What To Watch

What+To+Watch

Samantha Quam, Editor

What to Watch?

Summer is upon us which means swimming, hiking, and the inevitable air conditioned binge watching. With so many streaming services and constant new releases, it can be hard to sort through all of the available content and find something right for you. That is why I have composed a helpful list of the best shows on each streaming platform. This article will cover a variety of shows with different lengths and maturity levels, so there will be ratings and warnings of mature content if needed. All shows selected meet a standard of quality writing, acting, and filming, so no matter what you decide to view, you won’t be disappointed. 

 

 % RT = Rotten Tomatoes Score

Netflix

Love Death and Robots

Love Death & Robots is a visually stunning and masterful anthology series that comprises sci-fi stories into bite size fifteen minute episodes. The episodes range from mind-bending thrillers to hysterical out-of-this-world comedies, each with a unique animation style. The director, Tim Miller (the man who brought you Deadpool), calls this his favorite project yet because it combines his love for science fiction and animation. Love Death & Robots contains violence and nudity, so please be advised, but don’t let it deter you away from the rollercoaster of excitement and sheer awe it offers. This is the perfect show for anyone who doesn’t want to commit to anything long. A second volume is on its way as well! (77% RT) TV-MA

Sex Education

To the people who spend their time binging teen dramas such as Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, or Outer Banks, please look no further for a quality teen show that not only accurately depicts Gen Z but also follows a consistent and captivating story about identity, sexuality, and the relationships that shape our lives. Sex Education elevates high school stereotypes and humanizes each character with care. Containing one of the most diverse casts to date, this show delves into the problems that many teens face without awkwardly shoving social commentary down your throat. No matter what you are used to watching, please give this show a chance because no other drama has been able to develop each character to the originality and sophistication the way this show has. As the title can allude, this show does contain nudity and vulgar language. This is an easy one to binge because of its comedy and ability to invest you in EVERY character. (94% RT) TV-MA

 

Avatar: The Last Airbender

A classic show for viewers with a taste for animation, fantasy world building, and found family, Avatar: The Last Airbender delivers a fun and mesmerizing plot filled with great character development. Don’t let the Nickelodeon channel fool you into thinking this is a run of the mill cartoon. This show’s mature writing, talented voice actors, and gorgeous soundtrack will make you completely invested in its story. This is a great show to enjoy with family and friends of all ages. (97% RT) PG

Maniac 

For any who enjoy pure shock and confusion, the single season series Maniac will leave you with overwhelming and incomparable emotions. This show is like no other due to its complex world building and subtle portrayal of the parallel universe that the characters reside in. Maniac follows the story of two strangers who each struggle with mental illness and family crises as they enter a drug trial that goes horribly awry. The drugs leave them with hallucinations and comprehensive manic dreams of alternate lives that connect each other. Maniac is a short and beautiful story of friendship with amazing performances from Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. (84% RT) TV-14 

Mind Hunter

For the lovers of true crime and murder mysterys, boy does Netflix have a treat for you. This crime thriller follows the story of two FBI agents and a psychology professor who take on the task of interviewing and studying real historical serial killers in order to trace and identify other troubled and violent murderers. This two season suspense fest will leave you on the edge of your seat as Holden Ford, played by Jonathan Groff, struggles with the mental turmoil caused by his over attachment to the psychopaths he meets and the joy he finds in his work. This show is graphic, vulgar, and not for the faint of heart.  (97% RT) TV-MA

Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a complex and multifaceted story about a gypsy family and their gang that goes by the same name of the show. Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) is the second eldest sibling and leader of the gang who struggles with PTSD from his previous position as a “clay kicker” in WW1. Audiences watch as Tommy Shelby strategizes fun and genius schemes to gain more control over England and the crime world. This show also includes the content regarding the Irish War of Independence and even scenes of Winston Churchill himself. This show will delight history buffs and gangster movie nerds alike. Sit back and relax to a show of bloody gunfights and plots. This show does contain mature content, so be advised. (93% RT) TV-MA

HBO Max

Game Of Thrones

HBO has climaxed with their greatest masterpiece that has impacted pop culture more than ever show has or could. To have HBO Max and not watch Game Of Thrones would be an insurmountable waste. This show brings the thrill of political plots, epic battle scenes, and authentic world building. Game Of Thrones is a multiperspective story of the noble people of Westeros and their struggle for power over one another. As the story continues to grow, so do the stakes. This show is like no other due to its cause and effect structure that forces the characters to make smart decisions or die because no one is coming to save them if they don’t. I have yet to meet a person who has watched this show and not loved it. This is HBO, so nothing will be kid friendly (Lots of gore and nudity.) (89%RT) TV-MA

