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The Best TV Shows to Watch on Peacock

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This list will be updated regularly as titles are added to and removed from Peacock.

Peacock may not be as prolific as Netflix or as packed with quality programming as Max, but in the years since its 2020 launch, NBCUniversal’s streaming service has carved out a niche as the home of the Olympics, Best Picture winner Oppenheimer, and more. When it comes to television, Peacock’s supply of prestige dramas is a bit limited compared to many of its comPetitors. But its comedy catalog—featuring great original series like Poker Face and Killing It, along with decades’ worth of classic NBC sitcoms—is second to none, while Bravo and E! keep the platform stocked with some of the most popular reality TV franchises in existence. Here are some highlights. (An asterisk denotes that a title is a Peacock original.)

Best Comedy Series on Peacock

Poker Face*

The best Peacock original to date is this homage to 1970s detective shows created by Rian Johnson and starring Natasha Lyonne as a wry, big-haired Columbo for our time. Its first season takes Lyonne’s Charlie Cale—who has an uncanny ability to tell when someone is lying to her—on a solo cross-country road trip, as she flees a bloodthirsty employer in Vegas, pausing to solve murders at Texas barbecue joints, Tennessee race tracks, and on tour with a metal band fronted by Chloë Sevigny. The final episodes take a darker turn, setting up Poker Face, which was renewed for a second season in 2023, for what we can only hope will be a lengthy run.

We Are Lady Parts*

Polite Society filmmaker Nida Manzoor’s raucous British comedy follows five young Muslim women—four musicians and their mysterious, niqab-rocking manager (Lucie Shorthouse’s Momtaz)—who form a punk band called Lady Parts. From brash, independent Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey) to timid Amina (Anjana Vasan), a grad student searching for her perfect arranged marriage, the characters are a study in contrasts that subtly counters pop culture’s monolithic depictions of women from Islamic backgrounds. Yet We Are Lady Parts is no dutiful study in representation; it’s hilarious, and packed with songs bound to get stuck in your head.

Bupkis*

Pete Davidson plays himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm style, in this underrated comedy set in his home borough of Staten Island. Like his best work, Bupkis (usually) strikes the right balance between sophomoric humor and honest depictions of fame, addiction, mental illness, and family relationships. Speaking of which—Edie Falco and Joe Pesci co-star, wonderfully, as Pete’s mom and grandfather. Word to the wise: skip the first episode, which is both idiotic and unnecessary.

Killing It*

The Office fan favorite Craig Robinson stars in this extremely dark, addictively serialized comedy as Craig Foster, a broke, divorced dad and aspiring saw palmetto entrepreneur chasing the American dream—of becoming obscenely rich. Unlike his savvy, career-criminal younger brother, Isaiah (Rell Battle), Craig is determined to make his fortune honestly. Wild adventures ensue, as he meets gig-working weirdo Jillian Glopp (Claudia O'Doherty) and the pair enters a contest that offers a $20,000 prize for killing the most specimens of an invasive snake species. Killing It is one of TV’s sharpest satires of 21st century economic inequality, so here’s hoping that the two seasons that have already been released are soon followed by a third. 

Everything I Know About Love*

Author Dolly Alderton adapts her own perennially best-selling memoir that recounts her misadventures as a single 20-something in London. Warm, breezy, and peppered with lighthearted early-2010s debauchery, Everything I Know About Love is just as perceptive about friendship and the precarity of post-collegiate existence as it is about romance. Of particular note is A Small Light star Bel Powley’s empathetic performance as protagonist Maggie’s (EMMA Appleton) sweet, unglamorous, often-neglected best friend, Birdy. 

The Resort*

Andy Siara, the master of surreal humor who brought us Lodge 49 and Palm Springs, teams up with ultra-charming stars Cristin Milioti and William Jackson Harper on this comedic thriller about a couple who book a trip to Mexico in a desperate attempt at healing their broken marriage. The pace is quick, the twists many, and the supporting cast stacked with the likes of Nick Offerman, Luis Guzmán, and character-actor power couple Dylan and Becky Ann Baker.   

