The 25+ Best TV Shows on Paramount+

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The 25+ Best TV Shows on Paramount+

Paramount+ is entering the streaming game at a crowded time. But it’s no small startup—it’s the premium streaming arm of ViacomCBS, a media megacorp that owns networks like CBS (naturally), MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, BET, Comedy Central, and many, many more. Like HBO Max, Paramount+ is not just a collection of its TV properties, but also movies, news, and sports from its vast empire. It’s also a rebrand of CBS All Access; basically, if you liked CBS All Access (and/or subscribed to it), you can tumble into Paramount+ and see all of your favorites plus a lot more.

Below we have listed out 25 of the best shows to check out on the new(ish) streaming service, including a few groupings of series (including Classic TV, Nostalgic Programming, and more) which is why we made it 25+. Because who doesn’t love a Plus, apparently? It’s also worth noting for sports fans that Paramount+ will carry the NFL, Masters, PGA TOUR, NCAA, SEC, The PGA Championship, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, National Women’s Soccer League, and Concacaf.

In the U.S., Paramount+ will have two pricing tiers: A premium plan at $9.99 per month and an ad-supported base plan at $4.99 per month (starting in June). The app is currently available on all major carriers, including Apple products and Android, Chromecast, FireTV, Roku, Samsung, Vizio, Xfinity, as well as Xbox and Playstation.



Created by: Zach Kanin, Joe Kelly, Sam Richardson
Stars: Sam Richardson, Tim Robinson, Pat Ver Harris, Lailani Ledesma

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The key to Detroiters is its sincerity, which shines through almost every episode without any kind of smugness or self-congratulations. Sam Richardson (Veep) and Tim Robinson (Saturday Night Live) genuinely love each other, and their families, and their advertising company, and most of all their city. (It’s Detroit. Detroit, Michigan. That’s where they’re from.) The tone gets dark at times, and Tim and Sam occasionally act petty or vindictive, but there’s almost none of the cynicism and mean-spiritedness so often found in comedy today. When they’re making illicit purchases in a back alley at night with Tim’s sanity-challenged father, they’re not buying drugs, but fireworks. When Sam unintentionally becomes a gigolo, it takes him a while to realize it, and he’s convinced he’s in love with his only client. When they accidentally run over prospective client Jason Sudeikis, it gnaws at them until they inevitably let Sudeikis run them over as penance. Without this sweetness, Detroiters would probably still be funny, but it wouldn’t be as charming or as powerful. Garrett Martin


Created by / Stars: Andy Daly

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No half-hour comedy has ever broken my heart quite like Review, or even come close. Perhaps that’s why Andy Daly’s brilliant, pitch-black Comedy Central series didn’t make it past an abbreviated Season 3—the show parlayed its silly, meta premise into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. If that reads as overblown, then you, like too many people for Comedy Central’s liking, clearly have not seen Review. The show, in which fictional TV show host and “life critic” Forrest MacNeil (Daly) reviews viewer-submitted experiences with a zeal that can only be described as catastrophic, is the story of a good but woefully misguided man, undone by his own desperate search for meaning. To its adoring audience, Review will likely be remembered as the most inimitable show Comedy Central has ever aired. —Scott Russell

Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino Bryan Konietzko
Stars: Zach Tyler Eisen, Mae Whitman, Jack DeSena, Jessie Flower, Dee Bradley Baker, Mako, Grey DeLisle, Mark Hamill

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Don’t be put off by M. Night Shayamalan’s clunky 2010 live-action adaptation. This richly animated TV series merges the wild imagination of Hayao Miyazaki, the world-building of the most epic anime stories, and the humor of some of the more offbeat Cartoon Network originals. Following the exploits of the Avatar, the boy savior Aang who can control all four of the elements—fire, water, earth and wind—the series is filled with political intrigue, personal growth, and unending challenges. Spirits and strange hybrid animals present dangers, but so do the people who seek power for themselves. This is one you’ll enjoy watching with your kids or on your own. —Josh Jackson


