Burn Through Your Watchlist? Here Are The Movies And TV Shows To Stream Right Now
Since movie theaters are closed due to COVID-19, our FilmWeek critics are watching new film releases on VOD and streaming platforms at home. So we asked them to hand-pick some of their favorite movies and TV shows -- both old and new -- that are available to stream, rent or buy on major streaming and digital platforms. From good old standbys to hidden gems and the newly discovered, there's something here for everyone!
JUMP TO: MOVIES | TV | ANIMATED MOVIES | ANIMATED SERIES
The Adventures of Baron MunchausenCriterion Channel
Wade: Terry Gilliam's underrated fantasy adaptation of the classic story from 1988, along with Karel Zeman's Czech telling of the tale: The Fabulous Baron Munchausen from 1962.
Alien Film Series
Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection are currently on HBO
Angie: I like to watch the Alien series a few minutes at a time before bed. (I've seen them before so it's a rewatch, not a first-time.) I first popped it on after seeing that screen shot of Ripley yelling, "If we break quarantine we could all die" (relevant!!), but now it's just become a comfort watch that lets me stew in the terror and bleakness of it all.
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Bond Film Series
Rent or purchase on Amazon Prime
Lael: A View To Kill, Dr. No, Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Live and Let Die, License To Kill, From Russia With Love, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and Casino Royale, just to name a few.
CatsRent or purchase at all major digital retailers: iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, etc.
Angie: Yes, the flop from last year. Shortly after L.A. announced the stay-at-home order, my friends and I all bought the film on iTunes and then watched together while chatting on Skype. It's a perfect social distancing group activity because it lends itself to a lot of lively conversation -- and also because it's just so weird it actually does take your mind off all the coronavirus stuff for a bit.
Dirty DancingRent or purchase on Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, etc.
Lael: A movie I once hated but now watch almost every time it's on.
Lael: Olivia Colman deservedly nabbed her first Oscar for her portrait of the ailing Queen Anne, embroiled in an intricate, darkly humorous and bizarre battle of wills with a pair of cousins (equally remarkable Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.) Unforgettable. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.
Film Plays ItselfCriterion Channel
Wade: Movies about movies! Including Busby Berkeley's Footlight Parade, Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd., Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful and Two Weeks in Another Town, Fellini's 8 ½, Godard's Contempt, William Greaves' Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, Truffaut's Day for Night, Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle, Altman's The Player, Schlesinger's Day of the Locust and Spike Jonze's and Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation.
Claudia: A charming comedy in which the ultra-charming Greta Gerwig plays a woman without an apartment, but with a burning desire to be a dancer (without the talent). Directed by Noah Baumbach
Honey BoyAmazon Prime
Claudia: Sensitive autobiographical story of Shia LaBeouf's troubled childhood in which LaBeouf plays his own dad and Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) plays the young actor.
Isolation Movie Marathon
Available for rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, etc.
Christy: If you want to lean into this whole isolation thing -- Moon (Sam Rockwell is alone on the dark side of the moon), Locke (Tom Hardy is alone in a car, taking phone calls for 90 minutes), The Shallows (Blake Lively is alone on a rock, fighting off a hungry shark), The Shining (Jack Nicholson is alone with his family in a hotel, goes nuts), The Breakfast Club (five teenagers are alone in detention, but don't feel so lonely afterward) and Inside Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac is alone no matter who he's with, and the music is great).
Peter: Most original comedy of the '60s. One of Kubrick's best.
Lust For LifeTCM App
Peter: Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Kirk Douglas plays Vincent Van Gogh. Just great.
One Child NationAmazon Prime
Claudia: Fascinating doc about China's one-child policy. Directed by Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang.
Pioneers of African American CinemaCriterion Channel
Wade: Great film collection, including the oldest film by a black director, 1920's Within Our Gates by Oscar Micheaux, as well as Micheaux's 1925 Body and Soul, featuring the debut of Paul Robeson. Also included: Spencer Williams' The Blood of Jesus from 1941.
The PlayerCriterion Channel
Peter: Robert Altman's love/hate letter to Hollywood.
Rear WindowRent or purchase on Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, etc.
Amy: The Hitchcock classic on isolation and Jimmy Stewart's commitment-phobia. Grace Kelly is unbelievable -- you understand why she became a legend in less than a dozen films. With Raymond Burr and Thelma Ritter.