 

Barry

For anyone looking for a good laugh or just want to witness Bill Hader murdering people, this is the show for you. Bill Hader stars, writes, and directs a series about a dishonorably discharged marine who is now a hitman. Barry has relocated to Los Angeles with his handler and murders an aspiring actor, but not before making his way into his acting class and finding his new passion in drama. Barry has to continue is night job while dealing with the chechin mob and their ensemble of hilarious characters while juggling his vocation of acting. This show is easy going, funny, and occasionally dark. It is critically acclaimed and the second highest rated show on this list. (99% RT) TV-MA

 

Watchmen

Superhero fans, mystery lovers, and social commentary admirers all have an HBO show that is right up their alley with this mind bending sci fi crime mystery that takes place in a 2019 alternate reality that portrays the aftermath of the original Watchmen movie. Do not worry, you do not need to watch the movie in order to enjoy the show. I myself went into the show not knowing anything about the original movie and had a lot of fun trying to piece together the world and the characters’ backstories. The series also introduces a new main protagonist, Angela, a Tulsan cop who uncovers her past in order to protect her family from the unknown scientists, hate groups, and murderers who overtake her town. (96% RT) TV-MA

 

WestWorld

WestWorld is most likely one of the best science fiction and the greatest western series to ever grace the streaming service. WestWorld follows the story of a theme park that goes by the same name as the show, that is filled with scripted adventures and hyper realistic animatronic beings that let participants feel as if they have really stepped into the wild west. Set in the distant future, the technology allows the park staff to create androids with functioning personalities and backstories that could fool anyone into believing they are human. Each “host” is set on a loop so that they do not know the true nature of their world, and can never remember the awful things done to them by the guests. This show has one of the greatest casts, soundtrack, writing, and plot twists to date. This series has 3 seasons with about 8 episodes each. (81% RT) TV-MA 

Euphoria

Any teenager who has recently downloaded HBO has most likely already seen Euphoria, but it is still worth mentioning due to its artistic narration, cinematography, and portrayal of the feeling of adolescence. This show also tackles substance abuse, sexual conflict, and body dysmorphia. While not as realistic or healthy as Sex Education, this show is still entertaining and captures theatrical stories of teenhood. (90% RT) TV-MA

 

Hulu

Handmaid’s Tale

This series takes place in the near future a year after a religious terrorist organization took over the United States. The Sons of Jacob (christian) have now formed a totalitarianist country on the east coast called Gilead. The extreme group forces with military supervision the strictest interpretation of the bible making women no longer allowed to read, and many other outlandish crimes punishable by various forms of execution. Due to a very low birth rate, handmaid’s are known fertile women from before who have been condemned to bare children for the commanders and their believed to be baron wives. Offred, the protagonist, is sent to a new posting where she tries to find her daughter that has been taken from her and escape Gilead. This show has movie quality visuals, soundtrack, acting, and writing and currently has 3 full seasons with the 4th one airing new episodes every Wednesday. This show is very graphic with language, violence, and ritualistic rape, however the acts of defiance and resilience that the handmaids show makes it all worth while. (82% RT) TV-MA

Killing Eve

For those seeking a dark comedy, look no further than Killing Eve. With amazing performances from Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, this series is a nonstop action thriller comedy about an MI5 agent named Eve who is tasked with tracking down a female assassin in Europe. With lovable side characters such as Eve’s quirky and mysterious boss Carolyn (Fiona Shaw.) This game of cat and mouse between an ambitious and inexperienced investigator and a psychopath serial killer will leave you on your feet. There are currently 3 very good seasons with a 4th one on the way. Killing Eve also contains a very fun slow burn romance.  (89% RT) TV-MA

 

Little Fires Everywhere

Anyone who loves series set in nostalgic periods will love this limited one season series set in the late 90s about an African American mother and her teenage daughter who move into a suburban white Ohio town. Elena, the white middle upper class resident who is a mother of four takes pity on the artist Mia and allows her and Pearl to stay in an apartment she manages with her husband. The two grow from friends to enemies as each begin to build a personal bond with each others’ daughters. Amazing performances are given by the two leads Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. This story is filled with social commentary, feminist ideas, and struggles of motherhood. The whole story revolves around Mia’s mysterious past and Elena’s darkening intentions toward her. This one is very easy to watch and has a very climatic and devastating ending, as foreshadowed in the first episode. (78% RT) TV-14

