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) Spencer (NEON movie on Hulu)
The world underestimated Kristen Stewart back in her Twilight era, and she’s showing us all with that Oscar nomination and, even more importantly, a gutsy attitude that pushed her to accept this project in the first place. Likewise, director Pablo Larraín took the same approach here as he did while helming Natalie Portman’s turn as Jackie O. The intention here isn’t to be a carbon copy of the subject matter. Rather, it’s to be faithful to the spirit of Princess Di’s secret anguish, and Stewart nails this project (including that hand-washing scene, which still freaks me out).
10: (TIE) Vikings: Valhalla (Netflix series)
The crashing oars (thank you, Led Zeppelin) and the wild hair and furry outfits will all please fans (this Friday) of the original action-packed, shout-filled O.G. series that ran for six seasons. This sequel spinoff series follows different stories set 100 years ahead with a different generation of heroes chasing destiny. In the midst of it all, the show will introduce history-famous Vikings, including Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). As expected, clashes will be bloody between the English royals and the Vikings while everyone argues into oblivion about Christian and pagan beliefs and fights for the most glory and (of course) for survival.
9. The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window (Netflix series)
If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of ignoring the snootiest critics and enjoying this guilty pleasure of dark comedy, hop onboard and prepare for a completely bonkers finale. You’ve undoubtedly heard of at least a few of this show’s inspirations, but this satirical turn both celebrates and damns the whole genre, including all of the pluses and minuses. It’s wine-soaked and nuts, man.
8. The Power of the Dog (Netflix film)
Oscar nominations all around for this film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch’s a sinister, charismatic rancher who’s menacing side comes out in accordance with his own insecurities and toxic masculinity. He terrorizes his sister-in-law and her son, and both Jesse Plemons and Kristen Dunst won acting nominations along with Cumberbatch himself. Director Jane Campion earned accolades as well, so catch up on this one soon.
7. Pam & Tommy (Hulu series)
Pam & Tommy put a certain 1990s band (that few people remember) on blast last week, and you gotta tune in for the further excess and outrage. It’s an irresistibly trashy show that revels in the best and worst of the 1990s while never avoiding the tough issues, including consent and misogyny. The makeup and hair teams killed it, Jason Mantzoukas killed it while voicing an animatronic penis, and of course, the stars of this thing killed it. Lily James had no right to do as well as she did as Pamela Anderson, and Sebastian Stan really went for it as Tommy Lee. And Seth Rogen with a mullet? Sold.
6. From (Epix series)
If you’ve been jonesing for a show that feels like Lost (and maybe too much so in this case), you’ll want to explore this series to see if it hits the sweet spot for you. Essentially, a normal-seeming town ends up trapping everyone from escape, and oh no, there are monsters afoot. It’s all very cryptic, of course, and the puzzle’s unfolding very slowly, so one will need patience while secrets begin to unfurl, hopefully while making a little more sense than another Lost imitator, which would be Manifest.
5. Inventing Anna (Netflix limited series)
Following her latest Emmy-worthy turn on Ozark, Julia Garner cannot stop, even as a straight-up leading lady. Here, she portrays the ultimate con-woman who fools the highest of the high, as inspired by Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article. You’ll be enthralled and infuriated, and most of all, you won’t be able to stop watching.
4. Severance (Apple TV+ series)
Work-life balance: what’s up with that? Many of us can’t conceive of separating the two, and this show takes a real swing at the entire concept from the mind of Ben Stiller. Please let some Blue Steel eventually make a cameo, but first and foremost, terminally frustrated Adam Scott and the always fabulous Patricia Arquette are putting this thriller series on for you in an onscreen capacity. Wait for the Christopher Walken entrance.
3. Euphoria (HBO series on HBO Max)
We’re closing in on season finale time, and it’s not looking positive for anyone on this show. From Zendaya’s Rue, who’s inching towards rehab to the characters warring over a sex tape, there’s a plethora of theories to mull over, and hopefully, you’ll enjoy at least a few of the musical entrances while everyone stares down what will come next.
2. Peacemaker (HBO Max series)
Yep, this show formally ended the season last week, but in the process, the James Gunn-penned project opened up several connections to the DCEU at large. God only knows how this pandemic-boredom-borne project ended up tying so many threads together, but we can maybe put it all down to those dances. And that adorable Eagly.
1. The Righteous Gemstones (HBO series on HBO Max)
Alright, this one technically airs on HBO, but HBO Max is streaming this selection, and they are gearing up for evangelical finale time. You can’t resist the hallelujahs or even stop thinking about throwing dollars, so don’t even try to resist. In the meantime, the cast won’t stop. Obviously, John Goodman’s patriarch is there to demand focus, but Edi Patterson’s Judy Gemstone is truly my jam, and no one can resist Walton Goggins acting his butt off as Baby Billy. If you’re really itching for trouble, put that pickle where it counts and catch up on this volcano of a hot mess.