The 50 best TV shows on Foxtel Now: From Thrones to The Sopranos

Iron thrones, zombies, family drama: These are the shows you should be watching - or re-watching.

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Though you'll sometimes pay a little more for the privilege to watch them, Foxtel Now is the current keeper of some of the greatest TV shows ever made. Drama, comedy, horror, romance – no matter what your favourite flavour is, there are hours and hours of entertainment to greedily consume.

Thankfully most are now also on its cheaper sister streaming service BINGE. But let's stop with the preamble and dig into the crème de le crème of bingable material on Foxtel's original streaming service. Combining scores from Rotten Tomatoes with our own preferences and decade-long experience in the industry, we have determined this list, which is in no particular order. Enjoy.

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1. Mare of Easttown


Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Cast: Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Guy Pearce, Evan Peters

Mare of Easttown stars Kate Winslet as a detective from a small town who is struggling to keep her life together while investigating a murder. If you're a fan of crime shows set within a small community, this one's not to miss.

Winslet offers a mesmerising performance in the lead, marking her first TV drama role in a decade. That being said, the entire cast is top-notch and the mystery is intriguing enough to keep you coming back for more. To put it simply, this show has a good chance of becoming your next TV obsession.

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2. The Nevers


Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%

Cast: James Norton, Laura Donnelly, Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams

When a small group of people develop abilities following a mysterious event in Victorian London, the British elite view them as a threat. Consequently, a young widow with powers of her own and a talented inventor work together to make a home for these special people while fighting enemies on every side.

Visually dazzling and unafraid to pose fascinating questions, The Nevers is a fun watch for when you're in the mood for a fresh spin on the superhero genre. The show's steampunk aesthetic, at least, is the stuff of dreams.

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3. A Teacher


Rotten Tomatoes score: 70%

Cast: Kate Mara, Nick Robinson, Ashley Zukerman, Rya Kihlstedt

A Teacher is a powerful miniseries that chronicles an affair between a young teacher and one of her high school students. The series shows how the pair become closer and how the relationship eventually implodes, affecting the boy in a profound way.

The show is honest and well-acted, with both Kate Mara and Nick Robinson offering excellent performances. It's also best enjoyed binged, so we recommend you set aside a few hours before tuning in.

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4. The End


Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Cast: Frances O'Connor, Harriet Walter, Ingrid Torelli

A Foxtel original, The End follows a multi-generational family as they deal with life, death and everything in between.

When a suicide attempt reunites mother and daughter, the mother is installed in a luxury retirement village. As the show progresses, we learn more about the family and the issues each member is dealing with.

The End is provocative, subtle and thought-provoking. It's also tremendously acted and occasionally funny. All in all, it's must-see TV.

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5. Superman & Lois


Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

Cast: Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Alex Garfin, Jordan Elsass

Action and family drama come together in Superman & Lois, a show that follows the Man of Steel and his journalist wife. This time around, they struggle with raising a family, while also dealing with the usual saving-the-world stuff.

Compelling and intriguing, Superman & Lois seems more interested in telling a relatable tale of juggling work and parenthood. Yet, it offers plenty of action as well, so superhero fans won't be disappointed. It's a show that the whole family will enjoy, so we strongly advise adding this to your watch list.

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6. Industry


Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Cast: Myha'la Herrold, Marisa Abela, David Jonsson

Industry revolves around a group of young graduates who start working for a prestigious financial institution in London. They need to be cunning to get ahead and score longtime positions, but that doesn't stop them from engaging in nefarious after-work affairs.

The show has an excellent ensemble cast and is highly entertaining, offering the perfect escape from the real world. The only downside is that season 1 only consists of 8 episodes.

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7. Devils


Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%

Cast: Alessandro Borghi, Laia Costa, Kasia Smutniak

Devils is an intriguing international thriller set in the world of high finance. The plot follows Massimo, charming yet ruthless head of trading at one of the world's most important investment banks. We also meet his mentor Dominic, the company's CEO, portrayed by the beloved Patrick Dempsey.

After Massimo loses a battle for a promotion, he also finds himself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. As he fights to clear his name, the trader becomes involved in a financial war for the ages. Will he support his long-time mentor or choose another route? Tune in to find out.

