The best TV of 2016 so far: The A.V. Club’s catch-up guide
You’re busy, and The A.V. Club understands that. We can’t watch all the TV we want to, let alone cover it. That’s why we take a little bit of time in the middle of each year to step back, survey the landscape, and single out the best stuff we’ve managed to watch so far. As a courtesy to you, the rea


Reconstituting the horror of American slavery as a serialized drama is no small feat, since most people wouldn’t want to make a weekly appointment to watch the height of human cruelty. While Underground is certainly intense and emotional, it’s also surprisingly fun, borderline popcorn fare. By focusing on escaping slaves and their treacherous journey north, creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski turn the period piece into a rousing adventure tale full of all the stunning betrayals and shocking twists expected of a contemporary thriller.
Total time commitment: 7.3 hours
If you only have one hour: Watch “Cradle,” a bruising series of vignettes focusing on the young children affected by the slave trade. If you’re not crying by the end, you weren’t paying attention.
If you only have four minutes: Choose any sequence that involves the eminently shippable bond between Noah (Aldis Hodge) and Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell). It’s one of the most affecting “love in a time of war” stories in recent memory.
If you only have two seconds: Find a GIF featuring the appearance of a new character near the end of the season finale. It’s one hell of an introduction.
Where to watch: Available for digital purchase on iTunes and Amazon