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.
10. (tie) George Carlin: American Dream (HBO Max)
Director Judd Apatow weaves archival footage, diary entries, and invaluable insights from George Carlin’s daughter Kelly to create an extensive portrait of a legendary comedian and thinker whose thoughts on life and culture still resonate and routinely trend on Twitter 16 years after his death. What’s most remarkable about Carlin may not be that unheard of staying power, but how he continued to innovate and reinvent himself over a 50+ year career to get to the point where his words and memory would carry so much weight with so many people; something Apatow explores thoroughly here while exploring the drive, complexity, and artistry of the man.
10. (tie) The Kids in the Hall (Amazon Prime)
It’s been 27 years since the last Kids In The Hall episode and 26 since the release of Brain Candy, the movie that almost broke the group apart forever. Since then, there has been inter-group litigation, a period of resolution, numerous tours, health scares, and onscreen reunions official (Death Comes To Town) and not (numerous cameos in each other’s projects), but the Kids are back. Not quite “kids” anymore, but with the same charm and bend toward dark comedic absurdity. No, I mean really the same, but in a way that should connect in equal measure with old fans and potential new viewers whose dads won’t shut up about them when they walk into the room and see you watching I Think You Should Leave and they want to contribute so they tell you about a guy with lettuce for hair and “Love And Sausages” and how communists and killer bees are LIKE THIS! OK. The point is, the new Kids In The Hall is a brilliant mix of old and new that further solidifies the group’s legend status. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
10. (tie) I Love That For You (Showtime)
Vanessa Bayer was one of the best things about Saturday Night Live during her seven-year run and while nothing beats her awards-worthy work in the sketch comedy’s Totino’s trilogy, this definitely comes close. Based on Bayer’s own experience with childhood cancer (and her ongoing love affair with the home shopping channel) the show follows a yet-to-fully-mature woman who lies about her cancer diagnosis to keep her dream job. Everyone from Molly Shannon to Jenifer Lewis helps out here but it’s some of the lesser known members of the cast that really shine. Watch it on Showtime.
9. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Netflix)
David Letterman is back once again to talk to a slew of very famous people about their lives and careers. It remains a cool show and a cool idea and it’s cool that Letterman has fully embraced his role as a Beard Guy. No complaints to be found anywhere. This season’s guests include Billie Eilish, Ryan Reynolds, Cardi B, Kevin Durant, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and a pre-Slap Will Smith. Watch it on Netflix.
8. The Staircase (HBO Max)
The original true-crime docuseries (originally on Sundance TV) captivated enough people on Netflix that HBO Max decided to dramatize the story, and lo and behold, it works. Colin Firth plays Michael Peterson, who served prison time after the death of his wife, Kathleen (portrayed by Toni Collette) under mysterious circumstances. Sophie Turner and Parker Posey are on hand, and there’s a (SPOILER ALERT) certain theory that won’t be overlooked. This shall be an eight-part adaptation that explores the nature of fact and fiction and goes to some unexpected places. Watch it on HBO Max.
The first season of The Flight Attendant was a blast, just fizzy chaos and murder from the opening scene to the very end, with Kaley Cuoco carrying the action as a party girl airline employee who finds herself wrapped up in about eight layers of international flim-flammery. It’s back for a second season, thank God, with her character, Cassie, now assisting the CIA. That probably sounds like an insane twist to you if you didn’t watch the first season. And it is. But more importantly… why haven’t you watched the first season yet. Good Lord. Get in there. You deserve a good time. Watch it on HBO Max.
6. Angelyne (Peacock)
It’s Emmy Rossum, all bewigged and looking nothing like Fiona Gallagher, which is probably exactly the type of thing that Rossum wanted to do after a decade in the same role. Here, she portrays the iconic billboard queen and mysterious buxom blonde who parlayed herself into a sensation. Expect a whole lot of pink with hair, makeup, and wardrobe on (tacky) point. Rossum looks like she’s having a blast as a precursor to the Paris Hiltons of today, and there are spaces where the show is great fun, but be warned that it takes its time while moving toward an emotional payoff.
Well, guess what: Atlanta is back, four years since its second season and just as ready and willing to throw you for a loop. Earn and Paper Boi and Darius are still off in Europe on that tour they were en route to way back then, but there are detours and flights of fancy and all the other weird, stunning, inventive stuff that made (and makes) this one of our greatest shows. Donald Glover and this crew are pretty good at this stuff. It’s great to have them back. Watch it on Hulu.
Alright, one thing is certain: this season is gonna be violent, and that could land right on top of Ruth Langmore and the Byrde family. Marty desperately wants to leave his money-laundering hellscape and go back to Chicagoan suburbia. Also, Ruth is hellaciously angry about losing almost everything. We’ll see if she can finally rise above that “cursed Langmore” status that she keeps clinging onto. There’s more cursed cookie jar, too, so we’ll see if she can rise above those ashes as the show careens to an end. Watch it on Netflix.
It should not be possible to enjoy watching a sweet man like Bill Hader destroy his life and the lives of those around him, and yet, here we all are, ready for season three of Barry, one of the best shows on television. It’s a dilemma, honestly. Not as much of a dilemma as, say, being a hitman who stumbles into an acting career and has to occasionally kill more people to prevent other people from learning that he has a history of killing people, but still. There’s an embarrassment of riches at play here. Find another show that features Henry Winkler and Stephen Root and D’Arcy Carden where none of them are the funniest character, somehow, against incredible odds. This is the power of NoHo Hank. You either know what that sentence means or you desperately need to binge Barry as soon as possible. Watch it on HBO Max.
Jean Smart’s dueling curmudgeons won’t both return because we can’t always have nice things. Yet we still have her cranky comedian, Deborah, who’s back in the comedy game (this time on tour) with Hannah Einbinder’s Ava in tow. The second season’s a lean, mean comedy machine but unfortunately for Ava, her big betrayal is still out there, looming over both of them. Also, Jean gets to wield a chainsaw, and that’s worth the price of admission on its own, but getting to see the dynamic duo in action is something that we’re frankly not worthy of — we will take it. Watch it on HBO Max.
1. Better Call Saul (Netflix, AMC)
Better Call Saul is back, soon, finally, after an extended layoff. It remains one of our greatest shows, a ball of tension and comedy, the former of which is amped up even more as it heads into its final season. What will happen to Kim? What will happen to Nacho and Lalo? The Breaking Bad timeline is rapidly approaching and it’s time to answer these questions once and for all. It’s okay to be nervous. We’re nervous, too. Take some time for a quick Season 5 rewatch on Netflix and then strap in for the new episodes on AMC Plus