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8. The Third Day


Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%

Cast: Jude Law, John Dagleish, Mark Lewis Jones, Naomie Harris

The Third Day is an unusual series, to say the least. The first 3 episodes follow a man who ends up on a mysterious island and encounters all sorts of weird stuff as he struggles to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Then, a woman is introduced as she arrives on the same island after a few months went by, looking for answers.

Ambitious and atmospheric, the series will keep you glued to the screen, curious to find out what is going on with that piece of land and the troubled man who stumbles upon it. A mix between horror and thrills, The Third Day is captivating enough to keep you coming back for more.

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9. The Flight Attendant


Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Michiel Huisman, Zosia Mamet

A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man next to her. Even worse, she has no idea what happened. Could she actually be a killer? That's the bonkers premise behind this engaging comedy thriller, which stars Kaley Cuoco in excellent form.

Addictive, dark and humorous, The Flight Attendant doesn't take itself too seriously, which only works in the show's favour. Calling it entertaining would be an understatement.

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10. The Undoing


Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Noah Jupe, Donald Sutherland

Grace and Jonathan make a great couple, at least from the outside. She's a therapist, he's a doctor. Together, they live among New York's elite. But when a murder rocks the community and Jonathan disappears, Grace is left wondering just how much of her marriage is really a lie.

Beautifully shot and well-acted, The Undoing is a thrilling and polished miniseries that pulls you in from the first twist. You won't be able to look away.

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11. Raised by Wolves


Rotten Tomatoes score: 77%

Cast: Travis Fimmel, Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim

A sci-fi drama executive produced by Ridley Scott, Raised by Wolves centres on 2 androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. However, as the human colony threatens to be torn apart, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.

Featuring gorgeous imagery, this is the kind of series that stimulates the eye as well as the mind. The story is complex, the themes are thought-provoking and the performances effective. If you're into sci-fi, stream it immediately.

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12. Lovecraft Country


Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Cast: Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Courtney B. Vance

This haunting series follows a young Black man, Atticus, as he sets out on a road trip across a racially segregated America in the 50s to look for his missing father. He is joined by his friend Letitia and his Uncle George. Together, they will have to overcome multiple challenges along the way – including dealing with terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

Based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country is wild and exciting. Featuring monsters both real and imaginary, it's a series that elegantly subverts expectations at nearly every turn, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. That's must-watch TV in our book.

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13. I'll Be Gone in the Dark


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Patton Oswalt, Paul Haynes, Lauren Orlando, Amy Ryan

I'll Be Gone in the Dark is a 6-part documentary series based on the book of the same name, which follows writer Michelle McNamara's investigation into the world of the violent predator she dubbed The Golden State Killer. Back in the 70s and 80s, the man committed 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders, which prompted McNamara's obsessive quest to find justice on behalf of his victims.

Gripping and moving, the docu-series might not have all the answers, but the questions it poses are definitely worth your time. Plus, it's a story of crime and obsession. Once you tune in, you'll find it hard to look away.

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14. Wentworth


Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Cast: Kate Atkinson, Robbie Magasiva, Katrina Milosevic

A reimagining of classic show Prisoner, this iconic Aussie drama revolves around inmates struggling to survive in the violent environment of a contemporary women's prison. Season 8 episodes are now streaming.

Violent, honest and riveting, Wentworth is the kind of show that hooks you from the very first episode. If you like complex characters and intricate storylines, this is definitely for you. The final season is now streaming.

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15. Perry Mason


Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%

Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Tatiana Maslany, Rachel Boulware

In booming 1932 Los Angeles, defence attorney Perry Mason takes on the case of a lifetime – a sensational child kidnapping trial. Turns out, the investigation will have major consequences for Mason, his client and the city itself.

A series with style to spare, Perry Mason offers a compelling mystery and brilliant performances, making it a must-see for fans of period shows. Matthew Rhys is a delight as the lead, so rest assured – he does the legendary fictional character justice.

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16. Mrs. America


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Elizabeth Banks, Uzo Aduba

Mrs. America tells the story of conservative woman Phyllis Schlafly, who leads an unexpected fight against the Equal Rights Amendment back in 1970s America. Boasting a phenomenal ensemble cast, the series manages to explore the complicated nuance of a movement that went on to earn a prominent spot in US history.

The show has style to spare, capturing the essence of the era with exquisite attention to detail. More important, Mrs. America is bold and thought-provoking, making the audience ponder upon both the past and the future of women's rights.

