Best TV Shows 2023 That Are So Addictive, You Will Watch Everything in One Go
The end of the year is the perfect time to sum up everything, prepare for the upcoming steps... and start a new series! Luckily, there are plenty of good titles to choose from. We have created a list of the best TV shows 2023 to help you with this. Whether it is romantic comedies, thrillers, dramas, or animated series that you prefer, our record contains everything to satisfy even the most sophisticated viewer!
1. The Bear, season 2
The Bear, a funny and dramatic TV series created by Christopher Storer, first appeared on Hulu on June 23, 2022. The plot follows a skilled chef, portrayed by Jeremy Allen White, who returns to Chicago to take charge of his late brother’s bustling sandwich shop. The debut season garnered significant praise, earning 13 Emmy nominations, including a nod for Outstanding Comedy Series. Actors such as White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Jon Bernthal, and Oliver Platt also received nominations.
The storyline of the Chicago-based restaurant was notably intense in the initial season. Season two took a slightly more relaxed approach, allowing characters like Carmy, Sydney, Richie, and others to enjoy the transformation of their sandwich shop into an upscale restaurant. Though moments of stress persisted, particularly in a Christmas episode featuring numerous guest stars and the season finale, there were also abundant instances of joy. Examples include Marcus traveling to Copenhagen to refine his dessert-making skills, and Richie apprenticing at the world’s premier restaurant. The show adeptly captured various moods, both positive and challenging.
Reelgood, a streaming platform, reported that The Bear, season 2 secured the second-highest viewership in the U.S. for the week starting June 22, 2023, and claimed the top spot in the subsequent week. According to JustWatch, another streaming service, The Bear was the most-watched television series in the U.S. for the week ending June 25, 2023. FX also officially acknowledged the show’s triumph.
2. Poker Face
Poker Face is a captivating crime comedy-drama TV series designed by Rian Johnson, available on the Peacock streaming service. This show, structured as a “case-of-the-week” murder mystery, introduces Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale, a casino worker who becomes embroiled in the mysterious deaths of strangers during her journey. Adopting the inverted detective story format popularized by Columbo, each episode of Poker Face unfolds as a character-driven mystery, with Charlie Cale at its core. Gifted with the unique ability to detect lies, Charlie traverses the United States, evading a casino boss due to a suspicious death. Along her journey, she encounters a cast of colorful characters and unravels homicides in diverse settings.
Poker Face received widespread acclaim upon its release. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, recorded an impressive 99% approval rating, with an average score of 8.5/10 based on 88 critic reviews.
Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times gave the series high praise, awarding it a rating of 3.5 out of 4 stars. He particularly highlighted the brilliance of Natasha Lyonne’s portrayal of Charlie, describing her crime-solving as clever and often hilarious. “The beauty part is watching the amazing Natasha Lyonne’s Charlie puzzle out the crime in clever and often hilarious fashion”, he mentioned.
The series brings a fresh and entertaining approach to the true-crime mystery genre, blending humor, suspense, and Lyonne’s exceptional performance to create a compelling and well-received show. Audiences and critics alike have found joy in the clever and witty unraveling of crimes by the charismatic Charlie Cale in Poker Face.
3. Blue Eye Samurai, season 1
The series brings us back to the Edo-era in Japan, a time when borders were sealed, and those deemed outsiders or born to outsiders, especially children, were labeled as “less than human,” “monsters,” or “impure.” Mizu, with her distinctive blue eyes, is unmistakably identified as the child of a “white devil.” In a Japan where only four white men exist, she embarks on a mission to eliminate them all. Flashbacks to her childhood reveal the torment she endured from local children, only finding solace with a blind sword maker who, perceiving her as a boy or perhaps pretending to, takes her in as an apprentice.
Transforming into the formidable warrior Mizu, we witness her prowess in a tense encounter with a brutish trafficker of flesh and guns. Interrupting his nefarious business, Mizu decisively disables him by slicing off his trigger fingers.
Blue Eye Samurai weaves a narrative in the tapestry of Edo-era Japan, exploring themes of discrimination, resilience, and the quest for justice, all brought to life through the captivating artistry of animation. The series has got its earned 14th place in the Rotten Tomatoes Best TV Shows of 2023 list!
4. The Last of Us
The TV series The Last of Us is an American post-apocalyptic drama brought to life by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for HBO. This gripping show is built upon a video game series crafted by Naughty Dog studio. The plot unfolds two decades into a pandemic caused by a widespread fungal infection, a calamity that turns people into zombie-like beings and causes the breakdown of society.
