Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Top Shows to Stream This Month (Without Breaking the Bank)

The third week of January is looking pretty promising for new shows, especially if you love mysteries. HBO and Max are have True Detective: Night Country, which gets a new episode every week, while Hulu has premiered the first two episodes of Death and Other Details, with susbsquent episodes debuting weekly. And if last week’s Echo premiere wasn’t enough for you, Prime Video is bringing back one of the original costumed heroes: Zorro.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, and Apple TV+ have all gotten off to a hot start in 2024. But we’re still not convinced that was worth raising the prices of their respective services. If you want to save some money, we suggest signing up for the ad-supported tiers. In the meantime, here’s our weekly roundup of the best new shows to stream.

When you’re done here, check out the best new movies to stream this week, as well as the best shows on Netflix, best shows on Hulu, best shows on Amazon Prime Video, and best shows on Disney+.‘Young Sheldon’ (2017-present)
This prequel spinoff of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” is built around that show’s most popular character: Sheldon Cooper, an emotionally aloof and fervently fastidious genius, seen here as a precocious adolescent (played by Iain Armitage) in a small Texas town in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon on the original show, is an executive producer and also narrates each episode. “Young Sheldon” is emotionally richer than its more broadly comic parent series, telling stories that reach beyond one eccentric kid to encompass the very different lives of his siblings, parents, grandmother and teachers, all coping with challenges to their middle-American traditions and values during rapidly changing times. (For another touching, funny family dramedy featuring an unusually bright youngster, stream “Gilmore Girls.”)

Watch it on Netflix

‘My Life With the Walter Boys’ (2023-present)
Based on an Ali Novak novel, this heartwarming family drama is set in picturesque rural Colorado, where the orphaned New York City teen Jackie (Nikki Rodriguez) tries to make a temporary home for herself after her mom’s best friend Katherine Walter (Sarah Rafferty) and her rancher husband George Walter (Marc Blucas) become her legal guardians. The title of “My Life With the Walter Boys” refers to the many sons and cousins in the household, most of whom try to help their new roommate adjust to her abrupt changes — except for the two rival Walter brothers who want to date her. The series is centered on Jackie, but it is also an old-fashioned ensemble show with an eclectic group of characters. (The melodrama “Virgin River” also balances romance, heartbreak, conflict and warmth in another stunningly beautiful location.)

Watch it on Netflix

‘Sweet Home’ (2020-present)
A band of Korean strangers take shelter against a sudden plague of monsters in this survivalist adventure, based on an online comics series. Song Kang plays Cha Hyun-su, who in the first season finds his way to an apartment building mostly populated by helpful neighbors, just as the world outside becomes overrun by infected humans who can transform into aggressive paranormal beasts. In Season 2, the narrative scope widens as Hyun-su and others travel through a ravaged city, seeking another sanctuary. “Sweet Home” offers crafty genre thrills, combining cool creature designs and human-versus-monster combat with quieter scenes of people learning to trust and rely on each other. (The Korean high school zombie saga “All of Us Are Dead” is another unique postapocalyptic potboiler.)
‘High on the Hog’ (2021)
Based on a book by the culinary historian Jessica B. Harris, this docu-series connects African recipes to American recipes, by way of the experiences of enslaved people and their descendants. Hosted by Stephen Satterfield, “High on the Hog” is both a vibrant travelogue and a valuable education, going in depth into the reasons ingredients like rice, ham, okra and yams have become staples. In an essay for The Times, the James Beard Award-winning food writer Osayi Endolyn called the series “an incredible reframing of history that reintroduces the United States to viewers through the lens of Black people’s food — which is to say, American food.” (For another globe-hopping culinary docu-series, watch “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” hosted by Samin Nosrat.)

Watch it on Netflix

‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ (2023)
This lively animated series adapts both the cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley’s popular graphic novels and the director Edgar Wright’s 2010 live-action “Scott Pilgrim” movie. (Nearly all the film’s original cast members return as voice actors.) The TV version starts in the same place as its predecessors, following a dopey Toronto indie rocker named Scott (Michael Cera), who can only have a relationship with a cool girl named Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) if he defeats her “seven evil exes” in video game-style combat. But O’Malley and the show’s co-creator, BenDavid Grabinski, digress from the main plot, combining outlandish comedy with a more thoughtful look at what it means to be young and romantically reckless. Our critic said the show “exhibits the kind of imagination one would expect from a story featuring superpowered vegans and spying robots.” (For more straightforward animated superhero action, watch “Justice League.”)

Watch it on Netflix

‘Holey Moley’ (2019-22)
This over-the-top miniature golf competition strikes just the right balance between reality TV absurdity and genuine sports drama. The veteran sportscaster Joe Tessitore and the comedian Rob Riggle provide the earnest commentary as various colorfully attired golfers — many of them actually quite skilled at putting — tackle a course full of crazy obstacles and punishing penalties. As the “Holey Moley” competitors putt while wearing suits of armor, or take aim at a green shaped like a pinball machine, or try to make their way past portable toilets with abruptly opening doors (among other indignities), viewers may be surprised to find how genuinely invested they become in the outcome of the game. (The cooking competition “Nailed It!” is another delightfully silly and ridiculously challenging game show.)

Watch it on Netflix

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