20 Best 2024 Shows So Far

20 Best 2024 Shows So Far

February 19, 2024

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With the strike over and COVID now part of our everyday reality, it looks like 2024 is shaping up to be the year TV goes back in full swing. In the US, that means more options than ever before, but we’re after the bigger picture here: apart from American dramas and sitcoms, we’re also looking at K-dramas, Nordic noir, British thrillers, and Bollywood musicals, to name a few.  

In this list, we’re compiling the best new shows that streaming has to offer. We’ll be regularly updating it as we go through the year, so be sure to bookmark this list or keep it open in a tab somewhere. If you want to catch up, you can also check out our list of the best TV shows from the previous year. So with that, here are best 2024 shows so far. 

1. Masters of the Air

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Anthony Boyle, Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner

Moods

A-list actors, Action-packed, Dramatic

It’s hard not to be swept away by the epicness of Masters of the Air. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, with the first four episodes directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (No Time to Die, True Detective), it’s made sure to flex its massive $250-million budget. Everything is accounted for here, from the sweeping and historically accurate production design to the stacked cast of rising male stars (Oscar nominees Austin Butler and Barry Keoghan easily steal the show). Even the rousing score and sound design, while bordering on melodrama at times, build up tension and add a premium air to it. It’s a visual and sonic feast bolstered by upstanding performances and an endearing show of brotherhood. Whenever it risks being propagandistic or misguidedly patriotic, it’s the believable relationship between the boys and their grave understanding of war that ground it and give it heart. And of course, the air combats are edge-of-your-seat thrilling. Like Band of Brothers and The Pacific before it, it’s a visceral entry in the genre of World War II must-sees.

2. Hazbin Hotel

best

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Alex Brightman, Erika Henningsen, Keith David, Kimiko Glenn

Moods

Character-driven, Dark, Emotional

From a short pilot episode in October 2019, Hazbin Hotel has finally opened its doors for the small screen four years later. With the hellish premise and raunchy humor, it was surprising that A24 would choose this weird show from indie animator VivziePop as its first dip into animation, but with its release on Prime Video, it was totally the right choice. Reimagining the underworld as a red, white, and black urban, well, hellscape, Hazbin Hotel has such a bizarre mix of excellently handled mature themes, musical earnestness, and raunchy humor that just hasn’t been seen before.

3. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

best

8.0

Country

United Kingdom, United States of America

Actors

Donald Glover, Maya Erskine

Moods

A-list actors, Action-packed, Character-driven

If you’re expecting the sleek, playful, and totally over-the-top spy shenanigans of 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, you’re not going to find it in this 2024 version, not that it’s a bad thing. In fact, this show stands on its own, reinventing the spy couple into a professional partnership rather than an immediate spark that leads to marriage. This decision makes the show feel like the film’s opposite– as the longer runtime and naturalistic aura enables more focus on the incomparable Donald Glover and Maya Erskine rather than the explosions– but it makes the danger feel more unpredictable and not just action set pieces. Mr. & Mrs. Smith may not be the star-powered, guns-blazing action comedy we’re familiar with, but it’s certainly a more thoughtful, fresh take that improves on the concept.

4. AlRawabi School for Girls

best

8.0

Country

Jordan

Moods

Discussion-sparking, Gripping

With teen dramas crowding not just Netflix but all of TV, it’s easy to think that the Jordanian series AlRawabi School for Girls won’t be any different. But while it may share a lot of similarities with other coming-of-age stories, it stands out for its willingness to explore dark themes and cultural specificities without a pandering tone. It’s smart, mature, and complex enough to give us a feminist lead who weaponizes misogyny against other girls, for instance, or a fierce bully who eventually earns our sympathy. It’s hard to imagine the treatment being this sensitive, nuanced, and wholly engaging without the all-female cast and crew that AlRawabi thankfully has.

5. Marry My Husband

7.9

Country

South Korea

Actors

Gong Min-jeung, Kwon BoA, Lee Gi-kwang, Lee Yi-kyung

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Discussion-sparking

Abuse can manifest itself in subtle ways that can be hard to recognize, especially when you’re used to the behavior. Marry My Husband takes the familiar downtrodden female lead we’ve seen in K-dramas, but gives her a do-over, another chance to escape her abuse not just by romance, but by recontextualizing the Cinderella-esque hardships and allowing her, and us, to recognize abuse for what it is. The show is able to navigate all this without letting go of its breezy approach, and it’s just so satisfying to see Ji-won actively and successfully achieve her revenge.

