In a lot of ways, there really hasn’t been a better time in history for television fans. Streaming and widespread internet availability has made it so that just about everyone can freely watch everything, from vintage classics to the latest flavor of the month, at a moment’s notice.
While the idea of watching premium television from the comfort of a toilet seat or an air mattress is still a little strange, the convenience is always appreciated. But, with so many companies and services producing content, it may be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest shows available.
We’ve found it helpful to condense the best of the best in recent months for your viewing pleasure. Raunchy animation, high-concept science fiction, and surreal comedy are just a fraction of what you’ll find in the best TV shows to watch on streaming.
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Having completed it’s fourth and final season this year, there’s no better time to catch up on one of HBO’s best comedic dramas. Barry, starring Bill Hader as the title character, tells the story of a marine-turned-hitman sent to Los Angeles on a typical assassination job. But, when he finds himself joining an acting class in addition to his wetwork, his purpose in life is thrown into question as his past starts to catch up to him.
A perfect blend of dark humor and compelling drama, Barry is the brainchild of Bill Hader himself along with Alec Berg, who also had a hand in multiple episodes of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Silicon Valley. In addition to this, you can also find other big names attached, like Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, and Bill Burr. Barry‘s first three seasons were all nominated for comedic Emmy Awards, with the final season lauded for giving the title character a mournful send-off.
The Righteous Gemstones (Max)
While you’d be forgiven for immediately connecting Danny McBride to his stoner comedy projects, that’s no reason to miss out on The Righteous Gemstones. Co-starring alongside Adam DeVine and John Goodman, this pointed comedy follows the exploits of the “Gemstones,” a family of televangelist grifters whose greed is hidden under the guise of charity. Each season tells an overarching story that deals with how their opulent lives may blow up in their faces, with comedic deception and financial drama mashing against a pointed criticism of televangelism.
It’s certainly a unique idea for a series, no doubt carried by its star-studded cast. In addition to our main trio, Walton Goggins, Eric Andre, Jason Schwartzman, and more all make frequent appearances throughout. Created by McBride himself, The Righteous Gemstones is a crass, but intriguing addition to HBO’s library, and is currently in its third season.
Having finally wrapped up earlier this year, Max’s Succession is four seasons of the most-talked-about drama on HBO for the past few years. Featuring the likes of Brian Cox, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, and Kieran Culkin, Succession is a series about an ultra-wealthy family engaged in a power struggle. As a patriarch’s health starts to decline, the familial owners of Waystar RoyCo find themselves battling internal struggles and external competition as the fate of the company hangs in the balance.
Created by Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show), discussion surrounding Succession dominated social media and internet forums for the majority of its original run. While we won’t spoil the ending for you, let’s just say that all the build-up amounts to an absolutely explosive finale, with an expected outcome for just about everyone involved. Overall, Succession is a brilliant watch that you can now enjoy in its entirety.
The long-awaited return of Warrior left fans of the former-Cinemax series misty-eyed. A martial-arts crime drama, Warrior was initially created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee) with an original concept drafted by the late Bruce Lee. Set in 1870s San Francisco, Andrew Koji plays a Chinese immigrant searching for his lost sister, only to discover that she had been sold to a nefarious group of “tongs” in Chinatown.
Serving as Cinemax’s last official show prior to being shuffled onto Max, Warrior is an absolutely essential piece of martial-arts action for fans of Bruce Lee’s work, in addition to those looking for a compelling crime series. Set in roughly the same time period as Deadwood, it’s a brilliant period piece featuring a unique subject that’s rarely explored elsewhere. It also helps that the action choreography absolutely blows its contemporaries out of the water.
Ted Lasso (AppleTV+)
Ted Lasso is a sports show, but not in the way you may think. One of the biggest draws for AppleTV+, Ted Lasso follows Jason Sudeikis as the titular American coach tasked with leading a fictional Premiere League team to victory. But, given that Lasso’s experience is with American football instead of regular football, he’ll have to overcome adversity with his winning attitude, infectious charm, and applied knowledge at AFC Richmond.
