BitchWatch20 Bitch Approved TV Shows You Should Watch This Fall

Autumn is here, which means lots of pumpkin spice (can we give that up now?), boots and sweaters, and the return of fall TV. I’ll be honest: Fall’s TV offerings aren’t that great. Primetime network television is super white, super male, and not that entertaining. Many of the new shows are missing the mark while networks are struggling to keep up with streaming services, like Hulu and Netflix. That doesn’t mean all of fall television is dismal. There are, roughly, 20 shows that are worth your time. So, here’s Bitch’s quarterly guide that cuts through the static to illuminate TV’s best fall offerings.

1. BoJack Horseman, Season 4

Release Date: September 8, 2017

Somehow, Netflix has given us one of the best adult cartoons on television. BoJack Horseman has a ridiculous premise: The title character is, literally, a horse and former sitcom star who’s now struggling to gain some perspective on his life. While that descriptor might deter some people from watching it, the beloved cartoon uses the lens of humor to tackle an array of social issues, including abortion, gun control, depression, and body image. Season 4 continues this tradition.

2. The Deuce

{ HBO }
Release Date: September 10, 2017

HBO hasn’t lost its touch. Whatever formula they’ve used to create impeccable hour-long dramas has been applied to The Deuce—and it’s working. Much like their previous time period dramas, Deadwood and Boardwalk Empire, The Deuce captures the essence of 1970s New York. Through their outfits, their dialogue, and even the portrayal of Times Square, The Deuce transports viewers to a time when the pornography industry was on its ascent and sex workers were the driving force behind the burgeoning sex economy. Rather than demonizing sex workers, however, The Deuce breaks new, important ground by portraying these women with nuance and empathy. You’ll definitely get sucked into The Deuce.

3. The Mindy Project, Season 6

{ HULU }
Release Date: September 12, 2017

Over the past six seasons, Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) has been obsessed with romantic comedies and mirrored her life after them, gotten engaged twice, had a child, gotten married, opened her own practice, and provided us with enough laughs to last a lifetime. In its final season, The Mindy Project aims to tie up loose ends while also entertaining those who’ve supported the show in its transition from FOX to Hulu. Best of all, Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) is returning, and will hopefully put in his final bid for Mindy’s heart. Ultimately, this show must end with Mindy getting her happily ever after.

4. Broad City, Season 4

Release Date: September 13, 2017

Ilana Wexler (Ilana Glazer) and Abbi Abrams (Abbi Jacobson) are the carefree, weed smoking, politically conscious relief we need in this moment. The two best friends that anybody could have are back for their fourth season, and their jokes are as crisp and funny as ever. Their friendship is solid as ever. There’s even Matt Bevers’s (John Gemberling) face Photoshopped on a ripped body. Broad City will be, by far, the best 30 minutes of your TV watching week.

5. The Good Place, Season 2

{ NBC }
Release Date: September 20, 2017

The Good Place is one of television’s best sitcoms, though nobody expected it to be. It’s natural to be skeptical of any show that claims to offer a refreshing perspective of heaven and hell, but the Good Place far exceeded initial expectations. When Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) accidentally arrives in the “good place”—a peaceful, stress-free zone for those who’ve died after living purely and righteously—she realizes she’s not where she should be. So, the rest of the series follows her as she attempts to hide her earthly indiscretions to keep from being sent to hell. It’s the most inclusive depiction of heaven I’ve ever seen, and Season 2 will continue showcasing a new vision of the afterlife.

6. Transparent, Season 4

Release Date: September 22, 2017

Since it debuted in 2014, Transparent has racked up major award after major award. It’s easy to see why the Amazon Prime series is critically acclaimed: Transparent offers one of the first portrayals of a trans woman gaining her footing as she makes her transition. Criticism has been rightfully lobbed at creator Jill Soloway for casting Jeffrey Tambor, a cisgender man, as a trans woman. That’s unjustifiable, even as Transparent aims to bring nuance to a national conversation that often depicts trans people as abusive, predatory monsters. In Season 4, Transparent added another layer to its complexity: Jewish identity. The first-half of the series is set in Israel as the Pfefferman family embarks on a religious trip that really highlights the tension between Palestinians and Israelis. The 10-episode season is an easy binge that will surely accrue more awards.