Created by: Robert King and Michelle King
Stars: Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Kurt Fuller, Marti Matulis, Brooklyn Shuck

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I’m not quite sure CBS knows Evil is on its network because Oh. My. God. did you see last week’s episode? I can’t believe the same network that airs like 50 different versions of NCIS is airing this meditation on evil from the same people who brought you The Good Wife. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) is a forensic psychologist who becomes something of a believer when she meets priest-in-training David Acosta (Colter) and tech expert Ben (Aasif Mandvi) and they begin to investigate the inexplicable. The always creepy (in the best way) Michael Emerson is also on hand as Leland Townsend, a mysterious character who epitomize the title of the series. Truly my only complaint about this drama, which gets better with each passing episode, is that may be too creepy for me. The show produces the kind of scares that stay with you long after the lights go out.—Amy Amatangelo

Clone High

Created by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Bill Lawrence
Stars: Will Forte, Nicole Sullivan, Michael McDonald, Christopher Miller, Christa Miller, Phil Lord

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The genius premise of Clone High is quickly explained in its 30-second intro, in which the U.S. military and shadowy government officials extract the DNA of deceased figures from history and genetically recreate them in the form of angsty high schoolers. Our protagonist is Abe Lincoln, a lanky, awkward clone of our 16th president, who struggles with the challenges of adolescence as well as living up to his “clonefather.” As he vies for the affection of popular Cleopatra against the arrogant jock JFK, his best friends include the politically liberal Joan of Arc and party animal Gandhi. Everything about the series was destined for both a short lifespan and eventual cult status. It succeeded at both: For 13 glorious episodes, we had Clone High, the perfect parody of network teen dramas. —James Charisma



Created by: Robert King, Michelle King
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Danny Pino, Aaron Tveit, Tony Shalhoub, Nikki M. James

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Airing for one glorious summer in 2016—where it, ironically, shifted schedules a lot to accommodate for coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions—this attempt at a straight-up black comedy from The Good Wife and Fight husband-and-wife duo was just too pure and ahead of its time for this cold, hard world. The series starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Tveit as Laurel Healy and Gareth Ritter, rival Senate staffers from opposite ends of the political aisle who form an alliance (both romantic and otherwise) when they notice some Washington insiders are acting kind of buggy. Yes, buggy. Like their bodies have literally been invaded by alien bugs who entered their ears when they slept (key giveaways as to whether a body’s been invaded and snatched? A need for green juice drinks and an obsession with The Cars’ earworm “You Might Think”). In addition to regular mocking of Beltway buffoonery, there was the show’s A+ casting: Tony Shalhoub as a self-absorbed U.S. senator, Megan Hilty as a Fox News-like political commentator, and Michael Moore guest starring as himself in a sex scene. —Whitney Friedlander

Chappelle’s Show

Created by: Dave Chappelle, Neal Brennan
Stars: Dave Chappelle, Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlings, Anthony Murphy, Neal Brennan, Bill Burr

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In the last decade, no comedian made racially tense, cringe-worthy moments funnier than Dave Chappelle. His show, dubbed simply Chappelle’s Show, originally aired on Comedy Central in 2003, and its three seasons spawned instantly quotable characters. With characters ranging from the blind white supremacist Clayton Bigsby, who didn’t know he was actually black, to Tyrone Biggums, the high-voiced crack addict that always reminds the audience “I smoke rocks,” Chappelle and long-time collaborator Charlie Murphy cemented their spots among the greats of sketch comedy. —Tyler Kane

One Day at a Time

Created by: Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce
Stars: Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz

