Each week our staff of film and TV experts surveys the entertainment landscape to select the ten best new/newish shows available for you to stream at home. We put a lot of thought into our selections, and our debates on what to include and what not to include can sometimes get a little heated and feelings may get hurt, but so be it, this is an important service for you, our readers. With that said, here are our selections for this week.
20. Muppets Mayhem (Disney Plus)
You know how sometimes you’ll be sitting around the house and thinking “Man, I sure wish there was a television show about Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band from the Muppets, maybe one where they try to record a new album and go platinum in the world of modern-day music”? Well, good news: That exact show now exists on Disney Plus! So, if you, like everyone, could use a little more Muppets in your life, here you go. Another success for all of us.
19. Dead Ringers (Amazon Prime)
There’s a glut of good TV at the moment so even a modern remake of a bit of classic David Cronenberg-ian body horror needs some buzzwords to cut through the noise. Luckily, Dead Ringers has that. And we’ll list them out for you now: Rachel Weisz. Evil twins. Surrealist sci-fi. Fertility clinic. Power struggles. A shocking finale. And Rachel Weisz (again). Helmed by Alice Birch (Normal People) with a few episodes directed by horror maestro Karyn Kusama, this show takes Cronenberg’s central idea and gender-flips it, giving us twin obstetricians Beverly and Elliot Mantle whose day job sees them playing god at a cutting-edge fertility clinic. But, when their toxic relationship dynamics are threatened by both their professional success and personal entanglements, their bond reaches disturbing new depths.
18. Mrs. Davis (Peacock)
GLOW standout Betty Gilpin is teaming up with TV king Damon Lindelof in this seriously terrific show about a nun who fights an almighty algorithm. What’s not to enjoy about that, especially since it delivers upon a truly nutso premise? Gilpin plays Simone, not to be confused with the title character of the AI, and Margo Martindale co-stars as a booze-loving nun. If there’s anything that Damon Lindelof has taught us in his post-Lost days, you never know precisely what to expect from his projects. Never forget Lube Man.
17. City on Fire (Apple TV Plus)
This series did some cutting to the source material of Garth Risk Hallberg’s same-named book, and the result is a more straightforward focus on the central mystery. This works both for and against the limited series, which is still intriguing enough — a shooting victim spends much of the series in a coma while other characters scramble to solve said mystery. Major takeaway here: Jemima Kirke should be in more things.
16. The Other Two (HBO Max)
We’re in a golden era of Hollywood satire, specifically when it comes to HBO’s offerings with Hacks and Barry (in and around all the murder and Chechen drug wars). Even Succession dips a toe into the mix from time to time (gotta get that franchise pump-pumpin!). But while The Other Two doesn’t have the same level of prestige or attention, nothing bites harder than this Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider created show that returns for its third season with the entire Dubek family thriving while also searching for meaning and connection.
15. Silo (Apple TV Plus)
Dystopian sci-fi has never been done quite like this before. In Apple TV+’s newest drama, a ruined and toxic future that forces humanity to dwell in underground silos hundreds of stories deep isn’t the antagonist of the story, it’s merely the setting. The real problem lies in a murderous cover-up whose unraveling threads reveal a bigger conspiracy when a scrappy mechanic (Rebecca Ferguson) and a disillusioned sheriff (David Oyelowo) start tugging in earnest. What is truth and who decides it are the questions this show is asking but even if the answers don’t come readily, the insane worldbuilding and thrilling action will leave you happy to keep guessing.
14. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie (Apple TV Plus)
Authorized celebrity documentaries often lack bite and feel like an extension of a PR campaign, but Still goes deeper than most, telling the story of Michael J. Fox’s life from his origins to his ’80s pop culture takeover, the courtship of his wife Tracy Pollan, his Parkinson’s diagnosis/decision to tell the word, and the aftershocks of that. It’s not just a linear unfolding of an icon’s life and the depth and care that’s used to paint a portrait of him now as he takes stock and counts his blessings while being challenged by the progressive and debilitating disease, it’s the way in which Guggenheim chooses to highlight key moments. As we see with Fox himself, there’s a lot of light and joy running through this as it weaves together re-enactments, voiceovers, archival footage, Fox interviews, and needle drops to give new life to familiar stories and creates montages so exhilarating you’ll think you’re watching the ’80s pop culture version of The Last Dance. Pair all that with Fox’s charm and candor, and Still feels special.
13. White House Plumbers (HBO)
The Veep guys bring us the Watergate story that you never knew that you’d enjoy watching. Justin Theroux delivers a knockout performance in this David Mandel-directed adaptation of Egil Krogh and Matthew Krogh’s book, Integrity. In doing so, the team puts a satiric spin upon the experiences of Egil (played by Rich Sommer) during and after his time leading the Special Investigations Unit that was tasked with plugging information leaks. Yep, that’s where the “plumbers” comes from, and this show is fun and tragic but, fortunately, mostly fun.
12. Yellowjackets (Showtime)
It’s time to go back to the wilderness, where this season doubles down on the darkness and refuses to apologize for it. The show still puts forth one of the most solid examples of dual timelines in TV history. Not only that, but all four sets of leads are firing on all cylinders this year. Sure, Juliette Lewis can pull off this type of role in her sleep, but we love to see her do it. Christina Ricci chews everything up, and Melanie Lynskey is finally getting her due. Oh, and don’t forget about those earworms. Get ready for the return of the Antler Queen, gang. Spooky.
