The 33 Best TV Shows of 2024 … So Far

We’ve made it through half of 2024, and television has already given audiences plenty of worthy shows to delight on across broadcast, cable and streaming.

Netflix’s ambitious “3 Body Problem” turned physics theories into a sci-fi thriller, while Apple TV+’s “Palm Royale” showed us the hilarious — and deadly — inner workings of Palm Beach society. HBO’s “True Detective: Night Country” brought the celebrated anthology series into the endless darkness of the Alaskan winter, as Netflix’s “Baby Reindeer” took over the cultural zeitgeist with its autobiographical stalker story and network shows like “9-1-1” and “Abbott Elementary” finally made their anticipated returns following the resolution of the Hollywood double strikes.

Check out TheWrap’s staff picks for the best TV shows of 2024 (so far) below:

3 Body Problem
Eiza González, Jess Hong, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo and Alex Sharp in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: Netflix)

“3 Body Problem” (Netflix)

For the second time in their careers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have adapted the unadaptable with “3 Body Problem.” Also from “The Terror” Season 2 showrunner Alexander Woo, Netflix’s latest sci-fi series is based on the book of the same name by Liu Cixin and tells the story of a woman who asks aliens to come visit Earth, knowing that her choice will forever doom humanity. Decades later, the top minds in the world scramble to avoid just that. When “3 Body Problem” is at its best, it offers viewers harrowing visuals as it ponders whether or not humanity deserves to survive, as told through the journeys of five scientist friends. — Kayla Cobb

9-1-1 Season 7 cast
Oliver Stark, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kenneth Choi, Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Aisha Hinds, Gavin McHugh and Ryan Guzman in “9-1-1” (Credit: Disney/Justin Stephens)

“9-1-1” (ABC)

Who would’ve thought that cancellation would be the best thing to happen to “9-1-1”? After getting dropped from Fox last spring, the Ryan Murphy-produced first responder drama was quickly picked up by ABC and kicked off a renaissance for the show going into its seventh season. After a prolonged hiatus due to the strikes, the show returned with a new lease on life and an epic three-part premiere event chronicling a high-stakes cruise ship disaster. Series creator Tim Minear returned as showrunner full-time to shepherd the show through its network change, bringing back the epic-level emergencies from the early days while also spotlighting the characters’ inner lives. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds. — Jose Alejandro Bastidas

"Abbott Elementary" Season 3
Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary” (Credit: ABC)

“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)

“Abbott Elementary” returned in full force following last year’s Hollywood strikes, with its third season shaking up dynamics among the beloved teachers as Janine (Quinta Brunson) departed her classroom to work for the school district. While the first two seasons gave viewers some insight into the teachers’ personal lives, Season 3 dives deeper into relationship woes felt by Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) and Jacob (Chris Perfetti) — who eventually move in together — while still keeping Janine and Gregory’s complex feelings for one another in the mix. Plus, having an all-star roster of guest stars — including Bradley Cooper, Keegan-Michael Key, Philadelphia Eagles players Jason Kelce, Jalen Hurts and Brandon Graham, Josh Segarra and Sabrina Brier — doesn’t hurt. — Loree Seitz

Jacob Anderson and Delainey Hayles in “Interview With the Vampire.” (Larry Horricks/AMC)

“Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire” (AMC/AMC+)

AMC’s critically-acclaimed adaptation of “Interview With the Vampire” has been a cult hit since its first season, but heartbreaking performances and word of mouth have made this TV diamond in the rough into a bona fide hit. Following the aftermath of Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat de Lioncourt’s (Sam Reid) deadline breakup in New Orleans and Louis’ subsequent move to Paris with daughter Claudia (Delainey Hayles), the 2024 episodes followed as Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian) pieced together the remaining threads of the vampires’ love story — along with the part that Louis’ partner Armand (Assad Zaman) played in the schemes that unfolded from there. The show has already been renewed for Season 3, which will put the spotlight back on the vampire Lestat as he tours the world with his new band. That should only make this beloved vampire drama more of a cultural phenomenon. — JAB

Ian Ousley as Sokka, Kiawentiio as Katara and Gordon Cormier as Aang in Netflix's "Avatar: The Last Airbender"
Ian Ousley, Kiawentiio and Gordon Cormier in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Credit: Netflix)

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Netflix)

