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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. Poker Face (Peacock series)
The first season of this Natasha Lyonne/Rian Johnson show delivered a good run of the wisecracking Orange Is The New Black star at her best. She followed up her Russian Doll turn with a character who receives far less respect yet still demands as much. As Charlie, Natasha brought us murder-of-the-week flavor from a protagonist who can always tell when people are lying. Beyond that premise, the show boasted Johnson’s usual assortment of brilliant cameos. Season 2 will be coming, so let the assembling begin.
TIE: 10. Shadow And Bone (Netflix series)
The Grishaverse keeps trucking along while adapting Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling fantasy novels. Ben Barnes is the star attraction here while portraying General Kirigan with complicated motives, to say the very least. He’s able to summon shadows and is the Darkling of mythological fame and the creator of the Shadow Fold. Yet he’s also nursing a bruised ego following rejection from Alina (Jessie Mei Li), so expect him to pepper this epic story with a butt-hurt nature. Fun!
9. Perry Mason (HBO series streaming on HBO Max)
Matthew Rhys is the irresistible, mopey-faced leading actor that our generation deserves. Somehow, this show pulled off “gritty” without falling into a hole of ridiculousness. This show’s a completely different beast than the one that we saw in the Raymond Burr-starring series of long ago, and not unlike with Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen, we can trust that when HBO greenlights a reinvention, there’s a damn fine reason for it. All hail Team Downey for this one, too.
8. Shazam! (Warner Bros film streaming on HBO Max)
Back in 2019, the first Shazam! movie felt like such a glee-filled revelation that it landed on our list of favorite comic-book movies from the past decade. The sequel, unfortunately, isn’t going over as well, but it’s actually got the misfortune of being a placeholder while the world awaits whatever James Gunn plans to do as DC Universe (and debutdirector) head honcho. Cue the suspense, and enjoy the original Shazam! while we all await details.
7. Selective Outrage (Netflix stand-up special)
This special is still bringing the controversy after Chris Rock waited one full year to take the gloves off and unload on Jada Pinkett Smith (and Will, of course) following that 2022 Oscars Slap. In the aftermath, we had a pretty normal Oscars while also hearing that Jada and Will are not at all thrilled to be further put on blast by Rock. There are plenty of lessons to be learned here by various parties, but we know that we won’t see Will at the Oscars for at least a decade. Also, if you don’t want to be reminded of slapping someone, it’s not the best idea to slap a comedian in front of the world.
6. Power Book II: Ghost (Starz series)
Not to be outdone by Taylor Sheridan’s vast assembling of many Paramount shows (both of the Yellowstone variety and not so much), 50 Cent’s Power universe continues past the original series with a whole lot of drama to clean up in this third season. That includes an accidental killing and a car accident, all with Tariq St. Patrick attempting to mop up life and leave the game. However, he will soon end up back in business, which will complete his plans to regain trust and his family. Betrayal and a R.I.C.O. investigation will do that, unfortunately.
5. The Mandalorian (Disney+ series)
Slowly but surely, Grogu/Baby Yoda is making attempts to say his first word, and they sure are drawing this thing out, aren’t they? No one seems mad about it, though, since this series is giving the world part of a double-dose of Pedro Pascal, who is still living his best show-business life long after his too-soon death on Game of Thrones. RIP Oberyn Martell.
4: You (Netflix series)
We won’t spoil the season finale, but let’s just say that Stalker Joe gets a little bit of his fire back and sets up a fifth season that will hopefully be more engrossing than much of this current round. Professor Jonathan Moore/Stalker Joe Goldberg will live another day and probably another season, and Penn Badgley will one day be able to move onto doing interviews that don’t involve the world wanting him to stalk them. Only kidding — this role will probably always stick with him, but at least he knows what is up.
3. RRR (DVV Entertainment film streaming on Netflix)
Our own Vince Mancini absolutely dug this movie that you no doubt caught wind of during Oscars season. “RRR reminded me why big, stupid movies are fun. Every blockbuster director should study it,” Vince wrote before making the case that it’s not all that different from Top Gun: Maverick and plenty of U.S.-based action movies. It’s also mesmerizing, over-the-top, and “made action movies great again.” That’s quite an endorsement, and beyond the historic win of “Naatu Naatu” for Best Original Song, there are loads of appealing reasons why you should drop this one into your queue for a three-hour watch that will somehow hold your attention for the entire run.
2. Ted Lasso (Apple TV+ series)
Jason Sudeikis and the rest of the AFC Richmond gang are back for one last job (sorry, not sorry) and maybe even defeat the show’s new (sort-of) villain after Nate went full Joker. Yes, will likely be the final season for the show proper, but there’s always the possibility of a spinoff waiting in the wings. Also, there’s something to be said for not worrying too much about where a show will go, or not go, although that’s much easier said than done. Fortunately, we’ve had a wonderful burst of positivity to take us through some dark years, and TV is all the better for it.
1. The Last Of Us (HBO series streaming on HBO Max)
Surely, most fans of HBO’s latest juggernaut have caught the somewhat disappointing season finale of this ragingly successful video game adaptation by now, but if you haven’t yet done so, you’re part of the fan minority because the ratings for this series were even bigger than House of the Dragon. Rest assured, as well, that Season 2 will be coming with some major changes, but Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will definitely be back. Long after those The Hangover movies, Craig Mazin really does have the touch when it comes to fine-tuning HBO hits for the masses.