The beauty of streaming means that we often power through an entire season of a show — sometimes even an entire series — more quickly than ever before. And with each new week comes the time and desire to check out a new series. Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, be mesmerized, or be intrigued, here are some of the best new shows to stream this week.
One of the best Netflix original crime dramas to launch to date, this series, which launched in summer 2017, made its third season available in March 2020. Like the first two, there are jaw-dropping moments and stomach-turning scenes that make you both sympathize with the Byrde family and despise them. Marty (Jason Bateman), a skilled financial advisor with a brilliant knack for laundering money, gets himself, and his family, in too deep with a Mexican drug cartel. Are they actually enjoying what they do now or leaning in because they have no other option? The family, particularly Marty’s wife Wendy (Laura Linney), teeter on the line between reluctant participant and the Heisenberg version of Walter White.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness (2020)
It’s this spring’s guilty pleasure: a docuseries so outrageous that you’ll have a hard time believing it’s based on real events. Joe Exotic ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma before being arrested for a murder-for-hire plot against his archrival Carole Baskin of Big Cat Sanctuary in Tampa, Florida. And this is only the tip of the iceberg about this blonde-mulleted, gay, gun-toting Oklahoman big cat owner and other unique characters featured on the show. From death to arson, polygamy to cults, catchy music videos and rivalries, every episode is wackier than the last.
If you’re in the mood for an animated series, this one should be at the top of your list. Based on the Konami Japanese video game series of the same name, season one serves as an adaptation of the 1989 Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and the three main characters who must defend their nation against Dracula and his evil companions. Seasons two and three delve into the 2005 entry called Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. The show premiered in summer 2017 but three seasons are now available, including the latest, which debuted in early March for a total of 22 episodes. The show has already been confirmed for renewal for a fourth season.
It’s a quick binge of just four episodes telling the riveting story of a young girl who flees her Hasidic Jewish family and community in New York to escape to Berlin where her biological mother resides. There, she happens upon students from a music conservatory who make her yearn to pursue her passion for music and a secular life. Loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, it’s the first Netflix series to launch primarily in Yiddish (with subtitles where needed). Israeli actor Shira Haas does a wonderful job of portraying the frightened, rebellious, and curious 19-year-old runaway Esty.
The Witcher (2019)
With similarities in its presentation to Game of Thrones, this might be a great option if you’re missing that HBO series. Based on the Andrzej Sapkowski book series of the same name, the Witcher is a monster hunter who has magical powers. He discovers that he is somehow linked by destiny to the princess but isn’t really sure how or why. As the show jumps among timelines following the three main characters, it’s a quick binge with just one 8-episode season available to date.
Rolling Stone describes this drama thriller miniseries as “where tech and terror collide.” Created, written, and directed by Alex Garland, who’s known for such high-profile projects as Ex Machina and 28 Days Later, and starring Nick Offerman, it is about a computer engineer and her investigation of a quantum computing company she believes is responsible for her boyfriend’s disappearance. New episodes in the first season are streaming weekly, with eight in all. Originally picked up by FX, the series premiered on Hulu as part of the FX on Hulu initiative.
High Fidelity (2020)
This TV series adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name has a lot to live up to with the iconic 2000 romantic comedy-drama film of the same name having been a commercial and critical success. This version stars Zoe Kravitz as a record store owner who is obsessed with pop culture and music. The first season of 10 episodes has received solid reviews, with the RottenTomatoes critical consensus stating that while it “skips the occasional beat,” the “fresh take on a familiar track is as witty as it is emotionally charged, giving the charming and curmudgeonly Zoe Kravitz plenty of room to shine.” Fun fact: Kravitz’s mother, Lisa Bonet, appeared in the original movie.
CBS All Access
Star Trek: Picard (2020)
This is a must-watch for any Star Trek fan, representing the return of the character of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). The eighth series in the franchise, it is set 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis as Picard, now retired, has been deeply troubled by the death of his friend Data and the destruction of Romulus. Episodes streamed weekly from January 23 through March 26 with all 10 now available to stream. Two more seasons have already been confirmed. And while the show has been criticized for a slower pace than Star Trek fans might expect, Stewart’s performance has, not surprisingly, been lauded.
Fans waited almost two years for a new season of this enthralling science-fiction Western about a fictional adult amusement park where people can go to fulfill their every desire. The park is run by “hosts,” eerily human-like A.I.s that you’d never be able to tell apart from a human aside from the fact that they keep coming back every time they die. Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film, the series is far more modern and detailed in the portrayal of these hosts who begin to remember and “feel” and the real people who are tasked with running the place behind the scenes.
The Mandalorian (2019)
Star Wars fans fell in love with the show, and particularly the character of “Baby Yoda.” The space Western series created by Jon Favreau is the first live action series in the iconic franchise. It is set five years after Return of the Jedi and 25 years prior to The Force Awakens. The main character is Din Djarin, a Mandalorian bounty hunter who is trying to reach the New Republic. Season one contains eight episodes, and if production remains on track, a second season is set to premiere in October 2020.
Tales from the Loop (2020)
Craving sci-fi? Check out this sci-fi drama that is based on the art book by Swedish artist Simon Stalenhag. The Loop is a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe, and the mind-bending series looks at the adventures of the people who live above it. The content of the series, which includes eight episodes in the first season, is based on Stalenhag’s many paintings. While critics suggest that the show moves a bit too slowly, it has been praised for being able to transpose Stalenhag’s paintings into moving art and providing “a welcome dose of warmth and humanity with its sci-fi.”
There are a handful of great original series on Apple TV+, including M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant. In this psychological horror, a wealthy couple hire a mysterious young nanny to care for their baby. But there’s something odd about both the baby and the nanny. The series, offered up in signature Shyamalan style, has so many twists and turns you’ll never see what happens in the end coming.
The Morning Show (2019)
The star-studded cast including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell fuelled initial curiosity about this show, but the topical and powerful storyline and great acting makes it a worthwhile watch. Mitch Kessler (Carell) is abruptly fired from his position as co-anchor of a popular breakfast news show, leaving his long-time on-screen partner, Alex Levy (Aniston), distraught. As everyone deals with the fallout and a shameful culture of secrecy and cover-ups is brought to light, a bright and cynical local news reporter, Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon), gets caught up in the drama.
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