The live action adaptation of Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko’s animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” recaptured the world originally envisioned by the creators and brought it to the forefront of pop culture once again. The Netflix series cast actors who took up the mantles of Aang (Gordon Cormier), Katara (Kiawentiio), Sokka (Ian Ousley), Prince Zuko (Dallas Liu), Uncle Iroh (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim) and more with ease. Though not beat-for-beat with the original, the new show hit many similar marks and made changes to the structure and chronology of the story, from the Airbender genocide shown in the first moments to the earlier introduction of Kim’s Ozai. Masterful visual effects capture the elaborate four nations and realistic bending styles, plus guest stars like Arden Cho, Utkarsh Ambudkar and more bring familiar faces to life. — Dessi Gomez

Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in "Baby Reindeer"
Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in “Baby Reindeer” (Netflix)

“Baby Reindeer” (Netflix)

Richard Gadd’s exploration of trauma and stalking became the surprise hit limited series of the year, and one of the most polemic TV series of the past few years. The Netflix dramedy follows an aspiring comedian, whose prior experiences with abuse cloud his judgment as he deals with a new stalker in his life. The series follows as his interactions with Martha (Jessica Gunning) go from tender to dangerous, with Donny’s (Gadd) past revealing the reasoning behind his precarious decisions in the present. Nava Mau also stars in the series as Donny’s new love interest. Outside of a near-perfect narrative and mind-blowing performances, the show also captured the attention of the British tabloids, which unearthed the alleged real-life inspiration behind Gadd’s stalker and set off a media storm surrounding the celebrated title. — JAB

Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu. (FX)

“The Bear” (FX)

Three seasons in, and FX’s culinary dramedy continues to be one of the best shows on television. The latest season of “The Bear” wasn’t nearly as stressful as its first two installments, swapping out high stakes screaming matches for moments of reflection. But that slower pace didn’t strip down the anxiety of this Emmy-winning series. Like the calm before the storm, it only ramped up the anticipation and anxiety around Season 4, which was reportedly filmed at the same time as Season 3. As has become the norm for this show, Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri and Ebon Moss-Bachrach continued to be standouts, deftly swinging between moments of high intensity and humor. However, this season truly belonged to the secondary characters of “The Bear,” specifically Abby Elliott’s Natalie and Liza Colón-Zayas’ Tina. Once again, this show has left us wanting seconds. — KC

Antony Starr and Cameron Crovetti in “The Boys.” (Credit: Amazon’s Prime Video)

“The Boys” (Prime Video)

There’s nothing more satisfying than a show that gets better with each new season, and that’s the case for Eric Kripke’s superhero series “The Boys.” Season 4 stands as the second-most viewed Prime Video TV season thus far, with viewership up by 21%. And it’s no surprise, the fourth season is bloodier, funnier and even more politically and socially thoughtful than ever. In this latest chapter, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s merely an illusion, as he struggles to maintain his wavering sanity after consuming V24. His arch enemy Homelander (Antony Starr) has his eyes set on the White House, and he’s using antiheroine Victoria Neuman to get there. As for the Boys: Frenchie (Tomer Capone) is fighting his troubled past as a former assassin, Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) is refacing the association of killers that murdered her family, Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) is juggling panic attacks and his daughter’s poor behavior at school, Starlight is sparring with The Seven newbie Firecracker (Valorie Curry) and Hughie (Jack Quaid) is working through his father’s death. Joining Curry as a new cast member this season is Susan Heyward, who plays the smartest person in the world Sage. She’s teamed up with Homelander to help with his plan to make the U.S. a supe-run country. Just like before, the show grabs watchers’ attention with its beloved ensemble cast, grotesque stunts and props and relevant themes that always spark online conversations. — Raquel “Rocky” Harris

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in “Bridgerton.” (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

“Bridgerton” (Netflix)

Not many TV shows captured the cultural zeitgeist as much as “Bridgerton” Season 3 this spring, which boosted Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” to going viral after an instrumental cover of the 2011 hit was featured in the Netflix romance series’ infamous carriage scene. A steep departure from Season 2’s enemies-to-lovers arc, Season 3 centered on the love story between longtime friends Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), deepening the bond of both characters who audiences have known since Season 1. Drama is heightened this season as Penelope navigates her budding romance amid an ongoing fracture in her friendship with Colin’s sister, Eloise (Claude Jesse), due to her secret identity as gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, which Penelope knows she must eventually reveal to Colin. Helmed by new showrunner Jess Brownell, Season 3 also shook up other Bridgerton siblings’ love interests, giving hungry fans what they wanted. — LS

