Get used to some slow weeks in the months ahead. While we haven’t felt the full effects of the 2023 writers and actors strikes yet, there will be a time when the major streamers just don’t have a lot of new shows to premiere. It turns out that this week is one of those times. Hulu has the second season of Life & Beth starring Amy Schumer and Michael Cera, while HBO and Max are premiering season 11 of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Sunday, February 18. Beyond those two shows, there’s nothing new of note until next week.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, and Apple TV+ are supposed to be able to keep us entertained 52 weeks a year. When the content flow slows down, it’s pretty hard to justify those price increases that they foisted on us last year. Since there are now cheaper versions of every streamer except Apple TV+, you may want to consider signing up for the ad-supported tiers to cut some costs. In the meantime, here’s our weekly roundup of the best new shows to stream.
Life comes at you fast, but rarely as fast as it comes in the second season of Amy Schumer’s Life & Beth. While still reeling from the death of her mother, Beth (Schumer) has found some form of domestic bliss with a farmer named John (Barbie‘s Michael Cera). And Beth is so eager to hold on to John that she’s going fast forward on their relationship with a quick marriage and even a baby on the way.
Beth may be trying to give herself the happy ending she’s always wanted, but she can’t skip steps and she’s going to have to face the truth about what really makes her happy. As John, certain aspects of his character will also come into sharper focus this season. Can these two really make it work as a family? We’ll find out soon.
After a seven-year hiatus between seasons, FX’s Feud is back with a new season-long storyline: Capote vs. The Swans. The series is based on the real-life breakdown in relations between the famous writer, Truman Capote (Tom Hollander), and his female friends in New York City’s high society. In 1975, an excerpt from Capote’s unfinished novel, Answered Prayers, is published, and the women instantly realize that Capote has betrayed their confidence and used barely disguised versions of them in his book.
The titular Swans — Babe Paley (Naomi Watts), Nancy “Slim” Keith (Diane Lane), C.Z. Guest (Chloë Sevigny), Lee Radziwill (Calista Flockhart), Ann Woodward (Demi Moore), and Joanne Carson (Molly Ringwald) — resolve to destroy Capote no matter how long it takes. And this battle of wills only encourages Capote’s self-destructive streak, especially when he can’t understand why the Swans are so angry with him.
The first two episodes of Death and Other Details have dropped on Hulu. It follows Rufus Coteworth (Mandy Patinkin), the man who was formerly known as “the world’s greatest detective.” The one case that Rufus couldn’t crack was the murder of Imogene Scott’s mother, which is something that Imogene (Violett Beane) has never forgiven him for.
Fate reunites Rufus and Imogene on the luxury cruiser SS Varuna when a murder takes place at sea. And in order to solve this case, Imogene will have to put aside her distaste for Rufus before more bodies start piling up.
Jon Stewart may be back on The Daily Show once a week, but John Oliver is close behind. The former Daily Show correspondent has returned for his 11th season on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a satirical news show that often runs rings around Oliver’s former series.
Since new episodes are taped weekly, we can only guess that Oliver will address the 2024 election cycle, crazy Taylor Swift conspiracies, and plenty of serious topics that the mainstream news won’t touch. That’s why Oliver’s show is such a valuable part of the media ecosystem. Without him, who would be telling these stories to a large audience?
It took nearly two years for the second season of Tokyo Vice to arrive, but the show is now once again taking viewers back to the late 1990s. Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) moved to Tokyo to make his name as a crime reporter. But the more Jake learns about the Yakuza and the criminal underworld, the more he gets in over his head.
Season 1 ended with Jake learning that a woman he knew named Polina (Ella Rumpf) had been murdered by one of the Tozawa clan. Now, Jake, his friend Samantha Porter (Rachel Keller), and Jake’s police connection, Detective Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe), are all looking for answers about Polina’s murder. But there’s never any easy resolution on these mean streets.
The second season of Halo has arrived with a two-episode premiere that may indicate that the show is shifting closer to the narrative of the games. After the first season, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 (Pablo Schreiber) still has a lot to sort out about himself, but one thing is clear. In order to win the war with the alien Covenant, Master Chief has to find the ringworld known as Halo.
However, time may be running out on the human colony Reach, as the Covenant closes in on the planet’s location. Once that happens, nothing, not even Master Chief himself, can prevent the Fall of Reach.
It’s not as if Monk has been hard to find among streamers. Peacock and Prime Video still have the full series on their respective platforms. But since Netflix is the biggest streamer, adding Monk could give this comedy and mystery series a new lease on life well over a decade after the last episode aired. For new fans, they can check out the 2024 reunion movie, Mr. Monk’s Last Case, on Peacock.
