Friends is officially back on the streaming market at HBO Max, meaning you may already be in the middle of your umpteenth binge of the iconic sitcom. Whether you're in it to relive the lobster saga of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), enjoy some of Phoebe Buffay's (Lisa Kudrow) eccentric tunes, savor the unstoppable bromance of Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc), or relax with all of your fictional besties in Monica's (Courteney Cox) sprawling purple apartment, Friends remains essential TV comfort food for many of us.
If you're ready to venture outside of Central Perk and see what other laughs are out there, though, we're here to help. We've gathered up a list of the best hangout comedies, shows inspired by Friends, or shows featuring some Friends cast members that Friends fans will definitely love. (Note: The one and only Friends spin-off, Joey, is not currently available to stream, and the much-anticipated cast reunion special has not yet been filmed.)
Some people might say that you have to pick a favorite between Seinfeld and Friends, but there's plenty of room to enjoy both. Like Friends, Seinfeld was a monster hit for NBC and centered on a group of pals hilariously experiencing the pratfalls of twenty-something life in the Big Apple. The humor is a bit drier than Friends, and you shouldn't go in looking at any of the characters to put on a fashion show, but if you want to see another group of close and completely imperfect pals navigate New York, along with a few zany recurring characters, Seinfeld is must-see TV (pun intended).
How to watch: Hulu
You might've heard about a recent dustup between David Schwimmer and Living Single star Erika Alexander. The actress rightly pointed out to him that the Fox sitcom premiered before Friends and also followed a sextet of besties living in Brooklyn -- and it boasted an all-Black cast, so he was remiss to suggest that someone should make an all-Black version of Friends. Living Single was also ahead of the game when it came to the concept of keeping its characters in such close proximity to one another; three of the four women in the show shared an apartment, while their two male friends shared an apartment in the same building. Beyond those similarities, Living Single was also notable for its snappy humor, woven character connections, and many alluring romantic arcs.
It's not just the fact that Courteney Cox herself was the lead of Cougar Town, which aired on ABC and TBS, that makes it a potentially great fit for Friends fans; she and Busy Phillipps also starred as a pair of goofy, but well-meaning women who'd probably be fast friends with Phoebe Buffay in one of her other lives. Like Friends, the show was packed with neighbors leaning on each other for moral support, along with awkward romantic entanglements and, yes, even a few emotional moments. (As a bonus, it also features some on-screen reunions between Cox and fellow Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.)
How to watch: Showtime
Now this one is recommended largely because of the fact that a Friends cast member stars in it. Episodes features Matt LeBlanc playing a smarmier (we think) version of himself trying to headline a new TV show after the Joey flop. The meta-comedy series was co-created by David Crane, who also produced Friends and Joey, and centers on how LeBlanc and the network brass manage to undermine the dreams of a U.K. producer couple who move to Hollywood to oversee the American version of their show. Not only does LeBlanc shine as, well, himself, but there are also a couple of clever cameos from James Michael Tyler (who played Gunther CentralPerk, of course) and David Schwimmer.
How to watch: NBC
Matthew Perry has done a few notable comedy shows after Friends, including this way-too-short-lived NBC series about a widower who joins a support group and meets a zany band of characters who help him cope. Like Friends, Go On centers on another point in a person's life when their friends are the most important connections they have, and Perry's ease with fast-paced jokes is definitely something Chandler fans will appreciate. It's also heartwarming and hilarious on its own, but floundered on Tuesday nights in an awful time slot while NBC loaded up Thursday nights.