JB Smoove and Larry David in Season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm
JB Smoove and Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Credit: HBO)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)

Larry David should feel prettaaay, prettaaay, pretty good about the 24-year run of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO as it heads towards its series finale. In its 12th season, the 86-year-old comedian, writer and actor, along with the supporting cast of J.B. Smoove, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Ted Danson, Cheryl Hines, Tracey Ullman, Vince Vaughn and the late Richard Lewis, haven’t lost their touch. The final chapter brings new wild situations and headaches for Larry, flashy guest appearances from the likes of Troy Kotsur, Sean Hayes, Dan Levy, Lori Loughlin and Bruce Springsteen, and tons of laugh-out-loud moments. Time will tell if the show’s conclusion sticks the landing with audiences — and avoids the controversy that the Seinfeld finale faced — but one thing’s clear: While it may be the end of an era for David, it likely won’t be the last we hear from him. — Lucas Manfredi

Ella Purnell in “Fallout.” (Prime Video)

“Fallout” (Prime Video)

“Fallout” became the latest video game IP to get the Hollywood treatment from director Jonathan Nolan and co-EPs Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson Dworet — and it paid off for Prime Video with record viewership numbers. The drama series, which leverages the dark and comedic elements from the video game franchise while telling an original story set in the same universe, stars Ella Purnell as Lucy MacLean, who’s living in a luxury vault after a nuclear apocalypse has ravaged the Earth. Season 1 follows Lucy to the surface — a violent world known as The Wasteland she’s never experienced before — as she looks to rescue her father Hank (Kyle MachLachlan) by delivering a mysterious artifact to his kidnappers. Along the way, she encounters The Ghoul/Cooper Howard, a former movie-star-turned-bounty-hunter who’s been deformed by the bombs’ radiation and is portrayed by scene-stealer Walton Goggins, and Maximus, a member of a militaristic faction known as the Brotherhood of Steel portrayed by Aaron Moten, who are both after the same artifact and test her resolve as a naive, optimistic Vault Dweller. But things are not as they seem back in the vault as Lucy’s brother Norm (Moises Arias) uncovers the mystery surrounding how Vault-Tech came to be in the first place. With loose ends still to tie up and new areas from the video game to further explore, “Fallout” is leaving both diehard fans and new audiences in suspense as we await the show’s upcoming second season. — LM

Julio Torres in “Fantasmas” (Photo Credit: HBO)

“Fantasmas” (HBO)

Julio Torres (“Los Espookys,” “Problemista”) has always been a distinct creator, defined by his ability to blend ethereal ideas with mundane observations. Yet even the wildest Torres project has nothing on “Fantasmas.” Ostensibly, the Max original is about Julio (Torres), a man who searches the streets of New York City for a lost oyster-shaped earring. In execution, “Fantasmas” is more of a sketch show that’s as bold and colorful as it is silly. The comedy dreamily follows Julio as he imagines new emojis for impossible-to-describe feelings, tries to invent a clear crayon and daydreams about the punk histories of letters. Tinged with loneliness and a sense of isolation, “Fantasmas” never quite makes logical sense, but even its boldest swings always contain a nugget of emotional wisdom. Once again, Torres has delivered a comedy that’s as unique and refreshing as he is. — KC

Sofia Vergara in “Griselda” (Credit: Elizabeth Morris/Netflix)

“Griselda” (Netflix)

Sofía Vergara established herself as a Hollywood powerhouse with her comedic stylings. With “Griselda,” she proved she can blow the house down just as well in a dramatic role. The actress was the driving force behind Netflix’s six-episode crime drama based on the life of Griselda Blanco, one of the deadliest drug cartel bosses in Miami history. Working as an executive producer alongside the creatives behind “Narcos,” the show captured Griselda’s remarkable rise among the cartel ranks, along with the tragedies that led to her downfall. In a crowded limited series race, Vergara better be top of mind for a best actress nomination. — JAB

Ava (Hannah Einbinder) and Deborah (Jean Smart) in “Hacks” Season 3 (Photo Credit: Max)

“Hacks” (Max)

