‘Lord Of The Rings’ & More

Multiple times per week, our TV and film experts will list the most important ten streaming selections for you to pop into your queues. We’re not strictly operating upon reviews or accrued streaming clicks (although yes, we’ve scoured the streaming site charts) but, instead, upon those selections that are really worth noticing amid the churning sea of content. There’s a lot out there, after all, and your time is valuable.

TIE: 10. Selena + Chef (HBO Max series)

The former Disney star is holding her own, not only after a successful music career and bouncing off comedy legends in Only Murders In The Building. For HBO Max, Selena took advantage of pandemic downtime to pump out multiple seasons of this show where she’s not the chef in each episode, but she’s learning a lot from them. The kitchen disasters are a good time, of course, but more than that, Selena and her friends show us the importance of surrounding yourself with those who truly care. Now, this show’s in the thick of Season 4 with other HBO Max projects falling by the wayside. Selena World Dominance is upon us.

TIE: 10. The Patient (FX series streaming on Hulu)

Not only does this show arrive courtesy of The Americans producers, but it’s also got Domhnall Gleason in a very different type of role (a serial killer named Sam) than we generally see him playing. His character terrorizes his therapist, Alan (portrayed by Steve Carell), who ends up being taken prisoner and then suffering from his own repressed memories. The mind can be a terrible place, as he finds, and because these producers are highly talented with topsy-turvy ways, don’t expect a straight-and-narrow route to a resolution.

9. Welcome To Wrexham (FX series on Hulu)

If you’re missing Ted Lasso, this show’s the next best (optimistic) thing. This show charts the inevitable chaos that ensues when two prominent (and lovable and funny) actors, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, decided to randomly buy a soccer team during the pandemic. From there, the Wrexham A.F.C. football club will never be the same, and the two new owners decided to make their journey into a TV show because why not? There’s a little Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place shoutout in there, too.

8. She-Hulk (Disney+ series)

If you missed this week’s episode, then you missed some literal twerking between Tatiana Maslany’s lead character and Megan Thee Stallion. That’s nothing that anyone would ever expect to see from Disney, but since there’s no more of Steve Rogers and all of those butt jokes prolifering throughout the MCU, one might as well up the tush quotient in a spectacular way. It may not always be easy being green, as Kermit the Frog has warned us, but Jennifer Walters is definitely the lawyer that the MCU needs and deserves.

7. Elvis (Warner Bros. film on Amazon and other PVOD outlets)

For possibly the first time ever, Tom Hanks is not the best part of the project with which he’s involved onscreen. Rather, this is a collaboration between director Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. There’s awards buzz around this movie, and it’s very discernibly done in the Luhrmann style. Still, the Oscars love a good transformation, and Butler goes though the paces of Elvis Presley’s short career and life and all of the less glamorous aspects of the King’s final days.

6. Mo (Netflix series)

A third season of Hulu’s Ramy will soon be upon us, but before that happens, Ramy Youssef has co-created this series with funnyman Mo Amer, who stars and writes here as well. The show tackles a lot of the same sort of cultural themes as Ramy but while down in Texas, where Mo’s lead character is tackling life in America with his Palestinian family, who is bouncing between three languages and several cultural clashes.

5. Day Shift (Netflix documentary)

If you’ve seen one Netflix action flick, you haven’t seen them all, and this movie proves as much. Jamie Foxx stars as a vampire Hunter named Budd, who’s in trouble with his vamp-hunter union, which is a remarkably funny concept to consider. This is an action comedy also starring Snoop Dogg, Dave Franco, and Meagan Good, and it’s also J.J. Perry’s directorial debut, which will make you look forward to whatever he’s doing next.

4. The Sandman (Netflix series)

This dark fantasy masterpiece still hasn’t been renewed for a second season despite sitting on top of streaming charts for weeks. Neil Gaiman announced the release of a bonus episode featuring one of the series’ most hard-hitting arcs (including the “Calliope” story), and the entire season is stunning. Tom Sturridge does Morpheus justice, Boyd Holbrook captivates as The Corinthian, Gwendoline Christie’s a regal Lucifer, and Patton Oswalt’s perfect as the voice of Matthew the Raven. Oh, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste pulls off miracles as Death. You’ll love her and the show.

3. Harley Quinn (HBO Max series)

Our own Brian Grubb has been raving about this season, which maintains the entire series’ freewheeling spirit but with plenty of Harlivy, given that Harley and Ivy are now a full-on couple, and they’re really into plant life. This DC show barely even resembles the gritty Gotham that we generally see from Warner Bros., so here’s to hoping that we’ll see literally dozens more seasons. Hey, it’s an animated series, so that’s totally possible.

2. Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power (Amazon Prime series)

No matter what one thinks about Jeff Bezos, he’s finally pulled off a long-standing dream bringing a Game of Thrones-scale show to Amazon. This is one enormously expensive production, and all indications are that this was money well spent while bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age to the screen. A young Galadriel and exquisite visuals will bounce between majestic forests and Misty Mountains. If you’re into epic fantasy shows that qualify as event TV, then you’re no doubt swimming in joy between this and the number one selection of the week.

1. House of the Dragon (HBO series on HBO Max)

This Game of Thrones prequel is in it for the semi-long run, at least. Already, a second season is in the card, and the show’s already lining up Contenders vs. Defenders for the Iron Throne. A time jump will be in the cards soon, but before that happens, refresh yourself with a heaping helping of icky happenings that somehow eclipse the House of Targaryen’s tendency to find romance within their own ranks. Paddy Considine and Matt Smith shall continue as semi-warring brothers, and Millie Alcock is currently crushing it as Rhaenyra, but she’ll soon be portrayed by Emma D’Arcy while this show pushes forth to fill us in on what happened around 170 years before the O.G. timeline.