I watch a lot of TV shows. Like…a lot of TV shows. Not only is it my job, but I also just like watching TV. But despite this, there are still quite a few shows that have been recommended to me or that I’ve flagged for myself as something to watch that I just haven’t had time to watch.
Lucky for me, I’ll be off for the holidays with nothing but time to binge all the TV shows from across the best streaming services that I’ve missed out on this year. In particular, I’m looking forward to checking out For All Mankind on Apple TV Plus, as I’ve been told it's a contender for the best TV show out there — an honor I currently give to the Apple TV Plus show Slow Horses.
For All Mankind (Apple TV Plus)
The elevator pitch of For All Mankind is “What if the space race had never ended?” In this alternate timeline, the Soviet Union was the first country to land on the Moon, forcing the U.S. to keep pace rather than becoming complacent. Each season takes place in a particular decade, starting with the 1970s for season 1 until the 2000s in season 4.
The show has a pretty large cast, but only Joel Kinnaman as NASA astronaut Edward "Ed" Baldwin stars in all four seasons. While the first season got a mixed response from critics, the subsequent three seasons have been met with near-universal praise.
Stream now on Apple TV Plus
Silo (Apple TV Plus)
Based on the series of novels of the same name, Silo is a dystopian sci-fi series that has definitely grabbed some people’s attention, including my wife’s, who knew about the series before I did. The show is set in a future where the outside world is toxic so thousands live in an underground silo where the rules for staying are as strict as the consequences of leaving.
Silo stars Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette Nichols, an engineer who works in the silo’s generators, Rashida Jones as Allison Becker, an IT professional in the silo and David Oyelowo as her husband Holston, who is the sheriff in the silo. All three have some degree of suspicion that not all is as it seems, and I look forward to seeing how this story plays out.
Stream now on Apple TV Plus
Abbott Elementary (Max/Hulu)
Yes, somehow I have yet to watch a single minute of Abbott Elementary, the hit sitcom about Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson), an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia. There’s really no reason I shouldn’t be watching it — I love sitcoms, I used to live in Philadelphia and the mockumentary style has worked in other shows I’ve enjoyed like Parks and Recreation and The Office. But, for one reason or another, I simply haven’t gotten around to watching the comedy that just earned two Golden Globe nominations. This Christmas, that changes.
Industry has the distinction of being the one show on this list I’ve dabbled with. But before I could fully commit, I got pulled in other directions. Now that I have time on my hands and a hole in my heart where Succession used to be, I can watch Industry’s two seasons in full, uninterrupted.
Industry stars Marisa Abela as Yasmin, Myha'la Herrold as Harper, Harry Lawtey as Robert, and David Jonsson as Gus, four graduates fighting for permanent positions at the London investment bank Pierpoint & Co. The show is immediately comparable to Succession at first glance but also has notes of Euphoria and even The Newsroom at times. Here’s hoping that it lives up to such high praise.
Stream now on Max
The Righteous Gemstones (Max)
The Righteous Gemstones is another show like Abbott Elementary where even I’m shocked I haven’t watched it. This HBO comedy stars a murderers row of comedic actors — John Goodman, Danny McBride, Adam Devine, Edi Patterson, Cassidy Freeman, Skyler Gisondo, Tim Baltz, Jennifer Nettles and Walton Goggins — as the Gemstone family, who run one of the biggest televangelist megachurches in the U.S. This show has everything from shopping mall churches, blackmail, lewd behavior, assassins and more.
Is the show over the top? Even from just the trailer, it’s clear the answer is yes. But the trailer also had me laughing nonstop, so consider me converted.
Stream now on Max
Sex Education (Netflix)
There’s something to be said for bingeing an entire series from start to finish. While you’re still committing a significant amount of time, you know there’s a guaranteed payoff and likely a payoff worth getting. So since Sex Education just wrapped up its fourth and final season, there’s never been a better time for me — or anyone — to watch.
Starring a massive ensemble cast that includes Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn, who is a teen known to give sex advice to his fellow students and Gillian Anderson as his mother Jean, who is a prominent sex therapist, this British comedy is clearly hilarious even from just watching the trailer, but hints at some serious depth. And with all four seasons earning 90% or higher “fresh” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, you know that you’re committing to something of high quality.
Stream now on Netflix
Reacher (Prime Video)
I’ll admit when I learned that Alan Ritchson was going to be the titular character of Prime Video’s Reacher adaptation, I was skeptical. My main experience with Ritchson was his performance as Thad Castle in Blue Mountain State, which could not be considered a serious role no matter how generous you are.
But guess what? That’s why it's called acting, and clearly, Ritchson has some range. In the trailer for season 1 of Reacher, he completely alleviated my concerns about his ability to be a serious, yet charming, action star. Critics who have seen the show clearly agree, giving the show a 92% fresh rating for season 1 and 100% so far for season 2, which just came out on December 15.
Stream now on Prime Video
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Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.
Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.