Netflix may have cultivated the television binge as we know it, but the king of the streamers is embracing split seasons as well. This week brings examples of both, as the entire third season of Sweet Magnolias dropped on the same day that The Witcher season 3 part 2 premiered the last three episodes of the season. The two shows couldn’t be more different, but Netflix’s strength is that it caters to many different audiences.
On a good week, there’s almost always something new to watch on Netflix. And so far, there’s been very little slowdown in Netflix’s programming schedule. But if you’re having trouble keeping up with the latest additions, keep checking back for our weekly update of the best shows on Netflix.
We’ve also rounded up all the best movies on Netflix, the best shows on Hulu, the best shows on Amazon Prime, and the best shows on Disney+ because we take our streaming seriously. Watching while traveling abroad? Use a Netflix VPN to access your country’s catalog from anywhere in the world.
Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) now know who’s been pulling their strings in the Continent, but that knowledge might not be enough to save them as The Witcher returns with the final three episodes of season 3.
With Geralt waylaid and fighting for his life, Ciri (Freya Allan) is off on an adventure of her own that may prove to be a transformative experience. But all roads lead back to Geralt as the series faces a turning point and a very, very long wait until the fourth season arrives.
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Drama
Stars: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Eamon Farren
There’s not much serenity in Serenity, South Carolina in the new season of Sweet Magnolias. The three women at the heart of the show, Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Dana Sue Sullivan (Brooke Elliott), and Helen Decatur (Heather Headley), share a special friendship with each other. This season, those bonds are tested as the trio pulls away from each other in anger. But what will it take to bring them back together?
Genre: Romance, Drama
Stars: JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, Heather Headley, Logan Allen
It says a lot about Suits’ enduring popularity that the show has been at the top of Netflix’s most-watched charts despite ending four years ago. The series follows the unlikely partnership between prominent attorney Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), and a brilliant con man, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Harvey is so impressed by Mike’s legal knowledge that he hires him on the spot to be his associate despite knowing full well that he never went to law school.
Harvey and Mike’s efforts help the firm win several high-profile cases, even as Mike’s secret threatens to emerge. Meanwhile, Mike catches the eye of Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), an ambitious paralegal with her own plans to advance in the legal world.
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Stars: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle, Gina Torres
The Lincoln Lawyer
Court is back in session now that the second season of The Lincoln Lawyer has arrived. This season is an adaptation of Michael Connelly’s fourth novel in the series, The Fifth Witness, and it finds Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) facing an unexpected problem: Fame.
Following his successful defense of Trevor Elliott (Christopher Gorham), Mickey’s relationship with his ex-wife, Maggie McPherson (Neve Campbell), reaches frosty new lows. But when Mickey takes on his new client, Russell Lawson (David Clayton Rogers), he finds himself faced with a legal quandary unlike anything that he has faced before.
Stars: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson
Get ready for some soapy thrills in The Surrogacy, the latest Mexican telenovela to arrive on Netflix. The series stars Shani Lozano as Yeni, a young woman who is blackmailed by a powerful couple, Julia (Marcela Guirado) and Carlos (Luis Ernesto Franco), to become their surrogate in defiance of Mexican law.
Over time, Yeni and Carlos start to develop feelings for each other, but when the day of the birth arrives, Yeni is surprised when she is left alone with her disabled son and unaware that her daughter has been kept by the couple. That’s a secret that Julia will do anything to protect.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Stars: Marcela Guirado, Leticia Calderón, Luis Ernesto Franco, Fernanda Borches
The dark sci-fi anthology series, Black Mirror, is back on Netflix for another twisted season. Each episode has a self-contained story, and the first installment of the sixth season actually targets Netflix itself! Schitt’s Creek‘s Annie Murphy stars as Joan, a woman who discovers that the Netflix of her world, Streamberry, is essentially stealing her life in real-time with Salma Hayek portraying Joan’s fictional self in the original series, Joan is Awful.
But that’s only one of the five new episodes waiting for fans. As with the previous seasons, series creator Charlie Brooker has attracted a lot of big-name performers to share the small screen in his stories. And each episode of Black Mirror is a mind-bending experience.
