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.

TIE: 10. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Amazon series)

Are you still resisting watching a remake that actually makes more sense (and is far funnier) than the original? Well, get on it. Donald Glover and Maya Erskine throw curveballs at each other after ending up in an employer-arranged marriage while simultaneously attempting to figure out the whole “hihi” mystery. The end result is sexy but also completely different than the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie blockbuster of yesteryear, which was simply two sexy people dashing around doing sexy murder things. We’re still hanging tight for second season news, and “Hot Neighbor” could use some spinoff rumors.

TIE: 10. Constellation (Apple TV+ series)

Noomi Rapace has long since ditched her Dragon Tattoo and now portrays an International Space Station astronaut in a classic space catastrophe story that also hurls preconceived notions down to planet Earth. This is a cross-genre affair with sci-fi, psychological drama, and horror thrown in for good measure. Prepare to blast off, y’all.

9. Shōgun (FX series streaming on Hulu)

James Clavell’s beloved 1975 novel (within his Asian Saga) will be lushly rendered to bring his 1600s civil war-story to life. You might need a flowchart to keep track of the various alliances and betrayals in this show, which begins when Lord Yoshii Toranaga finds himself being dragged into oblivion by “vultures,” i.e. the opposing Council of Regents. Enter an apparent ally, John Blackthorne, whose ship has conveniently been marooned nearby, although he could be the key to helping Toranago tip the balance against his enemies. That’s only the beginning, and clearly, any attempt at a small blurb would fail to adequately describe what’s in store for viewers here.

8. This Is Me… Now: A Love Story (Amazon Prime movie)

Suck it, Gigli reviews (and audience reception). Jennifer Lopez is here with a heightened version of her own persona to poke fun at the scrutiny of her storied love life. Naturally, the specter of Ben Affleck figures prominently, and it’s wild to think about where these two have landed, despite everything. How much of this story is true? That’s what JLo wants you to wonder.

7. The Iron Claw (A24 film on VOD & Amazon Prime)

The Von Erich wrestling family is here to make you burst into tears and thank it. Zac Efron is a jacked-up wrestling-ring force as Kevin, who endured tragedy of an unfathomable scale. How did The Oscars overlook this performance? He’s accompanied by Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson (who is so underrated despite being everywhere lately), and Stanley Simons as they took their father’s wrestling dynasty to the moon and then crashing back down again. Eventually, this title will stream on Max, but for now, it’s in VOD City.

6. Anyone But You (Sony film on VOD & Amazon Prime)

It’s a little bit like Will Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, only with Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell looking far too attractive in swimsuits, and less, and more. This sleeper romcom proved that mid-budget comedies can pull in far more than some superhero movies, even when both films in question include Sydney Sweeney. Sometimes, you just need a silly slice of comedy in life, alright? This film is here to suit that purpose.

5. Halo (Paramount+ series)

Pablo Schreiber returns as Master Chief, who could use a little Pornstache, among other things, to liven up the heavy load that he carries. He’s still fretting about the changing tide of this war and how to prepare for what he believes is an imminent attack by the Covenant on the most valuable stronghold known to mankind. Can he finally find the Halo, which will either help humanity survive or kill it off forever? Gamers must be in TV/movie heaven these days.

4. Dune (WBD film on Max)

With Dune 2 due to hit theaters on March 1, the world is revisiting the first film that released only on streaming. Back then, Duncan Idaho was carrying us through the pandemic, and even though Jason Momoa isn’t in the second movie, our own Mike Ryan has described the sequel as “certainly up there with some of the best science fiction movies I’ve ever seen.” Yep, that’s the case despite (and partially because of) sandworms and everything. For many, it’s time for a refresher of the first movie before taking in the second installment.

3. The Tourist (BBC One/Stan series streaming on Netflix)

This series originally streamed on Max and found new life after moving over to Netflix for its second season of U.S.-based streaming. Jamie Dornan’s character took a hell of a road trip in the Australian Outback and has now crossed a few ponds to land in Ireland, where he’s attempting to make progress against those ultra-bad dudes who want to take his also-bad dude self off the map. First, he’ll be drawn into a family feud — the most delicate kind of feud. This show is wildly entertaining, and thank goodness that Jamie Dornan is finally able to punt his Fifty Shades era into the dust.

2. Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix series)

Here comes the latest attempt from Netflix to adapt beloved IP into live-action mode, and in doing so, it must strive for the high bar of the animated series and clear the low bar set by the M. Night Shyamalan movie. The show was conceived with at least three seasons in mind, but for now, the story begins with Aang, an Air Nomad who must attempt to (with the help of a few pals) take his rightful ruling position after bringing harmony to the realms. Fire Nation, however, has plenty of wrenches to throw into that effort. Let’s just say that the current social media response from bingewatchers is mixed, so we shall see whether more seasons surface after the dust settles.

1. True Detective (HBO series streaming on Max)

Series creator Nic Pizzolatto is so bloody angry about the Night Country season, and guess what? He’s gotta be even more upset by the nearly instantaneous fifth-season renewal after the finale. Issa López will be writing, showrunning, and directing again, so stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime, do catch up on Jodie Foster and Kali Reis’ adventure in arctic hell if you haven’t already. If nothing else, you’ll learn more about Rust Cohle’s father, and also be able to understand why our own Brian Grubb has this advice for everyone involved in the between-seasons beef: “Everyone involved here desperately needs to log off and go outside for a few hours.”