Some say that we’re in the golden age of television, and we have to agree. In the past, you had to wait a week to see a new episode of your favorite show, and there weren’t nearly as many platforms creating different shows. Now, we have hundreds of channels with different shows, we have Netflix, Hulu, and other sites that host web series, we have directors coming out with miniseries. There is just so much to choose from that it’s tough to find the time to watch it all!
New fall TV shows are just around the corner, and we’re so excited to curl up under the covers on a chilly October night and just binge watch a few episodes of a brand new series. But you don’t have to wait a few weeks to find the perfect new series. There have been so many great TV shows released in the past few months already. Unfortunately, there have also been a few letdowns. Wondering what to watch and what to just skip? We’ve got the guide to TV in 2018 right here. Here are 10 new TV shows that are worth seeing this year, and 10 that were total letdowns.
20 Worth Seeing: Barry
If you were always laughing at Bill Hader on Saturday Night Live, you will definitely want to check out the new dark comedy Barry. Hader plays Barry, a hitman from the American midwest who travels to Los Angeles to commit a crime—and instead, he ends up getting involved in the local arts scene and ends up discovering a love for acting. According to AV Club, the series is surprisingly funny, and the clash between crime drama and comedy works so well with the script and characters. It didn’t get much buzz at first, but critics are loving it so far!
19 Letdown: LA To Vegas
A comedy about flight attendants sounds like such a promising idea—a bunch of quirky characters trapped in the air for hours every single day, traveling the world and working a unique job? It should be ripe with comedic opportunities, and the comedy series LA to Vegas attempted to focus on just that. But according to Deadline, the ratings just weren’t there—the series failed to find its footing in its first season, and it looks like it won’t be coming back for a second. But we bet a show with a similar concept will air some time in the future.
18 Worth Seeing: The Chi
Lena Waithe got a ton of positive feedback for her amazing role on the Netflix series Master of None, so when the word got out that she would be working on developing her own series, The Chi, everyone was super excited. And we’re happy to say that The Chi has totally lived up to those high expectations. According to Variety, The Chi is all about what it’s really like for working class characters living on the South Side of Chicago. The characters are true to life, and with Lena’s considerable talent behind it, you know that it feels authentic and real.
17 Letdown: Splitting Up Together
We were so excited to see that Jenna Fischer would be starring in the new series Splitting Up Together—after all, she was so great on The Office that anything else she starred in should be awesome, right? Well, it didn’t quite pan out that way. This comedy is about a divorced couple that continues to live together to raise their family, and in theory, it’s a unique plot with a ton of potential. However, according to Deadline, the first season simply fell into a lot of typical family sitcom cliches, and it did not feel very original or fresh.
16 Worth Seeing: On My Block
On My Block is telling a whole new coming of age story—one that doesn’t always get a lot of attention in mainstream TV shows. This new show is all about a group of high school friends in South Central Los Angeles who are just trying to navigate through all of life’s usual challenges, from relationships to complicated friendships to figuring out what their next step is going to be. According to Study Breaks, it portrays a tough reality with some controversial plot points—but above all, it always stays realistic, and it always challenges the viewer to think critically.
15 Letdown: Rise
Rise showed promise, but from the beginning, critics were wondering whether or not this series would simply be a reboot with the same premise as Glee. This new show is also about a group of high school students with a passion for performing. And unfortunately, it looks like some of those critics were right, because the general reaction to Rise has not been too positive. According to Variety, although the cast was very talented, the series just didn’t really deliver anything new—it’s a story that has been told before, and at this point, audiences are just ready for something different.
14 Worth Seeing: A.P. Bio
Who doesn’t love the hilarious TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? There’s a reason it’s been on for 13 years and counting! Glenn Howerton, who rose to prominence with his role as Dennis Reynolds on Always Sunny, is now starring as a disgruntled high school teacher in the quality new show A.P. Bio. His co-star, Patton Oswalt, is also bringing plenty of laughs. According to IndieWire, the show is off to a great start with a solid first season, and the finale is full of hilarious, unexpected surprises that prove the show totally deserves a second season.
13 Letdown: Good Girls
Good Girls had a lot of promise, but unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to early expectations of what the show could be. With a cast including Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman, you would expect this series to knock it out of the park, but the escapades of these three women turning to crime to support their families falls short. According to IndieWire, the cast has a lot of good chemistry, but this plot line seems a little played out: the idea behind the series is just too similar to Breaking Bad, and it doesn’t have a spark of its own.
12 Worth Seeing: Queer Eye
There’s no doubt that Queer Eye is one of the most popular shows out right now, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll definitely want to watch it to get in the loop! This show is all about a team of five gay style experts who help people get their lives back into shape. It’s a reboot of the original Queer Eye series that aired on Bravo back in the early 2000s. According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics and audiences alike give the series a high rating: it’s fun, it’s lighthearted, and it has plenty of heartwarming moments every episode.
