The beauty of streaming means that we often power through an entire season of a show — sometimes even an entire series — more quickly than ever before. With each new week comes a new opportunity to check out a fresh series. Whether you’re in the mood to laugh, cry, be mesmerized, or be intrigued, here are some of the best new shows to stream this week.
Pawn Stars (2009)
For more than a decade, viewers have been captivated by this reality TV series that chronicles the inside dealings of a popular pawn shop, including how they acquire items, price them, and confirm their authenticity (or that they’re fakes). The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is a family business that has been operating for more than 30 years in Las Vegas. Open 24 hours a day, the shop has become famous around the world and attracts an interesting and diverse selection of customers, artifacts, and hagglers. But what fans really love to see is the in-fighting among family and friends. Netflix has been offering season 1 to date, but now you can stream season 2 as well.
The American Barbecue Showdown (2020)
Mouths will be salivating just thinking about this new reality food competition series that takes the cooking outdoors as eight of the best backyard smokers and pitmasters from across the U.S. battle it out to be named champion. The delicious meats and smoked treats are judged by Melissa Cookston and Kevin Bludso, barbecue masters in their own right, and Lyric Lewis and Rutledge Wood serve as hosts. The show will premiere on September 18.
This sitcom originally aired on UPN and its successor, The CW, from 2000-2008, and all eight seasons are available for streaming. As one of the highest-rated scripted shows watched by Black adults aged 18-34, as well as the longest-running live-action sitcom on network TV at that time, it follows the story of a group of female professionals and girlfriends dealing with everyday life and the drama that comes with it. Heading up the cast was Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) as Joan Carol Clayton, Esq.
The Promised Neverland (2019)
Japanese manga has a massive fanbase, and if you’re into the genre, this series has a pretty compelling and seriously disturbing premise. It is set in the future and follows a group of orphaned children living a grand life at an orphanage, getting everything and anything their hearts desire. But they discover a terrible secret: They are actually being groomed to eventually be killed, their bodies sold to demons. Before the next victim is murdered in cold blood, they band together to plan an escape.
Sister, Sister (1994)
If you’re in the sitcom mood, this one from the mid-’90s might be worth the watch. It tells the story of twins Tia and Tamera (played by real-life twins Tia and Tamera Mowry) who were separated at birth and adopted into separate families. They find one another by chance 14 years later and become the best of friends. The series features all the typical ’90s sitcom tropes that defined the decade. Also starring Jackee Harry and Marques Houston, the series aired for six seasons, all of which are now available for streaming.
Chef’s Table: BBQ (2020)
Get ready to salivate. If BBQ is your thing, whether it’s cooking it, eating it, or both, this latest version of the popular culinary docuseries will be a must-watch. Get inspiration for what to pop onto your smoker or BBQ next by learning tips, tricks, and philosophies from some of the best BBQ chefs and pitmasters from around the world. The four episodes will get your mouth watering, beginning with the story of 85-year-old Tootsie Tomanetz, a legend in Texas, followed by Sydney, Australia, chef Lennox Hastie, who gets intense flavors from using only a wood fire. Move on to Rodney Scott, a small-town cook turned award winner, and end with Rosalia Chay Chuc and her small Yucatan home that has become a culinary destination.
This Belgian-Dutch crime drama follows agents who go undercover to infiltrate a drug operation. Based on real events, two agents pose as a couple at a campground in an effort to take down the kingpin. A co-production between Netflix and Een, a public TV station in Belgium, the series is offered in the Dutch language with subtitles. This week will see the release of the second season of the show.
Emily’s Wonder Lab (2020)
This kids show includes short 11- to 14-minute episodes featuring scientist and former MIT engineer Emily Calandrelli and her kid helpers conducting various science experiments and other activities. The live-action series takes kids on a STEAM journey as they learn how to do everything from creating a tornado in a bottle to making a solar-powered oven, building balloon-powered cars, and making random items explode. The emphasis is on demonstrating how science is not only educational but also fun. Aimed at kids ages 5-7, there are 10 short episodes in the first season.
