The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, so why not celebrate with an onslaught of TV shows to keep you indoors?
Spring has become one of the most important seasons for eager networks and streamers hoping to get their prestigious fare out before the Emmy eligibility deadline on May 31. And 2023 is no different: Dozens of new and returning series are crowding the calendar and competing for your time and attention.
While the networks and streamers may think every show they have is an Emmy contender, you’ll still find mediocre fluff this spring. But there are also some exciting, unique and downright exhilarating new shows in the mix, too.
We picked the seven best new shows this spring that we could screen in advance, including a “Bridgerton” spinoff, a new Bob Odenkirk dramedy, a hyped book adaptation and a nun battling it out with an algorithm. And that’s just through April.
More:The best TV shows of 2023 (so far), ranked, from ‘The Last of Us’ to ‘Party Down’
Apple TV+ (Friday)
You don’t have to be a fan of wrestling to appreciate the underdog stories from Apple TV+’s documentary about amateur wrestlers trying to go pro. “Monster” combines elements of a great sports documentary, like Netflix’s “Cheer” or “Last Chance U,” with the glitz and flair that make wrestling such a theatrical, magical experience. It’s impossible not to root for these scrappy wrestlers from New Jersey to make it in the WWE.
AMC, (Sundays, 9 EDT/PDT)
Bob Odenkirk is back on AMC, but don’t call him Saul (or Jimmy). His latest character is a far cry from his years on “Breaking Bad” and its spinoff “Better Call Saul,” in the lower-stakes drama of an academic workplace. Odenkirk plays Hank, a has-been author chairing the English department at a middling Pennsylvania college who is emboldened to confront what he sees as the mediocrity around him. Sardonic and light, Odenkirk’s charm works naturally in the role, and he’s surrounded by a sublime supporting cast that includes Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) and Cedric Yarbrough (“Speechless”).
Amazon (March 31, Fridays)
Based on the 2016 novel by Naomi Alderman, “The Power” presents a world where gender dynamics have flipped: Women and girls discover they possess a power to control electricity, making them more physically dominant than men. What happens next fundamentally changes the lives of women and the makeup of the world. The book is faithfully brought to life with powerful performances, particularly from Toni Collette and Aulii Cravalho (“Moana”).
Netflix (April 7)
Ali Wong and Steven Yeun are giddy enemies in this Netflix series about a road rage incident that turns into a very serious feud. Both play deeply unhappy people: Wong’s Amy is an entrepreneur, wife and mother who feels trapped, and Yeun’s Danny is a failing contractor who’s desperate for cash. When they come into conflict with each other, their pent-up frustration and rage gets channeled into an ever-escalating battle that starts at a 10 and gets more absurd from there. At a time when TV series can all feel like cheap imitations, “Beef” stands out as utterly unique.
Amazon Freevee (April 7, Fridays)
Eleven out of 12 people are in on the joke in “Jury,” a mockumentary-style comedy premiering on Amazon’s free ad-supported streaming service, Freevee. One man, Ronald Gladden, believes he has been called for routine jury duty, but everyone else is an actor, including James Marsden, playing a heightened version of himself. Gladden may be out of the loop, but he certainly seems to be having a good time as the mundanities of civic duty become ever more ridiculous. Silly and relaxed, it is easy watching, “Judge Judy” with a bit of “The Office” mixed in.
Peacock (April 20, Thursdays)
From “Lost” creator Damon Lindelof and “The Big Bang Theory” writer Tara Hernandez, “Mrs. Davis” is probably the biggest swing yet from Peacock. The series is a globe-trotting, high-concept adventure about a nun on a quest for the holy grail at the request of an all-powerful artificial intelligence (that she hates). Convoluted? Yes. Fun? That too. It may take a moment to coalesce into a cohesive story, but “Davis,” which stars “GLOW” alum Betty Gilpin as the nun in question, is just wild enough to work.
‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’
Netflix (May 4)
“Queen Charlotte” starts with a wedding instead of ending with one, but that doesn’t mean the spinoff is any less juicy than “Bridgerton.” A prequel to Netflix’s hit Regency-era drama, “Queen Charlotte” follows the queen who has appeared in the first two seasons of “Bridgerton,” played by Golda Rosheuvel. In the spinoff, Rosheuvel appears in the “Bridgerton” present trying to deal with her disappointing children while reflecting on how she was brought to England as a young woman ((India Ria Amarteifio) to marry the king. Taking significant historical license, the series imagines how a Black woman marrying into the royal family would have changed race relations in 18th-century Britain. With gorgeous gowns and handsome gentlemen, “Charlotte” checks the necessary “Bridgerton” boxes for fans.