How to watch: Hulu
Listen, if you really, really want to watch a show like Friends, then stop reading the rest of this list and watch the great Happy Endings. Six people? Check. Half guys, half girls? Check. Ridiculous hangout sitcom situations? Check. A completely homogenous all-white hetero cast of characters? Well, not quite. Happy Endings is what would happen to Friends if it was made 15 years later, and for my money, is much better than Friends while blatantly, yet respectfully, imitating it (however, just like Friends, some of the humor hasn't aged that well). The series lasted three acclaimed seasons before ABC made the boneheaded decision to cancel it, which no one can explain to this day. -Tim Surette
How to watch: Amazon Prime Video
If you are one of us Friends fans who really enjoyed it when the show went there with the dirty jokes and adult-friendly innuendos, brace yourself for Coupling, a show devoted to good-looking mates who always have sex on the brain and love to talk about it -- in private, in public, and, of course, in bed. The Stephen Moffat-created series ran from 2000-2004 and was essentially England's answer to Friends, right down to the three-girls-three-guys cast and all the zany high jinks that created but focusing on the foibles of new relationships. And as far as Friends imitators go, this one was actually great. An American version was made in 2003 in the hopes that it would fill the void Friends left, but it was awful and hopefully every copy of the master tapes was burned.
How to Watch: Hulu
Bearing in mind that this series had one of the most frustrating finales of all time, How I Met Your Mother was still a rip-roaring good time for the most part. Like Friends, the series follows a group of close pals -- including the requisite casanova and everydayman combo -- who live in the city and basically spend all of their time together. There were some romantic pairings eventually forming because of course, and together they experience lots of laughs, joy, and some tender moments along the way.
How to watch: HBO Max
If you haven't checked out this long-lived sitcom, which has a vast fanbase of its own, bazinga! (You'll get that reference after you watch, of course.) The Big Bang Theory is another series with main characters who live so close to one another that there's an official no-knock-needed policy and, yes, who wind up pairing off. Like Friends, the characters in this series love to sit on couches and talk about inanity -- the difference being, of course, that most of them are certified geniuses, so if Ross Geller's mini-tutorials on dinosaurs and trilobites made your day, this is the show for you.
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There are few crime shows that lends themselves to a good binge like Criminal Minds. The procedural lasted over a decade and a half at CBS and scared us to death on a weekly basis by taking us inside the insidious thinking of every kind of serial killer you could think of. Criminal Minds centered on a specific department at the FBI called the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) that tracked down these killers every week using crime scene set-ups and victimology to create a personality profile for each unsub (unknown subject).
Over the course of 15 seasons, members of the team came and went, but Criminal Minds was special because the central group always acted like a family, which brought some light and comfort to a series that dealt with discussing gruesome murder on a constant basis. Since the show premiered in 2005, it's gone on to be syndicated across multiple networks, making it nearly impossible to escape when you're channel-surfing before bed (though we highly discourage you from watching Criminal Minds before you go to sleep, unless you want to have nightmares of Jamie Kennedy as a cannibal or some other horror).
If you've completed Criminal Minds but need something new to scratch that serial killer-catching itch, TV Guide has compiled a list of shows that might help satisfy that urge.
Where to watch: Hulu
If you've only watched Criminal Minds in reruns or on Netflix, you might have missed this short-lived spin-off which ran for one season on CBS in 2011. It stays in the same world as the flagship, but follows a different BAU team less inclined to play by the strict rules laid out by FBI bureaucracy. The cast is stacked, with Forest Whitaker as the lead, Richard Schiff as the FBI director, and a pre-House of Cards Michael Kelly as the team's wildcard agent. (Note: Suspect Behavior is one of two short-lived Criminal Minds spin-offs. There was also Beyond Borders starring Gary Sinise, which is not currently available to stream)
Where to watch: Netflix
If you fell in love with Criminal Minds because of the profiling aspect of the show, then you definitely need to hop over to Netflix to check out David Fincher's Mindhunter, which dramatizes the creation of the FBI unit known as the BAU. Jonathan Groff stars as Holden Ford, a young agent who specializes in hostage negotiations who finds himself drawn to figuring out what makes pathological "sequence killers" tick. He begins to interview incarcerated multiple murderers to start building a methodology for finding other killers who haven't been caught yet. It is a fascinating deep dive into how the profiling tips the team used on Criminal Minds were first developed.
