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The Best Shows on Paramount Plus

Everyone knows that a good streaming service needs to have a slate of great TV shows for viewers to explore. That’s part of what transformed Netflix into a global phenomenon, and it’s why services like Paramount Plus have worked hard to build a healthy library of series that subscribers can browse through. As is the case with all streaming services, Paramount Plus has a mix of original series that live only on the platform and older shows that were originally on broadcast and have now found a home on streaming.

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Although these shows have varied histories, each one of them is a great staple in Paramount Plus’s overall streaming library. Paramount Plus will likely continue to develop original content, but these shows will stand the test of time, whether they’re ongoing or have been over for a decade or longer.

The Legend of Korra (2012)
The Legend of Korra
tv-y7 4 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Family, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Janet Varney, David Faustino, P. J. Byrne
Created by Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
As a sequel series to Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe Legend of Korra had a steep hill to climb. The series is definitely more divisive than its predecessor, but that’s in part because of the bold, smart choices the show takes to avoid being a retread of Avatar. The show follows Korra, an older avatar who is very much into the idea of doing the job. Unlike her predecessor, she faces a number of threats over the course of her story, and the show is more about the ways in which she learns and grows from each of the villains that she faces. The Legend of Korra is more complicated than Avatar, and that’s a good thing.

Evil (2019)
82 %
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi
Created by Michelle King, Robert King
The Kings are the most creative minds working at CBS right now, and Evil brings a thoroughly modern lens to one of the most ancient subjects in the world. The series tells the story of a priest and a psychologist who work together investigating events that initially seem to have a supernatural dint to them. The line between what’s real and what isn’t is always fuzzy, but Evil is also unique for the ways in which it infuses thoroughly modern notions of darkness into its storytelling. It’s a series about living online, and how easy it is to be sucked into the darkness by the world around you, and it’s a delightful, twisted ride.

The Good Fight (2017)
The Good Fight
80 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald, Sarah Steele
Created by Phil Alden Robinson, Michelle King, Robert King
A bonkers sidequel to The Good Wife, which was once a prestige hit on CBS, The Good Fight is much wackier and zanier, but it also feels more finely tuned to the moment we’re living in. Whereas most series only glancingly refer to events in the real world, The Good Fight dove into current events with both feet. The series tells the story of Diane Lockhart, who, after Trump is elected president, joins a largely Black Chicago-based law firm and begins working to make the world a better place. It’s a series about the madness of modern America, and one that can sometimes seem as unhinged as the world really is. It’s all the better for that mania.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
Avatar: The Last Airbender
tv-y7 3 Seasons
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Olivia Hack, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman
Created by Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Although it aired originally on Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s debut on Netflix led to a renewed appreciation for the animated TV series. That appreciation was entirely deserved. Avatar, which tells the story of a young boy who wakes up after 100 years in an iceberg to discover that the world has been ravaged, is a beautiful coming of age story with weighty ideas about responsibility, honor, and what it means to be a hero. It’s set in one of the most inventive worlds in the history of American animation, and all of its characters are thoughtfully written and performed. Avatar is one of the best TV shows on any platform.

Survivor (2000)
70 %
tv-pg 41 Seasons
Genre Reality
Cast Jeff Probst
Created by Mark Burnett, Charlie Parsons
It may be 20 years old now, but the formula of Survivor is still one of the sharpest out there. That’s in large part because the reality series is based entirely on how people interact with one another. They form and break alliances, and performing well on the show is as much about catering to your relationships as it is about any physical feats of strength. Perhaps the best thing about Survivor, though, is that there are countless hours of it to pour through on Paramount Plus, because the show has regularly filmed two seasons a year for 20 years. It’s a great TV show about what it takes to survive not just on a deserted island, but in a small society filled with other people.

Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Star Trek: Discovery
73 %
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman
Created by Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller
As one of the longest-running sci-fi franchises in the history of TV, Star Trek: Discovery is just the latest iteration of a story that many are already deeply familiar with. Discovery is actually a prequel to the original Star Trek, and takes place roughly a decade before the events of the original series. Following a military scientist who eventually becomes captain of the Discovery, the show has helped bring Star Trek to modern audiences and is the first series set in the universe since Star Trek: Enterprise ended in 2005. Although Discovery hasn’t been met with universal acclaim, those who love it love it passionately, and it may prove to be an excellent entry point for science fiction fans who are unfamiliar with this world.

Frasier (1993)
79 %
tv-pg 11 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves
Created by Peter Casey, David Angell
It’s not exactly a controversial opinion to say that Frasier, one of the most decorated comedy series of all time, is a good TV show. Although it started as a spin-off of Cheers, the show eventually proved that it was a worthy successor, and lasted 11 seasons. The series follows Kelsey Grammar’s Frasier as he moves to Seattle in search of a new beginning. There, he hosts a radio show and deals with the strife around his personal life. The dry wit at the heart of Frasier was what sustained the show, but Frasier had a much bigger heart than it let on, and that warmth allowed these dry, silly characters to feel like family.

Chappelle's Show (2003)
Chappelle's Show
74 %
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Dave Chappelle
Created by Dave Chappelle, Neal Brennan
Dave Chappelle is the center of an ongoing controversy today, but that doesn’t make Chappelle’s Show any less era-defining. Dave Chappelle’s sketch show, which ran for three seasons starting in 2003, was filled with some of the funniest sketches in the history of comedy. What made Chappelle’s comedy so brilliant was its ability to make sharp political points without ever feeling like a diatribe. Chappelle’s best sketches had a distinct point of view, but they were also hilarious, and he knew that those things didn’t have to be in conflict. We live in a dark, absurd world, and Chappelle captured that world beautifully.

Twin Peaks (1990)
Twin Peaks
83 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Drama, Mystery
Cast Sheryl Lee, Mädchen Amick, Kimmy Robertson
Created by David Lynch, Mark Frost
Widely regarded as one of the best shows ever made, Twin Peaks is compelling in part because it feels like no other TV show ever made. The series is set in a small town that has been rocked by the death of a teenage girl. Following Dale Cooper, the FBI agent sent to investigate the murder, the series explores the darkness underneath the town of Twin Peaks, and the history of evil that even a quiet town has buried underneath it. As a story about murder, Twin Peaks is utterly compelling, but that’s not all the show is. Ultimately, it’s a story about the terrible things people do to one another, and how we reconcile with that horrifying potential.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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