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. The Great: Season 3 (Hulu series)
As of now, Elle Fanning’s Catherine the Great and Nicholas Hoult’s Emperor Peter III still haven’t killed each other, but give them time. First, they must get their marriage somewhat together in order to maintain power. In real life, Catherine went on to be Russia’s longest reigning female empress, and Peter did not fare nearly so well, given that she overthrew him, but this show has taken several liberties for the sake of fun, and no one can hate on that.
TIE: 10. Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel Studios movie on Disney+)
Before Star-Lord became the Worst Avenger, he charm-danced his way into the heart of Marvel fans in his lovely initial MCU installment. A chaotic prison stint and a Power Stone-enclosing orb filled in the spaces between wonderful bits of dialogue and grumpiness from my dude, Rocket Raccoon. As well, there are still plenty of Groot, Gamora, and Drax the Destroyer devotees out there, so before you watch the group’s last ride together, revisit their first outing.
9. The Diplomat (Netflix series)
People are so happy that Keri Russell is back on TV that this show is still kicking around on this list. She’s also back in the realm of intrigue, albeit with a less tension-packed performance than we saw in The Americans. However, her two roles are similar enough, given that there’s a challenging marriage at stake while an all-encompassing career reigns supreme. This series also appeals as the binge-friendly, meat-and-potatoes, The Night Agent agent type of content, so keep looking for similar series (and a never ending stream of espionage) to come, in addition to second installments of both shows.
8. Love & Death (HBO Max series)
David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman proceeded with executive producing this second take on the Candy Montgomery story, so one can rest assure that they saw value in taking a different path to telling the story of the ax-murdering suburban adulterer. In the end, this show won’t be on the the top true-crime dramatizations in history, but it does shine some intriguing light on the maneuverings of Candy and the more-than-willing role that Jesse Plemons’ character played in this entire mess. After WandaVision as well, Elizabeth Olsen is probably too good at playing these picture-perfect-from-the-outside women who are long past being on the verge.
7. Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant (STX film streaming on VOD and Amazon Prime)
Jake Gyllenhall (in everything by now) and Antony Starr (The Boys, obviously) are part of this ensemble cast, in which Gyllenhaal’s U.S. Army sergeant character, John Kinley, goes to great lengths to repay the goodwill of Ahmed (Dar Salim), an Afghan interpreter who helped him escape an ambush during the war in Afghanistan. After the U.S. gives Ahmed the shaft, Kinley must race against time to find his old friend before the Taliban hops in line.
6. Silo (Apple TV+ series)
After you finish preparing for Justified: City Primeval by watching Raylan Givens in the “Long in the Tooth” essential episode, you might want to dive a few hundred stories underground for Graham Yost’s currently running show. The story follows the first book within Hugh Howey’s Wool omnibus and follows Rebecca Ferguson’s hard-as-nails engineer, Juliette, as she moves from saving a good chunk of humanity to scrutinizing a murder mystery. The series co-stars Common’s leather jacket along with Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Tim Robbins, and Harriet Walter.
5. Evil Dead Rise (New Line Cinema film streaming on VOD and Amazon Prime)
Although this installment cannot possibly compare to the groovy gore of yesteryear (or even the Jane Levy film), the streaming audience seemingly cannot get enough of watching this movie at home. And that’s wild because horror was once thought to be optimally watched in a crowded theater while gripping the seat handles and streaming along with one’s surroundings. Hey, it works at home, too, so draw those curtains and pour all the butter on your popcorn before making sure that you cannot sleep tonight.
4. Barry (HBO series streaming on HBO Max)
The charm of Anthony Kerrigan’s Noho Hank cannot be beat, even if this final season is a bleak affair, which only further highlights the genius of Bill Hader. Soon enough, this will be one of many shows to ride off into the sunset this year, but get in to see the final act of this assassin-turned-actor and thank the TV gods that we have been able to witness this unique combination of humor and darkness.
3. Succession (HBO series streaming on HBO Max)
The Swede bleeds himself, as we already learned, and it sure sounds like he was pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes because he’s not even a real coder. Yikes. Shiv will need to maneuver hard to recover from nearly hopping onto that ship, along with that horrible scorpion-snake fight. As always, Brian Grubb keeps us updated with his weekly Report Card, and we only have a few episodes left, so hopefully, the Roy family will make them count.
2. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Netflix series)
This spinoff might be even more enjoyable than the main Bridgerton series. This spinoff travels back in time to give us an origin story for the title character, who is portrayed by India Amarteifio, and the show deftly hops between the past and the “present”-day period (which still stars Golda Rosheuvel) of the principal series. Corey Mylchreest portrays the younger King George, and although sadness is in the cards for this couple, their initial love story did produce 15 children. Can’t Charlotte get one royal grandbaby? C’mon. Regardless, the couple falls in deep, unyielding love despite the arranged nature of their marriage, and they went through challenges, alright.
1. Air (Amazon Prime Video movie)
Ben Affleck directs this film and also appears as Nike co-founder Phil Knight. He is joined by Matt Damon and Jason Bateman, as Nike execs Sonny Vaccaro and Rob Strasser, respectively. Their mission: to sign Michael Jordan to a shoe deal that will be lucrative for all involved. We never do get to see Jordan, but Viola Davis portrays his mother, and it’s always a joy to see lifelong BFFs (but non-compatible roommates) Affleck and Damon onscreen together again. The film also stars Chris Messina, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker, Gustaf Skarsgård, and Matthew Maher.