It’s becoming ironic that one of the strongest comedies TV has to offer is “Hacks,” a show that has only gotten better with age. Season 3 of the Max original revolved around Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and her go-to writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) reuniting for a chance to get Deborah her dream job on late night. But more than anything else, this past season was about aging. As Deborah grappled with the fact that her years were numbered, Ava was forced to ask herself if partnering with Deborah was the right thing to do, or if it was a personal backslide. The series also zoomed in on an industry asking many of the same questions, as it explored what life is left in the tried-and-true late night format. Somehow, Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky’s latest season managed to tackle all of those big themes while delivering one of the funniest shows around. — KC

Emma D’Arcy as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in “House of the Dragon” Season 2 (Theo Whitman/HBO)

“House of the Dragon” (HBO)

After two years, “House of the Dragon” returned with a bigger, stronger, bloodier second season. The show’s first season, while good, left some fans confused by the many time jumps and character aging. That’s all gone in Season 2 as the Targaryen civil war heated up. Rhaenyra and Team Black started the season reeling after her son Luke’s death at the hands of her half-brother Aemond and his dragon Vhagar, while Alicent and Team Green contend with managing the new king Aegon II. The show’s scope also expands in Season 2, taking us out of just King’s Landing and to Dragonstone, the Riverlands and even to the Stark-owned North and The Wall. Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke and the rest of the cast all bring their A game making for a “can’t look away” experience as a family tears its dynasty apart. — Jacob Bryant

John Mulaney Presents: Everybody's in LA
Flea, John Mulaney at John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA (Photo Credit: Netflix)

“John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA” (Netflix)

Though it only lasted six episodes, boy were those hours a dream. As John Mulaney said repeatedly, his short-lived Netflix late night show would not be on long enough to ever find its groove, and he was right. Part interview panel, part sketch, part call-in show, “Everybody’s in LA” lived in a bubble without rules. One episode, everyone was ordered to wear sunglasses because they make people look cool, and Mulaney decided this would be his Emmy-submitted episode. Another episode, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, called in to talk about the future of her city as a delivery robot scooted around the stage. Anything could happen on “Everybody’s in LA,” and that exact unpredictability led to its magic. By at least acting like he didn’t have a plan and by pairing celebrities with fascinating professionals, Mulaney was able to breathe new life into a dying format. — KC

Joel Kim Booster, Ron Funches, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Meagen Fay, Nat Faxon and Stephanie Styles in “Loot” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Loot” (Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ has a lot of delightful comedies in its series roster, but “Loot” stands out as one of its best. Maya Rudolph plays uber-privileged woman Molly Wells, who becomes a billionaire after divorcing her husband and decides to use her massive riches to help society. After the first season set up the hilarious characters and hijinks in her life, Season 2 cemented the show from Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard into one of the strongest workplace ensemble comedies currently on the air. Rudolph leads the cast alongside Joel Kim Booster, Michaela Jae Rodriguez, Nat Faxon, Ron Funches, Meagen Fay and Stephanie Styles. If the first season didn’t lock you into this charming series, the 2024 episodes will have you begging for more adventures from these performers. — JAB

Austin Butler and Callum Turner in “Masters of the Air” (Credit: Apple TV+)
Austin Butler and Callum Turner in “Masters of the Air” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Masters of the Air” (Apple TV+)

“Masters of the Air” closes out the WWII miniseries trilogy from Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, this time turning its attention to the sky. The Apple TV+ show chronicles the efforts of the 100th Bomb Group, nicknamed the “Bloody Hundredth” to bring the war to Hitler’s doorstep through the eyes of best friends Major Buck Cleven and Major Bucky Egan, played brilliantly by Austin Butler and Callum Turner. Featuring a strong supporting cast — including Anthony Boyle, Barry Keoghan and Nate Mann, among others — the series showcases the growth of incoming young men as they see the brutal reality of war first hand. Spotlighting personal conflicts, loss and romantic entanglements, the series caters to military history buffs just as much as it does to period drama lovers. — LS

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters”