Critically acclaimed for Sudeikis’ performance on top of its compelling storytelling, Ted Lasso was at one point the highest-viewed television series on AppleTV+, and likely retains that record amid the service’s other programming. The show’s popularity would even give the fictional team and coach a slot in an official FIFA video game, much to the delight of their respective fan bases.
Speaking of the best AppleTV+ shows, we now have Silo, which made its official debut this year. Based on the Wool book series, a community has retreated from the surface to a massive, expansive underground silo. This community is tightly-knit, though numerous regulations leave some questions about the silo’s existence unanswered. Rebecca Ferguson stars as an ordinary engineer who finds herself at the center of these questions, poking and prodding where others may not want her to.
Originally starting as a film adaptation in 2015, it’s safe to say that Silo has certainly won over audiences with its conspiratorial twists and turns. It’s a series that touches on just about every genre it can while loosely falling into the dystopian sci-fi landscape, and following a recent renewal for a second season, there’s plenty of buzz still surrounding this brilliant science-fiction series.
The Bear (Hulu)
If the title didn’t give it away, FX’s The Bear is more than just your standard culinary drama. Loosely based on a real restaurant, Jeremy Allen White stars as an award-winning chef who returns to his hometown of Chicago after the unfortunate death of his brother. When he’s tasked to run his brother’s sandwich shop in his stead, he finds himself in a whole new world of cutthroat competition as he struggles to deal with his brother’s debt, his staff, and a dysfunctional kitchen.
Winning multiple awards for the performances of its cast, The Bear is easily one of the most compelling dramas currently circulating on the streaming market. It’s an intimate look at how two culinary worlds collide, while exploring the relationships made in such a high intensity environment. Anyone who’s ever worked in a kitchen before will practically fall in love with The Bear.
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Only Murders in the Building was a smash hit when it originally debuted in 2021, and the positive reception hasn’t diminished much since. The series stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as trio of apartment building residents who share a mutual interest in crime fiction. When an opportunity to solve an actual crime that occurred in their complex presents itself, what you get as a result is one of the most compelling murder-mystery whodunits currently streaming. It just so happens to be incredibly funny as well.
Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, you’ll find yourself falling in love with these three amateur detectives as they solve crimes and pal around for your enjoyment. A third season will be debuting in August, meaning there’s no better time to catch up on where the gang is at before their next case comes in.
What We Do in the Shadows (Hulu)
Based on the 2014 film of the same name, What We Do in the Shadows takes the mockumentary format of shows like Parks and Recreation and turns it on it’s head. This comedic horror-themed series follows a group of vampires living in the middle of Staten Island, New York, cataloging their various interactions with both the world around them, and the growing presence of the supernatural. Taika Waititi returns from the original film as an executive producer, and co-creator Jermaine Clement has written for many episodes.
Frequently trading scares for laughs, this brilliant bloodsucking series features Matt Berry (Toast of London), Natasia Demetriou (The Magician’s Elephant), Kayvan Novak (Archer), Mark Proksch (Better Call Saul), and Harvey Guillén (Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) as some of the most hilarious vampires in recent memory. If you enjoyed Renfield, chances are What We Do in the Shadows will scratch a similar itch.
The Great (Hulu)
Hulu’s The Great is a series about Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia who ruled for thirty years in the 1700s. Starring Elle Fanning as Catherine herself, with Nicholas Hoult as the former emperor Peter III, this dark comedy series follows the duo’s political exploits, often tinged with deception and courting amid buckets of finely-crafted dark humor. If you’re expecting anything historically accurate, you’ll be sorely disappointed — instead, the characters and concepts here are utilized to tell an “anti-historical” tale.
Brilliant costume and set designs, terrific chemistry between both Hoult and Fanning, and a gradual escalation of quality across seasons makes The Great one of Hulu’s best offerings. If you’re into the grim humor found in other historical shows, but aren’t as into the blood and guts, The Great is a terrific piece of Russian anti-history.