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With an assist from legendary producer Norman Lear, Mike Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett’s warm-hearted, full-throated update of One Day at a Time, which follows a Cuban American family in Los Angeles, only grew more confident in its second and third seasons. In fact, with its combination of the topical and the timeless, the silly and the sincere, the Netflix’s multi-cam sitcom has become the leading engine of the form’s revival. Covering everything from LGBTQ rights and immigration to dating and depression, the series is anchored by the two extraordinary women at its center: Rita Moreno and Justina Machado, whose chemistry as mother and daughter find fullest expression in two wrenching late-season entries. If the inseparable pair aren’t treasured in the TV canon forever, there should be a steward’s inquiry. I promised myself I would savor the third season of One Day at a Time. That I would space out watching the 13 episodes, treasuring each one. I would relish how each precious half-hour was simultaneously timeless and cutting edge. I would marvel at the series’ ability to be quietly groundbreaking. I would reflect on how it made Cuban culture at once unique and intimately relatable.

Instead, I devoured it. The series is so excellent and so compulsively watchable I couldn’t help myself. It’s like a paraphrase of that old commercial for Lay’s potato chips: “Betcha you can’t watch just one.” In a seemingly impossible feat, the third season of this cherished comedy is even better than the two that preceded it—and the two that preceded it were pretty awesome. The series goes deeper on the challenges of modern parenting, addiction struggles, and living with anxiety and depression. It explores with great nuance what makes a family. It is pioneering in its ability to treat Elena’s (Isabella Gomez) same-sex relationship as a high-school first love, with all the drama and issues that accompany that regardless of gender. Justina Machado and Rita Moreno are, of course, reliably fantastic as the mother/daughter matriarchs of the family, and Todd Grinnell, as handyman/landlord Schneider, is given a chance to shine. Alex (a terrific Marcel Ruiz) also gets a complex storyline, which is honest in its admission that adolescent issues aren’t easily solved.

Thank goodness PopTV picked up the series for a fourth season after Netflix unceremoniously let it go. ¡Dale One Day at a Time, dale! —Amy Amatangelo and Matt Brennan

Nathan for You

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Created by: Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman
Stars: Nathan Fielder

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For two seasons, Nathan for You was something warped, uncomfortable, and ultimately refreshing. Ideas like “Dumb Starbucks”; went viral, making it increasingly difficult for Fielder to use relative anonymity to convince his “clients”; to go along with his disturbingly effective ideas. It wasn’t totally original TV, but there did seem to be a certain sincerity under it all, Fielder doing his best to never exploit the people he helped for the benefit of a good joke, hoping that somehow, at the very least, he could drum up attention for the suffering businesses. But the third season of Nathan for You is obviously something so much more sublime: Over the course of eight episodes, Nathan has contrived a fake exercise program replete with a fake creator to dredge up free labor for a moving company, created a sound-proof box for imprisoning children while their parents have sex in hotel rooms (which he tested with a porn star orgy), and devised a way for a dive bar to allow smokers inside through turning a typical night of patronization into an experimental bit of theater—all the while transforming each client interaction into a desperate bid to make a friend. It’s even in “Nail Salon/Fun”; that Nathan finally admits he doesn’t have many friends, even though he’s actually a really fun guy to hang out with, so he concocts a plan to scientifically validate he’s an entertaining human, which of course involves stealing the urine of his new friend and suggesting on a lark they go get blood drawn together. It’s all so much more than cringe-worthy faux-documentary pranking; in Season 3, Nathan for You stumbled into the sublime, taking to task the pathetic, empty human connections at the heart of even the most basic tenets of capitalism. —Dom Sinacola


Created by: Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson, Jake Weisman
Stars: Matt Ingebretson, Jake Weisman, Anne Dudek, Adam Lustick, Aparna Nancherla, Lance Reddick

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For everyone who’s had a soul-crushing job where they can almost feel the walls closing in on them. For those who’ve sat in the office parking garage on Monday mornings and wondered if this would be the week that their guilt over their company’s environmental and/or human safety conditions finally broke them enough to quit their mid-level executive gig. For all the HR people who nod as workers blubber about unfair conditions, but who secretly know their mission is to protect the business at all costs. For the two Yes Men who know only one of them is actually needed on the payroll. For these people and more, creators Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman’s Comedy Central series is for you (and not at all for your human steroid of a CEO). —Whitney Friedlander



