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

Hi nerds! I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over the  Small-Screen Stream column from here on out. We’ve had a bit of a hiatus, which means the world of streaming has gotten even bigger since we last visited it over here at /Film! Giants like Apple and Disney have joined the fray, while DC’s already basically come and gone with their streaming offerings.

We’ll be kicking off the resurrection with exceptional superhero fare streaming through the internet tubes for a couple of reasons. The first being that nothing says “can’t stay dead” like the superhero genre. The second? Well, I do have a brand to maintain. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a ranking. Think of it more as a collection of fun, dark, and inspiring shows for those days where you just need a hero. 

Doom Patrol (Season 1)

Where to Watch: DC Universe

Remember that aforementioned all-but-dead DC streaming service? It’s actually got a couple of really solid shows just waiting for your attention. Doom Patrol is one such show. The story follows characters Crazy Jane, Elasti-Woman, Robotman, The Chief, Cyborg, and their nemesis Mr. Nobody. Doom Patrol stays in stride with its source material and remains the wacky kind of fun that fans would expect from the property while still managing to be a fresh take on the series. 

The Umbrella Academy (Season 1)

Where to Watch: Netflix

This Netflix original took the internet by storm upon its release. While there’s a couple very stereotypical comic book arcs existing within its plot, The Umbrella Academy remains an exceptional binge. The show diverts from its source material in all the right places, and manages to be both hilarious and heart wrenching in the span of half an episode. This one’s definitely worth your attention if you’re looking for something outside of the big two franchise’s staples. 

The Boys (Season 1)

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

I’ll be honest, The Boys wasn’t for me. With that acknowledgement, it was very much for what appears to be the rest of the internet. It has plenty of appeal for those who are looking for a more cynical look at the cost of heroism, and the dark side of powered people pretending to fight for justice. There’s a ton of relevant commentary wrapped up in stellar performances from nearly the whole cast. If you have the emotional bandwidth for a story like this one, it’s worth your time. 

Agent Carter (Seasons 1-2)

Where to Watch: Hulu

We never deserved Agent Carter, but it still hurts every day that the show was only given two seasons. Focusing on S.H.I.E.L.D. founder and backbone of the MCU, Margaret “Peggy” Carter, the show has an exceptional comic book bent with a feminist flair. It’s beautifully written, shot, and acted, and features my favorite episode in television history. There’s endless things to love about it, but most of all it just wants you to know your value. 

The Flash (Seasons 1-5)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Barry Allen returns to the small-screen in The Flash. Don’t worry, your favorite 90s Scarlet Speedster, John Wesley Shipp, is still involved. Due to some struggles behind the scenes, our light-hearted protagonist gets a little darker than he should have been in some of the middle season episodes, but the show sees a serious return to form in seasons four and five. With that comes some of the most exciting retellings of rogues and heroes alike. 

Arrow (Seasons 1-7)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Like The Flash, Arrow has seen some rough times. There was a period where no one could experience progress without death. And, if your name was Oliver Queen, you never saw progress at all. With that in mind, Arrow starts incredibly strong. If season seven is any indication, it’ll finish that way as well. With showrunning duties shifting to OG writer Beth Shwartz, the show has seen incredible progress in a very short period of time. The show does start to see gradual process before her promotion as well. Seasons three and four might have you rolling your eyes, but stick with it! 

Black Lightning (Seasons 1-3)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Like Supergirl, Black Lightning takes place on a different earth. Unlike Supergirl, the show’s characters have never come over to play in the overall Arrowverse (this will change in the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths event). This key difference doesn’t stop Black Lightning and its heroes from kicking ass and taking names. The show follows (once) retired hero Jefferson Pierce and his family, and explores the effects of vigilante behavior (as well as the lack thereof during his retirement) on his city. 

Legends of Tomorrow (Seasons 1-4)

Where to Watch: Netflix

If you like your superhero shows as bonkers as humanly possible, you’ll want to start your binge session with Legends of Tomorrow. There isn’t a single thing normal about this show, and that’s part of what makes it almost perfect. Legends had a rough landing in its first season. After that, the writers elected to throw the rulebook out the window, and never has a better decision been made for a television show. It’s diverse, weird, hilarious, and can make you ugly cry when you least expect it. Legends of Tomorrow isn’t just one of the freshest things happening in the superhero genre right now, but in television as a whole. 

Supergirl (Seasons 1-4)

Where to Watch: Netflix 

Find yourself constantly overwhelmed by the news? Supergirl’s for you. Need hope, a hearty dose of girl power, and cultural commentary? Still very much your bag. Though it originally started on a different network than the rest of its Arrowverse brothers and sisters, Supergirl came into its own relatively quick. It’s heartfelt, sometimes a little corny, and the exact amount of hope we all need in today’s climate. 

Swamp Thing (Season 1)

Where to Watch: DC Universe

Unfortunately, DC Universe’s Swamp Thing was cancelled before it ever really had a chance to shine. Due to the expense of making the episodes, as well as DC Universe’s low streaming numbers, the show was basically doomed from the start. With that said, the expense means that the episodes are gorgeous, and the effects used are worth the spectacle. If you’re one of those folks wishing franchises would stray away from their big key characters and introduce more fringe heroes, you should give Swamp Thing your attention. 

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Seasons 1-3)

Where to Watch: Netflix

At first glance, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power looks like it might be a show for a younger crowd. While that definitely is the case, kids aren’t the only one finding enjoyment in the Netflix Original.  This is one of those shows that brings out fans young and old, and gives everyone something to love. It’s cute, empowering, and great if you need something a little less heavy. 

Teen Titans (and Teen Titans GO!)

Where to Watch: Cartoon Network’s streaming site, and Hulu

Teen Titans GO! and I have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, Teen Titans GO to the Movies is a surprisingly solid film. On the other, Teen Titans was out here being perfect well before the likes of GO! and Young Justice and it deserved better! My angry porch ranting aside, both the original flavor and new and “improved” are both worth a watch. If you want to start on the fluffier side, kick things off with GO! 

Gotham (Seasons 1-5)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Gotham caught a lot of flak when its premise was announced. Who in the blue hell wants a story about a young Bruce Wayne? The answer is me (and a surprising number of other fans). The show has its rough patches, but a tale about a pre-Batman Gotham City with a young Jim Gordon at the center of the chaos? Yes, please. Gotham’s strongest when it focuses on the relationship between young Bruce, Alfred, and Jim, but it also brings plenty of your favorite Batman players to the table. 

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