Five shows to binge in September

Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 12, 2018

Looking to camp out on the couch and take down a show that will keep you up way too late and help you procrastinate from doing more important tasks?


Premise:  A newspaper reporter travels back to her Deep South hometown to cover the hunt for a serial killer of teen girls. She digs up all sorts of dark secrets about the town's past, as well as unnerving truths about her own family's role in the town's twisted culture.

Stars: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Sophia Lillis, Chris Messina.

Service: HBO.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Amy. Adams. Her performance as a secretive, self-loathing former cheerleader who has carved various words into her body is memorizing. She's got to be on the watchlist for next year's Emmy race.


Premise: A newly-dead Scottsdale woman adjusts to the afterlife, discovering she lacks the ability to cuss, discovers her house and assigned soulmate aren't what she was hoping for and noticing there is definitely more to her surroundings than at first appears.

Stars: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, D'Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto.

Service: Netflix.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Bucking the usual sitcom rule of introducing a problem and solving it so everything returns to normal after 22 minutes, the series evolves wildly over its two seasons. The show is even (gulp) educational, exploring ethics and philosophy issues. The show seems to be written by the funniest team of humanities majors ever assembled.  It also moves fast. Since there are only 26 episodes total, you could conceivably catch up in time for the Sept. 27 season three premiere.


Premise: A "Hard Knocks"-style docuseries about the 2017 football season, narrated by John Hamm.

Stars: Hamm's voice, the Dallas Cowboys football team.

Service: Amazon Prime

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Like "Hard Knocks," the series transcends sports fandom and cuts into the vast, flowing wells of human drama that take place on a pro sports squad. This is not just a show for Cowboys fans. In fact, since the team starts off with high expectations before failing miserably, maybe it's more for Cowboys haters.


Premise: Set in a near-future dystopia in which chauvinistic fascists have risen to power, stripped away rights from women and various minority groups, a group of women struggles to fight back. It's based on Margaret Atwood's chilling 1985 novel.

Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley.

Service: Hulu.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Moss shows even more depth than she did in her breakout role in "Mad Men," and Bledel takes just about as sharp a turn from "Gilmore Girls" as possible. The series tangles with heavy political themes in a grim yet fascinating manner, serving as a warning of what society could devolve into if government megalomania is left unchecked.


Premise: Sacha Baron Cohen dresses up in various disguises, duping egotistical celebrities and various unknown ignoramouses into making fools of themselves in interviews and interactive demonstrations. Refining the brand of humor Cohen honed in the likes of "Da Ali G Show" and "Bruno," Cohen conjures wicked satire.

Stars: Cohen and a string of unwitting guests. 

Service: Showtime.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: The facepalm-inducing interviews are a study in fascinating awkwardness. Watching him get Dick Cheney to sign a waterboard, rile up the Kingman, Ariz. townsfolk in an anti-Muslim fervor when they think a giant mosque is coming to town, and coaxing a former reality start to pretend she served on a humanitarian mission in Africa are priceless. This is one of the funniest shows you'll find.