In the old days (like the ancient times of 2013), the week before the broadcast fall season would be a barren wasteland of television as channels — which is what we called them back then — would stockpile their wares for the big push in mid-September. Well that's history, grandpa! NEW television doesn't care if the kids are back at school or if the weather isn't conducive to all-nighters on the couch or if sweeps is right around the corner, it just wants you to bask in its glow forever and always.
That's a roundabout way of saying you have lots to watch and the new releases will keep coming, even before ABC gives you another legal drama with a strong female lead or CBS' latest about an elite military unit debuts. Here at TV Guide we feel that your time is better spent watching instead of browsing, so we're here to help you out and give you your life back. I'll spend my days and nights finding the good shows for you.
Here's the best stuff on television this week:
(And as always, if you're looking for more suggestions of what to watch on TV, we have plenty on our Watch This Now! page.)
Animated series are supposed to make you feel good about yourself with cats chasing mice or coyotes chasing roadrunners or a stoner and a dog chasing ghosts, but BoJack Horseman will make you want to sit in the corner and cry as a horse chases his demons. With booze. That sounds like a condemnation, but it's not. It's one of the most insightful dramedies on television today, and an exquisite look at failing, depression, and addiction. Ugh, that didn't sound fun either. It does take place in an alternate Hollywood filled with talking anthropomorphic animals and puns, and when it's not too real it's hilarious. There, that's better. It also reached No. 47 on our recent list of Best 100 shows, but this guy thinks it should have been in the Top 20.
Well this one came out of nowhere. No one thought this true-crime parody that took the formula of Making a Murderer et al and applied it to a case of a high schooler accused of spray painting phalluses on cars would become one of the most interesting new shows of the year, but as its investigators dove deeper into the case, they learned more about their friends, teachers and themselves than they thought and something special happened. Sneaky smart and a great look at the real life of teenagers. (They're not all 25-year-old underwear models who talk like 40-somethings reliving their teens.) It also made our Best 100 list at No. 33. (Trailer)
Showtime; Sunday, 8/7c
Have you heard? Things are, uhhh, interesting inside the White House. This docuseries looks at what's happening in the news and shows viewers new angles and layers to the political stories they think they know with some exclusive access you won't see anywhere else. This season, The Circus follows the all-important midterm elections and the efforts to flip the House in light of everything that's horrible (or great, depending on your perspective). (Trailer)
American Horror Story: Apocalypse
FX; Wednesday, 10/9c
Only a fool would guarantee that the latest chapter of Ryan Murphy's campy horror anthology will make sense throughout its season, but as history has dictated, we can say that the first episode of each season genuinely tends to be the most interesting of them all. This time, Murphy sets his totally-down-for-it cast of friends against the backdrop of the end of the world, with a new world order unfolding in underground bunkers while everything else above ground is a living nightmare of monsters and mutants. At least that's what the trailer wants us to believe, which probably means that won't happen at all. This show, I tell ya! (Trailer)
Amazon; Friday, Sept. 14
Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph star in this uncomfortable comedy from Master of None's Alan Yang and Parks and Recreation's Matt Hubbard about... ugh, I can't really tell you what Forever is about otherwise it will spoil everything and Amazon will murder me. There's a reason the logline is so vague and something like "a married couple lives a comfortable, boring life until a ski trip changes everything," but let's just say it doesn't go where you think it will while still saying a whole bunch about relationships that many will relate to. Go in knowing nothing and just take in this story about love, fate, and heartbreak. (Trailer)
The Big Release You Can Skip But Should Be Aware of
Hulu; Friday, Sept. 14
There are some really big names involved in The First. Beau Willimon offers up his first series since creating Netflix's original big hit House of Cards and Sean Penn makes a rare stop by television in what is supposed to be a series about the first manned mission to Mars. What you'll get instead is an art-house examination of people haunted by their past, uhhh, footage of cicadas and not much Mars at all. (Trailer)
If you're looking for more recommendations, take a look at TV Guide's Watch This Now! feature, which has hand-picked suggestions for you!