Best English TV shows of 2023: From ‘Succession’, ‘Bear’ and ‘The Last of Us’ to ‘Gen V’

2023 in television was phenomenal, despite the turmoil of the writers’ and actors’ strikes simmering beneath it. A number of high-profile outings saw cancellations, though streaming numbers and revenues were off the charts. Prestige television came gloriously to the fore with some all-timers, while some other hyped projects (and stars) disappointed, as both returning and debutant titles thrilled equally. In no particular order, here’s our pick of the best English shows of 2023:

Succession

What more can be said about Jesse Armstrong’s corporate saga that rightfully stakes its claim to be in contention amongst TV’s greatest-ever dramas? For four stunning seasons, we waited with bated breath to see who would ascend the throne to the Roy family empire, and after every plausible theory was floated, the show still managed to shock and surprise us in equal measure. Be it killing off patriarch Logan Roy suddenly, reviving Kendall and destroying him all over again, or Roman’s predictable yet magnificent U-turn, the final season was as funny, tragic and entertaining as it always has been while wrapping up the lives of these complicated characters we have grown to adore and hate. Succession was television royalty at its finest. – Gautam

The Last of Us

This post-apocalyptic thriller based on a video game of the same name is a splendid adaptation. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann (who created the game) serve as writers on the show. The Last of Us tells of a harrowing journey undertaken by a tough and tender smuggler, Joel (Pedro Pascal), and a sparky, snarky teenager, Ellie (Bella Ramsey). The world has been ravaged by a fungus that turns people into mindless, ravenous, rage-filled zombies. Joel and Ellie have to negotiate hostile terrain dodging cannibals, autocratic quarantine zones, the infected and scary preachers who have found God. The acting, writing and production design are spot on as is the chemistry between Pascal and Ramsey. – Mini

The Bear

A still from ‘The Bear’ Season 2

This year, The Bear managed to accomplish a feat most modern dramedies struggle with; it not only lived up to the unreal expectations that the near-perfect first season raised, but even surpassed them. Wisely taking the action out of the kitchen (for a while at least), the sophomore season focused on the different chefs’ coming-of-age journeys — from Marcus’ delectable Copenhagen jaunt to Richie’s apprenticeship at one of the world’s best restaurants — but returned to Chicago for a spectacularly crafted series of panic attacks/ subplots towards the finale. Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Ayo Edebiri all deliver career-defining performance arcs, while Forks and Fishes rank among the best individual television episodes of the year. Just let this show cook forever. – Gautam

Beef

This relentless, tense drama from Netflix and first-time creator Lee Sung Jin takes a seemingly random road-rage incident and deliciously spirals into a devilishly dark exploration of class differences, repressed resentment and Asian-American immigrant identity. Featuring phenomenal turns from Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, whose characters self-sabotage their own lives while going up against each other, Beef was often hilarious and awkward but always empathetically so. – Gautam

A Murder at the End of the World

Guests at an isolated resort, further cut off due to a snowstorm and sudden violent death in the midst of it all bring to mind the Agatha Christie classic And Then There Were None. A Murder at the End of the World from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij is a millennial take on the story, which by scrupulously following the conventions of the genre, offers something both radically new and comfortingly familiar. Set in two timelines, the series in the present follows hacker Darby Hart (Emma Corrin) trying to make sense of the deaths at tech titan Andy Ronson’s (Clive Owen) retreat in Iceland. The other timeline is six years in the past when Darby and a fellow hacker, Bill Farrah (Harris Dickinson), were on the trail of a serial killer. With thrills, suspects and red herrings galore, A Murder at the End of the World is bingeable crime telly at its best. – Mini

Invincible (Season 2 Part I)

A still from ‘Invincible’ Season 2 

A still from ‘Invincible’ Season 2 

The second season of the adult animated show is split in two parts. The four episodes of Part 1 pick up from the events of the season 1 finale where the powerful Nolan/Omni-Man (J. K. Simmons) and his son, Mark/Invincible (Steven Yeun), engage in an epic battle that leaves Chicago in ruins and countless lives lost. With eye-popping animation, and excellent voice work (Sandra Oh as Debbie, Mark’s mum and Nolan’s wife, is outstanding), Invincible is a worthy addition to the roster of content exploring aspects of what it means to be a hero. – Mini

