Disney Plus has a phenomenal selection of TV shows, from exclusive originals like Star Wars: The Mandalorian and WandaVision to classic animated series including Duck Tales and Gargoyles.
That’s not even mentioning decades of Marvel cartoons, all the Star Wars animated series, loads of the best shows from the Disney Channel, a few Pixar spin-offs, and somehow even more besides, with a library that’s grown even bigger with the inclusion of Star, opening up a huge collection of shows from Hulu, FX, Fox, and more.
It’s especially good for kids – no surprise there – but there’s plenty for big kids too. Luckily for you we’ve watched hours of the stuff, and here are the shows you shouldn’t miss – we’re keeping it updated every month too, with Marvel series WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier among the latest additions, and Loki starting on 9 June too.
If you’d prefer a film, then take a look at our picks of the best movies on Disney+. Or if you want to see what else is on the way, take a look at the best shows coming to Disney+ UK.
We’ve also rounded up the best TV shows on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Now TV.
Let’s be honest – this is what most people have come to Disney+ for in the first place. The Mandalorian is a live-action Star Wars spin-off by Jon Favreau. If you’d like to see a Western take on the biggest space franchise out there – and watch one of the cutest side-characters ever – then this is one to watch.
There are two seasons so far, with a third on the way, and multiple spin-off shows already in the works too – one starring none other than Boba Fett.
Netflix has Friends, Amazon has The Office, and Disney+ has The Simpsons. Once The Mandalorian hype dies down, this’ll be the most popular thing on the platform – and with 31 seasons worth of comedy to binge, there’s no chance you’ll run out any time soon. They’ve even fixed the aspect ratio so you can watch old episodes in the original 4:3.
Overwhelmed by the options? We’ve picked out the best Simpsons episodes ever to help you decide where to start.
The first original Marvel show on Disney+ is a doozy. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany star as Avengers members Scarlet Witch and Vision, but this time around they’re the stars of their own ’50s sitcom. Which suddenly, becomes a ’60s sitcom, then moves to the ’70s… and why can’t either of them remember where they’re from or how they got here?
WandaVision is weird, wonderful, and not like any Marvel movie or show so far.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Dave Filoni’s CGI Star Wars series was always more than the kids’ cartoon it appears to be, but it’s since gone on to become the cornerstone of the modern Star Wars universe.
Not only did it spawn other animated series in Stars Wars Rebels, Resistance, and now The Bad Batch, but characters that Clone Wars introduced are now key to The Mandalorian and its own upcoming spin-offs.
Over seven seasons and an introductory movie the show dug deep into the galaxy’s grandest conflict, building from a childish cartoon to something as intense and emotional as any of the films. It almost makes up for the prequels.
One of JJ Abrams’ earlier TV shows, Alias is an unhinged spy drama that kicked off Jennifer Garner’s career, set the groundwork for Lost’s mad mythology, and somehow secured a two-part Quentin Tarantino cameo.
Across five seasons Alias built up an increasingly extravagant backstory and mythos, but it’s the strong central cast and reliably entertaining Mission: Impossible-esque spycraft that really make it worth working your way through.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the second original Marvel series to land on Disney+, and the planned six episodes are still rolling out – at the time of writing we’ve seen two so far. This is more traditional MCU fare than WandaVision, but it delivers action spectacle to match the movies and wins us over by finally giving its two leads their time in the spotlight.
Read our review of the first episode for more.
Another of Disney+’s Stars acquisitions, Atlanta originally aired on FX in the US. This comedy from Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) follows an up-and-coming rapper in the Georgian capital, but only takes that as a loose set-up to explore race in modern America.
This is a show that’s not afraid to get weird, so expect surreal humour and a pretty loose narrative, but it’s well worth sticking with it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A show that needs no introduction.
Disney+ has all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – though so far not its LA-set spin-off Angel, sadly – and if you can get past some supremely ’90s styling there’s still a lot to love here.
Creator Joss Whedon has since been disavowed by many fans for alleged abusive behaviour, both on this set and others, but Buffy itself stands above that, and the series remains a high watermark for genre TV.
Anyone who’s ever seen Fox’s ‘90s X-Men series is already humming the theme tune to themselves while reading this – it’s impossible not to. Probably the best thing to come out of the Disney/Fox merger is this – and the similar Spider-Man series – making it onto the Disney streaming service, thanks to its potent mix of golden era X-Men costumes, high melodrama, and totally rad guitar riffs.
Star Wars: Clone Wars
But wait, I hear you ask – didn’t Clone Wars already appear on this list?