7. Star Trek: Discovery

Release Date: September 24, 2017

Serious question: Why isn’t Star Trek: Discovery on primetime broadcast television? While it’s reasonable that CBS is building its streaming service with heavy hitters like The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery, the excitement over the latter series begs for better placement. The latest iteration of Star Trek is set about 10 years before the current movie franchise and the original series, so they’re able to introduce new timelines and characters that don’t conflict with what we already know about Klingon. Star Trek: Discovery follows the USS Discovery crew during the Federation-Klingon war with Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) leading her troops. With a Black woman commander and an inclusive cast that includes Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou, Star Trek: Discovery is making necessary ripples in sci-fi. Now, can we move it to a primetime broadcast network?

8. This Is Us, Season 2

{ NBC }
Release Date: September 25, 2017

The Pearsons are ready to tug at our heartstrings again. Although we still don’t know how Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) died, watching his widow, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), and three children struggle with the trauma of his death makes for incredible television. This season, everybody’s favorite couple, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), are preparing to adopt a child, Kate (Chrissy Metz) is launching her singing career, and Kevin (Justin Hartley) is rekindling his relationship with his ex-wife, Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge). The new season, much like the first, begins on their birthday, and will hopefully, end with all of us finding out what happened to Jack. We now know he died when Randall, Kate, and Kevin were 17, and it had something to do with their house burning down. The details are still hazy, but the show’s devoted fanbase will be there for the ride.

9. Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

{ NBC }
Release Date: September 26, 2017

There’s something about true crime cases that captivates audiences. Although we’ve seen countless documentaries and television movies about the Menendez murders, NBC is still cashing in on our true crime obsession with their first Law & Order series about real-life murders. Surfing on the wave of The People vs. OJ Simpson, The Menendez Murders will litigate the case for millions of people again, and even though we know the outcome, we’ll still be on the edge of our seats.

10. Star, Season 2

{ FOX }
Release Date: September 27, 2017

Star was originally billed as the prequel to FOX’s smash hit drama Empire. Yet, as Empire struggles to regain its footing, Star has begun accelerating with crisp plotlines, superb actors, and high ratings. The first season ended with Big Trouble—the ascending music group that the show revolves around—winning the Honda Next Best contest and securing a record contract. Their success seems imminent, though it’s unclear if Big Trouble will sign with Empire Records this season, which would be a perfect crossover. If Star has as much drama as the first season, it will surely continue pulling in viewers and giving Empire a run for ratings.

11. How to Get Away with Murder, Season 4

{ ABC }
Release Date: September 28, 2017

Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) has died, Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) is pregnant with his child, Annalise Keating’s (Viola Davis) house has burned down, and the rest of her students are struggling to move forward in their law careers without her. Keating has tried to restore some semblance of normalcy to their lives by cutting them all loose with glowing recommendation letters that will surely land them another high-profile law internship. But after covering up multiple murders and getting tangled in their boss’s web of deceit, will their lives ever be normal again? That’s the question at the heart of How to Get Away with Murder’s fourth season, and I’m sure it won’t be answered before the next murder occurs.

12. black-ish, Season 4

{ ABC }
Release Date: October 3, 2017

Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) Johnson are TV’s coolest parents. As their daughter, Zoey (Yara Shahidi) leaves the nest for college—and a spinoff on Freeform—Bow and Dre are welcoming baby Devante into their family and tackling dicey, thorny issues as usual. The forthcoming season premiere is titled “Juneteenth,” and will show Dre getting frustrated after seeing Jack (Miles Johnson) and Diane’s (Marsai Martin) school play about Columbus Day. In typical Dre fashion, he begins pushing his family to celebrate Black American holidays, like Juneteenth and Kwanzaa, while challenging viewers to interrogate their own commitment to celebrating Columbus. black-ish is doing important work.

13. Queen Sugar, Mid-season Season 2

{ OWN }
Release Date: October 3, 2017

Sadly, Queen Sugar wasn’t nominated for a single Emmy award. Still, the OWN-produced show is one of the best dramas on television. Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Natalie Baszile’s eponymous 2014 novel follows the Bordelons, three siblings who inherited their father’s sugarcane land in Louisiana, as they try to reap their first harvest and outsmart the white family intent on stealing their land from them. This season, Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) is opening Queen Sugar, the only Black-owned mill in their Louisiana parish, while her brother, Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), is striving to be independent of his sister’s oversight and her sister, Nova (Rutina Wesley) continues fighting to expose police corruption in New Orleans. Family is at the core of Queen Sugar, and we’re all rooting for the Bordelons to win.