Heavenly Delusion (Hulu)
If you weren’t aware, Hulu and Disney+ have a steadily growing catalog of exclusive anime shows you won’t find elsewhere. A particularly understated release that dazzled those who saw it, however, is Tengoku Daimakyo — aka, Heavenly Delusion. Created by Masakazu Ishiguro (And Yet the Town Moves), this series tells two separate storylines that occasionally cross over: a duo of brave adventurers and a group of school children exist on opposite sides of the post-apocalypse, with the former traversing the open air, and the latter hiding underground. The two groups are seemingly destined to meet as our main duo search a destroyed Japan in search of Heaven.
A deliberately cerebral series that sparks comparisons to The Last of Us and Blame!, Heavenly Delusion likely flew under your radar due to its exclusivity. However, if you’re looking for something fresh and interesting, Heavenly Delusion is easily one of the more unique animated shows to be released this year.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix)
Who is Tim Robinson? It doesn’t really matter. After getting his start on SNL and the short-lived comedy series Detroiters, his Netflix series I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson showcases some of the most surreal comedy put to screen in recent years. Often taking a gag or a character and stretching them to the breaking point, this sketch comedy series relies more on making the best of awkward situations, no matter how uncomfortable they get. The end result is infinitely quotable, tailor-made to an off-color type of comedy that has quickly risen to prominence alongside the internet.
Frequently making appearances through internet memes and social media circles, I Think You Should Leave also has a notable set of guest stars dotted throughout it’s sketches: Bob Odenkirk, Tim Heidecker, Fred Armisen, Ayo Edebiri, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, Andy Samberg, Fred Willard, and Steven Yeun all show up at some point or another, just to name a few.
A24 carries with it a lofty weight: to the right person, it’s almost as if it’s a stamp of quality, that what they’re going to witness is something both unconventional and incredible. Take Netflix’s BEEF, for instance. Premiering this Spring, this phenomenal comedic drama series sees Steven Yeun (Nope, Invincible) and Ali Wong (Tuca & Bertie) at the center of a heated road rage incident. But when this incident escalates into something much greater, tensions will rise before boiling over into one of the most intense “beefs” you’ll ever see.
A show about petty people engaging in petty behavior, BEEF ultimately fashions this pettiness into both hilarious jokes and a satisfactory conclusion, with a total of three seasons planned out for the rest of the series. You won’t find yourself rooting for either side of the conflict; instead, you’ll be wishing for things to somehow resolve themselves amicably.
While it’s not uncommon to see action stars take on more diverse roles in their silver years, Netflix’s FUBAR came with a surprising lead: the former time-traveling assassin Arnold Schwarzenegger. Playing the role of Luke Brunner, a covert CIA operative, Schwarzenegger gets a chance to show off his comedic chops when he ultimately realizes that his daughter, Emma, is a secret agent just like him. When they’re both tasked with saving the world, they’ll end up discovering what they truly mean to each other as father and daughter.
Marking Schwarzenegger’s live-action series debut, FUBAR is certainly a bombastic start. While critical reviews have been mixed, it’s safe to assume that most will find this action-comedy series equally hilarious and action-packed. Given that a second season has already been announced, you really ought to see what FUBAR is all about.
Black Mirror (Netflix)
Netflix’s British speculative anthology series, Black Mirror, is back with a brand-new set of episodes. Taking direct inspiration from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone combined with a focus on science fiction, the series originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK before moving to Netflix wholesale, as it’s now considered to be one of the greatest shows to debut in the 2010s.
With each episode running anywhere between a standard drama and a feature-length picture, topics addressed by Black Mirror include artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mob mentality, mass surveillance, crime, and more. While some have considered the series to be too “preachy” in its morals and themes, the production and care placed into each episode makes up for straight-forward messaging. The latest batch of episodes in particular have sparked an interesting response from fans and critics, noting its shift towards straightforward horror over the course of six episodes.
