Hey there, TV Fanatics!
In our quest to bring you the best of the best, we're going to be bringing you a lot more of the best of the rest. Slowly but surely, we'll be covering more shows from the past and those off the beaten path.
Let's get started with a fun post apocalyptic online drama from Rooster Teeth called Day 5.
Day 5 Season 2 premieres today on Rooster Teeth at 4 pm with "Manifest Destiny."
If you watched Day 5 Season 1, you're already aware of the terrifying world into while you're about to be dropped, but even you'll be introduced to new characters and terrifying new explanations to the mysterious plight that has befallen the world.
If you haven't yet watched Day 5 Season 1, well, it will be a much more engaging ride for you if you took the time to do it.
During its first season, Day 5 imagined a catastrophe the likes of which only allowed for very particular individuals to survive. First and foremost, they had to have been awake at an exact moment in July near or about 3 am, dependent upon where they lived.
The brilliance of Day 5 is the initial disaster left almost all people at home, asleep in their beds. For a tiny Austin production led by showrunner and co-creator Josh Flanagan, casting and costs were delightfully small.
Surprisingly, the minimalist approach worked to the benefit of Day 5. It only intensified the already overwrought characters who suddenly found themselves pushed to limits the human body and mind were not meant to endure.
You see, they may have been lucky to be alive at 3 am, but staying alive was to be their torment for the foreseeable future. If you can imagine pushing yourself not to sleep again, more power to you. I'd be dead within two days, and as an insomniac, that's saying something.
Throughout Season 1, the story progressed as Jake (Jesse C. Boyd), Sam (Walker Satterwhite), Ally (Stephanie Drapeau), and Ellis (Davi Jay) tried to make heads or tails out of their situation. Was there a cure? Would they ever sleep again?
As we move into Season 2, some of those questions will be answered. The world opens up significantly as Ellis, parted from his new friends, tries to make his way to the epicenter of the sleep Apocalypse for answers.
Drugs are becoming more scarce and without sleep, everybody who is still alive at this point and has not slept suffers heightened states of agitation, mood swings, hallucinations and it becomes increasingly difficult to achieve their goals.
That only makes Day 5 more interesting. As Ellis gets closer to Ground Zero, he's less unsure of himself and that what he's witnessing is real. As a result, so are we.
Much like the first season, new additions to the cast (and reintroductions) are quickly fleshed out and time isn't wasted trying to understand them.
That doesn't mean you understand their intentions up front but that they're so well written and engaging they never feel superfluous. In my experience, that's not the norm with any series let alone one with a small cast such as Day 5, and it's admirable.
Using established characters to introduce new ones who then hop off onto their own storyline with other new characters is also appreciated, and that's what works well with new addition Ryan Cooper who plays Aidan.
Aidan is handsome, chivalrous and has the earmarks of a hero. We meet him flying early with Ellis, and later he meets up with Electra Avellan who is playing Paula, a single mother to a young boy, both of whom unexpectedly survived.
Their story of survival is shared and the new child in the mix plays right into one of the Season 2 plots which may be even more sinister than the one Sam almost fell prey to during Season 1.
Sam, although it's only been a few days since sleep wiped out most of the US, looks markedly different than he did during Season 1. That's the trouble with casting children in a production that spans a short time, and if Game of Thrones can get away with it (has anyone seen Bran lately?), then so can Day 5.
Adriene Mischler also joins the cast as Gabi, someone with ideas similar to Ellis and to whom Jake takes a shine. She's out of his league, but watching Jake's plucky determination in all things was a lot of fun during Season 1.
Jake still has the least to offer during an apocalyptic situation, but he's also the least likely to be kicked out of the group or killed off because he's so darn lovable.
With episodes that last well into the same time frame as a traditional television drama and well-drawn characters you care about, Day 5 is a series that engages you from the onset.
Season 2 broadens the storytelling by opening the world and has quite a few surprises in store, and I've only seen the first two episodes. What might be lying in wait beyond that is anybody's guess, but if Season 1 was any indication, it's all good.
The first shocking reveal of the new season proved Flanagan and friends aren't delivering their sleep deprivation lying down. They offered up a genuine WTF moment, and those don't come around all too often. Something was hiding in midst of Season 1 we all missed.
The mystery behind the apocalypse changes things up quite significantly for the new season. I like it.
If you haven't watched yet, you still have time to watch and be right on schedule as the episodes roll out weekly beginning today. Don't let the Austin production or online only viewing fool you. These people aren't fooling around.
Day 5 is available exclusively on FIRST. FIRST is available at roosterteeth.com/first and on Xbox One, Apple TV, iOS and Android apps; subscriptions start at $5 a month.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.