New TV Shows: A Guide to All the Latest Releases

And Where to Watch Them

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New TV Shows: A Guide to All the Latest Releases

Keeping up with new TV shows can be daunting. Just when we’d thought we’d reached the crest of Peak TV, a half a dozen more streamers came along, making us realize we were still in the foothills. Now, every week feels like Sweeps Week with a host of entertainment megacorporations battling for your precious couch time. We thought it’d be helpful to keep a running list of all the latest TV series worth consideration—primarily scripted shows with a couple notable documentaries included. We’ll keep updating this guide to the latest TV as long as Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, Starz, Showtime, FX and all the networks keep churning out the content.

1. Loot

loot.jpg Release Date: June 24, 2022
Creators: Alan Yang, Matt Hubbard
Stars: Maya Rudolph, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Joel Kim Booster, Nat Faxon, Ron Funches
Genre: Comedy

Watch on Apple TV+

For their Prime Video series Forever, creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard explored the implications of marital vows, but made it comedy. For their new Apple TV+ series, the duo look at corporate greed and redemption. Casting Forever lead Maya Rudolph as a billionaire who spirals publicly when her husband takes everything but the non-profit she forgot she had, the show is both a workplace comedy and a message on what it means to be a “good” person. Michaela Jaé Rodriguez also stars as Sofia Salinas, the head of the non-profit who worries that bad exposure will hurt the cause, while Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, and Joel Kim Booster also appear. —Whitney Friedlander

2. Chloe

chloe.jpg Release Date: June 24, 2022
Creator: Alice Seabright
Stars: Erin Doherty, Poppy Gilbert, Billy Howle, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Jack Farthing, and Brandon Micheal Hall
Genre: Thriller

Watch on Amazon Prime

This six-episode BBC drama premiered in England in February and now makes its way stateside. Becky (Erin Doherty) is obsessed with her childhood friend Chloe’s (Poppy Gilbert) seemingly perfect life—or at least a life that looks perfect according to Chloe’s social media accounts. But when Chloe dies, Becky soon realizes that perhaps things weren’t as perfect as Instagram made them seem. Becky takes on the persona of Sasha to try to discover what really was going on in Chloe’s life and how she ended up dead. What could possibly go wrong with that plan? —Amy Amatangelo

3. The Bear

hulu.jpg Release Date: June 23, 2022
Creators: Christopher Storer
Stars: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri
Genre: Drama
Paste Review Rating: 9.1

Watch on Hulu

The Bear puts us on the back of Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), an accomplished chef who cut his teeth in the fine dining world who has returned to Chicago to take over his family’s grungy sandwich shop after his brother’s tragic death. He immediately butts heads with his brother’s best friend Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) who detests Carmy’s pretentious attitude, but finds common ground with Sydney (Ayo Edebiri), an accomplished chef in her own right who wants to learn from Carmy. Still, there are a slew of line workers who aren’t interested in wearing matching aprons or following orders from a relative newcomer. The Bear certainly shares some tonality with stereotypical culinary shows like Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen to Kitchen Confidential, but also subtly pokes fun at the idea that every kitchen has to be an aggressive atmosphere. The frenetic energy is a byproduct of Carmy taking this role too seriously and trying to transform the sandwich shop into something much bigger than it’s ever been destined to be, and the clash of the two worlds is fascinating to watch in real time. Shows like The Bear—with its fully formed tone, presentation, and performance—don’t come around often. It’s a chef’s kiss of a show, and definitely worth the binge —Radhika Menon

4. Hotel Portofino

hotel-porto.jpg Release Date: June 19, 2022
Creator: Matt Baker
Stars: Natascha McElhone, Lucy Akhurst, Louisa Binder, Elizabeth Carling
Genre: Historical Drama
Paste Review Rating: 8.5