Yes and no. Dave Filoni’s long-running CGI series is great, but before that came Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2D shorts, billed on Disney+ as ‘Clone Wars 2D Micro-Series’.
These stunning shorts explore smaller skirmishes and bits of backstory in bite-sized pieces – initially just a couple minutes each, with longer 12-minute episodes in the second season. They’re no longer considered canon, but don’t write them off – this is among the best Star Wars has ever been.
Regular schlub Fry is accidentally cryogenically frozen and wakes up a thousand years into the future, into a world of aliens, robots, and most of the same mundane problems as the 21st century.
Matt Groening’s first show after The Simpsons may not have gone on to quite the same stratospheric success as its predecessor, but Futurama is just as sharp and well-written as The Simpsons’ best seasons – and at least it mostly ended on a high, even when it was revived years after the original few seasons.
Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter was always the best part of the first Captain America movie (sorry Chris, America’s ass earned its keep in the sequels) so it was a treat when she got her own show. This short-but-sweet ‘50s-set series only ran for 18 episodes over two seasons, but a host of deep-cut Marvel references and James D’Arcy’s Edwin Jarvis make this one of the MCU’s best small-screen outings yet.
For better or worse, Lost changed the face of American network television. It was perhaps the most influential show in the move away from episodic plots and towards serialised shows with arcs playing out not only through a season, but across several.
Yes, it got a bit silly. Yes, the ending was a disappointment. And no, they clearly hadn’t planned all the mysteries out from the beginning. But set that aside and the ride remains pretty spectacular.
Disney had a bit of a golden age of TV animation in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with the likes of Duck Tales and Darkwing Duck, but our favourite of the era has to be Gargoyles.
This unexpectedly moody, gothic series feels like a Disney take on the same decade’s Batman series, boosted by a voice cast that’s a) great, and b) basically a giant Star Trek reunion for some reason.
Just skip season three, which is pretty pants if we’re being honest.
There’s good odds you’ve never heard of Terriers, a single-season FX show that never found its audience.
But this off-beat crime dramedy, anchored by Michael Raymond-James and the phenomenal Donal Logue, was a critical darling and always deserved better.
Fans have long held hope for a follow-up movie or revival series, but for now the best you can do is simply take advantage of having all 13 episodes on Disney+.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was supposed to kick off a bold new era, the first in a string of Marvel TV shows tied in to the MCU films. It’s fair to say that didn’t work out as planned, prompting Marvel to wipe the slate clean for WandaVision, but in the meantime there were seven seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D. that really hold up.
It has a slow start, and it is admittedly pretty schlocky network TV fare. But this is a series unafraid to drag up Marvel deep cuts and delve into time, space, and alternate dimensions long before the movies got there.
Burn Notice is a bit of an oddity: a decidedly old-fashioned network show with adventure-of-the-week spy capers that gets at least half its charm from the fact that horror icon Bruce Campbell is one of the regulars.
Matt Nix is the lead, as a former CIA spy who’s been ‘burned’ and now has to take odd jobs in Miami while trying to clear his name. It’s mostly just a daft excuse to send him and the crew on jobs fighting local criminals and MacGyver-ing up homegrown spy tech.
This Hulu original series is available on Disney+ in the UK, with season 2 rolling out weekly right now.
From Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, this feels…a lot like that show. The central family of aliens stranded on earth engage in somewhat familiar sci-fi shenanigans with frequently gory and inhumane results. Still, Rick and Morty is great (fanbase aside), so getting more of it, albeit a little different, is no bad thing.
How I Met Your Mother
OK, it’s not quite Friends big, but if you need a flagship sitcom on your streaming service then you could do a lot worse than How I Met Your Mother.
An extraordinarily good cast (Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel *and* Neil Patrick Harris) gave the show a running start, while smart writing with increasingly layered in-jokes and call-backs helped the show run for nine seasons without ever feeling too stretched out.
Watch it now in preparation for the gender-swapped How I Met Your Father follow-up that’s on the way.
This cult classic series from Buffy creator Joss Whedon may not have run for as long as that show – it only lasted one season, and then a follow-up film years later – but don’t hold that against it.
This space western is goofy but charming, with phenomenal world-building that teases a lot of unfulfilled potential. The big-screen sequel Serenity – sadly not on Disney+ right now – picked up some of the pieces, but this will still always go down as one of the shows that had much more to offer.
As mentioned above, Whedon himself is an alleged abuser, but we think the show is worth watching regardless.
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