Entertainment

Neon NZ’s Very Best Shows To Binge In 2024

By Urban List Writers
1st Feb 2024

We guarantee you’ve seamlessly worked your way through nearly every TVNZ, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ show by now, but fear not, Neon NZ is here to save the day.

Home to some of the best series from HBO Max, Warner Bros, Sony, NBCU, FX and BBC content, you can now work your way through the likes of Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The OfficeThe Wire, Breaking BadThe Walking Dead, Westworld, The Bold Type and True Detective, you know, the types of show everyone talks about. 

With over 10,000 glorious hours of content, we've hand-picked the best new shows to watch on Neon NZ.

Fargo

One of the best shows on Neon NZ, the groundbreaking anthropological series Fargo returns for season 5, with episodes from the US dropping every Wednesday. In 2019 North Dakota, a Midwestern housewife is swept back into a life she thought she'd left behind.

Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jon Hamm, Juno Temple, Lamorne Morris and an incredibly creepy Sam Spruell this cat-and-mouse tale of deception, intrigue and murder in and around Fargo, Minnesota will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

True Detective

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If you haven't yet caught wind of True Detective, let us clue you in. This gripping crime anthology series follows a fresh detective (or two) each season as they hunt down a twisted killer and let us tell you, the cast is always top-notch and has previously featured the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Rachel McAdams, Woody Harrelson, and Mahershala Ali (just casually).

The show's next chapter, True Detective: Night Country, is keeping with tradition and snagging a seriously A-list cast which includes the legendary Jodie Foster. She's playing none other than the badass detective Liz Danvers.

When the long winter night falls in Ennis, Alaska, the eight men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station vanish without a trace. To solve the case, detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro must confront their pasts and the dark truths lying underneath the Arctic ice. We've got no word yet on the official release date but keep your eyes peeled. 

Our Flag Means Death

A comedy about pirates, starring Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby? Aye, we're hooked before we've even heard the storyline! Lucky for us, Our Flag Means Death delivers on the hype. The year is 1717, and aristocrat Stede Bonnet (Darby) is done with living the good life.

Follow him as he ditches his extravagant ways in favour of cannons, cutlasses, and all-around chaos to become—you guessed it—a pirate. With plenty of Kiwi talent sprinkled throughout and now into its second season, this queer comedy just keeps getting better. 

The Gilded Age

We're a sucker for a historical drama, especially one from the creator of Downton Abbey. Enter The Gilded Age, a series on Neon now into its second season that follows Marian Brook, a young girl from the country who moves to New York to live with her aunts following the death of her father.

Watch as Marian tries to find her place amongst the exciting and often complicated world of 1800s New York, which is on the brink of the modern age. As with Downton Abbey, the sets and costumes here are an absolute treat and don't forget to keep an eye out for familiar faces like Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City's Miranda).

Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty

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The story of how mixing the high life and celebrity of Hollywood helped the Los Angeles Lakers become the most successful professional basketball team of the 1980s—defining an era both on and off the court is back for season two.

Dare we mention this one is also directed by the same legend that brought you The Big Short and Vice—Adam McKay. The entire show is an ode to peak 80s sport and celebrity culture and you need it in your life. Watch Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty here.

Waco: The Aftermath

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Following on the dramatic events from 2018's stunning mini-series starring Michael Shannon, Waco: The Aftermath follows the searing aftermath of the disastrous 1993 FBI standoff in Waco, Texas. An event that would help radicalise Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and many others, and catalyse events that led to the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Love & Death

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Say what you want about the Olsen twins, because boy can younger sister Elizabeth act. The WandaVision star steals the show as the lead character in this thrilling miniseries from the executive producers of Big Little Lies and The Undoing, including the one and only Nicole Kidman.

Based on a true story, Love & Death follows housewife Candy Montgomery as she embarks on an affair with a fellow member of her church, Allan Gore (Jesse Plemons) during the late 70s/early 80s in small-town Texas.

But what starts out as a bit of extramarital fun later takes a deadly turn. Also starring Patrick Fugit (remember him from Almost Famous?), Krysten Ritter, and Tom Pelphrey (Ozark's Ben), we're about as obsessed with this show as Candy is with Allan. Brownie points for the nostalgic soundtrack. 

Barry 

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How a series about a hitman who 'finds himself' makes us feel so damn good, we're not entirely sure but nonetheless, here we are, four seasons deep.

Bill Hader is everything as the lead in this dark comedy that follows a depressed assassin who gets a new lease on life when he joins an acting class to suss out his next victim—an aspiring actor who's bedding a mobster's wife.

Will Barry finally get the redemption he's been seeking in this final season? Watch it here.

George & Tammy

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We're head over (cowboy boot-clad) heels for this new series about country music power couple, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.