The Curse

Nathan Fielder, known for his uncanny ability to place ordinary people in crazy situations in docu-reality shows like The Rehearsal and Nathan For You, joined hands with Benny Safdie to give us what is, surely, the most awkward watch of all time. Starring himself alongside a superb Emma Stone (who is having one hell of a 2023 with Poor Things as well), Fielder’s scripted series takes a look at everything that is wrong with modern-day reality television in a deeply cringe-inducing yet genius creation that could well go down as the most original television outing of the year. You can’t take your eyes off it, but will never want to revisit this ever again. – Gautam

Dead Ringers

Rachel Weisz in a still from ‘Dead Ringers’

Rachel Weisz in a still from ‘Dead Ringers’
| Photo Credit:
Prime Video

David Cronenberg’s 1988 film Dead Ringers, which the show is based on, is inspired by the lives of two twin gynecologists who died under mysterious circumstances in July 1975 in New York. Dead Ringers, while being an uncomfortable watch, is anchored by Rachel Weisz’s dazzling performance as the gynecologist twins, Beverly and Elliot Mantle. The mini-series follows the twins, with their very different personalities; the voracious Elliot with her cocaine habit and risk-taking behaviour, and the sensitive Beverly who desperately wants to have a child. The gender-swapped (Jeremy Irons played the twins in Cronenberg’s film) show with the predominance of red, signifying the battleground that is the childbed, is a fascinating psychological study of rivalry, jealousy, fear, mental illness, longing and loathing. – Mini

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

Scavengers Reign and Blue Eye Samurai cut it close, but ultimately, this anime adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels (with the voice cast of Edgar Wright’s hit 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reprising their roles) was the pick of animated streaming debuts in 2023. This slick addition to the franchise stays true to its nostalgic identity, but also gives us the chance to examine everything we know about the narrative from different perspectives, along with an enjoyable, frenetic style of animation and a killer soundtrack. Apart from an in-form Michael Cera throwing it back, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona Flowers and Ellen Wong’s Knives Chau make this one of the most delightful surprises of the year. – Gautam

Gen V

A still from ‘Gen V’

A still from ‘Gen V’

Diabolical innit, this school for supes? The superhero spin-off to The Boys, based on the ‘We Gotta Go Now’ comic book arc by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, is fun from every angle. There are the sudden bouts of gore, a thrilling mystery, needle drops and cameos from The Boys. Gen V is set in Godolkin University, a kind of Hogwarts for supes. Though Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair), who can manipulate blood, sees Godolkin as a way out of her tragic past, evil Vought International and circumstances come in the way of her escape. From the Carrie-esque opening to the shocking finale, Gen V offers up unlimited thrills and spills. – Mini

Honorable mentions: Jury Duty, Silo, Blue Eye Samurai, Party Down revival, Poker Face, Slow Horses

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Barbie, Succession Lead Golden Globes 2024 Nominations: See the Full List

The Golden Globes 2024 nominations were revealed last night, with Greta Gerwig’s feminist candy-coated romp Barbie, which dominated the box office charts this year, leading the pack. It’s got a whopping 10 nominations, including one for Best Musical or Comedy, alongside acting nods for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (supporting). The awards show has also added two new categories to recognise the best in entertainment, starting with a ‘Cinematic and Box Office Achievement’ category, which honours the biggest movies of the year, having grossed $150 million (about Rs. 1,250 crore) minimum, of which $100 million must be from within the US. Eight nominees compete for that award, including Barbie, Oppenheimer, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Meanwhile, the Best Stand-Up Comedian recognises the best comics in the industry, airing across cable, streaming, or even live performances. It is worth mentioning that unlike the Oscars or the Emmys, the Golden Globe Awards considers both movies and TV series for its honours, and segregates them further based on genre while steering clear of technical merits like editing, cinematography, and set design. As such, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is listed among the best drama films of the year, sharing the space with Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, acclaimed law thriller Anatomy of a Fall, and Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. Cillian Murphy has received a Best Actor nod for playing the always-exhausted titular theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, while filmmaker Nolan competes for the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.

Sandra Hüller has been stacking up strong critics’ praise in 2023 for her nuanced performances as a widower suspected of murder in Anatomy of a Fall and the clueless wife of a Nazi officer in The Zone of Interest. She competes to be crowned the best lead female actor in a drama for the former, against strong contenders such as Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Carey Mulligan (Maestro), Greta Lee (Past Lives), and more. Emma Stone has received yet another award nomination for a Yorgos Lanthimos collaboration with Poor Things — listed under musical or comedy — alongside her co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe.

Coming to television, the fourth and final season of Succession emerged as the favourite with nine nominations, including Best Drama Series. Adding to HBO’s tally is The Last of Us series, a screen adaptation of a beloved zombie-killing game, which served as a crowd-pleaser earlier this year, striking the right balance between appealing to gamers and mainstream audiences. Its co-leads Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are also in awards consideration for best performance. Other notable entries in the drama category include Netflix’s The Crown season 6 and 1923. Conversely, The Bear season 2, Barry season 4, and more duke it out in the best comedy field.

