There is no question that streaming services have made a major impression on media in the last few years. The programming that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are serving up are top notch and in most cases better than major TV networks. But with so many options these days it’s hard to figure out which series or TV shows to devote your time to when streaming or DRVing a series. After all you only have so much time in your busy schedule – so why sit through sub-par programming when there are so many great shows to choose from.
That’s where Boom Howdy is here to help. We present to you our guide to TV and streaming programming in 2016 and beyond. So put on your pajamas, grab some cereal and get ready to not leave the couch until Summer 2017.
Stranger Things (Netflix – Season 1)
Unless you have been living under a rock (or in the Upside Down) you already know about the Netflix series Stranger Things. The breakout hit took the world and Netflix by storm this past summer and instantly became part of pop culture and the hottest thing streaming. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the 80’s throwback then make it your New Year’s resolution to do so – because Netflix announced season 2 will be coming next Summer / Fall of 2017.
Game of Thrones (HBO – Season 6) Game of Thrones is not just something to add to your regular TV schedule it’s one of the best shows of all-time. I don’t throw around the term “best of all-time” lightly so take that with a grain of salt. The fantasy drama returned as a tour de force with the reveal of Jon Snow’s fate and a Kingdom that is slowly being devoured by powerful women. The season ended with a bang as fans eagerly await season 7 and you will too after you binge watch the first 6 seasons on HBO GO. The final season (Season 7) is set to be released sometime in Summer 2017 – if all goes according to plan. There has been rumors of a Game of Thrones spinoff coming to HBO but only time will tell. Fingers crossed!
(Hulu – Season 1)
The Path is Aaron Paul’ best work since Breaking Bad went off the air. It stars Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan, and Kyle Allen in an odd “friendship” within their church. The religious cult thriller streams weekly on Hulu. It pulls heavy ques from Scientology, if Scientology was in a hippie compound. After watching Scientology: Going Clear and Leah Remini’s new documentary series on HBO the similarities are very obvious. Season two debuts on January 25th, 2017.
11/22/63 (Hulu – Season 1)
Based on the Stephen King novel 11/22/63, Hulu and brought King’s world to life with a stellar cast to boot. James Franco stars along with Sarah Gadon as high school teacher travel back in time to prevent John F. Kennedy’s assassination. They have to be careful as to what they do in the past because each action could drastically impact the future of humanity. Rumor has it season 2 is in the works.
Luke Cage (Netflix – Season 1) Luke Cage is one of the most gritty Marvel properties they have made yet – although Logan looks to surpass that achievement in 2017. It’s a unique show that builds characters more than most films in the Marvel Universe. Mike Colteris the perfect fit to portray Luke Cage and Mahershala Aliis the perfect villain as Cottonmouth. Cage has been given super strength and durability by a sabotaged experiment, a wrongly accused man escapes prison to become a superhero for hire. Season 2 is coming soon to Netflix.
Master of None (Netflix – Season 1) Aziz Ansari andAlan Yang’s Master of None blends social commentary and comedy in the perfect ratio for a Netflix Original. Partially based on real life experiences and characters, Ansair and Yang created a series that took on serious issues and didn’t avoid the awkwardness. Quirky and real, Master of None became one of my favorite comedy series of 2016.
House of Cards (Netflix – Season 3)
In an election year House of Cards continued to shed light on how dirty politics can be (but we already knew this.) However what it didn’t show is how ignorant politics can be – which is exactly what we witnessed in the 2016 elections and will continue to endure for at least 4 years. Scandals, backstabbing, flip-flopping and dirty politics almost seem like child’s play compared to real life. So if you want to dip your toe back into fantasy politics to regain some sanity then binge some President Underwood and hold onto our butts.
Black Mirror (Netflix – Season 3)
We live in a technological world that infiltrates almost every aspect of our life these days whether we like it or not. Technology has gone mad. Season 3 of Black Mirror on Netflix explores just that in about every dark way imaginable. If you haven’t seen the first 2 seasons don’t worry. Each episode stands on it’s own with a unique story.
Westworld (HBO – Season 1) HBO’s Westworld is a re-imagining of theMichael Crichton novel and later film from 1973. Turned from film into TV series, it took HBO by storm and the prediction it could take over the top spot from Game of Thrones has proven to be correct. In it’s first season it pulled in more viewership than The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Rumor has it George R.R. Martin hinted at a possible Westworld / Game of Thrones crossover during dinner once but the fantasy was swept aside. If you haven’t watched season 1 yet don’t worry – you have PLENTY of time to catch up because while season 2 promises to be “mayhem” it won’t be released until 2018.
People of Earth (TBS – Season 1) People of Earth is a solid network show with an indie flavor that almost feels buried on TBS. With the TV landscape expanding even more with streaming services it’s easy to get overlooked and I feel like the next few shows on my guide do just that. Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show) and Ana Gasteyer (SNL) headline the cast. Journalist Ozzie Graham (Cenac) is skeptical when he investigates a support group for oddballs who think they have been abducted by aliens — yet the more he learns, the more confused, intrigued, and seduced he becomes. Season one just wrapped up and season 2 has been greenlit.
Those Who Can’t (TruTV – Season 1)
Imagine if Always Sunny in Philadelphia took place in a high school and all the guys and gal were teachers. Now watch Those Who Can’t on TruTV to find one of your new favorite TV shows. TruTV has put together some FANTASTIC programming in the last two years and this is one of their breakout hits. Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, Ben Roy from the comedy trio brought the series to life. In Those Who Can’t there are teachers who inspire, enlighten, and challenge us. These are not those teachers. With a supporting cast of Maria Thayer, Rory Scovel and Kyle Kinane it’s boast one of the best team of supporting comedians out there.
