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The 5 Best New TV Shows of March 2024

Spring has officially sprung, but with rain, snow, and freezing temperatures continuing to wallop much of the country, March 2024 has proven to be an excellent month to stay inside. Luckily, it has also been an excellent month for television. Here are some highlights, from genre epics like 3 Body Problem, to Jerrod Carmichael’s foray into unscripted TV, to the hidden gem Boarders.

3 Body Problem (Netflix)

Netflix’s 3 Body Problem might be the biggest TV series to hit Earth this year. The science-fiction epic unites Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss with The Terror: Infamy co-creator Alexander Woo in an adaptation of one of the 21st century’s most celebrated books. Chinese author Cixin Liu’s Hugo-winning The Three-Body Problem—published in his home country in 2006, then expanded into a trilogy that has been translated into dozens of languages—is a fascinating novel of ideas. The cover of the American edition boasts an endorsement from Barack Obama, who calls it “wildly imaginative.”

It certainly is. Choppily written, dense with theoretical physics and philosophy, and dependent on the depiction of an alien race whose physical form is never described, the book also poses unique challenges for anyone looking to adapt it for the screen. Benioff, Weiss, and Woo have been remarkably successful at transforming Liu’s work into a gripping sci-fi thriller, without either dumbing it down or boring viewers with hours’ worth of whiteboard lectures. [Read the full review.]

Boarders (Tubi)

If you want to know how power and identity work within a society, look to its elite private secondary schools—where the stratification is extreme and the students too young to be tactful about it. So it is at St. Gilberts, the boarding school at the center of the fantastic British teen drama Boarders. Yet in an overdue break from rich-kid soaps like the recently rebooted Gossip Girl and Beverly Hills, 90210, this series spotlights a cohort of Black scholarship students brought in to diversify the old-fashioned (read: racist) institution in the wake of a scandal. The show strikes an ideal balance between brutal honesty and empathetic tenderness, social commentary and fun. [Read the full review.]

Diarra From Detroit (BET+)

TV’s ongoing crime drama boom has yielded a boomlet in crime comedies, from Search Party to Deadloch to The Afterparty, that bring self-aware humor to familiar detective tropes. If you like those series, check out Diarra From Detroit. Creator Diarra Kilpatrick (Perry Mason) stars as a teacher who moves back to her old, now-gentrifying Detroit neighborhood amid a rough divorce and coaxes herself into the local dating pool. Her first decent Tinder match (Shannon Wallace) is such a good lover she nicknames him “Ambien” for knocking her out. Then he stands her up for their second date. But Diarra, whose colleagues nicknamed her “Captain Extra” for a reason, refuses to let him ghost. A quest to confront him reveals that he may, in fact, be in serious trouble—and that his disappearance could be linked to a crime that shook the city decades ago.

The mystery is intriguing, but the show’s real draw are hilarious scripts delivered by a wonderful cast. Rap Sh!t alum DomiNque Perry and Claudia Logan (That Damn Michael Che) give performances that pop as Diarra’s very different gal pals—the former an ambitious entrepreneur who’s gone (mostly) celibate to focus on her career and the latter a grown-up tough girl with a family. Morris Chestnut is charmingly despicable as Diarra’s ex. And the great Phylicia Rashad shows up in a truly wild role. Kilpatrick’s noirish narration, pithy one-liners, and endearingly over-the-top presence tie it all together, making her one of TV’s freshest and funniest auteurs.

Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show (HBO)

As its title suggests, Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show continues the eponymous comedian’s experiment in radical honesty. Framed—and deepened as much as it’s leavened—by co-creator and star Carmichael’s onstage monologues, the perceptive eight-part HBO series is disarmingly frank about not only his personal life, but also about its own constructedness. We watch him produce as the camera rolls, persuading family and friends to discuss hard topics on camera as crew members swarm. By making us privy to these contrivances, he establishes authenticity within a notoriously artificial genre. [Read the full review.]

Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

Vietnam. Stonewall. Charles Manson. Easy Rider. Woodstock, the Harlem Cultural Festival, and the tragedy that was Altamont. These are the touchstones that define 1969 in our collective memory. But in the Palm Beach of 1969, as conjured by the delightfully deranged Apple TV+ soap Palm Royale, they barely register. Insulated from the war, free love, and societal upheaval, the resort community’s wealthy denizens have a different set of preoccupations. Like securing membership in the most exclusive social club in town.

That walled haven, a headquarters for ladies who lunch and the husbands who fund their leisurely lifestyles, is called the Palm Royale. Into its haughty, pastel-hued world vaults—as in, literally enters the club by going over its fence—the plucky outsider Maxine (executive producer Kristen Wiig). Queen bee Evelyn (Alison Janney), her ascendant rival Dinah (Leslie Bibb), and their clique of frenemies clock the interloper immediately and freeze her out. So begins Maxine’s tireless campaign to gain acceptance in Palm Beach society’s most rarefied social circle. [Read the full review.]

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