Rewatch (or catch up with) these great Neon shows returning for new seasons in ’23

 This piece is supported by

Living in the Peak TV era asks a lot of a viewer.  We’ve enlisted Dominic Corry to help distill things a little by recommending five shows with new seasons streaming soon on Neon that are worth revisiting (or indeed catching up on if you haven’t gotten around to them yet). 


Watch on Neon

In the build-up to the most recent Emmy awards, it looked like Melanie Lynskey was going to take home Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama for her spectacular performance as (the grown-up) Shauna in the first season of this zeitgeist-capturing show (which garnered five other nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series). Zendaya ended up winning for Euphoria, but I would place good money on Lynskey’s future Emmy prospects.

As simultaneously the most relatable and most inscrutable character in the show, Lynskey is delivering career-best work—which is saying something for the storied performer, whose tendency to always make interesting choices throughout her three-decade career has rendered her inarguably New Zealand’s most successful acting export ever. (I love Sam Neill, but he was born in Ireland).

Yellowjackets was an instant hit right out of the gate, a rare feat these days, thanks to both its strong performances and a juicy conceit that traverses two eras: in the ’90s, a group of high school girls is forced to make awful choices while stranded in the wilderness following a plane crash, and in the 2020s, their grown-up selves continue to struggle with those choices.

Melanie Lynskey’s recent two-episode turn in The Last of Us was a timely reminder of how great she is in season one of Yellowjackets, and it only ups the anticipation for the upcoming second season. Not only that, fellow Kiwi talent Simone Kessell, who played Princess Leia’s mother in Obi-Wan, has joined the show in season two to play the grown-up version of Lottie, a character we only saw as a teenager in season one, played by Aussie actor Courtney Eaton, whom Kessell is a great match for.

Season two of Yellowjackets is available on Neon from March 24.


Watch on Neon

Having won the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy for its second and third seasons, Succession is not just officially the best show on television, it remains one of the most talked-about. Plus as media conglomerates twist and contort through an increasingly disruptive landscape, Succession only seems more pertinent with every passing year.

Those of us who may have struggled a bit with the nihilistic core of the show, which sometimes didn’t seem to allow for any human decency whatsoever, took considerable heart from the humanity that managed to peek through as season three reached its emotional conclusion.

Seeing whether or not that emotion translates to actual ongoing compassion amongst the macro dysfunctional Roy family is an enticing prospect indeed. The trailers suggest things will be typically fraught, but as awful as they can be to each other, the characters that populate this series are always fascinating to be around. And with last week’s announcement that Succession’s upcoming fourth season will be its last, it only makes every remaining episode all the more relishable.

Season four of Succession is available on Neon from March 27.

Perry Mason

Watch on Neon

It takes a lot for a reboot of a familiar tv brand—a prestige reboot no less—to gain any traction these days, when pretty much everything is a reboot, but gain traction the new Matthew Rhys-starring Perry Mason did with its lushly produced period Los Angeles setting, dark heart, and expectation-defying structure.

Indeed, the new Perry Mason surprised audiences by barely resembling what anyone might reasonably expect from a Perry Mason show—which is to say there was a distinct (but not complete) dearth of courtroom showdowns and last-minute evidence reveals, tropes that defined previous incarnations of the character. What we got instead was Perry Mason’s rough ‘n’ tumble origin story, although by the end of the season, he was suited-up and ready to litigate.

But while season two promises more (some) Perry Mason: righteous defense lawyer, the trailer also suggests he will continue spend a lot of time outside the courtroom in the fantastically-rendered seedy underbelly of 1930s LA. This version of the character is much more likely to walk down a dark alley than Raymond Burr ever was, and the show is better for it.

Season two of Perry Mason is available on NEON from March 7.

Elle Fanning in The Great

The Great

Watch on Neon

Quite unlike any TV series that has ever existed, and worthy of much more attention than it receives, is this savage “anti-historical” comedy-drama that liberally depicts the rise to power of Russia’s Catherine the Great in the mid to late 1700s.

Elle Fanning stars as the titular ruler, and Nicholas Hoult is her ill-fated husband, Peter III. Aussie playright/screenwriter Tony McNamara created the series off the back of heat from his 2018 film The Favourite, and he brings a similar sardonically frank treatment of sex and swear words into this period setting. It’s a unique tone that shouldn’t work, but does. And that’s before you get to the frankly insane costumes, which won the show its first Emmy last year. Fanning, Hoult and the production designer were also nominated for the second season. The production design is off the charts.

Don’t let the period setting put you off, this is filthy and deranged entertainment of the highest order.

Season three of The Great will be available on Neon later this year.

The Righteous Gemstones

Watch on Neon

Somehow exempt from the cultural, economic and technical upheavals constantly battering the television industry, Danny McBride and his friends go about their business, casually making some of the funniest TV ever produced.

McBride (who creates, stars, writes, produces and directs alongside regular collaborators like David Gordon Green and Jody Hill) levels up with every series he does. Just as Vice Principals built on what he had achieved with Eastbound & Down, The Righteous Gemstones outdoes Vice Principals.

Following a squabbling family of evangelical TV preachers headed by devout patriarch Eli Gemstone (John Goodman), every episode of The Righteous Gemstones is funnier than most comedy movies. Profane, juvenile and heartfelt in equal measure, there’s a surprise around every corner in this difficult-to-categorise series that is much more interested in platforming crazy gonzo characters than taking down organised religion.

The entire cast is phenomenal, but special attention must be paid to Walton Goggins’ off-the-charts performance as Uncle Baby Billy, one of the greatest comedic characters ever committed to screen.

Season two was somehow even funnier than season one, and alongside guest stars like Eric Roberts, Jason Schwartzman and Eric André, featured a doozy of a cameo from a one-time box office king. Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the Peak TV stop you from appreciating The Righteous Gemstones—there’s simply nothing out there like it.

Season three of The Righteous Gemstones will be available on Neon later this year.