Watch on PBS

Though not exactly a 1920s White Lotus, Britbox series Hotel Portofino (hitting U.S. shores via PBS Masterpiece) is nevertheless an absorbing tale of wealthy, demanding hotel guests who arrive at a picturesque locale and end up learning a little something about themselves before they leave. There’s no murder here, but there are demanding mothers, marriages in peril, jealous paramours, and low-level celebrities (not to mention a Count). What more could you want? Hotel Portofino, with its gorgeous setting and charming cast, is a suitably soothing watch despite the fact that its 1920s setting also means that vile, violent fascism is on the rise in Italy. Still, these various aspects of Portofino largely work in tandem to create an absorbing drama that is full of familiar beats (everyone has a secret, and money problems, and wants to marry for love), but is nevertheless highly satisfying. It’s the kind of series that invites you to relax and spend some quality time basking in its well-coiffed drama—I simply wish we didn’t have to check out so soon. —Allison Keene

5. The Summer I Turned Pretty

summer-pretty.jpg Release Date: June 17, 2022
Creator: Jenny Han
Stars: Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno
Genre: Romance, Drama
Paste Review Rating: 5.8

Watch on Amazon Prime

Watching The Summer I Turned Pretty gave me a bit of an identity crisis. Have I, the woman who loves Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, and The O.C. outgrown the genre? The seven-episode series about 15-year-old Belly (Lola Tung) and her love for two brothers should have been perfect for me. I positively adore a good TV love triangle. And TV bad boys with a heart of gold (your Dylan McKays, Ryan Atwoods, and Tim Riggins) are my TV kryptonite. I’m usually powerless against them. But dear lord watching the seven episode Prime Video series was tedious. Based on the 2009 book of the same name by Jenny Han, who also serves as showrunner, the series follows Belly, who every summer comes to Cousin’s Beach with her mom Laurel (Jackie Chung) and her older brother Steven (Sean Kaufman). They stay at the gorgeous beach house of her mom’s best friend, Susannah (Rachel Blanchard). Belly has grown up with Susannah’s two sons: the easygoing Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and the brooding Conrad (Christopher Briney). And she has pined for Conrad ever since she can remember. This summer, as the title of the series suggests, the brothers are starting to see Belly as more than just a little kid. Suffice to say that The Summer I Turned Pretty fails the Bechdel test spectacularly. Belly spends all seven episodes only discussing Jeremiah and Conrad. The crux of the problem is that in the best TV love triangles, viewers ricochet back and forth on who to root for. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a trilogy of books and the series has already been picked up for a second season. How much longer can Belly bounce between the two brothers? Should Belly instead download a dating app? Maybe she’ll meet someone new at the summer job I’m going to find for her. —Amy Amatangelo

6. The Old Man

the-old-man.jpg Release Date: June 16, 2022
Creator: Thomas Perry
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, Alia Ahawkat
Genre: Thriller
Paste Review Rating: 8.0

Watch on Hulu

Adapted for TV by Jonathan E. Steinberg & Robert Levine from the 2017 novel of the same name by Thomas Perry, FX’s The Old Man stars Oscar winner Jeff Bridges as Dan Chase, a mysterious and dangerous man who fled the CIA decades ago for reasons that aren’t immediately clear, but which begin to unspool over the course of the seven-episode first season. When an assassin tracks him down after years in hiding, Chase goes on the run and is forced to confront his past to preserve his future. At the same time, his one-time compatriot Harold Harper (portrayed by six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow), now the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence, is brought in to hunt Chase down. The result is an engaging and sometimes thrilling two-hander made even stronger by excellent performances from co-stars Amy Brenneman and Alia Shawkat. After years of producing so-so dramas, FX appears to have its best new series in a while. —Kaitlin Thomas

7. Players

players.jpg Release Date: June 16, 2022
Creators: Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda
Stars: Misha Brooks, Da’Jour Jones, Ely Henry, Holly Chou
Genre: Mockumentary
Paste Review Rating: 9.7

Watch on Paramount+

When your premise is “the guys from American Vandal make a mockumentary about a dysfunctional Esports team in a sort of comedic hybrid of Drive to Survive or The Last Dance,” there is almost no conceivable way the final product can be anything but spectacular. Spoiler: Players is spectacular. From the wounded, egotistical brilliance of Misha Brooks as a gamer legend named Creamcheese to the up-and-coming rookie Organizm to the long-suffering coach Braxton to the tertiary characters who embody the sports doc style, everything here works. The key to the show’s success is that the story is every bit as engaging as the comedy, and this is really @$#*ing funny. What felt like a can’t-miss prospect to begin with fulfills the hype; Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda have another winner. —Shane Ryan

