Popular Shows Released This Year + Their Reviews

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Critics thought “The Terminal List” lacked story and substance.

Chris Pratt on "The Terminal List"

Chris Pratt as James Reece on “The Terminal List.”

Amazon Prime Video


Rotten Tomatoes: 39%

Summary: Lieutenant Commander James Reece (Chris Pratt) tries to find a sense of normalcy when he returns home but soon discovers he and his loved ones are caught in a conspiracy.

Critics wrote off the Amazon Prime show as a chaotic revenge fantasy that repeatedly wrote itself into a corner.

“‘The Terminal List’ wildly overstays its welcome and provides few moments of memorable excitement,” Nick Schager wrote for The Daily Beast.

Critics grew weary of “The Watcher.”

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in Netflix's "The Watcher."

Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock and Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock on “The Watcher.”

Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 55%

Summary: Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean Brannock (Bobby Cannavale) move to a new house in Westfield, New Jersey, and are quickly targeted by a stalker who sends obsessive letters.

Despite its promising first few episodes, a slew of critics said that the quality of the Netflix show dipped down early on.

“If you’re in the mood for pure camp, ‘The Watcher’ will entertain you for an hour or so before you’re yelling at it to get off your lawn,” Stephan Lee wrote for The Wrap.

“Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” didn’t sit well with some critics.

A picture of Evan Peters playing Jeffrey Dahmer.

Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer on “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 57%

Summary: This dark Netflix drama serves as an origin story for Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters) as he becomes a notorious serial killer and commits murders across two decades.

Critics were torn on their opinion of “Dahmer,” with some calling it immersive and others questioning its motives.

“Murphy and his collaborators are obviously aware of how exploitative it can be when the stories of serial killers are sold to a murder-obsessed public and how hurtful it is when victims are diminished, but the show never figures out a way to avoid committing the same crime,” Jen Chaney wrote for Vulture.

Ortega’s lead performance made “Wednesday” a winner.

Jenna Ortega in "Wednesday"

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams on “Wednesday.”

Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 72%

Summary: At 16 years old, Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is forced to enroll in a new school and struggles to make friends and manage her psychic powers.

The Netflix show was prone to pitfalls but Ortega earned a rush of praise from critics for her central performance.

“Ortega’s turn as the character doesn’t feel like a redo or a copy,” Lissete Lanuza Sáenz wrote for Remezcla. “Instead, it feels like what Wednesday Addams was always supposed to be.”

Season five of “The Crown” wasn’t as highly praised as prior seasons.

The Crown season 5

Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana on “The Crown.”

Keith Bernstein / Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Summary: The fifth season of “The Crown” takes place between 1991 and 1997 as Queen Elizabeth II tries to present a united front to the public as Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and Charles (Dominic West) continue to grow apart.

Despite swooning over the Netflix drama’s lead performances, critics thought the story developments on season five were a little underwhelming.

“I think there’s a bit of a tonal irregularity here, buried under the prestige,” Hugo Rifkind wrote for the Times.

“1899” was hailed as the new “Lost,” for better or worse.

Rosalie Craig on "1899"

Rosalie Craig as Virginia Wilson on “1899.”

Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 76%

Summary: In 1899, a group of European immigrants leave London for New York City and come across an abandoned steamship that went missing four months prior. As Eyk (Andreas Pietschmann) and others look for answers, more questions surface.

Most critics called the new Netflix drama a rich, engaging mystery but also recognized that some twists were less rewarding than others.

In a review for Empire magazine, Boyd Hilton wrote that the show was “an intriguing, densely layered puzzle-box mystery that defies easy categorization but somehow works.”

Critics called “The Peripheral” an imaginative thriller that was still finding its feet.

Chloë Grace Moretz on "The Peripheral"

Chloë Grace Moretz as Flynne Fisher on “The Peripheral.”

Amazon Prime Video


Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

Summary: Based on the book by William Gibson, this sci-fi drama follows Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) down a dizzying rabbit hole as she tests out VR technology that hints at a dark potential future.

Many critics loved Amazon Prime’s latest sci-fi show, even if it wasn’t for everyone.

“This is hard sci-fi, at times a baffling conduit of ideas, and it’s hugely impressive,” John Townsend wrote for Starburst.

Critics said season two of “Euphoria” was spotty but still as entertaining as ever.

Angus Cloud as Fez in season two, episode six of "Euphoria."

Angus Cloud as Fezco on “Euphoria.”

Eddy Chen/HBO


Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

Summary: Rue (Zendaya) struggles to hide her backslide into addiction as she and Jules (Hunter Schafer) reunite. Elsewhere, Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) betrays Maddy (Alexa Demie) and falls for Nate (Jacob Elordi).

Many critics said the second season of the HBO drama lost focus on some central characters and plotlines but the drama still delivered.

“You never know where you’re gonna end up when you ride Euphoria’s emotional rollercoaster, but at least you know that you won’t be bored,” Natalia Marcos wrote for El País.

The final season of “Dead to Me” was a bittersweet goodbye.

Christina Applegate on "Dead To Me."

Christina Applegate as Jen Harding on “Dead to Me.”

Saeed Adyani / Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Summary: On the final season of “Dead to Me,” Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini) continue to navigate new depths of their friendship as murder mysteries and lies come to light.

Despite earning slightly less enthusiastic praise than previous seasons, “Dead to Me” remained a Netflix hit because of the electric chemistry between Applegate and Cardellini.

“It’s a beautiful love story, start to finish, and each episode brought elements of murder mystery, heartbreak, and so, so much laughter,” Valerie Anne Liston wrote in a review for Autostraddle.

