Top Television Picks of 2023: AP’s Recommendations Feature ‘Succession,’ ‘Jury Duty,’ ‘Shrinking,’ and ‘Swarm’

by Sophia Chen
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TV Picks 2023

In a landscape overflowing with television shows on various platforms, discerning viewers are often left wondering which gems they might have missed. This year, The Big Big News has meticulously curated a list of top television offerings from 2023 that promises to captivate and entertain. These selections span the spectrum from compelling dramas to side-splitting comedies, ensuring there’s something for every discerning palate.

Some of these shows are fresh faces on the scene, while others have concluded their runs, leaving an indelible mark on television history. Yet, others hold the promise of new episodes to look forward to. With December upon us, it’s the perfect moment to update your TBW (to be watched) list or indulge in a binge-watching session during the serene interlude between Christmas and New Year’s, when the days blur into one.

Here’s a rundown of ten must-watch shows from 2023:

1. “The Bear,” FX on Hulu

Let’s commence with a public service announcement: if you haven’t already, make it a point to watch “The Bear.” This FX series introduces us to Carmy, a renowned fine-dining chef portrayed by Jeremy Allen White. Carmy’s return to his Chicago hometown to manage his late brother’s dive establishment sets the stage for an enchanting journey. Debuting quietly on Hulu in 2022, this show swiftly gained acclaim, both by word of mouth and critical appraisal. Its sophomore season didn’t disappoint, consistently delivering moments that will make you laugh, cry, and feel the full spectrum of emotions. Notably, episode six, titled “Fishes,” is a true masterpiece.

2. “The Big Door Prize,” Apple TV+

Following the conclusion of “Schitt’s Creek” in 2020, viewers craving a show that celebrates acceptance and unlikely friendships will find solace in “The Big Door Prize.” This series delves into the lives of a small-town populace whose destinies take a whimsical turn when a mysterious game called Morpho appears in their local store. Morpho claims to unveil each player’s life potential, leading some to make life-altering choices while others grapple with doubt and insecurity. Each episode offers a unique perspective on the characters’ reactions to their Morpho revelations. Chris O’Dowd leads a charming cast in this adaptation of M.O. Walsh’s novel, and fans can look forward to a second season.

3. “The Golden Bachelor,” ABC and Hulu

After 27 seasons of “The Bachelor,” the franchise introduced a senior-centric version titled “The Golden Bachelor.” This heartwarming twist followed the journey of a 70-something widower named Gerry Turner in search of love. The show’s record-breaking streaming numbers on Hulu reflect the authenticity of its cast, with Turner expressing confidence in the contestants’ genuine motives. In an exciting turn of events, Gerry Turner’s wedding will be broadcast live on ABC on January 4.

4. “Swarm,” Prime Video

Dominique Fishback’s star ascended to new heights with her leading role in “Swarm,” earning her an Emmy nomination. Co-created by Donald Glover, the show explores the life of Dre, an obsessive fan of an R&B singer known as Ni’Jah, whose fan base is aptly named “the swarm.” Dre’s fervent devotion takes a dark and deadly turn, offering a thought-provoking commentary on celebrity worship. “Swarm” boasts an impressive lineup of guest stars, including Chloe Bailey, Damson Idris, Paris Jackson, Halsey, and Billie Eilish.

5. “The Other Two,” Max

For a lighter take on the world of celebrity and internet fame, “The Other Two” fits the bill. Crafted by former “Saturday Night Live” writers, the show follows the lives of Cary and Brooke, the older siblings of a teen pop sensation named Chase Dreams. Although the series was canceled after three seasons by Max, it remains a delightful exploration of internet culture, millennials, celebrity life, and sibling rivalry. Drew Tarver and Heléne Yorke play the older siblings, with Molly Shannon portraying their mother and manager to the clueless Chase, portrayed by Case Walker.

6. “Beef,” Netflix

“Beef” is a dark comedy that delves into the unhealthy fixation between two individuals. Ali Wong and Steven Yeun’s characters nearly collide in a parking lot, sparking a chain of events that escalates into a relentless cycle of road rage and vengeance. As the story unfolds, you might question whether these two adversaries secretly harbor affection for one another. Ali Wong explains, “At first, you think it’s about these two people who are enemies, but they keep involving each other in each other’s lives and they keep coming back to each other. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because they are letting those walls down. They’re seeing each other at their ugliest and the worst, but somehow it’s very connecting, and they still want to be around each other.”

