Paste Power Rankings: The 5 Best TV Shows on Right Now

TV Lists Power Ranking
Paste Power Rankings: The 5 Best TV Shows on Right Now

With so many streaming services, networks, and good ol’ broadcast TV vying for your eyeballs every week, it would help to know just which shows are worth watching. Lucky for you, dear reader, the Paste Editors and TV writers sort through the deluge of Peak TV “content” to make sure you’re watching the best the small screen has to offer. From under-the-radar gems to the biggest, buzziest hits, we keep our finger on TV’s racing pulse so you don’t have to.

The rules for the Power Rankings are simple: Any current series on TV qualifies, whether it’s a comedy, drama, news program, animated series, variety show, or sports event. It can be on a network, basic cable, premium channel, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, or whatever you can stream on your smart TV, as long as a new episode was made available within the past week (ending Sunday)—or, in the case of shows released all at once, it has to have been released within the previous four weeks.

Below is what we’re enjoying right now. Happy viewing!

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Best TV Shows for the week of April 15th:

Honorable Mention: We Were the Lucky Ones (Hulu), Abbott Elementary (ABC), Renegade Nell (Disney+), Sugar (Apple TV+)

5. Palm Royale

palm royale

Network: Apple TV+
Last Week: 4
This Week: Can Kristen Wiig and Ricky Martin work together forever, please?

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Palm Royale, from creator and showrunner Abe Sylvia, follows Maxine (Kristen Wiig), a ‘60s housewife (and country-accented outsider) who is willing to do anything to break her way into Palm Beach high society, and most specifically, the exclusive Palm Royale club. When she arrives, she’s met with the vulturous mavens she reads about in the gossip rag The Shiny Sheet: heiress to an ailing husband Evelyn (Allison Janney), the adulterous and unabashedly rude Dinah (Leslie Bibb), the shady Raquel (Claudia Ferri), the persistent and catty Mary (Julia Duffy), and the once-queen Norma (Carol Burnett), who sits in a coma after embolizing. Even with friendly faces like bartender Robert (Ricky Martin), manicurist Mitzi (Kaia Gerber), and feminist Linda (Laura Dern) on her side, Maxine’s goal remains unchanged in the face of many, many roadblocks: become the queen of Palm Beach. As she struggles to carve out space for herself amongst a society that flinches away from change and anyone deemed “uncouth,” she must ask herself: how much is she willing to sacrifice in order to get what she wants, and what’s left for her once she achieves the status she so desperately desires? This series is campy, weird, hilarious, and unabashedly soapy, and it’s a delight to behold. There are many worse ways to ring in the spring season than with a stay at Apple’s shady Palm Royale. —Anna Govert [Full Review]


4. Bluey

Comfort Watch of the Month: Bluey on Disney+

Network: Disney+
Last Week: Honorable mention
This Week: Is this the end of Bluey? We’re not sure, but we’re definitely crying either way.

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Bluey has become a phenomenon. The Australian TV series debuted in 2018 with a 52-episode season comprising 7-minute moments in the life of a loving family living in Queensland. With three seasons and over 150 episodes under its belt, Bluey knows what it is and what it represents: a program designed for both children and parents. It’s for everyone who’s willing to learn something new, or be reminded of just how fun it is to be young.

In each of its short episodes, Bluey—a six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy—along with her younger sister, Bingo, play with each other, their parents (Bandit and Chili), and their friends. That’s it. There’s nothing else to creator Joe Blumm’s Bluey, and there doesn’t need to be. Every episode transforms into a small reminder of how light life can be, of how much joy can come from being silly around the people you love. For kids, the show is a learning tool. For parents, it can be used as a distraction. For adults who spend several hours per day staring at a laptop for more stressful reasons, like me, Bluey is gentle respite, unfettered happiness depicted on screen. —Michael Frank


3. Shōgun

shogun

Network: FX (streaming on Hulu)
Last Week: 1
This Week: With just one episode left, we’re already getting ready to declare Shōgun the best series of the year.

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Set during a time of political upheaval when Japan’s powerful Taiko has died and left behind a child who isn’t yet old enough to rule, Shōgun follows the story of five warring clans who seek to control the country. Though a Council of Regents has been established to ostensibly hold power until the heir comes of age, competing factions—led by aging war hero ​​Lord Yoshii Toranaga (the great Hiroyuki Sanada), former right hand to the Taiko, and the scheming Lord Ishido (Takehiro Hira), who has plans of his own—are already on the brink of shattering the tenuous peace. Threatened with impeachment, removal from his position, and almost certain death, Toranaga must scramble to both stay alive and hold Japan together. Everything changes when a British ship carrying John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) arrives on the shores, becoming at first an unwilling and then an invaluable element of Toranaga’s plans as their fates become increasingly intertwined. The 10-episode series is a genuinely remarkable achievement, the sort of epic, sweeping saga many might have wondered if television as a medium was still capable of creating. A bold, ambitious update of a classic that finds genuine humanity in its tangled, sprawling tale of politics and betrayal, Shōgun certainly aims high—and more than hits its target. —Lacy Baugher Milas [Full Review]


2. X-Men ‘97

Network: Disney+
Last Week: 5
This Week: This week’s absolutely brutal episode brought us to tears.

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Nearly 30 years after that infamous cliffhanger, X-Men ’97 has finally arrived, and with it the weight of anticipation and expectation from an entire generation of adults who grew up watching the now-iconic X-Men: The Animated Series, alongside a slew of new fans just waiting to discover this classic team. X-Men ‘97 aims to thread a very tight needle, picking up the story of a series that ended a full 27 years ago but being innovative enough to write a new chapter that is true to that beloved saga, while also being interesting enough that it’s actually worth telling in the first place. Picking up a few months after the death of Charles Xavier, the premiere of X-Men ‘97 is a true love letter to the original series, with plenty of homages to that first adventure that introduced fans to these characters and their world. That original series had an outsized influence on everything Marvel would become all these years later, and this is a fitting tribute to the series that started it all. The X-Men animated series was Marvel at its best, and X-Men ’97 is thankfully more of the same. —Trent Moore [Full Review]


1. Fallout

fallout tv review

Network: Prime Video
Last Week: Not Eligible
This Week: While we may be mad that this was dumped on Prime Video all at once (and binge-release shows have the staying power of a sticky note), this series is still an absolute blast for fans of the game and newcomers.

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Helmed by Lisa Joy and Jonathon Nolan, the co-creators of HBO’s Westworld, Fallout is an eight-part series based on the videogame franchise of the same name. Within it, we follow the exploits of Lucy MacLean (Ella Purnell), a Vault Dweller forced to leave the safety of her subterranean bunker, Vault 33, and journey into what’s left of Los Angeles 219 years after the bombs fell. She’s searching for her father (Kyle MacLachlan), who was abducted by raiders, and her only means of locating the kidnapper is a dangerous quest that involves delivering an item that could change the balance of power in the Wasteland.

But of course, she’s not the only one after this prize. Maximus (Aaron Moten) is in on the hunt, a squire in the band of feudal-cosplaying assholes known as the Brotherhood of Steel. He wants to use this opportunity to become anointed as a knight and nab the T-60 power armor and respect that comes with it. The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) is also in the scrum, a gunslinger who has been around since The Great War thanks to mutations caused by nuclear radiation. As Lucy leaves her sheltered life behind to save her dad, she faces harsh truths about the state of the world outside her bubble. Through its excellent emulation of the franchise’s vibes and a strong understanding of its underlying ideas, the Fallout TV series doesn’t only imitate the games, but meaningfully expands on them in a way that radiates confidence. —Elijah Gonzalez [Full Review]


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