Girls5Eva*

You’ll need Netflix to access the most recent, third season of Meredith Scardino’s comedy about a Y2K-era girl group that reunites 20 years after their 15 minutes of fame, which is executive produced by Tina Fey and shares much of her feminist-minded sense of humor. But, happily, the first two seasons of the erstwhile Peacock original are still available here. Watch for gloriously zany performances from Sara Bareilles, Busy Phillips, Paula Pell, and especially Renée Elise Goldsberry, plus a soundtrack of sharp pop parodies that are just as catchy as the real thing.   

Superstore

A Walmart-like big box store is the setting for this standout late-2010s sitcom that stars America Ferrera and Ben Feldman as retail employees with eyes for each other. Part classic workplace comedy, populated by lovable oddballs, part commentary on the state of America’s massive service industry, Superstore will be remembered for its thoughtful engagement with such timely issues as immigration and the plight of essential workers during COVID-19 lockdown.

30 Rock

Tina Fey set the tone for network comedy in the 21st century with this wildly referential—and often just wild—sendup of her former gig as head writer at SNL. Fey’s schlumpy, quasi-feminist showrunner alter ego, Liz Lemon, clashes brilliantly with an old-fashioned, alpha-male boss played by Alec Baldwin. Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski provide comic relief as a pair of very different but equally narcissistic and bird-brained cast members. And 30 Rock’s joke-packed deglamorization of an industry Fey knows well makes it perhaps the sharpest sitcom of its time.

Parks & Recreation

Writer and producer Michael Schur has been an essential presence at NBCU for the past two decades, cranking out warmhearted comedies like the American Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Peacock’s Rutherford Falls. If you watch only one of his shows… well, make it The Good Place, which is only streaming on Netflix. But if you watch only one of his shows on Peacock, it should be this sitcom starring Amy Poehler as a cheerfully ambitious government cog in a small Indiana city. Be warned: Parks & Rec’s Obama-era optimism feels dated in the 2020s. If you can get over that (and a lackluster first season), though, a cast that includes Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, and, for better or worse, a pre-action-hero Chris Pratt—many of them in star-making roleks—is pretty hard to beat.

New Girl

Elizabeth Meriwether, who would go on to helm Hulu’s excellent Theranos docudrama The Dropout, made her name as the creator of what might well be the last great network hangout comedy. Zooey Deschanel stars as Jess, a cute, allegedly dweeby teacher who, after a messy breakup, moves in with a loft full of dudes—one of whom (Jake Johnson’s Nick) inevitably turns out to be her soulmate. Gimmicky at first, the show quickly improved thanks to fizzy writing and an ideal cast that also featured Lamorne Morris, Damon Wayans Jr., Hannah Simone, and, in a breakout role as metrosexual (hey, it was the early 2010s) cad Schmidt, Max Greenfield.

The Office UK 

Don’t worry—Peacock has all nine seasons of the bloated yet beloved American Office, plus seven seasons’ worth of expanded “superfan episodes,” for those who crave an even slower burn for workplace-romance icons Jim and Pam. But the real treasure is Ricky Gervais’ British original, which ran only 14 relentlessly bleak episodes, each one an airtight case for the argument that what administrators call company culture is a contradiction in terms.

Absolutely Fabulous

The best British sitcom of the ‘90s—and one of the funniest shows ever made—is on Peacock. Comedy legend Jennifer Saunders stars as Edina Monsoon, a ‘60s wild child turned fashion publicist who worships at the bedazzled altar of Christian Lacroix, despite looking ridiculous in his clothes. Together with best friend Patsy Stone (a hilariously dazed Joanna Lumley), Eddy endeavors to achieve eternal youth. One obstacle to this fantasy is her poor, square daughter, Saffron (Julia Sawalha). The premise yielded roughly a quarter-century of laughs and set the stage for the madcap female-fronted comedies of today. Eddy and Patsy stumbled drunkenly so Abbi and Ilana (and Liz Lemon and Rebecca Bunch and Fleabag, etc.) could do full-on pratfalls. 

The Thick of It

If you liked Veep, you’ve gotta check out creator Armando Iannucci’s previous project, a BBC comedy that uproariously—and with plenty of floridly profane dialogue—sends up the bureaucracy of British Politics as practiced by a fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (a.k.a. DoSAC). Before he was Doctor Who’s 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi gave a standout performance as Malcolm Tucker, the prime minister’s temperamental director of communications. Sadly, the equally great spin-off movie, In the Loop, isn’t on Peacock, but you can stream it on free, ad-supported services including Tubi and the Roku Channel.