Cobra Kai (2018)
More than three decades after their original rivalry in The Karate Kid, Johnny “Sweep the Leg” Lawrence (William Zabka) decides to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, dredging up his old rivalry with Daniel “the Karate Kid” LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who defeated him in that iconic karate tournament back in 1984. Both Zabka and Macchio return to reprise their roles as Johnny and Daniel, grown men now in their 50s, who have seemingly moved on in life, Johnny working in construction and Daniel a successful car dealership owner. But all it takes is a new group of kids passionate to learn karate and a long-time grudge to open up old wounds. The first two seasons of the series, which originally launched on YouTube Red (now Premium), are now streaming, with the third season scheduled for 2021. Prepare to get misty-eyed as a new generation of kids learns the art of “wax on, wax off.”
I Am a Killer: Released (2020)
A spin-off of the popular British crime docuseries I Am a Killer about murderers awaiting the death sentence, this one follows the story of Dale Wayne Sigler, a convict who was granted parole after being locked up for 30 years and sentenced to death. Following his release, however, he makes a confession that shocks everyone involved. It’s a quick binge of three episodes shot over the span of three years.
High Score (2020)
This docuseries will bring you back to the early, much simpler days of video games. Creator France Costrel takes you on a walk down gaming memory lane, dodging asteroids at every turn, to examine the history of the video game industry. The series includes interviews with the developers and creators of some of the first video games of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, including Pac-Man and Space Invaders. It examines some of the first gaming consoles, such as Atari, and looks at the industry from the growth of arcade games to the launch of home gaming. Along with animated segments, the series is also narrated by Charles Martinet, who provides the voice for the popular video game character Mario. The six episodes are packed with nostalgia for those who grew up in the 20th century.
Through FX on Hulu, fans will be able to catch the new 11th-season episodes of this animated sitcom starting September 16. At the heart of the story is a dysfunctional intelligence agency that includes its leader, Sterling Archer, and his seven eclectic colleagues, as they focus on various cases. Each season includes a self-contained story arc. Garnering solid reviews through its entire run, season 11 will include eight episodes, the first two released on September 16 followed by new episodes weekly.
Keef Knight, a Black cartoonist, is getting ready to hit it big with his comic strip, Toast and Butter. But when he is traumatized by being racially profiled by a police officer, he begins to see and hear inanimate objects speaking to him. While he initially avoided being too controversial in his cartoons, he is now a “woke” Black man and must balance his greater awareness of microaggressions and sensitivity to racism with his burgeoning career aspirations. The comedy is a live-action show with some elements of animation, and stars Lamorne Morris (New Girl) as the title character.
Love in the Time of Corona (2020)
An obvious play on the 1985 Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel Love in the Time of Cholera, this romantic comedy miniseries takes a more modern look at how people are dealing with love, sex, and human connections during the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for social distancing. The four episodes, developed for Freeform, were uniquely shot virtually using remote technologies. Early reviews are mixed, but given the show’s timely nature, it might be worth checking out to quench curiosity, if nothing else.
Stream the latest seventh season of this multi-Emmy-winning sitcom that airs on CBS and has already been renewed for an eighth season. Allison Janney and Anna Faris (who is leaving for season eight) star as the dysfunctional mother and daughter, both battling addiction and trying to turn over new leaves in their lives, ironically with the help of, and in spite of, one another. While a comedy at its core, Mom deals with tough issues like alcoholism, drug addiction, cancer, death, homelessness, rape, domestic violence — the list goes on. But the dark issues are presented in a light-hearted way that raises awareness about their seriousness while also being entertaining.
