1. “Dear White People” Volume 2 (available May 4)
Why Should I Watch? “Dear White People” was one of the best new shows of 2017 — and it’s not just IndieWire saying so. Justin Simien’s Netflix original series ranked as No. 14 on the Uproxx critics’ poll, which is far too low, of course, but shows impressive support nonetheless. (There are a lot of new shows out there, people!) The weighty topical discussions were smoothed over with incredible style (“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins directed Episode 5!), heartfelt love stories, and sharp humor, making the initial 10 episodes an absolute joy from start to finish. Is it a comedy, a drama, a romance, or something else entirely? Why not all three? “Dear White People” has a lot to say and a strong voice to say it with. Season 2 is set to be even better. Don’t miss it.
Bonus Reason: Lena Waithe joins the cast in Season 2 as P. Ninny, a “braggadocious MC” who stars in a reality series called “Trap-House Tricks,” a la “Love & Hip-Hop.” If the Emmy-winning writer of “Master of None” (and creator of the excellent Showtime series “The Chi”) isn’t enough of a reason to watch, then just move on — good television clearly isn’t for you.
2. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Season 4 (available May 30)
Why Should I Watch? What, have you been trapped in an underground bunker with Jon Hamm for the last four years? “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is the Emmy-nominated comedy series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the Emmy-winning duo behind “30 Rock.” Focusing on Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and her slow absorption of modern America culture after being freed from a bunker (where she was trapped for 15 years), Season 4 picks up with Kimmy working at a start-up company and Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) working as a new agent. Titus (Tituss Burgess) is trying to win back his ex-boyfriend, and references are flying faster than you can sing “The Greatest Show!” Buy in, catch up, and enjoy one of the fastest pieces of funny in showbiz.
Bonus Reason: Season 4 isn’t debuting all at once. The first six episodes are debuting May 30 (to qualify for the Emmys) while the latter half of the season will hit Netflix later this year. If the streaming giant wants the show to be awards eligible badly enough to split up the release, odds are there’s something good here.
3. “The Rain” Season 2 (available May 4)
Why Should I Watch? Speaking of bunkers, the first Danish original series from Netflix sounds like one intriguing mystery. Set six years after a virus carried by the rain kills everyone in Scandinavia, two siblings come out of their underground hideout and discover that the entirety of civilization has been wiped out — well, except for a few more survivors, of course. Turns out most of the remaining humans are young’uns, and the traditional coming-of-age arcs apply: love, jealousy, and more common problems start to perk up as the lone survivors try to build a better world while still being haunted by problems of the past.
Bonus Reason: I mean, have you liked any of Netflix’s other foreign language original series? “Dark,” “3%,” “Marseille” and more have set a high bar, but they’ve also built a strong fanbase of subscribers. Let’s see what “The Rain” can do to bolster that reputation.
4. “A Little Help with Carol Burnett” (available May 4)
Why Should I Watch? Because it’s Carol Freaking Burnett. Yes, that Carol Burnett. The Carol Burnett behind “The Carol Burnett Show.” The Carol Burnett who’s won five Golden Globes and six Emmys. The Carol Burnett your parents won’t shut up about and you really need to get to know. The Carol Burnett who was friends with Lucille Ball and Julie Andrews. The Carol Burnett who tugged on her ear to let her grandma know everything was going well, the Carol Burnett who hit Broadway and the big screen, and the Carol Burnett who’s now hosting her own Netflix original series at the young age of 85.
Bonus Reason: You don’t get any more: Just watch! It’s good for ya. (But we will say “A Little Help With Carol Burnett” revolves around a celebrity guest who asks a panel of five- to nine-year-old kids about a dilemma they’re having. Sounds fun, right?)