TV

What’s Popular On Streaming Right Now

Multiple times per 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 and ratings) 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: TIE. Industry (HBO series on HBO Max)

This debauched take on the finance industry does not approach American Psycho territory, thank goodness. Rather, this drama will appeal to both the Euphoria and Succession audiences while charting the rise (and potential fall) of young go-getters in London. This is only for mature audiences, and this season sees the return of the principal cast (Sarah Parish, Nicholas Bishop, Caoilfhionni Dunne, and more) with all of them jockeying for better positioning as recent grads at a sought after company that’s highly competitive, even when one’s got their foot in the door. Watch out for those Oxford men, as The Great Gatsby once warned us all.

10: TIE. The Gray Man (Netflix film)

Netflix poured out at least $200 million for their latest blockbuster, and what a cast. Ryan Gosling (who’s also on the verge of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie) stars along Chris Evans’ stache and Regé-Jean Page, but don’t forget about Ana de Armas reminding us that she’s much more than a Knives Out ingenue and a 5-minute Bond girl. There’s action and spectacle and spy drama galore here, and the Russo brothers produce, so you know that you’re in quite a ride while watching Gosling attempt to dodge a (handsome) merchant of death and knowing spinoffs are on the way, too.

9. Prey (Hulu movie)

If you’re looking for a down and dirty return to the Predator franchise’s roots, then you’re in luck. It’s a very simple story about Predator versus (you know) prey, and it fights a bear that does not want to give up. There’s a female Comanche warrior who’s here to kick some ass, and boy, there’s a lot of violence in this installment. That’s surprising, considering the Disney involvement, but it’s certainly loyal to the franchise.

8. The Bear (FX series streaming on Hulu)

Is it time for Season 2 yet? People are still discovering this lean and mean kitchen-based drama, and for good reason. Jeremy Allen White is still giving those brooding eyes and intense orders while he leads his fellow Chefs through all manner of arguments and chaos. An exploding toilet only complicates matters, and now, I’m craving spaghetti. After a second viewing, I adore Ayo Edebir even more, and I want her character to lead a franchise one day. Also, there’s still one major lingering question that this show needs to settle next year.

7. Purple Hearts (Netflix movie)

This low budget entry stole some #1 Netflix streaming focus from The Gray Man, but both sets of clicks are going to the same place, and the audiences likely overlap, too. This story follows a convenience marriage between a Marine (who’s set to ship out) and a musician, but I think we can all guess how this takes a turn for genuine love. Romantic stories generally don’t bring too many surprises, and this one’s a crowd pleaser that pulled in love from couples with similarly-deployed situations.

6. Reservation Dogs (FX series streaming on Hulu)

Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s love letter to rural Oklahoma rascals continues. This story takes back ownership of the portrayal of Indigenous characters and turns pop culture upon its head in such an enjoyable way. We are big fans of the show here and the frybread recipe, but seriously, you should take the plunge of this rip-roaring ride and surrender to comically low stakes of crime for these characters because they’re irresistible, even with names like “Cheese.”

5. Harley Quinn (HBO Max series)

HBO Max is going through some stuff right now, to say the very least. Let’s hope that Harley and King Shark are not on the line because this show is so much more fun than any animated comic book adaptation has any right to be. Keeping this show going wouldn’t even be fan service because it’s simply straight-up good, as well as profane and violent and much breezier and bingeable than that gritty Gotham that every other linked production seems to want to visit today.

4. The Sandman (Netflix series)

Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic book series finally lands on the small screen after three decades of manifestation, all while the successful Audible epic reading keeps lugubriously flowing. Tom Sturridge plays the spiky-haired-and-jawed Morpheus, and he’s diving through space and time and dimensions after vowing vengeance against those who stole years from him. Gwendoline Christie is Lucifer, and Patton Oswalt voices Matthew the Raven, and this is a breathtaking tapestry infused with mythology, all wrapped up like a (wait for it) dream.

3. Paper Girls (Amazon Prime)

Kids on bikes (from the 1980s) facing off with sci-fi threats may remind you of Stranger Things, but this production holds its own while adapting the Brian K. Vaughan comic book. This isn’t a nostalgia trip, though, it’s a splendid rendering of friendship and the inner lives that we all lead, some of us more vivid than others. The leading young ladies of this story take a trip into the not-fantastic future and face off with their future selves, and this story is much more than a nostalgia trip.

2. Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+ series)

In an age where music videos don’t appear on MTV anymore, it’s a grand privilege to revisit these slackers as they stay innocent, for the most part, while cracking the most banal jokes that you’ve heard (and missed) for a long time. Yes, the fire controversy still lingers in the background, and there’s nothing new here, but that’s the best part of this returning production. Don’t call it a reboot, it’s been in our heads for years (thank you, LL Cool J), and all hail the Spirit of Cornholio.

1. Better Call Saul (AMC series streaming on AMC+)

Well, this prequel’s almost over, and finally, we got to see Walter White and Jesse Pinkman return to the franchise, but where does that leave Jimmy/Saul/Gene? People have lots of theories, and hopefully, we’ll find out the definitive answer of whether Kim Wexler lives or dies, and most importantly, whether she’s living her best life without that big sack of baggage (and mutual chaos). Did I really say that out loud? Yes, I did, but I was only talking about Cinnabon. Maybe. God, we’re all going to miss getting worked up about this show.

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