Roseanne

It’s a shame that, in the 2020s, it’s impossible to say Roseanne Barr’s name without grimacing—because in the late 20th century, she was both the face of and the driving force behind the rare family sitcom that did justice to the struggles of working-class Americans. Barr’s politics may not hold up these days, but Roseanne’s feel as fresh and pithy as ever, featuring ahead-of-their-time storylines about same-sex marriage, abortion, and the fallout of a recession. 

Saturday Night Live

Nearly half a century after its 1975 debut, Saturday Night Live, for all its many highs and lows, remains a one-of-a-kind TV institution that has launched three generations’ worth of comedy stars. Peacock has all 49 seasons, which means you can dip into any golden era you please, from Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Bill Murray’s pioneering ’70s run to Eddie Murphy carrying the whole show in the early ’80s to Tina Fey’s girl-power era at the turn of the millennium, anchored by Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Rachel Dratch. You can also keep up with new episodes, as they air, from a current lineup featuring breakouts like Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. And if you love SNL, consider checking out the shorter-lived but more consistently hilarious Canadian cult sketch comedy The Kids in the Hall, also on Peacock. 

Also of note: Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grand Crew, Everybody Loves Raymond, Everybody Hates Chris, George Lopez, Extras, Coupling, Good Times, Sanford and Son, The Carol Burnett Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show

Best Drama Series on Peacock

Mrs. Davis*

Co-creator Damon Lindelof, of Lost, The Leftovers, and Watchmen fame, teams up with GLOW standout Betty Gilpin in this wild, hard-to-classify adventure story about AI, religion, and the quest for deeper meaning that defines any examined life. Mrs. Davis is not a perfect show—the quirk quotient might be a bit high for some viewers—but it deserves a lot more attention than it received upon its 2023 release. Lindelof’s ambition is bracing, while Gilpin’s performance as an unconventional nun is dynamic and endearing. And the limited series does a remarkable job of balancing action and pathos, comedy and drama, high-level ideas and goofy fun. 

The Capture*

When Peacock launched in 2020, this British surveillance thriller was the best of the service’s original offerings. Fast-paced, cerebral, and deeply paranoid, its tale of a soldier (Shaun Emery, in a BAFTA-winning performance) acquitted of murder only to turn up in CCTV footage attacking his lawyer turned love interest, is a bit like The Conversation for the era of deepfakes.

Downton Abbey

Despite its Masterpiece pedigree, Julian Fellowes’ surprise-hit love letter to the post-Edwardian British aristocracy devolved pretty quickly from high-minded period drama to prestige soap. But however you classify the saga of the Crawley clan’s struggle to maintain their eponymous country estate amid the barbarity of modernization, there’s no doubt that its first few seasons delivered plenty of drama, wit (mostly courtesy of Maggie Smith’s quippy matriarch), pretty dresses, and upstairs-downstairs intrigue. As rumors of an upcoming seventh season continue to swirl, feel free to stop after Season 3’s shocker finale, after which the show’s quality nosedived, and be aware that neither of the two inessential Downton movies is on Peacock.

Columbo

If you like Poker Face, you absolutely must acquaint yourself with its biggest inspiration, this iconic howcatchem starring Peter Falk as an idiosyncratic, unassuming, but reliably brilliant detective with the LAPD. Standalone episodes ranging from 70 to 95 minutes are essentially short movies, directed by the likes of Jonathan Demme and Steven Spielberg, with an unparalleled list of guest stars that included Johnny Cash, Faye Dunaway, Ricardo Montalbán, Dick Van Dyke, Ida Lupino, Lee Grant, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner, and so many more.

Also of note: Yellowstone, Suits, Bel-Air, Heroes, Shameless UK, Monk, Law & Order franchise, Murder, She Wrote, Ripper Street, Lonesome Dove, Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Best Reality Series on Peacock

The Traitors*

A combination of a fun premise—the party game Mafia meets the cozy mystery genre—and an excellent host, Alan Cumming, make this Peacock original the best competition show in recent memory. While the American version leans, for better and worse, on established reality TV personalities like Phaedra Parks and Kate Chastain, seasons imported from the UK, Australia, and soon New Zealand recruit regular people from all walks of life to sniff out the “traitors” in their midst who are slowly “murdering” cast mates in hopes of stealing a six-figure cash prize. 

