So, what’s everyone been watching this week? Hmmmm?
Just to get a sense of what everyone’s streaming, we’ve used data from streaming aggregator Reelgood, which gathers viewership numbers from hundreds of streaming services in the U.S. and UK. Each week, the most streamed TV shows and movies come down to a few elements — sheer buzz, a big finale, smart marketing, star power, critical acclaim, or word-of-mouth that leads uninterested people to finally watch it out of spite.
This week, it’s all about fantasy, with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon ruling TV this week, and Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder hitting streaming. Clearly, people are done with reality this week.
But just because a lot of people are watching something doesn’t make it…good. Here they are, the 10 most streamed TV shows and movies of the week, where to watch them, and what Mashable critics thought.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel in the top watched series “The Rings of Power.” Credit: Ben Rothstein / Prime Video
Well, they did it. Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, is the most streamed of the week again. In fact, according to the company, it was viewed by 25 million viewers globally over the first 24 hours the series’ first two episodes dropped, a record debut for a Prime Video show.
But most importantly, the series does what no other J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation has done: it places people of color and women front and center.
What we thought: The Rings of Power turns out to be a rousing tale of perseverance in the face of evil, a sumptuous re-introduction to Tolkien’s world, and just all-around great TV. You won’t just feel like you’ve returned to Middle-earth: You’ll feel like you never left. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is now streaming on Prime Video.(opens in a new tab)
“Thor: Love and Thunder” has finally hit streaming. Credit: Jasin Boland./Marvel Studios
The God of Thunder is back in Marvel’s follow up to Thor: Ragnarok. Co-written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, Thor: Love and Thunder picks up where we left off with Asgard’s less mischievous prince, who is casually winning his way through battles across space and still getting over his ex Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who just happens to have evolved into Mighty Thor with the help of Mjölnir. But Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) has destructive plans in action, and Thor needs to get his pals King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Waititi) together to take on a mighty villain. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor
What we thought: In the end, Love and Thunder is raucous, flashy, and vacuous, not satisfyingly fun. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor
How to watch: Thor: Love and Thunder is now streaming on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
Wil Johnson, Matt Smith, and Theo Nate tearing up “House of the Dragon.” Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
There is simply no denying the power of Game of Thrones, a franchise that has roared back into our lives with the release of prequel series House of the Dragon. Taking place nearly 200 years before Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen existed, House of the Dragon follows House Targaryen at the height of its power in Westeros. There’s just one small problem: King Viserys (Paddy Considine) doesn’t have a male heir. With the line of succession in question, you can bet on scheming, bloodshed, and mayhem. Oh, and many, many dragons. Let fire and blood reign! — B.E.
What we thought: If you’re worried about House of the Dragon after getting burned by the final season of Game of Thrones, don’t be. HBO’s epic new series is excellent through and through, juggling memorable characters, high fantasy, and intense emotions with practiced ease. You’ll be sucked in faster than you can say “Dracarys.” — B.E.
How to watch: House of the Dragon is now streaming on HBO Max. New episodes premiere Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
We don’t quite know how it’s happened, but somehow Netflix‘s Cobra Kai now has more seasons than Stranger Things. In Season 5, which has just hit Netflix, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) have to join forces to stop the looming threat of Sensei Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) as he attempts to expand his Cobra Kai empire. Expect fast punches, intense stare-downs, and flying kicks aplenty. Here’s everything you need to know before you watch.* — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor
How to watch: Cobra Kai is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Holy smokey-o. Credit: Disney
Director Robert Zemeckis puts Tom Hanks in his Geppetto clogs for Pinocchio(opens in a new tab), the latest Disney animated feature to get the live-action treatment. The film further explores Geppetto’s backstory, slightly tones down the villains, and constantly asks the question: What makes a “real boy”? — S.C.
What we thought: You may not have asked for a live-action remake of Pinocchio, but now you’ve got one, and it’s still as weird, surreal, and morally pompous as the original. — S.C.
How to watch: Pinocchio is now streaming on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
6. Devil in Ohio
A mysterious arrival. Credit: Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix
Netflix’s mystery thriller joined the most streamed this week, following hospital psychiatrist Dr. Suzanne Mathis (Emily Deschanel) who takes on mysterious young woman Mae (Madeleine Arthur), who has escaped a cult in Amon County, Ohio. But with her sudden arrival comes trouble, especially for Mathis’ own family. — S.C.
How to watch: Devil in Ohio is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
7. The Patient
Steve Carell takes on a highly different role in “The Patient.” Credit: Hulu
Steve Carrell in a serial killer series? What? From The Americans‘ Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg comes this Hulu psychological thriller about therapist Alan Strauss (Carell), who is held captive by a patient, serial killer Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson), who demands a cure for his homicidal tendencies — his will mean Alan attempting to dig into topics Sam is resistant to, and verging on the possibility of complicity. While imprisoned, Alan digs through his own past too, as time is running out. — S.C.
How to watch: The Patient is now streaming on Hulu.(opens in a new tab)
All shook up. Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
If you haven’t seen Austin Butler in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, you’re in the minority — the sort-of-not-really-biopic was the top streamed film of the week. Using the King’s experiences as a jumping off point to explore the darker elements of Elvis Presley’s story, the film also stars Tom Hanks as his business manager, Colonel Tom Parker. — S.C.
What we thought: Elvis Presley, infamous for his swinging hips, iconic for his swaggering style and raw sex appeal, heralded as the King of Rock and Roll, deserves better than Elvis. — K.P.
How to watch: Elvis is now streaming on HBO Max.(opens in a new tab)
Jared Leto’s MCU vampire fim. Credit: Sony Pictures
Jared Leto’s MCU vampire film has finally hit streaming, if you truly, really, seriously want to watch it. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Morbius sees Leto as the titular Michael Morbius (Leto), a doctor trying to find a cure to his own rare blood disease, which his friend (Matt Smith) also has. But in a turn of events, they become living vampires. Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson also star. — S.C.
What we thought: Lacking in style, spirit, scares, and suspense, this would-be thriller is a toothless and tedious chore. — K.P.
How to watch: Morbius is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Aw geez. Credit: Adult Swim
Rick and Morty is back for Season 6, and people are streaming the hell out of the adventures of scientist Rick and his grandson Morty. You might have some questions after the Season 6 premiere — here’s an explainer. — S.C.
What we thought: Packed with action, callbacks, and deep cuts, the first episode of Season 6 is a mind blower. — K.P.
How to watch: Seasons 1 through 5 of Rick and Morty are now streaming on HBO Max(opens in a new tab) and Hulu.(opens in a new tab) Episode 1 of Season 6 is available on Adult Swim, and new episodes air Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.
* Asterisks indicate the writeup is adapted from another Mashable article.