Where to watch: CBS All Access
If a great team of crime-solvers is what you're after, especially one with a prodigy like Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), then check out Scorpion, which is streaming CBS All Access. The series follows a group of brilliant but socially awkward geniuses (basically a whole group of Reids!) who use their tech-savvy skills to help the Department of Homeland Security track down and stop imminent threats against the United States. It's a little like Criminal Minds and The Big Bang Theory had a baby, which sounds like it shouldn't work, but it actually really does.
Where to watch: Hulu
It's okay, you can admit it. The thing you actually love most about Criminal Minds are the unsubs themselves. If that's the case, you should join the passionate Hannibal fanbase. Bryan Fuller's series centered on famous cannibal character Hannibal Lecter makes eating people seem almost...romantic. The tension between Hannibal (Mads Mikkelson) and FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is as delicious as the meals Hannibal cooks up for his guests. Oh, did we just say that? Listen, you'll get it if you watch.
Where to watch: Hulu
Hey, ladies can be serial killers and have extremely intense relationships with the federal agents trying to track them down, too! Welcome to Killing Eve, based on the novel Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings and brought to life on TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Sandra Oh is brilliant as MI5 agent Eve Polastri, whose curiosity and intuition puts her on the trail of one of the most deadly assassins in the game -- Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The cat and mouse game that ensues between these two is so smart and thrilling, and leads to twists that will leave you a bit out of breath.
Where to watch: Showtime
The BAU team loved to put together a good murder board when solving cases, and if that chaotic-good energy excited you, then Homeland is going to have you jumping for joy. The lengths CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) went through to prove the sometimes far-fetched theories she came up with were anxiety-inducing, but when her intuition paid off it felt like the best episodes of Criminal Minds when the unsub was caught at the last possible second.
Perhaps you don't like the lone wolf hunt, though, and we get that. That's why there's NCIS, another long-running CBS crime procedural, but this time centered on a military group of crime solvers. Unlike many of the other choices on this list, NCIS also gives you the comfort of knowing the target is most likely going to be apprehended at the end of the episode. That means you can skip around and find the era of the show you really love.
Luther is the Criminal Minds replacement show you should watch if you like a long hunt for a suspect and you enjoy a sexy detective leading the charge. You can enjoy multiple seasons of Idris Elba getting his hands dirty as the eponymous sleuth on a variety of different streaming services. Did we mention Elba also uses his native British accent in the series? It's like the universe is begging you to watch this gritty BBC drama, and who are you to refuse?
Criminal Minds Seasons 1-12 are available on Netflix. Season 15 is available on CBS All Access.
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We're halfway through 2020, people. It can't get any worse, right? (Furiously knocks on wood until knuckles bleed.) This is an incredibly dumb thing to say given the circumstances, but thankfully the year has given us some solid new television while we stay indoors screaming into pillows. If you've had difficulty remembering which new shows out there were good because you've been too busy trying to survive this hellscape, don't worry! We're keeping track of all the best new shows of the year right here.
Whether it's on Netflix, Hulu, or even a dinosaur like ABC, as long as it's good, you'll find it on the list below. We'll also tell you where to watch it, link up a TV Guide review (if there is one), and show off a trailer so you can get a taste for yourself. Enjoy!
Check back often, as this story will be updated throughout the year.
