Peacock is one of the newer players in the streaming service game, but it boasts a deep library stocked with titles from the various NBCUniversal brands. So much so that it’s no wonder that Peacock is one of our picks for the best streaming services.
When you scroll through Peacock, you’ll find dozens of dramas, comedies, reality shows and documentaries that come from NBC, Bravo, USA and Syfy, as well as movies from Universal Pictures. Plus, Peacock produces its own original series.
The main problem, as with any streaming service, is finding something great to watch that fits your mood in the moment. Fortunately, Peacock has something for everyone and for every occasion. Still, we are all familiar with decision paralysis.
That’s why we’re making things a little easier by hand-picking the best Peacock shows to watch right now. Our list includes titles from different genres and different eras, so you can mix it up in your next binge session.
You know a show is iconic when a streaming service shells out a ton of money to snatch the streaming rights back from Netflix. HBO Max did it with Friends; Peacock did it with The Office. The beloved mockumentary follows the minute goings-on at the Dunder-Mifflin paper company outpost in dull Scranton, Pennsylvania. A remake of the razor-sharp British original created by Ricky Gervais, the American version softens some of the bite and Steve Carell makes boss Michael Scott a bit more lovable, if still buffoonish. This is truly an ensemble show, though, with memorable turns from John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and Mindy Kaling. — Kelly Woo
We Are Lady Parts
If you want to watch something that sparks joy, We Are Lady Parts will do that and more. The British comedy puts the spotlight on an underserved group: Muslim women. And in this case, Muslim women who wanna rock! Amina (Anjana Vasan) is a microbiology student who thinks she just wants to get married and settle down. Then, she lands the role of lead guitarist in an all-female, all-Muslim band and her ambitions begin to change. The only hitch? She has terrible stage fright! We Are Lady Parts is not only sweet, funny and irreverent, it features some legit bops. Warning: The songs may live in your head, rent-free, for quite some time. — KW
Oftentimes a reboot eclipses the original because of the time in which it was made. So while the original Battlestar Galactica was created during a campy time for TV, the SyFy version that you can watch on Peacock came out during the era of prestige television, where politics could meet sci-fi in a dystopia where the evil cylons are sleeper soldiers inside of your fellow man. Not only did Galactica win by being smart about bringing post-9/11 politics into the futuristic battlefield, but its re-thought and gender-flipped version of the fighter-pilot Starbuck gave Katee Sackhoff ample room to rule the screen as one of the best examples of a strong female lead in recent history. Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell also earned positive reviews for their performances as the disagreeable leaders of this pack of humans, fleeing peril, Admiral William Adama and President Laura Roslin. — Henry T. Casey
There ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon party! All seven seasons of 30 Rock are available on Peacock (and no longer on Netflix). That means you can watch all of the many wild, weird and crazy antics of Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer and the one and only Alec Baldwin as the team behind the fictional sketch comedy show TGS. Fey turned her experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live into a hilarious show about a show. 30 Rock isn’t your typical sitcom, thanks to the witty and sharp writing and the excellent performances from the entire cast. And it’s gifted us with so many memes, from Liz’s night cheese to dressing up as Princess Leia to get out of jury duty. — KW
What if the Spice Girls made a comeback right now? That’s the premise of Girls5eva, which comes from creator Meredith Scardino and executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. If you liked 30 Rock, you’ll likely enjoy the sharp jokes and satirical wit of Girls5eva. It follows a ‘90s girl group that gets a chance to hit it big again. Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell and Sara Bareilles deliver great performances and (warning) you will not be able to get their big song out of your head. – KW
Friday Night Lights
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose … when you can binge Friday Night Lights. The acclaimed drama never got the viewership it deserved when it aired on NBC (in fact, the show was in danger of cancellation and moved to DirecTV). That may be because people saw it as a show about football. But FNL was so much more than that — it was about family and class and small town dynamics. At the center, holding everything together, was the greatest team of all, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and Tami Taylor (Connie Britton). Even when the Dillon Panthers lost big games, Coach and Mrs. Coach always made you feel like winners. — KW
Saturday Night Live
For 45 years, Saturday Night Live has mocked, made fun of and satirized American culture and politics on its live broadcast every, uh, Saturday night. The sketch comedy show has had its ups and downs over the years, but it’s basically an institution at this point. Can you imagine a world without SNL on television? It even found a way to air during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, you can watch all 45 seasons and relive the early days of Chevy Chase and Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Dig up memorable episodes featuring Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley and Adam Sandler. Experience again the magic between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on Weekend Update. And since this is an election year, it’s the perfect time to revisit how SNL skewered presidential figures, from Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush to Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. — KW
Parks and Recreation
Pawnee, Indiana, a fictional city, is the closest thing we’ll ever get to a live-action version of The Simpsons’ Springfield. Entering its borders, you’re told “Good luck with that,” and we’d agree. Just look at the plight of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the plucky — some might say too plucky — Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, who struggles to get anything done in this city. And while Parks and Rec uses Knope as an example that good work can be done in local government, the show is thankfully less saccharine than that setup would have you believe.
