1. “BoJack Horseman” Season 3 (available July 22)
Why Should I Watch It? “BoJack Horseman” is a literal and figurative treasure trove of joy, insight and harsh truths. On the literal side, so many small moments pop up throughout the 30-minute episodes it takes repeat viewings to appreciate them all — from the .gif-worthy transitionary bits to the heavy-hitting quips. Yet figuratively, “BoJack” offers up a distinct, strong viewpoint that isn’t afraid to take questions to an existential level, which creates deeper subjective realizations each time you watch (and re-watch, and re-watch, and re-watch…). This is as “must-see” as TV gets — every time.
Best Episode: We wouldn’t dare spoil the new season — not even by telling you what episode to look forward to — and we’ve already covered Season 2. (After much deliberation, we chose “Escape From L.A.” as the best episode.) So let’s just set this time aside to honor the latest .gif masterpiece from the new year:
2. “Stranger Things” Season 1 (available July 15)
Why Should I Watch It?Set in Indiana (but shot outside Atlanta) and taking place in the ’80s (but production ran from late 2015 to early 2016), “Stranger Things” marks a daring combination of a kid-centric story in an adult world. Netflix wants you to think about classic family films like “E.T.” and “Close Encounters,” but perhaps the most relevant recent film is “Super 8.” J.J. Abrams’ love letter to supernatural but heartfelt tales of yesteryear is close to what “Stranger Things” seems to be going for, even if this story focuses on a group of young boys trying to find a friend who vanishes into thin air.
Best Episode: IndieWire was treated to a “Stranger Things” set visit a few months back, right as they were wrapping up the first season. So, sight unseen (so to speak), we’re rather partial to the finale — which should carry quite the blend of practical effects and visual stylings to create a thrilling ending to what promises to be a genre-bending freshman year. That being said, we haven’t seen the episodes yet, so we can’t promise for sure that everyone will even get that far.
READ MORE: ‘Penny Dreadful’: Why This Great Series Finale Shouldn’t Start a Trend
3. “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” Season 3 (available July 15)
Why Should I Watch It? As if we haven’t gone over this before, “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” opens every episode with a title sequence showing Puss, a tiny orange cat, saving a fully grown woman from danger — and her fawning all over the more-than-adorable feline. Thus, this kids show marks the second animated Netflix original in which humans and animals share a sexual attraction, and both are tremendous. (What’s the other? See No. 1 on this list.) Plus, after the Season 2 cliffhanger, you know you’re going to binge this straight away. What’s up with the Blood Wolf? How will Puss keep his people safe from that black, glowing-eyed gargoyle? And what about the milk? Is there enough milk?! Puuuuuuuuuuss!!
Best Episode: I mean, the finale, “No,” is obviously pretty damn good. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles since it debuted, like, eight months ago. But it’s its charming predecessor, “Si,” that takes the cake. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t keep up this charade. They’re all great! Watch ’em all! You can binge ’em twice before Season 3 premieres if you start this weekend. Enjoy.
READ MORE: Watch: Danny Trejo Gets Animated in Exclusive Clip of Netflix Original ‘The Adventures of Puss in Boots’
4. “Hit Record on TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt” Season 2 (available July 31)
Why Should I Watch It? Because it’s an independent-minded creative venture with an emphasis on collaboration. It’s also populated by a bevy of likable folks like Zac Efron, Ben Schwartz, Anne Hathaway and Mindy Kaling, and they’re all lead by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Each episode is unique, but each is also insightful, funny and offers filmmakers a compelling learning experience. Give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Best Episode: I mean, the choice is obvious:
“Keeping America American, one dick at a time,” is not far off from an equally ridiculous, real-world political slogan. Way to go, Zac.
5. “Todd Margaret” Season 3 (available July 14)
Why Should I Watch It? After the finality of the Season 2 finale, it’s worth watching “Todd Margaret” Season 3 just to see how the damn thing even came into existence. It also works to showcase the talents of its creator, David Cross, both as a writer and an actor. Without spoiling anything, Cross gets to strut his creative muscles in every way. Not all of it works, but very little of it is boring.
Best Episode: The episode titles function as a reveal unto themselves, as “Todd Margaret Part 1” transitions into “The Decisions of Todd Margaret” and eventually ends on the first two seasons’ full title, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” Considering how the first two seasons were a bit hit and miss, it should come as no surprise the best episode of Season 3 comes before the finale — just before. “The Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Part 2” marks the season’s peak, even if what follows isn’t exactly motivation for Season 4.
READ MORE: ‘Catastrophe’: Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan on Finding Dark Truths in Comedy
6. “Marcella” Season 1 (available July 1)
Why Should I Watch? After originally airing on ITV and starring Anna Friel (“Pushing Daisies”), “Marcella” delves into the life of a psychologically unbalanced detective who’s called back into service after a 12-year break. Marcella is hitting a crisis point in her personal life — losing a husband, isolated from her kids — but she’s forced to revisit the past when she’s assigned an old case straight out of the gate. The trailer hints at unique perspective shifts, big secrets and a structure unique to the familiar “troubled cop” story. Clocking in at just eight episodes, this one could be worth the time.
Best Episode: Remember “The Fall,” you guys? Remember how unbelievably amazing “The Fall” is? I mean, this is not that — no Gillian Anderson, no Allan Cubitt, no Gillian Anderson — but it is from prominent TV writer Hans Rosenfeldt, who also created “The Bridge” (the original version), and also marks Friel’s first series regular gig since “Pushing Daisies” (no, we’re not counting “American Odyssey”). The best episodes of all those shows are some of modern television’s best episodes, period, so maybe this one’s worth trying out.
READ MORE: Review: ‘The Night Of’ Premiere Takes Bad Luck to an Artful Extreme
7. “Marco Polo” Season 2 (available July 1)
Why Should I Watch It? Well, according to Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller, you probably shouldn’t. And, frankly, it’s hard to find reasons why you should elsewhere. Only eight critics out of 33 recommended the first season of Netflix’s period drama, and most were a bit harsher than Ms. Miller. But hey, series can turn around quickly. Just look at “Bloodline,” which wasn’t as bad off as “Marco Polo” out of the gate, but still improved vastly in between seasons. So if you’re just curious enough, bored enough or desperate enough to try out Season 2, let us know if it’s worth the time.
Best Episode: If anything exciting happens at any time, that’s probably the best episode. As for Season 1, decisions were forced to be made in the finale, so that’s gotta be our pick for best yet.
READ MORE: ‘Marco Polo’ Season 2 Trailer: Bromance Blossoms With Kublai Khan
The Rest of Incoming TV
“Between” Season 2 (available July 1)
“Deep” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Raiders of the Lost Art” Season 2 (available July 1)
“The Shannara Chronicles” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Kuromukuro” Season 1 (available July 4)
“NSU German History X” Season 1 (available July 7)
“Word Party” Season 1 (available July 8)
“Mystery Files” Season 1 (available July 9)
“The Last Kingdom” Season 1 (available July 10)
“Magi: The Adventures of Sinbad” Season 1 (available July 14)
“Liv and Maddie” Season 3 (available July 19)
“Degrassi: Next Class” Season 2 (available July 22)
“Poppies” Season 3 (available July 24)
“Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh” (available July 29)
“LEGO Bionicle: The Journey to One” Season 2 (available July 29)
“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” Season 6, Part 1 (available July 30)
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