19 Best TV Shows Similar to ONE PIECE
Messy writing keeps this solid cast from shepherding Hotel to strong Yelp scores.
Hazbin Hotel is not for me. That is not a bad thing. If every piece of media appealed to everyone, the homogeneity would be stifling. I can see the appeal of a big, bombastic, gleefully violent, heart-on-its-sleeve musical cartoon for grown-ups (heck, I've enjoyed my fair share of them)—I just don't click with the show's ice-pop made-of-blood aesthetic, and I'm not a huge show-tune guy. Acknowledging the disconnect between the show's vibe and my personal tastes, as a critic, I have two primary takeaways from Hazbin Hotel's first four episodes:
In terms of animation and voicework, Hazbin Hotel is solid—and Keith David's turn as the burnt-out bartending demon Husk is a standout among a game cast.
In terms of writing, Hazbin Hotel is a mess, awkwardly careening between silly and dramatic without precision—most noticeably when it delves into the horrific life of one of its lead players.
Hazbin Hotel's aesthetic is built on contrasts—primarily between series heroine Charlie Morningstar (Erika Henningsen)'s deliberate good cheer, bright smiles, and crayon drawings and the continual viciousness of Hell and most of its denizens. Visually, the cast (both the show's core ensemble and the wider community of Hell) is expressive and distinct. Hell's assorted players and agents are united across factions by the frequent use of red and black either alone or in concert in costume design. Each faction, in turn, has its own visual signifiers—the staff and residents of the Hotel tend towards a hybrid of casual and professional wear, while a powerful gangster clique goes all in on decadence. Heaven's murderous, brotastic angels, meanwhile, opt for a more uniform style. Continue Reading →
The heist thriller series stays compelling even as it grows more typical.
Joe Petrus (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) is a Black gay man living in a very white suburb in Washington. His neighbors whisper about how great he is when he drops off his soon-to-be stepchildren Frankie (Maria Nash) and Bud (Baeyen Hoffman) at school. However, when he applies for a permit to convert a long-abandoned hardware store on Main Street, he encounters racially charged suspicion from a cop on the beat and judgment from the town council. Both dress them up to various degrees in standard procedure and questions of propriety, but the message is clear: “You don’t belong here.”
It turns out they’re onto something, but for entirely the wrong reasons. Entrepreneur-in-love American Joe also happens to be British former organized crime heavy David Marking, who did “one last job” and actually walked away. He started a new life in the US and accidentally fell in love with Jules (Kevin Vidal). Unfortunately, the consequences of the job have finally started to catch up with him as members of his heist team begin to show up dead as Culprits opens. Continue Reading →
The Boys is good. Often, it is excellent. However, the Eric Kripke-created adaptation of the Garth Ennis-Darick Robertson-created comic book series sometimes overindulged in juvenilia and “is this too edgy for you, square?” baiting. To be fair, that isn’t exactly unfaithful to the source material. Ennis frequently vacillates between scathingly insightful critiques of the human condition and truckloads of dick jokes (see also, Preacher). Continue Reading →
The Fall of the House of Usher
The most gripping moment in 2022’s Academy Award-winning documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is when members of the now disgraced Sackler Family, whose pharmaceutical company manufactured and marketed the highly addictive painkiller Oxy-Contin, are ordered to attend a virtual hearing in which they're confronted by families who had been impacted by the drug. Listening to tragic stories of accidental overdoses, birth defects, and young men cut down in their prime due to a prescription medication that had been promoted as safe and non-addicting, the Sacklers could not look more bored, even slightly annoyed. It’s a chilling reminder that extreme wealth often results in a loss of empathy, if not one’s entire soul. Continue Reading →
Justified: City Primeval
How does anyone justify a revival? The original Justified gave viewers a conclusion in the first 30 minutes and an epilogue with the last 16. It gave Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) a fitting third act, living in Miami as a part-time dad to his daughter and finally enjoying freedom from the town he worked so hard to escape. So how does a creative team go from “we dug coal together?” to that nearly happy ending to a brand-new Givens tale? The simple answer is to head north. Continue Reading →
Through the haze of nostalgia, someone might find themselves thinking, “I remember Twisted Metal being a fun video game. I don’t remember there being a story to it though.” If that’s you, good news: your brain is not playing tricks on you. While the series gained complexity over time and each character took on backstory and better-defined goals, the on-screen experience essentially boiled down to a demolition derby in which the victor received an ironic fulfillment of their biggest wish. Continue Reading →
Special Ops: Lioness
Taylor Sheridan believes in a very particular strain of the badass woman archetype—steely-eyed, whiskey-drinking, stoic badasses who refuse to be seen as anything other than the HBIC. There's a poetry to their confidence, a mystery to their vulnerabilities. They have no time for feminine pursuits and will be the first to tell you their Myers-Briggs type (ENTJ, obviously). The world might implode if Yellowstone's Beth Dutton ever picked up an Avon Paperback Romance. Continue Reading →
From De Palma's series launcher on, Cruise has used the tales of Ethan Hunt to ponder the nature of cinema as performance, perception, and manipulation.
