If you feel like you're perpetually behind on TV, we're right there with you: it's literally impossible to keep up with the massive amount of television being produced right now. In 2016 alone there were a grand total of 455 scripted original series across broadcast, cable, and streaming sources—at least according to FX Networks Research, who did the grunt work and actually counted the number of shows you probably have on your Netflix queue.
2017 is on track to have even more new material ready for consumption, which means you'll have to be discerning. With that in mind, we've scoured the TV schedule to find shows worthy of your viewing hours, lest you get overwhelmed and just start re-watching Buffy for the 15th time. (Which, you know, is totally understandable.)
Riverdale is what happens when you take the Archie archetypes (AKA redhead all-American Archie, bubbly blonde Betty, wealthy brunette Veronica, and sidekick Jughead), put them through a Hudson Instagram filter, and set them down in the Pacific Northwest. The Gossip Girl-meets-Twin Peaks vibe means typical high school tropes are immediately turned upside-down, and there's a particularly feminist third episode in which Betty, Veronica, and their pal Ethel (Shannon Purser, AKA Barb from Stranger Things—she lives!) take down a slut-shaming ring of football players. Sexy Murder Archie—sorry, Riverdale— is the smart, feminist take on '50s moralism you never knew you needed.
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
The split-screens and ticking clock are back—but no worries, you don't need to be a fan of the original 24 to enjoy this updated version. 24: Legacy stars Walking Dead veteran Corey Hawkins as a military hero who, in real time, must work with the Counter Terrorist Unit to not only save his own life, but potentially stop one of the largest terrorist attacks on American soil. It's just as addictive as you remember, but with fewer mountain lions. (At least so far.)
24: Legacy premieres after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 on Fox.
'The Good Fight'
It's been almost a year since The Good Wife ended, but there's one thing you should remember: Do NOT mess with Christine Baranski's Diane Lockhart. One year after the events of the Good Wife finale, Diane is on the brink of retirement when she discovers that she's been Madoff'd out of her life savings and has to take a job working with Lucca (Cush Jumbo) at another high-profile law firm. The Good Fight's first episode will premiere on CBS proper, but subsequent episodes will air exclusively on the network's app, CBS All Access. This means we'll have the sublime pleasure of hearing Christine Baranski punctuate Diane's most tense moments with f-bombs and other language not necessarily befitting a doyenne of her stature.
The Good Fight premieres Sunday, February 19 at 8 p.m. on CBS and CBS All Access.
'Big Little Lies'
This new miniseries, produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon, follows the inner workings and complicated politics of a wealthy beach community after tragedy strikes their small town. The female-fronted ensemble includes Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Zoë Kravitz as friends, frenemies, and enemies whose kindergartners are in the same class. If you're a fan of the tense, exciting, secret-packed punch of Liane Moriarty's novel, then you'll want to tune in.
Big Little Lies premieres Sunday, February 19 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
'When We Rise'
Given our current political climate, there's no better time for this miniseries about the modern gay rights movement. From Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, the six-part series covers everything from the Stonewall riots in 1969 to the landmark Supreme Court gay marriage decision of 2015. While it might've been a little ambitious to pack nearly 50 years of history into just eight hours of television, you'll admire the effort—and maybe draw inspiration for your own activism.
When We Rise premieres Monday, February 27 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
'Feud: Bette and Joan'
Everything about the premiere of FX's newest anthology series from Ryan Murphy is sublime. The casting, the costumes, the set design, the feminist-as-hell message: all of it. Just sublime. Feud: Bette and Joan tells the story of longtime rivals Joan Crawford and Bette Davis (played by Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon), who—when Hollywood insisted they were past their prime—teamed up to make the thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Don't miss it.
Feud: Bette and Joan premieres Sunday, March 5 at 10 p.m. on FX.
'Trial & Error'
You might feel slightly bad about laughing at this new NBC comedy, which is a mockumentary about the true crime shows that have captured the public imagination over the past few years. This spoof of the genre that spawned Making a Murderer, The Jinx, and The Staircase is too funny not to laugh at, and features John Lithgow as a roller-skating enthusiast accused of killing his wife in a small Southern town.
Trial & Error premieres Tuesday, March 7 at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood and her husband Reggie have created a chilling event series about the racially charged fallout following two police shootings in a small North Carolina town, one by a white cop and one by a black cop. The husband-and-wife duo began developing the series after the 2014 murder of Michael Brown. The all-star cast includes Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, and more.
Shots Fired premieres Wednesday, March 22 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel is about a young woman forced into sex slavery by the new ultra-religious military dictatorship that has overthrown the U.S. government and eradicated women's rights. It's coming at just the right time—as millions of women around the world are banding together to preserve their own futures.
The Handmaid's Tale premieres Wednesday, April 26 on Hulu.