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.
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.
It’s Netflix’s latest big, expensive, star-fuelled thriller from directors Anthony and Joe Russo, with Ryan Gosling starring as the titular Gray Man, super-skilled CIA operative Court Gentry/Sierra Six. He’ll need the help of Agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) to avoid a pulverising by now the target of former CIA agent Lloyd Hansen (a mustachioed Chris Evans), who did not like Gentry finding out some big agency secrets. Joining the party is Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Henwick, Dhanush, Wagner Moura, and Alfre Woodard. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor
What we thought: The Gray Man is not the kind of movie that you need to see in theaters. (The Russos agree.) It’s the kind of movie you can throw on while you’re doing dishes or fiddling on your phone. In bursts, it’s amusing. Overall, it’s tiresome, lacking any emotional wallop, consistent wit, or the kind of verve that might actually make even its stolen bits sting. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
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, Giancarlo Esposito, 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, former Senior Editor
3. 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 (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. — S.C.
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 film 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. — K.P.
5. Black Bird
Taron Egerton leads Apple TV+’s crime thriller Black Bird as Jimmy Keene, the son of a cop and a high school football champ, who finds himself sentenced to 10 years in prison. He’s given an option instead of serving his time, to go undercover and befriend possible serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) to get a confession. But it’ll prove more complicated than Jimmy’s ready for. — S.C.
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. — M.N.
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. — B.E.
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. — S.C.
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
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. — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor
What we thought: Incantation may not be particularly scary or exciting. But that lingering doubt – am I cursed now? – is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the most seasoned horror movie fan. — Rizwana Zafer, Culture Intern
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. — S.C.
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. — B.E.
10. Virgin River
Virgin River Season 4 just landed on Netflix, so the numbers shot up for this small town romance drama series. The show hinges on Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), a midwife/nurse who moves to Virgin River, California to outrun painful memories. — S.C.
* Asterisks indicate the writeup is adapted from another Mashable article.
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