8. God’s Favorite Idiot

gods-favorite-idiot.jpg Release Date: June 15, 2022
Creator: Ben Falcone
Stars: Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Bibb, Kevin Dunn, Usman Ally, Steve Mallory, Chris Sandiford, Ana Scotney and Yanic Truesdale
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

Watch on Netflix

Real life couple Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy are collaborating once again to produce and star in this eight-episode series about Clark (Falcone), an unassuming man who spends his days working at a boring tech support job and hanging out with his dad (Kevin Dunn). One day he starts to glow, and Clark soon realizes God thinks he may be capable of more. He then enlists his co-worker Amily (McCarthy) and a ragtag group of friends to defeat Satan (Leslie Bibb, naturally). Fans of Gilmore Girls will be delighted to see McCarthy’s former Stars Hollow co-star Yanic Truesdale as archangel Chamuel. —Amy Amatangelo

9. Dead End: Paranormal Park

dead-end.jpg Release Date: June 16, 2022
Creators: Dan Perrault, Tony Yacenda
Stars: Misha Brooks, Da’Jour Jones, Ely Henry, Holly Chou
Genre: Mockumentary
Paste Review Rating: 7.2

Watch on Netflix

Dead End: Paranormal Park, the new Netflix animated series based on the short film Dead End and the comic series DeadEndia by Hamish Steele, made enemies before it even premiered. The office of senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) cited it as one of the “hypersexualized” children’s shows he and four other U.S. senators are demanding new content warnings for. The reason these censorious senators are so upset about Dead End: Paranormal Park? Because it’s the first American children’s show to center on a trans main character. For those of us who have been frustrated with both Netflix’s gutting of its animation department and its uncomfortable defenses of transphobic comedians, it feels like a minor miracle Dead End: Paranormal Park actually got made at this time. With extreme transphobia spreading across the country and trans youth being particularly vulnerable, an all-ages cartoon showing a gay Jewish teenage trans boy finding love and acceptance while struggling with unaccepting family members feels genuinely important. But beyond issues of importance and representation, is the show good? Yes, though it’s not on the same level as other silly-spooky story-driven cartoons like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and The Owl House. Its major weakness is the animation itself, using puppet-style digital rigs where everything is so “on-model” all the time that it’s drained of life. Thankfully, the show’s writing fares better, effectively balancing the story’s serious diversity issues with wacky adventures in a haunted theme park, which the story builds out in compelling directions. Dead End: Paranormal Park is not the best version of itself it could be, but even with my frustrations with the animation, I’m happy the show exists. —Reuben Baron

10. Becoming Elizabeth

becoming-liz.jpg Release Date: June 12, 2022
Creators: Anya Reis
Stars: Romola Garai, Alicia von Rittberg, Oliver Zetterström, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen, John Heffernan
Genre: Historical Drama
Paste Review Rating: 8.2

Watch on Starz

With Starz as our guide, we have marched through the years among the Wars of the Roses through three compelling historical miniseries, and now the fourth, Becoming Elizabeth, has introduced Tudor Queen Elizabeth I. But while the other shows focused on women found only in footnotes, here is one of the most well-documented monarchs ever. What new perspective is there to see? Becoming Elizabeth creator Anya Reiss has managed to find one by spotlighting an Elizabeth who has not yet started her reign and is still very much finding herself. When we meet her here, her father Henry VIII has just died, leaving an enormous power vacuum in the English court. Like the series that came before it, Becoming Elizabeth has a lot of table setting to do and a lot of ground to cover to explain who everyone is, what their motivations are, and who is trying to backstab who, when, why, and how. Though Wikipedia is often a helpful resource when watching dense historical series, Becoming Elizabeth does an admirable job of eschewing that need by having characters speaking plainly (if in hushed whispers) in a way never feels like rote exposition. The thing about court intrigue is that it is intriguing—there’s a reason why George R.R. Martin took this time in English history and its many political twists as the basis for his Game of Thrones saga. But as Elizabeth begins to fulfill her destiny (while trying to not get to caught in her feelings), we start to see just how the world the Tudors fought to control changes to create one of their most powerful, and final, leaders… who at this point, is still just a teen with dreams of her own. —Allison Keene