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17. The Plot against America


Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Cast: Winona Ryder, Anthony Boyle, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector

In an alternative universe, Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 United States presidential election, turning the nation towards fascism. What happens next? You'll need to tune in to find out.

Based on the Philip Roth novel, this miniseries is a treat for history buffs. That being said, it's also essential viewing for everyone else, showcasing exactly how politics affects personal life. That alone makes The Plot Against America disturbingly relevant to the present.

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18. Devs


Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Cast: Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier

A mesmerising limited series, Devs follows a young computer engineer who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company. More than that, she suspects the company is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend.

Devs may test your patience, as it's an atmospheric and philosophical show. That's also what makes it worthwhile. It's far from your typical thriller, but it's gripping nonetheless. More importantly, it will make you ask yourself several tough questions about how much freedom we really have in a world ruled by algorithms.

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19. The Outsider


Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%

Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Bill Camp, Jeremy Bobb, Cynthia Erivo

The Outsider is a miniseries based on the popular novel of the same name by Stephen King. The action revolves around the investigation of the gruesome murder of a boy in the Georgia woods and the mysterious force surrounding the case. Trust us: the less you know about the premise, the better.

Besides the intriguing plot, the series offers tremendous performances and an eerie atmosphere. It's the kind of show that takes the time to make you care about the characters before unleashing the thrills, which makes viewers that much more invested. If you're into creepy thrillers, you can't miss this.

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20. Upright


Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Cast: Tim Minchin, Milly Alcock, Rebecca Massey

A Foxtel original series, Upright follows 2 misfits, Lucky and Meg, who are thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert and forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious upright piano from one side of the country to the other.

Upright is a clever and entertaining road-trip series. In fact, following the 2 main characters scamming their way across the scorching desert continent is a delight thanks to the intriguing script and pleasing visuals. The show is an interesting mix of melancholy and comedy, with the odd couple dynamic an absolute treat.

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21. His Dark Materials


Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

Cast: Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff

An adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials follows a young orphan girl from another world searching for a missing friend. In her quest, she discovers a series of kidnappings and makes it her aim to understand a mysterious phenomenon.

Visually stunning and filled with wonderful performances, this magical series can be tough to follow for viewers unfamiliar with the novels. However, it compensates with memorable twists and fantastic daemons. The show might not be the next Game of Thrones, but it's a fun watch nonetheless.

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22. Watchmen


Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%

Cast: Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

One of the most highly-anticipated shows of 2019, Watchmen lives up to the hype thanks to its thrilling visuals, complex characters and unexpected twists. The superhero drama is a modern-day re-imagining of Alan Moore's groundbreaking graphic novel. The action takes place in an alternate reality where masked vigilantes work alongside the police.

Dark and intricate, Watchmen has all the required ingredients to keep fans glued to the screen. Add in the fact that the show is created by Damon Lindelof, who was also responsible for Lost and The Leftovers, and you just know that this ambitious series will be worthy of its inclusion in the Watchmen universe.

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23. The Righteous Gemstones


Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Cast: Danny McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson, Adam DeVine, Cassidy Freeman

Created by Danny McBride, this offbeat comedy centres on a world-famous televangelist family, the Gemstones, who are as dysfunctional as they are fascinating. When a threat that jeopardises the reputation of a family member surfaces, faith and followers may not be enough to keep their religious empire growing.

While watching a series that tackles American megachurch culture may not seem particularly appealing, The Righteous Gemstones is definitely worth a stream thanks to its great cast and darkly hilarious craziness. A successful blend of comedy, drama and silliness, the show is kind of bonkers. If you're into that sort of thing, it will be right up your alley.

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24. Lambs of God


Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

Cast: Essie Davis, Ann Dowd, Jessica Barden, Sam Reid

Based on the Australian novel by Marele Day, Lambs of God follows 3 nuns, each a generation apart, who live on a secluded and remote island. When a priest unwittingly finds them, they are forced to defend both their beliefs and their lives.

A tale of faith, love and redemption, the series features electric performances and stunning cinematography, which will appeal to prestige TV junkies. Lambs of God is also a quick binge, clocking in at only 4 episodes. If you want a show that will subvert expectations, you can't go wrong with giving this a stream.

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25. Big Little Lies


Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Meryl Streep

Based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies follows a group of emotionally troubled women who unexpectedly get caught in a murder investigation. The first season received universal acclaim and the second instalment is following suit, with Meryl Streep joining the cast in a brilliant villain role.