With that, here’s the entire list of nominees for this year’s Golden Globe Awards:

2024 Golden Globe Nominations — the full list

Best Picture – Drama

Anatomy of a Fall
Killers of the Flower Moon
Maestro
Oppenheimer
Past Lives
The Zone of Interest

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

Air
American Fiction
Barbie
The Holdovers
May December
Poor Things

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Annette Bening, Nyad
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla
Carey Mulligan, Maestro
Greta Lee, Past Lives
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers
Barry Keoghan, Saltburn
Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Colman Domingo, Rustin
Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Alma Pöysti, Fallen Leaves
Emma Stone, Poor Things
Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple
Jennifer Lawrence, No Hard Feelings
Margot Robbie, Barbie
Natalie Portman, May December

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Joaquin Phoenix, Beau Is Afraid
Matt Damon, Air
Nicolas Cage, Dream Scenario
Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Timothée Chalamet, Wonka

Best Director – Motion Picture

Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Greta Gerwig, Barbie
Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Barbie
Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Anatomy of a Fall
Tony McNamara, Poor Things

Best Supporting Female Actor – Motion Picture

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Jodie Foster, Nyad
Julianne Moore, May December
Rosamund Pike, Saltburn

Best Supporting Male Actor – Motion Picture

Charles Melton, May December
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

Best Picture – Non-English Language

Anatomy of a Fall, France
Fallen Leaves, Finland
Io Capitano, Italy
Past Lives, US
Society of the Snow, Spain
The Zone of Interest, US

Best Picture – Animated

The Boy and the Heron
Elemental
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Suzume
Wish

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Daniel Pemberton, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Jerskin Fendrix, Poor Things
Joe Hisaishi, The Boy and the Heron
Ludwig Göransson, Oppenheimer
Mica Levi, The Zone of Interest
Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Addicted to Romance,” Bruce Springsteen (She Came to Me)
“Dance the Night,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin (Barbie)
“I’m Just Ken,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt (Barbie) “Peaches,” Jack Black, Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, Eric Osmond, John Spiker (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
“Road to Freedom,” Lenny Kravitz (Rustin)
“What Was I Made For?” Billie Eilish, Finneas (Barbie)

Cinematic and Box Office Achievement

Barbie
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
John Wick: Chapter 4
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Oppenheimer
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Best Drama Series

1923
The Crown
The Diplomat
The Last of Us
The Morning Show
Succession

Best Musical/ Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary
Barry
The Bear
Jury Duty
Only Murders in the Building
Ted Lasso

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series, or TV Motion Picture

All the Light We Cannot See
Beef
Daisy Jones & The Six
Fargo
Fellow Travelers
Lessons in Chemistry

Best Television Female Actor – Drama Series

Bella Ramsey, The Last of Us
Emma Stone, The Curse
Helen Mirren, 1923
Imelda Staunton, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Diplomat
Sarah Snook, Succession

Best Television Male Actor – Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession
Dominic West, The Crown
Gary Oldman, Slow Horses
Jeremy Strong, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us

Best Television Female Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Ayo Edebiri, The Bear
Elle Fanning, The Great
Natasha Lyonne, Poker Face
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
Selena Gomez, Only Murders in the Building

Best Television Male Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Bill Hader, Barry
Jason Segel, Shrinking
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Jeremy Allen White, The Bear
Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building
Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building

Best Female Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

Ali Wong, Beef
Brie Larson, Lessons in Chemistry
Elizabeth Olsen, Love & Death
Juno Temple, Fargo
Rachel Weisz, Dead Ringers
Riley Keough, Daisy Jones & the Six

Best Male Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

David Oyelowo, Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Jon Hamm, Fargo
Matt Bomer, Fellow Travelers
Sam Claflin, Daisy Jones & the Six
Steven Yeun, Beef
Woody Harrelson, White House Plumbers

Best Supporting Female Actor – Television

Abby Elliott, The Bear
Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets
Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
J. Smith-Cameron, Succession
Meryl Streep, Only Murders in the Building

Best Supporting Male Actor – Television

Alan Ruck, Succession
Alexander Skarsgard, Succession
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear
James Marsden, Jury Duty
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession

Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television

Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact
Chris Rock, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais: Armageddon
Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love
Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah: Where Was I
Wanda Sykes, Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer


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HBO Content to Move From Disney+ Hotstar From March 31: Details

HBO content such as Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, and Euphoria will be leaving Disney+ Hotstar by the end of March 2023. Replying to a tweet, Hotstar’s support team confirmed that starting March 31, HBO shows and movies will not be available to watch on the streaming platform, which has been the key destination for Indians to access the WarnerMedia content after the company discontinued HBO cable TV channels in the country in 2020. Of course, all Disney material, which includes Marvel and Star Wars content, will remain on the platform.

