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Fearless. That’s FX’s slogan for how they describe their shows, and honestly, I completely agree. As someone who has grown up watching several FX drama shows, fearless definitely defines the limits of where they are willing to go in terms of subject manner, from some of the most grotesque horror imagery on TV in American Horror Story, to gritty and intense dramas like Sons of Anarchy.
But, with so many amazing dramas under their belt, which ones are the best that you should consider watching right now? Are any of them going to pop up on the 2021 fall TV schedule? That’s where this list comes in handy, so be sure to check out some of these awesome picks.
American Horror Story (2011 - Present)
American Horror Story is a popular anthology horror series that covers a new terrifying tale each season, from the murders that occurred in a centuries old home to witches down in New Orleans, and cults to the literal apocalypse.
I won’t lie and say this isn’t my favorite series that FX has to offer, because truly, it is. As a fan of horror, who has spent plenty of time watching the best horror movies, rewatching the Halloween franchise, and enjoyed many other scary media properties, American Horror Story never fails to impress me with its stories, effects, costumes, and everything else. Plus, with stars like Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock and more rounding out the casts for many of the seasons, you know it’s going to be a hit.
Sons of Anarchy (2008 - 2014)
The popular crime drama, Sons of Anarchy, follows the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club, who operate out of a fictional town in California’s Central Valley.
What makes Sons of Anarchy so great is the pure chemistry between its stars and the whole Sons of Anarchy cast. After watching this show for years and years, sometimes you forget that these are just actors and they’re not actually a real-life motorcycle gang. The way they talk, interact, and work together is astounding and very believable. What makes it even more entertaining is the action that usually comes in each episode.
Mayans M.C. (2018 - Present)
In this spinoff of Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C. takes place two and a half years after the events of the original show, set hundreds of miles away in another fictional California town, focusing on Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, a possible prospect in the charter of the Mayans M.C.
While I do suggest watching Sons of Anarchy prior to this, if you liked that series, this one is just as good. Created by the same man who made Sons of Anarchy, this version has just as much action and crazy motorcycle moments that you would expect, if not with more wild twists and turns.
American Crime Story (2016 - Present)
Have you ever wondered about the trial of O.J. Simpson? Or maybe the murder of Gianni Versace? How about the impeachment of President Bill Clinton? Luckily for you, American Crime Story dives deep into these literal real-life American crime stories, recounting the real tales that caused the world to stop and watch.
American Crime Story, created by American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy, is definitely one of my favorites on this list. As someone who was never really exposed to these cases when I was younger, it’s really interesting to learn about them, while also being entertained by the dramatization. While only the first two seasons are available on Netflix, American Crime Story: Impeachment is currently airing on FX, so it won’t be long before you get delve into another crime.
Nip/Tuck (2003 - 2010)
In this medical drama, yet again created by Ryan Murphy, we follow two Miami-based plastic surgeons who are in a practice together, but when one of them starts to expand his work with less than stellar characters, their partnership and friendship is put to the test.
Nip/Tuck is definitely one of those medical dramas that keeps you on your feet. If you’re into shows like Grey’s Anatomy, this one is perfect for you - if only because it's even more thrilling. There are so many moments where you’ll be holding your hand up to your face in shock, unable to even believe what's happening. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s so good - especially if medical shows are your go-to.
A Teacher (2020)
In the FX on Hulu miniseries A Teacher, we follow Claire Wilson, an English teacher who ends up engaging in an illicit sexual relationship with an 18 year old student, Eric Walker.
I know from the premise that it might not sound that enthralling, but A Teacher handles its materials well, with two very believable leads in Kate Mara and Nick Robinson. The story definitely has interesting and complex characters, and the pacing is very good for a miniseries. It’s definitely worth a shot if you haven’t seen it already.
The Shield (2002 - 2008)
In this popular FX drama, The Shield follows the activities of an experimental division of the LA Police Department with several corrupt members, in a district that is rife with gang-related violence, drug trafficking, prostitution, and more.
The Shield was definitely one of those shows that really blew the crime drama genre out of the water, because it was so good. The stories were genuinely intriguing and captured your interest almost instantly, and let’s not even get started about The Shield cast. While there were plenty of series regulars, big names in Hollywood would often take on extended roles, such as Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Laurie Holden, and more. It was truly awesome.
Pose (2018 - 2021)
In this popular series - again, created by Ryan Murphy - Pose is all about the African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconfroming underground ball culture in New York City during the 1980s and 1990s, featuring several characters from all over the city.
Pose is such a fun yet serious show. While it has its musical and dance moments that will make you want to get out of your seat and shake your butt with the cast, it’s also not afraid to talk about real issues that surround their culture, such as homophobia, sexism, and so much more. It only just ended in 2021, but with three seasons, it’s the perfect show to binge.
Fargo (2014 - Present)
In this black comedy crime drama, Fargo is based on the 1996 film of the same name, in an anthology format, where each season is set in a different time and location with a new story and new characters, as we watch a new case unfold.
Fargo is definitely one of those TV shows that I think everyone has heard of at least once, just because of how big it became, but hasn’t actually watched. I’m here to tell you that it’s certainly worth the time and effort to stream. The crime cases are super interesting to get invested in, and the casts that they pick for each season are really talented.
Justified (2010 - 2015)
In this neo-Western-style crime drama, Justified follows Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. Marshal, who is enforcing his own brand of justice when reassigned to the area near the Appalachian mountains in Kentucky.
I’m usually not the biggest fan of Western TV shows, just because that’s never been my type of drama, but Justified stands out above the rest, creating a truly riveting story that often will have your eyes glued to the television. The art direction of this series is amazing, too, with some fantastic shots that really make it look like the old wild West.
Mrs. America (2020)
In this miniseries, Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Right Amendment, and the unexpected backlash that it received, led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly.
What I love about Mrs. America is that it tells a story that hasn't really been explored. We all know about the Equal Rights Amendment from school, but hearing about it from a new perspective really opens up your mind and teaches about the parts of history no one talks about much. Plus, the cast for this miniseries is star-studded, with Cate Blanchett leading, and actresses like Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Banks, and so many others joining along.
Damages (2007 - 2010)
Damages is a legal drama that follows ruthless lawyer, Patty Hewes, and her newest protégé, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons. Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on, while also creating another chapter in the complex relationship between Ellen and Patty.
I’m not one usually for legal dramas, just because I always think that court cases can sometimes get boring. However, Damages spares nothing in producing an entertaining, enriching experience for anyone, even if you have never watched a legal drama in your life. This, paired with the excellent chemistry between Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, makes it a brilliant TV show.
The Americans (2013 - 2018)
In this spy thriller, The Americans focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Jennings family, a married couple who are secretly Soviet agents and undercover in Washington.
First off, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are the stars of The Americans. The way these two work together is wonderful, and I would pay money to see them in a film or something together again because they work perfectly. Secondly, not only is the story of The Americans very compelling and full of action, the set pieces are super interesting too, considering that a good majority of this show takes place in the 1980s. It’s an awesome period piece, filled with some exceptional acting.
With all these awesome shows, it might be hard to pick just one to binge, but I’m sure that there’s a choice for whatever genre you like the most. Now, if you don’t mind me, I’m going to binge-watch all of American Horror Story again. Have to get ready for spooky season.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!