What’s Popular On Streaming Now

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.

10. The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Amazon series)

With the second season almost around the corner, there’s no time like the present for J.R.R. Tolkien junkies to reacquaint themselves with Middle-earth’s Second Age and a younger Galadriel even though some viewers have troubled over the somewhat wonky timeline shenanigans of this series. Still, Jeff Bezos wanted his Game of Thrones, and he is bound and determined to keep getting it, and refreshing on this show is also useful as a pre-game for the upcoming trilogy of new movies, including The Hunt for Gollum, directed by Andy Serkis and coming in 20226.

9. Madame Web (Sony movie streaming on Netflix)

No Marvel movie wants to be compared to Morbius, but that’s precisely what happened here as soon as Dakota Johnson was heard uttering that line about researching spiders in the Amazon. It’s safe to say that this show will not receive a hopeful re-release in theaters like its Jared Leto-starring Sony predecessor, but there are still enough people that either want to watch ironically or simply see what the anti-hype was all about. Quite handily, Netflix has the movie as part of its streaming package.

8. Late Night With The Devil (IFC Films movie streaming on Shudder)

The found footage trend returns in the right way in this flick where David Dastmalchian shines in leading man mode after boosting the power of a zillion ensemble casts. He portrays Jack Delroy, who ends up inviting true evil on his late-night show in an attempt to resurrect his ratings from purgatory. Whether Delroy is speaking to his TV audience (such as it is), or Dastmalchian is winking and nodding to those of us in our real homes, this film is riveting while playfully batting around the horror tropes of yesteryear. It’s also the genre picture that appears to have the best lasting streaming power since M3GAN.

7. The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare (Lionsgate movie on VOD & Amazon Prime)

C’mon, who doesn’t want to see Henry Cavill and Alan Ritchson take out Nazis? Guy Ritchie is blanketing every onscreen medium with his “gentlemen” fixation. This film didn’t make as much of a splash as hoped at the cinema, but it’s ideal for your home theater because you can miss Reacher by watching Ritchson pretend to not look like Reacher by wearing glasses. The ensemble cast includes Eiza González, Henry Golding, Alex Pettifer, Cary Elwes, and Inglorious Basterds co-star Til Schweiger.

6. Hacks (Max series)

Two words: Christina Hendricks. Her episode dropped this week, as well as a pseudo-bottle episode where Deborah and Ava take a walk in the woods. You know that was bound to go (not) well, right? Even though the show is back in Vegas, these two installments do a fine job of shaking up the venue, so that this season isn’t entirely set against a background of blackjack tables. Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder also remain a pairing for the ages, literally and figuratively.

5. Dark Matter (Apple TV+ series)

Man, Apple TV+ loves those trippy shows. This series adapts Blake Crouch’s New York Times bestseller and stars Joel Egerton as a physicist/professor who gets kidnapped by an alternate reality. He works to make it home while encountering other alternate lives, and this isn’t nearly as fun for him as it might sound on paper. Jennifer Connelly co-stars, and she probably won’t enjoy it much either when Egerton’s character has to save his own family from the Villain Dad that he has apparently become. So stressful.

4. Unfrosted (Netflix film)

Jerry Seinfeld has a comedy-chip on his shoulder lately, but he has nothing to complain about with the “cancel” talk because this (mediocre) movie about 1960s Pop-Tart inception has been faring quite well with streaming clicks. Then again, sometimes it’s nice to check out and watch breakfast-snack food’s origin story that has zero consequence. Yes, the jokes feel cringeworthy much of the time, but there’s still a buffet of Bill Burr, Maria Bakalova, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, and Hugh Grant on the table. The former sitcom king somehow still has “it” when it comes to audience attraction.

3. Baby Reindeer (Netflix series)

Richard Gadd’s rising fame is both a plus and minus these days. He’s also plowing full steam ahead on his next series, Lions, but this stunning Netflix series is staying hot despite the incredibly troublesome and harrowing subject matter. Some of the events depicted here likely resonate with many viewers, but what’s more remarkable is that Gadd, as “Donny,” has laid his own experiences on the table in this adaptation of his one-man show that won’t be leaving your brain. It’s not exactly a true-crime series, but the public’s fascination with the based-on-real-life story could arguably qualify it as such.

2. The Idea Of You (Prime Video/Amazon movie)

This story is totally not based on Harry Styles but is, yes, pretty much based on Harry Styles in his One Direction days. Nicholas Galitzine portrays the pop singer who falls for a cool Coachella mom because, c’mon, she looks exactly like Anne Hathaway. Readers of Robinne Lee’s May-December novel have been pleased by the leading pair’s chemistry and the escapism while romance seems to be ruling in May like it’s February or something.

1. Bridgerton (Netflix series)

Only this Netflix juggernaut could unseat Baby Reindeer on its own streaming service. This season updates us on Kanthony’s scratch marks and puts Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton in courtship mode. Nicola Coughlan has a f*ck-you nude scene, and only four episodes dropped so far because Netflix is having a ball with suspense. The Lady Whistledown stuff could grow complicated soon, and we’ll see more next month. Until then, enjoy the abundance of corsets and be glad that they are not in fashion now.