Best New TV Shows of 2023 (So Far)
The year is halfway over, and the great TV keeps coming—here are our favorite new shows of 2023 right now, including Beef, Dead Ringers, and Based on a True Story.
April, May, and June were loaded with some killer new TV series—and The Idol, whatever that was. Here are our favorites of 2023 so far; we’ll catch up again in October.
The best new TV shows of April–June 2023
Beef | Netflix | Comedy, drama
Beef, a 10-episode dark comedy about a road-rage incident between two stressed-out strangers (Ali Wong and Steven Yuen, committing to the ridiculousness) went hard and strange in the best possible ways. There’s more to the pair’s relationship than it first appears, and since Beef is an A24 production, the revenge-revenge-repeat cycle is deliciously unpredictable. Don’t binge Beef; take some breaks.
Mrs. Davis | Peacock | Comedy, drama, sci-fi
Nun Simone (Betty Gilpin) is on a mission to shut down the world’s most powerful AI, called Mrs. Davis. Sound weird? Just wait. Mrs. Davis has drawn comparisons to Westworld, Preacher, Monty Python, classic Chuck Jones cartoons, and The Leftovers (Damon Lindelof created that show and Mrs. Davis), but the eight-episode trip reigns colorfully in its own universe. A minor masterpiece of a series.
Dead Ringers | Prime Video | Drama, thriller
Prime Video’s gender-flipped new take on David Cronenberg’s 1988 cringe-classic Dead Ringers may have bested the original. Rachel Weisz assumes the Jeremy Irons role(s) as Beverly and Elliot Mantle, twin OBGYNs who share everything (drugs, lovers, etc.), including an insatiable drive to push the limits of medicine. The six-episode Dead Ringers is easily the peak of Weisz’s already impressive career.
Slip | The Roku Channel | Drama, comedy, sci-fi
Slip, created, produced, directed by, and starring Zoe Lister-Jones, spins the Everything Everywhere All at Once multiverse formula with sex—a lot of it. Bored wife Mae (Jones) has a one-night stand with a stranger, only to wake up married to the stranger in an alternate universe. This kicks off an emotional journey through multiverses as Mae struggles to find her way back. Slip is a capital “O” Original.
The Diplomat | Netflix | Drama, thriller
Career diplomat Kate Wyler (Keri Russell) reluctantly takes on the job as a U.S. ambassador to the U.K. just as an international crisis is blowing up. Also, her longtime marriage to former ambassador Hal (a droll Rufus Sewell) is on the rocks, so her professional and personal lives are in major flux—and yet Kate is a consummate pro (who hates photo ops). The Diplomat gets the politics and dramedy beats right.
It’s dubbed a historical drama, but White House Plumbers has a bitingly dark-comic edge, as you’d expect from the producers of Veep and Succession. Incompetent White House hired guns E. Howard Hunt (Woody Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Justin Theroux) run a series of covert ops in a 1971 campaign to reelect Richard Nixon, each more cartoonishly unsuccessful than the last. It’s a (mostly) true story,
Platonic | Apple TV+ | Comedy, drama
Neighbors stars Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen are together again in Platonic, a 10-episode Apple TV+ comedy. Former college buds Sylvia (Byrne) and Will (Rogen) revive a relationship they see as platonic and fun, but their friends and family see as “weird and destructive” (they’re both right). Platonic swings from physical comedy to introspective drama, which Byrne and Rogan navigate effortlessly.
Based on a True Story | Peacock | Comedy, drama
When a realtor (Kaley Cuoco) obsessed with true crime deduces the identity of a Los Angeles serial killer, she has the idea to produce an interview podcast with the killer. Since they’re broke with a baby on the way, her ex-tennis pro husband (Chris Messina) is all-in. But, the killer (Tom Bateman) has his own media-empire aspirations, making Based on a True Story a hilariously uneasy (and murder-y) partnership.
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.