If you find rich people living miserable lives fascinating, you'll fall deeply in love with this. Darkly humorous and wonderfully written, the show is worth binging for the cast alone. And yet, the story will grip you from the very first scene, offering plenty of juicy drama and meme-able scenes you can discuss around the water cooler.

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26. Euphoria


Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Cast: Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane

An adaptation of the Israeli show of the same name, Euphoria centres on Rue, a troubled teen with a substance abuse problem. Fresh out of rehab, she has no plans to change her wildly ways. The series excels as showcasing a teenage landscape brimming with day-to-day anxiety and substance-enhanced parties.

While the drama can be hard to watch every now and then due to its brutal honesty and graphic scenes depicting sex, violence and substance abuse, it's also an illuminating look at how some teens navigate modern life. Visually beautiful, the show also benefits from a great performance from Zendaya, who gets a chance to fully showcase her tremendous acting chops.

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27. Chernobyl


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter

The event miniseries everyone seems to be talking about, Chernobyl is a 5-part historical drama which depicts the nuclear disaster of April 1986, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history. The show also features the clean-up efforts that followed, highlighting the brave men and women who made sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable consequences.

Chernobyl is a bleak show, but that's not surprising given the true events it's based on. However, the series shines as it manages to also be riveting, suspenseful and atmospheric. Chernobyl is among the highest-rated TV series of all time on IMDb, so you might want to give it a stream to see what all the fuss is about.

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28. What We Do in the Shadows


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillen, Mark Proksch

Based on the movie of the same name, this new series is a mockumentary-style look at the nocturnal endeavours of 4 vampires who live together in Staten Island. When they are reminded of their original purpose – complete domination of the world, they set out to achieve this goal, in hilarious fashion.

Absurd and charming, What We Do in the Shadows is clever, original and funny, qualities worthy of granting it a spot at the top of your watch list, especially if you're into dry humour. The cast is excellent, which is reason enough to forgive the show's occasional forays into excessive silliness. New season 3 episodes are now streaming.

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29. Veep


Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons

Veep is a comedy that follows Selina Meyer, the vice president of the US, who struggles to juggle her public schedule and private life, with a little help from her staff. As the years go by her political aspirations grow, while her personal life also goes through changes – we see her interact with her daughter, ex-husband and a series of significant others.

The show does a great job at satirising the political activities and inner workings of the US government, with flair and humour. As expected, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is excellent, but the supporting characters get their chance to shine in the spotlight as well, to the audience's delight. If you've somehow missed out on Veep so far, now is the perfect time to catch up.

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7 seasons

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7 seasons 7 seasons 9 seasons 7 seasons

30. Barry


Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Cast: Bill Hader, Stephen Root, Henry Windler, Sarah Goldberg

One of the best new comedies to come out in 2018, Barry gets even better in its second season. The show follows a low-level hitman who follows one of his targets into an acting class and becomes instantly drawn into the community – so much so that he contemplates starting a new life as an actor. Too bad that his handler isn't particularly supportive.

Barry perfectly balances darkness and humour, making it the perfect binge for cynics in need of a few laughs. As for the cast, Bill Hader is amazing in the lead role, with Henry Winkler delivering a top-notch performance as well. All in all, Barry is an unexpected treat with an intriguing premise. If you're not watching it, you're definitely missing out.

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31. Better Things


Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Cast: Pamela Adlon, Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward, Celia Imrie

Hilarious, yet often bittersweet, Better Things is all about the highs and lows of being a single mother. The show follows Sam Fox, an actor who is raising 3 daughters and also caring for her mother, who has questionable mental faculties. Sam is just trying to earn a living and survive her family, while also hopefully enjoying some private time every now and then.

Although a comedy, the series doesn't shy away from tough issues. Quite the contrary. At its core a show about "having it all", Better Things manages to come across as memorable and original, with a perfectly cast Pamela Adlon in the lead role. If you were looking for a refreshing and insightful sitcom, you're in the right place.

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32. The Walking Dead


Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Steven Yeun

A bonafide hit, The Walking Dead follows a group of survivors as they navigate life during a zombie apocalypse. Not only do they have to stay safe from the walkers that roam the country, but also from other communities, each with their own sets of laws and morals.

