Watching: The Best Things to Watch

On Netflix, Amazon and Disney+

By The Watching Team

It’s Saturday night! What is Saturday night, though? Especially during a long weekend. Regardless of what streaming service you subscribe to, we’re here to help. We’ve gone through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to find the best titles on each service.

Here’s one of the 50 best movies on Netflix

Louise Fletcher, center, and Jack Nicholson, in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”United Artists

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Jack Nicholson built one of his most iconic performances (he plays the role with “such easy grace that it’s difficult to remember him in any other film,” our critic wrote), and won his first Oscar in the process, in Milos Forman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel. Nicholson had plenty of company; this is one of the few films to win all of the “big five” Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actress. Louise Fletcher won the last for her unforgettable turn as the steely Nurse Ratched, whose iron-fisted rule of a state mental hospital is challenged by Nicholson’s free-spirited Randle Patrick McMurphy. Ratched was a memorable enough foe to spawn a Netflix origin series, but this is the genuine article.


Here is one of the best TV shows on Netflix

Keith David in “Greenleaf.”Eli Ade/OWN


The political machinations and personality clashes inside a predominately Black megachurch generate the drama in “Greenleaf,” a soapy-but-realistic story about how one powerful Memphis family balances its Christian faith and worldly desires. The strong cast is led by Keith David as Bishop James Greenleaf, an inspiring pastor whose propensity for sin challenges his warring children, who debate whether the good he does justifies his mistakes. Our critic wrote that it “has the kind of 3-D depiction of faith you can get only from a family whose life is religion.” The series recently completed its fifth and final season; all of them are now available on Netflix.


Have a Hulu subscription? It’s a lot to wade through. We can help!

Valerie Harper, left, and Mary Tyler Moore on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”CBS, via Getty Images

‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

You can find the DNA of this sophisticated, influential seven-season classic in everything from “30 Rock” to “The Office” to “Sex and the City.” Moore sparkles as a newly single working woman making her way in the big city of Minneapolis, where she spends her days in a bustling TV newsroom and her nights trying to reassemble her personal life. Midway through its run, our critic wrote, “Consistently tight writing and good acting have made this situation comedy the best of its kind in the history of American television.” He wasn’t wrong.


Amazon Prime Video doesn’t make it easy to find stuff. Luckily, we have done the work for you.

Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in “Almost Famous.”Neal Preston/DreamWorks Pictures

‘Almost Famous’

The writer and director Cameron Crowe based this 2000 drama on his own teenage years, when he was landing bylines at major music publications before he could drive a car. Crowe elegantly conveys the seductive power of that backstage life, with all its sex and drugs and (most importantly) camaraderie. “It’s the kind of picture,” A.O. Scott wrote, “that invites you to go back and savor your favorite moments like choice album cuts.” Patrick Fugit is charming as the naïve Crowe stand-in, while Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kate Hudson shine in supporting roles.

Disney+ is full of older classics. But there are a lot of newer things to watch as well.

Beyoncé invoking Moses in a scene from her visual album “Black Is King.”Robin Harper/Parkwood Entertainment and Disney +, via Associated Press

‘Black Is King’

The album “The Lion King: The Gift” was produced and curated by Beyoncé as an accompaniment to the photorealistic remake of “The Lion King,” but it dwarfed the film in ambition, using it as a jumping-off point for themes of Black power, ancestry and womanhood. Much like her groundbreaking visual album “Lemonade,” “Black Is King” is an arresting smorgasbord of music, fashion, choreography and eye-popping color, with the writer-director-performer serving as the ringmaster for other visual artists and musicians. Our critic Wesley Morris wrote, “Beauty is a reason this film exists.”

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