Detention Adventure (2019)
The premise sounds almost like a modern-day reimagining of The Goonies. At the heart of the plot are three geeky school kids and their bully who try to get sent to detention on purpose. Why? They want to find the entrance to a labyrinth of tunnels that will take them to Alexander Graham Bell’s hidden lab. Does it really exist? There are two seasons of this family series, with 10 episodes each that see the kids embarking on various adventures. You can now stream season 1.
Doctor Who (2005)
Fans of this long-running BBC sci-fi series will be pleased to know that they can stream the 12th season. Whether you’re watching it for the first time or re-watching for a second, the series offers a compelling look at the life of The Doctor, who navigates the world in a time-traveling spaceship to help people. As an extraterrestrial being, The Doctor takes on many forms, but they always look human. This version of the relaunched program debuted in 2005 and stars Jodie Whittaker as the 13th incarnation of The Doctor and the first woman to take on the role.
Moral Orel (2005)
Don’t be fooled by the adorable stop-motion animated style of this series: It’s designed for mature audiences. Originally developed for Adult Swim, the series is about Orel Puppington, a school-aged boy brought up as a fundamentalist Protestant Christian and taking his church’s teachings to the extreme, sometimes to serious consequences. The setting for the series is a fictional Bible Belt state hilariously called “Statesota.” If you’re looking for a non-politically correct comedy to binge, this one, which has been compared to South Park and Davey and Goliath, might fit the bill. Stream all three seasons, which conclude the story.
Young Sheldon (2017)
If you’ve been missing The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon is the next best thing. Narrated by Jim Parsons, it tells the childhood story of his character Sheldon Cooper, growing up as a genius and socially awkward child. There are plenty of call-backs to Big Bang Theory that fans will pick up on, but it’s a fun family-friendly sitcom anyone will enjoy. Iain Armitage perfectly captures the nuances of the title character, but seeing how he interacts with the talented supporting cast — which includes Zoe Perry and Lance Barber as his parents, Montana Jordan and Raegan Revord as his siblings, and Annie Potts as his grandmother — is what truly makes the series worth watching. Catch up on all three seasons while awaiting the upcoming fourth.
Raised by Wolves (2020)
This new sci-fi drama is set after the destruction of Earth. Two androids are raising human children on a new planet, but religious differences threaten to tear apart the colony. The androids must try and find a way to get everyone on the same page. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, the cast is headed up by Travis Fimmel, known for his lead role in the History Channel series Vikings.
Mia’s Magic Playground (2020)
Mia goes on a series of adventures with her two best friends, Oskar and Tilde, to discover creative solutions to everyday problems, and learn some life lessons, too. Season 1’s 24 seven-minute episodes are geared toward kids ages 4 to 6 years old. Created by global entertainment company Moonbug, the series is designed to entertain young kids and spark their imagination and creativity. Mia’s Magic Playground originally premiered in Scandinavia in February 2020.
Cedar Cove (2013)
Originally airing on the Hallmark Channel, this American-Canadian drama starring Andie MacDowell is based on the book of the same name by Debbie Macomber. Olivia Lockhart (MacDowell) is a municipal court judge and the central character. She’s the moral center of the quaint town in which she lives, but she has to balance her professional role with her personal struggles and the constant need to make difficult decisions. The show lasted for three seasons, but for now, you can stream season one.
I’m Dying Up Here (2017)
This comedy-drama stars Melissa Leo and was executive produced by Jim Carrey, among others. It aired for two seasons on Showtime, and you can stream season 1. Based on the book by William Knoedelseder, it examines the stand-up comedy scene in Los Angeles in the mid-’70s and a group of comedians trying to get their shot at appearing on The Tonight Show. Leo stars as the club owner who tries to help the aspiring comics kick off their careers.
Stuck with You (2020)
Candace and Luvell are a celebrity couple with a seemingly perfect marriage. But all isn’t what it seems. To keep up appearances and protect their celebrity “brands,” the pair must live a lie in public while secretly living separate lives behind the scenes. Will their relationship end in divorce, or can they get back to being the ideal couple they pretend they still are? Starring Tammy Townsend, Timon Kyle Durrett, and AJ Johnson, the series premieres with six episodes, all of which will be available to stream via Prime through to September 30.
