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.
Mystery Lab (2020)
Host Felipe Castanhari and his lab friends take viewers on an enthralling journey into science, history, and other mysteries to discover interesting facts about the world around us. The first season, which includes eight episodes all under half an hour each, kicks off with a look at the mysteries behind the Bermuda Triangle, then delves into other timely topics like the origins of the quarantine, time travel, zombies, and artificial superintelligence. It’s a show that will delight science nerds and, rated PG, will be suitable and educational for older kids, too.
Tiny Creatures (2020)
Animal lovers, rejoice, as it doesn’t get much cuter than this adorable science and nature docuseries that is narrated by the soothing voice of Mike Colter, best known for playing the title character in Luke Cage. With the director Jonathan Jones having a cinematography Emmy under his belt for Planet Earth II, you can expect beautiful imagery and tantalizing scenery in this series that looks at little animals, their explorations and travels, and how they survive on Earth. Season 1 will be available to stream starting August 7, making for a perfect weekend binge.
Immigration Nation (2020)
It’s a controversial and timely topic, and Netflix is tackling American immigration head-on with this docuseries that provides an inside look into ICE operations, immigrant journeys to the U.S., and the state of immigration in the nation. Created by the Oscar-winning producer of Icarus, season 1 of the limited series has six episodes with titles like Instilling Fear, Power of the Vote, and The New Normal that are sure to spark heated debates and passionate emotional responses.
While you anxiously await the upcoming 11th and final season of this award-winning comedy-drama, check out season 10, which originally aired on Showtime in November 2019. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy, it follows the lives of a dysfunctional family that includes an alcoholic single father (Macy) and his six children, the eldest played by Rossum, who is often tasked with trying to hold the family together. While Rossum does not appear in season 10, she is set to return as a special guest star in season 11.
Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons (2016)
Originally premiering on Channel 5 in the U.K., Netflix commissioned the second and third seasons of this riveting docuseries, hosted in the later seasons by U.K. journalist Raphael Rowe, who served 12 years in prison for a crime he was later acquitted of. Like seasons 1-3, the new season 4 will take viewers deep into what life is like in 12 of the toughest prisons around the world, from both the perspectives of the prison guards and the prisoners themselves.
Get Even (2020)
This British teen thriller will fill the hole left by series like Riverdale, which concluded its latest season earlier this year, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which was recently canceled by Netflix. And while Get Even doesn’t take place in the Archie Comics universe, it is adapted from the popular Gretchen McNeil book series “Don’t Get Mad,” about a group of school-aged girls who have made it their mission to expose school bullies. Things turn upside down, however, when one of their targets is murdered, and a note is found in their hand that reads “DMG,” the acronym for the girls’ group. The show originally premiered on BBC iPlayer in February 2020.
This Norwegian series about Vikings living in a village in the year 790 takes a comedic look at how they handle day-to-day life and conflicts. With different characters taking the lead at different times, they must deal with disputes with other villages and the annoyances of Rufus, a Roman slave who wants to help modernize the culture. The third season will serve as a prequel, of sorts, looking at the story that led up to the events that occurred in season one. Considered among the best international series available via the streaming service, the first season garnered more than a million viewers in Norway — a fifth of the population — when it premiered there in 2016.
This limited series tells the story of the murder of a young woman that eerily mirrors a cold case from decades prior. Because of these odd and telling similarities, the new police commander finds himself trying to get the residents of a town in Poland’s Owl Mountain region to finally talk and reveal what they might know. Originally called Znaki in its home country of Poland, the international crime thriller features eight episodes in its first season.
Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia (2020)
The latest in Netflix’s growing list of crime docuseries, this one looks at five Mafia families who ruled New York in the ’70s and ’80s. But their reign of fear and terror was challenged by the methods and strategies of a clever group of federal agents who were determined to take them down. There are just three episodes in the docuseries, but it tells the intriguing story of the FBI’s patient, painstaking process to wiretap key members and handle every detail before proceeding with their ambitious idea to take down the heads of all five mob families at once. The series is a fascinating look at a real-life Godfather story.