Genre: Sci-fi, Drama
Stars: Annie Murphy, Salma Hayek, Aaron Paul, Josh Hartnett, Zazie Beetz
Manifest fans, take a bow. This series would have been a casualty of a network TV cancellation if the fans hadn’t streamed the show in huge numbers on Netflix. Thanks to those efforts, the fourth and final season is now complete on Netflix. And this time, the story has a proper conclusion.
The show follows the passengers on Montego Air Flight 828, whose turbulent journey somehow kept them from landing until over half a decade had passed. Soon after, the passengers band together as they realize that their disappearance and return have a purpose. But every single one of the passengers has a death date, and their time is limited as they attempt to find out why they came back and what they are supposed to do.
Genre: Drama, Supernatural
Stars: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J. R. Ramirez
The Columbian drama Fake Profile is heating up the TV charts on Netflix this week. Carolina Miranda stars as Camila Román, a woman who is desperately seeking her ideal man. After tweaking her dating profile, Camila finally finds her soulmate in Fernando Castel (Rodolfo Salas). He is someone that Camila can really build a life with and find happiness. Or so she thought.
After discovering that Fernando’s identity is a lie, Camila injects herself into his orbit to discover the truth about him. Unfortunately for Camila, the deeper she goes into Fernando’s world, the harder it is to get out intact.
Stars: Carolina Miranda, Rodolfo Salas
Earlier this month, CBS canceled S.W.A.T. after six seasons, only to reverse course and renew the show for a seventh and final season after a massive outcry. Now, the first five seasons of S.W.A.T. are on Netflix, and the show has already jumped to the #2 slot in TV for the week. It’s almost like the fans are sending the powers that be a message.
Shemar Moore headlines the series as Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, a leader of a Special Weapons and Tactics unit in the Los Angeles Police Department. Hondo has a good reputation with the citizens of his city, but he and his team still face the difficult task of taking down the bad guys without alienating the innocent people who live there. Hondo’s job is also made more difficult by racism and corruption in his own department. Somehow, Hondo has to hold it all together while making time for himself as well.
Stars: Shemar Moore, Alex Russell, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Jay Harrington
Netflix’s XO, Kitty is a spinoff from the Netflix original film, To All the Boys, and its two sequels. Anna Cathcart reprises her role as Kitty Song Covey, as she steps into a leading role on this series. As the show opens, Kitty is so heartsick about being separated from her boyfriend, Dae (Choi Min-young), that she impulsively changes her life and makes arrangements to go to school in Korea.
However, Kitty finds more than just culture shock when goes through with the move. And making a real relationship with Dae is even more challenging than keeping up their long-distance flirting. This is where the work begins, and Kitty is about to get a real education in love.
Genre: Romance, Drama
Stars: Anna Cathcart, Choi Min-young, Anthony Keyvan
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Netflix’s smash-hit Bridgerton presented an alternate timeline in which people of color were among Britain’s high society in the early 19th century. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is the prequel series that reveals how this timeline diverged as young Charlotte (India Amarteifio) rises to power in 1761 as the wife of King George III (Corey Mylchreest).
Golda Rosheuvel also reprises her role as the older Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton in 1817 as she faces a royal crisis. Charlotte’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, has died in childbirth, leaving the royal family without an heir. And that’s something that the queen will do anything to change.
Genre: Romance, Drama
Stars: Wataru Ichinose, Shota Sometani, Shioli Kutsuna
Although Firefly Lane received an extended season 2 order, this is the end of the road for Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) and Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl). Their friendship is at the heart of the series, and the show explores their connection at different points in their lives, from their teenage years to middle age in the present.
The second half of season 2 finds Kate and Tully’s bond challenged like never before, as they are forced to spend an extended time apart from each other. There are also secrets that could come between them. Their friendship is a powerful thing, but even that power has limits as the series wraps up its run.
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke
Keri Russell has played everything from the all-American girl in Felicity to a deadly Russian spy in The Americans. So it seems fitting that Netflix has put Russell in the lead of its new political drama, The Diplomat, which plays like Homeland by way of The West Wing. That’s appropriate because series creator Debora Cahn worked on both of those shows.
