Best Shows Streaming

(Welcome to Small-Screen Stream, a feature where we share the best television shows streaming and where you can watch them.)

It’s a brand new year and the slates are wiped clean – which means it’s time to start playing catch-up with TV-watching once again! The endless viewing cycle never ends, but streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu make it easy to sit back, light up the screen, and get lost in a new series. I, for one, spent my holidays watching nothing but junk-food TV, so I’m anxious to get back into some higher-quality territory. For this week’s Small-Screen Stream, I plucked out some series I’m catching up on and that you might like to check out, too.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, Season 1

Where To Watch: Netflix

This series gained some steam on Twitter last week, igniting a debate about whether or not Marie Kondo – a Japanese organizing consultant and author – was right in some of her tidying advice. Is it O.K. do throw out your books, or are they vital instruments in your life’s journey? I don’t really have the answer to that, but I do enjoy the hell out of Kondo’s de-cluttering advice, which I used in my recent move thanks to her books, and can now live out in this charming, informative series.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Seasons 1-2

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

I probably don’t have to tell you that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is great and that the second arrived on Amazon Prime in late December. I also probably don’t have to tell you that this show is a major and beloved hit that is racking up awards left and right. But if you’ve somehow missed the boat, here is my solid recommendation for this pitch-perfect series about a housewife turned stand-up comedian played by the delightful Rachel Brosnahan.

Atlanta, Seasons 1-2

Where To Watch: Hulu

Atlanta is a perfect TV series. I say that having only seen the first season, a bizarro mishmash of tone and genre storytelling from Donald Glover, set in the rap scene of his Georgia hometown. Limited time and access prevented me from catching up on season two, which finally hit Hulu this month. I can’t wait to dive back in – and now you can, too.

Black Mirror, “Bandersnatch”

Where To Watch: Netflix

This entry is kind of a cheat, since Bandersnatch is technically billed as a Black Mirror movie instead of an episode. But as a huge fan of the show, the film – which was announced and dropped within a few days in late December, in typical Black Mirror style – certainly felt like another episode,  and I’m sure will be considered as such the next time rankings come up. The choose-your-own adventure storyline won’t work for everyone, and I will admit I was a little frustrated by some of the dead ends that are inevitable in that kind of framing device, but it still makes for a fun, interactive evening, especially if you watch with a group. If you haven’t checked it out yet, get on it now!

Vanity Fair, Season 1

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

If you’re like me, you also routinely forget that Olivia Cooke – of Bates Motel and Ready Player One fame – is actually British. It’s nice to see her with her natural accent in this miniseries adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic novel. Cooke stars as Becky Sharp, a clever and cynical social climber, and the rest of the cast is filled with a number of other “oh yeah, that guy” Brits, most notably Anthony Head, a.k.a. Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Future Man, Season 1

Where To Watch: Hulu

The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson stars in this fun Hulu original series, where he plays a video-gaming janitor who is called upon by those games characters to save the world form the Biotic Wars. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg executive produce the series – the second season of which drops later this week – so the show is peppered with cameos from their comedy world, like Martin Starr and Paul Scheer. Haley Joel Osment even plays a recurring role as a doctor.

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Seasons 1-3

Where To Watch: Netflix

This show never quite felt like it got its due, which is a shame, because there’s a lot of good, quirky stuff in the vein of creators like Bryan Fuller and Tim Burton. The third and final season hit Netflix on January 1st and successfully adapted every single book in Lemony Snicket’s titular series along the way. Now that it’s all available in one tidy package, it’s the perfect time to binge.

Little Women, Season 1

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is going to (rightfully) hog all of the attention later this year, but it’s far from the only version of the story. In 2017, BBC One did their own spin, which originally aired in the U.K. and later in the U.S. on PBS, part of their Masterpiece Theatre collection. Maya Hawke (daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke) plays Jo March, the spitfire aspiring writing whose gender inhibits her career, but who lives and loves alongside her dear sisters in Civil War-era Massachusetts.

Derry Girls, Season 1

Where To Watch: Netflix

I’ve had so many people recommend this show to me recently! And for good reason – it’s a damn delight. It’s a comedy about a group of Northern Irish schoolgirls set against the ethno-nationalist conflict in Ireland – known as “The Troubles” – in the 1990s. That social conflict bleeds into their daily lives, but doesn’t dictate them or the series, which is more about coming-of-age school antics and friendship. At just six episodes, the first season is a quick Netflix binge, and all-around delightful one.

Manifest, Season 1

Where To Watch: Hulu

As a lifelong Lost apologist, I’m naturally drawn to genre series about planes. It’s just a thing I have. Manifest scratches that itch and has quickly become my guilty pleasure. The show is about Montgeo Air Flight 828 from Jamaica to New York City. After some turbulence, the plane lands safely – but five years have passed while they were in-air, with the passengers all assumed dead. It’s Lost without the island and it’s a lot of fun, though I wouldn’t say it lives up to the highs of that series. The first 10 episodes are up on Hulu.

Victoria, Seasons 1-2

Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

Another Masterpiece Theater series, this British import starring Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman is focused on the young life of Queen Victoria. Think The Crown, but in the 1800s. It has the general slowness of any PBS period series, but Coleman is great in the role, and it serves as a neat history lesson that never feels too stiff.

Good Girls, Season 1

Where To Watch: Netflix

I adore this NBC series about two sisters and their friend who rob a local grocery store after they come on hard times. That act spins wildly out of control, sending the women down deeper and more insane crime paths. The plot is nice and funny, but the real charm is the trio of female actors – Mae Whitman, Christina Hendricks, and Retta – who have amazing chemistry, a boatload of charm, and who carry the series through it’s sometimes questionable network TV shenanigans.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: