As the air turns crisp and cool in September, so do we turn from huddling inside watching television to escape the heat to huddling inside to watch television to escape the cold. Maybe we just like watching television? Who is to say?
Regardless, there was a lot of TV on this month, and all of it was good. Not a single stinker in the bunch, every show absolutely crushed it. Which, if true, makes the job of determining the best of the best very, very difficult. Luckily, the experts here at Decider watched a lot of TV, and figured out the 10 best shows that aired at least one episode during the month of September. Those range from a psychological serial killer drama, to a vampire comedy, to a battle for succession involving dragons, and much more.
Wondering how we arrived at this list? Every member of the staff of Decider submitted their list for the top five shows they watched this month. Those were ranked, weighted, culled together and ultimately formed the list you see below. I spent the past few months putting recipes in the middle of this paragraph, but not a single person ever mentioned them to me so I’m done doing that. Not even going to say that we took those lists, put them on a stalk of celery, added raisins and sent them with our kids for lunch. Nope, not a thing I’m going to mention. Regardless, this is why the list that results may have some unexpected choices – if more people watch a show, chances are it ranks higher.
In his review of the fourth season of Atlanta, Joel Keller gave it a “STREAM IT,” stating that, “The final season of Atlanta has a sense of the surreal that makes the delivery of its message a whole lot easier to take than the show’s third season, which felt like more of a take-your-medicine exercise at times.”
‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’
You know a show is great when every episode becomes your new fave. That’s the kinda stride She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hit in September. In one month we got to see our gal Jen twerk with Megan Thee Stallion, watch She-Hulk become a bridesmaid brawler at the most inconvenient wedding of the century, bask in the glory of Titania (twice!), and we got to meet the MCU’s new MVP Madisynn. We even got a tease of Daredevil’s return — and that upcoming episode will probably put She-Hulk on our hits list in October, too. This isn’t just a great Marvel show, it’s one of the year’s funniest comedies. — Brett White
‘Rick and Morty’
Despite some of the heat being off Adult Swim’s raunchy animated sci-fi series Rick and Morty, the show is as strong as its ever been in the first four episodes of Season 6. The premiere deftly dealt with the fall-out of the Season 5 finale. “A Mort Well Lived” not only had a mind-bending take on us all living in a simulation, but found fresh (and hilarious) things to say about Die Hard. “Bethic Twinstinct” somehow managed to turn Beth having an affair with her own clone into something that tugged at both the heartstrings and the vomit-inducing stomach muscles, yet was laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. And “Night Family” offered up a disturbing take on what our bodies do while we sleep. Honestly, it’s probably for the best that the days of Szechuan Sauce riots are behind us; that just means we can focus on how damn good Rick and Morty is, instead of the, ahem, culture surrounding it. — Alex Zalben
‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’
While there has been a lot of discussion about the responsibility of Netflix’s Dahmer when it comes to representing real life cases on television, in her breakdown of the story behind the story, Kayla Cobb lauded the Ryan Murphy series: “By prioritizing accuracy and always centering the victims’ stories above Dahmer’s, Monster has captured a deeper truth about this case. This was never a story about a criminal mastermind who fooled the world. It was one about a disturbed man who needed professional help and, most importantly of all, a police force and media environment that failed to do their jobs on every level.”
Cobra Kai continues to be one of the most enjoyable shows on streaming. The fifth season of the beloved Karate Kid revival not only delivered the requisite youth karate mayhem we’ve come to expect, but it also produced a barrage of hilarity, giving fans the funniest season to date. The latest installment centers on growth and redemption as old foes unite to attempt to take down Terry Silver’s increasingly dangerous Cobra Kai once and for all. A deft blend of humor, pathos, and unexpected surprises, Cobra Kai Season 5 is essential viewing. — Josh Sorokach
ABC’s Abbott Elementary was the instant freshman hit of last season so the pressure was on for the show to nail its Season 2 opening episodes. Abbott Elementary Season 2 doesn’t just live up to the show’s hype, but exceeds it, introducing bigger cameos — Gritty! — and adding more commentary about underfunded public schools. But what keeps Abbott Elementary a winner is its deft balance of heart and humor. You genuinely love this kooky cast of teachers and administrators and you’re literally howling at every punchline. Abbott Elementary remains A+ entertainment. — Meghan O’Keefe
We’re just four episodes into its run and Andor has already shown viewers a completely different side of Star Wars. There’s no Grogu to be found on this show, no meme-ready moments of cute. Instead, Andor presents Star Wars at its most revolutionary and raw — which is appropriate considering the series takes place at the height of Imperial power. The first month of episodes showed Cassian Andor’s first act of capital “R” Rebellion as he evaded (and humiliated) law enforcement and begrudgingly joined up with a ragtag resistance. It only took 45 years, but Star Wars finally knows how to do drama. — Brett White
‘House of the Dragon’
House of the Dragon continues to pull off something wholly magical for HBO. It’s a high stakes soap opera full of time jumps, alien-sounding names, and grim violence. And yet, it continues to be an exquisite, rollocking good time. House of the Dragon faced its biggest narrative hurdle yet this month, with the ten year time jump between Episodes 5 and 6. Lead actresses Milly Alcock and Emily Carey had to hand over their batons to Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. The good news is D’Arcy and Cooke have lived up to Alcock and Carey’s innate charisma. The better news is they have imbued Rhaenyra and Alicent with even more depth and darkness. House of the Dragon simply continues to soar. — Meghan O’Keefe
‘What We Do In The Shadows’
Sunrise, sunset. The fourth season of What We Do in the Shadows was brilliance personified as one of the funniest shows on TV somehow, inexplicably, got funnier. The lesson? Never underestimate the comedic dexterity of vampires. The season finale, “Sunrise, Sunset,” centered on Baby Colin transforming back into original energy vampire Colin Robinson. While we loved all the Baby Colin hijinks — especially his relationship with Laszlo, which was a true chef’s kiss of a season-long arc — it’s nice to have Colin Robinson classic back in the fold. — Josh Sorokach
FX’s The Patient aired four seriously suspenseful episodes in September, with each raising the stakes of the psychological thriller exponentially. Viewers gained deeper insight into the lives and personalities of kidnapped therapist Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) and his serial killer patient Sam (Domhnall Gleeson). But the series also introduced several crucial characters, dropped more Kenny Chesney references, put an escape plan into motion, and gave us all a front row seat to Sam’s deadly compulsion in “Pastitsio,” the show’s most agonizing episode yet. With concise writing and powerful, gut-wrenching performances from everyone who steps foot in Sam’s creepy basement, The Patient is more gripping than ever before. Ahead of the final four episodes, the fact that the season’s outcome remains fully unpredictable is a testament to the show’s greatness. — Nicole Gallucci
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