The Real Housewives franchise

Nearly 20 years and over 1,500 episodes in, Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise remains one of the most enduring and influential reality TV powerhouses of all time. While the Bravo empire has been facing somewhat of a reckoning of late, the 10 Housewives iterations currently on the network’s roster—along with spin-offs like Vanderpump Rules—continue to shape culture, fuel discourse, and serve up an abundance of memeable moments.

Most of the cities have had their own run of golden years, but as things stand now, Beverly Hills, Miami, and, of course, Salt Lake City, are leading the pack in terms of compelling cast chemistry, riveting drama, and over-the-top personalities. And we have the "receipts, proof, timelines, screenshots” to prove it.—Megan McCluskey

Vanderpump Rules

If Beverly Hills alum Lisa Vanderpump wasn’t on hand to dispense tough love to the servers, bartenders, and self-styled superstar DJs who populate this workplace docusoap, it would be easy to forget it’s a Real Housewives spin-off. Because now, in the wake of 2023’s tabloid-consuming “Scandoval” storyline, Vanderpump Rules is one of the most talked-about TV series in any genre. What’s most remarkable about the show is its longevity. What began as a gossipy peek behind the gauzy curtains of Vanderpump’s West Hollywood restaurant SUR has hardened, over a decade’s worth of drunkenness, infidelity, and bar fights, into an institution. Fans of what has become the defining soap opera of the millennial generation have watched a cast introduced as 20-somethings date, marry, divorce, and emerge at the gates of middle age, some wiser for the wear than others. The show even has a spin-off of its own, The Valley, which follows some cast members as they decamp to the suburbs in pursuit of late-onset adulthood.

Below Deck franchise

Part upstairs-downstairs drama, part workplace comedy with all the salaciousness (and tears) of a dating competition, Bravo’s Below Deck is the nautical reality series you never knew you needed. Each season of the show, which over the years has expanded to include four spin-offs, centers on a captain and their crew as they work hard and play harder while catering to a rotation of ultra-wealthy guests who charter their luxurious superyachts. As might be expected when a cast is sequestered on a boat for six weeks (the length of filming), tensions build and emotions run high, making the show a rich text for conflict, desire, and pathos, heightened by the class politics inherent to the setup.—Cady Lang

Project Runway

Bravo is best known these days for its docusoaps, but in its slightly more prestigious years, it set the template for creative competitions with this search for the next big fashion designer. Project Runway’s first five seasons—especially the character-packed debut and Season 4, featuring the series’ biggest success story, Christian Siriano—which preceded a temporary move to Lifetime that blunted its edge, are classics. But it’s remained fairly watchable since then, even as original host Heidi Klum, mentor Tim Gunn, and sassy judge Michael Kors have left and been replaced by adequate but less-entertaining industry luminaries (including Siriano).

Top Chef

Tom Colicchio’s culinary sister show of sorts to Project Runway surpassed its predecessor a while back. Alumni like Carla Hall, Richard Blais, Kwame Onwuachi, Melissa King, the Voltaggio brothers, Stephanie Izard, and many others have become renowned restaurateurs, food-TV personalities, and in some cases both; Season 10 winner Kristen Kish just returned to replace longtime host Padma Lakshmi. From its early, cutthroat years to its more recent embrace of diverse contestants and cuisines, Top Chef remains TV’s single best cooking comPetition.

Iron Chef

Maybe it’s technically a game show more than a reality show, but however you categorize it, the original Japanese Iron Chef is a classic, pitting dozens of challenger chefs against an in-house trio of masters in French, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine. The long-running series’ 1993 premiere predated Top Chef, Chopped, and Hell’s Kitchen, and spawned American adaptations on Food Network and Netflix. To this day, none of its successors can touch Iron Chef 1.0 for sheer strangeness (cod roe ice cream, anyone?) and exuberance about the culinary arts. 

Also of note: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Love Island franchise (minus the UK original), Bad Girls Club franchise, The Voice

Cady Lang and Megan McCluskey also contributed to this list.

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