14. Scandal, Season 7

{ ABC }
Release Date: October 5, 2017

It’s difficult to believe Scandal is ending. Prior to the ABC series airing in 2012, there hadn’t been a Black female actress leading a primetime network drama in almost four decades. Now, there’s a plethora of nuanced and complex Black women on television, and that’s all due to the world that revolves around Olivia Pope. It’s unclear how Scandal will end, but no matter what it does in its final season, the history has already been made.

15. Riverdale, Season 2

{ CW }
Release Date: October 11, 2017

Riverdale reimagines the Archie comics for a 2017 audience, and somehow, someway, the CW has pulled it off. Based on the trailer, season 2 picks up immediately where season 1 ended: We’re unsure if Archie’s (K.J. Apa) father Fred (Luke Perry) is alive after he was shot at Pop Tate’s (Alvin Sanders) diner. Archie is also attempting to figure out his budding relationships with Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Betty (Lili Reinhart). The undercurrent of mystery will also continue in season 2, making it a must watch for fall.

16. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 3

{ CW }
Release Date: October 13, 2017

In the final scene of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s second season, Rachel’s one-sided fairytale with her high school boyfriend, Josh, ended dramatically. He left her at the altar. After moving from New York City to West Covina, California to pursue Josh, going through great strides to end his relationship with Valencia, and convincing him to propose, Rachel’s life is now upended. Season 3 will show her attempting to repair her life and move forward—through getting revenge on the man who broke her heart.

17. Jane the Virgin, Season 4

{ CW }
Release Date: October 13, 2017

Jane the Virgin seemed to lose focus and purpose after (spoiler alert) Michael (Brett Dier) unexpectedly died midway through its third season. Between Mateo (Joseph Sanders) evolving from a well-mannered child to a terror and Jane selling her novel without having an agent (when has that happened in real life?), the show was all over the place. Most Jane the Virgin fans aren’t abandoning ship though. Season 4 leaves the show a lot of room to grow and right itself. This season will find Jane (Gina Rodriguez) rebuilding her life without her husband, Rafael (Justin Baldoni) embarking on a balanced post-prison life that doesn’t include, and Rogelio (Jaime Camil) and Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) rekindling their romance again.

18. Mindhunter

{ Netflix }
Release Date: October 13, 2017

After the success of Making a Murderer and The Keepers, Netflix is creating a firmer toehold in true crime with their first scripted procedural drama. Mindhunter, much like its predecessor Criminal Minds, explores the inner workings of the FBI’s serial crime unit. Unlike modern procedurals, Mindhunter is based on a book and set in the past. It follows two FBI agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), as they interview serial killers and rapists who’ve been arrested in an effort to create patterns of behaviors that can be applied to open cases. For true crime junkies, Mindhunter will definitely satiate your craving when you’ve had your fill of Investigation Discovery reruns. Netflix has already renewed it for the second season.

19. The Walking Dead, Season 8

{ AMC }
Release Date: October 22, 2017

Season 7 of The Walking Dead was one of the series’s most brutal and repulsive. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) emasculating and wielding a bat at the heads of fan favorites sent many viewers over the edge. If you were hoping that the eighth season would make you less squeamish, you’re not in luck. Apparently, this season will be all about taking down Negan and the saviors. I imagine that means there will be lots of violence and lots of blood, especially if Maggie (Lauren Cohan) gives birth this season.

20. She’s Gotta Have It

{ Netflix }
Release Date: November 23, 2017

Nola Darling is the sex-positive role model all Black women deserved in the ’90s. In the cult classic movie, Darling balanced casual relationships with multiple men, and refused to cave when they tried to force monogamy on her. She even had all three of her sex partners over for Thanksgiving dinner. The forthcoming Netflix series will show Darling navigating nonmonogamy at a time when we have a greater cultural understanding of sex-positivity. Hopefully, the adaptation doesn’t include that dreaded rape scene.

by Evette Dionne
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Evette Dionne is Bitch Media’s editor-in-chief. She’s all about Beyoncé, Black women, and dope TV shows and books. You can follow her on Twitter.

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