dark comedy inspired by comedian Tig Notaro’s life: “Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi, where she contends with the death of her mother and her own mortality as she embarks on a painful yet hilarious journey that unearths uncomfortable truths about her family and her self.” It premieres Sept. 9.
  • Designated Survivor – Fiiiiine, I thought, I’ll record it since this show is getting so much buzz, and hey, I had a crush on Kiefer Sutherland many many moons ago, although I do not remember why. After watching the trailer I’m intrigued, though — Sutherland plays “a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington.” It premieres Sept. 21.
  • Braindead – I’m not quite sure where to put this one — it’s eleven episodes into its mid-summer premiere. I started watching it primarily because I’d read about how the costume designer from The Good Wife was doing this as his next show, and while the clothes are fine (I’d say unremarkable, honestly), the show itself is a delight — quirky, funny, smart.  The premise: “A government employee discovers that the cause of the tensions between the two political parties is a race of extraterrestrial insects eating the brains of the politicians.” Big thumbs up.

I’m excited for the return of:

  • You’re the Worst – It already started, but I haven’t seen the new season yet. This dark comedy on FX follows the complicated relationship of two “horrible” people — it’s funny, and dark, (and super NSFW), and I agree completely with the AV Club that it’s one of the bravest depictions on TV of depression.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – I’ve written before of my love of the show, even though I’m usually not into musical shows. (Despite the fact that I’ve watched and enjoyed the first several seasons of Nashville and the first season of Empire. Hmmn.) It’s complex, it’s funny and dark, and I feel like I know the lead from like ten different walks of life. Season 2 premieres Oct. 21.
  • Younger – Maybe it’s because I’m roughly the same age as the character in the show (a few years younger!), and also got my start in the NYC publishing world (kinda sorta — I worked for the book editor at a major magazine), but I love this show.  Season 3 premieres Sept. 28.
  • (We’re a ways away from the return of Game of Thrones, Veep, Silicon ValleyOrange is the New Black, House of CardsThe Americans, and The Expanse, but I’m eagerly awaiting all of their returns, as well. We haven’t had Showtime for a while but I’m looking forward to catching up on The Knick and The Affair if/when they’re available for streaming elsewhere.)

In terms of movies — the last few I saw that I really liked were Joy, The Martian, and the Tony Robbins Netflix documentary, I Am Not Your Guru (really interesting documentary, but is it just me or did he “help” every woman in the audience by bringing every complaint/challenge back to daddy/boyfriend issues?). I just saw The Intern and liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I’m excited about but haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie or Bad Moms, and I’m looking forward to Girl on the Train and Rogue One. Recent(ish) movies I plan to watch when I get a moment: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Weiner.  Even though they got horrible reviews, I’d still like to see The Huntsman and The Boss. (Did you know that Rotten Tomatoes now lists “top streaming movies” as a separate category?)

Obviously I’m not into scary/monster shows (I’ve heard great things about Stranger Things, but I don’t think it’s for me — even some Dr. Who episodes kept me up at night) — and my tastes run more for comedy/procedural/over the top drama — but that’s me.  Over to you, ladies — what TV are you excited about this fall? Any new movies you’re looking forward to coming out?


  1. Transparent

    I really, really enjoy that show. So unique, and well done.

    Looking forward to…

    Better Call Saul

  2. Braindead is from the creators of the Good Wife; it’s not just the costume designer they have in common. I watched it and didn’t really get into though, despite my deep love for Tony Shalhoub.

  3. Veep is the best thing on TV. Other than that I watch Younger and am looking forward to its return, and I just watched Master of None since I recently got Netflix. I plan to watch The Good Place, since I like Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, but the previews didn’t wow me. Beyond that, it’s just reality trash (I shamefully love Real Housewives of both the OC and NYC) and rewatching old shows (currently binge-watching Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the revival).

    • Love, love, love Master of None. It should be getting a season 2 soon, no?

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve heard it’s coming back, but not until 2017. And apparently they’re planning to show Dev eating his way through Italy. I’m hungry already!

  4. How to Get Away with Murder is the most thrilling show I’ve watched in years. There are no filler episodes. Every episode has at least 1 twist that will make your jaw drop. It will be back on Sept. 22. Who else watches?

  5. New Tampanian :

    Count me in for all of the ABC dramas. I can’t wait to see the one with Piper Perabo.

    I just started Parks and Recreation on Netflix and omg it’s hilarious.

  6. I just finished watching The Night Of on HBO (very good, not quite great, but I’d recommend). Some of it is just incredibly accurate, sort of the opposite of Law & Order in its approach.

    I’m looking forward to catching up on Mindy, it’s the only show that makes me actually giggle, even if I am watching it by myself.

    I think I would watch the “backstory of Dr. Phil and his jury consultant years” only if it were a very, very dark comedy. But I also really like Kristin Bell so I’ll probably give Good Place a chance.

