The 13 best TV shows of 2024 (so far)


A composite of stills from the best TV shows of 2024.

As we approach the halfway point of 2024, it’s time to take a look back at the best TV shows this year has had to offer.

2024 has been off to a solid start, with a whole host of comedies, dramas, and limited series grabbing our attention. We were floored by the historical epic Shōgun, rejoiced in the return of shows like We Are Lady Parts and Interview with the Vampire, and couldn’t get enough of Fallout. And there’s so much more TV excellence where those came from!

From samurai and spies to vampires and detectives, here are the 13 best TV shows of 2024 so far, and where to watch them.

13. Expats

Two women eat at a window counter in a restaurant.

Nicole Kidman and Sarayu Blue in “Expats.”
Credit: Glen Wilson / Prime Video

Centered on a trio of expatriates living in Hong Kong, Lulu Wang’s Expats is a sensitive — at times heartbreaking — exploration of grief and feeling unmoored.

Our three leads are Margaret (Nicole Kidman), a woman whose son Gus has gone missing; Hilary (Sarayu Blue), her neighbor who’s struggling with deciding whether or not to have a child; and Mercy (Ji-young Yoo), a directionless college graduate involved in Gus’s disappearance. Wang brings us into their personal lives with care, empathy, and a keen eye, unafraid to show us these women’s many flaws. Expats can sometimes be messy, especially when it tries to shoehorn the stories of Margaret and Hilary’s housekeepers (Ruby Ruiz and Amelyn Pardenilla) — which certainly deserve to be told — into a supersized penultimate episode. Otherwise, though, Expats is layered with pain and wonderful performances, with Blue especially turning in outstanding work. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Expats is now streaming on Prime Video.

12. Mary & George

A woman in a purple gown with a high collar and a man in an all-white outfit drink wine together.

Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine in “Mary & George.”
Credit: Starz

Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine scheme and seduce their way to the top in Mary & George, a period drama all about the heady pursuit of power. 

Moore plays Mary Villiers, a countess in Jacobean England who pushes her son George (Galitzine) to be King James VI and I’s (Tony Curran) new lover. Rival suitors and political opponents have it out for the Villiers family, and while George claims his feelings for James are real, there’s no doubt he and his mother are using the fragile king for their own gain. As Mary and George’s influence continues to grow, the series weaves an intoxicating web of sex, politics, and scandal — one that threatens to collapse around the Villiers as they sacrifice anything and anyone to get ahead. — B.E.

How to watch: Mary & George is now streaming on Starz.

11. Fallout

A young woman in a blue and yellow jumpsuit emerges from a large underground vault, holding one hand up to block the sun.

Ella Purnell in “Fallout.”
Credit: Courtesy of Prime Video

TV has gifted us with some stellar video game adaptations in recent years, from Arcane to Castlevania to The Last of Us. In 2024, Fallout joined their ranks, delivering a first season that was bonkers fun (and full of references to the games).

Created by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner, Fallout introduced us to a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland where rival factions and mutant creatures run amok. Here, an optimistic Vault dweller named Lucy (Ella Purnell), a Brotherhood of Steel novice named Maximus (Aaron Moten), and an irradiated bounty hunter known simply as the Ghoul (Walton Goggins) cross paths in a journey that will change the wasteland as they know it. With its tantalizing mysteries, zany cast of characters, and gnarly world-building, Fallout is an absolute blast whether you’ve played the games or not. — B.E.

How to watch: Fallout is now streaming on Prime Video.

10. Boy Swallows Universe

A young boy jumping in the air in a driveway.

Felix Cameron in “Boy Swallows Universe.”
Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

A dark but genuinely funny tale of suburban crime brimming with magical realism, the Netflix adaptation of Trent Dalton’s novel Boy Swallows Universe is one of 2024’s unsung heroes — much like its pint-sized protagonist, 13-year-old Eli Bell (played by outstandingly talented youngster Felix Cameron). Chock-full of ’80s Australiana, the series is set in the working-class Brisbane suburb of Darra, where Eli navigates school bullies and a turbulent family life as well as he handles hard-edged criminals with his imaginative brother, Gus (Lee Tiger Halley). It’s a heartfelt, unsettling, and hilarious journey through young adolescence, the reality of addiction, and brutal crime, with a killer Aussie soundtrack. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor

How to watch: Boy Swallows Universe is now streaming on Netflix.

9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A man in a white, bloodstained turtleneck and a woman in a black gown stand together in an entry hall.

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”
Credit: David Lee / Prime Video

Francesca Sloane and Donald Glover’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith is anything but a stale remake. Instead, this infinitely enjoyable reimagining of the 2005 film pairs two new spies (Glover and Maya Erskine) together in a fake marriage. How long until they catch real feelings for one another?

