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 US and UK.
This week there are still a few big shows hanging in there – hello again, Stranger Things – along with some newcomers like Netflix’s Resident Evil adaptation and Kevin Ko’s (by all accounts very scary) found footage horror, Incantation.
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.
1. The Bear
Ayo Edebiri plays sous chef Sydney in “The Bear.”
Everyone’s talking about The Bear. Created by Christopher Storer, this new FX series centers 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 we recently featured it as our Watch of the Week.* — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor
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? — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: The Bear(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Hulu.(opens in a new tab)
2. Better Call Saul
Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
If you missed Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), you’re clearly not alone. the Breaking Bad prequel, now in its sixth and final season, remains one of the most-watched shows of the week. Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, and Jonathan Banks remain excellent, as do the rest of the cast. But be warned: There are some episodes you can’t come back from.* — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
what we thought: For several key players, the stakes have never been higher. Reputations, relationships, and lives are on the line, and mounting tension in the first two episodes alone exposes seldom-seen sides of characters we thought we had all figured out. — Nicole Gallucci, Senior Editor
How to watch: Better Call Saul(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(opens in a new tab) and on AMC+(opens in a new tab).
Credit: Nick Wall/Netflix
Netflix’s adaptation of persuasion, based on Jane Austen’s 1817 novel, is loyal to the Georgian era in many ways but divergent in others. The movie stars Dakota Johnson as heroine Anne Elliot navigating classic Austen themes of love, society and marriage. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, the film hosts an impressive cast, including Henry Golding, Yolanda Kettle, Ben Bailey Smith, and Richard E. Grant. — Meera Navlakha, Culture Reporter
what we thought: In the novel, Anne is painted as clever, rational, and considerate to a fault. Her concern for the happiness of her family leads her to babysit for a sickly nephew, coddle her selfish younger sister, and give up the poor sailor she adores because her father doesn’t approve of his lack of standing. While the movie’s Anne still does all these things, her voiceover and Fleabag-like side-eye to the viewing audience shifts the emotional weight of these choices from regret to pointed resentment. In the end, this persuasion is a disappointment because it is too much like its ruthlessly remodeled heroine: Undeniably clever but a touch too unkind. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: persuasion is now streaming on Netflix.
4. The Sea Beast
Big Hero 6 director Chris Williams sets sail on a new offering with his animated feature for Netflix. Set within an action-filled world full of monsters and monster hunters, the film follows hunter Jacob Holland (voiced by Karl Urban) as he tracks down the most daunting sea beast. The hunter is accompanied by Captain Crow (voiced by Jared Harris) and his first mate Sarah Sharpe (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) as they embark on a quest through magical waters. — MN
what we thought: [One] of the greatest things about The Sea Beast is how candidly it deals with its message: Just because you were raised to believe something doesn’t mean it’s right. If you’re willing to open your mind and listen to others, you could learn something that will shift your outlook for the better. It’s a great moral, and an important one, made all the better by the fact that it’s delivered alongside epic tall ship battles and gorgeous ocean views. Trust me when I say this is an adventure you’ll want to watch. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: The Sea Beast is now streaming on Netflix.
5. Resident Evil
Credit: Marcos Cruz/Netflix
When a franchise as huge as Resident Evil gets a snazzy new Netflix adaptation, it’s no real surprise that a lot of people watch it. Sticking close to the games, the eight-part series follows researcher Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) as she navigates a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies and monsters, the aftermath of a virus outbreak that gradually gets explained through a series of flashbacks. It’s tense, and it’s definitely not one to watch while you’re eating. — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor
How to watch: Resident Evil(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(opens in a new tab).
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6. The Old Man
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 (EJ 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.* — SC
How to watch: The Old Man(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Hulu.(opens in a new tab)
7. Stranger Things
As unrelenting as Vecna himself, Stranger Things has appeared in the most streamed of the week again. 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 001 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.* — SC
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).
Kevin Ko’s chiller is not only the highest-grossing Taiwanese horror film, but it’s also (by all accounts) pretty darn scary, which was probably why Netflix decided to scoop it up. It was clearly a wise decision, too, because the movie – which follows a mother’s attempts to protect her daughter from a curse – has quickly become one of the most streamed films of the week. Just make sure you prepare yourself by watching the very creepy trailer first. — SH
How to watch: Incantation(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(opens in a new tab).
9. The Terminal List
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 ax his way through leads and hunt down who did it.* — SC
How to watch: The Terminal List(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Prime Video.(opens in a new tab)
10. Spider Man: No Way Home
The latest installation of Jon Watts’ Spider-Man series began where the previous film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, left off. Spider-Man/Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, must deal with the aftermath of his identity being revealed for all to know, flanked by the loyal MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon). Now, he turns to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for guidance, thus opening a portal to the multiverse and a whole lot of chaos. Noted for being exceptionally aesthetic and visually stimulating, the multiverse features villains from across the Spider-Man universe: Willem Dafoe as The Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, and Jamie Foxx as Electro. — MN
what we thought: Personally, having rewatched all of the previous movies recently, I was in awe of how Watts and his team weaved such different styles and textures together to express common themes and a familiar yet fresh tale of what it means to be a hero who is hurting. These elements play together in a dizzying ballet of action and emotion, bolstered by impeccable visual effects and an all-star cast eager to sink their teeth into these juicy collisions. It’s not only an enthralling thrill ride, not only a celebration of Spidey fandom, not only a rousing adventure but also an emotionally riveting drama that doesn’t pull its punches. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: Spider Man: No Way Home(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Starz(opens in a new tab).
*This write-up appeared on a previous Mashable list.