Peter: All-time family classics, perfect way to introduce kids to movie magic.
Silent Film Marathon
Amy: YouTube has a lot of silent films, if people don't know! My picks are Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), A Little Princess (1917), Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Tess of the Storm Country (1914 *and* 1922) -- a Mary Pickford marathon. Watch the woman who created our Hollywood -- she first filmed here in 1910 -- and helped the industry manage to overcome a decade of major hurdles, including the 1918 flu, which shut down theaters here for nearly two months. There's also The Gold Rush (1925) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), two gateway classics for people who want to fall in love with silent film, or take this moment to introduce someone else to them. Chaplin and F.W. Murnau's visions for where they wanted silent-era blockbusters to go, before the industry transitioned to sound.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldNetflix or rent or purchase on Amazon Prime
Claudia: A sweet and funny film about an asteroid that is set to wipe out Earth in a month. Steve Carrell plays a mild-mannered insurance salesman whose wife has just left him. Keira Knightly plays his neighbor. Also starring Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt, Melanie Lynskey, Rob Corddry, Derek Luke, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody. Directed by Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers).
Terry Zwigoff FilmsCriterion Channel
Amy: Includes Ghost World and Crumb. Just added a section on German Expressionism -- 10 classics, including over six hours of Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse films, and his M, which was the last thing I saw at the Egyptian during Noir Week just before all hell broke loose.
Toshiro Mifune Turns 100Criterion Chanel
Wade: Mifune's 100th birthday is celebrated with 27 classic films, including all his classics with Kurosawa and more.
Vernon, FloridaCriterion Channel
Amy: My personal favorite Errol Morris film, even though I can't for the life of me explain what it's about. His second movie after Gates of Heaven. He wanted to make a film about a town in Florida where desperate people were chopping off their own body parts for insurance money. They threatened to hurt him, so instead he made this doc that just listens to elderly oddballs talk about how they see the world. Turkey hunters obsessed with gobblers, worm farmers, a woman who swears her jar of atomic sand is growing. It's a tone poem, even looser than Fast Cheap & Out of Control, and it's about nothing and everything.
Better Call SaulSeasons 1-4 on Netflix, Season 5 on AMC.com
Angie: Continues to be one of my favorite shows, and in some ways an even better show than its predecessor (Breaking Bad). Where lots of antihero dramas delight in seeing a man go over to the dark side, Better Call Saul makes it hurt. Bob Odenkirk is doing incredible work, but Rhea Seehorn is the series MVP.
Better ThingsSeasons 1-4 on Hulu
Claudia: FX comedy-drama series from Pamela Adlon. Adlon co-created and stars in the series about an actress who raises her three daughters while juggling the pressures of working in Hollywood and being a single parent.
Black MondaySeason 1 on Showtime
Amy: Outrageous comedy series just starting season two. Stars Don Cheadle, Regina Hall and Paul Scheer as brokers at a Wall Street firm leading up to the big stock market crash on October 19, 1987. So funny, great directors like Leslye Headland, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, Nisha Ganatra, and Reginald Hudlin, who did House Party.
BroadchurchSeasons 1-3 on Netflix
Lael: This engrossing crime show ran for three seasons on the BBC. Olivia Colman won a well-deserved BAFTA for her performance as Ellie Miller, a police investigator in the fictional seaside town of Broadchurch. Partnered with perennially grumpy Sergeant Alec Hardy (brilliant Scottish actor and erstwhile Dr. Who, David Tennant), Miller investigates the murder of a local boy, not knowing that the inquiry will expose secrets of nearly all the residents of the close-knit town.
CatastropheSeasons 1-4 on Amazon Prime
Lael & Claudia: Clever, witty and terrifically acted series about a one-night stand between an American guy and a British woman that evolves into a relationship. Written by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney
ChernobylAll episodes on HBO
Angie: HBO's 2019 miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster was the first thing I dove into after social distancing really became a thing. The terror and tragedy of it felt appropriate, as did the sheer rage at selfish, incompetent, dishonest leadership. But I also found a lot of comfort in the small acts of courage, love and kindness carried out by some of its characters.
