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) 1899 (Netflix)
Imagine if Lost took place on a transatlantic steamboat and you’ve got the gist of this mystery-drama. Made by the same twisted geniuses that gave us Netflix’s Dark series, this show follows a group of passengers hailing from all over Europe who find themselves stuck on a cursed ship bound for America. After the recent disappearance of another company ship months earlier, everyone on board is a bit on-edge and the tension only escalates when passengers start dying, weird time loops start popping up, and a boy who should be dead arrives with an ominous-looking pyramid that makes everything go haywire. Watch it on Netflix.
10. (tie) Tulsa King (Paramount Plus)
Sylvester Stallone portrays a mafia capo who’s not swimming with the fishes. However, he might as well be on Mars in this Taylor Sheridan-created series that takes him to Route 66 and the land of the Golden Driller. Tulsa’s experiencing a hotspot-like effect these days in the midst of Reservation Dogs and following Watchmen, but it’s going to be quite pleasurable to see him as the O.G. who’s dropping a “nice little place you got here” in a weed dispensary. This show looks to be full of 1980s-style one-liners that could put the Sly and Arnold movies of yesteryear to shame. Watch it on Paramount Plus.
10. (tie) The English (Amazon Prime)
Emily Blunt can kick some butt even while wearing a ridiculous array of aristocratic-type dresses. That’s not the main highlight of this series, believe it or not. Rather, we’ve got a worthy Western story that pairs two well-matched contenders as they battle the nefarious forces that be. Cartoonish villains rear up in this parable, which tells a tale of power and destiny and what America does when it digs inside of one’s soul. Also, the show is stunning to look at and incredibly well-lit, unlike plenty of other movies and shows that will give you a squint-induced headache. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
9. Wednesday (Netflix)
Yes, Rob Zombie and Tim Burton are all up in the Addams Family resurrection this fall, but while Zombie veers into wild kitsch, Burton decided to reinvent his character’s mission a bit while creating a “eight-hour Tim Burton movie.” Call it a passion project, of course, while Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán step in as Morticia and Gomez, respectively, and Jenna Ortega slides into view as the title character. Don’t expect a typical reboot feel. Rather, Wednesday is on some missions here, and the show justifies its existence as a separate entity. Watch it on Netflix.
8. Dead To Me (Netflix)
How do you end a show the “right” way? Do you try to say something profound, pay off longtime viewers with fan service, or end with a shocking twist? For Dead To Me‘s just-released final season, the answer is an emphatic yes to all of the above as creator Liz Feldman delivers a triumphant close, leaning on the otherworldly onscreen chemistry of stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as they lead us through the twisty chaos of the show’s central story while dealing with heavy matters of life, family. love, and death before ending on high with a tear and a tease. Watch it on Netflix.
7. Mythic Quest (Apple TV Plus)
It’s easy to think of Mythic Quest, now in its third season, as Rob McElhenney’s “other” show, but that would be a mistake. Yes, sure, he’s best known for the incredibly long-running Always Sunny, which is fair because that show rules. But this one is great, too. It’s sweet and mean and funny and everything a workplace comedy — this time in a video game studio — should be. No television show did a better job of grasping the pandemic while it was still new and really scary, too. Do not miss this because you relegate it to second-tier Mac status. This is the good stuff, too. Watch it on Apple TV Plus.
6. Welcome to Chippendale’s (Hulu)
The downside of ambition is explored as sleights move from fuel to an acid rotting the man behind Chippendales to his core even as his creation — clubs featuring all-male strip shows — approaches the apex of its popularity. Starring Kumail Nanjiani in arguably his best work, this 8-episode event series leans into the debauchery of the ’80s as it tells a (true) story about an awkward, hard-working immigrant who dreamt of becoming the next Hugh Hefner before self-destructing. Watch it on Hulu.
5. The Crown (Netflix)
Revenge dresses. Extramarital affairs. Royal yacht refurbishments. The Crown’s fifth season ramps up the melodrama to deliciously enjoyable levels as Elizabeth Debicki channels Princes Diana and Dominic West steps into Prince Charles’ (less desirable) shoes. Though the conflict between the couple spurs much of the action this season, there’s still room for Imelda Staunton (who plays Queen Elizabeth II this time around) and Lesley Manville (as Princess Margaret) to give some spectacular performances that ground the soap opera vibes a bit. If anything, this season draws a clear line between the supposed pros and very apparent cons of the British monarchy, showing how the fallout of their familial squabbles had very real consequences for their subjects. Watch it on Netflix.
4. Andor (Disney Plus)
George Lucas has frequently insisted that, like Wu-Tang Clan, Star Wars is for the children. But Andor sure looks like it’s geared more towards adults. The Rogue One prequel starring Diego Luna, reprising his role as Cassian Andor, is gritty, mature, and other words you use to describe movies and TV shows that aren’t messing around. And with this being the first Disney-era Star Wars show to be filmed in real-life locations, Andor isn’t messing around. Watch it on Disney Plus.
3. Fleishman Is In Trouble (Hulu)
I hear what you’re thinking here. The title of this show doesn’t sound particularly fascinating. Maybe it even sounds a little bit pretentious. Yet this show’s actually a satiric little jaunt that turns marriage-divorce drama on its head. Jesse Eisenberg plays the dude whose wife, played by Claire Danes, leaves him and then quite literally leaves the building. He’s suddenly in the midst of parenting and awful dating experiences, and all of this wouldn’t be as fascinating if Eisenberg wasn’t so good at being awkward. He’s flanked by Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody (there are worse companions out there) while trying to find his way. Watch it on Hulu.
2. Abbott Elementary (Hulu)
The first season of Abbott Elementary was a feel-good network sitcom that caught a massive wave of popularity and won a bunch of Emmys in a time when feel-good network sitcoms are kind of not supposed to do that. Credit for this goes to creator and star Quinta Brunson, who realized that an underfunded inner-city public school was exactly the right place to show us people with good hearts working inside a system that can be cold. Kind of like Parks and Recreation but in Philadelphia. The second season is underway and does not appear to be missing a beat. This is basically a miracle, all around. Watch it on Hulu.
1. The White Lotus (HBO Max)
The first season of The White Lotus took the world and the internet by storm with its combination of misery and drama and beautiful Hawaiian scenery. Season two takes the action to a new resort in the White Lotus chain, this one in Italy, and replaces almost the entire cast. “Almost” being the key word here because Jennifer Coolidge is back as Tanya. Which is good. More shows should be about Jennifer Coolidge going to fancy hotels around the world. This is a nice start. Watch it on HBO Max.