Oftentimes you hear people bemoaning the humans in a “Godzilla” movie. Why can’t it just be oops, all monsters? But what “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” did (ingeniously) was create a compelling drama built almost exclusively around the human characters living in a post-Godzilla world. Set shortly after the events of 2014’s “Godzilla,” the official kick-off of the MonsterVerse, “Monarch” deals with the titular organization of government-sanctioned monster hunters; in particular Lee Shaw, a character played in the present by Kurt Russell and in the distant past by his son Wyatt Russell. This, like the rest of “Monarch,” was a gambit that paid off. Both Russells contribute equally to the character, adding contours and layers that might not have actually appeared had a single actor essayed the role. And yes, it’s very fun when Godzilla shows up. But it’s a testament to the show that you aren’t constantly wondering where he is. When the creatures appear, it’s always at the right time and for the right amount of time. With “Monarch,” it’s all about the human drama. And the human drama is good. — Drew Taylor

Donald Glover and Maya Erksine lay in bed in Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (Credit: Amazon)

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)

Leave it to Donald Glover to take one of the most flashy, sexy and star-studded blockbusters of the early 2000s and turn it into something tender, pensive and … well, still sexy. Glover and cocreator Francesca Sloane reimagined the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt-starring spy film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” for Amazon’s Prime Video, stripped it of its glitz and grandeur and drilled down into the wellspring of pathos beneath. Maya Erskine and Glover star as the new Jane and John Smith, two assassins contracted into a cover marriage by a faceless corporation of death. The marriage may be fake, but the love they find is shockingly real, and really messy — the stakes amplified by the ax hanging over their heads if they can’t do it all right. Half “hit of the week” procedural, half relationship dramedy, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” also has a positively inspired rotating door of guest stars including Ron Perlman, Paul Dano, Michaela Coel and Parker Posey. — Haleigh Foutch

Kristen Wiig and Ricky Martin in “Palm Royale” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Palm Royale” (Apple TV+)

“Palm Royale” transports viewers to the sunny, pastel-filled world of Palm Beach high society, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just glitz and glamor. The Apple TV+ series presents the glossy world through the perspective of outsider Maxine Simmons (Kristen Wiig), who envies the ritzy lives led by narcissistic housewives enough to make it her mission to enter the formidable walls of the town’s most exclusive club, the Palm Royale. Set in 1969, the dramedy finds Maxine caught in between clashing cultures of traditional high society and the emerging civil rights struggle, all while displaying the likes of a retro high-stakes drama. Featuring an impressive cast of Allison Janney, Carol Burnett, Laura Dern, Ricky Martin and Josh Lucas, “Palm Royale” promises a thrilling watch full of jaw-dropping twists and turns. — LS

Jake Gyllenhaal in "Presumed Innocent"
Jake Gyllenhaal in “Presumed Innocent” (Apple)

“Presumed Innocent” (Apple TV+)

It’s not just the audience who’s kept guessing about who murdered Renate Reinsve’s character on David E. Kelley and JJ Abrams’ taut adaptation of the Scott Turow novel. The stellar cast — led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Ruth Negga — was also kept in the dark until filming of the final episode. While we were always 100% sure that Harrison Ford didn’t kill anyone in the 1990 movie adaptation, we’re less sure about Gyllenhaal’s version of the character. The actor, who’s also an executive producer, brings the same obsessive darkness from “Zodiac” to the story. The supporting cast, which includes an excellent Ruth Negga, has more complex characters to sink their teeth into and to keep us guessing. — Sharon Knolle

Alan Ritchson in “Reacher” (Credit: Amazon)

“Reacher” (Prime Video)

The first season of “Reacher” was a ton of fun. It introduced Alan Ritchson’s Jack Reacher, a mountain-of-a-man previously played by Tom Cruise in two feature films, now sticking more faithfully to the books. But the second season was even better. It built on everything that worked about Season 1, chiefly by giving Reacher, who in the books is a drifter who stumbles into mystery every time he steps off the bus, a personal connection to the latest conundrum. It also expanded on the mythology by tethering Reacher to a larger group of characters (who will hopefully continue to orbit him going forward). Season 2 took some dramatic detours from the source material (like replacing Los Angeles and the desert for New York and the tundra), but it still maintained the soul of the piece. It also confirmed Ritchson as one of the most underrated performers on television. Yes, his physicality is unparalleled, but his delivery of the barbed one-liners is even better. He’s the true heir to the Schwarzenegger throne nimbly jumping between comedy, action and drama. And he makes everyone — young or old, man or woman — swoon dreamily. Now that’s something. — DT

Andrew Scott in "Ripley" (Netflix)
Andrew Scott in “Ripley” (Netflix)

“Ripley” (Apple TV+)