Known as the President and First Lady of country music, their turbulent romance inspired some of the greatest hits of the genre and indeed, all time (Stand By Your Man, anyone?). Beginning in the late 60s, this six-parter explores the duo's marriage and respective careers through the guise of Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain, and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon.

George & Tammy also serves up a solid soundtrack and some great style moments, too. Watch it here.

What We Do In The Shadows  

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A reimagining of Taika Waititi’s epic film What We Do In The Shadows follows the night-to-night activities of vampires who’ve been living together for hundreds of years.

Filmed documentary style, Nandor, Laszlo and Nadja live in Staten Island alongside their human familiar and have to deal with the hilarious, age-old intricacies which come with flatting—particularly one which comes with an energy vampire who lives in the basement.

Their original intent was to take over the known world, but jumping forward to the present day, it seems things haven’t quite gone according to plan. Season five has just been released.  

The White Lotus

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When it comes to The White Lotus, we love a bit of pre-season speculation. With the first two seasons of this cult anthology having been shot at Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii and Italy, in the lead up to season three, word on the street is the next iteration of White Lotus is set to take place in Thailand.

Now, if you've already done the deep diving, you'll know there are four different hotspots the resort calls home including Koh Samui, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle. All pretty swanky places to film, if you ask us. While nothing has been confirmed officially, we're already excited.

If you're yet to catch up on the Emmy® winning series from Mike White, this time 'round we've left the shores of Hawaii in favour of the Italian seaside, where, as in the first season, we're introduced to a ragtag group of hotel guests, staff, and locals, to whom there is more than meets the eye.

There are unlikely college friends Cameron (Theo James) and Ethan (Will Sharpe), joined by their respective wives Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza)—three generations of Di Grassos (including Sopranos alumni Michael Imperioli)—and the return of series one fan favourite and the Queen of Awkward herself, Tanya—brilliantly portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge, who in fact won a Golden Globe for the role.

So ensues a delicious tale of debauchery, dysfunction, and deception—all set against a gorgeous Sicilian backdrop. What more could you want? P.S. If you're not humming the frenzied opening theme with an Aperol Spritz in one hand by the time you've seen this season through, are you even a fan? Watch it here.

Yellowjackets 

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If you thought season one of Yellowjackets was disturbing, wait 'til you watch season two. We're once again reunited with all of our fave characters and even get to meet adult versions of Van and Lottie (played by Kiwi Simone Kessell), along with new-kid-on-the-block Walter aka Elijah Wood.

None of this sounds particularly ominous, we know, but it's not long into the first episode before we start to see some of the most alarming behaviours to date developing amongst the character's younger selves—still fighting for survival in the Canadian woods following a plane crash—including (not a spoiler alert if you know anything about the show!) the long-alluded-to act of cannibalism.

The bottom line? Buckle in kids, 'cause season two is one hell of an uncomfortable ride. Watch it here.

Succession 

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Roy siblings Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Roman (Kieran Culkin) are a united front when this award-winning series picks back up, having formed an alliance against their father, Logan (Brian Cox), in their bid to stop him from selling off Waystar Royco to Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård). Watch it here.

The Last Of Us

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Whether you've played the games or are a total Last of Us noob, this hotly-anticipated series will have you hooked from the very first episode.

Man of the moment, Pedro Pascal (aka The Mandalorian, aka the Red Viper) leads the cast as Joel, a hardened smuggler living in a grim, post-apocalyptic world who is tasked with helping a young girl, Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey, who you may also recognise from Game of Thrones) escape from a brutal quarantine zone before embarking on a hellish journey across the US. Gritty, confronting and at times absolutely terrifying, this is a solid watch.

P.S. Keep an eye out for White Lotus season 1 break-out star, Murray Bartlett in an episode hailed as one of the best of all time. Watch it here.

Yellowstone

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Yellowstone is back for its highly-anticipated fifth season which picks up where the Dutton family last left off, with the action-packed trailer teasing an explosive plot following John's successful election as governor of Montana. If you haven't managed to get around this hit series yet, check out all you need to know right here.

High Maintenance

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Slide into this four-season comedy that will leave you tickled pink. High Maintenance follows weed delivery man The Guy as he completes his rounds in New York, giving a sneak peek into the lives and loves of the colourful characters who he interacts with.

Each episode is a stand-alone delight with recurring themes and threads from previous encounters accompanied by a banging soundtrack. A masterpiece. Binge it here.

House Of The Dragon

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House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel was easily the most anticipated series of the year. The show, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel, Fire & Blood, which is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen. You can watch it here. 

Westworld

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Back for season four, Westworld is on a hard return—nearly two years after its third season first premiered. Like all previous seasons, you can expect this next iteration to be absolute chaos with all the twists and turns. Dolores Abernathy is obviously no more (RIP), someone has taken a trip to the Sublime (we’re looking at you Bernard) and obviously, The Man In Black is a robot. Watch it here. 

