5. “Pose” Season 1 (available May 10)
Why Should I Watch? For a series set during Reagan’s reign in the 1980s and focusing on LGBTQ characters staring down the barrel of the AIDS crisis, “Pose” is a surprisingly uplifting, enjoyable, and altogether enthralling series. While honest about the fear faced during an(other) oppressive period of American history, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals craft endearing characters excited to strut their stuff at the regular Balls hosted by competing Houses — a self-selected family that provides support to LGBTQ youth rejected by their birth families. The competitions are gorgeous, the cast excellent, and the first season quite well put together. Go ahead — enjoy it!
Bonus Reason: Billy Porter. As Pray Tell, an emcee of balls in New York, Porter is given plenty of opportunities to stand in his own dedicated spotlight, and he earns each one; his commentary during each competition is enthusiastic and addictive, but he’s just as good in the quiet moments, when he cares for his lover who’s dying from AIDS. Porter can go as big as can be or as small as possible without losing any authenticity or impact. It’s a compelling, breakout turn, and one we’re happy to see more of come Season 2 — which premieres on FX in June.
6. “Dead to Me” Season 1 (available now)
Saeed Adyani / Netflix
Why Should I Watch? “Dead to Me” isn’t what it’s billed to be, which is to say it’s not a comedy. But there is something watchable about the half-hour tragedy/mystery starring the always-great Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate. To say any more than the basic premise would shift into spoiler territory, so here’s the safe version: Jen (Applegate) is a successful real estate agent and grieving wife. Her husband died in a hit-and-run, and the suddenness of his death along with its unsolved nature keeps her up at night. Eventually, the dark-and-gloomy Jen tries a grief discussion group, where she meets the chipper-and-cheerful Judy. Though she’s lost someone, too, Judy remains fiercely optimistic and the two form an unlikely friendship. Now, that’s all we can say, but know this isn’t a buddy comedy — it’s a peculiar, twist-dependent mystery that’s so jam-packed with secrets the characters become soapy stand-ins for real people. But hey, the leads are still great, and who knows? Maybe this weird little ditty will speak to you.
Bonus Reason: James Marsden. For anyone with fond memories of the “Westworld” star’s innocent narcissism in the 2007 comedy “Enchanted,” consider his turn in “Dead To Me” the opposite side of that coin. His Steve Wood is indeed vain, but filled with the excessive confidence of a rich, white asshole, and Marsden bites into his character’s vicious nature with glee. It’s quite fun to watch him push to the brink of irredeemability, only to back off at the last second with a few choice words or unexpected restraint. No one will like Steve (or they shouldn’t), but everyone should love Marsden’s work.
7. “The Society” Season 1 (available May 10)
Why Should I Watch? A modern adaptation of “Lord of the Flies,” “The Society” is a YA thriller built around supernatural events yet dialed into the core of human nature. A group of teenagers are mysteriously transported to a replica of their wealthy New England town, except none of their parents are anywhere to be found. That leaves the kids in charge of their own fate — and left to their own devices — which may seem like a fantasy to some, but that can quickly turn into a nightmare in reality. William Golding’s words live on in 2019, as viewers tune in to see what teens are capable of when thrown to the wolves and forced to survive.
Bonus Reason: Rachel Keller. The “Legion” breakout is playing a few years younger in this Netflix series, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the talented and savvy performer. Keller can share depths of information with just her eyes, while her invigorating spirit and sharp dance moves prove she’s capable of handling anything you throw her way. We look forward to seeing what she does as a leader of teens.
The Rest of Incoming TV
“Charmed” (2018) Season 1 (available in May at a date TBD)
“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” Season 4 (available in May at a date TBD)
“The Mechanism” Season2 (available in May at a date TBD)
“Supergirl” Season 4 (available in May at a date TBD)
“Colony” Season 3 (available now)
“Cupcake & Dino – General Services” (available now)
“Flinch” Season 1 (available now)
“Supernatural” Season 14 (available now)
“Undercover” Season 1 (available now)
“Queen of the South” Season 3 (available May 7)
“Lucifer” Season 4 (available May 8)
“Happy Girls Forever!” Season 2 (available May 10)
“Jailbirds” Season 1 (available May 10)
“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Volume 3 (available May 12)
“1994: Limited Series” (available May 17)
“Chip & Potato” Season 1 (available May 17)
“It’s Bruno” Season 1 (available May 17)
“Nailed It!” Season 3 (available May 17)
“The Rain” Season 2 (available May 17)
“White Gold” Season 2 (available May 17)
“Prince of Peoria” Part 2 (available May 20)
“Rosario Tijeras” (Mexico Version) Season 2 (available May 20)
“Arrow” Season 7 (available May 21)
“The Flash” Season 5 (available May 22)
“Riverdale” Season 3 (available May 23)
“Slasher: Solstice” (available May 23)
“WHAT / IF” Season 1 (available May 24)
“Historical Roasts” (available May 27)
“Outlander” Seasons 1-2 (available May 27)
“Bad Blood” Season 2 (available May 31)
“Black Spot” Season 2 (available May 31)