11. First Kill

first-kill.jpg Release Date: June 10, 2022
Creators: Felicia D. Henderson, Emma Roberts, Karah Preiss
Stars: Imani Lewis, Sarah Catherine Hook, Elizabeth Mitchell, Will Swenson, Aubin Wise, Jason Robert Moore
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Paste Review Rating: 7.9

Watch on Netflix

Twilight. The Vampire Diaries. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. True Blood. It’s safe to say that vampire romance has been done to death, pun intended. However, we’ve never seen a vampire romance quite like Netflix’s First Kill: A sapphic Romeo and Juliet-inspired story set in a world where fair Verona is Savannah, Georgia, and the Capulets and the Montagues are elite vampires and ruthless hunters. First Kill, based on the short story of the same name written by series creator V. E. Schwab, follows teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and teenage vampire-hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis) as they navigate a star-crossed romance in the midst of an ages-old feud. From showrunner Felicia D. Henderson and executive producers Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss, First Kill seeks to unravel the powerful Fairmont vampire clan, led by matriarch Margot (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her husband Sebastion (Will Swenson), while simultaneously disrupting prestigious slayers Talia (Aubin Wise) and Jack Burns (Jason Robert Moore). In eight hourlong episodes, vampires, hunters, monsters, and mothers all fight for the right to call Savannah their home. More than anything, First Kill is a whole lot of fun. It’s campy, it’s quippy, and it’s melodramatic; everything you could ever want from a modern, teenage, Shakespearean vampire story. —Anna Govert

12. Queer as Folk

queer-folk.jpg Release Date: June 9, 2022
Stars: Devin Way, Fin Argus, Jesse James Keitel, CG, Johnny Sibilly and Ryan O’Connell
Genre: Drama

It’s hard to believe but Queer as Folk (both the British original and the American remake) premiered 23 years ago way back in 1999. “In queer years, that was a millennium ago!” says Russell T. Davies who created the British series. This new eight-episode version, from creator, writer, executive producer and director Stephen Dunn, is set in New Orleans and follows a group of friends: lost soul Brodie (Devin Way), his brother Julian (Ryan O’Connell), high school teacher Ruthie (Jesse James Keitel), her partner Shar (CG), lawyer Noah (Johnny Sibilly), and high school student Mingus (Fin Argus). When tragedy strikes in the premiere of the series, the friends are forced to make some difficult life choices and reassess their relationships. Keep an eye out for Kim Catrall (who we get to see everywhere but And Just Like That) as Brodie and Julian’s mother, and Juliette Lewis as Mingus’ mom. —Amy Amatangelo

13. Dark Winds

dark-winds.jpg Release Date: June 12, 2022
Creator: Graham Roland
Stars: Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Rainn Wilson
Genre: Crime drama
Paste Review Rating: 8.9

Watch on AMC+

Set within the Navajo Nation, Dark Winds is the story of a bank heist and a double murder viewed through the eyes of Lt. Joe Leaphorn, played by the excellent Zach McClarnon. He and his junior officer Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) set about solving both cases while the FBI lingers and their own people look on with suspicion. The supernatural elements are subtle enough to contribute rather than subtract; they fit the atmosphere, and never become so egregious or important that it delegitimizes the actual crime story. In fact, it’s necessary to depict a culture that was almost erased; there is still power here. As the mystery deepens, Leaphorn is the prism through which we see the lingering effects of the conquest that is still resonant for the people who ended up on the wrong side of it; just because a murder takes place in 1971 doesn’t mean it cannot trace its dark lineage back through the painful decades. —Shane Ryan

14. Ms. Marvel

ms-marvel.jpg Release Date: June 8, 2022
Creator: Bisha K. Ali
Stars: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff
Genre: Superhero
Paste Review Rating: 8.9

