Welcome to the era of Peak Peak TV, August. What usually was known as the doldrums of television, full of repeats and celebs jumping into kiddie pools or something is now packed with so many incredible shows that we didn’t have room for all of them on our list. That means everything from a standout season of For All Mankind, to the decades in the making The Sandman, to critically acclaimed documentaries and more all didn’t make Decider’s list of the best of the month.
So, what did? The nine series listed below include Nathan Fielder’s latest mind-bending TV experiment, the finale of one of the most critically lauded series of all time, a vampire comedy that just keeps getting better, and much more. In fact, so much good stuff came out that the new Game of Thrones series is at number four on the list!
But how did we determine said list? The staff of Decider all submitted their list of shows that aired at least one episode during the month of August. Those shows were ranked, weighted, browned, added to a large pot, stewed with meat, then served over some hot cooked rice, before we came up with the list you see below. Does that mean shows more of the staff watched got rated higher? For sure. But it also means you get a sample of what these folks are caring about and obsessed with currently.
The first three episodes of Bad Sisters, Apple TV+’s newest dark comedic thriller, dropped in August, setting the foundation for a suspenseful, slow-burn murder reveal. The mini-series, set in and around Dublin, opens with news that John Paul (Claes Bang), husband of Grace (Anne-Marie Duff), is dead. But it fails to tell us how or why he met his maker. When two insurance men, brothers Thomas (Brian Gleeson) and Matthew (Daryl McCormack) come to sniff out the scene, we learn Grace’s sisters, Eva (Sharon Horgan), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Becka (Eve Hewson), and Bibi (Sarah Greene) despised JP enough to kill him. So the sharp 10-episode series sets out to reveal the true cause of his death through a series of damning flashbacks. You’ll come for a murder mystery, but you’ll stay for the charming sisters, who never fail to shine and surprise. — Nicole Gallucci
‘Never Have I Ever’
Folks, Mindy Kaling has done it again. The third installment of Never Have I Ever is just as addictive and binge-able as the first two seasons. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan once again delivers a charming, hilarious performance as Devi Vishwakumar, now a high school junior with more than a few relationships under her belt. And yet, to her astonishment—and to her therapist’s exasperation—all of her problems aren’t solved with a hot boyfriend. With a few new faces, including Anirudh Pisharody as a dreamy new love interest, Never Have I Ever Season 3 is the perfect blend of awkward teen humor and compelling character drama. — Anna Menta
Only two episodes of FX’s The Patient streamed on Hulu this month, and it’s already our next obsession (and spoiler alert, but that obsession will only grow over the rest of the season). Steve Carrell plays a therapist, Alan, in a unique situation: he’s been kidnapped by one of his patients, Sam, played by Domhnall Gleeson. The reason? Sam is a serial killer who doesn’t want to kill anymore. It seems like a setup for a farce; and to be fair, The Americans creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg do let in some extremely dark gallows humor. But this show, which is like a mix between In Treatment and Misery with a dash of Silence of the Lambs, excels by tossing these two expert actors in a basement and let them match wits mano a mano for 20(ish) nail-biting minutes per episode. It’s hard to believe that Fields and Weisberg followed up one perfect TV series with another one, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. Strap (chain?) in, because this therapy session is just getting started. — Alex Zalben
‘A League Of Their Own’
Prime Video’s A League of Their Own is a prime example of how to update a nostalgic favorite into can’t-miss TV. The dramedy, co-created by Abbi Jacobson, smartly takes the queer subtext of the 1992 film and turns it into text. This series is super gay — every bit as gay as the real All-American Girls League really was! The series loads up the bases with some of the year’s best performances (Chanté Adams, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo) and then D’Arcy Carden hits a grand slam as Greta, a hard-hitting bombshell (and the part Carden was born to play). This is how you reboot a ’90s movie. — Brett White
Your favorite Pierpoint employees are back for more corporate intrigue in Industry Season 2. Still adjusting to being back in the office after a year into the pandemic, Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold) has landed herself her golden goose: Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass), a hedge fund manager whose last year was so successful he’s known around the banking world as “Mr. COVID.” Harper’s new business alliance threatens her relationship with her boss, Eric Tao, played by the talented Ken Leung. Leung’s Tao gets his chance to shine in this month’s best episode–“There Are Some Women….”–in which Eric travels back to New York City to save his job in London. To his surprise, he discovers that he has been outsmarted for the first time in his career—by his former mentee Daniel Van Deventer (Alex Akpobome). With standout performances and gripping plot lines, Industry shows no sign of a sophomore slump. — Karen Kemmerle
‘House of the Dragon’
HBO must have figured out how to conjure the blood mages that made Old Valyria great, because it’s honestly magical how good their Game of Thrones follow up House of the Dragon is. Buoyed by an insane ensemble cast, featuring a devastating Paddy Considine and scene-stealing Milly Alcock, the show’s first two episodes didn’t just capture the attention of the world — it made burned Game of Thrones fans thrilled to be returning to Westeros. House of the Dragon is the perfect blend of prestige TV and high fantasy. — Meghan O’Keefe
‘What We Do In The Shadows’
If you would have asked me last year if What We Do in the Shadows could get any better, I would have said “Absolutely not.” Jemaine Clement’s mockmentary series started as a stellar bloody sitcom, and it’s maintained that high level of quality. And yet somehow this season has done the unthinkable, pushing an almost flawless comedy even further into the realm of actual perfection and cementing this ridiculous vampire show as one of the funniest shows on TV. Excellent work, everyone. My only note is more Djinn, please. — Kayla Cobb
‘Better Call Saul’
The final three episodes of Better Call Saul (and probably the entire Breaking Bad franchise?) aired this month… And has there been a less controversial, more universally praised finale in recent memory? Unlike other anticipated/dreaded swan songs, Better Call Saul brought back Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s characters in service of Jimmy McGill’s (Bob Odenkirk) story, flashed back through the history of both series, and even provided an emotional coda that provided closure for both Jimmy and Kim Wexler’s (Rhea Seehorn) stories; with a bit of redemption and a dash of hope. Better Call Saul didn’t slip at the end like Slippin’ Jimmy — it stuck the landing like few shows before it, and pulled off the perfect con: a sequel series that is arguably better than the original. — Alex Zalben
A few weeks before House of the Dragon became appointment viewing on Sunday nights, Nathan Fielder’s bizarre social experiment/reality series The Rehearsal was the HBO show setting social media ablaze. It takes a surplus of ingenuity to topple beloved small-screen titans Better Call Saul and What We Do in the Shadows (both deserving of the top spot), but The Rehearsal’s captivating mix of innovative storytelling and wtf moments created an intoxicating elixir of unpredictable calamity. Thankfully, we haven’t seen the last of Fielder’s imaginative antics as HBO renewed the series for a second season. — Josh Sorokach