Premiered July 3 | Watch on Netflix
Ann M. Martin's cherished books about a gaggle of girls who set up their own baby-sitting business are updated for modern audiences with Netflix's new adaptation. I know what you're thinking, "For real, TV Guide? The Baby-Sitters Club?" Yeah! The show is a delight for all ages, faithfully adapting the books while also adding in episodes dealing with important current-day topics, such as transgender visibility and racism. It's light and refreshing family-friendly TV, perfect for an easy summer binge with the family. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered June 28 | Watch on HBO
This six-part series is based on the bestselling book of the same name and explores writer Michelle McNamara's investigation into the identity of the serial predator she called the Golden State Killer, which led to the arrest of a suspect in 2018. Sadly, McNamara was not around to see the payoff of her work, as she died in 2016. This docuseries, directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus and executive-produced by McNamara's widower Patton Oswalt, is a tribute to McNamara's life and work as well as a harrowing true-crime documentary. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER]
Premiered June 21 | Watch on HBO
You probably remember Perry Mason as an imposing defense attorney somewhere inside that imposing suit as he boiled down murder cases and, like clockwork, wrung out a confession from someone who wasn't his client to prove his client's innocence. Throw most of that out the window, as HBO reboots Perry Mason with The Americans' Matthew Rhys -- who's absolutely terrific -- playing the iconic TV character as a slightly disheveled, grumpy, boozing, f---ing malcontent who's working a case about a murdered baby in a dirty, grimy 1930s Los Angeles. The eight-episode season of private-eyeing and courtroom drama is bolstered by a wonderful cast, which includes Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, and Stephen Root, and a robust budget that brings Depression-era L.A. to gorgeous life under the watchful direction of Game of Thrones' Tim Van Patten. This is how prestige television is done -- even if the story ultimately comes up a bit short, the performances and visuals are enough to keep you watching. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered June 7 | Watch on HBO
Rising super-talent Michaela Coel created, writes, directs, and stars in this timely and unflinching drama made in partnership with the BBC. She plays Arabella, an author who is drugged and sexually assaulted in a bar, and comes to with a vague memory that something bad happened to her, but she's not sure who's responsible. She tries to find out who did it, while also maintaining her friendships and finishing her book. The series deals with some intensely heavy topics, but it has a sly sense of humor that will make you laugh when you're least expecting it. -Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered May 31 | Watch on AMC
One of my favorite movies of all time is 1994's Quiz Show, which stars Ralph Fiennes as a man who competes on a Jeopardy!-like game show and gets illegally groomed by the producers -- answers to the questions included -- to become their recurring champion to boost ratings. There's a lot of similarity with AMC's Quiz, but the difference is the contestants form the cheating ring and the producers are none the wiser. Well, at least initially. Quiz is also based on a true story; in 2001, Charles Ingram, along with his sister and her husband, devised a plan to win the big prize in the U.K.'s massive new hit series Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, leading to a criminal trial that became a huge story overseas. Quiz is an incredibly entertaining three-episode miniseries, and it not only covers the scandal but the development of the show as well, for those of you who like to see what goes on behind the scenes. It's also fun, and still manages to capture the tension of the game show even though you know what's going to happen. As a bonus, the inimitable Michael Sheen stars as the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and he's great as always. [TRAILER]
Premiered May 15 | Watch on Hulu
This lavish period piece features powdered wigs, British accents, and flowing wardrobes, but it ain't a stuffy drama for your mama. Tony McNamara, the screenwriter of The Favourite, penned this satirical look at Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) as she ascended to power in Russia, and it's based on facts. Well, some of them, anyway. The rest is made up to make it fun and entertaining. And it's a hoot. Keep a close eye out on this version of Peter the Great (Nicholas Hoult), one of the all-time best depictions of royal doofusry to ever grace the television. -Kaitlin Thomas [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered May 10 | Watch on HBO
Ruffalo ruffalo ruffalo Ruffalo ruffalo. By that grammatically correct sentence, I mean this HBO limited series stars Mark Ruffalo in two roles. He plays Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, twin brothers with a complicated relationship. Thomas has schizophrenia, and Dominick has PTSD from taking care of him, serving in the Gulf War, and numerous other hardships. It's written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, whose previous films include Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, in case you weren't sure if I Know This Much Is True was going to be really heavy. Cianfrance is one of the heaviest filmmakers in the game. The miniseries is based on a very popular, very long 1998 novel by Wally Lamb. -Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered May 1 | Watch on HBO
