You’ve got free time to kill, and you want to spend these rare moments with a TV show. But you have a ton of options on a handful of streaming platforms. In an era when keeping up with contemporary TV is beginning to feel more and more like homework, it’s about time there was a cheat sheet.
HuffPost’s Streamline is a go-to source for what to watch online right now. It includes recommendations for scripted TV shows, both live-action and animated, chosen by writers who watch dozens of series and have an eye on what other critics are ecstatic about this minute.
The weekly list values newness to promote shows that might not be on your radar yet. On the navigation bar above, you can choose specific recommendations for series streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. The main list below also includes shows that you can stream online with a cable package (such as programs on HBO, Showtime and FX Networks).
The idea: Come to Streamline before you accidentally waste your time with a bad show. Wait a minute to save a minute.
For the weekend of Feb. 17, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” still tops the list. You can watch it at the FX website.
New To The List This Week
“Mozart in the Jungle” from Amazon joins at No. 9. The fourth season premiered on Feb. 16. It’s definitely a divisive show, but it does enough right that it’s worth checking out.
Other Notable New Shows This Week
“Everything Sucks!” from Netflix. You can read more about that show at the Netflix Streamline.
“Here and Now” from HBO. It’s apparently pretty bad though.
Recent Shows From The Last Month That Are Also Decent
“Absentia” from Amazon. Season 1. Read more at the Amazon Streamline.
“Another Period” from Comedy Central. Season 3.
“A.P. Bio” from NBC, also on Hulu. Season 1. You can read more about that show at the Hulu Streamline.
“Baskets” from FX. Season 3.
“Britannia” from Amazon. Season 1. Read more about that show at the Amazon Streamline.
“Divorce” from HBO. Season 2.
“Mosaic” from HBO. Miniseries.
“One Day at a Time” from Netflix. Season 2. Read more about that show at the Netflix Streamline.
“Waco” from the Paramount Network. Mini-series.
Assorted Streaming News
The Streamline-recommended show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is going to go on tour. The cast ― including creator/star Rachel Bloom ― will be performing original songs from the show live.
Apparently, James Franco will still star in the second season of HBO’s “The Deuce,” despite allegations of sexual misconduct.
And Facebook has hired Elizabeth Olsen to star in an upcoming (and untitled) show on the social media platform’s Watch. Facebook is starting to spend quite a bit of money on Watch and it will probably be a real streaming contender in the near future.
(News about Netflix, Hulu and Amazon at those respective Streamlines).
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Good luck this week. Hope this helps.
Plot: Chaos before and after murder.
Pro: The acting is superb. The setting, costuming and overall style is fascinating. This fashion-based story is hard to look away from.
Con: As with most Ryan Murphy projects, this is often overdone and occasionally goes off the rails.
Plot: Pot dealer encounters different people.
Pro: The show is both funny and exceptionally well-written. The protagonist encounters truly unique lives through his job.
Con: The very loose structure of the show can make it seem aimless.
Plot: Growing up in South Chicago.
Pro: The characters are exceptionally strong. The unique setting for a show is also quickly captivating.
Con: Dramatically life-changing events simultaneously happen in different characters' lives in a way that's unbelievable.
Plot: Future where people switch bodies.
Pro: It's a fast-paced crime thriller set in the future. A ton of money was clearly spent on special effects and sets, making this a viscerally exciting watch.
Con: The writing is often slap-dash and tries to accomplish too much, which detracts from the more mindless joys.
As you can see, the plot here is pretty ridiculous. All you really need to know is this is a decent action thriller.
The weightier philosophical questions brought up through the science fiction elements are often stumbled through in this. So check it out if you're just into seeing fight scenes in a cool setting.
Plot: Teenage love with sinister undertone.
Pro: This is an inventive take on the teenage love story.
Con: You might be super out on the show's main conceit — the main guy continuously fantasizes about killing the main teenage girl.
Plot: Sketches of weird Portland life.
Pro: This last season is still as strong as ever. Both exceptionally funny and insightful on a subset of contemporary culture.
Con: The slices of life being parodied are often extremely niche, meaning this inherently isn't for a wide audience.
Plot: Working an office job sucks.
Pro: The show has much to say about the reality of American white-collar work. The writing is often very strong.
Con: The writing is also often super derivative of the office-based humor that's been prevalent for decades.
Plot: Parallel dimensions collide in Berlin.
Pro: J.K. Simmons is incredible in this show. The plot is exceptionally creative and the writing adequately pulls off the generally high ambitions of this project.
Con: It can feel like this show is spiraling out of control at times. Also, although it's a new take, it is yet another espionage thriller.
Plot: Musicians conquer classical music industry.
Pro: The characters have had strong chemistry in this show since the first season. Having the world of orchestras be the backdrop is compelling.
Con: This show often seems to be in a world greatly detached from the contemporary zeitgeist, mainly because it focuses on extremely rich people chasing refined pursuits.
After the last year of reporting about sexual harassment in the workplace, this story of a boss constantly hitting on his employee until they end up dating seems out of place.
But if you can get past the fairly frequent moments that the show seems like it exists in a bizarro world of unchecked wealth and privilege, there actually is a lot to like here.
Plot: Powerful Washington institutions at war.
Pro: The show is as exciting as ever. The plot moves very quickly.
Con: This show has gone off the rails many times. So it's hard to trust that this new season will be any different.
The video here does a good job of showing that this season is going to be wild.
Now that "House of Cards" might as well be done, "Homeland" is the best show to watch if you want to watch characters in the United States government be even more absurd than real life.
A note on methodology:
Streamline recommendations do not include reality shows, game shows, awards shows, news shows and other shows that aren’t streaming online.
Along with HuffPost’s own “research” (watching countless hours of TV), Streamline opinions are informed by critical reviews from publications like The New York Times, Vulture, The A.V. Club, The Ringer and Collider, and aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Twitter is also providing HuffPost with data on the most tweeted-about streaming shows on its platform.
Shows can appear on the main list for two months after their most recent season’s final episode. Shows that debut all episodes at once will also be eligible for only two months.
If broadcast shows want a chance at showing up on the main list, they should make their episodes easily available to stream.