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The Best TV Shows of 2024 So Far: THR Critics’ Picks

The Best TV Shows of 2024 So Far: THR Critics’ Picks

What makes this show addictive is also what makes it disturbing, devastating and occasionally funny: its brutal honesty. Richard Gadd’s account of stalking and abuse spares no one, least of all his semi-autobiographical stand-in. But it also finds empathy for imperfect victims and troubled perpetrators alike — the latter played by Jessica Gunning with ferocious commitment. — Angie Han

Extraordinary (Hulu)

In a TV landscape teeming with superpowered folks, this seriesstands out — and not just because its protagonist, Jen (Máiréad Tyers), is the rare adult in her universe without a special ability. Really a quarterlife coming-of-age comedy in genre packaging, the second season digs even deeper into its characters’ psyches to explore themes as relatable as sexuality and loss. — A.H.

Fantasmas (HBO)

A show that could only have come from Julio Torres, the surreal mind behind Los Espookys, Fantasmas follows a writer trying to avoid being evicted. But woven in are surreal detours — to hamster nightclubs, mermaid call centers and the like — that cohere to make a statement about our beautiful, horrifying, bizarre reality. — A.H.

God Save Texas (HBO)

HBO’s three-part docuseries about the Lone Star State is anchored by Richard Linklater’s spectacular, feature-length “Hometown Prison,” all about the death penalty and the origins of Linklater’s own authorial voice. Iliana Sosa’s examination of the El Paso border and Alex Stapleton’s look at how Black Texans paid the price for Texas’ oil wealth are top-notch, too. — DANIEL FIENBERG

Hacks could have done the, well, hack-y thing, and simply reset its central love-hate dynamic season after season. Thankfully, like Deborah (Jean Smart) and Ava (Hannah Einbinder), the Max dramedy soared to new heights in its third season, propelling both characters to the top of their careers in order to illuminate how much they’ve evolved, and how much they never will. — A.H.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Amazon)

Far richer than Doug Liman’s 2005 film, the Amazon series traces the highs and lows of a marriage — Donald Glover and Maya Erskine alternate between silly and raw — against a wacky action backdrop. Those expecting big set pieces were disappointed, but the series delivered clever writing, terrific guest stars and actual insight into the fragility of relationships. — D.F.

In contrast to Anthony Minghella’s exuberant The Talented Mr. Ripley, Steven Zaillian’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel is a chilly meditation on unfulfilled potential and the privilege of geriatric adolescence. Andrew Scott’s inscrutable title character isn’t so “talented,” but he’s complex, and the supporting cast couldn’t be better. The main attraction, though: Robert Elswit’s eye-popping black-and-white cinematography. — D.F.

Few shows this year have been as transporting as this lavishly produced epic with a Game of Thrones-ian knack for balancing grand sweep and wrenching intimacy. A top-tier cast, led by Hiroyuki Sanada as the noble, cunning Toranaga and Anna Sawai as his faithful translator, locate the all-too-human impulses propelling the bloody wheel of history in 17th century Japan. — A.H.

See Also

We are Lady Parts (Peacock)

Season two confirms Nida Manzoor’s comedy as one of the funniest and most versatile on TV. Want a love triangle? Catchy new songs, including a cowboy-inspired music video cameo from Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai? The intersectional realities of being a Muslim woman in 2024 London? This show has you covered. Three years was a long time to wait for six new episodes! — D.F.

Welcome to Wrexham (FX)

When did Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ celebration of having enough money to buy a Welsh soccer team become such a relatable treatise on male vulnerability? How did it evolve into such an effective tearjerker while remaining an underdog sports drama par excellence? Unclear. But season three expanded the show’s range, making space for silly star pranks, inspiring character studies and amusing meta insights. — D.F.

This story first appeared in the June 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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