If Girls' Hannah Horvath spent less time telling everyone else how they were wrong and more time chilling on a skateboard, it might look a little like HBO's new six-episode series Betty, a loving ode to female friendship, New York City, and vibin'. The show is an extension of Skate Kitchen, a 2018 film about a group of young female skateboarders, with the film's director, Crystal Moselle, bringing back the same cast and characters for more stories about queer love and having your friends' backs. It's got that summertime, carefree, adventures-in-the-city feel down pat, if you'd like to live vicariously through its characters. [TRAILER]
Premiered April 29 | Watch on Hulu
Sally Rooney's best-selling novel Normal People, which chronicles a tender but complicated romance between two Irish teens from the end of high school through their college years, is faithfully and beautifully adapted for television in this Hulu limited series. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star as Marianne and Connell, two teens whose upbringings couldn't be more different but whose deep connection leads to an intense, all-consuming romance. Fluctuating power dynamics eventually put a strain on their relationship, as issues of class, privilege, submission, and emotional scarring compound an inability to communicate, leading to periods of friendship and intimacy giving way to months of no contact. The show, which is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald, is a surprisingly honest look at young love and heartbreak. Also, there's lots of skin. I mean lots. I just felt like I should say that... up front. -Kaitlin Thomas [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered April 27 | Watch on Netflix
Mindy Kaling co-created this teenage rom-com about an Indian-American girl named Devi who enters her sophomore year of high school determined to shed her nerdy image and get a boyfriend. Do I need to even tell you that things do not go as planned? It's great, filled with fun writing and an energetic performance from its lead, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who meets every of Devi's obstacles with spirit and a smile. It's been a few since Netflix's last horny teen hit; this looks like the next one. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered April 21 | Watch on Netflix
Laughter is the best medicine besides actual medicine prescribed to you by a qualified medical professional, so if you're in need of some laughs, these three new, completely improvised comedy specials featuring Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz are exactly what your doctor is probably also watching in April. Filmed at NYU, the first special is titled "Dream Job" and tells the story of two friends, one of whom has an important job interview that eventually spirals into an existential crisis. Who hasn't been there? Next up is "Law School Magic," which claims to be part The Breakfast Club and part The Chronicles of Narnia, and the final special is "Parking Lot Wedding," and I'm not even going to tell you what happens because that would spoil the magic. -Kaitlin Thomas [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered April 20 | Watch on Netflix
Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward's newest is a trippy, universe-surfing animated series about a podcaster who travels through the multiverse interviewing subjects about their specialties. Using audio from the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast and adding a weird, animated world around it, The Midnight Gospel is basically Rick & Morty meets Dr. Katz. It's the perfect show for a hazy late-night on the couch: a colorful and comically intellectual escape, if the mood-enhancers you take to appreciate the visuals allow your brain to follow it. [TRAILER]
Premiered April 19 | Watch on ESPN, ESPN+
This 10-part docuseries is ostensibly about the Chicago Bulls' historic 1997-98 season, but it's really an in-depth examination of Michael Jordan, who didn't get to be the greatest basketball player who ever lived by being nice to people. His Airness is remarkably unguarded as he talks at length about the feuds and resentments that fueled his unparalleled career, accompanied by extraordinary archival footage from that season and interviews with dozens of people who were there, from Dennis Rodman to Barack Obama. It's an incredible document of NBA history that basketball fans will find totally riveting. - Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered April 15 | Watch on FX on Hulu
The second show to debut as part of FX's new streaming deal with Hulu, Mrs. America chronicles the messy history of modern feminism in the U.S. and the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s (a fight that is still going today). The limited series, which will likely bring FX a slew of Emmy nominations in the acting categories, is largely told through the eyes of Cate Blanchett's conservative homemaker and hopeful politician Phyllis Schlafly, who staunchly believes a woman's place is in the home even as she is quite often ... not in the home. On the other side of the table are notable figures like Gloria Steinam (Rose Byrne), The Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), and Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), the first woman to run for president for the Democratic party. But the compelling and thoughtful series is careful to not take sides in the discussion or draw any conclusions. It's not perfect, but it's still must-see TV. -Kaitlin Thomas [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered April 12 | Watch on HBO