6. Boy Swallows Universe

7.8

Country

Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America

Actors

Felix Cameron, Lee Halley, Phoebe Tonkin, Simon Baker

Moods

Challenging, Emotional, Heart-warming

Coming-of-age shows are practically Netflix’s bread-and-butter, but the working class side of Brisbane in the 80’s is a suburb we didn’t expect the international streamer to visit. Based on the semi-autobiographical novel with the same name, Boy Swallows Universe is centered on the precocious Eli Bell, whose age and curiosity naturally pushes him to try and figure out how he fits in the world. There are some magic realist elements, and the crimes escalate as we go further and further into the miniseries, but the show shines best when depicting the slow, day-to-day moments in Bell’s family. The show never judges them, nor does it totally excuse their actions. Instead, Boy Swallows Universe depicts a certain nostalgic compassion one could only have for their hometown, regardless of how downtrodden it is.

7. Criminal Record

7.8

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Cathy Tyson, Charlie Creed-Miles, Cush Jumbo, Peter Capaldi

Moods

A-list actors, Challenging, Character-driven

With the various police procedurals available online, it can feel like an oversaturated genre, at best. At worst, with the struggles the world has to do with regards to the justice system, police procedurals can glorify the institution. Criminal Record examines this, but it doesn’t give the easy answers other shows have when discussing the systemic failure of the police, especially when it comes to race, age, and sex. Peter Capaldi stands in as the old guard, though his skin-crawling presence keeps Dan Hegarty’s real intentions an enigma until the very end. However, it’s Cush Jumbo as the empathetic June Lenker that drives the show, with her persistence meeting Hegarty’s every move, and her frustrations mirroring the real rage the world feels with regards to past injustices. The way the two clash creates a novel rookie-veteran dynamic that makes Criminal Record so striking.

8. One Day

7.8

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Amber Grappy, Ambika Mod, Essie Davis, Leo Woodall

Moods

Character-driven, Depressing, Emotional

With a film version that didn’t live up to the hype of the original novel, Netflix’s adaptation of One Day released just in time to wreck the fans’ hearts all over again, but this time, it’s a good thing. The expanded runtime allowed Netflix to delve more into the moments in the novel, with each episode dedicated to a day in the year in Emma’s and Dexter’s lives, contrasting their respective worlds and opportunities available to them as different members of London society. And the couple is played beautifully by Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod, with a believable chemistry that isn’t formed in a single spark, but made in multiple moments. If you’re needing a good cry just right before Valentine’s Day, One Day is a superb slow burn romance to let those tears out.

9. Ready, Set, Love

7.8

Country

Thailand

Actors

Anongnart Yusananda, Chayapak Tunprayoon, Jaytiya Naiwattanakul, Kemisara Paladesh

Moods

Easy, Funny, Lighthearted

With the success of Squid Game and Black Mirror, the concept of a game show as a makeshift solution to a dystopic world is interesting, but it led Netflix to create reality competitions to capitalize on the hype (Looking at you, Squid Game: The Challenge). This time, however, Thai Netflix takes a more unique approach with Ready, Set, Love. It’s more humorous, as Day fumbles each time she meets Son, and with the reality show being a dating show, there’s surely some romantic mishaps that would happen. But the show doesn’t forget the stakes behind the campy, candy-colored world– with Day doing all she can to secure her chronically ill sister’s healthcare and with Son dissatisfied in the utopic cage that is The Farm. Ready, Set, Love has plenty of the fun shenanigans expected for its romcom approach, but it remembers to empathize with the desperation and hardships that make reality game shows so compelling.

10. Kübra

7.7

Country

Turkey

Actors

Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, Ahsen Eroğlu, Aslıhan Malbora, Aytek Şayan

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Discussion-sparking

Saints used to be given divine messages, but in the modern age, what if God, or any higher power, communicated to us through social media? Kübra explores this idea in serious contemplation, with fewer intelligence agencies than Netflix’s 2020 Messiah, and more interest in the chosen messenger himself. The show is surprisingly more meditative than thrilling, as the lost ex-militaryman Gokhan and his loved ones quibble over the messages possibly from Allah, through the titular screen name. Of course, they point out that the very idea is ludicrous. At worst, it could be a delusion influenced by a stranger that wants to manipulate a war veteran for nefarious purposes. But the journey and the excellent performances allow us to ponder how prophets came to be– how faith and purpose are intertwined, and how much life’s difficulties can push us to hope for a miracle.

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