So, what’s everyone been watching this week? Hmmmm?
Each week, the most streamed TV shows and movies come down to a few things — sheer buzz, a big finale, smart marketing, star power, critical acclaim, or being a word-of-mouth phenomenon that leads uninterested people to finally watch it out of spite. Just to get a sense of what everyone’s streaming, we’ve used data from streaming aggregator Reelgood, which gathers those coveted viewership numbers from hundreds of streaming services in the U.S. and UK.
This week, it’s the finale of Stranger Things Season 4 saw it stand mightily atop the list like Eddie Munson absolutely shredding Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” on that trailer. Big TV hits like Only Murders in the Building and The Boys are holding strong with newcomer The Bear this week generating a lot of buzz.
4 things we want to fix about ‘Stranger Things 4’
On the film side, major movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Last Night in Soho have hit streaming, while Spiderhead just won’t quit.
But just because a lot of people are watching something doesn’t make it…good. Here they are, the 10 most streamed TV shows and movies of the week, where to watch them, and what Mashable critics thought.
Of course, Stranger Things was the most streamed of the week, what else could it be? The Duffer Brothers’ Netflix series dropped its final (and lengthy) two episodes of Season 4, and finally answered our questions. This season had us feebly and worriedly cheering on the gang as they geared up for battle against the dreaded Vecna and charging into the Creel House. It’s been a wild, emotional, squelching ride this season, as we ran up that hill with Max and felt the power of being seen. You’re going to want to check the episode length for this one if you’re yet to watch it — you’ll need two and half hours for the finale.
What we thought: You’ve waited a long time to go back to Hawkins — three years to be exact (or a whole pandemic, a few collapsing democracies, a Capitol insurrection, an ongoing war, etc, etc, etc). Certainly, Stranger Things Season 4 rewards that patience by welcoming you back with an over-abundance of what we’ve always loved about this cult hit since 2016. — Jess Joho, Staff Writer
How to watch: Stranger Things(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(opens in a new tab).
2. The Terminal List
Chris Pratt personally put a bunch into this show.
Credit: Amazon Studios
Based on Jack Carr’s novel, The Terminal List is Chris Pratt’s new military revenge pet project. Pratt, who stars and executive produces, plays Navy SEAL Commander James Reece, who’s tormented by memories of a mission that saw his whole platoon ambushed. It affects his relationship with his wife Lauren (Riley Keough) and daughter Lucy (Arlo Mertz). While journalist Katie Buranek (Constance Wu) wants to help figure out exactly what happened, Reece charges down the path of vengeance, planning to axe his way through leads and hunt down who did it.
How to watch: The Terminal List(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Prime Video.(opens in a new tab)
Hi, and welcome to Headspace.
Credit: Disney / Marvel
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is back and ready to traverse the infinite parameters of time and space for the latest instalment of the MCU. Directed by Sam Raimi, the cast for this one is massive, with Elizabeth Olsen returning as Scarlett Witch alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Stuhlbarg.
What we thought: Does Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness deliver sky fights, superhero spectacle, fan service cameos, and a soaring score? You betcha. But it does all this through a Raimi lens that is more violent, more cornball, and much, much grosser than the MCU has dared go before. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
4. The Old Man
Jeff Bridges abides.
Based on Thomas Perry’s thriller novel of the same name, Jeff Bridges leads this one as Dan Chase, an ex-CIA agent whose live off-grid is interrupted by an assassin. To find them, the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence Harold Harper (John Lithgow) calls Chase back into the job, working with rising FBI star Angela Adams (Alia Shawkat) and CIA special agent Raymond Waters (E.J. Bonilla). But special ops agent Julian Carson (Gbenga Akinnagbe) is also pursuing Chase. Amy Brenneman also stars as Zoe McDonald, who Chase rents a room from while on the case.
How to watch: The Old Man(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Hulu.(opens in a new tab)
They’re back on the case (and on the podcast)…
Well, things didn’t work out quite like they thought for our three podcasting heroes at the end of Season 1 of Only Murders in the Building, and Season 2 plunges them into a whole new mystery at the Arconia. Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez are back, with Cara Delevingne and Amy Schumer joining the fun this time around.