The premiere of The Last of Us hit the screens on January 15, 2023, and it quickly became noticed by critics. They praised the show’s outstanding acting, well-crafted writing, thoughtful design, and captivating music. Some even hailed it as the best adaptation of a video game. The series garnered numerous award nominations, including 24 Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. On the very first day, 4.7 million viewers tuned in on HBO and HBO Max, marking the second-largest audience for HBO since 2010. Over the next two months, the viewership soared to almost 40 million. By May, each episode was drawing an average of nearly 32 million viewers. Fans can look forward to the second season, scheduled for release in 2025.
The impact of the TV show wasn’t limited to the screen; it also boosted video game sales. In January, The Last of Us Part I climbed the charts, becoming the eighth-most-downloaded game on PlayStation 5 in North America and the tenth in Europe.
5. The Gilded Age, season 2
The Gilded Age, a captivating American historical drama created by Julian Fellowes for HBO, unfolds its story in the lively New York City of the 1880s. This series has garnered positive reviews, particularly praising the costumes and the outstanding performances of lead actors Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski.
Julian Fellowes’ drama vividly captures a time when income taxes were nonexistent, and a select few reveled in luxury while tension brewed between old money and the nouveau riche. The series introduces a rich tapestry of characters, from the affluent Bertha Russell to the formidable socialite Agnes Van Rhijn. Venturing beyond East 61st St., the narrative delves into the Black experience through the eyes of journalist Peggy Scott, providing insights into the societal shifts taking place in America.
The show is marked by its sparkling, dramatic, and grand portrayal. Cynthia Nixon’s portrayal of Ada Brook brings a delightful layer to the television experience. While it may lack overly sensational scenes or intense drama, apart from the impactful racial violence witnessed by Peggy, there’s an undeniable charm in the desire to savor the show rather than being hurried through it.
In its second season, the series maintains its appeal with a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73 out of 100 on Metacritic, showcasing Julian Fellowes’ operatic storytelling with unapologetic splendor.
6. I’m a Virgo
I’m a Virgo is a truly one-of-a-kind American absurdist comedy miniseries crafted by Boots Riley and featuring the talented Jharrel Jerome. The first four episodes premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2023, and the entire seven-episode series became accessible on Amazon Prime Video on June 23, 2023.
The show’s standout quality becomes apparent in a TV landscape oversaturated with content, showcasing Boots Riley’s unparalleled creativity. I’m a Virgo set in the vibrant city of Oakland, serves as a pointed critique of capitalism cleverly woven into a coming-of-age narrative. The plot revolves around 19-year-old Cootie (played by Jharrel Jerome), a towering 13-foot-tall Black man raised by his loving yet easily spooked Aunt Lafrancine and Uncle Martisse. Cootie’s colossal size has led to a sheltered life indoors, driven by his guardians’ concerns about the challenges a young man might encounter in their rapidly changing neighborhood.
Despite the warnings, Cootie’s innate curiosity about the outside world, fascination with fast food, and an unexpected romance spur him to step into reality. Boots Riley employs magical realism to artfully expose how influential individuals manipulate systems to favor themselves, perpetuating the oppression of impoverished communities. I’m a Virgo unfolds as a whimsical, emotionally stirring, and delightfully strange experience.
Rotten Tomatoes attests to the miniseries’ excellence, boasting a 95% approval rating with an average score of 8.10/10 based on 61 critic reviews.
7. Colin From Accounts
Colin from Accounts emerges as a delightful Australian comedy series crafted and penned by the dynamic duo Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer. Notably, they also take on the lead roles of Gordon and Ashley, the central characters of the show.
This comedy, despite its seemingly ordinary title, offers surprises to viewers anticipating one thing and discovering it’s an entirely different experience. Positioned as a romantic comedy, the series has gained prominence, first captivating audiences in Australia, then extending its reach to the U.K. via the BBC, followed by the Nordic region, and now making waves in the U.S. through Paramount+, where it premiered recently. The narrative unfolds in Sydney, Australia, with the focal point on Ashley and Gordon. Their paths intersect due to a car accident and an injured dog they endearingly named Colin. Ashley and Gordon, both flawed yet humorous individuals, choose to be with each other after revealing their true selves, vulnerabilities, and all, as they navigate the twists and turns of life together.
Colin from Accounts not only tickles the funny bone but also explores the bravery it takes to embrace one’s authentic self in the journey of love. Against the backdrop of Sydney’s vibrant setting, the series weaves a charming tale of two imperfect souls who find each other amidst the unpredictability of life, leaving audiences with a warm and heartening viewing experience.
Rotten Tomatoes awarded the series with 5th place in its list of the Best TV Shows of 2023! “Tonally elastic and blessed with Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer’s sparky chemistry, Colin from Accounts makes the alchemy of a satisfying rom-com feel effortless”, as mentioned by the critics.