The Mission: Impossible movies begin in perhaps the most inauspicious fashion possible: a computer tech, played by Emilio Estevez, watching security camera footage of clandestine crime scene clean-up. One of the men he's watching happens to be Tom Cruise in heavy prosthetics and a wig. It's an odd opening for an eight-film mega-franchise, a globe-trotting stunt spectacular that has attracted some of the world's biggest stars and most interesting actors—America's answer to Bond movies. But as the opening to a Brian De Palma movie, it's a no-brainer. Of course it starts with a dorky guy in a cramped little room watching unappealing CCTV footage of a crime of passion. That's De Palma.
Though Robert Towne wrote the script (he and Cruise were friends and artistic confidants; Cruise produced his 1998 movie Without Limits), the film is thoroughly De Palma's, never more so than when indulging in its covert operations. He films the opening sting from Cruise's POV, and its dizzying effect is rather like the opening to Dario Argento's Opera or its fellow perverse Italian horror thrillers. It is always disconcerting when movie characters address us but speak to someone else when we see what the hero sees see but cannot control what they do. We are seeing a performance from the inside, knowing that if the scene doesn't go off without a hitch, it could mean death for the man whose eyes we've been given for the duration. The Mission: Impossible movies have since changed directors four times, but their central tenet remains: they are about performance. They are about making movies to make sense of a senseless world. Continue Reading →
Hijack, like 24 before it, is billed as a thriller television series told in real-time. In execution, however, it feels similar to a carrier full of other TV actioners. While it may, in fact, be seven hours from Dubai to London, there’s nothing about this show that makes the real-time gimmick sing. Instead of intense immediacy, it feels like a run-of-the-mill suspense series stakes. Continue Reading →
The Crowded Room
Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland) sits in interrogation. He's been picked up for a seemingly random shooting on the busy streets of New York City. He insists that his friend Ariana (Sasha Lane) fired the gun, but the police can’t find her. Nor can they locate Danny’s Israeli landlord Yitzhak (Lior Raz). Worse, when they start digging, they find a pattern of people disappearing around the young man. NYPD Detective Matty Dunne (Thomas Sadoski) feels confident the department has accidentally brought in a serial killer. To prove his point—and find the victims—he brings in his ex, Professor and Psychologist Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), to conduct a series of interrogations. Continue Reading →
As a group, humanity has spent entirely too much time asking, “Can men and women ever be friends without sex getting in the way.” Thankfully, Platonic, by creators Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco, asks a different, perhaps more germane question. “Can women and men be friends without ruining each others’ lives?” Continue Reading →
By the time Silo’s action builds to a crescendo in its back third, it causes a deep ambivalence. On the one hand, after episodes of fastidiously building to this moment, it is akin to arriving at that fireworks factory. Conversely, there is a certain sadness in disrupting the series’ strange, contemplative tone. Continue Reading →
The modern age of streaming shows has delivered countless programs that boast in their press releases about being “just long movies.” The new Netflix limited series Florida Man continues this trend. Worse, it puts its own insufferable spin on the mold by stretching out a late-1990s Quentin Tarantino knock-off to nearly seven hours of storytelling. Yearning for a return to the era of non-linear crime dramas embracing the notion that F-bombs and shady behavior turn the story into the new Reservoir Dogs? This Donald Todd-created series will make you giddy. Unfortunately, everyone else will likely come away irritated. Continue Reading →
The Christmas industrial complex quickly consumes the whole of pop culture. One can barely slip the surly bonds of October 31st before being inundated with a whirlwind of tinsel-tinged music, decorations, and of course, T.V. specials. There’s nothing wrong with that! While the totality of it can be overwhelming at times, even for enthusiasts, there’s something downright pleasant about a big communal celebration touching the whole of society in some way, including our favorite television shows. Continue Reading →
I Am Groot
The recent Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have gotten enormous in scale. It’s no longer only Avengers installments that span multiple planets and involve countless superheroes. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explored multiple alternate dimensions, while Eternals concluded with a massive robot emerging from one of Earth’s oceans. Even the Earthbound Spider-Man: No Way Home made room for multiple Spider-Men. Continue Reading →
A blandly suited district attorney steps up to the podium to make his opening statement.“In a very real sense, this case is about pretense and appearances,” he intones. “It’s about things not being as they seem.” Continue Reading →
Under the Banner of Heaven
Chances are that if you know any Mormons at all, they’re far more likely to be ex-Mormons. Despite claims that the Mormon Church is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States (source: the Mormon Church), in reality, like most organized religions in America, membership has been on a steady decline for the past decade. Along with the same issues other churches face, the Latter Day Saints also suffer from years of bad P.R., forever associated with magic underwear, child brides, and polygamy, though the latter two aren’t permitted within the modern Mormon Church, and haven’t been since the 19th century. Every church has its members who take things a little too literally, however, and that occasionally results in tragedy, as illustrated by FX’s docudrama Under the Banner of Heaven, a chilling true story about death and faith. Continue Reading →
How I Met Your Father
Hulu’s new series How I Met Your Father attempts to recreate the magic of the - wait for it! - legendary status of the original series How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM for short). This update proves a nostalgic ride for fans of the original series and an enjoyable journey for newcomers, even if it lacks some of the fresh qualities of its predecessor. Continue Reading →
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Netflix is trying really, maybe embarrassingly hard to make He-Man a thing again. With He-Man and the Masters of the Universe their throw-toys-at-the-wall-until-something-sticks approach is genuinely starting to wear out the patience of new and old fans alike. Continue Reading →