Russell plays Kate Wyler, a seasoned crisis management expert who finds herself named as the new American ambassador to the U.K. as her marriage to Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell) is falling apart. Before Kate can even catch her breath, she is thrust into a high-stakes position when Britain is attacked, and Hal’s decisions appear to undermine her duties.
For more on the Netflix show, be sure to read The Diplomat‘s ending explained.
Stars: Keri Russell, Rufus Sewell, Rory Kinnear
If you’ve ever had a moment of road rage, you know that what follows is not usually your best self. In Netflix’s black comedy, Beef, Danny Cho (Steven Yeun) and Amy Lau Nakai (Ali Wong) have a road rage encounter that transforms their lives, and not for the better.
Despite being strangers to each other before the incident, Danny and Amy’s lives become intricately tangled as their mutual rage for each other intensifies. This is not going to end well for either of them, but it’s almost impossible to look away from the carnage they leave in their wake.
Stars: Steven Yeun, Ali Wong
Why is there suddenly an HBO series on Netflix? You can thank David Zaslav for that. Insecure was largely a sleeper hit for HBO during its five-season run. Series co-creator Issa Rae headlines the series as Issa, while Yvonne Orji co-stars as Issa’s best friend, Molly.
Issa and Molly have known each other for years, but they are at very different moments in their lives. Issa has a boyfriend, Lawrence (Jay Ellis), but the spark has gone out of their relationship. Meanwhile, Molly has extreme dating troubles of her own. The series is built on Issa and Molly’s bond, and their respective struggles with their careers and their love lives.
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Stars: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Lisa Joyce, Natasha Rothwell
Never Have I Ever
After four seasons, Never Have I Ever is wrapping up the story of Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) and her high school trials Season 4 picks up with Devi in a weird and awkward space with her sometimes boyfriend, Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison), before she potentially finds new love with Ethan Morales (Michael Cimino).
Devi also has to deal with her efforts to get into the college of her choice and find emotional closure for her time in high school and move past the death of her father. This is where Devi has to choose who she wants to be, and what it will take to make her happy as she finally becomes an adult.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Stars: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison
Arnold Schwarzenegger is headlining Fubar, a new action series that is so True Lies that all it’s missing is Halloween Ends‘ Jamie Lee Curtis and James Cameron. Schwarzenegger plays ace CIA agent Luke Brunner, a man who is ready to retire from the spy life and win back his ex-wife, Tally (Fabiana Udenio). However, Luke is soon forced back into action in order to pull one of the CIA’s best operatives out of a deadly situation. And the operative in question is Luke’s daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro).
Since neither Luke nor Emma knew about their respective CIA affiliation, the father-and-daughter duo are suddenly at odds with each other. But they will have to team up to take down an international arms dealer, Boro (The Last of Us‘ Gabriel Luna), before he can sell a nuclear device to potential terrorists.
Genre: Action, Comedy
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro, Jay Baruchel
The Florida Man
Netflix is diving back into the realm of dark comedy crime shows with Florida Man. The series follows Mike Valentine (Ramírez), a former cop who finds himself working for a mob boss, Moss Yankov (Emory Cohen). After Mike has spent years away from Florida, Moss forces him to return to find Moss’ missing girlfriend, Delly (Abbey Lee).
What Moss doesn’t know is that Mike was having an affair with Delly before she vanished. And once Mike is back in Florida, the darker secrets of his own family start coming out. To complicate things even further, Mike’s ex-wife, Iris (Lex Scott Davis), is still a cop, and she follows Mike to discover what he has been up to.
Stars: Edgar Ramirez, Abby Lee, Clark Gregg
Rob Lowe and his son, John Owen Lowe, co-created Unstable (with Victor Fresco), and co-star in the series as a father and son duo, Ellis and Jackson Dragon. Ellis is, shall we say, an Elon Musk-adjacent biotech genius who is spiraling after the death of his wife. But even in the face of emotional devastation, Ellis always has to be the center of attention.
Regardless, Jackson feels the need to help his father through this ordeal even though their personalities are polar opposites. And now Jackson, who is painfully shy and socially inept, finds himself working for his father and thrust into a workplace comedy.