8. A Small Light
Although the story of Anne Frank is widely known, the narratives of those, who risked everything to do what’s right, often remain in the shadows. A Small Light from National Geographic aims to shine a spotlight on these overlooked heroes, offering a different perspective on our shared history. Bel Powley takes on the role of the captivating Miep Gies, the secretary of Otto Frank, who bravely saved the Frank family and others during the dark days of Nazi persecution. Miep’s courageous act of preserving Anne’s diary ensured that the events of her life are remembered and cherished today.
The series goes beyond the Frank family’s tale, delving into Miep’s personal history as an immigrant in Amsterdam who defied societal norms. Miep’s bravery becomes a powerful illustration of the risks involved in staying silent in the face of injustice, as well as a poignant depiction of how spaces and people can rapidly transform in times of terror, war, and evil.
On May 4, 2023, Jordan Williams of Screen Rant emphasized the significant buzz around A Small Light, noting over 11 million attention signals across online platforms and the second-highest anticipation on YouTube for May 2023 releases.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, echoes the acclaim with a perfect 100% approval rating and an average score of 8.80/10, based on 33 critic reviews. The series has truly captured the attention and admiration of audiences and critics alike, and makes a true gem in our list of the best TV shows 2023!
9. Drops of God, season 1
If you’re drawn to stories that captivate, there’s no better choice than Drops of God, a delightful new Apple TV+ miniseries, that bottles up this quest luxuriously. It unfolds in the world of high-end wine, complete with connoisseur vintages, lofty snobberies, and a hint of business trickery. Originating from a popular Japanese manga, the French-made production takes bold liberties, condensing the story from a sprawling 44 volumes into eight episodes that surprisingly bring closure.
The narrative kicks off with the demise of Alexandre Léger, a formidable French wine critic in Tokyo. He leaves behind an impressive cellar of 87,000 bottles worth nearly $150 million and a cunning will. To determine the heir, Léger sets three near-impossible tests, ranging from identifying obscure vintages to unraveling clues hidden in a painting. The contenders for inheritance are the two individuals he seemingly cared about the most.
The first is his estranged daughter, Camille, portrayed by Fleur Geffrier. Alexandre intensely trained her palate as a child, turning her against wine. The other is his protégé, Issei Tomine, played by Tomohisa Yamashita, a poised young man from a disdainful, aristocratic family that disapproves of his interest in wine. While Issei is analytical and knowledgeable, Camille, with little wine knowledge, possesses an extraordinarily sensitive palate, earning her the moniker “the Mozart of wine” during the contest.
This miniseries weaves a tale of family, competition, and the intriguing world of wine, offering a unique blend of suspense, drama, and unexpected twists. Drops of God earned honorary 7th place in the Rotten Tomatoes Best TV Shows of 2023 list!
10. Somebody Somewhere, season 2
Our list of the best TV shows 2023 would not be complete without this masterpiece! Somebody Somewhere unfolds as a comedy-drama TV series featuring the talented Bridget Everett and conceived by creators Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen. Premiering on HBO on January 16, 2022, the show has garnered acclaim, earning a renewal for a second season in February 2022 and a subsequent renewal for a third season in June 2023.
In the first season, we follow Sam as she returns to her hometown, Manhattan, Kansas, leaving behind a different life, to care for her ailing sister Holly, who succumbs to cancer. The narrative takes flight after Holly’s passing, capturing Sam’s midlife crisis as she grapples with readjusting to the place of her upbringing. Grieving, friendless, and lonely, Sam faces challenges with her alcoholic mother and a farmer father witnessing the decline of their business.
Despite the initial somber tone, Sam manages to build connections, finding solace among local outsiders and unleashing her potent singing voice at an unconventional cabaret night. Under the guise of “choir practice,” she secretly camps out in the local church. The series becomes a celebration of nonconformity and a touching homage to the unique love that home can offer.
Returning for a second season with its enchanting essence intact, Somebody Somewhere retains its unrushed charm, providing a refreshing counterpoint to the more stress-inducing aspects of contemporary television. The show invites viewers into Sam’s world, where the beauty of fitting out becomes a poignant and aesthetically pleasing experience.
The second season earned 15th place in the Rotten Tomatoes Best TV Shows of 2023 list, with critics agreeing: “Somebody Somewhere captures the bittersweet beauty of life in all its minutiae, never forgetting to laugh in the face of adversity.”
We love good movies and series! They are perfect for a cozy evening and can serve as a bonding activity with your family and friends. Would you like to find out more, about what to watch? Make sure to check out our previous article!