The 20 best new TV shows right now, according to critics

Jethro Nededog
Monday 13 February 2017 16:18
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More than 40 new shows are premiering this winter and spring.

Most people don't have the time to watch everything that's coming out, no matter how good the TV show.

The problem now is that we have to become really selective. Some of the stuff that made it to our TV screens a year or two ago just doesn't hold up any longer compared with the competition.

Cable, the streaming companies, and even broadcast are taking viewers to bold new places — from HBO's "The Young Pope" to FX's "Legion" and Netflix's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

But where should you start?

Metacritic keeps track of a curated group of critics, assigns each review a number according to how positive or negative it was, and then creates a weighted average score for each show.

Here are the 20 most critically acclaimed new TV shows of winter and spring 2017 so far, according to Metacritic:

20. "Training Day" (CBS)

Metacritic score: 37

Based on the popular 2001 film of the same name, CBS's "Training Day" stars Bill Paxton as a rogue detective whose new partner, a rookie narcotics officer played by Justin Cornwell, is spying on the veteran cop.

19. "APB" (Fox)

Metacritic score: 45

A tech billionaire spends millions of dollars to create a private police force with the most advanced crime-fighting technology available in the one of the toughest districts in Chicago.

18. "Ransom" (CBS)

Metacritic score: 46

Inspired by the real-life crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert, this drama stars Luke Roberts as Eric Beaumont. He and his team are called in to resolve some of the toughest kidnapping and ransom cases in the country.

17. "Emerald City" (NBC)

Metacritic score: 47

For today's viewers, NBC's remake of the classic "Wizard of Oz" story is decidedly edgier and sexier than the original. The basic tenets of the story are all there, but it has a diverse cast and a much more epic scope, and it takes place in a violent period for the magical land. Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar ("Mirror Mirror," "The Cell") serves as an executive producer and directs the series.

16. "24: Legacy" (Fox)

Metacritic score: 48

With a "real-time" countdown similar to "24," "Legacy" follows agent Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) who returns from abroad only to realise danger has followed him back. While trying to stave off the people hunting him down, Eric has to stop the biggest terrorist attack on US soil.

15. "The Mick" (Fox)

Metacritic score: 50

Mickey, a terribly self-centered person and self-professed degenerate, finds herself responsible for the care of her teen niece and young nephews in affluent Greenwich, Connecticut.

14. "SIX" (History)

Metacritic score: 54

The drama follows the Navy's SEAL Team Six, whose 2014 mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a US citizen working with the terrorists.

13. "Superior Donuts" (CBS)

Metacritic score: 56

In the comedy, Arthur (Judd Hirsch) is trying to keep his traditional doughnut bakery in business. But his Chicago neighborhood is quickly gentrifying, and a doughnut isn't cool anymore unless it's mashed with another form of pastry. Enter Franco (Jermaine Fowler), a fast-talking young man who's convinced he can bring the shop and Arthur into the modern era.

12. "Powerless" (NBC)

Metacritic score: 57

"Powerless" is the first comedy series set in the DC Comics universe. It revolves around an insurance company specializing in covering people against the damage caused by crime-fighting superheroes.

11. "Z: The Beginning of Everything" (Amazon)

Metacritic score: 61

If it's true that behind every great man is a great woman, then for the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, it would be his wife, Zelda. Their relationship was one one of the most legendary love stories of all time.

This series zeroes in on Zelda, played by Christina Ricci, and F. Scott (David Hoflin), from meeting in 1918 through their tumultuous relationship and rise to celebrity. Zelda's life ended in tragedy, but it sure looks like she had a lot of fun before that.

10. "Santa Clarita Diet" (Netflix)

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Metacritic score: 66

"Santa Clarita Diet" stars Drew Barrymore as Sheila, a wife and mother living in the Los Angeles-adjacent community of Santa Clarita who's in a rut. When she suddenly becomes ill and starts craving human flesh, she throws her family for a loop. Timothy Olyphant also stars as Sheila's nervous husband, Joel.

9. "Victoria" (PBS)

Metacritic score: 67

It's 1837 when teenage Victoria (Jenna Coleman) is crowned queen of England and must navigate the choppy waters of leadership that have brought older, more experienced royals to their knees.

8. "Taboo" (FX)

Metacritic score: 67

Oscar nominee Tom Hardy, who was in "The Revenant" and "Mad Max: Fury Road," rides the line between London gentleman and savage as James on the FX event series "Taboo."

It's 1814, and he's returning to London after 10 years in Africa. Believed dead by those who knew him, James returns to protect his father's legacy against his enemies and finds himself in a face-off against the most powerful trading firm of the time, the East India Company.

"Blade Runner" director Ridley Scott is as an executive producer.

7. "Riverdale" (The CW)

Metacritic score: 67

"Riverdale" is like a cross between the "Archie" comics and "Twin Peaks." It's dark, eerie, and centres on the lives of the "Archie" crew. There are definitely some dark secrets and strange things bubbling beneath the small town's wholesome appearance.

It also comes from mega-producer Greg Berlanti, the guy behind CW hits "Supergirl," "The Flash," and "Arrow."

6. "The Young Pope" (HBO)

The Young Pope, featuring Jude Law portraying fictional, American-born Pope Pius XIII.

Metacritic score: 68

"The Young Pope" stars Jude Law as the young and charming Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII, the first American pope in history. He uses all of his assets to serve his followers as he strives to find God for himself and them.

It's directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for "The Great Beauty."

5. "Detroiters" (Comedy Central)

Metacritic score: 75

Executive produced by Jason Sudeikis (who also guest-stars on the show), "Detroiters" stars Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson as advertising reps and best friends whose love for each other is rivalled only by their love of Motor City.

4. "Sneaky Pete" (Amazon)

Metacritic score: 77

Already renewed for a second season, "Sneaky Pete" stars Giovanni Ribisi as Marius, a newly released convict who assumes the identity of his former cellmate, Pete, so he can leave his past behind. The problem is that Pete's life and family can be just as dramatic and dangerous as the life Marius was trying to avoid.

3. "One Day at a Time" (Netflix)

Metacritic score: 79

This remake of the 1970s family comedy from Norman Lear follows a Cuban-American family — a divorced mother played by Justina Machado, her kids, and their grandmother (played by the iconic Rita Moreno) as they weather the storms of modern life together.

2. "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (Netflix)

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Metacritic score: 81

Based on the best-selling novels by Daniel Handler, the show stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, who mistakenly becomes the guardian to three young children after their parents die in a fire. He hatches a plan to steal their inheritances and must don a seemingly endless array of disguises to do so.

Handler and Harris serve as executive producers alongside Barry Sonnenfeld, who produced the movies "Men in Black" and "The Addams Family."

1. "Legion" (FX)

Metacritic score: 82

From "Fargo" executive producer Noah Hawley, "Legion" is a new Marvel series. It follows David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man who has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals his entire life. It'll be a struggle, but he'll realise he's not a normal guy, nor is he crazy.

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