Raised By Refugees

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From Kiwi comedian Pax Assadi, Raised By Refugees is a heartfelt comedy inspired by his own formative tween-age years growing up in Auckland. Pax, played by Kenus Binu, is a typical 12-year-old from the early 2000s, whose parents came to NZ in the late 80s as refugees. While his parents want him to get good grades, all Pax wants to do is fit in. But a major international incident makes that very difficult. Watch it here. 

The Lazarus Project

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Starring Paapa Essiedu (Gangs of London), The Lazarus Project is a time-bending psychological thriller that follows an all-but-average bloke George, who wakes up one morning to find himself reliving a day from his months-long past. When George is recruited for the secret organisation called the Lazarus Project, he's expected to make the ultimate sacrifice, one he's not willing to make. Watch it here. 

Better Call Saul

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Starring Bob Odenkirk, the Emmy-nominated acclaimed drama series Better Call Saul returns for its sixth and final season. The series will conclude the ever-complicated journey of Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk), into criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. In case you missed it, the final season of the Breaking Bad spinoff will unite Walter White and Jesse Pinkman which is major news. Watch it here. 

The Time Traveller's Wife

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You've seen the movie, now watch the show. The Time Traveller's Wife is a magical love story, adapted by Steven Moffat from the much-loved novel by Audrey Niffenegger. Unsurprisingly (because even if you've never heard of this one, the title tells all), this show delves into the lives of Clare and Henry, and a marriage with a problem... time travel.  Watch it here.

We Own This City

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From the Executive Producers of The Wire, this six-episode limited drama series is based on the book by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. Watch it here.

The Staircase

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The Staircase is a highly-anticipated limited-drama series starring Colin Firth and Toni Colette. Based on a very true story, the show looks at the life of Michael Peterson, an American novelist who was convicted of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson back in 2003. Watch it here.

Julia

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Get ready to chow down on the new comfort series worthy of your sweet time. Julia is inspired by Julia Child’s extraordinary life and her long-running television series, The French Chef, which basically pioneered the modern cooking show.

This series explores a pivotal time in American history with the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women’s movement, the nature of celebrity and America’s cultural evolution. It ticks all the boxes. Watch it here.

Euphoria 

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Euphoria follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a drug addict fresh from rehab with no plans to stay clean. Circling in Rue's orbit is Jules, a transgender girl searching for where she belongs; Nate, a jock whose anger issues mask sexual insecurities; Cassie, whose sexual history continues to dog her; and Kat, a body-conscious teen exploring her sexuality. 

In season one, the classmates struggle to make sense of their futures, with the series tackling the teenage landscape of partying and anxiety-ridden day-to-day life. Season two, without giving away any spoilers, is a whole new level of crazy (to put things lightly).

The second iteration of Euphoria really brings Cassie’s story forward and dives into some pretty menacing scenes with Rue, take season two, episode five—where the two girls are pushed to absolute breaking point. You really have to watch it now.

The L Word: Generation Q

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​​Based on the groundbreaking drama series The L Word, season two of The L Word: Generation Q will continue to follow the intermingled lives of Bette Porter, Shane, Alice, Dani, Micah, Sarah, Sophie, Gigi and Angelica as they experience love, heartbreak, setbacks and success in L.A. 

We Are Lady Parts

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The series is written, created and directed by Nida Manzoor, who has drawn on her own experiences; and takes inspiration from the rich and diverse cultural collectives and artists in London while boasting an exciting ensemble cast of new British acting talent.

We Are Lady Parts shows the highs and lows of a punk band—called Lady Parts—as seen through the eyes of Amina Hussain (Anjana Vasan)—a geeky microbiology PhD student, who’s on the lookout for love and romance.

Domina

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Led by Kasia Smutniak, Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones) and Isabella Rossellini, this eight-episode landmark series follows Livia’s journey from a naïve young girl whose world crumbles in the wake of Julius Caesar’s assassination, to Rome’s most powerful and influential Empress, driven by a deep desire to avenge her father and secure power for her sons.

Livia and her peers navigate their way through a brutal society by means of strategy, conspiracy, seduction and murder. It’s the perfect historical drama that you’ll absolutely binge the hell out of. Check out the series here.

City On A Hill

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Starring Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge, and executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the second season of City on a Hill centres on a federal housing project in  Boston that is plagued with drug violence and a rightful distrust in local law enforcement.

As coalition leader Grace Campbell works tirelessly on behalf of the community, her efforts are undermined by gang activity happening right under her nose. Enter irreverent FBI agent Jackie Rohr (Bacon), who is here to exploit Boston's defective criminal justice system in a desperate attempt to salvage his own career.