A phenomenal supporting cast (Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari and many more) makes Pawnee feel alive, which helped it survive its first season flaws. Arriving as somewhat of a sister-show to NBC’s The Office, Parks and Rec’s initial outing didn’t really click. But it keeps getting better, especially once you meet Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe). All the while, you’ll be amazed by how odd the people of Pawnee are, as the show’s town hall scenes are amazingly quotable, often enhanced by the presence of one Patton Oswalt. Still, Parks and Rec is Poehler’s show, and she proved that she’s one of the best there is on it. – HTC
There are a lot of reality competitions out there, but none of them are like Top Chef. This is real food, cooked by real people. Most of the winners have restaurants you can eat at right now (provided you can get a reservation, but that’s a whole other story). Over the course of nearly 20 seasons, up-and-coming chefs have cooked some amazing dishes (though, this is NOT Top Scallop, people), and some, well, not-so-amazing meals. Top Chef serves up a veritable feast of food-related drama in the form of quickfires and restaurant wars, but for the most part, contestants support and encourage each other rather than trying to sabotage anyone’s culinary creation. Judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons are often joined by renowned chefs, which lends gravitas to the proceedings. And switching the location every season acts as a food tour in different parts of the country. Bon appetit! – KW
Rutherford Falls is one of a few shows that has advanced the representation of indigenous people on screen, along with Hulu’s Reservation Dogs and the new AMC drama Dark Winds. The comedy features indigenous creatives in front of and behind the camera, including co-creator Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo) and stars Jana Schmieding (Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux) and Michael Greyeyes (Nêhiyaw from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation). Rutherford Falls follows best friends Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) and Reagan Wells (Schmieding) as they tackle their careers and love lives. They’re also contending with big changes to their small town and the Native American reservation it borders, brought on by casino executive Terry Thomas (Greyeyes). – KW
When Yellowstone first premiered on the Paramount Network in 2018, it looked like a vanity project for star Kevin Costner. But since then, the modern-day Western has become one of television’s biggest hits. While new seasons continue to air on cable, previous installments are available on Peacock (not Paramount Plus, due to a prior licensing agreement). Costner is John Dutton, the patriarch of a family who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. It’s located near Yellowstone National Park, which is still frontier country. The ranch is under constant threat from land developers, an Indian reservation and conservation activists. John and his children fight for their property with every means at their disposal. – KW
True to its name, the suits (and dresses) seen on the legal drama are very sharp, and the writing and character work is even sharper. Suits is now famous for featuring Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. I was a fan from almost the beginning, relishing the rapid-fire dialogue, the intricately-plotted cases and the deep, bantering bond between Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Suits perfectly blended procedural cases of the week with ongoing threads, like the long-simmering attraction between Harvey and his secretary, Donna (Sarah Rafferty). And while Markle was great as paralegal-turned-associate Rachel Zane, the real standout in the cast was Rick Hoffman as the outrageous oddball Louis Litt. He loved mud baths, relied (maybe too heavily) on his therapist and enjoyed crushing court opponents. — KW
For years, modern comedy greats have pointed to Cheers as the perfect sitcom, and Peacock is going to give audiences young and old alike to do something we can’t really do right now: relax at a bar filled with friends. One of the best workplace TV shows ever, Cheers was less about the suds that Sam (Ted Danson) slung at his regulars than it was about the expertly-crafted will-they-or-won’t-they relationship between Sam and Diane (Shelley Long), and the banter between staffer Carla (Rhea Perlman) and regulars Norm (George Wendt) and Cliff (John Ratzenberger). Cheers also helped make the career of a young Woody Harrelson, who played barback Woody Boyd with an effortless charisma. Frasier fans will also need to stream Cheers to see a young(er) Dr. Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth). — HTC