Created by: Charlie Parsons
Hosted by: Jeff Probst

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Survivors ready? Stream! There’s never a bad time to watch Survivor one of the most famous reality competitions of all time. Host Jeff Probst lures Americans to a location far from their home, forcing them to live off of rice and canteen water for just over a month. All the while, they battle on another in two or three tribes full of strangers, going head-to-head in physical and mental mini-games that protect them from Tribal Council. But Tribal Council is inevitable: one way or another, they’ll be forced to sit around the fire and spew all the gossip around camp, eventually tasked with voting one person out of the game. There are some beloved characters, some villains, and some complete weirdos in the 40 seasons of Survivor that have spanned over the past 20 years. Each season is a true gem, full of twists, bizarre drama, and extreme strategy. —Fletcher Peters

The Good Wife

Created by: Robert King, Michelle King
Stars: Julianna Margulies, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi, Graham Phillips, Makenzie Vega, Josh Charles

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Are network dramas supposed to be this good? Julianna Margulies stars as the title character Alicia Florrick, who (in a storyline ripped from many, many headlines) is subjected to public humiliation when her husband, Peter (Chris Noth), the District Attorney of Chicago, is caught cheating with a prostitute. The scandal forces Alicia back into the workforce, and she takes a job with her (very sexy) old law school friend Will Gardner (Josh Charles). But Alicia is not your typical “stand by your man” woman and The Good Wife is not your typical show. The brilliance of the series is that it deftly blends multiple and equally engaging storylines that both embrace and defy genre conventions. Each episode is an exciting combination of political intrigue, inner-office jockeying, family strife, sizzling romance, and intriguing legal cases. The series features a fantastic array of guest stars, and creates a beguiling and believable world where familiar characters weave in and out of Alicia’s life just like they would in real life: You’ll be fascinated by Archie Panjabi’s mysterious Kalinda Sharma, delighted by Zach Grenier’s mischievous David Lee, marvel at Christine Baranski’s splendid Diane Lockhart. And, witness the transformative performance Alan Cummings gives as the cunning Eli Gold. But the real reason to stick with the series is to partake in the show’s game-changing fifth season. Many series start to fade as they age, but The Good Wife peaked late in its mostly glorious seven season run. —Amy Amatangelo

Everybody Hates Chris

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Created by: Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
Stars: Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella

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Chris Rock is one of the funniest comedians of all time. This is far from a controversial stance. Upon developing a period sitcom about his Brooklyn childhood for the (now defunct) UPN back in the mid-2000s, however, the question emerged of whether or not his brand of knowing, acerbic comedy could survive the transition to network TV. The answer proved to be both yes and no. From the opening seconds of its pilot, Everybody Hates Chris positions itself as an incisive, utterly confident comedic tour-de-force that is perfectly in line with Rock’s brand. And yet, in the hands of co-creator/showrunner Ali LeRoi, the show aimed to be much more than simply the comedian’s stage work reformatted into TV storylines. The result was a family sitcom that both harkened back to the Norman Lear comedies of old, while still retaining the rapid pace and tight construction of the best single-camera productions. The show was never more successful, however, than when it came to its casting, with Tyler James Williams demonstrating immense charisma and comic timing as a young Chris; meanwhile, Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold would promptly enter the pantheon of great TV couples as Chris’ larger-than-life parental units. And though low ratings and frequent schedule shifts would ultimately snuff Chris out after four seasons, it quickly sketched out its place as one of the greatest sitcoms of the new millennium. —Mark Rozeman

Twin Peaks


Created by: David Lynch, Mark Frost
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Joan Chen, Eric Da Re, Sherilyn Fenn