Early on in HBO's new series Run, you'll know that the two main characters (Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson) totally have the hots for each other. Everything else about them? Well, you'll just have to wait as the details are parsed out. But that's the fun of the dark comedy, from Fleabag's Vicky Jones, in which old college flames fulfill a pact they made and run off together on a whim 15 years later, leaving their lives behind to recapture the love they had for each other as teenagers. Most of the series is set on a train to Chicago, creating a situation they can't (and mostly don't want to) escape from. There are twists, there are turns, and an uncomfortable feeling that these two people are either doing the exact wrong thing or the exact right thing, and that energy makes you feel like you're part of the affair. [TRAILER]
Premiered March 20 | Watch on Netflix
Netflix's latest true crime miniseries is really nuts even by the standards of true crime miniseries. It tells the story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo operator who was arrested for hiring hitmen to kill an animal rights activist who was trying to shut him down. The docuseries makes it seem like everyone involved in the big cat industry is a larger-than-life personality, and none are larger than Joe, a charismatic gun-toting gay polygamist who won't let anyone tell him what to do with his big cats. You can tell the filmmakers started out trying to make an issue-driven documentary about animal welfare, and then it turned into something else while they were filming it. It's a truly wild journey that's the absolute perfect binge for right now. - Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered March 16 | Watch on HBO
This limited series, written by The Wire's David Simon and Ed Burns, is based on a book by legendary novelist Philip Roth. It presents an alternate version of American history in which celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh beat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the election of 1940 on a fascist, isolationist platform. It tells the story through the eyes of the Levins, a working class Jewish American family in Newark whose pursuit of the American Dream gets halted as America slides into fascism. The book was written during the George W. Bush presidency, but the limited series is a Crucible-esque allegory for the Trump era. The premiere will take you right back to how you felt in 2015-16, as Lindbergh's rise makes people uneasy, but they don't think he could actually be elected. -Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered March 6 | Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Amazon's violent, prestige-y, multi-continental crime epic ZeroZeroZero, produced in partnership with Sky Atlantic and Canal+, could potentially be the answer to Netflix's Narcos. The slick series tracks the cocaine trade between Mexican, American, and Italian organized crime, and stars Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan, and Gabriel Byrne as the Americans, who broker the deals and transport the coke via their shipping company. It also follows a Mexican soldier (Harold Torres) on the frontline of the drug war, and Giuseppe De Domenico as a Calabrian gangster who wants to take over his family business. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER]
Premiered March 5 | Watch on Hulu
Ex Machina and Annihilation director Alex Garland heads to TV for the first time with this philosophical sci-fi slow-burn. The limited series follows the story of a young software engineer, Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), who investigates the secretive development division of the company she works for, which is run by a weird guy named Forest (Nick Offerman), because she believes it's responsible for her boyfriend's murder. Mostly, though, the show is about Garland's obsession with building lightbulbs into the walls of the set to give everything a beautiful golden glow. -Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered March 1 | Watch on AMC
Jason Segel created this experimental dramedy, and How I Met Your Mother fans are in for a real trip. Segel stars as Peter, a lonely man whose humdrum existence gets shaken up when he answers a flyer that gets him involved in a mysterious conflict between something called the Jejune Institute and something called the Elsewhere Society. It might be a game, it might be a conspiracy, it might be nothing, it might be something. Joining him on his quest are Simone (Eve Lindley), Fredwynn (Andre Benjamin), and Janice (Sally Field), who each get their own episodes as the season progresses. The show is heavily influenced by acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich), which means it's whimsical and sad at the same time. -Liam Mathews [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Feb. 14 | Watch on Hulu
You've seen the movie, maybe you've even read the book, now you can watch the High Fidelity TV show! Nick Hornby's novel about a record store owner with snooty taste and a penchant for Top 5 lists moves to Brooklyn and makes the main character a woman (Zoë Kravitz), showing romantic failures and the inability to accept your own faults isn't just for white men. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Feb. 7 | Watch on Apple TV+