Stars: Rob Lowe, John Owen Lowe, Sian Clifford
Emily in Paris
In this shamelessly fun romantic-comedy series, Lily Collins portrays ambitious marketing exec Emily Cooper, who finds herself in Paris after landing her dream job. Along with acclimating to Parisian life, Emily must juggle the demands of her career, friendships, and burgeoning romance in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
To find out how the last season ended, check out
Stars: Lily Collins, Lucas Bravo, Ashley Park
Tim Burton turns his attention to Wednesday Addams in this spinoff from the Addams Family franchise, Wednesday, that focuses on the elder Addams sibling. Jenna Ortega portrays the title character, who finds herself sent off to prep school after an incident involving a high school water polo team and two bags of piranhas. While attending the school, she soon becomes wrapped up in a series of local murders, all while trying to come to terms with her own destiny and her parents’ legacy.
Stars: Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta Jones
NBC never quite knew what to make of Community, but the series found a devoted audience that embraced its hilarious blend of pop culture comedy. Future Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo helmed several memorable episodes that earned them a chance to hit the big screen, but the show belonged to its mismatched study group portrayed by Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Spin Me Around‘s Alison Brie, Donald Glover, and Chevy Chase.
Despite several personality clashes, the group becomes a makeshift family, with Ken Jeong and Jim Rash also stealing a lot of scenes as Ben Chang and Dean Pelton. We’re still waiting for a Community movie, but all six seasons are on Netflix.
Stars: Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie
The hit sequel series to the original Karate Kid films, Cobra Kai brings back William Zabka and Ralph Macchio to reprise their respective roles as Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso, teenage rivals whose feud has extended into adulthood. Set three decades after the events of the first film, the series has down-on-his-luck Johnny attempt to start a new Cobra Kai dojo, only to have his ambitions reignite his rivalry with Daniel.
Over the course of several seasons, the series has followed the pair as they take on new students, deal with enemies and allies from their past, and eventually face a common threat — all while the teenagers under their care attempt to navigate their own high-school trials and tribulations. Season 5 of Cobra Kai premiered in September 2022.
Stars: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka
The Night Agent
It took The Night Agent less than a day to race to the top of Netflix’s TV series rankings, and it seems likely to make its leads, Gabriel Basso and Luciane Buchanan, into much bigger stars. As adapted for television by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, this intense action thriller follows FBI Agent Peter Sutherland (Basso) after he stumbles upon clues that reveal a Russian mole is working inside the U.S. government.
Realizing that the fate of the country may be at stake, Peter will stop at nothing to unravel the conspiracy and unmask the mole. He also has an unlikely ally in Rose Larkin (Buchanan), a young CEO who has already been marked for death by their mutual enemies.
For more on this Netflix show, check out The Night Agent‘s ending explained.
Stars: Gabriel Basso, Hong Chau, Luciane Buchanan
This series from the creator of Dark follows immigrant passengers on a ship traveling to a new continent, who find themselves caught up in a mystery when they encounter a second ship adrift in the open sea. The series’ dark, atmospheric tone, combined with the show’s multilingual approach, makes it a thriller unlike any other. Unfortunately, it was recently announced that 1899 was canceled after one season. Fans can still read our 1899‘s ending explained article to decipher all of the show’s mysteries.
Stars: Emily Beecham, Andreas Pietschmann, Lucas Lynggaard
Dead to Me
This Emmy-nominated original series starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini recently returned for its third and final season. A dark comedy that leans into its central mystery, Applegate portrays a widowed real estate agent who befriends an eternally optimistic woman (Cardellini) with some chilling secrets of her own.
Stars: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro curated this collection of short films from some of horror’s most visionary, creative directors and writers. The eight stories in the series’ first season hail from a wide range of filmmakers, including Vincenzo Natali (Cube), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), and Del Toro himself.
Stars: Ben Barnes, Andrew Lincoln, Rupert Grint
The Midnight Club
Mike Flanagan, the creator of The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass, turns his attention to young-adult scares with The Midnight Club, inspired by Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel of the same name. The 10-episode series follows a group of young, terminally ill residents of a hospice who gather each night to tell each other spooky stories. The members of the “Midnight Club” make a pact that whoever dies first will try to send a message from the afterlife. With Flanagan at the helm of this show, be prepared for big scares.