For long-time fans, The Walking Dead feels more alive than ever, despite occasional stumbles in the past. One thing's for sure: the riveting pace and compelling characters that made the show so popular will keep us coming back for more. If you haven't watched it yet, what are you waiting for? The final season is now streaming, with new episodes added weekly.

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33. Future Man


Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Glenne Headly, Eliza Coupe, Ed Begley Jr., Derek Wilson, Haley Joel Osment

This bonkers Hulu original centres on janitor Josh Futturman, who leads a pretty boring life, mainly playing video games. Things change when he beats a difficult game and mysterious visitors from the future appear, putting the world in danger. As expected, Josh is the only one who can stop them. He sets out to assemble a team ready to travel with him through time and engage in various missions.

The show is highly entertaining, offering plenty of surprises and even more laughs. It often veers into ridiculous territory, which makes it even more of a treat. If you're looking for a welcome distraction to keep you busy for hours on end, look no more.

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34. Succession


Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Cast: Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Hiam Abbass, Nicholas Braun

This clever HBO show follows the Roy family, which controls one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. When the head of the family announces on his 80th birthday that he has no intention to step down as CEO, his heirs are caught by surprise and struggle to gain as much power within the company as they can, hoping they will be able to come out on top when the time is right.

This is a series about rich people behaving badly, which is never boring to watch. These people would not make for great friends in real life, but they're extremely fun to watch on TV. Sharp and exciting, Succession draws you in from the first episode, promising a thrilling ride. Thankfully, it delivers. Season 3 will premiere sometime in Spring 2021.

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35. Kung Fu (2021)


Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Cast: Olivia Liang, Kheng Hua Tan, Eddie Liu, Shannon Dang

Kung Fu revolves around a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky. She drops out of college and embarks on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China, where she trains under the watchful eye of a Shaolin master.

After her mentor is killed, Nicky returns to the US to find her community plagued by crime. As a result, she decides to use her martial arts skills for good and fights corruption as a vigilante.

A highly-enjoyable and fun series, Kung Fu has a solid cast and exciting action scenes. If you're a martial arts fan, this is must-watch TV. We were also fortunate to interview two of the stars of Kung Fu, including Olivia Liang, at the time the show was released.

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1 seasons

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36. My Brilliant Friend


Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

Cast: Gaia Girace, Margherita Mazzucco, Anna Rita Vitolo, Luca Gallone

An adaptation of the first of 4 novels in the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend is an Italian-American miniseries that chronicles the friendship between 2 young girls in the 50s, a friendship that will eventually span more than 60 years.

Brilliantly produced and perfectly cast, the series perfectly captures the complex relationship between the girls – it's intimate and educative, but can also get complicated and competitive at times. My Brilliant Friend is an exquisite adaptation that manages to completely immerse the viewer in the narrative. Needless to say, the show raises to the high bar set by the enchanting novels that serve as source material.

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37. Castle Rock


Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Cast: André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Jane Levy, and Sissy Spacek

Set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock is a psychological-horror series that intertwines characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. It all starts when an anonymous phone call lures death-row lawyer Henry Deaver back to his hometown, where a kid has been found locked in an underground cage at Shawshank State Penitentiary.

Recommended for both King fans and newbies, Castle Rock is brimming with supernatural secrets waiting to be uncovered, which makes for a particularly entertaining binge. Gorgeously shot and suspenseful, the show has a stellar cast and immediately pulls in viewers as its shapes its complex and mysterious universe. As a bonus, the show offers plenty of Easter Eggs any King enthusiast will appreciate.

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38. The Leftovers


Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Cast: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Carrie Coon

They call it "The Sudden Departure", a global cataclysm where a whopping 140 million people – roughly 2% of us – vanished without a trace. Set 3 years after this mysterious disaster, the world hasn't been able to move on due to a complete lack of answers. As a result, the small community of Mapleton, NY, is a tinderbox of confusion and anger. A decent subsection of folks have been driven to extreme paranoia or outright madness, conspiracy nuts are having a field day and cult leaders are capitalising on the faith vacuum.

Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) is a police chief up against the wall, desperately trying to prevent a civil war from triggering between the sketchy zealots of "The Guilty Remnant" and the citizenry who just want to forget and move on with their lives. Prepare to become hooked on an ensemble cast, sharply written characters and just the irresistible lure of getting to the bottom of a confounding event that seemingly cannot be explained by cosmology or philosophy.

