In 2018 alone, about 160 new television series hit the airwaves from across the major networks. This is according to a list released by leading pollster and digital media company, Ranker. These television series cut across various genres including drama, dystopian narratives, sci-fi drama, comedy, reality TV and more.
2019 had about 314 scheduled for release, and with more than half of the year gone, there have been lots of new series to hit our screens.
With so many options to pick from and not enough time, deciding what to watch can be quite the task. Luckily, Showmax has a fine selection of some of the most nominated and biggest award-winning series.
So, if you’re looking for looking new shows to binge on, here are eight 2019 Emmy-award nominated (and past winning) shows you can find on Showmax.
1.The Handmaids Tale S1-3 (2017, 8.5/10 – IMDB, 88% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian series that tells the story of June, now known as Offred, one of the few fertile women known as handmaids in the republic, and her struggle to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful commander and his wife.
Who’s in it: Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson in Mad Men); Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter, 24: Live Another Day); Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls); Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love, American Horror Story: Asylum); Samira Wiley (Poussey in Orange Is The New Black).
Why you should binge on it: The Handmaid’s Tale is in a class of its own. Intense and deeply moving, the series offers plenty of intrigue and will leave you reeling, at the same time asking for more, with every episode.
It’s been nominated for eleven 2019 Emmy awards for just three episodes of its 2nd season (season 3 premiered outside the eligibility period) including Best Director (Daina Reid); Best Writing (Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder); Best Guest Actor (Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence) and Best Guest Actress (Cherry Jones as Holly Maddox, June’s mother).
2.Chernobyl (2019, 9.5/10 – IMDB, 96% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Based on a true event, the series centers around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented cleanup efforts that followed.
Who’s in it: Stellan Skarsgård (Thor, Good Will Hunting; Emily Watson (The Theory of Everything, Kingsman: The Golden Circle); Jarred Harris (Lane Pryce in Mad Men, King George VI in The Crown; and Con O’Neill (The Bible, Uncle).
Why you should binge on it: Chernobyl scored the most nominations for a limited series at the 2019 Emmy Awards, including Best Limited Series; Best Actor (Jared Harris as Valery Legasov); Best Supporting Actor (Stellan Skarsgård as Boris Shcherbina); and Best Supporting Actress (Emily Watson as Ulana Khomyuk).
The series, which has just five episodes, is chilling and will certainly have you asking questions and researching the actual event.
3.Big Little Lies S1-2 (2017, 8.6/10 - IMDB, 90% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Following a murder at a school fundraiser, Big Little Lies chronicles the lives of four women in a beachfront American town, and the series of events that led up to a death which binds them together.
Who’s in it: Nicole Kidman (Aquaman, Bewitched); Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde, Wild); Shailene Woodley (Tris in Divergent series, The Fault In Our Stars); Zoe Kravitz (Divergent series); Laura Dern (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic Park); Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia)
Why you should binge on it: Boasting a star-studded cast, BLL delivers solid acting and has a nice build that sucks you right in. If you like a good drama mystery, then this is the show for you. Big Little Lies S2 is only eligible for the 2020 Emmys, but the first season won eight Emmys in 2017, including Best Limited Series.
4. Sharp Objects (2018, 8.2/10 – IMDB, 92% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: When Camille Preaker, a reporter with a history of psychological problems, is sent to her hometown to report on the suspected murder of two girls, her past clashes with some shocking new realities.
Who’s in it: Amy Adams (Lois Lane in Man of Steel, Hustle); Patricia Clarkson (House of Cards, Maze Runner); Chris Messina (The Mindy Project, Argo).
Why you should binge on it: Sharp Objects lives up to its psychological thriller/drama/mystery tag effortlessly, offering the right dose of dark whodunit.
It’s also up for eight Emmys, including Best Limited Series, Best Casting, Best Actress (Amy Adams) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Clarkson).
5. Barry (2018, 8.3/10 – IMDB, 99% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Barry tells the story of a low-level hitman who wants out of being a killer after a chance meeting with his “mark” and a group of aspiring actors, and the setbacks he faces at every turn.
Who’s in it: Bill Hader (Men In Black 3, Saturday Night Live); Sarah Goldberg (The Dark Knight Rises); Anthony Carrigan (Gotham); Henry Winkler (The Practice, Arrested Development).
Why you should binge on it: With 17 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Actor (Bill Hader as Barry); Best Supporting Actress (Sarah Goldberg as Sally); and three of the six Best Supporting Actor nominees (Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank; Stephen Root as Fuches; and Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau), Barry is the perfect tragicomedy.
6. Succession (2018, 7.8/10 – IMDB, 87% - Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Succession tells the story of the dysfunctional Roy family, who own one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world, and their fight for control of the company amidst uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy.
Who’s in it: Hiam Abbass (The Visitor); Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being A Wallflower); Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, Troy); Kieran Culkin (Home Alone); and Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark Thirty, Molly’s Game).
Why you should binge on it: If you enjoy a good drama with a wealthy, dysfunctional family in the centre, then you’ll certainly enjoy Succession, as it’s not short on intrigue and boardroom politics.
There’s also the fact that it nabbed five 2019 Emmy award nominations, including Best Drama, Best Writing and Best Directing.
7. Escape at Dannemora (2018, 8/10 – IMDB, 89% Rotten Tomatoes)
What it’s about: Based on the true story of the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape in upstate New York.
The series tells the story of the incident which prompted a massive manhunt for the two convicted murderers, who were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled.
Who’s in it: Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber, Boyhood); Benicio del Toro (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Guardians of the Galaxy); Paul Dano (12 Years A Slave); Bonnie Hunt (Jerry Maguire).
Why you should binge on it: With just 7 episodes, Escape at Dannemora is great if you’re looking for a quick yet satisfying binge. It also has 12 Emmy nominations, including Best Limited Series; Best Actress (Patricia Arquette as Tilly Mitchell); Best Actor (Benicio Del Toro as Richard Matt); and Best Supporting Actor (Paul Dano as David Sweat).
8. Insecure (2016, 7.8/10 IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes 97%)
What it's about: The series explores the black female experience, career and personal relationships, from the perspective of the two 20-something female protagonists, Issa, and Molly, who have been best friends with each other since their college days at Stanford.
Who's in it: Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl); Yvonne Orji (Night School); Jay Ellis (Escape Room).
Why you should binge on it: Highly relatable, Insecure offers witty dialogue and many laughs. It also earned Issa Rae a 2018 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.