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At its heart, Twin Peaks is a detective story, with Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachan), a stalwart, by-the-book FBI agent, descending upon the small logging town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of a young woman. But since this was a TV series conceived using the weird and wonderful visions of David Lynch, it wound up being so much more. Like its nearest antecedent, Blue Velvet, it explores the weirdness that lies beneath the surface of Anytown, U.S.A., including a lot of soap opera-like psychosexual drama and assorted oddball characters like The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) and agoraphobic Harold Smith (Lenny Von Dohlen). The horror of the show came in with the supernatural underpinnings of this storyline, with the killer of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) potentially being an otherworldly force that goes by the name of Bob. Through Lynch’s lens and through the guise of actor Frank Silva, that spirit haunted every last scene in the show, no matter how outlandish and far-reaching it got. With the help of Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting score and the atmosphere created by the set designers, you spent the entirety of the two seasons waiting for something terrible to happen to everyone on screen. And it only made those moments—when things did go sour—feel that much worse. Twin Peaks: The Return premiered on Showtime in 2017 and is not available on Netflix, but its wild surrealism and resistance to narrative confirm the visionary nature of Lynch’s original. —Robert Ham

RuPaul’s Drag Race


Created by: RuPaul Charles
Judges: RuPaul Charles, Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, Carson Kressley

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RuPaul’s Drag Race was the first in a global series of Drag Race competitions. The show pits around a dozen glamorous drag queens against one another in search of America’s next drag superstar—though the challenge has also popped up in the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Chile, and more. Not only that, the reality franchise has also launched spin-offs like All Stars and Secret Celebrity Drag Race. Watch famous queens like Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattell, and Shea Couleé rise to the top, or start afresh from the very beginning and root for whoever grabs your eye. There’s so much to watch in the Drag Race universe, each new episode more glamorous than the last. —Fletcher Peters


Created by: Darren Star
Stars: Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Torotorella, Hilary Duff, Peter Hermann

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My friends and I joke that my taste in TV is “dumb, loud and set in New York City,” and while Younger checks two of those boxes, it’s a whole lot smarter than some of the other “dumb, loud” NYC shows I’ve logged in the past (looking at you, Real Housewives of New York City and Gossip Girl). Younger, starring Broadway star Sutton Foster and ex-Disney darling Hilary Duff, is a clever examination of Millennial culture, full of topical episodes and socially relevant plotlines, but it’s also just a soapy good time with a soundtrack that sounds like something they’d play inside an H&M. Younger remains light-hearted while giving its viewers a little something more than the TV equivalent of junk food. —Ellen Johnson

Key & Peele

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Created by / Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele

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We already miss Key & Peele. By we, I don’t mean just myself or Paste, but society as a whole. And by “miss” I don’t mean we reflect fondly upon the show, which made us laugh and exists no more, but that our culture literally feels its absence, all the more glaring in the country’s depressing racial climate. Not every sketch was political, and not every sketch was a hit, but at their best, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele hilariously attacked issues few other comedians or shows would dare to touch. They used comedy to become a vital part of the national conversation. —Garrett Martin

Legend of Korra

Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko
Stars: Janet Varney, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Kiernan Shipka

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When Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino first announced Legend of Korra—a sequel series set 70 or so years after the events of their beloved original show—they certainly were subjected to no shortage of high expectations. And despite a few bumps in the road here and there, Legend of Korra more than met these expectations, crafting a relentlessly engaging series of stories that married the whimsy and imagination of Hayao Miyazaki with the kind of complex political intrigue one might find in a typical episode of Game of Thrones. Moreover, the show also gave us an incredible female protagonist in the form of its titular character—a kickass teenage girl who must save the world, all the while going through that all-too-familiar adolescent journey to discover her own inner self. —Mark Rozeman

Strangers With Candy


Created by: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Mitch Rouse
Stars: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Greg Hollimon

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Strangers with Candy’s Jerri Blank—a 46-year old crack-whore-turned-high-school-freshman, prone to layers of makeup, disturbingly sculpted hair and crocheted vests—is one of television’s most revoltingly loveable anti-heroines. Jerri’s overbite, high-rise pants, and tendency toward inappropriate sexual advances require an actress in possession of excessive valor and gusto: enter the New York-born, North Carolina-raised Amy Sedaris, sister of David, baker of cupcakes and cheeseballs, and beloved comedic foil—she boasted the rubbery mug, incomparable commitment and high, squeaky voice necessary to spark Jerri Blank into hideous fruition. —Amanda Petrusich

Reno 911!