Stars: Iman Benson, Heather Langenkamp, Igby Rigney
The longest-running American live-action fantasy series in TV history, Supernatural follows brothers Sam and Dan Winchester — played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively — as they hunt all manner of ghosts, demons, and monsters across America. Mixing standalone “monster of the week” adventures with season-long story arcs that built an impressively deep mythology around the show, Supernatural kept fans coming back for its infectious chemistry and colorful cast that grew as the series progressed.
A scripted television series has to be doing something right to run for 15 seasons without being canceled, and Supernatural finally ended its 327-episode run in November 2020 with the sort of satisfying, well-received series finale that few shows receive.
Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles
King Kong is getting his own adult-themed animated series, but he’s not the only star of Skull Island. Instead, the focus shifts to Annie (Mae Whitman), a teenager who has apparently lived on Skull Island for years. Annie soon befriends a pair of shipwrecked teens, Charlie (Nicolas Cantu) and Mike (Darren Barnet). Meanwhile, Charlie’s father, Cap (Benjamin Bratt), has also washed up on the island and encountered Irene (Mrs. Davis‘ Betty Gilpin), a woman who is in pursuit of Annie.
The parallel stories of the survivors eventually converge, as Kong himself comes to the forefront. But getting to Skull Island is the easy part. Surviving is the true challenge.
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Animated
Stars: Nicolas Cantu, Mae Whitman, Darren Barnet, Benjamin Bratt, Betty Gilpin
Even before COVID, there were a lot of stories about a pandemic devastating the world. Sweet Tooth, based on the comic book series of the same name by Jeff Lemire, is among them. Sweet Tooth is also the nickname of Gus (Christian Convery), a 10-year-old child who is a human/deer hybrid and one of a growing number of hybrids in this strange new world. Nonso Anozie co-stars as Tommy Jepperd, a man who reluctantly becomes Gus’ protector.
Sweet Tooth season 2 is now out and finds Gus as a captive of the fanatical Last Men, who want to sacrifice him and the other hybrid kids in the name of curing the pandemic. Tommy is desperately trying to find and rescue Gus, but it may fall to Gus to save himself.
Stars: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar
Neil Gaiman’s celebrated comic book series comes to life in this adaptation that casts Tom Sturridge as Morpheus, the lord of the world of dreams. When a cruel dabbler in the occult accidentally imprisons Morpheus, it begins a tale that unfolds across multiple generations and through myriad realms and ultimately puts the future of humanity at risk.
In development for more than two decades, The Sandman is a project long thought impossible to adapt faithfully, but the series somehow manages to weave together the enthralling stories and powerful themes of Gaiman’s acclaimed fantasy saga.
Stars: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Jenna Coleman
One of the most popular original series on Netflix, Stranger Things has become a cultural touchstone in the short time since its 2016 debut. The series’ opening sequence lays out its sci-fi aspirations clearly: A scientist flees down an empty hallway, pursued by some unseen force that eventually nabs him as he waits for elevator doors to close; it then cuts to a group of kids playing D&D in a suburban basement.
The series is rooted in ‘80s genre nostalgia, from the mysterious creature terrorizing the fictional Indiana town to the secret government agency chasing the group of kids who encounter it. There are pieces of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and John Hughes strewn throughout Stranger Things, and the result is a show that will feel immediately familiar to people who grew up with that source material.
For more info on the final season, check out Stranger Things season 5: Plot, date, and casting rumors.
Stars: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown
In the NFL, the quarterbacks are essentially the rock stars of the league. Netflix’s new sports docuseries, Quarterback, puts the spotlight on three players at that position: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and ESPY award winner Patrick Mahomes, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Mahomes just so happens to be one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and he won his second Super Bowl during the production of this show. But for Cousins and Mariota, they have to fight to maintain their place in the NFL. Both men have been in the NFL for years, and their window to win it all is rapidly dwindling.
Stars: Marcus Mariota. Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins
Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators
“Gladiators, ready!” While attempts to reboot and revive American Gladiators have stalled, Netflix’s new documentary, Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators, offers a glimpse at the game show sensation that ran for seven seasons from 1989 to 1996. The way the game worked was by recruiting two men and two women to compete against each other in over-the-top obstacles and challenges while the titular Gladiators attempted to impede their progress.
