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Now's the perfect time to catch up on all these shows

Angelique Anest
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1 of 20 Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

The Affair

Where to Watch:Showtime Anytime, Hulu

Contrary to the show's name, The Affair is a lesson on why you should never cheat on your spouse. The show separates itself from other torrid romance stories by splitting its storytelling between two perspectives -- Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson). You're never really sure what THE truth is, only how they see things happening, which only becomes more intriguing as a present-day murder investigation unfolds around them. In Season 2, the story only gets more complex as the perspectives split into four to include Noah's and Alison's ex-spouses Helen (Maura Tierney) and Cole (Joshua Jackson).

2 of 20 Patrick Harbon/FX

The Americans

Where to Watch:Amazon Prime

The Americans is not a laundry-folding TV show. The FX KGB spy drama requires your time and your undivided attention. Once you give in, you'll definitely be hooked on not just Philip and Elizabeth Jennings' missions and wigs, but the real draw of the series: the relationships -- between the Jennings, their family, their country and the cause. With Season 4 premiering in March instead of its usual January return, you'll have extra time to catch up.

3 of 20 Netflix

Black Mirror

Where to Watch:Netflix

If you missed this British import during the last holiday, do yourself a favor and watch it this time. Its potent mix of black comedy and uncomfortably plausible dystopia makes it a win even for those who aren't normally sci-fi fans. Its unpredictability makes it ripe for binge-watching, a topic Black Mirror mastermind Charlie Brooker could surely mine for material. Plus: It'll get you prepped for the upcoming Netflix-commissioned episodes from Brooker and the in-development American adaptation.

4 of 20 Netflix

​BoJack Horseman

Where to Watch:Netflix

Spoiler alert: Netflix's cartoon about a talking horse who's a struggling actor in the twilight of his career actually becomes a very dark examination of the effects of depression in Season 2. But that doesn't mean its lighter moments are any less LOL-worthy. With Will Arnett voicing the title character, the show is like an animated version of Arrested Development, with so many rapid-fire one-liners and blink-and-you'll-miss-them visual gags that you'll want to watch it more than once. Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now, and the show has already been renewed for a third season.

5 of 20 Hulu

​Casual

Where to Watch:Hulu

Sorry, networks - the best new fall comedy is Hulu's Casual, which follows adult siblings Valerie (Michaela Watkins) and Alex (Tommy Dewey) as they navigate the murky waters of online dating. Watkins, known for her comedic work on Saturday Night Live, shows us that she's got dramatic chops too in her portrayal of Valerie, who's endearingly vulnerable and insecure after a divorce. And Dewey, as the charming, hilarious Alex, is her perfect foil. The 10-episode first season is currently being rolled out on Hulu, with new episodes each Wednesday.

6 of 20 Ed Miller/Channel Four

Catastrophe

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Don't be fooled by its name. The British import is the opposite of a catastrophe. A breezy, easily consumable six episodes, the series, written by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan as a couple who gets pregnant from a weeklong hookup, is the most honest, crabby and charming portrayal of a middle-aged relationship you'll see. And given the final moments of the Season 1 finale, you'll be itching for Season 2, which is currently airing in Britain, to come.

7 of 20 Chuck Hodes/FOX

Empire

Where to Watch:Hulu

Now's a great time to catch up Empire, sincethe show's Dec. 2 episode will be its last until March 30. You'll soon see why everyone's talking about the hit show, about a family whose fight for control over a hip-hop record label gets Shakespearean-level crazy with fistfights, salacious sex, backstabbing brothers and murder. Plus: You simply cannot afford to miss Cookie, the fierce matriarch whose tart rejoinders are the gift that keep on giving. The holidays can be high season for family drama, but you can take comfort in knowing that, no matter how dysfunctional your family is, it's tame by comparison to the forever-feuding Lyon clan.

8 of 20 Richard Cartwright/ABC

How to Get Away with Murder

Where to Watch:Netflix
There is no genre that is more perfect for binge-watching than murder mysteries. Murder's crazily knotted plots, juicy flash-forwards and electric pacing are obsessively addictive, and by the end of every episode, you're just craving for the next piece of the Murder Night puzzle. And even if you're not that much into it at first, Viola Davis' Emmy-winning performance commands you to watch.

9 of 20 Jack Rowand/The CW

iZombie

Where to Watch:Netflix

Rob Thomas' latest series is perfect for Veronica Mars fans or total noobs to the showrunner's signature blend of cheeky dialogue and intricate mythology. Each episode also has its own unique appeal, since Liv (Rose McIver) takes on the personality traits of the person whose brain she eats. And trust us when we say that watching Liv go from frat boy to old man to socialite all within a matter of hours is something you'll never forget.

