Entertainment

Neon NZ’s 47 Best Shows To Binge In 2022

By Morgan Reardon
1st Jun 2022

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.

The Last Of Us

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. Watch it here.

The White Lotus Season 2

Hats off to writer/director Mike White, who has bought us yet another epic satire set within the White Lotus universe (and which, in our humble opinion, is even better than the original). 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's 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.

The Time Traveller's Wife

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

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

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 from May 5.

Yellowjackets

Believe the hype, Yellowjackets is every bit as amazing as you've heard. Not only does it star the girl gang of our 90s dreams (Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, and New Zealand's very own Melanie Lynskey), the plot is genius (think Lord of the Flies, only with chicks). Following a high school soccer team whose plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, it cuts cleverly between the time of the accident (1996) and the present day, where the characters are still coming to terms with their stint in the wild. Be warned, this one is super dark, and best not watched alone. Christina Ricci is an absolute standout as Misty, the token geek who also happens to be a total psychopath.

Atlanta Season 3

Chances are you've already binged the first two seasons of Atlanta, a comedy/drama starring Donald Glover as Earnest “Earn” Marks—one of two cousins navigating their way around the Atlanta rap scene in an effort to improve their families’ lives. Now for the third season, where we follow the characters as they tour Europe and adjust to the newfound success that comes with it. Prepare for plenty of WTF moments alongside some banging tunes.

Barry Season 3

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. Bill Hader is everything as the lead in Barry, a 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. Keep an eye out for the legendary Henry Winkler, who shines as Barry's mentor/acting tutor. Things take a turn in the currently dropping season 3, but we'll let you find out all about that yourself.

Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty

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. 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.

Our Flag Means Death

A new 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 and here's the lowdown. 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. Based loosely on a true story, this is the hilarious new show you didn't know you needed.

The Gilded Age

We're a sucker for a historical drama, especially one from the creator of Downton Abbey. Enter The Gilded Age, a brand-new series on Neon 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).

Euphoria Season 2

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 to now.

Landscapers 

This dark, four-part miniseries, inspired by real events, will shock you to your core. It follows Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Crown) and David Thewlis (Fargo), who play husband and wife duo, William and Patricia Wycherley. Taking place in the late 90s, in Nottinghamshire, England, Landscapers tells the story of how this mild-mannered, elderly couple is accused of murdering Patricia’s parents and burying them in their backyard. Shockingly, the disturbing events that took place in suburbia went undiscovered for over a decade—but this creepy series lays it all bare. 

Bump

When it comes to special brands of chaos, the Chalmers-Davis and Hernandez families are the gifts that keep on giving, and in season two of Bump, Oly (Nathalie Morris) and Santi (Carlos Sanson Jr) continue to get to know each other as teenage lovers and new parents while discovering just how much families can mess you up. Meanwhile, Angie (Claudia Karvan) ​​and Dom (Angus Sampson) continue to deal with the fallout of their separation, while dealing with the complicated new relationships and dramas they have found themselves immersed in.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone season four is finally here and the battle over land rages on, with the Duttons targeted like never before and everyone paying the price for power. Australia’s Jacki Weaver guest stars as Caroline Warner, CEO of Market Equities. Also joining are series newcomers Piper Perabo, who portrays Summer Higgins, a protestor against the state-funded police force that protects industrialised farming and the killing of animals; Kathryn Kelly, who portrays Emily, a vet tech who soon strikes up a relationship with a new cowboy; and Australia’s Finn Little, who portrays Carter—a young boy reminiscent of a young Rip, with Beth deciding the ranch is the best place to teach him a lesson on how to be a man.

Deceit 

Five months on from a brutal murder, The Met Police are still no closer to capturing the man they’re convinced is responsible, Colin Stagg. Under pressure from the media and determined to catch the man who, in their eyes, is guilty before he kills again, the police devise a bold undercover operation that will see an attractive, young female officer start a relationship with Colin Stagg. ‘Lizzie James’ (Niamh Algar) is determined to rise through the ranks, even if that means putting herself in the hands of a violent killer. Check out the series here.

The L Word: Generation Q

​​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. 

Murder At The Cottage

​​In 1996, two days before Christmas, French ex-pat Sophie Toscan du Plantier was brutally murdered at her holiday cottage in Schull, West Cork. In 2019, the key suspect, English journalist Ian Bailey—the first reporter on the scene—was found guilty in absentia by the French courts, yet was never found guilty in Ireland, owing to a lack of reliable evidence. The docuseries will take viewers on a journey of the unsolved case that has haunted West Cork for almost 25 years. Watch the series here.

Eden 

From the creators of Skins and written by an all-female creative team, Eden is a must-watch. The mystery of Eden unfolds over eight thrilling episodes and follows high-achieving 20-year-old Scout (Sophie Wilde), who returns home to the beach community of Eden after her first year at Juilliard, the prestigious New York performing arts school, to find her enigmatic best friend Hedwig (BeBe Bettencourt) indefinably changed. Across the series, we track backwards through Hedwig’s summer and forwards to Scout’s desperate investigation into her friend’s disappearance—triggering revelation after revelation about the lives of Eden’s inhabitants that will change the town forever.