Mrs. Davis (Peacock)
Peacock had a surprising science-fiction hit this year with Mrs. Davis, a series whose premise is as entertaining as it is wild. Betty Gilpin (GLOW, The Hunt) stars as a nun in a world governed in its entirety by a global artificial intelligence, lovingly referred to as “Mrs. Davis.” But, when her old life is suddenly taken away from her, our heroic nun is given a strange opportunity by Mrs. Davis itself: find the Holy Grail and destroy it, in exchange for the AI’s self-termination.
Created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, the latter of which being famous for both Lost and HBO’s Watchmen, the very unique Mrs. Davis is one of the more eclectic shows to wrap up this year. While a second season is theoretically possible, what we have now a brilliant series that feels even more poignant with how prominent AI is in our everyday lives.
Mike Judge’s Beavis & Butt-Head (Paramount+)
The second revival of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head really had no right to exist, let alone to be so good. Following the success of their direct-to-streaming film Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, a series set in their newly established continuity would be created, wherein they exist in the 2020s as their adult selves and their teenage counterparts simultaneously. Among other additions to the classic formula, the two now struggle to understand the world amid reactions to TikTok videos and contemporary music.
Beavis and Butt-Head toes the line of being completely dim-witted and absolutely brilliant so often, it’s a miracle that it continues to be as funny as it was back in the 1990s. Led by a returning Mike Judge, this reboot simultaneously brings back the best of the original series while injecting new life with creative scenarios, twists on established ideas, and a general mockery of current pop culture.
I’m a Virgo (Prime Video)
Boots Riley of Sorry to Bother You fame returns with a full-on series for Prime Video. But if you were expecting anything less bizarre than his feature-film debut, I’m a Virgo may not be for you. Taking place over seven episodes, we follow the character of Cootie (Jharrel Jerome), a thirteen-foot tall man living in Oakland, California. Hidden from society for most of his life, things are about to radically change when a group of teenage activists unveil his existence to then world.
Equally interesting and off-beat, this surreal comedy series also stars Carmen Ejogo, Walton Goggins, and Mike Epps. In spite of the absurdity, I’m a Virgo released to rave reviews from critics, who tend to highlight the show’s bold premise, eye-catching effects, and wonderful combination of comedic and serious elements.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a Prime Video period piece, but with some interesting shake-ups. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), this series takes place in the late 1950s and features Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards, The Unborn) as our eponymous lead.
A well-off homemaker finds herself pursuing a career in stand-up comedy after receiving pushback from her husband, but after a drunken performance turns into an arrest, she finds herself in the same cell as the legendary Lenny Bruce. From there, she dons the title of “Mrs. Maisel” as she plots a course to achieve comedy stardom.
Critically acclaimed and winning multiple awards for both it’s comedic writing and a compelling performance by Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel series officially came to a close earlier in the year. Brosnahan has now been tapped to play Lois Lane in the upcoming Superman film from James Gunn. That means there’s no better time to binge this brilliantly boisterous series to your heart’s content.
Dead Ringers (Prime Video)
Admittedly, Dead Ringers had the makings to be a flop: a miniseries adaptation of David Cronenberg’s 1988 film of the same name, starring Rachel Weisz (The Lobster, The Mummy) playing two identical twins? At the very least, it was certainly odd to think about. But, we can safely say that we were proven wrong, as Prime Video’s Dead Ringers is a brilliantly thrilling miniseries. The series follows the Mantle twins, physically identical in all ways minus their personalities, as they pursue scientific progress in some ethically dubious ways.
Rachel Weisz is essentially tasked with playing not only two leads, but two leads who behave in polar opposite ways. It’s a testament to her talent, then, that Weisz easily carries the series on her blood-stained shoulders. While it’s more of a re-interpretation of a classic film than a remake, this horror-tinged miniseries is sure to turn heads.