“Starting 31st March, HBO content will be unavailable on Disney+ Hotstar. You can continue enjoying Disney+ Hotstar’s vast library of content spanning over 100,000 hours of TV Shows and Movies in 10 languages and coverage of major global sporting events,” the tweet reads. A report from last month suggested that the shake-up is in line with some restructuring and cost-cutting plans returning Disney CEO Bob Iger announced, which included the layoffs of 7,000 workers. The original licensing deal between the two parties was signed back in late 2015 — when the platform was simply called ‘Hotstar’ — which brought over HBO content to the streaming service. At the time, Game of Thrones was a huge draw, which began streaming on Hotstar in India immediately after it finished airing in the US.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was another major source of traffic for Disney+ Hotstar, but took a big hit when Viacom18 bagged the digital streaming rights for it — for the next five years. Disney Star still holds the TV broadcast rights for it, though.

Additionally, Hotstar also did not renew the streaming rights for Formula 1 in 2023, with that content moving over to F1 TV Pro. That said, other sports content such as the Premier League, the Indian Super League, and select international cricket matches are still available to stream.

There were signs of some internal shake-up happening, long before the initial report. Normally, it is understood that in India, all HBO shows would appear on Disney+ Hotstar. However, when The Last of Us was gearing up for its premiere on January 15 around the world, the company never put up any banners or advertisements for the same, while the PR and support teams were still unsure of whether the series will be coming to India, after all. On January 16, however, the pilot just dropped with no prior announcement, to the surprise of fans, and has been strictly following a weekly schedule — save for episode 5, which was brought forward by two days to avoid clashing with the Super Bowl LVII event.

With Succession’s fourth and final season poised to drop on Disney+ Hotstar on March 26, it will be interesting to see how the company handles it. They could either release episode 1 and then shut down all HBO content, or avoid premiering the pilot altogether. Nevertheless, if you still haven’t caught up on the current fan-favourite The Last of Us series, The White Lotus, or any other HBO show, now would be a good time, since as of now, there is no solid confirmation for where the HBO content will end up. Industry analysts suggest Amazon Prime Video is a good candidate, where it could be packaged along with its usual content or provided as a separate subscription-based paid channel — akin to AMC+.


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  • Release Date 27 February 2013
  • Genre Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • Cast

    Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Iain Glen, Harry Lloyd, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Richard Madden, Alfie Allen, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann, Peter Dinklage, Aidan Gillen

  • Director

    Tim Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor

  • Producer

    Mark Huffam, Joanna Burn, Frank Doelger, Chris Newman, Greg Spence, Lisa McAtackney, Bryan Cogman, Duncan Muggoch

  • Release Date 16 January 2023
  • Genre Action, Drama, Thriller
  • Cast

    Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Storm Reid, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Melanie Lynskey

  • Director

    Kantemir Balagov

  • Producer

    Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann, Carolyn Strauss, Rose Lam, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan

  • Release Date 17 June 2019
  • Genre Drama
  • Cast

    Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Hunter Schafer

  • Director

    Augustine Frizzell, Sam Levinson, Jennifer Morrison, Pippa Bianco

  • Producer

    Sam Levinson, Kevin Turen, Ravi Nandan, Drake, Adel Future Nur, Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, nowrap, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Gary Lennon, Mirit Toovi, Tmira Yardeni, Yoram Mokadi, Jim Kleverweis, Zendaya, Tyler Romary, Philipp A. Barnett, Jamie Feldman, Kenneth Yu

  • Genre Comedy, Drama
  • Cast

    Nicholas Braun, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Peter Friedman, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong, J. Smith-Cameron, Dagmara Dominczyk, Justine Lupe, David Rasche, Scott Nicholson, Hiam Abbass, Fisher Stevens, Arian Moayed, Juliana Canfield

  • Director

    Mark Mylod, Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini, Becky Martin

  • Release Date 12 July 2021
  • Genre Comedy, Drama, Mystery
  • Cast

    Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Jake Lacy, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Sydney Sweeney, Steve Zahn, Molly Shannon

  • Director

    Mike White

  • Producer

    Nick Hall, David Bernad, Mike White

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