Fall is officially here, which means it's time to add the best television shows of the season to your watchlist. Although highly anticipated series like Homecoming and Escape at Dannemora have yet to premiere and fan favorites like House of Cards and Outlander have yet to return, there are plenty of shows worth your time that are on the air right now. In search of the best ones, we combed the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to find out exactly what the critics have to say about the season's current offering.
Spanning a thrilling sci-fi miniseries starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as strangers taking part in a mysterious pharmaceutical trial to a dark comedy starring Elizabeth Olsen as a grieving young widow that's streaming on Facebook (of all places), these are the shows that the critics would add to your queue, in order from the most recommended to the least recommended. It's official: These are, without a doubt, the 13 best fall TV shows of 2018 (so far).
The Good Place
Entering its third season, this award-winning comedy starring Kristin Bell and Ted Danson is as charming as ever. "The Good Place retains its creative strengths in the premiere, including its boundless curiosity about how people behave and why they do it," observes Linda Holmes in NPR. "It remains remarkable television."
Critics Score: 100% liked it (with an average rating of 8.94/10)
Audience Score: 83% liked it (with an average rating of 4.1/5)
This Is Us
Everyone's favorite primetime family is finally back. After an emotional season two finale, fans were eager to be reunited with the Pearson family—and, so far, they have not been disappointed. "After two seasons, we knew full well that This Is Us loved to shake-weight our hearts, but that didn't make the impact of [the season 3] premiere any less intense," remarks Brandon Katz in The Observer.
Critics Score: 82% liked it (with an average rating of 6.93/10)
Audience Score: 87% liked it (with an average rating of 4.2/5)
Season two of The Deuce, HBO's '70s-set drama starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, delves deeper into the sex business during the decade that gave rise to the porn industry. This time around, the show "is always more interesting when it shifts to the perspective of its women characters, especially as they begin to realize their roles in this revolution," notes Hank Stuever of the new season in The Washington Post.
Critics Score: 100% liked it (with an average rating of 8.48/10)
Audience Score: 89% liked it (with an average rating of 4.4/5)
Watch It: HBO
Snowfall, FX's drama about the origins of the crack epidemic in Los Angeles, allows its characters—from the teenage drug dealer to the ex-wrestler to the degraded CIA agent—to come into their own in its second season. "As Snowfall's characters form new allegiances and deals, they're constantly having to prove that they're tougher than the people they're engaging with, to the point where conflict and brutality can only escalate," writes Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic.
Critics Score: 100% liked it (with an average rating of 7.0/10)
Audience Score: 86% liked it (with an average rating of 4.2/5)
Watch It: FX
Better Call Saul
In season four of Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff that's garnered a cult following in its own right, "old dynamics flip, long-gestating character studies pay off, and feelings geyser up in surprising places," writes Spencer Kornhaber in The Atlantic. This season, the ultimate descent of everyone's favorite Albuquerque lawyer into crime feels imminent.
Critics Score: 99% liked it (with an average rating of 8.84/10)
Audience Score: 95% liked it (with an average rating of 4.7/5)
Watch It: AMC
Sorry for Your Loss
Streaming on Facebook (that's right, Facebook has officially entered the original television content sphere), Sorry for Your Loss stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman who's forced to reevaluate her life after the unexpected death of her husband. In the series, "Olsen is a wry, cynical, taut widow—grieving with a steely edge that belies the popular conception of what mourning is supposed to look like," observes Sonia Saraiya in Vanity Fair.
Critics Score: 94% liked it (with an average rating of 7.93/10)
Audience Score: 92% liked it (with an average rating of 4.7/5)
Watch It: Facebook Watch
Forever, a new Prime Original series starring Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, captures the complexities of marriage with all its tragic and comedic ups and downs. To say too much more would require us to reveal serious spoilers, but rest assured that critics from The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and The Daily Telegraph (UK) all gave the series glowing reviews.
Critics Score: 93% liked it (with an average rating of 7.61/10)
Audience Score: 77% liked it (with an average rating of 3.9/5)
Watch It: Amazon Prime
"Creepy, addictive and full of dry humor about social media, millennials, and dating in the age of Tinder, You, twists the usual victim-perp plotline—she's terrorized, he's sickeningly aroused—by placing them both squarely in the #MeToo era," endorses television critic Lorraine Ali in The Los Angeles Times. Fans of Riverdale, Gossip Girl, and Pretty Little Liars won't want to miss this new fall show.
Critics Score: 89% liked it (with an average rating of 6.9/10)
Audience Score: 96% liked it (with an average rating of 4.6/5)
Watch It: Lifetime
Lodge 49 is "the best TV show you're not watching," says Vogue. AMC's sleeper hit about an ex-surfer aimlessly wandering through life after the death of his father until he joins a mysterious social club has critics and viewers raving. Airing on AMC after Better Call Saul, it's easy to add this dark comedy to your weekly lineup.
Critics Score: 87% liked it (with an average rating of 7.12/10)
Audience Score: 84% liked it (with an average rating of 4.1/5)
Watch It: AMC
Critics are calling this new sci-fi miniseries "wild, audacious, and addictive." Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as strangers taking part in a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, Maniac is a must-watch for fans of Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Westworld. The New York Times calls the experimental series "unstable, exhilarating and one-of-a-kind, a sci-fi pharmacological dystopian family-therapy dramedy."
Critics Score: 85% liked it (with an average rating of 7.75/10)
Audience Score: 85% liked it (with an average rating of 4.3/5)
Watch It: Netflix
Another Netflix original series, The Innocents is a supernatural love story that follows two runaway teens escaping their repressive families and discovering themselves. It's "a moody, misty drama that stays compelling even when it veers toward the obvious, with characters you care about even without knowing them well because they come across, most of them, as soulful even when they are not particularly nice," according to The Los Angeles Times.
Critics Score: 84% liked it (with an average rating of 6.55/10)
Audience Score: 74% liked it (with an average rating of 4/5)
Watch It: Netflix
In this brand-new ABC comedy, a group of single parents lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids. With a likeable cast, including Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, and Brad Garrett, it's a charming show that's worth a watch. "Single Parents is an ensemble, and one that should get better, whether it embraces the formula or breaks it," observes Ben Travers in IndieWire.
Critics Score: 73% liked it (with an average rating of 6.67/10)
Audience Score: 62% liked it (with an average rating of 3.6/5)
Sean Penn stars in The First, a gripping drama about a crew of astronauts determined to be the first to set foot on Mars. Set in a not-too-distant future, the Hulu original series created by Beau Willimon of House of Cards is a visually stunning "intimate story about a group of astronauts and their families struggling through the messy business of living," according to Vulture.
Critics Score: 65% liked it (with an average rating of 6.33/10)
Audience Score: 72% liked it (with an average rating of 3.9/5)
This story was originally published on September 26, 2018, and has since been updated.
Looking for more binge-worthy shows to watch this fall? Subscribe to our newsletter to have our latest recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.