There are so many new streaming TV shows, it can be difficult to know what’s worth watching. While we love Hulu and Amazon’s offerings, Netflix is still our tried-and-true choice for original content. From mind-bending thinkers to funny escapist comedies, they have the widest range of consistently strong television. This fall they’re themselves, with a ton of great new shows that have everyone talking. Here are the most buzzed about shows you will want to binge on and a few good books you should be reading alongside them:
When director Spike Lee set out to redo his first feature length film from 1986, some people were skeptical, especially about the controversial scene of sexual violence that Lee later spoke out against. But have no fear, this updated version of Lee’s exploration of female sexuality is smart, blunt, and somehow still fun. DeWanda Wise plays Nola Darling, a Brooklyn artist who’s in open relationships with three very different men. Her crackling energy makes us root for her at every turn, even as her relationships become more and more complicated. A close look at what it means to be a black woman in today’s political climate, She’s Gotta Have It is a blend of sharp social commentary and a love letter to modern day Brooklyn. Watch this! You won’t regret it.
Everyone and their mother has seen the first season of Stranger Things by now, and we’ve all been charmed by supernatural Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her gang of protective preteen boys. The second season came out around Halloween, and people are still talking about how good it is. This time around, the Upside Down is leaking out into our world again, with disastrous consequences. Any more information might give it all away, so just trust us when we say that this is a sequel that definitely lives up to the hype of the original.
If you like this show, read: The Power, by Naomi Alderman
Based on a bestselling novel by Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace is about the real life story of Grace Marks, a maid accused of murder in mid-1800s Canada. It’s never quite clear if Grace is a victim or a villain, and the show plays with that perception, showing Grace (Sarah Gadon) in prison 15 years after the murders of her employer and his housekeeper. Grace meets a doctor (Edward Holcroft) who’s researching the case, though she claims to have no memory of the event. Both Dr. Jordan and the audience try to parse out Grace’s involvement as we watch the past and the present unfold. Brilliantly told, the Netflix show is a true and inspiring adaptation of Atwood’s masterful novel.
If you like this show, read:Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
A thoughtful take on the Western, Godless feels as much about modern society as it does about America’s history. It’s also an epic tale of good vs. evil, all against the backdrop of a town where most of the men have died and women now rule. Threatening all of it is an enigmatic outlaw named Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels), who’s destined to have an epic showdown with his former protégé Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell). Extremely violent and at times difficult to watch, Godless is the kind of show that will stay with you long after you watch it.
“Serial killer” is a phrase that we take for granted at this point. But as Mindhunter shows us, it’s actually a relatively new concept. About the FBI in the late ‘70s, the show follows agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) as they attempt to create the first psychological profiles of serial killers in order to study and understand the phenomenon. The three are met with cynicism and doubt even as they start to change the way we think and talk about crime. The show is exciting, dark, and fascinating – and perfect for all of those true crime lovers out there.
If you like this show, read: Mindhunter, by John Douglas and Mark Olshanker
Okay, so it’s not quite out yet, but Season 2 of The Crown premieres on December 8th this week and we can’t wait. Season 1 was a smart, in-depth look at the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign (starring Claire Foy), from 1947-1955, including her marriage to Philip (Matt Smith). Season 2 picks up near where the first season ended, from the Suez Crisis in 1956 to the Profumo political scandal in 1963. The show is brilliant at finding the quiet and human moments in the Queen’s extraordinary life, and we have no doubt that Season 2 will be just as epic!