Period pieces are the main offering on display this week, with a bevy of new series set in the last century or two across platforms. A western, a war drama, and a Wharton adaptation are the culprits, but they’re far from the only thing to enjoy on streaming.
What to watch on Netflix
All the Light We Cannot See
A blockbuster book adaptation, Netflix’s All the Light We Cannot See takes the novel of the same name and puts it on screen to stream. The series follows two distinct yet intertwined stories over the course of World War II and the Nazi invasion of Paris. On the one hand is blind teen Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti), her father (Mark Ruffalo), and her great uncle (Hugh Laurie), having fled the French city; on the other is German teen Werner (Louis Hofmann), who’s been enlisted in the Nazi military operation for his skill with the radio. All the Light We Cannot See premiered Thursday, November 2nd.
Annette Bening stars in the extraordinary sports saga NYAD, directed by Oscar-winning duo Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo). She plays Diana Nyad, the marathon swimmer who successfully crossed the ocean from Cuba to Florida after four failed attempts. It’s a biopic infused with a heavy dose of adrenaline, as the extremity of Nyad’s mission is on full display. Alongside Bening, Jodie Foster co-stars as Nyad’s friend, former partner, and coach Bonnie Stoll, and Rhys Ifans is featured as an indispensable ocean navigator. NYAD premieres Friday, November 3rd. Read Observer’s review, which insists on Oscars for both Bening and Foster, here.
What to watch on Hulu
Sandra Oh and Awkwafina star as a pair of dysfunctional sisters in this new comedy. In Quiz Lady, Anne (Awkwafina) begrudgingly reunites with her wild-child sibling Jenny (Oh) after their mother stages an escape from her nursing home to hide from a mountain of gambling debt. When Anne’s precious pug is dognapped for collateral, she and Jenny must team up and nail the only get-rich-quick scheme they know they can ace: the Jeopardy-style quiz show that Anne has dutifully watched since she was a child. Will Ferrell, Jason Schwartzman, and Holland Taylor also star. Quiz Lady premieres Friday, November 3rd.
Hot on the heels of bringing the retro series Moonlighting back onto screens, Hulu welcomes L.A. Law into its library. The legal drama was a staple of the ‘80s and ‘90s, with plenty of Emmy wins throughout its eight seasons. The series revolves around a Los Angeles law firm and the partners who run it, as their personal and professional lives intersect. There’s office politics and hot-button court cases, making it fairly removed from the kinds of Law and Order procedurals we’re used to now. All eight seasons of L.A. Law will be available to stream starting Friday, November 3rd.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
Invincible first premiered on Amazon Prime back in 2021, when expectations for an adult animated superhero show, not connected to any greater cinematic universe or brand tie-in, were minimal. The show surprised and delighted critics with its nuance, maturity and twists, making Season 2 an anxiously anticipated event. Invincible revolves around teenaged Mark (Steven Yeun), who manifests powers like his father, a hero known as Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons), and a dangerous family secret endangers not only their relationship, but the whole planet. The second season picks up after that fall out. The first four episodes of Invincible Season 2 premiere Friday, November 3rd.
What to watch on Apple TV+
Taking notes from other enlivened period piece series like Bridgerton and Dickinson, the new drama Buccaneers puts a modern spin on the 19th century marriage market. Based on an unfinished novel by Edith Wharton (think The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth), the show follows a troupe of young aristocratic women as they venture from well-to-do New York to London’s polite society. That said, it isn’t so much a swoon-worthy period romance as it is an incisive (if slightly anachronistic) look at the female experience. The first three episodes of The Buccaneers premiere Wednesday, November 8th.
What to watch on Paramount+
Lawmen: Bass Reeves
In Taylor Sheridan’s ever-expanding western universe, Lawmen: Bass Reeves marks a new addition to the oeuvre—and a new layer to the history that inspired it. David Oyelowo stars as Reeves, one of the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshals and one of the most renowned officers west of the Mississippi. Arresting over 3,000 outlaws over the course of his career, Reeves was not one to be trifled with, though many certainly tried. Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, and Donald Sutherland all feature in the western series, with the latter playing a particularly harsh judge. Lawmen: Bass Reeves premieres Sunday, November 5th.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.