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney is smart enough to know that video games are funny, but they're not to be made fun of. Gamers are legion, after all. The game biz gets a loving send-up in Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet without making games the joke as McElhenney plays the egotistical creative director of a popular MMORPG about to release its first expansion pack. There's a fantastic cast that includes F. Murray Abraham, Danny Pudi, and Charlotte Nicdao, and a midseason standalone episode is a great story of creativity vs. profits. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 23 | Watch on CBS All Access
Star Trek: Picard isn't Star Trek: The Next Generation, nor does it have any ambition to be. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is back, but there's not much more in common between the two shows as Picard is a heavily serialized tale about the aftermath of Star Trek: Nemesis and Picard's life 20 years later. And though it's set far in the future, it resonates today with topic such as terrorism, government corruption, and immigration. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 22 | Watch on Comedy Central
Golden Globe winner Awkwafina gives growing up a shot in this stoner comedy that's in the vein of Broad City. It turns out that adulting is pretty hard, but very funny. What sets Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens apart from others in its class is its Asian-American perspective and the fact that the character still lives at home with her dad and grandmother, who both play big parts in the show. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 18 | Watch on BBC America
The latest from the incredible BBC documentary team goes from continent to continent to highlight the variation of the planet's wildlife in this new series. It may seem like more of the same, but the simple format of Seven Worlds, One Planet gives a more comprehendible picture of Earth's biodiversity. And this may sound like a broken record, but the footage is positively stunning, somehow standing out above the team's previous work. [TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 17 | Watch on Apple TV+
If you need a nice pick-me-up from the ills of the world, this anthology series from Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, and Alan Yang is a good bet. Each episode of Little America is based on the true stories of immigrants in America, showing off their successes and experiences in humorous and heartwarming fashion, like the Indian spelling bee whiz who ran his parents' hotel after they were deported and petitioned Laura Bush to help him get them back. The best part of the show is that the challenges they face are systemic rather than from a few bad racist apples, and the stories vary wildly so they don't feel repetitive. [REVIEW | TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 16 | Watch on Freeform, Hulu
Josh Thomas became a cult TV hero with his series Please Like Me, a coming-of-age comedy with dramatic elements. The laughs and tears continue in Thomas' new Freeform series Everything's Gonna Be Okay, about a twentysomething entomologist who takes guardianship of his two teenage half-sisters, one of whom is autistic. It's sentimental, funny, and an authentic portrayal of the teenage experience. [JOSH THOMAS INTERVIEW | TRAILER]
Season 1 premiered January 14; Season 2 premiered June 12 | Watch on Netflix
Despite being set well after the apocalypse 200 years in the future when humanity is forced to live underground because giant man-eating mutants roam the surface of the Earth, this charming animated series based on a webcomic is pure delight. Following Kipo as she searches for her missing father, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is imaginative as Adventure Time and as thrilling as Avatar: The Last Airbender, but really sets out on its own because it's relentlessly positive with a heroine who just wants to pet these fantastic beasts she comes across. The hip-hop soundtrack, diverse characters, and hilarious mutant animal gangs are just plusses on top. [TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 8 | Watch on Netflix
The documentary team behind Last Chance U goes off the field and onto the sidelines for this hardcore look at the nation's best collegiate cheerleading program at Texas' Navarro College. Cheer is so much more than just waifs shaking pompoms; literal blood, sweat, and tears flow as these young men and women aim to be the best, and the character that forms is more dazzling than any aerial flips. Plus: Jerry is the BEST! [6 REASONS TO WATCH CHEER | TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 8 | Watch on Freeform, Hulu
We didn't need a reboot of the mid-'90s drama, but we're glad we got it. The update of the series about a white family who struggles when the parents are killed in a car crash moves thing to a Latinx family who must keep it together after the parents are deported for being undocumented. The result is the same -- many tissues will be needed -- but the importance and relevance is multiplied in this new Party of Five. [TRAILER]
Premiered Jan. 1 | Watch on Netflix
Imagine Big Brother but if everyone stayed in their rooms on WhatsApp instead of talking face-to-face, and you've got an idea of Netflix's reality competition series The Circle. It's meant to mimic the social media experience as contestants carefully build profiles to curry favor with others, and there's an interesting twist that makes it all fun: Some contestants are catfishing, posing as others they think will be seen as better people. Most of it is coy cat-and-mouse, but every once in a while some genuine connections form. [TRAILER]
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