The Jack Benny Show (1932)
Also known as The Jack Benny Program, this radio-TV comedy series aired for more than 30 years from the 1930s through to the 1950s, and you can now stream the first season. The format was a show-within-a-show with the characters playing versions of themselves, interacting with the audience, commenting on the programming, and breaking the fourth wall. It’s a beautiful example of the simplicity of comedy from way back in the day that will bring back memories for some and educate the younger generations about the roots of televised comedic entertainment.
The Boys (2019)
A team of vigilantes set out to fight a group of superheroes known as The Seven, who are egotistical, corrupt, and using their powers for evil. Based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it stars Jack Quaid, Chace Crawford, and Elisabeth Shue and is executive produced by Seth Rogen, among others. The first season premiered in 2019 and received rave reviews, followed by season 2, both of which are streaming now.
Long Way Up (2020)
Those who love motorcycles will appreciate this docu-series that follows actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they head out on the open road from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, through South and Central America, finally ending the journey in Los Angeles. As a follow-up to Long Way Round, which saw the pair ride from London to New York in 2004, and 2007’s Long Way Down, where they traveled from Scotland and through 18 countries across Europe and Africa, it’s the perfect way to get away and see the world without having to leave the house. The first three episodes of the series, filmed in 2019, will be available to stream starting September 18, with new episodes weekly thereafter.
Greatness Code (2020)
If you’re into sports, this short-form, unscripted docuseries will be a must-watch, as it tells the untold stories of some of the greatest athletes in the world. The first mini-episode in season 1 features massive sports icons like LeBron James, Tom Brady, Shaun White, and Usain Bolt, all of whom discuss pivotal moments that defined their careers. Coproduced by companies co-founded by both Brady (alongside Michael Strahan) and James, it gives fans an inside look into events that framed the athletes who have become true inspirations. Season 1 includes seven mini-episodes.
Streaming starting September 18, this compelling docuseries from LeBron James and Maverick Carter pulls back the curtains on the backstories of various actors, musicians, and athletes. Each episode focuses on a different celebrity, with some of the first including Adam Devine, Nick Kroll, Ashley Tisdale, Rob Gronkowski, and Stranger Things‘ Caleb McLaughlin. How did they get started in the business? Who inspired them when they were younger? In addition to interviews with the stars themselves, the series also features chats with people who were close to them before they realized their Hollywood dreams, from family members to teachers and non-celebrity friends.
Once Upon a Time (2011)
All seven seasons of this fantasy adventure drama will be available to stream on Disney+ starting September 18. The series, which aired on ABC (a network owned by Disney), swaps between two settings: A fantasy world where fairy tales are real and the real world in a town where a show called Storybrooke was invented. It’s a wonderful show full of marvel, beauty, and elaborate costumes that will appeal to kids and adults alike. Though keep in mind that it is rated PG.
Earth to Ned (2020)
Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marwar Junction Productions, this series, set to premiere September 4, is a talk show hosted by aliens. While they were sent to invade Earth, they develop an obsession with popular culture and decide to stick around and learn more instead. Every half-hour episode will see the two alien hosts, Ned and his lieutenant Cornelius, interviewing real celebrity guests, including Joel McHale, Billy Dee Williams, Rachel Bloom, Andy Richter, and others. The first season has 10 episodes.
Muppets Now (2020)
Each episode features improvised situation comedy in three segments — a game show, a cooking show, and a talk show — and includes all of your favorite Muppets characters, including Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, Gonzo, Beaker, and more, along with different celebrity guests each week. In the sixth and final episode of the first season, titled Socialized, Scooter is overwhelmed while trying to manage the show’s social media accounts while Seth Rogen helps Fozzie Bear babysit some mischievous kids. The show is a much-watch for kids and nostalgic adults that will almost definitely have a season two.