Notable TV Series/Seasons Released in 2023

With over 400 episodes of limited series, anime, and multiple-season shows, these are the notable shows we feel are worth checking out (assuming you haven’t already).


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Logo for TV shows, featuring a HD screen with red, black, and green colors. Artwork by Dean Nelson.

Angel

Angel
“Angel,” Angel, “Friends or Foes,” directed by Jamal Hill, 2023, (BET Plus)

Summary

Focusing on the title character Angel, over the three-episode season, you watch her go from this young lady who has long endured multiple forms of abuse to falling in love with a local hustler named Diamond to struggling to protect her foster family and even survive in prison.

Why Chosen

Despite premiering nearly a year ago and only having three episodes, “Angel” has become proof that less will cause people to want more, and as BET Plus builds out its brand, “Angel” has quickly become a potential flagship show that could join other notable series like “The Ms. Pat Show” in featuring Black and Brown stories told in a way that haven’t been seen.

Episode 1 Recap/ Review

Where You Can Watch It

It’s exclusive to BET Plus.

The Last Of Us

Title Card - The Last Of Us
“Title Card,” The Last Of Us, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” directed by Craig Mazin, 2023, (HBO)

Summary

Following the events of the Naughty Dog, Playstation exclusive hit originally released in 2013, in “The Last Of Us,” we follow a man named Joel, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where a mutated fungus turns humanity into zombie-like creatures. In the first season, he finds himself tasked with taking a young girl, Ellie, from the northeast to the northwest at the request of a rebel group leader who thinks Ellie could be the key to creating a vaccine.

Why Chosen

2023 was a major year for video game adaptations, and while the “Super Mario Brothers” movie was a hit on the big screen, the small screen found itself dominated by the performances of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. These two actors found a way to both embody the characters enough to please fans of the original series while subverting the long-held impressions that video game adaptations are more so money grabs than anything to be taken seriously.

Together, alongside Melania Lynskey and Nick Offerman, we got a truly notable series that has probably become second only to the phenomenon that is Game of Thrones for HBO.

Episode 1: Recap/ Review

Where You Can Watch It

It’s an HBO exclusive

Mushoku Tensei Jobless Reincarnation

Title Card
“Title Card,” Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, “The Forest in the Dead of Night,” directed by Nobuyoshi Arai, 2023, (Crunchyroll)

Summary

Currently still in its second season, with the next cour premiering this spring, “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation” is about a young man named Rudy who died in our world and was reincarnated in a fantasy world where there are dragons, magic, and demons and more.

The focus of the second season, however, has us focused on Rudy’s late teen years as he begins going to university and deals with the devasting effects of what happened in the first season. Of which one of the side effects is him developing erectile dysfunction.

Why Chosen

This was one of our favorite shows of 2023 and one of our favorite shows in general. Now, admittedly, it isn’t without flaws, mainly in it having elements like how perverted Rudy can be or how the second season was nonchalant about the idea of owning a slave.

But, in terms of showing a vulnerable male who, yes, is becoming notable in this new world and life but dealing with many insecurities of his past life, I don’t think either live-action or animated productions truly tap into the human experience, especially male, as well as “Jobless Reincarnation” does.

Season Premiere of Season 2

Where You Can Watch It

Hulu | Crunchyroll | Buy Seasons via Amazon

Survival Of The Thickest

Title Card Survival of the Thickest Season 1 Episode 1 scaled

Summary

Starring Michelle Buteau, “Survival of the Thickest” is about her character, Mavis, who was recently cheated on and is in the process of rediscovering life and love and pursuing her dreams, no matter how big, rather than shrinking herself to fit into the dreams of others.

Why Chosen

Despite not covering more than either the first or second episode, we truly did love this series. It older characters than usually focused on, far more LGBT+ representation, and the characters are less so flawed and more so dealing with their flaws.

Of which, with Buteau’s desire to push the audience to embrace their flaws as things society has deemed wrong but which make you unique, “Survival of the Thickest” has this strange mix of positivity, sexuality, and the pursuit of growth that you’d be hard press to find anywhere else.

Season 1/ Episode 1 Recap/ Review

Where You Can Watch It

Only on Netflix

Everything Now

Mia (Sophie Wilde)
“Mia (Sophie Wilde),” Everything Now, “Episode 3,” directed by Charlie Manton, 2023, (Netflix)

Summary

Mia has recently left an inpatient recovery center for an eating disorder, and while she was away, the world moved on, and with her being a teenager, this is frightening. So, once back home, beyond trying to reestablish her relationships, some of which she damaged, she is trying to catch up to where everyone is in life.

Why Chosen

Sophie Wilde, the star of one of our notable movies of 2023, pushes the idea that she will not just become a new scream queen but will present her versatility as an actress. Through “Everything Now,” we watch her go from self-destructive to overly pensive, love-struck, and struggling, and overall, we get a sense that Wilde, who will next be seen in Netflix’s “Boy Swallows Universe,” has staying power.

Focus on her aside, what is especially nice about this is that it depicts a Black girl going through an eating disorder, which, to me, is rare. Often, the focus is on the strength, the resiliency, just that Black girls rock, and in the process of pushing that narrative, we don’t see Black girls get to be vulnerable, unsure, questioning who they are, or even struggle without making an action hero comeback.

Stories like “Everything Now” are necessary in the pursuit of breaking stereotypes, even those that could be seen as positive, are broken, and we’re given a sense of humanity that, for some people and cultures, is inconsistently portrayed.

Season 1/ Episode 1 Recap/ Review

Where You Can Watch It

Netflix Exclusive

Scavenger’s Reign

Title Card
“Title Card,” Scavengers Reign, “The Signal,” directed by Joseph Bennett, Charles Huettner, 2023, (MAX)

Summary

On the planet Vesta, the only mobile people of the Demeter 227 who survived are trying to bring what remains of the ship from orbit to the planet’s surface and wake those held in stasis. However, with Vesta having a wildlife population that hasn’t been domesticated or interacted with what exists of humanity, who may survive to complete this goal is worth questioning.

Why Chosen

I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but at the same time, I love what it can represent, and I feel “Scavenger’s Reign” is the best example of what keeps me curious. The way it handles world-building makes you want to see the show’s bible to know what went into creating this animal or that one, and then there are the characters.

While some you may not grow as fond of as others, each one has an interesting enough story so that they can exist beyond being a medium to an intriguing world. Ultimately, this makes it so “Scavenger’s Reign” exists beyond the usual sci-fi allure of what visuals it can produce, but it gives you a balanced world and character-building show that hopefully will come back for a second season.

Season 1 Review

Where You Can Watch It

Max


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