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. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount movie streaming on VOD and Amazon Prime)
Somehow, this franchise has hit its seventh film, which is kind-of wild because Michael Bay released the first movie (and largely introduced Megan Fox to the masses) in 2007. Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. grabbed the baton and ran with it, and this installment includes Pete Davidson as a Porsche (called Mirage) that’s also an Autobot. Mirage gets stolen by the film’s main character, which means that both are heading into the fray when Optimus Prime comes calling for reinforcements. Get the popcorn ready in your home theater.
TIE: 10. What We Do In The Shadows (FX series streaming on Hulu)
These undead roommates are still going with their antics never seeming to grow stale, but perhaps this all down to Guillermo carrying the weight of the vamps (and their world) on his shoulders. Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and Colin would never be able to function without him, but there shall be some infighting this season when Nandor grows a little jealous of Laszlo. Nadja will be in her own little world in for awhile (reconnecting with “family”), and Colin will be distracted by political ambition. Sadly, that happens IRL, too.
9. The Crowded Room (Apple TV+ series)
This Tom Holland drama had a rough start, and the narrative is still oddly reworked, considering that it’s loosely based upon a true story of a murder defendant (Billy Milligan) who invoked a legal defense that had never been successfully used on a previous occasion. Yet no one can deny that Holland is going through the acting paces toward the end of the season, in which he portrays “Danny Sullivan,” whose alternate personalities begin to emerge while an investigator (portrayed by Amanda Seyfried) unravels what really happened inside of his terribly troubled mind.
8. The Walking Dead: Dead City (AMC series streaming on AMC+)
The first in a new wave of undead-focused spinoffs will soon bring its first season to an end, and so, we’ll finally find out if Maggie and Semi-Old Negan can continue to be a team while settling all the Croat business and attempt to save Hershel. So far, we’ve seen Negan let guts fly all over a fancy New York building lobby and take out a dude with a cheese grater, so this franchise’s decision to venture into the city has worked out better for this pair (so far) than it has for former “Dumbass” Rick Grimes.
7. Full Circle (HBO Max series)
Justified: City Primeval launched this week, and while you are waiting for more Raylan, there’s a (mostly) hatless Olyphant in this Steven Soderbergh drama. Olyphant and Claire Danes star as parents of a kidnapped child, and there’s much more than the initial setup at work as well as a ton of tension on display. As well, Zazie Beetz is attempting to investigate the case, and her character probably goes through much more than her pay grade would suggest. Your hands might be gripping your couch arms, so prepare yourself, but the storytelling (also mostly) makes up for the stress.
6. Foundation (Apple TV+ series)
This Isaac Asimov adaptation has taken the slow burn approach, but there’s a payoff already, which would be plenty of Lee Pace (including within a scantily-clad fight scene) at nearly every turn. In addition to the leading man, the visuals of this show are striking to behold, and season 2 expands the scope of the already-epic feel of the show. That’s only to be expected with a story about a crumbling, Milky Way-spanning Galactic Empire and Jared Harris’ prophet foreseeing the final downfall of this rule while attempting to at least mitigate the eventual fallout. Anyone who’s bummed about the delay of a second Dune movie should tuck into this series if they haven’t already done so.
5. Mayans M.C. (FX series streaming on Hulu)
This series finale ended up being even more shattering than Jax Teller driving into a Mack truck (by choice) in the Sons Of Anarchy closer. No spoilers here, but the ending felt like a worthy one for most characters, and now, the club can ride off into the sunset. Fortunately, J.D. Pardo was on hand to talk us through the most shocking turns of the episode, yet I’m still over here wondering if Angel will get that nut farm that was a professed dream from Clayton Cardenas. Let’s ride… off into the sunset.
4. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount movie streaming on Paramount+)
Tom Cruise had to stop his endless promotional tour due to the strike, but fortunately, the movies are still out there, and you can go watch him
risk his own hide while doing daredevil feats in the name of cinema. That is, if you aren’t busy watching Barbenheimer this weekend at your neighborhood multiplex. The movies of summer have finally kicked into gear, and hopefully, Tom Cruise will never stop making movies because he’s the still the most enduringly capable star at getting butts into theater seats.
3. Justified: City Primeval (FX series streaming on Hulu)
Raylan Givens has returned for a road trip that takes him all the way to Motor City. The limited series lines him up with a new big bad (in tighty-whiteys) and a host of morally gray characters swirling in the foreground. Our own Brian Grubb has been recapping the chaos that will further unfold until the audience learns whether Raylan will be lucky a second time and get out of Detroit alive.
2. Bird Box Barcelona (Netflix film)
This sequel doesn’t star Sandra Bullock, but the clicks are coming nonetheless as the first film retains third-most-viewed position among Netflix original films. As you can probably guess, this installment takes place in Spain during the early days of the outbreak that causes people to lose their sh*t in the worst way. Get ready to watch everyone bust out those blindfolds, and hopefully, the streaming service stays smart and never shows us what those monsters look like because no one wants a straight-up comedy here.
1. The Bear (FX series streaming on Hulu)
Carmy Berzatto and his legion of Chefs are still on top. This is one of those rare shows that can be binged on repeat with one discovering new little touches about these rough-and-tumble characters that have won hearts (and loins) over far and wide. FX has yet to announce a third season, but surely, that’s on the way because the season finale leaves the door wide open (as well as closed). Carmy is still center stage and terrible at relationships of several varieties, so I’m hoping that never happens again, but the rest of this second round is nearly flawless. The heat remains on in this kitchen for sure.