Dark Desire (2020)
Alma is a law teacher married to a crooked judge. But after she spends a weekend away from him in the arms of a young man whom she later discovers becomes part of her world in another way, things end in tragedy. Alma must question her reality and what’s a lie and what’s the truth. “Nothing is what it seems,” is the quote that ends the trailer. Dark Desire is available in Spanish with subtitles.
Robert Ludovic / Netflix
Starring Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), this gripping fantasy drama is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler. A young heroine with a special gift named Nimue (Langford) is destined to become the powerful yet tragic Lady of the Lake, and embarks on a journey with a new friend Arthur, a mercenary, to deliver an ancient sword. Considered a coming-of-age story, the underlying themes include religious terror, war, courage, destroying the natural world, and rebellion.
Starring Yvonne Strahovski, Cate Blanchett, and Dominic West, among others, this Australian drama was released in March and is now streaming. The series is partially inspired by the true story of Cornelia Rau, a German citizen who was unlawfully detained by the mandatory detention program in Australia even though she was a permanent resident. Set in an immigration detention center in the Australian desert, the series focuses on four strangers who meet while being held there: An Afghan refugee, a young father trying to escape his dead-end job, an airline hostess trying to escape from a cult, and a bureaucrat involved in a national scandal. Despite being from very different backgrounds, they band together to support one another.
Season one of this troubling docuseries chronicles the story of Greg Kelley, a high school football star who was arrested and eventually convicted and sent to jail for the sexual assault of a 4-year-old boy. The five-part series focuses on his supporters as they search for the truth and justice that eventually leads to Kelley’s exoneration and a spotlight shed on the mishandling of the case. It’s an emotional journey, and the series has already been receiving positive feedback for its look at the controversial case. It’s mandatory viewing for anyone who’s in love with the true-crime genre.
The Chi (2018)
Created by rising-star actor and screenwriter Lena Waithe (Master of None, Ready Player One, Westworld), The Chi is set on the South Side of Chicago where the lives of several men are connected and impacted following a “fateful turn of events.” The series has been praised for its portrayal of complex life in the rough area of Chicago, as well as its compelling characters. Season three will, however, see a shake-up in the cast, as a leading cast member, Jason Mitchell, will not be returning due to “misconduct allegations.”
Love, Victor (2020)
Inspired by the 2018 movie Love, Simon, this teen drama is produced and narrated by Nick Robinson, who starred in the aforementioned film. Victor (Michael Cimino) has just started going to a new high school, and as he tries to discover more about himself, he faces challenges both at home and in dealing with his sexuality. A modern-day coming-of-age story, Simon becomes Victor’s guide when he finds it all too difficult. Sophia Bush and Ali Wong appear as recurring and guest stars.
The Dog House (2020)
A hit show for Channel 4 in the U.K., this docuseries will be streaming on HBO and is set at the Wood Green animal charity in the small town of Godmanchester, England. There, the staff works tirelessly to help match homeless dogs with owners who will love and care for them. Any dog lover will appreciate the eight-part first season, which takes you through a range of emotions from the moment an unwanted pet comes into the facility after being abandoned, to the introductions between pet and prospective owners trying to find the perfect new member for their family.
This Australian and British comedy-drama was created, written by, and stars Australian comedian Sarah Kendall. Set in the late ’80s, Sammy Cooper (Kendall) is a wealthy London housewife who is forced to return to her hometown in Australia with her kids following the death of her husband. There, she is confronted by her past and the reasons she decided to leave as a teenager in the first place. Desperate to get back home to London, Sammy faces the harsh (and often hilarious) reality that no one likes her but finds herself having to reconcile with those she crossed.