 

Archer

Some people reading this list may want to just sit back and relax to adult swim. If that is the case, then Hulu has a couple great options for you. The man who voices Bob’s Burgers stars as Sterling Archer, a reputable spy working for a contracted agency run by his mother called ISIS. (This was made before the terrorist group formed.) He gets into plenty of trouble along with his exe and co-field agent, a mad scientist who may or may not be a clone of hitler, the insecure blabbermouth human resources lady who runs with the chinese street racing mafia, a rich idiot who constantly changes her name constantly, and the cowardly accountant. This show is a lot of fun that still has character development, super witty humor, and plenty of over the top plots. (90% RT) 17+

 

Solar Opposites

Another great adult swim is Solar Opposites. Created and voiced by the people who brought you Rick and Morty, this show has a less complicated, fun, and modern take on an alien invasion. Without the baggage of government investigations or worldwide panic, everyone in the neighborhood of a washington area has accepted and doesn’t seem to be bothered by a family of crash landed aliens and their plans for terraforming the planet. This show is a lot of fun with interesting family dynamics of co-dads and their replicants, along with their pet pupa that they don’t seem to know a lot about except for the fact that is what will eventually make the planet inhabitable. Each member gets into their own trouble caused by abuse of their technology or the need to fit in. This is very funny with great voice actors and currently has 2 seasons. (96% RT) 17+

Amazon Prime

The Boys

Anyone who has Amazon prime has most likely seen this show but it is still worth mentioning. The Boys focuses on the social dilemmas that would most likely occur if superheroes actually existed, the big one being capitalizing and profiting off of the superheroes with large corporations. The show follows a young man who teams up with a disgraced FBI agent in order to kill and expose superheros for what they really are. This show is funny with some of the best special/visual effects used in action ever. The plot is very dark but with very important messages about how we as a population idolize people in the media who are ultimately not who they are presented as. (90% RT) TV-MA

 

Hanna

Hanna is an amazing action packed series about a teenager raised in the woods by her father after he kidnapped and saved her from a government lab that was experimenting on pregnant women. After years of training by her ex-military father, they are found by the organization who cannot let her existence be known to the public. This show displays both sides of the conflict with Hanna being seperated from and trying to get back to her father and an agent tasked with finding Hanna and the lengths she will go through to get her. This is very good with mainly violence and gore to be concerned with. (80% RT) TV-14

 

Upload

Upload is a funny and easy series for anyone to watch. It takes place in a future where people on the brink of death can choose to upload their conscience into a software resort to spend their days in almost any reality they want, monitored by living employees. This story follows Nathan, a young programer who almost died in a mysterious self-driving car accident. This show is not super inappropriate but still contains adult content. (88% RT) TV-14

 

Fleabag

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a series that has received a rare 100% on rotten tomatoes and for a very good reason. Fleabag is written, starring, and directed by the woman who brought you Killing Eve. This show is hilarious and meta, following the story of the main character who, like a lot of the other characters, is never actually given a name but somehow isn’t noticed. Fleabag struggles to keep her cafe afloat and maintain a healthy relationship with anyone, including her family. Her struggle to stick up for herself and face the consequences of her actions are what drive the series and make it so real and remarkable. There are only 2 seasons and there have been no plans made for a 3rd. (100% RT) TV-MA

Invincible

Amazon knocks it out of the park with their best received show to date! Invincible is an excellently written show with outstanding vocal performances (K.J Simmons, Sandra Oh, Zachary Quinto, and Grey Delisle to name a few) that will leave you traumatized yet excited for the next two seasons it has been renewed for. This show is an adaptation of the 2003 comic series that follows the story of Mark Greyson, the sun of the alien superhero Omni-Man, and his journey to master his newfound abilities to fight crime and save lives. Meanwhile, his father and mother deal with the fallout of the sudden and violent deaths of the Guardians of the Globe. Rather than focusing on social commentary the way The Boys does, Invincible’s themes rely on the interpersonal relationships of the characters and their development. Because of its classic animation style, Invincible manages to be the most psychologically and physically gorry show produced by Amazon Prime or maybe even anyone else. This is an adult show with adult language, so be advised. If you are to give any of these shows a try, I’d highly recommend this one. (98% RT) TV-MA