Binge Guide

8 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This May

The Karate Kid films' sequel Cobra Kai, Dear White People, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | May 1, 2018 | Comments

From The Karate Kid sequel on YouTube Red to sophomore installments from contemporary standouts like Dear White People on Netflix, this month offers some critically lauded titles for your binge. Catch up on the series that are not to be missed for May.


Cobra Kai 94% (YouTube Red)


What it is: While this is just the first season of Cobra Kai, a series that charts the re-opening of The Karate Kid’s infamous Cobra Kai dojo from none other than Johnny Lawrence himself, the best way to catch up on the series’ characters and rock ’em sock ’em tone is to watch part one (and parts two and three, if you’re so enthused) of the classic 1980s film franchise. 

Why you should watch it: It’s 2018, and nostalgia is the name of the game. Luckily, Cobra Kai from creator Robert Mark Kamen has it in spades. Featuring committed performances from Karate Kid original players Ralph Macchio as Daniel and William Zabka as Johnny, this 10-episode reboot on YouTube Red feels as comfortable and entertaining as ever, and it’s further brought to life by an ensemble of young actors finding their own footing in the discipline of karate. The streaming service releases all 10 episodes of the series’ inaugural season  May 2, with the pilot and second episode available for free.

Where to watch it: Cobra Kai on YouTube Red; movies: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu, YouTube

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours for Cobra Kai on YouTube Red; another 6 hours for The Karate Kid movies 1-3; around 15 hours if you really commit and continue your binge with The Next Karate Kid, starring Pat Morita and Hilary Swank, and 2010’s The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith


Colony 92% (USA)


What it is: In a not-to-distant future, the city of Los Angeles has been taken over by alien hosts who have recalibrated the entire world order; mankind is now subservient to the new reining power. That power is put to the test, however, when one family decides to sneak across their borders in hopes of saving their son, who was separated from them during “the arrival.”

Why you should watch it: Colony doesn’t want for TV star power: from creator Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) to stars Lost vet Josh Holloway and The Walking Dead and Prison Break fan-favorite Sarah Wayne Callies. Their presence alone is enough for many to tune in, but over the course of two standout seasons, the USA sci-drama has grown legs of its own and is grade-A entertainment for fans of the genre. Performances are matched by set design and special effects, but really, it’s a family drama at its core. Season 3 premieres May 2.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle PlayMicrosoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Dear White People 95% (Netflix)


What it is: Based on writer-director Justin Simien’s 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People takes place on a predominantly white Ivy League college campus and, through the perspective of several different African-American characters, explores and satirizes the racial tensions, microaggressions, and social injustices experienced while there.

Why you should watch it:  As funny as it is revealing, this truly ensemble piece for Netflix fearlessly goes where other programs don’t dare to, not just representing the current social and political climate, but crystallizing lasting truths within it. Airtight scripts and a bevy of standout performances make season 2 a must-watch for fans new and old. Season 2 premieres in full May 4.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 4 hours (season 1); around 8 if you binge season 2 as well


X Company   (Ovation)

X Company (Ovation)

What it is: This fictional period piece inspired by real, World War II–era events follows five young recruits through their training as spies at a secret Canadian facility called Camp X — and beyond as they infiltrate their European enemies’ headquarters across the Atlantic.

Why you should watch it: This is a period piece that won’t leave you yawning. Sleek, full-throttle espionage-thriller story arcs and memorable characters to match, this CBC-turned-Ovation series is as contemporary a period piece as you’re likely to find. Think more Kingsman and less Downton Abbey. Season 2 premieres May 7.

Where to watch it: On Ovation, Ovation on demand through your cable provider, and on the Ovation NOW app available in the iTunes store and Google Play store

Commitment: Approx. 13 hours


SIX 62% (History)


What it is: Like Company X, Six on History is a fictional series inspired by true events. In this case, it follows the day-to-day at-home lives of SEAL Team Six side-by-side with their high-risk overseas missions. The main plot picks up here when their ex-comrade, Rip, is held hostage by the Taliban and a rescue mission ensues.

Why you should watch it: One name: Walton Goggins. This veteran character actor has been a scene-stealing supporting actor in all genres on screens big and small for years, and after his turn in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Six solidified his leading man chops as Rip, the troubled SEAL needing rescue. Add to the mix a never-better Barry Sloane and a slew of other robust performances, and this character-driven drama surpasses the action-first fare of its wartime-set contemporaries. Season 2 premieres May 28.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, Hulu, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 6 hours


Animal Kingdom   (TNT)

What it is: Based on the 2010 Australian feature film from writer-director David Michôd, Animal Kingdom resets itself in Los Angeles and showcases the city’s grittier side through a crime family led by iron-fisted matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody (Ellen Barkin). Our point of entry is Joshua “J” Cody (Finn Cole), a 17-year-old who’s swept up into the family business after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.

Why you should watch it: Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Barkin. The series’ thrilling writing and direction led by creator Jonathan Lisco is well worth the watch, but Barkin (Tony and Emmy winner and two-time Golden Globe nominee) brings a conniving richness to Smurf that must be seen to be believed. Season 3 premieres May 29.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle PlayMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 17 hours


Queen Sugar 97%   (OWN)

What it is: After the unexpected death of their father, estranged siblings Ralph-Angel (a conman fresh out of prison), Nova Bordelon (a New Orleans–based journalist and activist), and Charley Bordelon (an upper-class Los Angeles mother to a teenage son) move to rural Louisiana to claim their inheritance: hundreds of acres of sugarcane farmland.