Reviewers called “The English” a hit Western with a stellar cast.

Emily Blunt in "The English"

Emily Blunt as Lady Cornelia Locke on “The English.”

Amazon Prime Video


Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Summary: In the 1890s-era American West, Lady Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt) crosses paths with Sergeant Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer) as she closes in on the man responsible for her son’s death.

Critics were captivated by the beautiful cinematography and mesmerizing lead performances on Amazon Prime’s “The English.”

“Bloody and brutal but also immensely satisfying, ‘The English’ is everything a modern Western epic should be,” Harry Alexander wrote for Cultured Vultures.

Critics had their curiosity piqued by “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

Lord of the Rings Rings of Power

Joseph Mawle as Adar on “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”

Amazon Prime


Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

Summary: Set thousands of years before the events of “The Hobbit,” this fantasy series explores Middle-Earth’s Second Age and the inevitable rise of the dark lord, Sauron.

Reviews for Amazon Prime’s “Rings of Power” were largely positive, but some were curious how the show would hold up with a second-season renewal.

“‘Rings of Power’ has plenty of wonders to offer at the start,” Alan Sepinwall wrote for Rolling Stone. “Now we’ll have to see if the show can keep them coming, and if viewers are as excited for them as Nori is.” 

Season four of “Stranger Things” pushed the story to new heights.

mike, eleven, and will in "Stranger Things 4," looking down at something with shocked expressions on their faces

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven on “Stranger Things.”

Netflix


Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Summary: On the fourth season of the hit Netflix show, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) looks for answers about her childhood as her friends face off against a terrifying new villain they call Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower).

“Stranger Things” continued its successful run with critics and some reviewers called it a series high.

“If the first three seasons were remarkably consistent, ‘Stranger Things’ four is likely to be the franchise peak with spin-off projects, stage-plays, and all kinds of other continuations unlikely to hold the same appeal,” Eddie Harrison wrote for Film Authority.

The second season of “The White Lotus” proved to be another critical success.

Aubrey Plaza in "The White Lotus."

Aubrey Plaza as Harper on “The White Lotus.”

HBO


Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Summary: On this HBO Max drama, wealthy guests vacation in Taormina, Sicily, and soon discover their stay at the illustrious White Lotus is marred by love affairs, family fights, and deceit.

By swapping locations and adding fresh faces to the cast, “The White Lotus” season two kept critics engaged and hungry for more.

“The plotting is almost as fabulous as the scenery, and the witty, ferocious dialogue suggests another round of devious and delicious satire,” Chris Wasser wrote for the Irish Independent.

“House of the Dragon” kept the fervor for “Game of Thrones” alive.

House of the Dragon

Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra on “House of the Dragon.”

HBO


Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Summary: Set 172 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” this HBO show explores the tenuous politics of Westeros after King Viserys (Paddy Considine) chooses his daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy) as his heir.

After the booming popularity of “Game of Thrones,” critics said “House of the Dragon” was a worthy successor.

In a review for No Stage Fright, Alvaro Corujo wrote that the debut season was “very well cared for in all aspects: photography, soundtrack, setting, and performances.”

“Andor” expanded interest in the larger “Star Wars” universe.

Andor

Adria Arjona as Bix Caleen on “Andor.”

Disney+


Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

Summary: This television prelude to “Rogue One” (2016), explores the life of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his early days working for the Rebel Alliance.

Hailed as imaginative, riveting, and well-written, Disney+’s “Andor” earned high praise from reviewers.

“‘Andor’ isn’t just great by ‘Star Wars’ standards — it’s one of the best shows of the year,” Miles Surrey wrote for The Ringer.

The sharp new dark comedy “Severance” was a critical darling.

Adam Scott and Britt Lower in “Severance"

Adam Scott as Mark and Britt Lower as Helly on “Severance.”

Apple TV


Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

Summary: In a world where employees can “sever” their brains into two halves, Mark (Adam Scott) and his cubicle square of coworkers yearn for knowledge about their outer lives.

Apple TV’s “Severance” turned heads with its crafty world-building, psychedelic visuals, and haunting acting performances.

In a review for The Globe and Mail, John Doyle wrote that the sci-fi show was an “increasingly tense exploration of free-will and corporate sadism” with a “modicum of mischievous wit.”

Season three of “The Boys” was a top pick for critics.

the boys

Laz Alonso as Mother’s Milk, Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, and Jack Quaid as Hughie Campbell on “The Boys.”

Amazon


Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Summary: On the third season of Amazon Prime’s dark superhero series, Hughie (Jack Quaid) reunites with Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) on a death mission to destroy Homelander (Antony Starr) once and for all.

Critics felt like the latest season of “The Boys” upped the ante for action while deftly balancing social and political commentaries.

“‘The Boys’ season three really is a masterpiece of political and pop-culture satire, but also an enjoyable action-drama in its own right,” Amelia Harvey wrote for Frame Rated.

“The Bear” was an absolute hit across the board.

The Bear

Ayo Edebiri as Sydney Adamu and Jeremy Allen White as Carmen Berzatto on “The Bear.”

“The Bear”/FX Networks


Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

Summary: After his brother Michael (Jon Bernthal) dies, Carmen Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White) takes over the failing Chicago restaurant and tries to earn the respect of its scrappy kitchen staff.

Critics praised the Hulu drama as an intense, heart-pounding look into the reality of restaurant life.

“There are many great dishes that are made from the same basic ingredients – it’s what you do with them that counts, and ‘The Bear’ gets the balance between atmosphere and story, sour and sweet, just right,” Benji Wilson wrote for the Daily Telegraph.



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