  7. Minnie Beebe :

    Stranger Things was amazing! I didn’t find it scary, but there were a few “omigod, omigod, turn around!” moments. I don’t know– I find horror movies to me less scary as I grow older, probably because the underlying message is clearer, and I realize that the scare tactics are only there to support that message. Anyway, I thought it was fantastic, and can’t wait for season 2.

    Other shows I’ve thoroughly enjoyed recently, not live or binged, but watched 1-2 episodes a night over a short period of time:

    The Americans

    Most of the movies I’ve seen recently are children’s movies (I love taking DS to the movies!) – Finding Dory and Secret Life of Pets are two that we both enjoyed this summer.

    A grownup movie I saw recently is Don’t Think Twice – I went to see this over lunch one day. I’ve taken some improv classes and so I wanted to check this out. It’s a very sweet and funny movie. Highly recommend!

    I saw that Inside Llwellyn Davis was recently added to Prime video, so I’ll be watching that one evening soon when DH is on a business trip. I love Oscar Isaac and am looking forward to watching it.

    • I really enjoyed “Don’t Think Twice”.

      Ira Glass was at our viewing on opening weekend, and answered questions from the audience afterwards.

      Love. him.

  8. Bojack Horseman is legitimately the greatest show I’ve ever seen. Give it at least 3 episodes, because it takes a while to “get.” Can’t wait for the 4th season, even though the 3rd absolutely gutted me.

    • Thanks for that tip. I tried one episode of that show and felt very meh about it. I’m looking for new shows now so I’ll give it another go! I gave up on Parks & Recs after one episode years and years ago, but I just watched all 7 seasons in a time period so embarrassingly short that I’m not even going to admit it under an anon handle.

    • Love, love, LOVE Bojack Horseman!

  9. Mrs. Jones :

    What ARE the best options for cutting cable? I’d like to, but I need to be able to watch football, soccer, etc.

    • Get a mug club type membership to your favorite bar within walking distance?

    • Anonymous :

      Check out SlingTV. You can get non-network sports specific channels (ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports) and then use your OTA (over the air) antenna to pick up the network channels. You pay month by month (maybe $20-30 for the sports package). so you can buy viewing time when you want it.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know that there’s a good alternative. ESPN reportedly has a streaming package in the works, but hasn’t been announced yet. Sports are the reason we still have cable.

      Also, cutting cable may not save as much as you think – we pay $100 a month for cable (including HBO) and Internet, and when I looked into Internet-only packages, it looked like to get our current speed, which we would want, would be about $70/month. $30 for cable really isn’t so much, and I compensate by not having Hulu or Netflix (I have Amazon Prime, but only for the shipping benefits).

      • This is accurate to my experience — I pay $45 a month for internet, $15 for HBO, and $10 for Netflix. A lot of my favorite content in the past few years has been from Netflix and HBO, so for me even though the extra $30 for cable isn’t much, it makes no sense because it doesn’t get me the content I love. I’m willing to wait to watch things too. I didn’t see season 7 of Mad Men until it came out on Netflix and that was fine with me.

        OP, no idea how you’d get sports through streaming, but if you do cut out cable, about $70 a month is still what you’ll spend to get good TV, without any sports package.

    • We cut the cord about 5 years ago, and love it – outside of sports. There really isn’t a good streamlined way to watch sports, and we’ve tried bunches. I basically missed all of the olympics (granted I was working anyway…), which I really disliked. A lot of our friends have had success with old school antennas, but for some reason ours Luckily DH and I aren’t huge sports fans, and are content with checking in online for updates on games we care about.

      It’s definitely cheaper for us (our cable bill was separate from our internet, and about $100/month), but I don’t count internet bill in the “replacement cable” cost – I’d have internet even if I had cable.

      We have Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

      I really, really love no commercials and watching on my own schedule. I took the bliss of no commercials for granted until I was in a hotel for a week and tried watching normal TV – that lasted all of 30 min and then I turned off the TV and pulled out my iPad.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      We have an over the air antenna +hbo +netflix. For sports, you can get sling tv which covers espn. Or go to a bar. Or a friend’s house. I doubt it saves that much, but I hate time warner cable with a burning passion, so even if it only saves me $20-30/month, worth it.

  10. Walking Dead
    American Horror Story
    Penny Dreadful
    Z Nation
    Stranger Things
    Bob’s Burgers

  11. Little Red :

    I’m really looking forward to the return of “Lucifer”. It’s an incredibly well done show with a lead who walks a fine line between funny/smarmy/deadly serious.

    • I heard it was based on some works by Neil Gaiman (I think?)…which I thought really helped to explain why I was enjoying it.

      • Little Red :

        Yes, apparently, the character was originally created by Gaiman and eventually became its own comic book series. I’m not really familiar with the source material but from what I understand the show is not a direct adaptation of the comic but many elements of the storyline appear in the show.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t wait for Lucifer to return! It was the best new show from last year.