Adam Ruins Everything (TruTV – Season 1) Adam Conoverbrings you the hard truths about everything from Sex to Politics on his breakout show Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV. In a “pop-up video” fashion he shares facts about a wide range of topics with comedic sensibilities.
As I mentioned before TruTV has stepped up their game when it comes to original programming over the years. Impractical Jokers, Billy on the Street, Those Who Can’t are stand outs just to name a few – but the one that has mass pop culture appeal appears to be Adam Ruins Everything. Adam has spoken at events about millennials, and clips of his show have been passed around to help people negotiate pay raises and how to bargain when buying a new cars. Quick 30 minute episodes make these easy to binge watch on a whim. Before you know it you will be 5 episodes deep.
The Exorcist (FOX – Season 1)
Some would say it is taboo to make an Exorcist TV series and to those people I would say you are right in theory – but those people haven’t watched The Exorcist on FOX. Last July at San Diego Comic-Con I chose to watch The Exorcist pilot instead of the highly anticipated and widely hype Blair Witch sequel. At the time I was super bummed but in retrospect I made the right decision. The Exorcist turned out to be stylish, creepy and scary good. Something I did not expect. So before you dismiss it, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
(HBO – Season 3)
Just when you thought the guys at Pied Piper couldn’t expand on their story line any further they suck you in with season 3 and leave you on a cliffhanger. Mike Judge, the comedic genius behind Office Space, Idiocracy (not a documentary), Bevis and Butthead, and King of the Hill brought us another hit with a star studded cast of comedians and improvisers. Mocking the start-up culture it takes on many issues those in the industry will get a kick out of while still keeping the humor general enough that all audiences will love. The shows have been renewed and season 4 is on it’s way in 2017.
(FX – Season 3)
The controversial FX show Tyrant covers some heavy topics following the American family with Middle Eastern ties – and by season 3 things may have gotten to dark for their core target audience. But that doesn’t take away from the top notch production values and gripping story lines that feel all to real. Unfortunately the show was abruptly cancelled after season 3 due to viewership. Season 1 started out strong with 2.47 million viewers but by the time the season 3 finale rolled around it was down to 1 million. The studio is still confident about their product. So much so FX President Bert Salke thinks they could bring the show back on another platform. “Conversations are ongoing and they are meaningful because we’re invested in the show,” Salke says. Until then you have 3 seasons waiting for you to binge watch.
(HBO – Season 1)
Debuting at SXSW in 2016 Vice Principals lived up to the hype! Walton Gogginsand Danny McBride go together like peanut butter and sour cream and somehow it works perfectly. After Danny McBride found great success with Eastbound and Down (Kenny Powers) on HBO, Vice Principals proves to follow the same formula. Foul mouthed McBride plays Neal Gambya Vice Principal with dreams of becoming THE principal some day when Bill Murray has to leave his position due to his wife’s illness. One thing stands in his way… the other Vice Principal Lee Russell(Goggins). After a season of hi jinks the season finale takes a dark turn that leaves us wanting more. Catch up now before season 2 debuts in Fall 2017.
Ash vs Evil Dead (STARZ – Season 2)
What!? An Evil Dead TV Series!? But I didn’t like the remake. Shut your mouth! First time director Fede Alvarez did a fantastic job with the 2013 reboot and when Bruce Campbell agreed to come back to play Ash you bet your ass the STARZ series was going to be an instant hit with deadites. It hit the vein of every Evil Dead junkie with an instant burst of adrenaline. It captures all the tongue and cheek humor that Evil Dead 2 gave us and introduces us to even more interesting characters than the original franchise did. The biggest news? Sam Raimi has teased an Evil Dead crossover between the films and TV series. Mind blown.
Impastor (TV Land – Season 1)
I know what you are thinking…TV Land!? But I’m tired of watching Golden Girl re-runs. First of all, no you aren’t. Golden Girls is classic. Second of all TV Land went through a rebrand a couple years ago to shift from classics to original programming and when it did Impastor and Teachers were GREAT starts to shift the old school mind set of his viewership. It follows Buddy Dobbs (Michael Rosenbaum), a slacker on the run from a loan shark, steals a man’s identity and ends up posing as a small town’s new gay pastor. It’s smart, witty and completely original. Michael Rosenbaum’s character is charming and scandalous in the best way possible.
Teachers (TV Land – Season 1)
Gossip, sexually charged stories and a goth chick round out a cast of characters that have unique characteristics in their own right. The entire principal cast is comprised of the improv comedy troupe The Katydids. Where did their name come from? Well, all of their names take on some form of Katie. Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Kathryn Renee Thomas. I was able to speak with the gals at SDCC before the season premiere and they are as funny in person as they are in the show. Teachers shows the hilariously warped perspective as six elementary school teachers trying to mold young minds, even though their own lives aren’t really together.
F is For Family (Netflix – Season 1)
From the mind of Bill Burr (Monday Morning Podcast) comes F is for Family. A foul mouthed animated series on Netflix. Bill drew inspiration from real life stories growing up and those characters around him. It’s like a darker version of Family Guy and probably more relatable to it’s viewers. Follow the Murphy family back to the 1970s, when kids roamed wild, beer flowed freely and nothing came between a man and his TV.
There you have it, a TV and streaming guide to get you through 2016 and lead you into 2017. Next time a friend ask you what they should watch on TV send them this link and call it a day.