Bungo Stray Dogs (2012)
If you’re into Japanese manga, you might be excited that the first three seasons of this action/mystery/supernatural series are streaming. While it’s anime, make no mistake, this one isn’t for kids. Atsushi Nakajima was kicked out of his orphanage, and after unintentionally preventing the suicide of Osamu Dazai, a detective from a clandestine agency, he finds someone willing to accept him for his supernatural abilities to transform into a berserker white tiger in the moonlight. Rather than be turned away and mocked for his gifts, which happened at the orphanage, Dazai welcomes Nakajima as part of his Armed Detective Agency, which includes others who possess special abilities and helps fight crimes military and police don’t handle.
Tig n’ Seek (2020)
This animated series centers around an 8-year-old named Tiggy and his cat Gweeseek, who has a talent for building gadgets. The pair travel through Wee Gee City trying to locate items for the Department of Lost and Found. Tiggy’s joyful attitude, combined with Gweeseek’s ability to invent things, translates to lots of laughs. The series was created by Myke Chilian, who was a designer for the show Rick and Morty.
The House of Ho (2020)
Inspired by the film Crazy Rich Asians, this comedy docuseries follows the lives of a wealthy Vietnamese-American family living in Houston, Texas, made up of its two immigrant parents who have built an empire and their two adult children who are constantly trying to live up to their parents’ high expectations of them. It promises plenty of laughs and cultural traditions, along with a diverse cast of supporting characters, including an eccentric aunt and a flighty cousin.
Robyn Von Swank / HBO
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2020)
Focused on the Golden State Killer, this six-part true-crime documentary series follows the story of Michelle McNamara (late wife of comedian Patton Oswalt) as she writes about and investigates the mysterious killer and a series of brutal murders. Also known as the East Area Rapist, the Golden State Killer was finally identified using forensic genetic genealogy to be Joseph James DeAngelo, who was believed to have been responsible for multiple crime sprees throughout California in the ’70s and ’80s, including murders, rapes, and burglaries. McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, is central to the series, which also features interviews with detectives, survivors, family members, and others involved with the case.
Merrick Morton / HBO
Perry Mason (2020)
Whether you watched the original ’50s series that starred Raymond Burr as the title character or not, this miniseries might be worth checking out. The character originated from stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner, and the original series, which was the first-ever one-hour weekly series on television, aired for nine seasons. The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys reinvents the character in this period drama that takes you back to 1932 and the Great Depression when investigator Perry Mason finds himself embroiled in a case involving a child kidnapping. With Robert Downey Jr. among the executive producers and a cast that also includes Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and John Lithgow, a lot of eyes will be on this miniseries.
It’s David Duchovny at his best, aside from The X-Files, of course. He stars in this Showtime comedy-drama as the aptly-named Hank Moody, a womanizing, chain-smoking, excessively-drinking novelist who finds every distraction imaginable to keep him from writing his next novel. While he clearly pines for his ex, Karen (Natascha McElhone), and she loves him dearly, they both play a perpetual game of romantic tag. Despite his affections, he is unable to stick to typical relationship conventions, and trouble seemingly follows him everywhere.
Meanwhile, she can only put up with so much and knows she deserves better despite constantly being drawn back to him. Their young daughter adds another confusing element to the situation. The star-studded cast also includes Evan Handler as Charlie, Hank’s best friend and agent, and Pamela Adlon as Charlie’s wife Marcy and Karen’s close friend. If you’re into sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, this is the perfect series to binge. Only season 1 of the seven seasons is available, but it will have you cringing and laughing at every turn as you simultaneously root for Hank and want to slap the Moody out of him.
The third season of this thriller drama continues the story of FBI agent Emily Byrne (Stana Katic), who, after going missing while hunting a serial killer, is deemed dead in absentia. But when she is miraculously found in a remote cabin in the woods six years later, she has no recollection of the time she lost. She discovers not only that life has moved on without her, but that she has been implicated in a series of murders. Interestingly, the series has received polarizing reviews, criticized for being predictable. But if you’re into the mystery genre and you’re OK with predictability, it might be the perfect easy binge to pass the time.
