We’re just a few months into the new year, and already, there has been SO much good TV to watch. It’s hard to keep up these days!
And despite the streaming networks owning all the strong TV shows lately, it’s been a breath of fresh air to see some freshmen comedies on network TV that are actually good.
Perhaps the networks were a little “shook” that streaming networks were winning all the awards -- but this year’s Emmy Awards could see some shakeups.
However, there are still some incredible shows you can stream too; don’t you worry.
So, despite the crazy times we are living in, here are five shows that I haven’t been able to stop watching the past few months.
The new season of “Outlander” is finally here, and fans could not be more excited. The last time we checked in with the show was in May 2020, so it’s been quite some time.
If you watch the show, then you know that season five left fans with a huge cliffhanger, making the wait for a new season even more excruciating. “Outlander” is a love story at its core, after all, so it was no surprise that by the time season six started, Claire would be reunited with her love.
If you’ve never watched, it’s a good one to check out. It’s an epic love story, but it’s surrounded by ancient time travel, battles and lots of drama. If you were a fan of “Game of Thrones,” this show may be one that you’d enjoy.
Where to watch: The new season is on Starz, and past seasons are on Netflix.
2. ‘Abbott Elementary’
Hello, and let me introduce you to my new favorite TV show, “Abbott Elementary.”
The show follows a group of teachers and an underfunded, inner city school in Philadelphia and their struggle to teach when all the odds are against them. This might sound a little depressing, but the writing on the show is hilarious, light and full of silly pop culture references.
The show is filmed in the style of a mockumentary, so think “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” The characters are fully aware that the cameras are there, and most of them are often giving side-eye looks to the camera, saying with their faces, “Can you believe this is happening?”
It cracks me up every time.
And you can’t forget about the cast. Series creator Quinta Brunson plays the main character Jeanine, a second-year teacher who just wants everything to go perfectly. Then there is Ms. Howard, played by Broadway legend Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Italian second-grade teacher Melissa, played by Lisa Ann Walter, who you may remember as Chessy from “The Parent Trap.”
It’s just such a positive and funny show, and when so much of the world these days is negative and scary, “Abbott Elementary” is the perfect thing to help you escape for just a half-hour.
How to watch: ABC or Hulu the next day.
3. ‘The Gilded Age’
If you were a fan of “Downton Abbey,” then you are probably already caught up on “The Gilded Age” on HBO.
The show was made by the same man who created “Downton Abbey,” so we’re obviously going to get another historical period drama -- but instead, this one is set in New York City in the 1890s instead of over in the UK.
Despite “The Gilded Age” being set in America, a lot of the drama is similar to what happened on “Downton Abbey,” like following the lives of the rich people and the servants who take after them.
The best part of “The Gilded Age” is the cast.
They cast heavily from the Broadway theater world, so it’s full of Tony winners and nominees. Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon (both Tony winners) lead the pack, alongside Carrie Coon and Meryl Streep’s youngest daughter, Louisa Jacobson.
There are also guest appearances from Broadway legends, like Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Kelli O’Hara and many, many more. At some point, I’m just waiting for Bernadette Peters or Barbara Streisand to show up.
Where to watch: HBO Max
4. ‘America Auto’
If you miss the TV show “Veep,” then you may want to try watching NBC’s new sitcom, “American Auto.”
It doesn’t really have a lot to do with politics, but a sitcom about a bunch of co-workers who are way over their heads and who have no business running a multimillion dollar company will remind you of “Veep.”
“SNL” alum Ana Gasteyer plays the leading role, which, to be honest, it’s about time her talents are used on network television.
She is just so funny in the role, showing off her genius comedic timing and great physical comedy skills.
Just like “Abbott Elementary,” it’s a mindless half-hour of television that will make you laugh, and could also shake up the Best Comedy categories at next year’s Emmy Awards.
5. ‘Summer House’
I wanted to include one reality TV show on the list, just in case there are some readers who indulge in the art of reality TV like myself -- and nothing is better than “Summer House” right now, and it’s currently airing on Bravo.
If you miss the old days of another Bravo classic, “Vanderpump Rules,” then “Summer House” might be the thing that fills the SUR-sized hole in your heart.
The show follows a group of friends that get a summer house out in the Hamptons every year and party their faces off. We are a few seasons in, so the relationships are well-established, and lots of the cast are dating or getting married.
It’s a hot mess of a show, but one that you just can’t turn away from. Long live “Summer House!”
Are there any new shows that we should be watching? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know, or sound off in the comments below.