The Best CBS All Access Shows to Stream While in Quarantine
In addition to plenty of classic and current TV shows, the service has great exclusive series.
While so many of us are stuck at home, spending an awful lot of time on our devices, you may find yourself drawn to the streaming services you've otherwise been neglecting. CBS All Access isn't often mentioned in the same breath as Netflix and Amazon Prime—in large part because it's relatively new and doesn't have as much original programming—but it has several classic series available to stream, not to mention many current hit shows. And there are, in fact, several exclusive, original CBS All Access series that are very much worth checking out, especially if you've found yourself with a little extra time to spare. For advice on where to start, here's our list of the best CBS All Access shows to stream while in quarantine. And for more ideas on what to watch, These Are the Best Amazon Prime Shows to Stream While in Quarantine.
The Good Fight
Whether or not you ever got into The Good Wife—and if you'd like to, it's streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and CBS All Access—you'll get hooked on this spinoff starring Christine Baranski as lawyer Diane Lockhart. Like its predecessor, The Good Fight balances ripped-from-the-headlines cases with complex characterization and a refreshingly quirky sense of humor. If you start now, you can catch up while the fourth season, which was cut short amid the coronavirus pandemic, is still airing. And for more critically acclaimed series to catch up on, check out these 23 Emmy-Winning TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now.
Tell Me a Story
Almost every fairytale has an edge, but if you were first exposed to them via Disney movies, you may not have realized how dark they really are. Tell Me a Story amps up the fear with twisted reimaginings of classic tales as psychological thrillers, which are not for the faint of heart. The first season blends "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Three Little Pigs," and "Hansel and Gretel," while the second takes on "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Beauty and the Beast."
The Twilight Zone
You are about to enter another dimension—again. Rod Serling's massively influential series The Twilight Zone has been resurrected again and again, as TV reboots, a feature film, and even a Disney ride. But Jordan Peele's take on the classic is the best Twilight Zone revival we've seen in years—an anthology series that captures the spine-tingling horror and biting social commentary of the original. The first season aired weekly in 2019, but the 10-episode second season drops in its entirety in June. And if you want to feel even more unsettled, these are The 18 Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now.
Star Trek: Discovery
While Star Trek: Discovery is the seventh series in the Star Trek franchise, you don't have to be a diehard Trekkie to enjoy it. Sure, the show has plenty to offer for established fans, but it was also designed to draw new viewers into the Star Trek universe, so if you've ever found yourself Star Trek-curious, it's not a bad place to start. And Discovery was also designed to expand the universe, with a prominent gay couple, played by Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, and a black woman lead, Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham. The first two seasons are streaming, while the third has been delayed by coronavirus.
Star Trek: Picard
On the other hand: if you're already enmeshed in the world of Star Trek and are looking for more of a throwback experience, perhaps you'll enjoy the more direct sequel series, Star Trek: Picard, which takes place 20 years after the film Star Trek: Nemesis and has Patrick Stewart reprising his role as the title character. With appearances from other familiar Star Trek faces, Picard might seem like more of the same for people who grew up with the franchise, but the series is notably more character-driven and less action-oriented than its predecessors—ideal if you're looking for a slower burn. Stream the first season while waiting for the second, which was announced before the show even premiered.
Why Women Kill
No one does dark comedy like Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, and his fingerprints are all over Why Women Kill, starting with that attention-grabbing title. This fun and flashy series takes place in the '60s, the '80s, and the present day, with three women—played by Ginnifer Goodwin, Lucy Liu, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste—dealing with their strained marriages the only way they can. We won't give too much away, but you can probably guess that murder is involved. The 10-episode first season is currently available, with a second season on the horizon. And if you're in the mood for more offbeat comedies, here are 17 Underappreciated TV Comedies That Are Available to Stream Right Now.
Fans of true crime won't want to miss Interrogation, which jumps around in time to recount a real murder case that unfolded over the course of three decades. This high-concept series structures each of its 10 episodes around the actual interrogations of the case—with some creative liberties, of course. And if that's not enough to lure you in, perhaps the cast will do the trick: Peter Sarsgaard, Kyle Gallner, and David Strathairn are among the stars. The first season premiered in February, with no news (yet) about a second.
Another high-concept CBS All Access series, One Dollar tells the story of multiple murders in a small Rust Belt town from the perspective of, yes, a dollar bill. Okay, not exactly. The dollar in question is just a device that helps the series move from character to character in each episode, fleshing out its impressive ensemble. While critics mostly enjoyed the show, it never really got much attention, and it was canceled after its sole 2018 season—but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching those 10 episodes now. And if you're looking for a more epic streaming experience, try The 20 TV Shows Streaming on Netflix That Have the Most Episodes.
Based on the life of rocket scientist Jack Parsons, Strange Angel stars Jack Reynor as the man in question, who went from janitor to researcher and engineer. But Parsons was something of an oddball, which the show naturally doesn't shy away from. In addition to his work, he was also heavily into the occult and—as Deadline put it—"sex magic rituals." This unusual series flew under-the-radar and was canceled after two seasons, but it's certainly worth revisiting if you're looking for something a little off the beaten path.
There are enough big names attached to No Activity that, if you're a fan of comedy, you should be willing to give it a shot. While there have been other, far grittier looks at drug cartel busts, this series eschews the typical procedural format and goes for laughs instead. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are executive producers, which should give you some sense of the tone, and the cast includes Tim Meadows, Amy Sedaris, and Jason Mantzoukas—not to mention tons of delightful cameos. So far, there are three eight-episode seasons you can stream.