Watch on Disney+

Ms. Marvel is probably going to end up being the best of Marvel’s Disney+ shows so far. Iman Vellani shines as Kamala, and it is without question that she’ll be able to make the jump to the big screen when The Marvels comes out next summer. There is no way to explain how great she is in this other than to say that she embodies the true spirit of Kamala Khan. Vellani’s real-life status as a Marvel superfan truly serves to enhance her performance, because Kamala is the exact same way—but it doesn’t rest on that, either. She excels in hitting every single emotional note with aplomb. While Ms. Marvel would be nothing without Vellani’s glittering show of talent, it would also be lost without the way art is used in the series. While Kamala writes Avengers fanfiction in the comics, her fandom work is expanded into her being an artist as well. Kamala’s drawings are constantly integrated into the visuals of the show, sometimes becoming animated to add a little flair. There is a lot of street art that is seen as well, often supplemented by the same type of animation that we see with Kamala’s art. That, plus all of the lighting work and the needle drops make for a really well-rounded and lighthearted coming-of-age story. Anyone who has a problem with Marvel movies looking like muddy concrete will be greeted with a vibrant show that isn’t afraid to used color to its advantage. — Kathryn Porter

15. Irma Vep

irma-vep.jpg HBO Max Release Date: June 6, 2022
Creator: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Ravi Nandan, Hallie Sekoff, Stuart Manashil
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Paste Review Rating: 8.4

Watch on HBO Max

In the ’90s, director Olivier Assayas made Irma Vep, a movie that was ostensibly about making a movie. Its film crew attempted to remake the 1915 serials known as The Vampires, with Assayas simultaneously offering a critique on the French filmmaking industry. Now, in collaboration with HBO and A24, Assayas is revisiting Irma Vep as a limited series with Alicia Vikander portraying the iconic Irma Vep. In some ways, this new iteration is a sequel to the earlier film, featuring many of the same characters portrayed by new actors. But while the series is very aware of its past, it has new things to say, especially when it comes to the striking personalities that clash during film production. Is it a sequel? Is it a remake? Either way, its unique approach makes Irma Vep a truly fascinating series. —Max Covill

16. Borgen: Power and Glory

borgen-power.jpg Netflix Release Date: June 2, 2022
Creator: Adam Price
Stars: Sidse Babett Knudson, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Özlem Saglanmak, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen
Genre: Drama
Paste Review Rating: 8.9

Watch on Netflix

Like the three seasons of the Danish political drama Borgen that first captured our attention more than a decade ago, the show’s revival, titled Borgen: Power & Glory, is a satisfying drama, one that has a lot to say about power, about women and how we’re viewed by society, and about what happens after we reach a certain age. The self-contained season follows centrist politician Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), now the foreign affairs minister under a new female prime minister, and depicts her actions after an oil deposit is discovered in Greenland. The narrative puts the current climate crisis under a microscope in a way that’s impossible to ignore, and it forces Birgitte to reconcile her own principles and the position of the New Democrats with the knowledge of what this discovery could mean for Denmark as both a country and as a political player in international relations. These eight new episodes stand out for the way they place women in positions of power and ask them to engage with and react to a patriarchal society that rarely offers them the support they need or the respect they deserve. While they might not always live up to the 30 episodes that came before, the messages within them and the debates they spark make them worth watching. —Kaitlin Thomas

17. This Is Going to Hurt

gonna-hurt.jpg Release Date: June 2, 2022
Creator: Adam Kay
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Ambika Mod, Alex Jennings, Michele Austin, Rory Fleck Byrne, Ashley McGuire, Kadiff Kirwan
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Paste Review Rating: 9.7