Created by: Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Thomas Lennon
Stars: Thomas Lennon, Cedric Yarbrough, Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Carlos Alazraqui

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A workplace comedy making fun of the police force? Um, yes. Reno 911! takes Cops to the next level: partially unscripted, wholly hilarious, the Comedy Central series takes a look into a satirized version of the Reno Sheriff’s Department. As the incompetent deputies attempt to keep their zones safe, chaos lurks behind every corner. The show pivots from the behind-the-scenes look into the police department, into the public realm, where the Reno 911 cast “arrest” real people (who, most of the time, act out to be filmed on camera). Quibi recently revived the series in a short-form model; however, with the death of Quibi came the death of the revival. Nevertheless, Reno 911! is always a hoot full of short-shorts, odd criminals, and commentary on the inabilities of our police system. —Fletcher Peters

The Good Fight

Created by: Robert and Michelle King, Phil Alden Robinson
Stars: Christine Baranski, Rose Leslie, Erica Tazel, Cush Jumbo

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With “The One Where Diane and Liz Topple Democracy,” The Good Fight achieved the holy grail of the TV spin-off: It’s taken the animating question of The Good Wife—How far can you push the law?—and reinterpreted it for our own moment: Does the law even matter? As Diane (Christine Baranski) and Liz’s (Audra McDonald) “book club” debates whether or not to hack voting machines to right the disenfranchisement of voters in the 2016 presidential elections, or as Gary Carr (playing himself) shadows Roland (Michael Sheen) and Lucca (Cush Jumbo) to prepare for a role, The Good Fight is reminiscent of The Good Wife on a molecular level. And yet its characterization, aesthetic, tone and plot are utterly without nostalgia for it. “What isn’t a lie these days, though?” Gary asks Lucca when she explains why she doesn’t like TV. “Politics, art, science: Everything is TV.” The Good Fight would know: It’s one of the best shows on television. —Matt Brennan

Star Trek: Infinity


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From Captain Kirk to Admiral Janeway, from shorts to series to films, Paramount+ has every Star Trek TV property you can think of, and then some. CBS All Access made Star Trek its marquee focus, and Paramount+ shows no sign of slowing down on that front. If you love Star Trek, Paramount+ is your hub. —Allison Keene

90s Nostalgia

For the Xennials, Paramount+ is essentially a one-stop shop for your Nickelodeon and MTV nostalgia. They don’t have everything (including The Adventures of Pete & Pete and Hey, Dude!), but you can find 90210, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Clarissa Explains It All, Double Dare, Rugrats, Rocko, and Legends of the Hidden Temple. There’s also The Real World, The Challenge, and Aeon Flux (Hey, remember Liquid Television?). Basically, a little something for everybody who still secretly misses grunge, combat boots, and laughing at how bad those hair extensions looked on Laguna Beach. —Allison Keene

Classic TV Shows

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Look, you don’t need us to tell you to watch Cheers or I Love Lucy or Perry Mason or Frasier or The Twilight Zone or… you get the picture. Paragons of television, essentially. Yes, Paramount+ has a nice, although somewhat small collection of classic TV series, all conveniently placed in one genre search screen. For those who want to take a tour of some of TV’s best, there’s no better place to be. —Allison Keene

Smithsonian Channel


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When getting excited over the sheer breadth of content that Paramount+ offers, don’t forget about the Smithsonian Channel. Yeah, this is mostly a channel for your dad—there are a lot of documentaries about various wars, some of which are colorized (which dads love). But there are also nature documentaries, historical deep-dives, and other educational programming that makes for a great brainy break between binges of The Hills. —Allison Keene

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