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39. Rome


Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%

Cast: Ciaran Hinds, Zuleikha Robinson, Kevin McKidd

While this is one of the early standout successes in HBO's bigger budget programming, it had some behind-the-scenes production issues. Long story short (literally), Rome has an excellent, lavishly funded first season and then some foolish hand-wringing by the suits caused it to have a truncated second outing and an abrupt end. Let none of that dissuade you from watching what is a wonderful upstairs-downstairs tale that neatly interweaves the plight of the plebeian soldiery and Roman elite both.

In one thread you have the political machinations of Julius Caesar, a conquering hero who breaks the rules by returning to the capital with his army in tow, and a number of powerful Roman houses who would stop him. In Caesar's rank and file is the focus of the second thread: the unlikely partnership of dour, by-the-book captain Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and the hedonistic and insubordinate Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). Well worth a watch, even if you're not a history buff.

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40. Game of Thrones


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke

Musical chairs, played to the death – except, plot twist: there's only 1 chair and everybody playing has a sword. This is the basic elevator pitch for George R. R. Martin's fantasy book series, a sprawling epic that has been well translated to the small screen by the deep-pocketed HBO. The action centres on the land of Westeros, a kingdom divided into 7 fiefs that are a veritable tinderbox for civil war (largely thanks to some iffy decisions made in the previous war fought 17 years ago). That said, and unbeknown to the many belligerents in the south, beyond a great wall monument that borders the arctic region of this continent waits a supernatural threat.

However, the latter is a (literal) glacial problem so you can expect few fantasy elements in the opening seasons. They are primarily about backstabbing medieval politics and the shock offing of major characters in brutal ways. Essentially, none of your favourites is ever truly safe and Game of Thrones is all the more riveting because of it.

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8 seasons 1 seasons 12 seasons 8 seasons

41. The Sopranos


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: James Gandolfini, Ron Leibman, Lorraine Bracco

A dark drama about Tony Soprano, the patriarch of a mid-level New Jersey crime family who is somewhat obsessed with the ducks that frequent his swimming pool. No wonder Tone seeks therapy to cope with mob and family pressures, not to mention the merciless creep of modernity that's slowly eroding his old-school gangster life.

Addictive as all hell, David Chase's stunningly original drama offers detailed character work and riveting suspense while displaying a flair for both black comedy and unpredictable twists. Throw in powerhouse acting by the show's lead, James Gandolfini, and you've got The Sopranos, a TV series that is nothing short of essential viewing.

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6 seasons 7 seasons 8 seasons

42. The Wire


Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%

Cast: Dominic West, Sonja Sohn, Wendell Pierce

It has been almost 2 decades since it first aired, but nobody has beaten David Simon's The Wire and taken away its crown as the best TV show ever made. Though it starts as a police procedural that pits a misfit group of "5-0" against the rat-like cunning of a ruthless drug lord, The Wire expands its scope in subsequent seasons to cover the dysfunction of the wider city of Baltimore. Via some impressive, novel-esque world-building we're made privy to the back alley dealings of many flawed institutions, be it city hall, the unions, schools or the local media. The thing they all have in common: corruption.

What we have here is a sprawling tale and an incredibly memorable cast filled with accomplished actors and bonafide Baltimoreans sourced straight from the mean streets. Take a toe-dip and you'll soon become addicted to a riveting series where almost every character becomes a favourite (despite their questionable morals). Honestly, just typing this synopsis makes me want to rewatch it all over again. For, like, the sixth time.

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43. Curb Your Enthusiasm


Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Cast: Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin

Here's a worrying realisation: Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld, is more or less the real-life version of Jerry's stocky, bespectacled best friend. Costanza, aka "Art Vandelay" aka "Buck Naked" exists, and Curb Your Enthusiasm is basically a big endless summer of George. Each incredibly well-written episode sees our socially clueless (or often purposefully difficult) protagonist navigate the pretension and uber-political-correctness of Los Angeles with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

No matter where he is or who he's dealing with, Larry will find a way to get himself into yet another cringe-worthy situation. The worst/best part of this series: the number of times you'll find yourself agreeing with his logic, if not his hilariously heavy-handed approaches. Throw in a slew of playing-themselves cameos from local Hollywood residents – like Ben Stiller, Martin Scorsese, Ted Danson and Michael J. Fox – and Curb Your Enthusiasm rivals even the mighty Seinfeld for consistent laugh factor.