11 Letdown: Here And Now
Here and Now is the kind of series that is just trying to do too much. According to IndieWire, the series is about a multicultural family with three adopted children who find themselves facing a challenge when one child starts having psychic visions. Sounds like a cool concept, right? Unfortunately, the series is sort of all over the place—they try to cover a lot of different issues in every single episode, and it can make things hard to follow. It also means they end up glossing over important topics and plot points, and it’s tough to pay attention to everything.
10 Worth Seeing: Sharp Objects
If you read the book Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, you probably imagined how awesome the plot line would be as a TV series. And we’re here to tell you that it’s just as great as everyone anticipated. This is definitely one of the best series of this summer. According to Variety, this murder mystery story, set against the background of the American south, has a stellar cast and amazing script. Be warned—it truly is a dark series, and they do not hold back on any of the frightening plot twists from the book, so watch at your own risk!
9 Letdown: Siren
We know, we know, mermaids are all the rage right now, so you would think that a creepy series about a mermaid with a vengeful streak had some real potential. Well, Siren definitely had potential, but it just didn’t really live up to all that it could’ve been. There was a lot of missed opportunity with this show. According to Rotten Tomatoes, it’s more of a guilty pleasure show than a serious storyline, so if that’s what you’re into, binge watch it by all means! But the acting isn’t exactly top notch, and the script leaves something to be desired.
8 Worth Seeing: Vida
Vida is bringing something fresh and new to the table. This show is the story of two sisters who have to run their mother’s bar after she passes. They could not be more different, but they have to come together to manage their mother’s things—and they also find out some strong family secrets in the process. It deals with some heavy political topics as well as the challenges that families face in the wake of loss. According to AV Club, the script is both intelligent and touching, and the relationship between the two sisters feels very real and relatable.
7 Letdown: Dietland
It seems like everyone had some high expectations for Dietland—after all, it was based on a book that got tons of positive reviews, so fans were ecstatic to see that it was being made into a TV series. Unfortunately, the series itself got mixed reviews, and many people were left disappointed. The show tells the story of a plus-sized woman who also happens to be a ghostwriter for one of New York’s fashion moguls—it’s an interesting perspective for sure, but according to Rotten Tomatoes, the show rapidly flips between storylines and packs in too many surreal sequences.
6 Worth Seeing: Seven Seconds
Seven Seconds is one of those Netflix shows that makes you truly grateful for the ability to binge watch—you sit down to watch one episode, and then you just can’t wait to find out what happens next. This series is about a crime drama and murder coverup set in Jersey City, and how the corruption of the case affects the whole city. According to Variety, this show touches on many issues that are important today without getting heavy handed—none of the prominent messages feel shoehorned in, yet you can still learn a lot by watching and thinking critically.
5 Letdown: 9-1-1
Sure, everyone loves to watch funny cop shows every once in a while—there’s a reason that Brooklyn 99 has been so successful, right? So it seems like 9-1-1, a show about the craziest cases the first responders and police officers in the LAPD have to face, would totally take off and do really well. But critics have said otherwise. According to Deadline, the show simply doesn’t offer audiences anything new—after all, a show about cops has to be pretty unique to stand out in a sea of other, similar shows, and that’s where 9-1-1 falls short.
4 Worth Seeing: Castle Rock
If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s work, you absolutely have to start watching Castle Rock, like, yesterday. Seriously, this show is so good, and any fan of horror movies will love it! According to Deadline, this show is set in Castle Rock, Maine, and it’s based off the different themes and plots in Stephen King’s books. It brings together different storylines that come up in some of King’s books, so no matter which Stephen King book is your favorite, you’ll probably see it represented. This series is so creepy—it’s totally perfect for a dark October evening around Halloween.
3 Letdown: Life Sentence
Everyone had high hopes for Life Sentence—after all, Lucy Hale was so good on Pretty Little Liars that she seemed like the perfect fit for this project, and the premise was intriguing. Life Sentence is about a woman who's been told she has an incurable disease, so she starts living without consequences—but when they find a cure, she has to face the results of her actions. According to AV Club, the show was definitely unique, but that just wasn’t enough to make it, well, interesting. Lucy didn’t really get the chance to show off her talents as an actress.
2 Worth Seeing: Counterpart
If you love exhilarating dramas, Counterpart is the series that you need to catch up on. This science fiction series is gripping, and that’s why it’s getting such rave reviews. According to Rotten Tomatoes (where it has nothing but high ratings across the board), the plot lines in the series are all centered around one important question: who would we be if our lives had gone just a little bit differently? If one specific event hadn’t happened, how would that change a person? It will definitely leave you questioning, well, pretty much everything you know about yourself, so be prepared!
1 Letdown: Alex, Inc.
If you missed watching Zach Braff on Scrubs and you were hoping that you would get to see him lead the cast of another awesome show when he signed on to Alex, Inc., we’re sorry to say that it just doesn’t live up to the standards of Zach’s other projects. Unfortunately, according to USA Today, Alex, Inc. didn’t hit any of the marks. It’s about a man in his mid-thirties who had a bit of a personal crisis and decides to take the risk of starting his own business—but the comedy falls flat and the jokes don’t really land.