Multiple times per week, our TV and film experts will list the most important ten streaming selections for you to pop into your queues. We’re not strictly operating upon reviews or accrued streaming clicks (although yes, we’ve scoured the streaming site charts) but, instead, upon those selections that are really worth noticing amid the churning sea of content. There’s a lot out there, after all, and your time is valuable.
TIE: 10. The Crown (Netflix series)
The royal soap opera shall soon gear up to release Season 5, and the Netflix crown jewel experienced a sudden burst of interim popularity following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Meanwhile, the show’s continuing to not exactly win over the British Royal Family, given how it sh*ts all over the fairy tale, especially where Princess Diana’s fate is concerned. The divorce of Charles and Di and her subsequent death will soon be handled onscreen, and that’s making King Charles very nervous, but before that happens, you can go back and watch Matt Smith as a different type of prince than we see during his current courtly jaunts on HBO’s House of the Dragon.
TIE: 10. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Apple TV+ movie)
Zac Efron (as John ‘Chickie’ Donohue) takes on a very noble quest: to haul some American beer to his buddies serving in Vietnam. As one can imagine, this journey isn’t a straightforward one. As well, there’s a rude awakening for Chickie while mulling over all the realities of the war while he’s only trying to come of age and have some fun with his bros. This isn’t the loftiest movie, of course, but who needs that in October? Also, you’ll get to see some Russell Crowe and Bill Murray, so get on it.
9. Confess, Fletch (Paramount movie on Amazon and PVOD outlets)
Jon Hamm’s hidden comedy chops are more understated than those forthright methods of Chevy Chase, but that’s part of the beauty of this reboot. Hamm believed in the film to such a degree that he gave up a majority of his salary to complete the project. Hamm charms and disarms, all while dodging a wrongful murder accusation, and it’s a delight to watch. Director Greg Mattola (of Superbad and Adventureland) has also voiced his frustrations at the lack of a publicity machine here, which is a travesty.
8. Cobra Kai (Netflix series)
This show harnesses nostalgia in a way that few could have accurately predicted five seasons ago, and thank god that Ralph Macchio and William Zabka were all in (and remain that way) for a return. This series still somehow has the “Eye of the Tiger” and has put karate supervillain Terry Silver to semi-rest, but it’s all good. Catch up on this season with several heaping helpings of Chozen and try to figure out how the writers and showrunners nailed all the quadrants while we await an announcement for more.
7. Andor (Star Wars series streaming on Disney+)
This one’s a slow burn in the Star Wars universe, given that the show doesn’t rush to begin what will eventually be a 24-episode season. That’s a rarity in the streaming realm, but that means that there’s plenty of Diego Luna while he returns as Cassian Andor. This selection’s a lot more grounded and grown-up than most of this franchise’s offerings, particularly if we’re talking about Disney+ shows, but the more traditional storytelling seems almost novel on TV today. Eventually, fans will get to see Andor emerge as a rebel hero in what’s essentially a rare character study in a galaxy far, far away.
6. Blonde (Netflix movie)
Both this film (directed by Andrew Dominik) and the leading lady, Ana de Armas, are receiving mixed reviews, and this film’s as controversial as one would expect, but it’s still an engrossing study to behold. De Armas will likely receive some nominations, after all, and the movie doesn’t take a standard approach to giving us a peek into Marilyn Monroe’s life. Rather, this project adapts of Joyce Carol Oates’ expansive novel about a somewhat fictionalized version of Marilyn Monroe. As Dominik previously promised, the film also possesses something “to offend everyone.”
5. Interview With The Vampire (AMC series streaming on AMC+)
Yes, it’s another remake (of the blockbuster 1990s movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst), but this one arrives with extra fun, more layers, and un-closeted sexual tension. Jacob Anderson of Game of Thrones steps up as Louis, and Sam Reid picks up the Lestat de Lioncourt role with results that are stunning to behold. Anne Rice’s most popular gothic novel gets a more complex treatment than the movie, but it’s in the spirit that the story deserves. Not only are there extra shades of historical relevance here, but Bailey Bass gives us a Claudia that’ll break down vampire walls.
4. The Patient (FX series streaming on Hulu)
Following the season finale, this truly scary series brings all the intensity that one would expect from The Americans producers. In addition, Domhnall Gleason switches things up to portray a serial killer named Sam who terrorizes his therapist, Alan (portrayed by Steve Carell). Patient takes doctor prisoner, and repressed memories rear their heads. This show didn’t burst out of the gates with a large audience, but word of mouth has encouraged the audience to build, right as the show approached a fever pitch. Fortunately, you can now binge this all in one go because it’s an on-the-screen version of a page turner.
3. Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Amazon Prime series)
Epic fantasy fans really lucked out this fall, and although there’s not as much weekly talk about this series as the Game of Thrones franchise continues to yield, every week continues to bring in the J.R.R. Tolkien fans. This series goes back in time to give us the fabled Second Age and a version of Middle-earth than has ever been captured on the screen. The project’s also more expensive than most shows out there and makes use of every dime. It’s a different kind of world building than fans saw in the Peter Jackson movies, but sorry, Neil Gaiman didn’t write this one.
2. Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix series)
This Evan Peters-starring series generated a lot of controversy, which led to Netflix removing the LGBTQ tag from sight, and no wonder. The families of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims aren’t happy either. Still, people remain fascinated by this Ryan Murphy limited series, perhaps because Halloween is on the way, and the true-crime craze cannot be denied? There’s no way to know for sure, but Joe Berlinger has a docuseries approach (Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story) on the way too, so get ready for more cannibal grossness.
1. House of the Dragon (HBO series on HBO Max)
Last week’s episode delivered questions about Targaryen fire immunity and also gave us the worst character of the series thus far. It’s also worth taking stock of the bevy of Rhaenyra sidepieces while we all wonder exactly how Paddy Considine’s King Viserys I is still alive. Daemon continues to deliver the saltiest TV prince in recent memory, and we’re also continuing to see new dragons on a regular basis. No epic fantasy fan can complain about that.