It takes a lot of gall to touch “The Talented Mr. Ripley” after Anthony Minghella’s masterful 1999 film adaptation, but Steven Zaillian’s take on the Patricia Highsmith novel is phenomenal all on its own. Zaillian wisely zigs where Minghella’s film zagged, starting with Roger Elswit’s incredible black-and-white cinematography — this is hands down one of the best-looking TV shows ever made. But it’s Andrew Scott’s performance as Ripley that anchors the entire affair, drilling into the loneliness at the heart of Tom Ripley that drives his misadventures. Zaillian’s attention to detail, especially when it comes to process, is unendingly rewarding as the Netflix drama progresses, conjuring a cat-and-mouse game unlike any other. Thoughtful, mournful and wildly compelling, “Ripley” is not just one of the year’s best shows, it’s one of the best-crafted TV shows ever. — Adam Chitwood

Drake Bell on "Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" (ID)
Drake Bell on “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (Credit: Investigation Discovery)

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (Investigation Discovery)

The treatment of child stars in the 1990s and 2000s has been a hot topic for years now, but ID’s latest docuseries feels like the start of a necessary reckoning. “Quiet on Set” meticulously chronicles producer Dan Schneider’s regime as the top creator of kids’ programming at Nickelodeon and the various toxic workplace allegations, legal battles and incidents of abuse that happened under his watch. Interviews with prominent stars like Drake Bell helped raise the profile of the docuseries to impressive heights, capturing an audience of 16 million viewers across platforms in just a week. Since its release, other child actors from Nickelodeon and beyond started to speak out about their experiences — a sign that the work of directors Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz might just lead to meaningful change. — JAB

Hiroyuki Sanada and Anna Sawai in “Shōgun” (Credit: Katie Yu/FX)

“Shogun” (FX)

Set in 16th century Japan, this sweeping adaptation of the James Clavell novel is everything you could ever want in a miniseries: Jaw-dropping action, swooning romance, cutthroat political intrigue and an international cast to die for. Hiroyuki Sanada is elegance and danger personified as Lord Toranaga, who sees a chance to stave off his impending fall from power with the arrival of Englishman John Blackthorne (the appealingly Tom Hardy-esque Cosmo Jarvis). Blackthorne’s knowledge of the outside world proves to be a critical advantage for a brilliant strategist like Toranaga. The “barbarian” Blackthorne is also not to be underestimated: He may not always know what’s being said around him, but he’s always able to navigate the ever-shifting political currents around him. Toranaga’s translator Mariko (Anna Sawai) is also adept at playing the game of politics and romance on several levels at once. The 10-episode series’ only drawback is that it isn’t longer. — SK

Charlie, Pim and Allan in “Smiling Friends.” (Adult Swim)

“Smiling Friends” (Adult Swim)

There really is nothing on television quite like Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack’s Adult Swim comedy. That was true in Season 1, an installment that featured psychopathic frog celebrities and trips to hell, and it’s undoubtedly the case in Season 2, a season with mad, misunderstood scientists, party-loving aliens and obscure callbacks. The odd charm of “Smiling Friends” has always resided in the balance between its wild universe and the painfully relatable and often intentionally dull conversations between its colorful characters. That dynamic was pushed in an installment that fully embraced a wide scope of animation. Choppy 3D graphics from the PS1 era, rotoscoping, drawings that looked straight from Microsoft Paint, real actors — all of it was folded into a chaotic eight episodes that consistently delivered laugh-out-loud funny moments. It’s no wonder why this animated gem was renewed for a Season 3. — KC

Robert Downey Jr. and Hoa Xuande in “The Sympathizer.” (Hopper Stone/HBO)

“The Sympathizer” (HBO)

Audiences experienced the Vietnam War like never before in HBO’s adaptation of Viet Thahn Nguyen’s “The Sympathizer.” The limited series tells the story of the conflict from the perspective of the Vietnamese people. The show finds a strong leading man in Xoa Xuande’s The Captain, a half-french, half Vietnamese communist and spy struggling to figure out who his allegiances are ultimately with — his home country or the United States. Fresh off his Oscar win for “Oppenheimer,” Robert Downey Jr., who serves as an executive producer through his Team Downey production banner, also delivers a captivating performance as four completely different characters — who represent the ugliness of the American establishment during the time period while offering levity in a project with a heavy subject matter. Add in masterful direction and stunning visuals from the mind of Park Chan-wook and you’re in for a wild ride that will engage you, surprise you and may even persuade you to go pick up its Pulitzer Prize-winning source material. — LM

