The season one finale of “House of the Dragon” was one of the most jaw-dropping episodes of the year, leaving audiences craving more — just like the show’s ravenous dragons. The “Game of Thrones” prequel steers away from sexual violence, has a pretty diverse cast, and celebrates the role of women in the governance of a fantasy kingdom.
The good news is that a week after its premiere, “House of the Dragon” was renewed for another season. The bad news is that season two probably won’t arrive until 2024. With all that time to kill, it’s worth checking out something new from the selection of great shows on various streaming services below!
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ (2022 to Present)
Similar to how “House of the Dragon” serves as a prequel to George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” takes place millennia before J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Both “The Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon” take place in beautiful, complex fantasy worlds and focus heavily on women protagonists who come up against the limitations of patriarchal, militaristic cultures.
Unlike “House of the Dragon,” which focuses heavily on the continuity of bloodlines, “The Rings of Power” follows Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), the elven warrior who appears in the original “The Lord of the Rings,” on a coming-of-age journey that mirrors the major events of Middle Earth, the creation of the Rings of Power — including the One Ring to rule them all — and the rise of Sauron to power. “The Rings of Power” also features a mirror narrative with Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), a Harfoot hobbit who similarly desires adventures beyond her home.
Like “House of the Dragon,” this show promises exciting fight sequences, an ethereal soundtrack, and everything you could want in a fantasy series. Watch “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” on Amazon Prime Video and start your quest today!
‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ (2022)
Your friends will be green with envy when you tell them you’re watching Marvel’s “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is called to the bar as legal representation for humans with superpowers, and raises the bar for the prestigious GLK & H law firm. Jen is also a cousin of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), aka the Incredible Hulk.
After an accident, Jen is exposed to the same mutagen that changed Bruce’s DNA, and she becomes a superhero like her cousin — only better. After an incredible training montage, Jen learns all she needs to fight off villains like Titania (Jameela Jamil), learn from and defend reformed baddies such as Abomination (Tim Roth), and team up with Marvel favorites like Wong (Benedict Wong), the current Sorcerer Supreme, originally from the Doctor Strange franchise.
“She-Hulk” offers audiences a new take on what feminist TV can look like and, similar to “House of the Dragon,” speaks to many of the universal struggles women face through the lens of brilliant and accessible metaphors. Stream “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” on Disney Plus!
‘The White Lotus’ (2021 to Present)
Max’s recent offering “The White Lotus” gives audiences plot and intrigue similar to “House of the Dragon.” Instead of mythical beasts, babies, and bloodlines, though, “The White Lotus” focuses on the staff and guests at the eponymous White Lotus resort.
One of the show’s complexities is how the characters in season one find a way to create moments of incredible tension and chaos on the gorgeous island of Maui, Hawaii. Some notable characters include the resort’s manager Armond (Murray Bartlett), the wealthy and grieving Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge), White Lotus spa manager Belinda Lindsey (Natasha Rothwell), and open-minded college students Paula (Brittany O’Grady) and Olivia (Sydney Sweeney).
This stunning ensemble dramedy will have you gripping the edge of your seat (and grabbing the sunscreen) with a rhythmic soundtrack, brilliant and cringe-worthy dialogue, and the contrast between the beautiful and the horrific. Season one and the first few episodes of season two, set against the Mediterranean backdrop of the White Lotus in Sicily, are yours to enjoy on Max.
‘The Witcher’ (2019 to Present)
“The Witcher” started as a collection of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski that were then adapted into a best-selling video game series and finally transformed into a Netflix show. The witcher is a genetically mutated warrior named Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), and the show follows his relationships with his adopted daughter, Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan), and his on-again-off-again frenemy with benefits, Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), who’s a witch and not to be confused with a witcher.
The show’s premise is that, as a witcher, Geralt is a mercenary hunting the mostly human-eating creatures that plague the various inhabitants of the Continent. Like “House of the Dragon,” “The Witcher” takes place in a medieval-inspired fantasy world and is filled to the brim with sword fights, magic, witty repartee, and a really good-looking (and talented!) cast.
If you love the monsters and mayhem of “House of the Dragon,” this show will bewitch you in the same way. The first two seasons of “The Witcher” are available on Netflix, and Liam Hemsworth will take over the role of silver-haired Geralt for the fourth season.
‘Succession’ (2018 to Present)
One of the best things about “Succession” and “House of the Dragon” is watching wealthy and dysfunctional families fight over money, power, and status while wearing fabulous outfits and sniping at each other with silver-tongued wit. “Succession” follows the Roy family, with Logan Roy (Brian Cox) — imagine a fictionalized version of Rupert Murdoch — at the helm of the media empire Waystar Royco.
The show addresses Logan’s shortcomings as a father, businessman, and human, along with the problems, desires, and anxieties of his four adult children, Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), and Connor (Alan Ruck), as well as Siobhan’s husband Tom Wambsgams (Matthew Macfayden).
“Succession” is, in many ways, about regression and the world of corporate espionage, drug use, murder, and other family dramas. Stream all available seasons of “Succession” on Max.
‘Rick and Morty’ (2013 to Present)
Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith (Justin Roiland as both) are a grandfather-grandson duo who commit intergalactic crimes, incur astronomical traumas, and experience out-of-this-world family dysfunction in this adult animated series.
Roiland’s portrayal of alcoholic supergenius Rick and his anxious 14-year-old grandson Morty will leave you in stitches, as will the rest of Morty’s family, including his mom, Beth (Sarah Chalke); sister, Summer (Spencer Grammer); and dad, Jerry (Chris Parnell). “Rick and Morty” takes a more sci-fi approach than “House of the Dragon,” but it deals with similar family issues and, of course, there’s a ton of violence and monsters.
The combination of simple animation style and often shocking content is reminiscent of “South Park” or “King of the Hill,” and it leaves a lasting impression with its unpredictability, creativity, and intensity. Blast into space with five seasons of “Rick and Morty,” available on Hulu.
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (1997 to 2003)
Based on the 1992 movie of the same name, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. “Buffy” has gathered a cult following over the past quarter-century, but that’s no time at all compared to how old some of the monsters and demons Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has to fight before homeroom at Sunnydale High.
Buffy eventually learns that she belongs to a long line of women known as slayers, who must battle various dark and evil beings. Like “House of the Dragon,” “Buffy” has a richly developed world and lore. It shares common themes such as coming of age, accepting family and social duty, and grappling with ancient forces outside anyone’s control.
Like any good hero, the slayer has a team of friends and allies who help her along the way. Friends Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon), along with school librarian and Buffy’s mentor in most things, Rupert Giles (Anthony Head), are invaluable to slaying vampires and supporting Buffy. You can stream all seven seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on Hulu.