Watch on AMC+

This Is Going to Hurt deals with the miserable professional lives of junior doctors with grim realism, empty of any disguise, and carries an emotional hammer that can devastate the viewer at any moment—sometimes mid-laugh. Ben Whishaw stars as Adam Kay, a junior doctor on a nearly decrepit NHS ward. He’s tetchy, he’s snobby, and he’s repressed even by British standards. But he’s also sincere and funny, and he’s more than up to the task of shouldering the heaviest dramatic burden in a show that revolves around him. The thick of the action takes place inside the hospital, where an alternating array of tragic and comic situations mark off the long days and nights as Kay tries to ensure the health of his nation’s pregnant women and babies. Bitingly comic, searingly sad, and fully educational—how can you beat that combination? —Shane Ryan

18. Pistol

pistol.jpg Hulu Release Date: May 31, 2022
Creator: Craig Pearce
Stars: Toby Wallace, Anson Boon, Louis Partridge, Jacob Slater, Christian Lees
Genre: Drama
Paste Review Score: 7.5

Watch on Hulu

When it comes to creative mantras, you could do worse than the one seemingly adopted by Danny Boyle: “Never, ever let the audience be bored.” This is actually not as easy as it sounds, nor is it a covert insult. If adopting a breakneck pace with a thousand jump cuts per minute and lots of loud music and hot people doing hot things were sufficient to make a hit movie or TV show, we’d all be star directors. In fact, there’s an artistry to deploying all these tactics and making the sum into an interesting product, and from Trainspotting to 28 Days Later to Slumdog Millionaire and Steve Jobs, Boyle has been hitting that artistic sweet spot efficiently for more or less an entire career. He does it again with Pistol, the new FX miniseries (streaming on Hulu) created by Craig Pearce, documenting the dizzying rise to infamy of the Sex Pistols in late 1970s England. Guitarist Steve Jones (Toby Wallace) is the central figure here, and the story follows him as he goes from teen felon to punk icon, attracting the likes of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious along the way. Boyle directs each episode, and it’s told in his inimitable style: Broad signifiers of a distinct milieu (complete with old footage of Britons running the gamut from Queen Elizabeth to a scowling old man on the sidewalk), an encyclopedic sense of period music, and scarcely a moment to breathe. If the visceral thrill wears off a little too quickly, and leaves you pondering the question of “what’s missing here?”, that doesn’t quite take away the initial achievement, the performances, and the sense that on some level, this show does justice to the bizarre, thrilling ascent of a band whose influence outstripped its talent by country miles. —Shane Ryan

19. Obi-Wan Kenobi

obi-wan.jpg Release Date: May 27, 2022
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Vivien Lyra Blair, Kumail Nanjiani
Genre: Sci-fi
Paste Review Score: 8.5

Watch on Disney+

This isn’t the Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) you’re looking for. This one is better. Much like the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi is much more complex than initially believed, but in a good way. While Star Wars fans were likely expecting Obi-Wan Kenobi to revolve around the Luke/Ben dynamic, the limited series takes a hard right and focuses on the young Princess Leia instead. It’s a brilliant move, particularly because young actress Vivien Lyra Blair channels the sassy, smart, and stubborn Leia to perfection. This makes her not only an immensely likable character immediately worthy of a spin-off but also a natural and diminutive piece of kindling for a Jedi without a purpose. —Terry Terrones

20. Prehistoric Planet

prehistoric-planet.jpg Release Date: May 27, 2022
Creators: Jon Favreau, Mike Gunton
Stars: David Attenborough
Genre: Docuseries
Paste Review Score: 7.9

Watch on Apple TV+

Nature documentaries have come a long way since high school science class. In the Apple TV+ series Prehistoric Planet, the BBC’s Natural History Unit uses the latest discoveries in paleontology and photorealistic visual effects to recreate the dinosaurs in all of their magnificent glory. Hosted by renowned natural historian Sir David Attenborough, the show travels through coastal waters, desert basins, and the frozen tundra, treating us to lifelike recreations that showcase what life was like for everything from well-known dinosaurs like the formidable Tyrannosaurus rex to lesser known varieties like mononykus and nanuqsaurus. The five-episode educational program also sets the record straight about what a velociraptor really looked like, since Jurassic Park got it wrong nearly 30 years ago and has continued to live a lie (they were actually much smaller and had feathers). The sum result of the series is a sometimes funny, but always delightful realistic exploration of a time long, long before humans walked the Earth. We’ve never seen anything like it, but the way we continue to learn more about dinosaurs—what they looked like, how they lived, what they ate—with each passing month, it’s not likely to be the last time we revisit their stories. —Kaitlin Thomas

