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. With each new week comes a new opportunity to check out a fresh 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.
Space Force (2020)
This sci-fi workplace comedy stars Steve Carell, who also executive produced and created the series, as a decorated pilot with aspirations to run the Air Force. But he ends up leading a new sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces. Carell, and seemingly the government itself, however, has no idea what the force is supposed to do. Presumably, hilarity ensues. The series also stars John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, and Lisa Kudrow. It was also Fred Willard’s last television performance.
Ryan Murphy’s newest drama for Netflix is about the golden age of Hollywood after World War II. Aspiring actors and filmmakers will do almost anything to make their showbiz dreams come true, which speaks to the seediness and grime that Murphy often reveals on the underbelly of glamor. Murphy’s last series for Netflix, The Politician, was somewhat polarizing, so you’ll have to tune in to see how the followup goes.
Dead to Me (2020)
This black comedy stars Christina Applegate as Jen, a woman who, while dealing with the grief of losing her husband in a car accident, finds a confidante in a new friend, Judy (Linda Cardellini). Judy might not exactly be who she seems, though. Secrets behind Jen’s husband’s death (and their marriage) revealed in season one lead to twists and turns you never see coming. You’ll both laugh and cringe your way through season two as both actors do a wonderful job drawing you into their markedly different yet equally compelling characters. Also, a few supporting characters have a better chance to shine.
Trial by Media (2020)
If you’re into true crime and documentaries, this show might be the perfect addition to your watch list. The six-part series features standalone episodes that each cover a memorable trial in recent history. Each one centers around how media coverage framed the case and potentially impacted the verdict or, at the very least, public sentiment. It kicks off with a murder case involving guests who appeared on The Jenny Jones Show and the media hoopla surrounding the trial, thanks to its airing on Court TV. Other trials covered in the episodes include African immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was shot 41 times by New York City police officers, and the subway shooting by Bernard Goetz that inspired that iconic scene in 2019’s Joker.
White Lines (2020)
Zoe Walker’s brother Axel is found dead, and almost two decades later, she decides to travel to Ibiza where he disappeared to discover the truth behind his death. Created by Alex Pina (Money Heist) as a co-production with the team from The Crown, this British-Spanish mystery thriller has only been out for a week but has already received pretty decent reviews with critics referring to it as a “tasty, self-indulgent tangle of a mystery” and a “sight to behold.” The series, filmed in summer 2019 on-location in the Balearic Islands, has 10 episodes in its first season.
This comedy-drama about a young first-generation American Muslim man trying to understand himself will return for its second season. Ramy (Ramy Youssef) is a typical American millennial by most standards, but he must balance his Americanized desires with his Muslim faith and expectations from his family that continually test his morals. The series has received praise for the way it depicts American Muslims as average people versus “the bad guys.”
One of the new FX on Hulu specials, Dave is based on the rise to fame of rapper and comedian Dave Burd, more well-known by the stage name Lil Dicky. The series follows Dave Burd (yes, he uses his real name) in his late twenties in LA, trying to navigate the music scene while balancing his relationships, friendships, and enormous ego. He knows he’s the best rapper of all time, he just has to get his friends on board. Dave‘s a curious bio series, following a guy who is very recently famous and who got there almost exclusively on the strength of his YouTube music videos. It’s hard to tell what’s fact and fiction on this show as Burd seems completely willing to act out anything and everything that happened on his road to fame, which is part of what makes the show so fun and refreshing. It’s co-created by Burd and Jeff Schaffer, with a production team that includes the likes of Kevin Hart, Greg Mottola, Marty Bowen, and Justin Bieber’s (who makes an appearance) manager Scooter Braun.
Mrs. America (2020)
This political drama about the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment has a star-studded cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, and Sarah Paulson. The miniseries is just three episodes long but delves into the history of this movement and the views of women in the ’70s, from a conservative who was against the ratification to second-wave feminists. After less than of week of streaming, the show already has an impressive 95% approval rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with critics raving about the performance of Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative leader of the backlash against equal rights.
Love Life (2020)
The HBO Max streaming service officially launches this week, and with it will come original series like this one starring Academy Award-winning actress Anna Kendrick. Dubbed a rom-com, the anthology series looks at the story of a new character each season and their journey from the first love to the last one. Naturally, there are a lot of ups and downs in between, and no two relationships are alike. Initial reviews have been mixed, but for a date night in with a significant other, it might be worth checking out.
Yes, the entire 10 seasons of the iconic sitcom will be available to stream on this new service at launch. Airing on NBC from 1994 to 2004, the series starred Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Leblanc, and David Schwimmer as Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey, and Ross, six 20-somethings in New York City trying to figure out their lives. There were no cell phones back then or social media, but the show and its many themes (and timeless jokes and one-liners) will still resonate today.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013)
The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was known for this show where he traveled the world to try different local cultures, delicacies, and cuisines. The series aired for a successful 12 seasons, ending in 2018 following Bourdain’s untimely death. Through its run, it earned 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and an impressive 31 nominations. Not only is it a great series for foodies, but also perfect for those with a bit of wanderlust who want to learn about different cultures and countries and plan their next travel destination.
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 before 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.
The second season of this psychological thriller directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail features an entirely new story. The first season starred Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, and Sissy Spacek. James returns for season 2, as will Hong Chau, and they will be joined by Janelle Monae and Chris Cooper. In season 1, Heidi Bergman (Roberts) was a former social worker at the Homecoming government facility, which was supposedly designed to help soldiers transition back to civilian life, a front for its true purpose. The season 2 story has a Jason Bourne feel to it, as Monae’s character wakes up in the middle of nowhere, unaware of who she is. The Geist company, parent company to the Homecoming facility, returns as an organization that’s clearly still up to no good.
The year is 2033 and humans near death can “upload” their consciousness to virtual reality hotels that serve as personalized afterlives for the guests. When LA party-boy and coder Nathan’s (Robbie Amell) self-driving car crashes with him in it, his girlfriend uploads him to the luxurious Lakeview VR. There, he meets Nora (Andy Allo), a customer service agent who is very much alive, living in Brooklyn. But her digital form is there in Lakeview to onboard Nathan and help him cope with this new (virtual) reality. Unfortunately, Nathan’s new afterlife may be going a little better than Nora’s real life.
Defending Jacob (2020)
Chris Evans makes the switch to the small screen in this crime drama that sees the murder in a town tear a family apart. Based on the William Landay novel of the same name, Evans plays Andy, a father whose 14-year-old son Jacob is accused of murdering a fellow student. He and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) must work to try and clear his name, but evidence continues to mount. Metacritic reviews show generally favorable reviews, not surprising given the stellar cast that also includes Cherry Jones and J.K. Simmons.
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