The answer? Not that long! Each of Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s eight episodes smartly dive into a new aspect of relationships, from first dates to discussions about wanting kids. These marital milestones are accompanied by a new mission from week to week. Between ski trips in Italy, silent auctions in New York, and a Lake Como car chase gone awry, each assignment ushers in new opportunities for stylish action. Glover and Erskine ooze charm and chemistry, while a rotating gallery of guest stars — Parker Posey! John Turturro! Paul Dano! — keeps things fresh. Smart, sleek, and sexy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a TV show that truly embraces episodic storytelling. I’d gladly devour five (or more) seasons of it. — B.E.

How to watch: Mr. & Mrs. Smith is now streaming on Prime Video.

8. The Sympathizer

Two men seated next to each other in a restaurant booth lean in to speak to each other.

Hoa Xuande and Robert Downey Jr. in “The Sympathizer.”
Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer got an absolutely tremendous TV adaptation thanks to co-creators Park Chan-wook and Don McKellar.

The Sympathizer centers on a Communist spy simply known as the Captain (Hoa Xuande, whose performance here should make him a star), who is recounting his experiences during and after the Vietnam War. Half-Vietnamese and half-French, the Captain feels torn between two worlds, a feeling that only grows when he’s told to continue spying in America following the fall of Saigon. From here, The Sympathizer jumps into a probing exploration of memory and allegiance that doubles as sharp satire. Boasting stylish direction from Park and a cast that includes Sandra Oh and Robert Downey Jr. (in four roles with varying degrees of success), The Sympathizer is a more than worthy adaptation of a great novel. — B.E.  

How to watch: The Sympathizer is now streaming on Max.

7. We Are Lady Parts, Season 2

Four women in suits, some wearing head coverings, play in a rock band in a church.

Faith Omole, Sarah Kameela Impey, Juliette Motamed, and Anjana Vasan in “We Are Lady Parts.”
Credit: Saima Khalid / Peacock / NBC Internatiional/C4

After three long years on hiatus, We Are Lady Parts is back with a second season that was well worth the wait. 

Created by Nida Manzoor, this sensational comedy series centers on Lady Parts, a punk band made up of Muslim women who are figuring out life, love, friendship, and faith in contemporary London. Between the setting and some familiar themes, Season 2 has echoes of Bridgerton, but with an irreverent sense of humor that is not only totally modern but also absolutely hilarious. Whether following wallflower guitarist Amina (Anjana Vasan), hard-headed frontwoman Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), warm-hearted bassist Bisma (Faith Omole), mercurial drummer Ayesha (Juliette Motamed), or their ever-strategic manager Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse), We Are Lady Parts rocks, peppered with playful punchlines, rapturous fantasy sequences, rousing musical numbers, and a cameo from the one-and-only Malala Yousafzai. Whether you’re new to this series or not, Season 2 is too good to be missed. — Kristy Puchko, Entertainment Editor

How to watch: We Are Lady Parts is now streaming on Peacock in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the UK.

6. Ripley

A man stands on a staircase leading to two different paths up.

Andrew Scott in “Ripley.”
Credit: Lorenzo Sisti / Netflix

Andrew Scott awed TV audiences as the theatrically malicious Moriarty in Sherlock, then as the scorchingly Hot Priest in Fleabag. But with Ripley, he plays a very different game. 

Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s classic novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, this drama miniseries from Steven Zaillian lures audiences into the seductive world of Thomas Ripley, American social climber turned con man and killer. Offered a free trip to Italy to reclaim an industrialist’s expatriate heir, Ripley sees a whole new world open before him: one of privilege, art, and endless opportunities all tied to status and money. But to claim a bit of it himself, he’ll have to get his hands dirty. While you might know the story (or the Matt Damon movie), the patience with which this slow-burn series doles it out allows audiences to luxuriate in Highsmith’s high-stakes game of jealousy, deception, and murder. The result is a show that feels like a lost holiday: alluring, surprising, and sure to linger on your mind, heart, and soul. — K.P.

How to watch: Ripley is now streaming on Netflix.

5. True Detective: Night Country

Two women in police uniforms and heavy coats stand in a snowy landscape.

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

True Detective came back with a vengeance for its fourth season, this time helmed by Tigers Are Not Afraid director Issa López. For this new installment of the anthology series, we travel to Ennis, Alaska, a small community about to enter a period of nonstop night.

But darkness isn’t the only thing the citizens of Ennis have to worry about. When a group of scientists turn up dead in what can only be described as a “corpsicle,” former police partners Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Navarro (Kali Reis) reluctantly team back up to find out who’s responsible. As they investigate this case — as well as a murder from years ago that could be linked — the two uncover painful truths about themselves and about Ennis. Oh, and ghosts may or may not be involved. Bleak, enthralling, and anchored by wonderful work from Foster and Reis, Night Country proves there’s still power in True Detective yet. — B.E.