Crazy Ex-GirlfriendSeasons 1-4 on Netflix
Lael: CW show that is a completely quirky, but oddly endearing and addictive comedy (and occasionally musical) series about a woman who has a chance encounter with a childhood crush and suddenly abandons her job and life in N.Y. to chase a possible relationship with him in West Covina, CA. Co-created by Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom, who also stars.
Crime Scene CleanerMHz Choice: Great International Television
Wade: A German comedy? Incredibly ... yes. About a guy whose job is literally to clean up the mess after the police are done investigating. Shockingly, unpredictably hilarious. Bjarne Mädel stars as the aptly named Heiko "Schotty" Schotte. How can you not love a show whose lead character is named Schotty Schotte
The CrownSeasons 1-3 on Netflix
Lael: Olivia Colman is superb, as was Claire Foy before her, as Elizabeth II in a beautiful restrained performance. Peter Morgan's series, only nominally about the royal family, is so full of nuance and the issues so universal, that one needn't be a royalist to enjoy it. Binge the whole shebang.
Curb Your EnthusiasmSeasons 1-10 on HBO
Lael: Because, well, Larry David. Need I say more?
Tim: I started watching this series because it is set in the future in my hometown of St. Louis, post- an alien invasion or six. The iconic Arch is the only thing left standing. It's cool, and it wraps up nicely and with purpose.
Denmark's WarMHz Choice: Great International Television
Wade: Powerful period drama centering on two brothers drawn into the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1864.
Drunk HistorySeasons 1-6 on Hulu
Christy: Real life is too much to take. Drunk History's version of major events is far more entertaining and will provide the escapist belly laughs you need.
The ExpanseAmazon Prime
Tim: There's earthlings, Martians (humans born on Mars) ... and everybody else, which is other humans born neither on Earth nor Mars. The series begins messy with a lot of faux noir nonsense, then gets better.
Fjallbacka MurdersMHz Choice: Great International Television
Wade: Based on the novels by Camilla Lackberg, this is basically a Swedish version of Murder She Wrote, only with a younger, sexier (no offense to Angela Lansbury) lead and nastier, darker crimes.
Claudia: Brilliant, clever, moving, award-winning series created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge about a young woman navigating her life and coming to terms with tragedy.
Lael: Colman's wicked and wickedly funny stepmother could not be further from her Crown portrayal. She's all eccentric giddiness here, a wonderful counterpart to Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Sian Phillips as her stepdaughters. Addressing modern feminism, sexual mores, family, religion, and neurosis, Fleabag is magnificent, and Waller-Bridge absolutely deserved her accolades.
ForeverSeason 1 on Amazon Prime
Claudia: Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen play a suburban couple leading a super routine life, until...
Foyle's WarAcorn TV: Great British Television
Wade: Michael Kitchen as the ace detective trying to fight crime at home while WWII rages abroad.
A French VillageMHz Choice: Great International Television
Wade: Seven seasons detailing the ordeal of a French township during WWII German occupation.
GentefiedSeason 1 on Netflix
Claudia: Series about an extended Mexican-American family in East L.A., executive produced and directed by America Ferrera.
Good GirlsSeasons 1-2 on Netflix; Season 3 on NBC.com
Angie: This is my official quarantine binge-watch! It's my Goldilocks show: not too sunny but not too dark, not too dumb but not too deep, not too fluffy but not too heavy. Series revolves around three suburban moms (played by Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who rob a grocery store and then become embroiled in a life of crime.
Tim: Controversial for some. I'm mixed ... but the ideas are brutal and so is the series. Stars Al Pacino, Logan Lerman and Lena Olin.
The Indian DoctorAcorn TV: Great British Television
Wade: An Indian doctor and his wife set up shop in a Welsh village in the 1960s. Better version of Northern Exposure
The IT CrowdAll seasons on Netflix
Charles: A rare voyage into live action for this animation critic. Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd star as two hopeless nerds charged with keeping the computers running in an anonymous British company. Tensions arise when Katherine Parkinson is made their supervisor: She has no technical knowledge but commands some social skills. One of the funniest series ever televised. Netflix.
The Johnny Carson ShowShout! Factory TV
Wade: Collections of Tonight Show segments grouped by theme: The Best of Carnac the Magnificent, The Best of George Carlin and Animal Antics with Joan Embery and Jim Fowler.