10 of 20 Greg Gayne/The CW

​Jane the Virgin

Where to Watch: Season 1 on Netflix, Season 2 episodes on Hulu

From the outside, a show about a girl who gets accidentally artificially inseminated with her boss' sperm sounds like a ridiculous premise, but Jane the Virgin is one of the most charming and smartly put-together shows on television. Gina Rodriguez is an absolute star, but she's surrounded by a supporting cast that provides so much heart and laughter. Bingeing Jane the Virgin is like bingeing on happiness. If you start now, we bet you $10 you'll be throwing Rogelio (Jaime Camil) one-liners around the dinner table.

11 of 20 HBO

The Leftovers

Where to Watch:HBO Go and M-Go

Yes, the first season was often a bleak, confusing watch. But the show's creatively rejuvenated second season has been an invigorating ride and is a perfect reward to any viewers who choose to binge and catch up. There's plenty of mystery and weirdness (the show is about 2 percent of the world's population disappearing, after all), but there's also a deep exploration of humanity, grief and sanity. It's truly unlike anything else on TV, and Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd and Kevin Carroll are giving some of the best performances anywhere on the small screen.

12 of 20 Barry Wetcher/Netflix

Marvel's Daredevil

Where to Watch: Netflix

Remember Ben Affleck's Daredevil? This is not that. You also don't need to be a fan of the comic books or know anything about the titular masked vigilante to appreciate the show's gritty realism, noir style and intimate character study, fueled by top-notch performances, most notably Vincent D'Onofrio's frightening Wilson Fisk. Come for the great acting, stay for the amazing fight sequences.

13 of 20 Master

Marvel'sJessica Jones

Where to Watch: Netflix

Jessica Jones
isn't your typical superhero fare, with its unflinching exploration of surviving rape and assault. But if you're looking for an edgy escape from the seemingly endless holiday cheer, this is your perfect binge. The best part: Since the gritty noir only premiered at the end of November, if you start catching up now you can still jump in on the timely conversations about the super-powered private investigator Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and the disturbing mind control villain Kilgrave (David Tennant).

14 of 20 K.C. Bailey/Netflix

Master of None

Where to Watch:Netflix


Do not let yourself ring in the new year without having watched one of 2015's best new shows. The Louie­-like comedy showcases a new side of creator and star Aziz Ansari, as he deftly explores big topics such as racism, being the child of immigrants, sexism and the universal experience of simply growing up.

15 of 20 Jean-Claude Lother/SundanceTV

The Returned

Where to Watch:Netflix

Don't worry if you missed A&E's swiftly canceled remake of this haunting French drama; the original is all you need. The show is set in a French village whose residents' lives are disrupted when their deceased loved ones start coming back from the dead. But don't think of The Returned as another zombie series. Rather, it's a high-concept mystery show that also explores the different ways people grapple with grief.

16 of 20 HBO

​Show Me A Hero

Where to Watch:HBO Go

It'll be more fun to watch something like How to Get Away with Murder or Master of None than this solemn, based-on-a-true-story miniseries about racial tensions in blighted late '80s/early '90s Yonkers. But the six parts of Show Me A Hero are obsessively detailed, expertly directed and masterfully acted. If you use holidays as a time for reflection, this one's for you.

17 of 20 HBO

​Silicon Valley

Where to Watch:HBO Go

There are a lot of great comedies on TV right now, but none are nailing so necessary a topic (the hubris and absurdity of the tech industry) with such consistent accuracy likeSilicon Valleyis. The show's one-step-forward, two-steps-back rhythm breezes by, and there isn't an actor in the cast who doesn't find their character's perfect tic or mannerism to bring the writing to life.

18 of 20 Beth Dubber/Amazon Studios

Transparent

Where to Watch:Amazon Prime

Amazon's award-winning original series is a perfect binge-watch over the holidays because there's no way your family is more messed-up than the Pfeffermans - in ways that are both hilarious and heartbreaking. Though Jeffrey Tambor has (deservedly) gotten the most attention for his amazing portrayal of Maura Pfefferman, whose coming out as transgender was the main focus of Season 1, the show also includes scene-stealing performances from Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann and Bradley Whitford. If you catch up soon, you'll be ready for Season 2, which premieres Dec. 11.

19 of 20 Eric Liebowitz/NBC

​Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Where to Watch: Netflix

After you're done binge-ing 30 Rock on Netflix, just mosey on over to Tina Fey's follow-up. It hails from the same oddball family tree with sharp, random humor, and Kimmy's sunny optimism, after spending 15 years locked in an underground cult, will cheer you up on any down day. Plus: It's littered with sight gags and jokes that you need to pause or have more than one viewing to appreciate. Never feel left out of a "Peeno Noir" joke again!

20 of 20 Byron Cohen/FX

You're the Worst

Where to Watch:Hulu

While everyone around you is talking about Star Wars and basic cable procedurals, stand out this winter with your impressive knowledge of the critically acclaimed, but little-known comedy You're the Worst. The FX series puts a realistic spin on rom-coms that can make you go from cry-laughing to just plain crying within a single episode. Watching it might just be the best gift you give yourself this holiday season.