Best New TV Shows of 2023 (So Far)
The year is off to a great start in the TV space—here are eight of our favorites from the first quarter of 2023.
Can you believe it? The year is already one-quarter over, so we’re declaring our picks for some of the best new TV shows that have premiered so far in 2023. This list covers January through March; we’ll be back with another round in July.
The best new TV shows of January–March 2023
Poker Face | Peacock | Comedy, mystery
It’s an unapologetically retro murder mystery-comedy that borrows liberally from ’70s detective classics like Columbo, but Peacock breakout hit Poker Face is fresh and funny thanks to star Natasha Lyonne and director/writer Rian Johnson. We see the crime and the perpetrator first, then watch Lyonne’s Charlie Cale (who has the gift of spotting a liar) crack the case. So simple, but so clever.
With The Last of Us, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey make a dramatic duo to rival The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal and Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda). The post-apocalyptic series also overcomes the stigma many video game adaptations face, dropping quiet, personal breaks into the monster action, as well as brief-but-touching cameos (give Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett all the Emmys).
Shrinking | Apple TV+ | Comedy, drama
Who knew Harrison Ford could still be this funny? Shrinking, about a widowed therapist (Jason Segel) who begins giving his patients unorthodox advice (with highly positive results), is a hilariously smart comedy that isn’t afraid of the feels. The power trio of therapists Segel, Ford, and Jessica Williams could have carried Shrinking, but the show’s ensemble is loaded with MVPs.
Daisy Jones & The Six | Prime Video | Drama
Daisy Jones & The Six might as well have been titled The Fleetwood Mac Story But Not Really, but it takes the standard rise-and-fall tale of a ’70s rock band (fronted by Riley Keough and Sam Claflin) to dazzling and occasionally surprising new heights. The cast even sings and plays instruments themselves, performing original songs by Phoebe Bridgers, Jackson Browne, and more.
The Night Agent | Netflix | Drama, thriller
On the surface, The Night Agent looks like another Jack Ryan/Jason Bourne spy thriller, but show creator/writer Shawn Ryan (The Shield) knows how to wring depth from a familiar setup. As an FBI desk jockey who’s dragged into a deadly conspiracy, Gabriel Basso plays an everyman instead of a superman, and Eve Harlow’s fashionable wildcard assassin nearly steals the show.
Instead of trying to top Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk sidesteps that fool’s mission as Henry Devereaux Jr., a cranky college professor testing the boundaries of his tenure at a mid-level Pennsylvania college (mediocrity’s capital, as he calls it). Academic satire isn’t easy, but Lucky Hank is a dark comedy that flows effortlessly, and English grads will love the word nerdery.
Like Welcome to Flatch before it, Animal Control is a throwback to a time when FOX produced live-action comedies with attitude and smarts. It helps that Joel McHale, as a snarky Seattle animal control officer, is working with an ensemble cast that’s nearly as good as his old Community crew (including Vella Lovell, Ravi V. Patel, and New Zealander delight Grace Palmer).
Not Dead Yet tweaks the Ghosts formula slightly with Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) as a down-on-her-luck newspaper obituary writer who can see and talk to her recently deceased subjects—literal ghostwriting. In addition to delivering sentimental fuzzies, Rodriguez and co-stars Hannah Simone (New Girl) and Lauren Ash (Superstore) make an unbeatable comic trio.