5 Essential Shows to Binge Watch Before The TCA Awards

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Adjust on your white bonnet and throw on your red robe because the nominations for the 2017 Television Critics Association (TCA) Awards have arrived and Offred is having a moment. This year, Hulu’s breakout show The Handmaid’s Tale tied with Donald Glover’s Atlanta and the NBC juggernaut your parents love This Is Us for four nominations each.

“This was truly a landmark season for diversity in television, and the TCA nominations reflect this. Our members have chosen a variety of series that celebrate and represent a wide spectrum of performances,” said TCA President Amber Dowling. “With so many great programs—both new and returning—it was a real challenge for our members to whittle these nominees down. We’re excited to see which programs and performers make the cut as voting now gets underway to determine the TV standouts of the 2016-17 season.”

Among the networks up for awards this year, HBO led the pack for the second year in a row with 12 nominations followed by FX with 11 and Netflix with 10. While the usual heavyweight’s like Veep, The Americans, and Black-ish found their way back into their respective categories, a heavy slate of new, critically-acclaimed shows found recognition. The awards won’t be handed out until August 5th so, until then, we picked five essential shows up for TCA awards that you need to catch up this summer. Click here to check out the full list of nominations.

Fleabag, Amazon

This fourth-wall breaking British comedy is the best show you’ve never heard of, which is why we’re ecstatic about it getting some TCA recognition. Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the titular, foul-mouthed Fleabag as she struggles to be a good feminist in the wake of a personal tragedy.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu

We know the state of American democracy is already sad enough, but this adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s phenomenal dystopian novel is worth the trauma. Elizabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, and Alexis Bledel are just a handful of actors giving their best performances ever in this beautifully depressing show.

Big Little Lies, HBO

While we’re slightly appalled that Nicole Kidman’s wig wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Character, we know life is full of disappointments. This murder mystery about rich, suburban moms caught our attention with an all-star cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley and then proceeded to gag us with seven episodes of brilliance that we’re still crying over.

Atlanta, FX

If you weren’t already sold on this show based solely on the fact that Donald Glover created and starred in it, we’re about to convince you with three words: Black Justin Bieber. Seriously, this is the most bizarre and brilliant half-hour comedy series in years.

Planet Earth II, BBC America

If there were ever a show to lay in bed and watch while you ride out the edible you ate too much of, this is it. The second season of the iconic series took influence from movies to make the sight of a lizard running in the desert as majestic as possible.