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10 seasons 10 seasons

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10 seasons 10 seasons

44. In Treatment


Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Dane DeHaan, Josh Charles

In Treatment centres on Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne), a psychologist questioning his ability to heal while confronting uneasy truths about his own life in therapy sessions with his patients. Interestingly, the format alternates between sessions where Paul is leading the questioning and other times he's in the hot seat, spilling his guts to his own psychotherapist, Gina (Diane West). The latter is a fascinating dynamic that highlights how your average shrink benefits from, or can be handicapped by, their own traumatic life experiences.

Paul is very much a wounded healer. He's seen the worst of life from the inside and while this grants him incredible empathy and the ability to speak from experience, as your binge-watch continues you'll start to wonder when his past will overwhelm him. Featuring knockout performances and a script that deftly reveals and withholds crucial information, In Treatment becomes hypnotic in no time.

In even more exciting news, the show has been rebooted in 2021, with Uzo Aduba in the lead. The premise stays the same, but there's a new doctor in town!

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4 seasons

45. Mr Inbetween


Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Cast: Scott Ryan, Chika Yasumura, Justin Rosniak, Damon Herriman


Mr Inbetween is a dark comedy revolving around Ray Shoesmith, a criminal for hire. Apart from his shady job, though, Ray is also a father, boyfriend and best friend – roles he must learn to juggle in order to live the good life.

Scott Ryan is tremendous in the lead role. More than that, the show is engaging and addictive, so buckle up for an exciting watch. Season 3 is now available.

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    3 seasons 3 seasons

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    3 seasons 3 seasons 1 seasons

    46. Young Rock


    Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

    Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila


    If you're a fan of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, this show should go on your watch list ASAP. Even if you're not, this family comedy is strong enough to appeal to a wide range of viewers, especially if you're craving a breezy and fun watch.

    Young Rock chronicles the formative years of Johnson, with 3 different actors portraying the superstar at various stages of his life. The concept may be wacky, but the end result is surprisingly endearing.

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      1 seasons 1 seasons

      47. The White Lotus


      Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

      Cast: Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario

      A satire comedy-drama that takes on wealth and privilege, The White Lotus follows a group of people who arrive at a resort in Hawaii hoping for peace and relaxation. As the week progresses, however, each of them has to deal with personal demons that will make their escape less than idyllic.

      The show has a star-studded cast and biting tone. Sometimes hilarious, other times uncomfortable, it's a thought-provoking watch for sure.

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      1 seasons

      48. Gossip Girl


      Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%

      Cast: Jordan Alexander, Whitney Peak, Tavi Gevinson, Eli Brown

      Set in present day, the 2021 Gossip Girl is a reboot of the original 2007 drama, revolving around a new generation of teens.

      It's been years since the Gossip Girl website went dark and few remember the anonymous blogger who used to terrorise Manhattan. But when a fresh Gossip Girl Instagram account pops up, the students at Constance Billard have to once again watch their every move.

      With great production values and an attractive cast, the new Gossip Girl is more woke and diverse than the original, which is a plus. While it stumbles a bit when it comes to delivering truly engaging storylines, it's a series that shows a lot of potential – and one that's already making waves online.

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      1 seasons 6 seasons 6 seasons 6 seasons

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      6 seasons 6 seasons

      49. Reservation Dogs


      Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

      Cast: D'Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Elva Guerra, Devery Jacobs, Lane Factor

      Reservation Dogs follows four Native American teenagers who dream of escaping their small community and heading to California, but lack money. As a result, they engage in all sorts of schemes hoping to secure the required travel funds.

      A fresh and witty comedy, Reservation Dogs has a top-notch cast and an exciting premise. If that's not enough, the show also boasts an irresistible blend of heart and humour, drawing you in from episode one.

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      1 seasons 1 seasons

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      1 seasons 1 seasons

      50. Vigil


      Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A

      Cast: Suranne Jones, Martin Compston, Shaun Evans, Rose Leslie

      Following the mysterious disappearance of a fishing trawler and a suspicious death on-board a nuclear submarine, a detective joins the crew to figure out what's going on. However, she's met with hostility and soon begins to suspect there's more to this case that meets the eye.

      Twisty and clever, Vigil is the kind of series that keeps you glued to the screen. It's also quite claustrophobic at times given the submarine setting, so consider yourself warned.

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      • Vigil

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