The best TV of 2024 so far

Maya Erskine looks at a laptop while Donald Glover studies a document in a fancy study in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Photo: David Lee/Prime Video

The best new and returning shows to watch on Netflix, Prime, and more

Nicole Kidman may be right about going to the movies — we do go to that place to laugh, to cry, to care, to see dazzling images on a huge silver screen. But, all but inevitably, eventually, we go home. And it’s there we also find a place where stories can feel like magic. In fact, it’s the longevity and intimacy of television that can make reactions feel so visceral; turns out, heartbreak can feel even better or worse when you invite it into your home once a week (or for a marathon weekend, or a few nights in a row, or again and again for months on end).

TV as an industry is in no short supply of shows that provide that indescribable feeling, and 2024 is no exception. While we may be coming down from our “peak TV” times, there’s still hundreds of scripted shows premiering this year, and already we have some candidates worthy of being remembered as some of the best TV of the year.

This is Polygon’s rolling list, where shows are ordered by most recent season finale (so you’ll find more recent additions at the top, and we’ll add more as they wrap their seasons). And we have a short section at the end devoted to late 2023 releases we didn’t have the time to consider for last year’s best-of list. At the end of the year, the Polygon staff will get together and vote on our favorites for a final, ranked list. But until then, what you can count on is the best shows of 2024 so far, and where to find them; a catalog of every TV offering that made our hearts flutter and where stories feel perfect and powerful. Because here — or there — they are.

The Floor

On The Floor, James and Liz compete in front of a giant screen showing Patrick from Spongebob making a pleading face Image: Fox

Where to watch: Hulu

Fox’s latest high-concept game show looks like trash in cut-up promos tailored for The Masked Singer fans. Turns out, it’s one of the more watchable trivia showdowns in ages.

The Floor positions 81 contestants, each with their own categories of expertise, across a 9-by-9 grid. The goal: Duel adjacent competitors, grab land, and be the last person standing at the end of the 10-episode run by owning the entire grid. The face-offs range in difficulty as contestants spend 45 seconds volleying back and forth between correct guesses in visual-driven name-that-thing categories like “entrepreneurs,” “horror movies,” and “stuff in a junk drawer.”

The Floor offers just enough strategy in the gameplay and how contestants command the board — round winners can either stay at the podium to keep amassing floor or go back to the grid to be re-challenged — that host Rob Lowe is given minimum time to yuk it up on stage. Because it’s the same players each week, there are favorites and high stakes — exactly what you want out of this type of “brainless” TV. —Matt Patches

True Detective: Night Country

Alaska detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro stand on a snowy hill in front of their squad truck in the HBO series True Detective: Night Country. Photo: Michele K. Short/HBO

Where to watch: Max

The inexplicable abounds in True Detective: Night Country. Ennis — the town on the fringes of the Alaskan tundra, the Arctic circle, and maybe even the fabric of reality — is a place where mysteries are everywhere, whether they’re big (a murder) or small (a ghost pointing the way).

What makes Night Country such a blast is the way it refuses to settle those, even as it reckons with them. This isn’t a show about the police, it’s a show about investigating, a journey of questions as much as it is a quest for answers. It’s True Detective at its finest, building procedural and paranormal into a swirl of horror, no matter which way it goes. —Zosha Millman

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, lying on the floor, lean in to kiss in Mr. & Mrs. Smith Photo: David Lee/Prime Video

Where to watch: Prime Video

Donald Glover and co-creator Francesca Sloane’s unlikely reinvention of the Brad-and-Angelina ’00s action comedy is perhaps the most purely pleasurable TV show to hit in the early months of the year.

Beautiful location shoots, cool clothes, tense action, iconic guest stars, and fantastic chemistry between Glover and co-lead Maya Erskine are packaged up in a disarmingly casual way: Mr. & Mrs. Smith is the intimate moments, caught between missions, of the office romance of two failing superspies. —Oli Welsh

Masters of the Universe: Revolution

He-Man and Orko stand side by side in Masters of the Universe: Revolution Image: Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix

Kevin Smith’s delightfully over-the-top extension of the original 1980s He-Man continuity takes itself about as seriously as the phrase “original 1980s He-Man continuity” suggests it should.

This lively cartoon sinks deep into the lore of the Mattel action figures, but only so it can then mash that lore up, invert it, and reinvent it, all in the service of creating more action figures. It’s as it should be — an old heavy metal album cover come to glorious life — and among the voice cast, Mark Hamill and William Shatner are in top form. —OW


The Heeler family, a family of anthropomorphic dogs, standing in their backyard. Image: Ludo Studios

Where to watch: Disney Plus, Hulu

The Australian children’s show about a family of anthropomorphic dogs continues to pack storytelling punches in just under eight minutes per episode.

Bluey is all about the power of imagination, and brings the parents into the fold of Bluey and her sister’s little games — which often reflect real-life problems and anxieties. If you think you’re too old for Bluey, or you don’t have any kids to watch it with, you’re probably wrong! It’s some good TV! —Petrana Radulovic

The best December 2023 TV we couldn’t consider last year

Pokémon Concierge

A still from the stop-animation show Pokemon Concierge. It shows Haru and Psyduck sitting outside and decorating floaties. The Psyduck is closing its eyes and trying to listen to a sound in the shell. Image: dwarf studios/Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix

The adorable stop-motion anime from the studio behind Rilakkuma and Kaoru explores a different side of the Pokémon world from what we usually see. Instead of battles and catching them all, Pokémon Concierge is all about Pokémon living their lives and relaxing. It’s also about tackling anxiety head-on and not letting that define your life! Plus, the Pokémon are incredibly adorable. —PR

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