Peter: Best of Carnac, George Carlin, and Animal Antics.
The KeepersSeason 1 on Netflix
Claudia: Fascinating, riveting seven-part documentary series from a few years back (2017) that I'm just catching up to. It kind of kicked off the true crime fascination that many of us have, in documentaries and also podcasts. It brilliantly composes the strands of a complex mystery, exposing the buried secrets of a suburb outside of Baltimore and the Catholic Church's part in it.. The heroes of the story are these brave and determied 60something women who piece threads together in an unsolved brutal murder of a much loved young nun and teacher at a local high school. Along the way, a few courageous women come forward to reveal what happened to them in high school that's truly shocking and disturbing. Ultimately this is a passionate, powerful and also empowering film. Directed by Ryan White, who also The Case Against 8, Good Ol' Freda about a woman who worked as the Beatles devoted secretary from their early Liverpool days, Assassins, which came out at Sundance this year and Ask Dr. Ruth, which was at Sundance last year.
Killing EveSeasons 1 & 2 on Hulu
Claudia: Phoebe Waller-Bridge created this one from AMC, which stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. It's a cat-and-mouse game between two women: Eve (Oh) is a bored, whip-smart, pay-grade MI5 security officer whose desk-bound job doesn't fulfill her fantasies of being a spy. Villanelle (Comer) is a mercurial, talented killer who clings to the luxuries her violent job affords her.
The Last DanceESPN and Hulu
Tim: 10-part documentary series about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls from a crew that had all-access to the team during the season. Features never-before-seen footage. I'm watching the [version] with the cussing. It matters.
The LochAcorn TV: Great British Television
Wade: Awesome mystery series about two women detectives looking for a serial killer in-and-around the legendary Scottish community of Loch Ness.
Lost in SpaceNetflix
Tim: It's a dead-serious family space drama where the science is solid and women and girls are -- bosses. Maureen is the Commander of this expedition. Plus ... robots! Seriously ... this is not your grandfather's Lost in Space.
Love Is BlindSeason 1 on Netflix
Amy: Not gonna lie. I marathoned this dating show in the first 48 hours of quarantine. Single people are separated into isolation pods where they can't see each other, encouraged to bond just by conversation. And if they propose -- sight unseen -- they spend the next month living together before their very fast wedding date. It actually has one foot in reality -- it's not all dumb fantasy. They meet each other's parents, break the weird news to their friends, and some people do get married. (Some don't.) There's also, thank goodness, an update filmed one year later.
Mad MenAll seasons on Netflix
Lael: This brilliant look at the advertising industry through the lens of ad executive Don Draper (a superb Jon Hamm) was a spectacular capsule of American corporate life, sexism, and values from the '50s to the '70s. Elisabeth Moss will break your heart as Peggy.
Midsomer MurdersAcorn TV: Great British Television
Wade: Legendary crime series about the nasty goings-on in otherwise quaint Midsomer County needs no introduction.
Modern LoveSeason 1 on Amazon Prime
Claudia: Anthology series about contemporary relationships based on personal stories from the New York Times column and podcast. Starring Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel and Catherine Keener
Motherland: Fort SalemFreeForm
Tim: Set in an alternate USA where witches ended their persecution by cutting a deal with the government to fight for the country, Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from training to deployment, as they fight terrorist threats with supernatural tactics.
Mrs. AmericaNew episodes weekly on Hulu
Angie: It's a drama about the 1970s battle over the Equal Rights Amendment starring Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly, Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, and Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm. I found it to be a fascinating, compelling look at female ambition. Its portrayal of Phyllis is bound to be a little divisive, but I think it does a good job of viewing her as human (and interesting) without letting her off the hook.
On My BlockNetflix
Tim: Set in Los Angeles with kids from across the spectrum of the "hood" that strike me as real. Starring Sierra Capri, Brett Gray and Jason Genao
Christy: Gorgeous nature documentary series, narrated by David Attenborough.
