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.
1. Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
There are moments in the early stages of S2 that feel like they’re doubling down on the show’s signature positivity and niceness, but there’s no such thing as sweetness overload here as the show grows our affection for characters that are clearly taking a step forward in their arcs. Especially Ted, even though it seems like there may be some challenges ahead. Watch it on Apple TV+.
Sketch comedy as a medium is a bit like baseball in that if you’re hitting above .300 it’s considered a success. I Think You Should Leave season one didn’t necessarily bat much higher than that, but became an instant cultural phenomenon thanks to hits that were so glorious and memorable that they almost instantly became memes. In season two, ITYSL has upped its average without losing its power. There’s hardly a dud in the entire first three episodes, which serve up unforgettable characters like the guy at the “adult” ghost tour who keeps asking about giant horse penises and obscene things the ghosts might be doing, and a recurring bit about Santa Claus as the hero of a reactionary movie series. Even the sketches that aren’t laugh-out-loud funny are still fascinatingly weird. Imagining Robinson pitching some of these ideas to another human is almost an I Think You Should Leave sketch unto itself — fitting perfectly into Robinson’s most frequent motif, of a clumsy oddball trying desperately to stifle his inner weirdness and failing miserably. Watch it on Netflix.
3. The White Lotus (HBO Max)
HBO’s The White Lotus hails from Mike White, the School of Rock screenwriter who also created one of the network’s most brilliantly underrated shows in Enlightened. This limited series, about the staff and guests of a tropical resort starring Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton, Alexandra Daddario, and Steve Zahn, looks like another winner. Watch it on HBO Max.
4. Gossip Girl (HBO Max)
Few shows have influenced the cultural lexicon of an entire generation the way this soapy teen drama did. The original Gossip Girl was a narrative rollercoaster filled with questionable hookups, designer drugs, and Blair Waldorf headbands. It delighted in its ostentatious antics, reveled in its misbehaving brood of well-bred socialites. It made Chuck Bass, an attempted rapist and sex club owner who might have murdered his father and definitely pimped out his girlfriend for a stake in a hotel, a romantic lead. The original Gossip Girl had balls, gilded storytelling balls. Its successor, this HBO Max contemporary shows shades of that same promise. It’s got a cast that’s both believably diverse and unbelievable gorgeous, tons of pop-cultured-skewed wit, a driving rivalry, and Kristen Bell once again narrating those welcome Upper East Side scandals, but it’s a little too self-aware and overly-earnest to be as enjoyable as its predecessor. Then again, it took the O.G. Gossip Girl a few seasons before it sent one of its own to Jesus Camp and brought characters back from the dead, so this new crew has time. Watch it on HBO Max.
Dave is a lot of things all at once. It’s childish and sweet, gross and thoughtful, powerfully weird but also extremely human. Mostly, though, it’s just funny. The series follows an aspiring rapper (Dave Burd aka Lil Dicky) as he attempts to make it big. There are cameos from huge stars and urological issues and awkward moments galore. It’s kind of like Curb Your Enthusiasm if that show was about a 20-something white rapper who had a hype man named GaTa. This is a compliment. Watch it on FXX and Hulu.
6. Rick and Morty (Adult Swim / Hulu)
Rick and Morty are back, once again, with spaceships and evil aliens and a mess of other science fiction to nod toward and/or poke fun at. This is good news because Rick and Morty is good, still, even today, a number of years after it first started getting weird on TV screens all over the country. Watch the new episodes as they drop, sure, but maybe take a spin through the back catalog too if you have some time to kill. You probably forgot a bunch of good stuff in there anyway. Go. Do it. Watch it on Adult Swim and Hulu.
7. Masters of the Universe: Revelations (Netflix)
The very battle for Eternia’s soul continues with the ultimate fanboy, Kevin Smith, picking up the showrunner sword. Smith’s enthusiasm for all stuff geeky has led him down many roads, all of them filled with huge feelings, so the dude is channeling the Power of Grayskull through his veins. Expect him to continue the story of the rivalry between Skeletor and the world with Cringer and Orko and Teela on board. The voice cast (including Lena Headey, Henry Rollins, and Jason Mewes) is great here, especially Mark Hamill as Skeletor. Watch it on Netflix.
8. Sexy Beasts (Netflix)
With somewhat vapid contestants mostly focused on smashing, a smirky narrator (Catastrophe’s Rob Delaney), a castle, wince-inducing pick-up lines, and eye-roll conjuring self-absorption, Sexy Beasts profiles as a pretty standard dating show. Except for that whole ornate mask thing, which adds an interesting twist “what the f*ck” twist.
9. Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage (HBO Max)
The original Woodstock, held back in 1969, was an extended tribute to peace and love and extremely good vibes. The Woodstock held in 1999, 30 years later and featuring famously chill acts like Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock, had… oh, let’s say “less good vibes.” But what it lacked in vibes it made up with, uh, more uncontrolled fires. And violence. And portable toilet fiascos. It was a mess, as you can see when you watch this HBO docuseries about the whole thing, featuring Uproxx’s music critic and fiasco expert Steven Hyden. Watch it on HBO.
10. (tie) Turner and Hooch (Disney+)
The beloved 1989 Tom Hanks film gets the reboot treatment with Detective Scott Turner’s son taking the helm. Josh Peck stars as a U.S. Marshal who’s saddled with an unruly canine, only to realize that this pup is actually the partner of his dreams. Hooch is portrayed by five French Mastiffs, which means that the series doesn’t take CGI shortcuts, and these dogs will charm everyone. Watch it on Disney+.
10. (tie) Dr. Death (Peacock)
Dr. Death is the latest series to make the jump from podcast to television, this time taking the story from your ears to your eyes via Peacock. Joshua Jackson steps into the lead role as a Dallas spinal surgeon who — through menace or incompetence or both — left a trail of dead or injured patients in his wake. The rest of the cast is strong, too, featuring Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater, and AnnaSophia Robb. It could make for a solid weekend binge as long as you’re not going in for surgery yourself on Monday. Watch it on Peacock.