The new year brings with it a veritable treasure trove of TV and streaming programming to look forward to. But with so many new and returning series headed our way in 2023, it’s tricky to know where to start – which is why I’ve pulled together the following list of must-see TV and streaming shows. The 10 entries on this list cover a range of genres and platforms, providing the perfect launchpad for you to build your own personal 2023 watch list.
10. The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Star Wars fans are spoiled for choice in 2023. Several new live-action series are expected to arrive on Disney+ across the next 12 months, including Ahsoka, The Acolyte and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. But more importantly, The Mandalorian Season 3 is locked in for 1 March. Picking up after the events of spinoff The Book of Boba Fett, the next batch of Mandalorian episodes will see protagonist Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) on the hunt for redemption, accompanied by his surrogate son, Grogu. While the quality of Lucasfilm’s small screen Star Wars output has been uneven of late, the Mandalorian Season 3 teaser trailer suggests that series creator Jon Favreau and his team will deliver the goods once again.
9. Bupkis (Peacock)
Bupkis automatically earns its slot on this list of must-see 2023 shows by virtue of acting legend Joe Pesci’s involvement. The Oscar-winner is coming out of retirement to star in Peacock’s action-comedy effort, which presents a fictionalized take on comedian Pete Davidson’s life. Pesci will portray Davidson’s grandfather in Bupkis – the first role he’s taken on since 2019’s The Irishman and only his second small screen performance, ever. This, coupled with the promise of absurdist comedy laughs and a stellar line-up of guest stars, is more than enough reason to tune into Bupkis when it debuts later this year.
8. Yellowjackets (Showtime)
Showtime’s Yellowjackets was the sleeper hit of its initial late 2021/early 2022 release window, and rightly so. The series effortlessly blended together survival horror, coming-of-age drama, and several more genres in between to spin a compelling mystery yarn that felt wholly original. Unsurprisingly, expectations for Season 2 are high, with fans desperate for resolutions to the many plot threads left dangling in Season 1. Of course, it’s unclear exactly how much Yellowjackets co-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson will divulge when the second season kicks off on 26 March. But with the show’s stellar cast of up-and-coming and veteran acting talent confirmed to return, the odds are good that fans will exit Season 2 more than satisfied.
7. Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Labeling the response to Ted Lasso Season 2 “polarizing” would be a massive understatement. The sports comedy-drama’s sophomore outing divided the Ted Lasso fanbase, with the second season’s detractors insisting that it squandered the charming appeal of its predecessor. Yet, in keeping with the show’s hugely optimistic vibe, even the most ardent critics of Ted Lasso Season 2 will likely admit they’re still looking forward to Season 3. After all, leading man Jason Sudeikis remains perfectly cast in Ted Lasso’s titular role, and who doesn’t want to see how the conflict between Ted and Nick Mohammed’s Nate ultimately plays out?
6. Shōgun (FX on Hulu)
Shōgun has big boots to fill. Not only is it based on James Clavell’s best-selling 1975 novel of the same name, but it also follows in the footsteps of NBC’s 1980 adaptation – the recipient of an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award. All this should put FX on Hulu’s new version of Shōgun at a disadvantage, however, the leap forward in storytelling sophistication since the last small screen retelling of Shōgun should bring greater nuance to Clavell’s East meets West tale than was previously possible. Toss in a stellar international cast – including Cosmo Jarvis, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Anna Sawai – and Shōgun is easily one of 2023’s must-see TV shows.
5. Barry (HBO)
Full disclosure: HBO still hasn’t officially confirmed Barry Season 4 will premiere in 2023. That said, network representatives previously revealed the comedy-drama’s fourth season will make the cut-off for the 2023 Emmy Awards, so you can expect it to debut between now and May. That’s a good thing, too, since anyone hooked on the exploits of Bill Hader’s hitman-turned-actor can’t wait to see where the series is headed following Season 3’s shocking finale. How Hader and Barry co-creator Alec Berg plan to keep the narrative alive is anyone’s guess, but you can expect dark humour and disarming characterisation to remain the show’s key drivers.
4. Secret Invasion (Disney+)
Like Star Wars fans, Marvel Cinematic Universe devotees have a raft of shows headed their way in 2023. Of these, the most promising is Secret Invasion: a six-episode miniseries inspired by the 2008 comic book storyline of the same name. What sets Secret Invasion apart from Marvel Studios’ other upcoming Disney+ efforts is its thriller overtones – rarely has the MCU been tinged with such a palpable sense of paranoia. It also doesn’t hurt that the miniseries represents Samuel L. Jackson’s first time headlining an MCU property, backed by fellow franchise veterans Ben Mendelsohn, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, and Martin Freeman, and high-profile newcomers such as Olivia Colman and Emilia Clarke. Could this be the first truly great MCU streaming series? Very possibly.
3. Severance (Apple TV+)
Equal parts sci-fi/psychological thriller and workplace satire, Severance perfectly tapped into the ongoing conversation around corporate culture when it premiered in 2022. It also served up a gripping mystery-laden narrative, complete with a final episode cliffhanger that ranks among the best in recent memory. Naturally, audiences are keen for more episodes of the Apple TV+ series, however, it’s unclear for now whether Severance Season 2 will arrive in 2023 or 2024. Here’s hoping it’s the former and not the latter, as few shows today are as fun to mull over.
2. Beef (Netflix)
Beef reunites Tuca & Bertie stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong for a dark comedy-drama exploring the explosive aftermath of a road rage-related confrontation. This simple-yet-smart premise was developed by series creator Lee Sung Jin based on a real-life incident and should provide the ideal springboard for exploring weighty themes like revenge and self-destructive behaviour. What’s more, Beef should also allow ample room for Yeun and Wong to demonstrate their considerable acting chops – something that’s especially welcome in a 2023 slate crowded with less performer-centric, franchise-related releases.
1. Succession (HBO)
What list of must-see 2023 TV and streaming releases would be complete without Succession Season 4? Confirmed to arrive this Spring, the tragicomedy’s next batch of episodes is arguably the most anticipated release of the year. That’s hardly surprising, either, given how blindsided most viewers were by the closing moments of Season 3 finale “All the Bells Say”. That episode set the stage for a new power dynamic within the Roy family that fans can’t wait to see play out – complete with the show’s trademark profanity-laced exchanges – when Succession’s fourth season finally premieres.
Which TV or streaming series are you most looking forward to in 2023? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook!