The best (and worst) shows of 2023 by streaming service

Need something to watch but don't know what? We're looking back at 2023 and listing the best and worst shows by each popular streaming service.
Harrison Ford in "Shrinking," premiering January 27, 2023 on Apple TV+.
Harrison Ford in "Shrinking," premiering January 27, 2023 on Apple TV+. /
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Maybe you review TV shows for a living and have every single streaming platform on your Roku stick. Or maybe you want to sign up for free trials in the near future so you can binge something good, but aren't sure which service to start. Whatever your situation, this guide will help you navigate the different streamers to manage free trials and your entertainment investments.

The streamers are listed in order by the number of high-quality shows.

Apple TV+

When it comes to quality, big-budget, big-time cast-type television, Apple TV+ stands above the rest. Even when they have a dud (Buccaneers, Still Up, Hello Tomorrow), they aren't really that bad.

  • Top three shows (in order): Shrinking, Foundation, Lessons in Chemistry
  • Must-watch TV (in no particular order): Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Bad Sisters, Silo, For All Mankind, The Big Door Prize, Platonic, Invasion, Physical. High Desert and Swagger were great shows, but Apple didn't think so and they were canceled.
  • Mediocre: Slow Horses, The Morning Show, Changeling, Liaison, Ted Lasso, The Crowded Room
  • Passable: Hello Tomorrow, Still Up, Buccaneers, Hijack, The Last Thing He Told Me, The After Party (canceled, though previous seasons were better), Truth Be Told (previous seasons were a little better)
pedro-pascal-bella-ramsey_0 Joel Ellie The Last of Us
Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /


HBO's streaming platform MAX probably leads the streamers in award nominations because of Succession and The Last Of Us.

  • Top three shows (in order): The Last of Us, Succession, Barry (ended in 2023)
  • Must-watch TV (in no particular order): 30 Coins, Bookie, Julia, Winning Time (canceled), Somebody Somewhere, White House Plumbers, Righteous Gemstones, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Mediocre: Full Circle, Titans, And Just Like That..., Velma, Love and Death, Perry Mason
  • Passable: The Idol
Daisy Jones and The Six - First Look
Daisy Jones and The Six premieres March 3 on Prime Video /

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are very close in quality. Amazon puts out far fewer shows than Netflix, especially with Netflix's huge repository of foreign series.

  • Top three shows (in order): Reacher, Daisy Jones and the Six, The Swarm
  • Must-watch TV (in no particular order): The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, The Horrors of Dolores Roach (canceled, which is really too bad), Jury Duty, Peripheral (canceled), Invincible, The Boys, Gen V, Los Farad, The Power, The Wheel of Time, Good Omens, Outlaws, I'm a Virgo, Bosch, The Legend of Vox Machina, The Rig
  • Mediocre: Barrabrava, Deadloch, Dead Ringers, Therapy, Citadel, The Consultant, Jack Ryan (ended in 2023), Upload
  • Passable: Carnival Row, Shelter
Bodies Production Still Image Courtesy Netflix /


Netflix is the giant of content. You'll never be able to reach the end of Netflix, even in a pandemic. The real hidden nuggets on Netflix are the foreign shows but to uncover all the good ones would be impossible.

  • Top three shows (in order): Bodies, The Diplomat, All the Light We Cannot See
  • Must-watch TV (in no particular): The Fall of House Usher, Sex Education (ended in 2023), Yu Yu Hakusho, You, Break Point, Drive To Survive, The Night Agent, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, Castlevania, Lockwood & Co, The Witcher, Black Mirror, Kaleidoscope, That '90s Show, Firefly Lane, Sweet Tooth, Never Have I Ever, Fauda, Sky Rojo, Unstable, Lupin (ended in 2023), The Crown (ended in 2023), Money Heist: Berlin
  • Mediocre: Beef, The Lincoln Lawyer, Manifest, Shadow and Bone (canceled), Painkiller, FUBAR, Agent Elvis, Florida Man, One Piece, Big Mouth, Obliterated
  • Passable: Outer Banks, Sex/Life (canceled), Welcome to Eden, My Life with the Walter Boys
The Bear
The Bear -- Season 2 -- Season two of FX’s “The Bear,” the critically acclaimed original series, follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) and Richard “Richie” Jerimovich (Ebon Moss- Bachrach) as they work to transform their grimy sandwich joint into a next-level spot. As they strip the restaurant down to its bones, the crew undertakes transformational journeys of their own, each forced to confront the past and reckon with who they want to be in the future. /


It can be difficult to understand what is Hulu and what is just general cable. Especially since sometimes FX shows are on Hulu only and sometimes they are on both cable and Hulu. We include both in this list.

  • Top three shows (in order): The Bear, Fargo, Murder at the End of the World
  • Must-watch TV (in no particular order): The Artful Dodger, The Lazarus Project, Dave, Culprits, Tiny Beautiful Things, Reservation Dogs, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, UnPrisoned, Extraordinary, Kindred, The Patient, Pistol, Obituary
  • Mediocre: Only Murders in the Building, The Great, Class of '09, History of the World Part II, Welcome to Wrexham, Black Cake, Vigilante, Connection
  • Passable: Justified: City Primeval, Cruel Summer, Saint X, How I Met Your Father (canceled)