Two beloved series bid adieu this month on NBC and AMC, while we welcome in much-anticipated sophomore seasons from the likes of Comedy Central, HBO Max, Showtime, and more. With plenty of binge-worthy series to go around, let’s break down what you should be catching up on this August.
What it is: From creators Michele Abbott, Ilene Chaiken, and Kathy Greenberg, the original Emmy-nominated series (decorated elsewhere by GLAAD for its landmark lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters) and its years-in-the-making sequel series, The L Word: Generation Q, charts the intersecting friendships and love lives of a group of queer women living in Los Angeles.
Why you should watch it: As heralded today as it is maligned, there’s no denying that The L Word made leaps for LGBTQ representation onscreen upon its 2004 premiere, even if it didn’t always hit its mark. While its first season was Certified Fresh for all its bombastic soapiness and memorable characters, critics didn’t follow it into its subsequent seasons, resulting in years without Tomatometer scores — and its sixth and final season was ravaged with a measly 8%. But the show still has its fans and its merits. Plus, its reboot welcomely (and freshly) revisits the components that first made us fall in love with these ladies (including original stars Katherine Moennig and Jennifer Beals) while expanding and bettering itself where there is room to grow. The L Word: Generation Q season 2 premieres August 8 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 77.5 hours (for all six seasons of The L Word and The L Word: Generation Q season 1)
What it is: Based on the character from the DC Comics by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, DC’s Stargirl follows teenager Courtney Whitmore, who, upon discovering the Cosmic Staff and learning that her stepfather was once sidekick to Starman, takes up the cause of the Justice Society of America and recruits a whole new crew of superheroes to join her cause.
Why you should watch it: Already renewed for a third season before its second even airs, star Brec Bassinger has woven some superpowered magic with her hit DC Universe–turned–CW series. With action and family-friendly fun for all ages, it strikes an inspiring narrative of the powers of good that can rise up in the face of evil. Season 2 premieres August 10 on the CW.
Commitment: Approx. 9.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: This hit comedy series from creators Dan Goor and Michael Schur is a workplace sitcom featuring some very distinct personalities — the aloof and gregarious Detective Jake Peralta (Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg), his fictional precinct’s dry commanding officer, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), and the rest of the motley crew of the Nine-Nine.
Why you should watch it: We’ve seen fan-initiated primetime resuscitations before, but rarely do they happen as swiftly as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s after its unceremonious cancellation at Fox. The online outcry had barely begun before Universal Television began shopping the sitcom around, and it was scooped up by NBC just a day later — with good reason. The series is beloved by fans, which is why it comes as particularly sad news that its eighth season, premiering August 12, will also be its last.
Commitment: Approx. 52 hours (for the first seven seasons)
What it is: This series is centered on its titular group of young superheroes — led by none other than Nightwing (formerly Robin of Batman-sidekick fame) — as they save the world from forces that want to end it. A long-in-the-making effort, Titans is a welcome addition to DC Comics’ TV footprint.
Why you should watch it: Greg Berlanti is the mastermind behind DC Comics’ takeover of the small screen, so you know you’re in good hands for this streaming hit with him and co-creators Akiva Goldsman and Geoff Johns (also of Stargirl fame) at the helm. The Titans action is slick and laid on thick, and buoyed by a stellar young-Hollywood cast. We can’t wait to see what superhero adventures are in store next. Season 3 premieres August 12 on HBO Max.
Commitment: Approx. 18 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: From director and showrunner John Carney (best known for musical romances Once, Begin Again, and Sing Street) and based on the New York Times’s much-loved column of the same name, Modern Love is a anthological series charting the love lives of various disparate New Yorkers played by the likes of Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Catherine Keener, and more.
Why you should watch it: The acting talent alone is enough reason to tune in, but this series packs on the charm in ways both expected and surprising, sending its material over the edge from just basic rom-com fare to something a little more special. Season 2 premieres August 13 on Amazon Prime Video.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Creator Awkwafina stars here as Nora Lin, a Flushing, Queens, native comically trying to get her young adulthood life together with the help of some family and friends.