Tony Shalhoub stars as Adrian Monk, a man described in the initial ad campaign as “Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective.” That sums it up pretty well. Monk wasn’t always overpowered by his phobias and OCD. And through his assistants, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram) and later Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard), Monk is able to cope well enough to reenter the outside world and lend the San Francisco police a hand with their most difficult homicide cases. However, the one murderer who eludes Monk is the man who killed his beloved wife, Trudy. If you watch the entire series, that mystery will be resolved as well.
Masters of the Universe: Revolution may have missed last year’s 40th anniversary of the original He-Man cartoon, but this successor series has almost everything that fans of the first Masters of the Universe wanted from the show. There are real emotional stakes, great action sequences, and the animation is done in a glorious hand-drawn style as opposed to the awful CGI reboot that He-Man had three years ago on Netflix.
The new series picks up after the events of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, as Prince Adam/He-Man (Chris Wood) is grief-stricken by the sudden death of his father. At the same time, Adam’s one true love, Teela (Melissa Benoist), finds that even her newfound magical powers have their limits. But neither Adam nor Teela are prepared for Skeletor (Mark Hamill) and the forces of Motherboard, which is just a harbinger of an even greater threat to Eternia.
Bruce (Sam Song Li) and Charles (Justin Chien), are the titular bros in The Brothers Sun, and they don’t really know each other that well. That’s because Charles has been living in Taipei and running with the Jade Dragons triad under their father, Big Sun (Johnny Kou). Meanwhile, Bruce has been raised in Los Angeles by their mother, Eileen (Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s Michelle Yeoh), while enjoying a relatively normal life.
Their worlds collide when an attempted hit on their father brings Charles to Los Angeles and exposes the family business to a previously oblivious Bruce. Eileen, of course, has known all along what her husband was into. And she’s much more lethal than Bruce could have ever predicted, especially when it comes to protecting her family from their enemies.
Put aside any preconceived notions you have about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Prime Video’s show may share a name with the 2005 movie that brought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together as a real-life couple, but the similarities begin and end there. Instead of being rival assassins who are ignorant about their double lives, John (Donald Glover) and Jane Smith (Maya Erskine) are complete strangers who are both in the know about their spy work because it’s for the same shadowy agency.
John and Jane are given undercover identities as a married couple to put them in a position to handle sensitive assignments at a moment’s notice. The relationship is fake, but the mutual attraction is real. And in a world where everything they deal with is filled with lies and deception, all the Smiths have is each other.
When Nicole Kidman comes out for television roles, they’re often harrowing emotional journeys for her characters. Expats keeps that tradition alive with Kidman’s role as Margaret, an American woman living in Hong Kong who is consumed by the disappearance of her son, Gus (Connor J. Gillman). And in her ongoing grief, Margaret can’t seem to realize that anyone else, including her own family, is feeling the same pain that she is.
Margaret’s American friends, Mercy (Ji-young Yoo) and Hilary (Sarayu Blue), are dealing with their own personal drama as well. The story is set against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests and a growing realization that none of these three women will ever truly be at home in a country that isn’t theirs.
When Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg team up for stories about World War II, great television shows tend to be the result. After collaborating on Band of Brothers and The Pacific for HBO, Hanks and Spielberg are executive producing the Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air, which focuses on the true stories of the men who served in the 100th Bomb Group during WWII.
Several rising stars have leading roles on this show, including Elvis’ Austin Butler, The Boys In the Boat’s Callum Turner, and Saltburn’s Barry Keoghan. Many of the actors are playing real soldiers who went off to war, and not all of them got to go home. This is another gripping war story, and it looks like one of Apple TV+’s most impressive shows to date.
In a standard police show, viewers might expect to see Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Hegarty (Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi) and Detective Sergeant June Lenker (Cush Jumbo) as partners working together on a case. Apple TV+’s Criminal Record upends these expectations by putting Hegarty and Lenker at odds with each other, and there’s more at stake than either of their careers.
An anonymous caller has informed the police that her boyfriend is responsible for the murder that has kept Errol Mathis (Tom Moutchi) behind bars for over two decades. But when Lenker attempts to revisit Hegarty’s original case files on Mathis, he throws every possible roadblock in her way. This forces Lenker to wonder what Hegarty is trying to hide, and she won’t back down from this fight.
Seth MacFarlane’s Ted is making a comeback with Peacock’s new prequel series. Once again, MacFarlane provides the voice of Ted, a teddy bear who miraculously came to life so he could be the best friend of John Bennett (Max Burkholder). The show takes place when John is 16, and the world has gotten used to Ted’s existence as an oddity.
At the behest of John’s parents, Matty (Scott Grimes) and Susan Bennett (Alanna Ubach), Ted has to go to high school with John, and that’s just a recipe for trouble. Ted also starts to question his origin in addition to finding the time to help Matty and Susan through a rough patch in their marriage.
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