What we thought: Only Murders in the Building is up to something in its second season, that much is clear. It’s messier and more scattered than before. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Only Murders in the Building(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Hulu(opens in a new tab) and Disney+(opens in a new tab).
Beware the glorification of the past through nostalgia you haven’t earned.
Credit: Universal Pictures
Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho has finally landed on streaming. In the psychological thriller, Eloise (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) is obsessed with the ’60s, and moves to London to study fashion design. Finding it rather unwelcoming in her dorm, she moves into an old Soho flat with Ms Collins (the late Dame Diana Rigg) where she finds herself dreaming of the area back in the ’60s, personally transforming into aspiring singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) who meets the handsome Jack (Matt Smith). But the trap of glorifying the past is set, and Eloise finds herself uncovering more and more about Sandie’s fate, as dreams and and time start to blur into a nightmarish reality.
What we thought: Regardless of why one might avoid the schadenfreude-packed minefield that is discussing dreams, director Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho chooses not to shrink away. The ghastly ghost story, co-written by Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, instead increases the callous cruelty by zeroing in on the specific vulnerability of ambitious young women. — Alison Foreman, former Mashable Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Last Night in Soho(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on HBO Max.(opens in a new tab)
Lizzy and Jeff, havin’ a chat.
Based on George Saunders’ short story “Escape from Spiderhead,” Spiderhead centres around a facility testing mood-changing drugs on prisoners and challenging the idea of free will. The whole thing is run by Chris Hemsworth as scientist Steve Abnesti, but when two subjects connect, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), things unravel.
What we thought: Simply put, Spiderhead is a totally OK movie to sort of watch. And if that’s all Netflix is aiming for now, they’ve gotten their gold star for mediocrity. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: Spiderhead(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Do not mess with Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara).
Credit: Amazon Studios
Eric Kripke’s gory superhero series has punched its way back onto our screens with a third season, following Billy (Karl Urban) and Hughie (Jack Quaid) as they go up against Homelander (Antony Starr) again after the events of Season 2. Expect gratuitous violence aplenty, as we’ve seen from Season 1, through Season 2, all the way to the latest Season 3. — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor
What we thought: The world of The Boys feels natural and believable, like something we ourselves might see if superhumans suddenly walked among us. It remembers that there are people behind the masks, and people are corruptible. There’s a layer of honest cynicism that you just don’t see very often in modern superhero stories. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter and Editor
How to watch: The Boys(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Prime Video(opens in a new tab).
How ‘The Boys’ turned Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad into biting satire
Ayo Edebiri as sous chef Sydney in “The Bear.”
Credit: Frank Ockenfels / FX
Everyone’s talking about The Bear. Created by Christopher Storer, this new FX series centres on fine dining chef Carmy Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), who returns to his home city of Chicago after he loses a close family member. He’s tasked with running the family sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, with sous chef Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) and manager Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). It’ll be a stressful, rewarding, and delicious journey — and we loved it so much it’s our Watch of the Week.
What we thought: FX’s series about a struggling restaurant and its employees is an onscreen pressure cooker, a culinary whirlwind, and a rumination on grief, all at once. That combination, slathered with great performances and served with a dose of gritty flair, makes for a great sandwich — sorry, I meant makes for a great show. Did I mention you’ll be very hungry after watching? — B.E.
How to watch: The Bear(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Hulu.(opens in a new tab)
10. The Bad Guys
The baddest bunch.
Based on the book series by Aaron Blabey and directed by Kung Fu Panda animator Pierre Perifel, The Bad Guys is about just that: a dastardly crew of animal outlaws who would usually err on the side of criminality but have decided to try being good for a change (well, they made a deal to get out of going to jail, and have little intention of sticking to it).
Sam Rockwell voices pickpocket Mr. Wolf, Awkwafina is hacker Ms. Tarantula, Anthony Ramos plays tough guy Mr. Piranha, Marc Maron is safecracker Mr. Snake, and Craig Robinson voices disguise expert Mr. Shark. They’re all managed by their guinea pig mentor, Professor Marmalade (a spectacular decision, Richard Ayoade). It’s a truly stacked voice cast: Zazie Beetz, Lilly Singh, and Alex Borstein are in there too.
How to watch: The Bad Guys(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Peacock.(opens in a new tab)