We Are Lady Parts

If you’re looking for a series that is all about girl power then We Are Lady Parts is your new favourite series. 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

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.

Younger

For those who aren’t familiar with this epic show, Younger comes from the creator of Sex and the City, and follows Liza Miller (Sutton Foster), a talented editor navigating the highly competitive world of publishing while juggling the complications of mixing business with pleasure and facing the lie she created about her age to land her dream job—in short, she’s 40 but is claiming to be 26. As the seventh and final season drops on Stan, we finally saw Liza's big secret revealed with her forced to finally choose, is she Team Josh or Team Charles?

Made For Love

Starring Ray Romano, Made for Love is a dark, absurd, and cynically poignant story of divorce and revenge, which follows Hazel Green, a thirty-something woman on the run, taking refuge with her ageing widower father Herbert (Romano) after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Soon she discovers that her husband has implanted a monitoring device – the Made for Love chip – in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her “emotional data” as she tries to regain her independence. Through the chip, Byron’s able to watch Hazel’s every move as she flees to her desert hometown under the protection of her ageing widowed father and his synthetic partner, Diane.

City On A Hill

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

An uber-sharp and poignant new six-part comedy series about the social, mental and personal obstacles that just get in the way of happiness, This Way Up is a must-watch. 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. 

And Just Like That...

Yes! The highly anticipated Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... is finally here. The new chapter of the ground-breaking series follows Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. The series also includes old faves like Chris Noth, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg, Willie Garson, and Evan Handler. 

The Great

In season two of The Great, Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own—but if she thought coup-ing her husband was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of ‘liberating' a country that doesn’t want to be. She’ll battle her court, her team, even her own mother (played by Gillian Anderson) in a bid to bring enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile, she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from a much-hated husband to prisoner? Ally? Lover? Ultimately Catherine will learn that to change a country, you must let it change you. 

ZeroZeroZero

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.

Succession

This award-winning series has two juicy seasons for you to binge-watch and trust us, once you start, you won’t stop. And you're in luck, with weekly episodes of season three dropping every Monday from the 18 October. Succession follows the uber-wealthy Roy family, known for controlling the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. However, their world changes when their father looks to step down from the company and the fight for power begins. With characters so well drawn, you'll be utterly and immediately entranced by their Machiavellian schemes and often hilarious family dynamics, there's a good reason this is one of the best things to watch on Neon NZ right now.

Scenes From A Marriage

This reboot of Ingar Bergmann's 1973 Swedish miniseries stars Hollywood heavyweights Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac as a contemporary American couple whose marriage is falling apart. 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

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

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, plenty of high production drama in a futuristic world. Utterly engrossing.  

Gangs Of London

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.  

Time

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 White Lotus

Taking place at a swanky Hawaiian resort, The White Lotus follows the exploits of various guests and employees over the span of a week. Despite everyone’s happy exteriors, there’s a simmering tension waiting to explode. There’s a newly married couple on their honeymoon, a widower who comes to spread her late mother’s ashes, a young family with a famous mother and angsty teens and a hotel manager who's constantly on the edge expertly played by Aussie actor Murray Bartlett. Expect plenty of cringe-worthy moments interspersed with black comedy gold and a soundtrack that's next-level. This series gets our pick as one of the best shows on Neon NZ right now. 

What We Do In The Shadows  

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 three has just been released.  

Pose

The category is: onscreen representation and visibility. Set in New York in the 1980s, Pose shines a light on the ballroom scene—an underground community for queer people and a safe space from everyday oppression. From the man who brought us American Horror Story and Glee, Ryan Murphy is now responsible for thrusting icons Billy Porter and Indya Moore centre stage in a drama where a young woman takes charge of her destiny as the mother of House Evangelista.

Gossip Girl

Eight years after the original blog went dark, a new generation of private school teens are introduced to Gossip Girl. The reboot centres around popular teen Julien Calloway and her close-knit group of genetically blessed mates at Constance Billard. But Julien’s perfect life takes a nosedive when her estranged half-sister Zoya turns up catching the eye of her boyfriend and Gossip Girl. 

The Nevers

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

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

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 Flight Attendant

Set in the world of travel and high-end airlines, this darkly comedic thriller series follows Cassie Bowden (The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco), a flight attendant whose life takes a terrifying turn when a one night stand turns deadly. Waking up in the wrong bed, with a dead man—and no idea what happened, Cassie flees back to the US but it’s not long before the police come knocking and Cassie needs to figure out fast, who she can really trust. 

The Undoing

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 

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.

Mrs. America

Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly. Through the perspective of Schlafly (played by Cate Blanchett) and second-wave feminists, this series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s forever shifted the political landscape.

Lovecraft Country

Based on Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. This begins a struggle to survive and overcome the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback. 

The Plot Against America

A working-class Jewish family in New Jersey watches the political rise of aviator-hero and xenophobic populist Charles Lindbergh, as he becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism. This six-part re-imagining of history is based on the Philip Roth novel of the same name. This one also has a stellar cast too with Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector and Winona Ryder.

The Outsider

Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name, The Outsider begins with a seemingly straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a young boy. But when a supernatural force somehow edges its way into the case, it leads a seasoned cop and an unorthodox investigator to question everything they believe in.

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

Image credit: Neon

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