What to Watch on Paramount+
Paramount+ promises “a mountain of entertainment,” but where to start your climb? We have over 150 recommendations.
With over 30,000 TV episodes and movies, Paramount+ lives up to its catchphrase as “a mountain of entertainment.” Its content count is comparable to those of Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max, and its most-expensive premium plan is still cheaper than theirs. Not a bad deal.
We dived in and picked out over 150 of our favorite TV shows and movies to get you started with Paramount+.
Recommended TV shows on Paramount+
1883 | Drama, western
Cable phenomenon Yellowstone is so popular that a spinoff show was inevitable—but few expected showrunner Taylor Sheridan to take it all the way back to the 19th century. Paramount+ original 1883 tracks the gritty origin story of the hard-ranchin’ Dutton family as they travel across the Great Plains to settle in Montana. Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Sam Elliott star in the 10-episode limited series, which will be followed up with another Yellowstone prequel, 1932, and even more after that.
Ghosts | Comedy
CBS hit Ghosts runs deeper than the premise would suggest: When New Yorkers Samantha (Rose McIver) and her husband Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) inherit a rundown country estate, they set about turning it into a bed and breakfast. But when Samantha momentarily dies after an accident, she can suddenly see and hear the ghosts that inhabit the estate, a centuries-spanning group of spirits who haven’t moved on. Jay not being able to see them is only part of the comedy of Ghosts, which is also a surprisingly touching series.
Guilty Party | Comedy, drama
Denver newspaper reporter Beth (Kate Beckinsale), fired from her job and forced to take a gig with a local Buzzfeed-ish website, looks to re-establish herself with an investigative piece about a woman wrongly imprisoned for murder. But, as she digs into the story, Beth ends up becoming part of it, putting herself more in danger with each journalistically unethical decision. Guilty Party is a dark comedy with a deeply flawed lead character, but Beckinsale and the cast sell it well. Warning: Season 1 ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.
Mayor of Kingstown | Drama
Right around the time Jeremy Renner was making a splash with Marvel series Hawkeye in 2021, his Paramount+ original Mayor of Kingstown also premiered. Renner’s no superhero here, but rather a scrappy crime boss nicknamed “mayor” of Kingstown, Michigan. The down-and-dirty drama takes an uneasy look at the prison system, corruption, racism, and human trafficking, but Mayor of Kingstown also has its lighter moments (like when Renner fumbles with a bow and arrow, Hawkeye’s signature weapon).
Star Trek: Picard | Drama, sci-fi
Star Trek series Picard is both nostalgic and forward-thinking, following retired Star Fleet Admiral Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) quest for a new adventure in his twilight years. He finds it in a conflict between synthetic humans, Romulans, the Borg, and more, traveling the galaxy with a new, scaled-down starship crew (including Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, and Alison Pill) and encountering old friends like Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) along the way. Star Trek: Picard is essential viewing for even casual Trekkers.
Recommended movies on Paramount+
Blue Velvet | Drama, thriller
After his flop 1984 adaptation of Dune, director David Lynch bounced back in a big way with Blue Velvet, one of his most acclaimed (and relatively easy to follow) films. The mystery-noir story centers on college square Jeffery (Kyle McLachlan) and his chance relationship with troubled nightclub singer Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini), which doesn’t sit well with the psychopathic drug lord (Dennis Hopper) who’s extorting her. Blue Velvet’s tense pacing and dreamlike atmosphere make it a must-see for Lynch newbies.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark | Adventure, drama
No big deal, just one of the most famed and beloved movies of all time—you’ll have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t treasure 1981 George Lucas/Stephen Spielberg classic Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Subsequent Indiana Jones sequels are also available on Paramount+ (including 1984’s underrated Temple of Doom), but Raiders of the Lost Ark remains the best and most breathtaking of the franchise over 40 years later. Star Wars’ Han Solo was cool, but Indy is Harrison Ford’s definitive role.
Queenpins | Comedy, drama
Based on a true story, 2021’s Queenpins is a suburban crime story with a twist: coupons. Bored and broke Arizona housewives Connie (Kristen Bell) and Jojo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) hatch a seemingly innocent scheme to buy tons of goods for almost nothing using unauthorized and forged supermarket coupons. As their racket grows to millions of dollars in losses for the companies, two federal agents (Vince Vaughn and Paul Walter Hauser) become involved. Watch for a left-field cameo by singer Bebe Rexha in this already quirky comedy.
Scream | Horror
Which Scream are we talking about here? The 1996 original that upended the horror genre, or the 2022 sequel Scream (a.k.a. Scream 5) set 25 years later? Doesn’t matter; Paramount+ has the entire Scream collection. The latest Scream reunites o.g. cast members Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Marley Shelton, and Roger L. Jackson for a revitalized round of winking meta-takes on slasher-flick tropes, as well as reboots and legacy franchises. Stream all five, if you dare.
The Royal Tenenbaums | Comedy, drama
Most everyone has their own favorite Wes Anderson film, but 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums stands out because of its keen—and off-kilter, of course—narrative and star-stacked cast (including Gene Hackman, Anjelica Houston, Danny Glover, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, and Bill Murray). The tragicomic tale of the Tenenbaum family is as heart-rending as it is hilarious, and Anderson’s absurdist visual style is in top form here. Also check out his excellent follow-up, 2004’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, on Paramount+.