It was a massive hit, but as seen in this five-episode series, the Gladiators faced a number of challenges behind the scenes. This show is a fascinating look at some of the American Gladiators stories that have gone untold until now.
Netflix never seems to have any shortage of true crime documentaries. In the new season of Catching Killers, each episode puts the spotlight on four infamous serial killers as well as the law enforcement officials who moved heaven and Earth to find them. There are only four episodes in this season, but the cases are huge. The Railroad Killer, the Zodiac Killer, the DC sniper, and the Olympic bomber each get the spotlight. And once again, these are unforgettable snapshots of humanity at its worst. But they are also stories of resilience as well.
Genre: Documentary, True Crime
Our Planet II
After a four-year hiatus, Our Planet is back for another season on Netflix, and it remains one of the most stunningly beautiful nature documentaries on the streamer. David Attenborough returns as the narrator of Our Planet II, which once again explores the impact that climate change has had on the environment and the creatures that live all over the world.
One of the major themes of this season is migration, as animals struggle to find new places to survive and thrive as they deal with both predators and pollution. As in the first season, the visuals are breathtaking and this is a unique look at the world that most people have never seen in person.
Stars: David Attenborough
If it seems like Netflix is going full Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’re not wrong. His new action series, FUBAR, premiered a few weeks ago, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day is streaming on Netflix again. Now, Schwarzenegger is getting personal in Arnold, a new three-part documentary series.
In his own words, Schwarzenegger talks about growing up in Austria in the years after World War II, his rise in the world of professional bodybuilding, his transition to Hollywood superstardom, his eight-year stint as the governor of California, and his big comeback in the last decade. Schwarzenegger’s life is an epic story in its own right, and this is an intriguing look at one of the last true movie stars.
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger
The new four-part series Queen Cleopatra has already generated controversy in Egypt for daring to cast Adele James, a British actress of African descent, as Cleopatra herself. Some Egyptians and historians have argued that James’ casting isn’t true to traditional portrayals of the famous historical figure, while others have countered that those previous interpretations were wrong. Ironically, James’ performance is one of the best things about the show, which is half-drama, half-talking heads documentary.
Within the dramatic recreations, Cleopatra is forced to make outside alliances to hold on to her throne. And if that means seducing Julius Ceasar (John Partridge), and later, his rival, Mark Antony (Craig Russell), so be it. While the legendary Cleopatra was a more than capable ruler, the challenges to her power never stopped in her lifetime.
Genre: Drama, Documentary
Stars: Adele James, Craig Russell, John Partridge
This edgy, high-octane anime series is inspired by the Cyberpunk 2077 video game, but you don’t need to know anything about its source material to appreciate the brutal, bonkers adventure it offers. The series follows a young street kid in the neon- and chrome-filled Night City who falls in with a crew of mercenaries and soon finds himself struggling to hold on to his humanity in a world obsessed with cybernetic augmentation.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
When it comes to animated series, few rival Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. The beloved series continues to garner a following more than 15 years after its initial release, likely due to the way it deftly balances child-friendly themes with more sophisticated narratives, ones that revolve around war and the oft-ambiguous line between good and evil.
The show is centered on the titular Aang, a master of the elements, and four nations, each of which is named after a different element (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water). The main story follows Aang and his companions in their effort to quell unrest and an ongoing feud with the Fire Nation, but the show’s detailed world-building and character development extend well beyond the scope of any one individual. To this day, it’s still considered a masterclass in storytelling.
You don’t need to know anything about the League of Legends game franchise to enjoy this critically-acclaimed adult animated series set in a steampunk world where magic and technology shape the simmering relationship between a utopian metropolis and the oppressed city in its shadow.
Full of gorgeous animation and compelling characters, Arcane follows a pair of sisters whose tragic childhood puts them on opposite sides of the war to come, set against a stirring, powerful score. Once you dive into the first season, it’s difficult not to see it through to the end in one shot — which is probably why Netflix green-lit a second season premiering sometime in 2023.
For more info on the next season, please read everything we know so far about Arcane season 2.
Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Harold Lloyd
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