21. Night Sky

night-sky.jpg Release Date: May 20, 2022
Creators: Holden Miller, Daniel C. Connolly
Stars: Sissy Spacek, J. K. Simmons, Chai Hansen, Adam Bartley, Julieta Zylberberg, Sonya Walger
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi
Paste Review Score: 8.5

Watch on Amazon Prime

Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene (Sissy Spacek) York are your classic good-hearted old folks from the heartland, or at least close to the heartland (whatever small-town Illinois counts for these days). He was a carpenter, she was a school teacher, and now they’re retired on the rustic old homestead; they treat each other tenderly and with folksy humor. The central tragedy of their lives is the death of their son 20 years earlier, and the emotional scars are still evident. But as with many seemingly plain-at-first-sight families in dramas such as these, there’s something profound and scary and awe-inspiring beneath the surface, and that something is a portal in the basement of their shed that leads to outer space. More specifically, a glassed-in room in outer space where you can take in the panorama. They’re as mystified as we are, taking in the sights for years, more than 800 times total. But all they’ve ever seen is the gorgeous landscape. No aliens, no buildings, no sign of intelligent life at all. Until one day a stranger appears. Night Sky is a show that draws you in with narrative and performative subtleties. It’s tempting to sigh when confronted with another in a long line of “deliberate” dramas, but this is one that works. It’s a tribute to the synchronicity between the depth of the unsolved mystery and the similar depth of the two principal actors. They embody multitudes, and happily, those multitudes are a match—or near enough—for the indescribable universe they’ve been blessed to glimpse, but never fully understand. —Shane Ryan

22. Now & Then

now-the.jpg Release Date: May 20, 2022
Creators: Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Teresa Fernández-Valdés
Stars: Marina de Tavira, Maribel Verdú, José María Yazpik, Malolo Cardona
Genre: Thriller
Paste Review Score: 8.0

Watch on Apple TV+

Twenty years ago, as they were about to graduate from college in Miami, Ana (Alicia Jaziz), Pedro (Dario Yazbek Bernal), Sofia (Alicia Sanz), Marcos (Jack Duarte), Daniela (Miranda de la Serna), and Alejandro (Jorge López) are celebrating on the beach. They are discussing their hopes for the future while drinking, swimming, laughing, and canoodling. Daniela, who dreams of winning an Academy Award, is capturing their every move with her video recorder—something that soon becomes a key piece of evidence. Then tragedy strikes, and Alejandro is dead. The five friends have kept the secret of what happened on that fateful night for two decades. But, as pop culture tells us all the time, nothing brings out the truth like a reunion. The five former friends all receive the same text “Tomorrow alumni reunion. Be there or I tell all.” They are being blackmailed for $1 million each. But who is doing the blackmailing, and what actually happened all those years ago? Now & Thene unfolds over eight episodes that jump back and forth to tell the story of these characters at the proverbial prime of their lives, as well as where they are now deep into adulthood. The majority of the dialogue is in Spanish with subtitles. Characters move in and out of speaking Spanish and English effortlessly, sometimes beginning a sentence in Spanish and ending it in English, or vice versa. This is how people who are bilingual communicate. And each character has his or her own Spanish dialect: Puerto Rican Spanish, Colombian Spanish, Argentinian Spanish, to name a few. The show is a multicultural celebration simply by providing a more accurate portrayal. With Miami as its gorgeous backdrop and diversity at its center, Now & Then is an entertaining and gripping take on a familiar formula. —Amy Amatangelo

23. Angelyne

angelyne.jpg Release Date: May 19, 2022
Creator: Nancy Oliver
Stars: Emmy Rossum, Martin Freeman, Hamish Linklater, Philip Ettinger, Lukas Gage
Genre: Drama
Paste Review Score: 8.4