OzarkSeasons 1-3 on Netflix
Wade: Produced, often directed by and starring Jason Bateman, the third season of the series dropped March 27. The story of a once-legit accountant who ended up laundering money for organized crime and now finds himself and his family -- Laura Linney, Sophia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner -- trying to find a way out while digging an ever deeper hole amid the moral quagmire of the rural Ozarks. Julia Garner is also remarkable on the show. Truly such a monumentally and irresistibly depressing, downbeat show ... that it will make the quarantine feel like a bright new day! If there's anyone on this show who seems like a good person ... rest assured ... give it five or six episodes and they'll be dead or corrupted.
Schitt's CreekSeasons 1-5 on Netflix, Season 6 on PopTV.com or for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Angie: Canadian sitcom about a rich family that loses all their money and is forced to relocate to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Just wrapped up its final season a few weeks ago. It's a super-sweet, super-sunny show that feels good to watch any time, but feels especially good at a time when positivity is in short supply.
Claudia: Another one that I'm catching up to is a silly but very funny series that goes back to 2015. If you're a fan of Christopher Guest movies and Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara you'll really appreciate this show. It's created and written by Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy, who plays his son on the show and is about a wealthy family who loses their fortune because of their accountant's mismanagement and moves to a dreary little town that the dad had once bought for his son as a joke. Also stars Chris Elliot, in the role he was born to play.
Star Trek: PicardCBS All Access
Tim: Duh. Starring Patrick Stewart. Allison Pill also stars along with some familiar faces from the Star Trek universe including Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathan Frakes (Commander Will Riker).
This Is UsSeasons 1-4 on Hulu
Lael: Dan Fogelman's masterful, moving (albeit emotionally manipulative) narrative about a couple and their three very different children across time.
Amy: Sheer madness. The doc director spent five years in the world of big cat keepers and finds an inordinate proportion of narcissists, polygamists, and de facto cult leaders, thanks to an unending supply of young kids out of high school willing to work 18 hours a day for no money, just to be around tigers. Major figures are Doc Bhagavan in South Carolina, who has no-one-knows-for-sure how many wives, and Joe Exotic, who has over 150 big cats in rural Oklahoma and wears sequined jackets and makes his own country albums with songs like "I Saw a Tiger." Both hate Florida animal rights activist Carole Baskin, who says breeding cubs recklessly so tourists can play with them, particularly Joe who-- no spoiler -- is evenutally arrested for of trying to hire an assassin to murder her. Geniously edited, completely unpredictable -- and lots of leopard print! And, by episode two, someone loses an arm.
UnorthodoxSeason 1 on Netflix
Claudia: German-American mini-series that dropped March 26 on Netflix, loosely based on Deborah Feldman's 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots. It's the first Netflix series primarily in Yiddish.
VidaSeasons 1-3 on Hulu
Claudia: A half-hour drama series from Starz focusing on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn't be more different or distanced from each other.
Tim: Wow. Lots of haters from the radical-right. And I don't blame them ... it'd piss me off too if I were a white supremacist. Created by Damon Lindelof. Starring Regina King.
What We Do In The ShadowsSeasons 1 & 2 on Hulu
Claudia: FX comedy/fantasy show that looks into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires, who've lived together for over 100 years, on Staten Island. Created by "Flight of the Conchords" member Jemaine Clement.
Claudia: Tim Burton's brilliant and poignant animated masterpiece.
Eden of the EastHulu & Netflix
Charles: Twenty-something Akira Takizawa wakes up in front of the White House -- stripped of his clothes and his memories. All he has is a pistol and a mobile phone that delivers whatever he requests. With some reluctant assistance from Saki Morimi, a shy college senior on a graduation trip to America, Takizawa dodges the cops and gets them back to Japan. He discovers he's one of 12 agents charged with saving a decaying, apathetic Japan by the mysterious Mr. Outside. Writer-director Kenji Kamiyama shows a remarkable flair for building suspense while weaving a complex storyline filled with unexpected twists. But each twist is there for a reason, and the story resolves neatly.
MiraiRent or purchase on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNow
Charles: Mamoru Hosoda's charming Oscar-nominated film centers on Kun, a happy four-year-old, whose world is shattered when his parents bring home a baby sister. A series of fantastic adventures teaches Kun his new place in the family -- and the world.
PromarePurchase on YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime, or iTunes
Charles: A free-wheeling science fiction tale of a conflict between normal humans and mutated ones who can control fire, Promare explodes onto the screen in a burst of flamboyant colors, angular designs and over-the-top action. It's like being hit in the face with a Day-Glo custard pie.