How to watch: True Detective: Night Country is now streaming on Max.

4. Fantasmas

A man with orange hair examines a golden oyster earring in a glass display case.

Julio Torres in “Fantasmas.”
Credit: Monica Lek / HBO

Comedian Julio Torres is having a banner year. Not only is his directorial debut Problemista already one of the best movies of 2024 — his latest TV show, HBO’s Fantasmas, is also one of the year’s standout series.

This surreal comedy follows a fictionalized version of Torres as he hunts for a lost golden oyster-shaped earring. His quest veers off into a series of bizarro, cameo-rich vignettes that dive into the inner lives of objects and concepts or introduce us to strange new characters. Steve Buscemi inhabits the tragic story of the letter Q, for example, while Emma Stone pops up as a Real Housewife-esque figure. Bolstered by singular production design and a sprawling ensemble, Fantasmas cements itself as one of the most original shows of the year — and the most radical. It tackles everything from the American healthcare system to the ways in which corporations commodify identity, making for a fascinating portrayal of how people struggle to be themselves (and how artists struggle to make art) in our capitalist society. — B.E.

How to watch: Fantasmas is now streaming on Max.

3. Interview with the Vampire, Season 2

A young woman in a frilly blue and white dress sings onstage.

Delainey Hayles in “Interview with the Vampire.”
Credit: Larry Horricks / AMC

Season 1 of this audacious adaptation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles played like a “brilliant gay fever dream,” making explicit the queer romance that was implied in the titular novel. With Season 2, the toxic love of Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) lives on — even if the latter is presumed dead. 

Looking back on his time as a blood-sucker, Louis unfurls flashbacks of war-torn Europe, his resentful sister Claudia (Delainey Hayles), grisly theater kid drama, and a budding romance with the vampire Armand (Assad Zaman). Blending elements from several Anne Rice novels — including The Vampire Lestat and The Tale of the Body Thief — showrunner Rolin Jones is giving fans plenty to sink their teeth into. Yet for all this sensational show’s splashes of blood, vicious humor, queer longing, and vampire lore, the best bit is the incredible charisma oozing from every single cast member. Whether they’re prancing on a stage, fighting in a catacomb, flirting in Paris, or musing in present-day Dubai, they are as captivating as Rice described her immortal beloveds. So no matter how twisted things get, we can’t look away! — K.P.

How to watch: Interview with the Vampire Season 2 is now streaming on AMC+.

2. Baby Reindeer

A woman in a pink shirt sits at a bar, pointing at the smiling man behind it.

Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in “Baby Reindeer.”
Credit: Ed Miller / Netflix

For better or worse, Baby Reindeer is a show that sticks with you: It’s amusing in parts, tense in others, and emotionally shattering overall. Based on creator Richard Gadd’s own experience of being stalked, the series follows the budding comedian (who plays a version of himself) as he balances career disappointment with his job in a London pub — until a woman named Martha (a brilliant and terrifying Jessica Gunning) comes in one day and develops an obsession with him. “This isn’t the type of show with a clear resolution,” I wrote in my review for Mashable. “It’s messy, thought-provoking, and — like a dream that’s difficult to shake — you’ll find your mind going back to it long after the credits have rolled.” — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor

How to watch: Baby Reindeer is now streaming on Netflix.

1. Shōgun

A man in samurai armor stands on a battlefield.

Hiroyuki Sanada in “Shōgun.”
Credit: Kurt Iswarienko / FX

There’s good TV, there’s great TV, and then there’s TV that’s so excellent it feels unfair. Shōgun is the latter.

An immaculately crafted historical epic that never loses sight of the personal stakes that drive it, Shōgun drops us into Japan in 1600. Here, an embattled Council of Regents ousts the powerful Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) just as an English vessel lands in Japan for the first time. Toranaga brings the vessel’s pilot John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) into his retinue and, with the help of noblewoman Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), attempts to best his enemies as Japan inches closer and closer to civil war. 

Told almost entirely in Japanese, and produced with a focus on cultural authenticity in mind, Shōgun is breathtaking and devastating in equal measure. Sanada, Sawai, and Jarvis are tremendous, along with the entire cast. And while you might come into this epic expecting action and political intrigue (don’t worry, you get both), you’ll really leave with a sense of mournful contemplation, as Shōgun takes time to examine our relationship to death and to the secret desires that truly drive us. There’s no doubt about it: This is the best show of 2024 so far. — B.E.

How to watch: Shōgun is now streaming on Hulu.

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