Unfortunately for Jackie, assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge) is onto his adversary’s latest misstep. In time, the personal antagonism between these two escalates to an all-out war between the offices and no one is safe from the collateral damage.

This Way Up

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Aisling Bea plays Aine, a woman trying to pull her life back together after a 'teeny little nervous breakdown', as her fretful sister Shona (Sharon Horgan) worries, not only about her sibling but also about her own life choices. Watch it here.

The Great

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Strap in for three seasons of The Great, a comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great—the longest reigning female ruler in Russian history. Hoping for love and sunshine when she marries the Tsar, Catherine instead finds a backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, baffle the military, and get the court onside. Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult shine in this offbeat comedy caper.

ZeroZeroZero

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If cut-throat crime dramas are your thing, ZeroZeroZero should be top of your to-binge list. This critically-acclaimed eight-part series from Italian writer, Roberto Saviano dives deep into the world of the global drug trade—specifically, a massive shipment of cocaine as seen through the eyes of those involved (the hustling Mexican sellers, the white-collar American brokers, and the ruthless Italian buyers). Fans of Ozark and Narcos are sure to enjoy.

Scenes From A Marriage

Mira (Chastain) is an ambitious tech executive discontent with their relationship, while Jonathan (Isaac) is the brilliant philosophy professor determined to keep them together, and so unfolds a complicated story of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, and more.

Packing in some serious feels (if the trailer makes you cry, just wait!), we reckon Scenes from a Marriage is even better than 2019's Marriage Story.

Insecure

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Creator Issa Rae stars as Issa Dee, a young woman struggling to navigate the tricky professional and personal terrain of Los Angeles in the final year of her 20s.

Stuck in a job where she feels like everyone is progressing but her and questioning whether her relationship is at a dead-end, she joins forces with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji), to finally take control of her life.

Neon just dropped the fifth and final season of this hilarious show, so pop Insecure on your must-watch list. Check it out here

Raised By Wolves

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From executive producer Ridley Scott, HBO Max series Raised By Wolves is definitely one of the best shows on Neon NZ. It goes like this: two androids (named Mother and Father) are tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet, but as the burgeoning colony of humans in space threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.

Expect twists, turns, and plenty of high-production drama in a futuristic world. Utterly engrossing.  

Gangs Of London

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If you like your drama gritty and with a British accent, Gangs Of London is for you. For 20 years, Finn Wallace was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organisation each year. But now he’s dead—and nobody knows who ordered the hit.

With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace to take his father’s place. Prepare to be swept along London’s dirty criminal underworld where loyalties are constantly tested, now back for a new season.  

Time

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You’re in for a rollercoaster with the BBC’s critically acclaimed Time. Consumed by guilt for accidentally killing a man, newly imprisoned Mark Cobden (played by Britsh acting royalty Sean Bean) is confronted with the harsh realities of his new life, while prison officer Eric McNally (played by the excellent Stephen Graham) is faced with an impossible choice when a dangerous inmate identifies his weakness.

This show is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat, no wonder it’s one of the best shows on Neon NZ. 

The Nevers

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Historical drama fans, The Nevers is for you. Set in 1896, Victorian London is rocked to its core when a supernatural event gives certain people—mostly women—abnormal abilities. But no matter their particular “turns,” all who belong to this new underclass are in grave danger. It falls to mysterious, quick-fisted widow Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and brilliant young inventor Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) to protect and shelter these gifted "orphans".

Betty

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This series is a spin-off of Crystal Moselle’s amazing 2018 film Skate Kitchen. It features much of the original cast, including Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, and Rachelle Vinberg, and follows a diverse group of Gen Z women as they navigate their lives through the male-dominated world of skateboarding in New York City. Witty, smart and serving up a serious dose of feminist power—you’ll love Betty. 

Mare Of Eastown

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If you only watch one show from this list, make it Mare Of Eastown. It stars the incredible Kate Winslet as detective Mare Sheehan, whose life crumbles around her when investigating a shocking murder in small-town Pennsylvania. When the dark side of the close community is exposed through the course of the investigation, long-held secrets will be revealed, changing the course of people’s lives—and Mare's—forever. 

The Undoing

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From writer David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies), this limited series is the binge-worthy show you’ve been looking for. It centres around Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman), a successful therapist, her devoted husband, Jonathan (Hugh Grant), and their young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. But the plot twist occurs when a cheating scandal, a violent death and a missing spouse comes to light. 

I May Destroy You 

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This drama series has gained worldwide praise, and for good reason—it’s incredible. Set in London, the series centres on Arabella (played by Michaela Coel, who also penned the script), a carefree, self-assured Londoner who is working on her second, highly anticipated book. But when her drink is spiked and she is subjected to a harrowing sexual assault she must question and rebuild every element of her life.

In the mood for more bingeing? Catch the best of what's streaming across all the NZ channels right here.

Image credit: Neon.

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