“The Traitors” Season 2 cast (Credit: Euan Cherry/Peacock)

“The Traitors” (Peacock)

​​TV’s most-talked about reality show of the winter was undeniably “The Traitors” Season 2. After making a subdued splash for hardcore reality fans with its freshman installment, the Peacock competition show became a water cooler event as it meshed the worlds of Bravo’s “Real Housewives,” network reality competition shows like “Survivor” and “The Bachelor” and other notable figures — including a former British politician. As cliques formed in the show’s lux Scottish castle, the season was full of surprises and betrayals until the very end. Hosted by the hilarious Alan Cumming, “The Traitors” is only gaining traction, with casting already underway for its third season. — LS

Kali Reis and Jodie Foster in “True Detective: Night Country” (Credit: Michele K. Short/HBO)

“True Detective: Night Country” (HBO)

Over a decade after viewers were captivated by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s gripping inaugural season of “True Detective,” the HBO anthology crime series reinvented itself through the eyes of showrunner, writer and director Issa López. López leaned into the supernatural elements of Season 1 to craft a haunting mystery, enlisting acting legend Jodie Foster and newcomer Kali Reis to helm the fourth season as detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro, respectively. The duo put their resentment of one another aside to investigate the disappearance of several men working at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station in the small town of Ennis, Alaska. As Danvers and Navarro trace the mystery back to a cold case involving the brutal murder of an indigenous woman, “Night Country” brings attention to a community often overlooked by mainstream media. — LS

Riley Keough in "Under the Bridge"
Riley Keough in “Under the Bridge” (CREDIT: Hulu)

“Under the Bridge” (Hulu)

This harrowing true story of a 14-year-old girl who was murdered in British Columbia, Canada, by her former friends is based on the book of the same name by Rebecca Godfrey. The late author helped adapt the series before her death in 2022, turning herself into a character (played by Riley Keough) whose exploration into the murder and empathy with the teen suspects helps drive the unfolding of events. The teenage cast, including Vritika Gupta as murder victim Reena Virk, are the heart of the series, while Lily Gladstone (playing a local cop who has a past history with Rebecca) fully conveys the trauma the murder had on this community. — SK

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
Danai Gurira in “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (Credit: AMC)

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (AMC/AMC+)

Whether you stayed with “The Walking Dead” ’til the bitter end, or gave up somewhere along the 11-season slog, “The Ones Who Live” is an easy, welcome re-entry point. In fact, it might be the best “The Walking Dead” has ever been. Focused on the Odyssean love story between Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), “The Ones Who Live” has thrust and purpose, honed to a tight six episodes, with supporting characters who make more impact in their single-episode arcs than others made in years on the flagship series. Lincoln and Gurira were closely involved in the making of the spin-off, and it shows in the love and respect for their characters — two true fan favorites, who over a long, very slow burn, became one of TV’s great romances. Fortunately, “The Ones Who Live” doesn’t run from that, it leans in. Yes, there’s still ample post-apocalyptic world-building, shocking gore and terrible, no good, very bad humans who want to remake the world in their image. But, the super power of “The Ones Who Live” is the faith it puts in its leading duo; as performers, as creators and as a love story worthy of this time and focus. It’s just damn good to see Rick Grimes again. — HF

“X-MEN ’97” (Credit: Marvel Animation).
“X-MEN ’97” (Credit: Marvel Animation).

“X-Men ’97” (Disney+)

There have been plenty of good-to-great reboots of beloved series in the past few years. But there’s something about “X-Men ’97,” perhaps owing to its animated origins, that feels as though these new episodes are picking up right where the beloved 1990s show left off. And that’s no easy feat. While the animation has definitely improved, it still maintains the spirit of the original, including its willingness to adapt any silly comic book moment that more serious-minded endeavors would probably have sidestepped. By the time the third episode rolls around, which involves clones and babies and the Hellfire Club, you know that you are in capable, extremely nerdy hands. It’s a shame that Beau DeMayo, the creator of the new series and, by all accounts, its central creative force, was dismissed shortly before the series premiered. It’s unclear what happened, exactly, but as far as the work he delivered goes, well, it’s simply astonishing. — DT

The post The 33 Best TV Shows of 2024 … So Far appeared first on TheWrap.