What to Stream Now
Whether it’s some serious escapism you’re after or just something to help along the transition into cold-weather hibernation, the options for good TV—both brand new and returning—are particularly great this season. Here, our favorites.
The Fall, Season 3
The third season of The Fall picks up exactly where season two left off and holds the same slow, hypnotic pace. While Paul Spector, Jamie Dornan’s woman-hating, psychopathic serial killer, continues to give us the creeps even while safely in police custody, it’s Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson at her best) that makes these six episodes—possibly the final ones for the show—some of the best TV ever. If you’re just jumping in now, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning.
One of the newest shows on the Netflix originals roster, The Crown has a sort of Downton Abbey vibe—beautiful English scenery, elaborate costumes, well-developed characters—but with a more satisfying amount of action, thanks mainly to the somewhat loose but undeniably present historical inspiration. The story follows the personal and public lives of a twenty-five-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, with each ten-episode season unpacking a decade of her reign.
While nothing can compare to This is Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, and Best in Show, Christopher Guest’s latest is done in the director’s signature mockumentary style and offers all the goofiness and deadpan delivery in spades. As the name suggests, the film is focused on the world of mascotting and the people inside the furry suits (Parker Posey, Chris O’Dowd, Zach Woods, and so many more) as they prepare to compete at a mascot competition called The Fluffies, naturally.
Gilmore Girls seasons 1-7 streaming now, new season out Nov. 25
Girls of a certain age have undoubtedly already watched, and then re-watched, all seven seasons of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved, banter-y, mother-daughter comedy (starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) in preparation for the show’s revival…a full decade after the final episode aired. Returning in miniseries form, each of the four parts spans a season in the year of life in Stars Hollow and aims to finally wrap up the stories of both Gilmore girls the right way, something many fans believe didn’t happen the first time around.
Set in London, insanely addictive British crime noir Marcella—produced, written, and directed by Swedish screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt (creator of The Bridge)—follows a detective of the same name (played beautifully by Anna Friel) who, with her marriage in shambles, re-joins the murder squad after years off as a stay-at-home mom. Healing her family is especially difficult, however, when her estranged husband’s employer keeps getting involved in the crimes she’s investigating, prompting episodes of unexplained and weirdly timed memory loss.
Chef’s Table: France
This season of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated documentary series (which David Gelb created as a follow-up to his critically acclaimed doc, Jiro Dreams of Sushi) documents four top French chefs revolutionizing the high-stakes industry. Each story paints a hyper vivid picture of the culinary world while offering insight into kitchen politics on an exclusive, Michelin-star level of the game.
The individual episodes in indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg’s Netflix debut are subtly connected to each other—all take a refreshingly sweet, though realistic, approach to dissecting how people behave in relationships—but can easily stand alone as mini movies. The show pulls some big name actors, including Orlando Bloom and Dave Franco, plus a lot of upstarts you’ll recognize like Jake Johnson and Michael Chernus, all improvising, as Swanberg’s scripts give rough sketches rather than specific dialogues. The resulting comedy is quick, witty, and straight-to-the-heart.
At first glance, this Billy Bob Thornton-driven, David E. Kelley-produced legal drama follows a pretty classic good vs. evil narrative: A downtrodden lawyer goes up against the big-league firm (coincidently, the same firm he founded and got pushed out of) representing an evil corporation. But the individual episodes have a lot of depth to them, taking some truly dark and disturbing turns up until the very end. That said, the residual feeling from watching the whole thing manages to be somehow hopeful.
A dark comedy set in London, Fleabag revolves around a rather unlikable woman—a single, deeply troubled café owner, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge—in the aftermath of the untimely death of her best friend and business partner. If the premise sounds bleak, trust us, it’s all much funnier than it sounds—in that cringe-worthy way modern British comedy has mastered. The badly behaved woman’s experiences in sex, dating, family, and friendships—and the conflicts many women will relate to, in regards to fitting in with society’s expectations—are totally riveting.
Best of Cable
DivorceSundays at 10pm, HBO
It’s been years since Sarah Jessica Parker last graced HBO and her current project, Divorce, of which she is the star and producer, is by no means a continuation of Sex and the City. Yes, both offer realistic portrayals of modern relationships, but that’s about it in terms of what the two have in common. Here, SJP’s character is wading through the demise of her marriage and the subsequent beginning stages of a divorce, to simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking results.
InsecureSundays at 10:30pm, HBO
This hilarious, moving show (created by Issa Rae, who’s also the lead character, with The Nightly Show alum, Larry Wilmore) focuses on the everyday happenings of two women, best friends Issa and Molly. And it’s not just the way the two deal with insecurities—from relationship problems to social awkwardness—that’s instantly recognizable and relatable to all women, but they also treat social and racial issues with intelligent, empathetic, endlessly interesting and entertaining verve.
Better ThingsThursdays at 10pm, FX
If you like Louie, you’ll love Better Things. A good portion of the themes are similar (single parenthood, dating over the age of thirty-five, navigating career woes), which makes sense since Louis C.K. co-created the show along with its star, brilliant comedian Pamela Adlon, who lends the show its distinct feminine perspective.
American Horror Story: RoanokeWednesdays at 10pm, FX
Arguably one of the most nightmarishly terrifying installments of American Horror Story, Roanoke is rich with legend, suspense, and of course, buckets of unapologetic gore—and that’s before you even get to the big twist. We don’t want to give anything away, but will say that the unexpected marriage of good old-fashioned horror and reality television is as revelatory as it is really fun to watch.