11. Ted Lasso (Apple TV Plus)
Break out your biscuits and put on your custom-bedazzled Diamond Dogs silk bomber jackets because the best mustache on TV is back, baby. This might be the last season of Ted Lasso which is a bittersweet pill to swallow but it’s best not to dwell on all of the loose ends still in need of tying. Ted wouldn’t. Instead, let’s just enjoy these characters as long as we have them. And hope something awful (but not irreversible) and humiliating (but appropriately so) and devastating (but ultimately life-changing in a positive way) happens to Nate “not so great” Shelley.
10. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Netflix)
What we have here is a Bridgerton prequel, a good one, that focuses on the real-life marriage of Charlotte to King George II, with the usual Bridgerton twist of Olde England being a racially integrated society. Shonda Rhimes serves as showrunner and gives it all the classic Rhimes-y snap and pizzazz, which works well with the show’s subject matter. If you like Bridgerton or history or a sexy/fizzy series about rich people who are kind of miserable, this might be your new favorite show… or at least a way to kill a rainy weekend.
9. High Desert (Apple TV)
Patricia Arquette finally gets wacky again as an ex-drug dealer who decides, what the heck, to be a private investigator. She is no Jessica Jones, but that’s alright because she’s much more chaotic with barely restrained energy. It’s an extremely weird show that co-stars other actors also very good at playing weird. That includes Matt Dillon and Bernadette Peters and Brad Garrett, along with Rupert Friend playing a guru. Underneath it all, the show explores the complex nature of grief, but fortunately, nothing gets too heavy.
8. Primo (Amazon FreeVee)
Primo has three big things going for it. One, it is loosely based on the life of bestselling author Shea Serrano, who is cool and funny. Two, it comes from Michael Schur, creator of Parks and Recreation and The Good Place, who is also cool and funny in addition to being good at making shows. Three, it’s, well, free, as it’s airing on Amazon’s FreeVee channel instead of on Prime. Tough to beat all of that on paper, you know?
7. Class of ’09 (Hulu)
What we have here is a timeline-hopping thriller starring Kate Mara and Brian Tyree Henry that follows a class of new FBI agents — you guessed it, the class of 2009 — as they deal with various changes to the justice system and the rise of articulate intelligence and, well, a lot of other stuff, too. Which shouldn’t be a surprise. You saw the thing about multiple timelines. There is ambition here. That’s not always a great thing, but it does make for an interesting hook.
6. Air (Amazon Prime)
Well, guess what: We have Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Viola Davis in a movie about Nike landing Michael Jordan as a client back in the early 1980s. It’s a fun watch. Davis is a powerhouse as Jordan’s mother. Chris Tucker pops up every now and then and just steals whatever scene he’s in by giving it the full Chris Tucker. It’s one of those movies that, in another era, you’d get sucked into on basic cable at noon on a Saturday. Which works out well, because you can still just watch it on a Saturday. This Saturday, if you want. Look at that. Another problem solved.
5. The Great (Hulu)
God only knows how Elle Fanning’s Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult’s Emperor Peter III somehow haven’t killed each other yet, but there’s still time for that to happen. Their arranged marriage has slid deeper into misery, but they must get their sh*t together to stay in power. History tells us that Catherine was Russia’s longest-reigning female empress and that she overthrew her husband, but god only knows where this show will actually go. Conventional history went out the door a long time ago.
4. Working: What We Do All Day (Netflix)
Former President Barack Obama — remember that guy? — narrates this Netflix show about work, both what it is and what it means, as well as just the nature of, like, having a job. It’s kind of cool, really, to see a politician out there celebrating regular people a little bit instead of shouting into a microphone about whatever cultural issue is currently dividing everyone. If this comes back for another season, he should do an episode about people who, to choose an example at random, make lists of shows and monies people can watch on the weekend. You know, the real heroes.
3. White Men Can’t Jump (Hulu)
First comment under the trailer for the new White Men Can’t Jump is about what it can’t be, which is a direct sequel that came out 30 years ago with Woody and Wesley blowing us all away with their A+ chemistry.
From the trailer, this new version looks like a layered story about ball and living and dying by the hustle with plenty of room for jokes and for this new duo (Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow) to show off their own impressive chemistry. The question is, can people let the classic be the classic and give this one some space to be its own thing?
2. Barry (HBO)
Everyone’s favorite hitman-turned-actor-but-still-sometimes-hitman is back for a final season. Things get… bleak. Still funny, borderline silly in parts, but also just very, very bleak. As it probably should be given… you know… the murders that Barry has committed. A lot of them. Thank God we have NoHo Hank and Henry Winkler in there to break it all up for us. This is our last season with all of these maniacs. Let’s enjoy it while we can.
1. Succession (HBO)
Good news and bad news, ladies and gentlemen. The good: The cretins and weasels of Succession are back for a fourth season full of drama and dark comedy and more than a little delightful flailing by Cousin Greg. The bad: This is also the final season. So… you’re going to have to come to terms with that as things play out. It’s a lot to deal with, especially with the frenetic pace things have been and are shaking down. This is one of our best shows. It’s going to sting to say goodbye. But let’s all agree to enjoy the ride while we can.