Why you should watch it: Fresh off the breakout acclaim of Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell, Awkwafina’s self-titled Comedy Central series became the latest semi-autobiographical half-hour to take a hold of us. With supporting and scene-stealing turns from BD Wong, Lori Tan Chinn, and Bowen Yang as her father, grandmother, and cousin respectively, it’s a series that showcases the universality of coming-of-age. Season 2 premieres August 18 on Comedy Central.
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Don’t know what The Walking Dead is? You may want to check your pulse…
Why you should watch it: Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series developed by creator Frank Darabont indulges in gore and “what if” fascinations. These are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust, but that’s admittedly part of the fun, too. Its eleventh and final season premieres August 22 on AMC.
Commitment: Approx. 114 hours (for the first 10 seasons)
What it is: Following the highs and lows of a self-proclaimed fat, queer dyke who suffers from OCD and depression while living in Chicago, co-creator and star Abby McEnany turns the lens inward and makes one heck of a debut.
Why you should watch it: Not many entertainers can say they had their “mainstream” breakout after 50, but McEnany can count herself among the lucky few. A mainstay of Chicago’s comedy scene via Second City and a one-time student of Stephen Colbert, the multi-hyphenate finds ways to turn the cringingly personal into universal reflections on contemporary humanity. Season 2 premieres August 22 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (for the first season)
What it is: From director Kwang Il Han and based on the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a prequel spinoff film of Netflix’s hit Henry Cavill starrer from creator Lauren Schmidt that charts the monster-slaying adventures of Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir, in stunning anime.
Why you should watch it: If you haven’t already read the source material, we recommend the best way to catch up for this feature is to binge the first season of The Witcher. Ambitiously violent and larger-than-life, it certainly ranks as one of Netflix’s best fantasy series and will give you all the knowledge you need to appreciate this animated vision of what came before. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf premieres August 23 on Netflix. (Season 2 of the live-action series premieres on December 17.)
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Now going into its 10th season, the spooky anthology series is a favorite of critics and audiences alike. Previous seasons featured haunted houses, witches, vampires, crazed killers, and every manner of unhinged human.
Why you should watch it: You don’t have to watch every season of American Horror Story to catch up for season 10, but don’t you want to!? The acclaimed anthology series is known for being as campy as it is horrific. The upcoming season, American Horror Story: Double Feature, is divided in two parts for two times the fun; one half is set by the sea, the other by the sand. Returning stars to the franchise include Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters after taking a break from 1984, Frances Conroy, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, Lily Rabe, Angelica Ross, Finn Wittrock, Denis O’Hare, Matt Bomer, and more. Season 10 premieres August 25 on FX.
Commitment: Approx. 85 hours (for the first nine seasons)
What it is: Even the sleekest of action-packed espionage thrillers have an air of cartoonish hyperbole to them, but FXX’s Archer does away with that suspension of disbelief by making the whole thing a cartoon to begin with. The half-hour comedy from creator Adam Reed can land a joke as deftly as its titular man-child spy can land a punch, so expect to be thrilled while laughing yourself silly.
Why you should watch it: Over 11 hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation. Season 8’s Dreamland and 9’s Danger Island were particularly high-concept highlights, with season 10 following suit with 1999, which saw Archer not as the ass-kicking spy of ISIS we know from earlier incarnations, but a futuristic explorer of space on the M/V Seamus alongside our longstanding favorite characters and the voice actors behind them. Season 11 marked the spies much-anticipated return to reality after he wakes up from his coma and does away with those bottle-themed seasons. Season 12, which features the late, great Jessica Walter’s final bow as the voice of Malory, premieres August 25 on FXX.
Commitment: Approx. 45 hours (for the first 11 seasons)
What it is: Cary (Drew Tarver), and his sister, Brooke (Heléne Yorke) had dreams of fame of fortune, but now fast-approaching 30 with not much to show for it, they’re forced to contend with overnight, Justin Bieber–style viral fame of their teen brother Chase (Case Walker).
Why you should watch it: With a never-better Molly Shannon as the central three’s supportive (but a bit delusional) mother, this laugh-out-loud series from Saturday Night Live vets Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider parodies pop culture as much as it celebrates it — and it’s just about perfect. Season 2 premieres August 26 on HBO Max.
Where to watch: HBO Max
Commitment: Approx. 3.5 hours (for the first season)
Thumbnail photo credits: Josh Stringer/AMC; Matt Sayles/The CW; Comedy Central