If you’re looking for something new to watch but need a little guidance, we’ve got you covered. This list has a little something for everyone and consists exclusively of shows that have premiered this year — which means you’ll be ready for those water-cooler conversations American employers are intent on resuming this fall.

“Mare of Easttown”

Have you heard the one about Kate Winslet discovering Wawa? That’s tangentially related to this engrossing HBO drama, which stars the Oscar-winning actress as a police detective trying to solve a murder in her Pennsylvania hometown. Mare is reeling from trauma in her personal life, including a divorce and a devastating loss. The twisty plot is elevated by well-placed cliffhangers and a supporting cast including Evan Peters, Julianne Nicholson and Jean Smart, who plays Mare’s delightfully snarky mother.

Word on the street is that Winslet’s Delco accent is pretty good, too. (Streams on HBO Max)

“Cruel Summer”

After popular teen Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) survives a harrowing kidnapping, she accuses her previously nerdy high school classmate Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) of knowingly keeping her captivity a secret — and stealing her boyfriend and BFFs to boot. The allegation leads to rampant gossip and a closely watched legal case in their small Texas town. The show’s timeline necessitates a close watch: Each episode spotlights events that occurred on the same date across a three-year period, and you’re never really sure who is (and isn’t) telling the truth.

“Cruel Summer” takes place in the ’90s, so be ready for nostalgic references to Blockbuster, the mall and dial-up Internet. The series also features Sarah Drew (of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame) and an appropriately wry Harley Quinn Smith. Heads up that it comes with some heavy viewer warnings about grooming and relationship violence. (Streams on Freeform and Hulu)

“It’s a Sin”

This poignant drama, from “Queer as Folk” creator Russell T. Davies, follows a close-knit group of gay men navigating young adulthood during the dawn of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1980s London. The critically acclaimed series had a record-breaking debut across the pond before landing stateside. (Streams on HBO Max)


This well-reviewed animated series from “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman surveys the collateral damage that comes along with being a superhero (why do we continue to pretend that they could make good romantic partners?). Steven Yeun, who broke out on Kirkman’s zombie-apocalypse drama, voices the titular character. The show also features the voices of J.K. Simmons, Mark Hamill, Jason Mantzoukas, Zazie Beetz, Gillian Jacobs and Sandra Oh. (Streams on Amazon Prime)


If you wrote off this Disney Plus series because you, say, aren’t a Marvel fan, it’s high time you reconsider. The nine-episode series finds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her husband, Vision (Paul Bettany), living in a literal sitcom, though it’s not immediately clear why. There are plenty of Easter eggs for the comic-obsessed, but the series casts a universal appeal with poignant commentary on grief, fun sitcom references and zany side characters — including a hilarious Kathryn Hahn as the couple’s neighbor. (Streams on Disney Plus)


A suave con man out for revenge takes several pages from Maurice Leblanc’s iconic “gentleman thief,” Arsène Lupin, in this French thriller starring Omar Sy. Come for the action and mystery; stay for the subtle commentary on race and inequality. The first installment was so popular that Netflix wasted no time announcing a second season, which is set to premiere next month. (Streams on Netflix)


Queer teenagers are at the center of this drama from father-daughter duo Daniel and Zelda Barnz, who actually was a teen when she began writing it. The ensemble cast includes Justice Smith (“The Get Down”) and a scene-stealing Martha Plimpton; Lena Dunham, who knows a few things about generations — or at least, a generation — is an executive producer. (Streams on HBO Max)

“Painting With John”

Composer and saxophonist John Lurie shares his perspectives on life as he hones his watercolor technique in this unscripted series, which may remind you of his cult-favorite ’90s series “Fishing With John.” Conventional guidance says you should not fall asleep with the TV on, but if you happen to like using the tube to lull yourself to sweet slumber, why not turn to a critically acclaimed series that will impart wisdom as you get your beauty rest? (Streams on HBO Max)


If you like “30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” or random bops made for TV shows, sample this musical comedy, which follows a ’90s girl group as they try to make a comeback decades later. Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Renée Elise Goldsberry (yes, of “Hamilton” fame) and Paula Pell star as the members of the numerically confounding musical group. The cast also includes Andrew Rannells, Bowen Yang and Tina Fey, who is one of the show’s executive producers. (Streams on Peacock)

“Resident Alien”

Alan Tudyk plays an alien who is forced to take over the body, life and (oh no!) career of a small-town doctor after crash-landing on Earth. The quirky series, based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse, has been renewed for a second season. (Streams on Syfy)

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