7. “Jury Duty,” Amazon Freevee

In “Jury Duty,” the ordinary Ronald Gladden believes he’s been selected for a jury trial filmed for a documentary. Little does he know that everyone involved, including James Marsden in a hilarious rendition of himself, is an actor. The ensuing situations, from “witness” testimonies to interactions among the jury members, are absurdly entertaining, and it’s a wonder that Gladden doesn’t catch on. Created by the duo behind the iconic “Dinner Party” episode of “The Office,” Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, this series is a testament to their mastery of uncomfortable humor.

8. “Perry Mason,” HBO

“Perry Mason” underwent a significant transformation between its first and second seasons. While the initial season presented a dark portrayal of Mason as a broke, divorced, angry, and alcoholic attorney, the second season took a remarkable turn for the better. The central mystery became gripping, supporting characters enriched the narrative, and moments of levity were sprinkled throughout. Mason’s investigative skills shone as he navigated his way toward becoming a successful lawyer. Although the series was ultimately canceled, you can still catch it on Max.

9. “Shrinking,” Apple TV+

Despite the seemingly somber themes of therapy and grief, “Shrinking” manages to deliver a feel-good comedy. Jason Segel stars as Jimmy, a man grappling with the recent loss of his wife and making a series of questionable decisions. Meanwhile, his teenage daughter watches from the sidelines, essentially raised by a neighbor portrayed by Christa Miller. The irony lies in Jimmy’s profession as a therapist, working alongside colleagues played by Harrison Ford and Jessica Williams, each harboring their own set of personal issues. Created by Jason Segel, Bill Lawrence, and Emmy winner Brett Goldstein, known for his role as Roy Kent in “Ted Lasso,” this series offers a delightful ensemble of characters and sharp, honest writing.

10. “Succession,” HBO and Max

“Succession” needs no introduction to most viewers. This gripping drama concluded its series with a memorable finale on HBO after four compelling seasons. For those yet to experience the intrigue of the Roy family, media conglomerate owners and one-percenters, now is the ideal time to dive in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about TV Picks 2023

What are the top TV picks for 2023?

Discover the curated list of must-watch television shows in 2023, ranging from dramas like “Succession” to comedies like “The Bear.”

Is there a variety of genres among the recommended TV shows?

Yes, the list includes a mix of genres, offering something for everyone, from heartwarming dramas to side-splitting comedies.

Are these shows all new releases, or are there older ones as well?

The list features a combination of new shows from 2023, as well as some that have already concluded their runs, ensuring a diverse selection.

Can viewers expect new episodes of any of these shows in the near future?

Yes, some of the shows mentioned, such as “The Big Door Prize,” have second seasons on the horizon, promising more entertainment in the future.

Are there any connections to popular shows like “Schitt’s Creek” or “The Bachelor”?

Indeed, “The Big Door Prize” has a connection to “Schitt’s Creek” through its showrunner, David West Read, who was an executive producer and writer for “Schitt’s Creek.” Additionally, “The Golden Bachelor” introduces a unique senior-centric twist on “The Bachelor” franchise.

How diverse is the lineup of these shows in terms of themes and content?

The shows cover a wide range of themes, from celebrity obsession to family dynamics, acceptance, and more, ensuring a diverse and engaging viewing experience.

Is there a mix of established and lesser-known actors in these shows?

Yes, you’ll find a blend of established actors and rising stars, making each show a unique and compelling watch.

Can viewers catch any of these shows on popular streaming platforms?

Many of these shows are available on streaming platforms like Hulu, Apple TV+, Netflix, and Prime Video, making them easily accessible to viewers.

Are there any standout performances or episodes mentioned?

Certainly, specific standout episodes like “Fishes” in “The Bear” and exceptional performances in shows like “Swarm” are highlighted, promising memorable moments for viewers.

Is there a brief overview of each show’s premise?

Yes, the FAQ provides a concise overview of each show’s premise, giving viewers a taste of what to expect before diving into the series.

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1 comment

Cinephile101 December 8, 2023 - 4:19 am

The Big Door Prize? Never herd of it, but it luks interesting. I’ll def check it out on AppleTV+!


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