So, what’s everyone been watching? You can hear it can’t you, the question that inevitably pops up halfway through a fancy dinner, lazy park gathering, or morning team meeting, usually leading to a heated exchange over who has or hasn’t seen the latest buzzy must-watch.
Each week, the most popular streamed TV series and movies come down to a few things — sheer buzz, smart marketing and PR campaigns, star power, critical acclaim, or a slow burn, word-of-mouth phenomenon that leads uninterested people to finally watch it out of spite.
You might be the kind of person who lives and breathes for being up to date on the most watched releases of the week, so we’ve put together a list of them and where to watch them if you haven’t already. Just to get a sense of what everyone’s streaming, we’ve used data from streaming aggregator Reelgood, which gathers those coveted viewership numbers from hundreds of streaming services in the U.S. and UK.
But just because a lot of people are watching something doesn’t make it…good. Here they are, the 10 most streamed films and TV shows of the week, where to watch them, and what Mashable critics thought.
Ryan Reynolds is not a free guy at this point.
The combination of Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer, Ryan Reynolds in peak self-deprecating form, and a fun story set in a video game world make this one a perfect popcorn muncher. From director Shawn Levy, Free Guy follows Reynold’s character, Guy, as he comes to terms with his status as an NPC (non-playable character) in an open world game called Free City — and then decides to try and be free of it. — Sam Haysom, UK Deputy Editor
What we thought: Journeying through unexpected twists and turns, Free Guy can feel like a sweeping adventure flick, but it’s grounded first and foremost by funny characters you actually care about. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Free Guy is now streaming on Disney+.
Credit: Apple TV+
Channeling some serious Black Mirror energy, Apple TV+’s Severance sees Adam Scott as Mark, a man who opts for an implant that allows his work memories to be completely cut off from memories of his home life. John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette make up the impressive supporting cast. — S.H.
What we thought: Severance is a visually fascinating work of art, an enthralling mystery, and an anticapitalist takedown of toxic labor practices; it’s the first must-watch Apple TV+ show of the year. — Alexis Nedd, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Severance is now streaming on Apple TV+.
These two 💖
Credit: Eddy Chen / HBO
Probably the most exceptional show I’m least able to binge-watch due to the intense emotional upheaval in every scene, Euphoria is all anyone’s been talking about for the last few months, thanks to the arrival of Season 2. It’s HBO’s second most watched show ever — even with that flashback problem. There’s TikTok fanfiction, plenty of memes, a lengthy song, and the cast are now muses. People are even obsessed with it without having seen a single episode. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor
What we thought: In Season 2, Euphoria’s flagrant disregard for mainstream acceptability is elevated by an earned confidence in Levinson’s writing and direction, making the series’ ballsy bluster feel better justified. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Euphoria Season 2 is streaming on HBO Max and NOWTV.
Looks the part.
Problematic tech entrepreneurs seem to be a popular subject matter in both film and TV at the moment. In drama miniseries The Dropout, Amanda Seyfried takes on the timely role of Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founder recently found guilty of fraud and conspiracy. From New Girl creator Elizabeth Meriwether, The Dropout dramatizes the creation of the blood testing business that eventually led to Holmes’ downfall. — S.H.
How to watch: The Dropout is now streaming on Hulu.
Credit: Niko Tavernise / 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Toniiiight, toniiiight, you might want to watch this toniiiiight. Steven Spielberg’s new version of the classic Broadway musical, West Side Story magnificently reinvents the beloved tale. Ariana DeBose is up for an Oscar for her incredible turn as Anita, as is Spielberg for directing, among a smattering of nominations including best picture.Yes, they should have let Anybodys sing “Cool.” — S.C.
What we thought: It’s cliche to say of a great film “this is why we go to the movies.” But when the theater throbs with a rousing song, the audience is entranced by a star-making performance, and your body is rippling with chills from the sublime power of cinema, what else can you say? This is why we go to the movies. — Kristy Puchko, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: West Side Story is now streaming on Disney+ and HBO Max.
Swashbucklers, the lot of ’em: Kristian Nairn, Nathan Foad, Matthew Maher, Joel Fry, Samson Kayo, Taika Waititi, and Will Arnett.
Credit: Aaron Epstein / HBO Max
Taika Waititi brings his directorial magic to the high seas this time, in the delightfully silly pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death. Created by David Jenkins, HBO Max’s series follows aristocrat Captain Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), known as the “Gentleman Pirate,” who ditches his wealthy land-based life to team up with mighty buccaneer Blackbeard (Waititi) for some oceanic skulduggery. Add a spectacular ensemble cast — including Leslie Jones’ Spanish Jackie and her 19 husbands — and you’ve got yourself a series worth walking the plank for. — S.C.
Everything you need to know about ‘Our Flag Means Death’
What we thought: Overall, Our Flag Means Death reimagines elements of the pirate genre to create a gem of a comedy series. It manages to be equal parts swashbuckling adventure, sitcom, and character study. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Fellow.
How to watch: Our Flag Means Death is now streaming on HBO Max.
7. Pieces of Her
Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote play mother and daughter in “Pieces of Her.”
When you combine the producers of Big Little Lies and The Undoing with a Karin Slaughter best seller and the acting talents of Toni Collette, it’s really not that big a surprise that people flocked to watch Pieces of Her. The Netflix thriller follows Andy (Bella Heathcote), a young woman whose perception of her mother (Collette) is suddenly altered after they’re caught up in shooting during a trip to the mall. — S.H.
How to watch: Pieces of Her is now streaming on Netflix.
No Eggsy in sight.
The third instalment in the Kingsman series takes us back to the roots of the “first independent intelligence agency,” bringing together Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Gemma Arterton, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance for a 20th century spy adventure. The series is based on Mark Miller’s The Secret Service comic. — S.H.
What we thought: Snarled in historic tragedy, The King’s Man just isn’t anywhere as fun as its predecessors. — K.P.
How to watch: The King’s Man is now streaming on Disney+.
As far as dates go, this is the least…intense in the film.
Credit: Searchlight Pictures
Director Mimi Cave might put you off dating for a bit after watching Fresh. Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones plays Noa, who has just about had it with dating apps. So when she meets Steve (Sebastian Stan), things look promising until a weekend away exposes his…tastes. The film drummed up significant buzz after premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and now it’s hit Hulu. — S.C.
11 films from the Sundance Film Festival you need to know about
How to watch: Fresh is now streaming on Hulu.
10. Vikings: Valhalla
Viking siblings: Frida Gustavsson as Freydis and Sam Corlett as Leif.
Credit: Bernard Walsh / Netflix
We used to watch Vikings a fair bit, and now there’s a spinoff. Set in the 11th century, 100 years after the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok, the series sees Viking settlements across Europe trying to live alongside Saxons — which doesn’t go well when the English king, Æthelred II, increases tensions with violence. Jeb Stuart’s series follows Norse explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), warrior and Leif’s sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and the Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter) through many a bloody battle, revenge plot, and longboat voyage. If you’re into Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla this might be for you, maybe… — S.C.
How to watch: Vikings: Valhalla is now streaming on Netflix.