Every single 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 Witcher (Netflix series)
This show will soon drop the second batch of Season 3, and a return to the series’ initial heights (when Henry Cavill first grunted into your soul as Geralt of Rivia) is likely not possible. Next season, if it still happens, Geralt will be portrayed by Liam Hemsworth while Cavill moves onto the Warhammer 40,000 franchise for Amazon Studios. Still, Joey Batey will apparently still be around to deliver Jaskier’s bangers, and we’ll see if Liam can convincingly swashbuckle whilst wearing a long blonde wig, too.
TIE: 10. I’m A Virgo (Amazon Prime series)
Boots Riley doesn’t miss. Here, Jharrel Jerome portrays a giant (you read that correctly) teenager, so obviously, get ready for some surreal action as he decides not to listen to his parents and introduces himself to the world. This show dabbles in sci-fi, but mostly, it’s trippy while also relishing the satiric spin that Riley loves to deliver. Walton Goggins portrays “Hero,” and the man never ceases to be an absolute delight to witness onscreen, even as a super-suited billionaire who will remind you a bit of Stan Lee as well as Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne. It’s a larger-than-life series and too much fun.
9. Foundation (Apple TV+ series)
Lee Pace fans rejoiced (and Jared Harris followers weren’t mad, either) at the gorgeous first season of the Isaac Asimov adaptation, but the substance of the show delivers, too. The production spares no detail in bringing classic literature to life, and sci-fi addicts finally got to see Asimov’s battle to rebuild civilization, which became a necessary burden after Harris’ prophet was declared heretical when he predicted that humanity was on its last legs. If you dug the first Dune installment and can’t wait for the second one to arrive, this TV show will go miles to tide you over in the interim.
8. And Just Like That… (Max original series)
This franchise still has viewers hooked even if Miranda Hobbes is no longer even a tiny bit like her original self. She used to be such a take-no-garbage character, but now, she’s still hooked on Che Diaz even though she did pay a visit home so that the audience could see Steve Brady’s “revenge bod.” As well, Carrie Bradshaw has turned into a much more modest character than we’ve seen before now, although the same cannot be said for Charlotte York Goldenblatt. No Samantha Jones cameo yet, but hang tight.
7. Asteroid City (Focus Features film for rent on VOD and Amazon Prime)
Wes Anderson fans came out for this film in cinemas, proving that big-budget isn’t always where it’s at for summertime audiences. Anderson’s 11th film follows a 1950s fictional desert town that will never be the same again after it’s “spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events” that may or may not be accompanied by aliens. The occupants of the town (including Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention attendees) must all cope with the unpleasant aftermath of first contact. The stacked cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, and Margot Robbie.
6. The Blackening (Lionsgate movie for rent on VOD and Amazon Prime)
If you’re looking for fun and spooky, this horror comedy will hit the spot. Seven friends shall embark upon a weekend getaway together, but they end up in a remote cabin where a murderer is naturally afoot. The killer might, however, be no match for the group’s street smarts, not to mention the face that they are very familiar with horror movies and the tropes that have been a pain in the ass for groups like these since the dawn of slasher films. This film’s wicked humor spares no mercy for filmmakers who haven’t considered the Black perspective, and the cast includes Antoinette Robertson, Dewayne Perkins, Melvin Gregg, Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Yvonne Orji, and Jay Pharoah.
5. Full Circle (HBO Max series)
Oddly enough, not too much promotion of this Steven Soderbergh series unfurled, but the show sure speaks for itself and has attracted a crowd. As well, here’s a nice appetizer for Timothy Olyphant’s impending return as Raylan Givens in Justified: City Primeval. Things do get more serious here (although still with some villainous forces) in this crime drama series. Claire Danes and Olyphant portray parents who will do anything to find their kidnapped child, so expect this to be a tense watch. Zazie Beetz makes everything better, and she plays the lead investigator who is unraveling clues and, unfortunately, the secrets that comes with them.
4. The Walking Dead: Dead City (AMC series streaming on AMC+)
Soon enough, unwashed boo Daryl Dixon will wash up on a French beach with no idea how he got there or whether he’ll be able to return to the Commonwealth. Before that happens, Maggie and Semi-Old Negan will continue survival mode in Manhattan, where they are attempting to rescue Hershel Rhees, the son of Maggie and Glenn. At this point, Negan has let guts fly all over a fancy New York building lobby and took out a foe with a cheese grater, so he really is embracing city life and death. The show brings two unlikely partners together, and whether or not they will get out alive seems surprisingly secondary to the character layering as well as this franchise harkening back to what made it a blast in the first place.
3. What We Do In The Shadows (FX series streaming on Hulu)
Those vampire roommates are still up to their wacky escapades. Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and Colin are all still relying heavily upon Guillermo, who is beginning to enjoy his time with Laszlo more than Nandor would prefer. Meanwhile, Nadja is sort-of reconnecting with her family (make that a random family), and Colin decides to pursue politics because that’s what energy vampires do. Can The Guide ever find her place amid this madness? That’s part of the challenge this season.
2. The Bear (FX series streaming on Hulu)
This second season keeps the door wide open (or rather, closed, but you’ll see what I mean) for a third season, but before that happens, there’s a superior soundtrack and a ridiculously impressive assembling of guest stars for the taking. Carmy is still center stage and terrible at relationships of several varieties, but fortunately, Sydney, Marcus, Tina, and Richie are here to pick up that slack. Maybe Carmy will eventually get his head together, but there’s so much joy (and stress) to be found in watching these journeys happen.
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount movie streaming on Paramount+)
Never fear, movie theaters. Tom Cruise is preparing to save the box office with Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, in which he will drive right off the side of a cliff like it ain’t no thing. Ideally, this daredevil feat will help resurrect the summer box office so that Barbie and Oppenheimer have a nice lead-in after the superheroes underperformed. At the forefront, wild man Tom is here to keep this franchise as adrenaline-fueled as always, and if he has to run to the moon next time to do it, you can bet he’ll enjoy the challenge.