I am a Paramount Plus apologist. I know — going by subscription numbers alone — that I have to be because people do not subscribe to the streaming service at the same rate as Netflix or Amazon Prime, but I spend more time in the Paramount Plus app than the other two. It’s got older shows like Star Trek, Frasier, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and newer splashy shows like… everything Taylor Sheridan produces and Frasier. It has a whole mess of football (American) and football (the rest of the world), and while bigger brands like Netflix are only now experimenting with live TV, Paramount Plus has been doing it from the get-go and doing it really well.
It is, I think, my desert island streaming service.
A lot of new shows aired on the service this year. These are some of the best to check out if you’ve recently picked up Paramount Plus or are trying to justify getting it so you can catch up on all the Star Trek you missed.
It will come as no surprise that this is at the top of the list. While the first two seasons were uneven with occasional cerebral moments of Star Trek or joyous moments of nostalgia, season 3 is just a really exciting space adventure, really fun Star Trek, and enough fan service to feed the most die-hard The Next Generation fan. It makes up for every sin of its preceding seasons while also setting up one of the most exciting Star Trek spinoffs in ages. I really cannot wait for the adventures of Captain Seven of Nine on her Enterprise.
Taylor Sheridan programming seems to be half of what’s available on Paramount Plus, and that makes sense when you remember Yellowstone is a monster hit. But of all the shows he’s making, 1923 with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren has to be my favorite. The series is a Yellowstone prequel chronicling the Duttons’ lives during a moment of extraordinary transition in the west. Sheep farmers and ranchers wage war on horseback with Tommy guns, while the heir to the family travels across the continent of Africa with his new British heiress bride to help the family fight its new war. It’s violent and goofy, but also one of the most entertaining adventure shows on TV right now.
This show feels like an American webtoon brought to life. It’s about a teen girl, Maddie Nears, who wakes up dead and trapped at her school. She has to try to solve her own murder with the help of the other ghosts living in the school, including a football star who died in the ‘80s (and now the stadium is named after him), a queer kid who died from a peanut allergy (and then had to watch his living classmates ruthlessly mock him), and a furious teen beatnik murdered by her guidance counselor. The show has a surprising streak of heart in it, with plenty of twists, turns, and high school romance. Curiously, you can watch the first season both on Paramount Plus (its original home) and Netflix.