Watch on Peacock

As a five-part biopic on Peacock, Angelyne tracks the story of its eponymous lead’s path to stardom. Rather than give her account of an unorthodox rise to fame linearly (in this case, a plot to literally raise her image on billboards above the rooftops of the City of Angels), Angelyne leans into the slipperiness of her mystique. Like her trademark pink Corvette that she races down the road, Angelyne wants the public to remain inescapable of her, while she always secures a quick getaway car. The series embraces these tensions. Using shell narrative techniques, the viewer gets glimpses of Angelyne through those who seek to trap her or track her down: jilted lovers (Lukas Gage), devoted assistants (Hamish Linklater), dogged journalists (Alex Karpovsky, Charlie Rowe). Through an overarching documentary frame of all these former documentarians, Angelyne’s story turns into a woozy blur of perspectives of her own alien persona. It becomes clear that Angelyne wanted to become a Barbie girl at any cost, but desired to live in a Barbie world of her own creation—a consuming ambition-cum-obsession. From a production standpoint, Emmy Rossum, both star and executive producer of the series, commits this continual splintering of Angelyne’s story almost to a fault. While Angelyne’s own narrative to herself becomes unreliable, the fractal framing and shifts into magical realism can make the series feel overstuffed, too imbalanced of a canvas for an already volatile source character. At same time, Angelyne, as a character for writing and within the plot, begs for maximalism. Her inability to live without it (or acknowledge a former self) proves to be the series’ most satisfying teaser. —Katherine Smith

24. The G Word

g-word.jpg Netflix Release Date: May 19, 2022
Creator: Adam Conover
Stars: Adam Conover
Genre: Docuseries

Watch on Netflix

Stand-up comedian, podcaster, and current dues-paying, FTC-testifying board member of the Writers Guild of America West Adam Conover just released his first major project since Adam Ruins Everything. A comedic docu-series based on Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy and produced in partnership with the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions operation, The G Word merges the best parts of the Adam Conover of Adam Ruins Everything and the Adam Conover of Factually! and gives us something equal parts complicated and inspiring. —Alexis Gunderson

25. The Time Traveler’s Wife

time-travelers-wife.jpg HBO Max Release Date: May 15, 2022
Creator: Steven Moffat
Stars: Rose Leslie, Theo James
Genre: Drama
Paste Review Score: 7.1

Watch on HBO Max

Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel The Time Traveler’s Wife was an instant bestseller, a cross-genre smash that combined popular elements of science fiction and romance to create something that felt as though it existed in a space all its own. Full of tortured romance, star-crossed characters, and a sensitive hero who just happened to spend a lot of time falling out of the sky naked, it’s a novel that is laser-targeted to appeal to the part of us that enjoys stories where love is often synonymous with pain. Now a prestige television adaptation has arrived on HBO, landing smack in the middle of broader cultural conversations about female agency, autonomy and duty. Will audiences still swoon for its story of destiny, soulmates, and ride-or-die romantic loyalty, even when your partner doesn’t necessarily seem worthy of that sort of devotion? Or have we grown tired of love stories based on unspoken power imbalances and tragedy disguised as aspiration? Is the answer somewhere in the middle? I genuinely don’t know. The Time Traveler’s Wife, in its broadest strokes, follows Henry DeTamble (Theo James), a man whose unique genetic disorder means he often comes unstuck in time, falling through to different points in the past or future. He usually (but not always) sticks to traveling in the years in which he is alive, and often manages to interact with himself along the way. But he cannot choose when these “attacks” of time travel happen or where he will go when they do, and though he eventually makes it back to the place he first left, he also cannot control how long that journey takes. Clare Abshire (Rose Leslie) has grown up knowing—and loving—Henry, since he’s been time traveling to visit her since she was six. (She told everyone he was her imaginary friend.) When they meet as adults in their 20s, she’s thrilled to see him again, but he doesn’t know who she is—since, for him, his visits to the clearing behind her house are still in his future (even though they are in her past.) She also knows they’ll be married one day, as well as plenty of other snippets about how other aspects of their lives have turned out despite none of them having happened for her yet, and if this all gives you a headache, well, trust that you aren’t alone. —Lacy Baugher Milas

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