  12. I’m happy that Kat had the same vague trouble describing Braindead. I seriously enjoy the show and have been trying to get people into it, but it sounds even more ridiculous than the premise is…I guess there is no way to describe a show about brain eating bugs without sounding a little crazy.

    • anon a mouse :

      I find it delightful. The premise is serious, but everything is done with a delightful wink. And the writing is just as strong as on Good Wife.

      The ratings are dreadful, so I suspect it is done. Too bad.

  13. Am I the only one who still likes Greys? Not interested in all the storylines equally but Meredith; Alex; Jackson and April still hold my interest.

    • I’m with you on Greys! I was really annoyed at the show a couple years ago, but once I accepted that Shonda was going to kill off people and do crazy ridiculous things every single season, I started to be able to enjoy it again.

    • Meredith Grey :

      +1. always.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope, still one of my faves!

  14. Sydney Bristow :

    I don’t watch many things live while they are airing. I’ve always preferred binge watching, even before that was a thing. I had a very strict rotation of video taping back in the day.

    The things I do watch more or less when they are on are:
    Mr. Robot (fantastic show but very dark)
    Silicon Valley (hilarious)
    The Big Bang Theory

    I was watching Dr. Who on schedule but I’m now a season and a half behind. I just can’t get into Peter Capaldi.

    For anyone who is into sci fi, I highly recommend both Haven and Continuum on Netflix. Both have completed their runs and are great for watching back to back.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not a fan of Peter Capaldi either. I watch his first episode in the theater and haven’t wanted to watch another episode. It was just too misogynistic and patronizing to the female characters. I watch the show because of the female characters and hated how they were treated.

      • That’s not my Capaldi experience at all. I can’t remember the first episode with him but I’d be more inclined to ascribe whatever tone difference to the fact that they wanted to make it non-romantic vs. the last doctor. Actually a lot of very interesting female characters and arcs for the companion – I would give it another try beyond one episode if you otherwise like the show.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        In fairness, that’s probably a Stephen Moffat problem (the showrunner), not Capaldi. It was better when Davies was in charge.

      • Anonymous :

        Season 8 wasn’t very good. By season 9 they figured out how to play to Capaldi’s strengths and it’s much much better. So maybe skip 8 and see what you think of 9.

  15. housecounsel :

    I am so excited about Designated Survivor that I can barely stand it. Even if it’s not about Jack Bauer, I will be seeing Jack Bauer. Speaking of Jack Bauer (weren’t we?) 24 is coming back, with a new cast. I just finished The Night Of and wow, it was dark, much like Fargo and True Detective. Not sure why I do this to myself. I am anxiously awaiting the return of House of Cards and Better Call Saul (even though I didn’t watch Breaking Bad). I did not like How to Get Away With Murder at all. Just can’t suspend my disbelief for that show. I need to try some of the lighter recs.

  16. I’m all over this thread – guess I love TV too much.

    Shows I’m looking forward to returning:
    Shark Tank
    Law and Order SVU
    The Mindy Project
    Grace and Frankie
    House of Cards
    Orange is the New Black
    Mozart in the Jungle
    Narcos (new season just came out – haven’t gotten to binge it yet)

    • I was literally scanning this whole page looking to see if anyone else was going to mention Narcos (on netflicks). It’s so so so good. My husband and I just bingewatched almost the entire 2nd season this past weekend.

  17. Frozen Peach :

    I’ll bite!

    Shows I’m eagerly anticipating that are not already well covered here:

    Life in Pieces
    Fresh off the Boat (I love the mom character)
    The Middle
    We’ve been watching American Gothic and it’s awesome– though it wraps up this week.

    Most of these are light/funny– I’ve found that as the news and political climate darkens, I mostly gravitate towards comedy.

  18. Okay, so…no cable, Netflix, or Hulu for the moment…Amazon Prime only (w/ a student discount)

    I am SO looking forward to (I know, I know–but anyway)–
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    (Not sure how I’ll watch it…maybe the network posts it one week after it airs for the folks who don’t pay for TV?)
    Nice to see I’m not the only one here who enjoys Lucifer!

    I’m finishing up Covert Affairs…pretty good, actually. It’s promo’ed as kind of fluffy, and starts a bit fluffy, but then…well, I don’t want to blow it.
    I’d like to catch up on Madam Secretary at some point.

    I’m 4 or 5 episodes into the most recent season of House of Cards (courtesy of friends w/ Netflix), and am behind an entire season of OITNB.

    When is season 3 of The Fall coming out?

  19. No one else is waiting for the third season of iZombie (where is Veronica Mars? This is another Rob Thomas show)? I absolutely love it. So much fun.

    My other favorites: Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Americans, Jessica Jones (whenever the next season is coming–not sure when that’s scheduled for), Penny Dreadful, and Great British Bakeoff.

  20. The new show I am hands down looking forward to the most is Pitch. I am cautiously interested in the Collection, but I have never watched a show on Amazon Prime before.
    For returning shows, I anxiously await the return of Jane the Virgin.

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