Summer WarsRent on Vudu & Funimation
Charles: Mamoru Hosoda deftly juxtaposes CG and drawn animation in a fantasy-adventure that takes place in the real world and cyberspace. Natsuke is a more complex, layered and individual heroine than many of her counterparts in recent American features.
Your Name.Rent on Vudu & Amazon Prime
The most successful Japanese animated feature of all time. What begins as a body-swapping teen rom-com evolves into a meditation on the trauma caused by the destruction of Fukushima. An extraordinary, complex film.
Bob's BurgersSeasons 1-10 on Hulu and new episodes Sundays on Fox
Christy: Because it's hilarious and smart and sweet.
BoJack HorsemanSeasons 1-6 on Netflix
Amy: This is my favorite piece of art ever made about Hollywood. If you haven't seen, you're in for such a treat. It's a cartoon about a horse who was a sitcom star in the '90s on a TV show called Horsin' Around, which is basically Full House. He's a narcissist and an alcoholic and he's in a dark place, of his own creation -- and it's not spoiling anything to say he pretty much stays there for the entire run of the show, with occasional detours into hope. His agent is a cat voiced by Amy Sedaris, his best frenemy is a dog named Mr. Peanut Butter, and though the cast is half-animal, it's the most dead-on accurate satire of Hollywood I've ever seen. Full disclosure -- when season one first came out, I sat in on a random episode and didn't love it, fell in love at a random point in season two and got hooked from there, so I'm now seeing the first episodes for the first time and wondering what my problem was.
Case ClosedCrunchyroll & Netflix
Charles: 200 million books, 900+ episodes, 24 films. Seventeen-year-old Jimmy Kudo is an ace detective; but when he stumbles onto a blackmail payoff, two men in black give him a pill that gives him the appearance of a little boy. To hide his identity he takes the name of Conan Edogawa. Nancy Drew might envy Conan's keen powers of observation and even keener deductive skills. No one takes a crime-solving eight-year-old seriously, so Conan has to make it sound as if his former girlfriend Rachel's hair-brained father cracks the cases -- which captures kids' resentment at being patronized by adults.
Dragon Ball SuperFunimation, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime
Charles: The latest installment in Akira Toriyama's wildly popular fantasy-adventure mixes martial arts training, slapstick comedy, male bonding and over-the-top slugfests centered on the alien Super Seiyan, Son Goku. It may be the ultimate shonen (boys') series of all time.
Kids on the Slope
Crunchyroll & Netflix
Charles: In contrast to the film noir-inflected adventures of his Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe offers a warm, believable tale of the power of music, especially jazz. Honor student and classically-trained pianist Kaoru is sent to a small-town high school, where he has neither friends nor academic peers. Kaoru's discomfort tickles Kawabuchi, whose bad boy image conceals his talent as a drummer. Kaoru begins jamming with Kawabuchi, discovering a freedom he's never known. The two heroes also find something neither has ever had: a real friend. Jazz musician Yoko Kanno deftly weaves "My Favorite Things," "Lullaby of Birdland" and other standards into the score.
My Hero AcademiaHulu, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime
Charles: Unlike American superheroes who are always cool, Izuku "Deku" Midoriya is untidy, fretful and insecure. Born without a superpower, he later received one and faces a steep learning curve as he seeks to aid anyone weaker who is in trouble.
One PieceFunimation, Crunchyroll, Hulu
Charles: The long-running comedy-adventure stars Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates. It may be the most popular animated franchise in the world: the TV series runs to more than 900 episodes, and the manga has sold over 470 million books.
Charles: 235 million books, 720 episodes, plus features. The tale of ninja-in-training Naruto Uzumaki is of the biggest anime hits of the century. Twelve years before the story begins, a nine-tailed fox demon savaged a ninja village until it was imprisoned in the body of a new-born baby: Naruto. He grew up as an orphan and outcast, dreaming of becoming an Hokage, or village chief. A cocky prankster and self-proclaimed knucklehead, Naruto trains in magical techniques. He nurtures a crush on medical ninja Sakura Haruno, and spars with his rival, the icy, talented Sosuke Uchiha. I recommend it for parents with kids in junior/senior high school.