If you have been anxiously awaiting the ninth and final season of this legal drama, grab the popcorn as it is finally streaming. Originally airing on USA Network in 2019, the final season wraps up the story of a high-end New York law firm and its partners as they navigate the dirty and manipulative world of corporate law. The story began about a brilliant college dropout named Mike (Patrick J. Adams) who got hired as a lawyer even though he secretly never graduated law school. But it developed into a larger story about corporate greed, excessive wealth, and how far one will go to win a case. Meghan Markle stars in the first eight seasons, but she doesn’t appear in this season, nor does Adams. But it’s a must-see to close off the story and a great show to binge from the beginning if you haven’t gotten on board yet.
Check out season two of this action drama, which is based on the 2011 film of the same name. It’s about a 15-year-old girl named Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) who lives in a remote forest in Poland with a man Erik (Joel Kinnaman), who she calls her father. Working for the CIA, he recruited Hanna’s mother to help create super soldiers. But when they fell in love, he took the infant Hanna and fled the project. Season one, consisting of eight episodes, was released in March 2019 and has decent reviews, with critics calling it a “gritty reimagining of the 2011 film.” Now that Hanna realizes her true skills and elite training, and knows there are other teenagers out there like her, there’s lots more action in season two.
Little Voice (2020)
Bess King (Brittany O’Grady) is a talented performer who is simply trying to make it as a singer. Through her journey, she encounters both rejection and love and must balance her troubled family life with trying to fulfill her dreams. With original music by Grammy- and Tony Award-nominated artist Sara Bareilles, who is also co-creator of the series, the story has been described by Apple as a “love letter” to the diverse New York music scene. It’s about finding one’s voice and using it to tell a real message. J.J. Abrams signed on as executive producer suggests there might just be something to this musically inclined series.
Greatness Code (2020)
If you’re into sports, this short-form unscripted docuseries will be a must-watch as it tells the untold stories of some of the greatest athletes in the world. The first mini-episode in season one features massive sports icons like LeBron James, Tom Brady, Shaun White, and Usain Bolt, all of whom discuss pivotal moments that defined their careers. Co-produced by companies co-founded by both Brady (alongside Michael Strahan) and James, it gives fans an inside look into events that framed the athletes who have become true inspirations. The first season includes seven mini-episodes.
Muppets Now (2020)
The first episode of this short series based on the lovable Muppets characters debuted last week and episode 2, entitled Fever Pitch, will stream starting August 7, with four to launch weekly thereafter to complete season 1. Each episode features improvised situation comedy in three segments: A game show, a cooking show, and a talk show and includes all of your favorite Muppets characters, including Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, Gonzo, Beaker, and more. The celebrity guest list includes names like Linda Cardellini, Aubrey Plaza, Seth Rogen, RuPaul, and Danny Trejo. Episode 1, called Due Date, features hilarious segments like Kermit frustratingly trying to interview RuPaul while dealing with constant interruptions and The Swedish Chef showing off his cooking skills (or lack thereof). It’s a much-watch for kids and nostalgic adults.
Rogue Trip (2020)
Bob Woodruff, a correspondent for ABC News, and his son Mack travel to six regions known for conflict — Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Ukraine — in this National Geographic series. While it is a travel show at its core, the series also highlights the bond between father and son, as well as resilience. After suffering severe injuries in a roadside bombing attack in Iraq where he was working as a road correspondent in the early 2000s, Woodruff decided to continue to face fear and adventure head-on and instilled the same values in his children. It’s an education series as well, aimed to shed light on the areas they visit, and their history and culture.
Wild Chile (2018)
Filled with gorgeous imagery, this miniseries from 2018 highlights some of the most beautiful wildlife in Chile, including both animals and plants. You’ll be taken on a virtual safari by guide René Araneda and oceanographer Susannah Buchan as you marvel at the wondrous views and the beauty of nature. Season one features land, sea, and behind the scenes, which provides an up-close-and-personal look at the wildlife. It’s a must-watch for any nature and animal lover.