Why you should watch it: Queen Sugar is the result of women both behind and in front of the camera joining their formidable powers: executive producer Oprah Winfrey; executive producer, director, and writer Ava DuVernay; stars Rutina Wesley and Dawn-Lyen Gardner; and other female directors for each episode of seasons 1 and 2. And their work isn’t the only stunning thing to the series; sprawling locations under the Louisiana sun and timely discussions of prejudice across race and sex and issues of mass incarceration make it a thought-provoking family drama. Season 3 premieres May 29.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 22 hours


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 96%    (Netflix)

What it is: After Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is rescued from an underground bunker where she was being held captive by a brainwashing cult leader, she does what any young woman who wants to see the world would do: She moves to New York City! The Netflix comedy is from creators Robert Carlock and Tina Fey.

Why you should watch it: Kimmy, her new roommate Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), her new boss Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski), and her landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) are sure to put a little pep in your step (and for more reasons than the titular hero’s incessant optimism) through their New York misadventures (and misunderstandings). The first half of season 4 premieres May 30.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 19 hours

Tag Cloud

mutant Year in Review TruTV 2016 Disney hist Rocketman award winner Television Academy festivals Trivia TV Film Festival casting cancelled Grammys Paramount doctor who Classic Film MTV Netflix CNN Pop justice league cancelled TV shows TCA 2017 TNT game show TIFF Amazon video Holiday First Reviews Certified Fresh Masterpiece Summer Ghostbusters National Geographic hispanic A&E travel game of thrones ABC Captain marvel Character Guide police drama New York Comic Con BBC America Trophy Talk The Purge directors Elton John spain TCA Apple TV Plus Mary Poppins Returns Cartoon Network Set visit SXSW Starz OneApp Amazon Prime Video zero dark thirty halloween joker DC Comics LGBTQ Bravo cinemax Anna Paquin 2019 Pride Month Dark Horse Comics name the review TCM RT21 green book Cannes Reality Competition Amazon Prime 20th Century Fox stand-up comedy south america Calendar TV Land HBO Marvel Television Britbox Opinion Pixar 21st Century Fox TBS Comics on TV DirecTV Sundance TV science fiction Winners Sony Pictures Chernobyl Syfy American Society of Cinematographers Music Marvel Studios Family sitcom Vudu E3 Polls and Games Martial Arts Ellie Kemper USA Network Tumblr Disney Plus Reality Creative Arts Emmys television Star Trek Election dceu animated breaking bad Horror Rom-Com Peacock talk show Arrowverse Quiz SundanceTV zombie cooking period drama NBC Warner Bros. cops theme song tv talk Valentine's Day Epix Countdown YA Drama First Look WGN Winter TV Baby Yoda TLC canceled TV shows golden globes supernatural GoT blaxploitation spinoff Crunchyroll SDCC spider-man Lifetime historical drama diversity CBS All Access Amazon Studios thriller Super Bowl sequel Thanksgiving Logo ratings Extras toy story The Walking Dead YouTube Awards PaleyFest ghosts VICE Oscars Fall TV technology Holidays Nat Geo Apple TV+ streaming disaster politics Tubi GLAAD boxoffice Lifetime Christmas movies The Arrangement Spring TV Black Mirror Emmys robots book Food Network Apple The Witch Western Rocky aliens History Pirates jamie lee curtis Schedule Kids & Family children's TV documentary PBS spanish language crime drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Superheroes Writers Guild of America San Diego Comic-Con Shudder Fantasy Mary Tyler Moore 45 71st Emmy Awards Superheroe Hallmark FOX Women's History Month harry potter Fox News Nickelodeon richard e. Grant 2017 Comedy Animation AMC reboot psychological thriller Comedy Central romance Toys kids X-Men Christmas Film Columbia Pictures what to watch crossover LGBT cars ESPN cancelled TV series Netflix Christmas movies Sci-Fi revenge Lionsgate Ovation Musicals Stephen King canceled Pet Sematary singing competition DC streaming service Red Carpet Awards Tour MCU ITV FXX HBO Max Esquire natural history series The CW GIFs CW Seed dc indie foreign Sneak Peek Turner Classic Movies screenings Country VH1 Action President Musical Spectrum Originals teaser TV renewals screen actors guild FX Adult Swim TCA Winter 2020 nature Mudbound renewed TV shows movie WarnerMedia Marvel comiccon A24 comics slashers medical drama Endgame YouTube Premium Trailer Sundance versus Tarantino Nominations BET MSNBC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt rotten movies we love docudrama Disney streaming service El Rey strong female leads Shondaland OWN war sag awards Paramount Network RT History crime composers vampires CBS See It Skip It spy thriller Best and Worst APB Premiere Dates batman miniseries quibi Infographic Walt Disney Pictures movies 2018 Star Wars cancelled television free movies cats Biopics latino CMT 2020 blockbuster finale Brie Larson witnail Crackle Sundance Now 007 Discovery Channel Video Games political drama cartoon YouTube Red Freeform psycho binge unscripted Song of Ice and Fire DGA NYCC USA comic Podcast Spike adaptation Marathons Watching Series Emmy Nominations anime Hulu cults facebook werewolf serial killer based on movie Acorn TV IFC Films adventure IFC romantic comedy Disney+ Disney Plus Mindy Kaling ABC Family Interview true crime Rock Mary poppins Box Office Photos transformers 2015 Mystery Binge Guide christmas movies Lucasfilm space Universal Showtime 24 frames dramedy zombies DC Universe anthology E! Turner Comic Book BBC Academy Awards independent Disney Channel social media biography sports dragons Teen Cosplay Avengers discovery Tomatazos elevated horror Hallmark Christmas movies crime thriller mockumentary Heroines