Disney+ has been live for several months now, and it’s worth assessing which TV shows are the best.
Spoiler alert: we at SNIPdaily are massive Star Wars geeks. Disney owns the rights to the franchise. Disney+ debuted with the first-ever, live-action TV series of its kind. You can see where this is going.
SNIPdaily featured writer Duane Beckett and I will be breaking down our favorite shows — the best of the best on Disney+ at present.
(Fitzgerald) The only beef I have with this show is that it’s not long enough. Each episode goes not much more than 40 minutes.
Other than length, The Mandalorian is everything a Star Wars fan would hope for. It’s got the gritty, grounded feel of the original film trilogy, a compelling central protagonist and surprises that pull on nostalgia but stand on their own, too.
This Mandalorian is indeed a hardcore dude. However, he’s not infallible. He gets knocked around a bit, faces obstacles he can’t overcome, encounters failure and seems outmatched at times.
Given how denizens of Mandalore are feared warriors throughout the galaxy, the show has done a great job of subverting that thus far. This Mando is clearly more complex, and as we get deeper below that Beskar Steel armor, we’re bound to find out more substance to his story in Season 2.
CHECK OUT: SNIPdaily’s The Mandalorian Season 1 Review
(Beckett) When I was a kid The Simpsons was only on cable and my family couldn’t afford that. My neighbor could, and they would record each episode Sunday on VHS tape. Remember those? The Simpsons was a Sunday treat, and it remains one of my all-time favorite shows.
The Simpsons is a cartoon that crossed lines. It entertained kids, teens, and adults simultaneously. It was like nothing that came before it, and in all honesty, nothing that’s come since.
South Park, King of the Hill, Bobs Burgers, Beavis and Butt-head, none of them entertain a whole family. For me, that’s the Homer Simpson effect.
The Simpsons have been a phenomenon for almost my entire life. Despite Disney+ meddling, the show remains one of the best ever made. Critics gave it 85 percent, and the audience 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
(Fitzgerald) As is the case with The Mandalorian, it’s a little speculative to include this show on here. Both have aired only four episodes apiece as of this writing. That said, it’s one of the select Disney+ original shows that launched with the platform, and just look at the title.
Jeff Goldblum brings himself to roles as well as any actor of his generation. Of course you want to follow this guy around for a 12-part series as he investigates seemingly mundane, everyday things and their surprisingly complex origins.
The first episode is named, “Sneakers,” and the next is, “Ice cream.” The 30-second trailer above sells itself. Goldblum playing jazz piano, casually making the most ordinary topics seem extraordinary.
Especially while there’s a dearth of original Disney+ content, check this one out.
(Beckett) DuckTales was a Saturday morning staple for me. Granted, this is back in the early ’90s and a completely different show to the 2017 Disney reboot.
My two cents after watching the reboot. It’s faithful to the original and no expense seems spared. There’s a nostalgic newness that’s familiar but exciting.
If Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack sound like character’s you want to know. Or, if listening to the best kids theme tune ever is on your to-do list, check the show out now!
DuckTales is gorgeous. Full of Disney shine and the writing is fantastic. It’s not The Simpsons but it’s something wholesome for kids and adults alike. Critics gave it 100 percent, and the audience 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted
(Fitzgerald) National Geographic is part of the Disney+ catalog now, and with it comes this original show from the legendary chef and TV personality.
Ramsay is a riot. If you haven’t checked out any of his iconic shows such as Kitchen Nightmares, he has the most-viewed “Hot Ones” episode on the YouTube channel First We Feast.
Anything the mercurial Ramsay does on the small screen is entertaining. Put him in these extremely exotic locations with really unique food, and it’s a winning combination.
What’s great is this is a new show — the last episode aired in late August. All six episodes clock in under 50 minutes, so it’s fairly binge-worthy as well.
CHECK OUT: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 release date on Disney+
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
(Beckett) I don’t do unbiased when it comes to Star Wars. I’m a giant fanboy. So here’s what you need to know.
If you like the Star Wars universe but think most of the movies suck, watch The Clone Wars TV series. The show does Star Wars better than all but the originals and The Mandolorian.
The show covers all the good stuff that the prequels missed. Leading right through to the Emperor’s Order 66. It introduces new characters and tells bigger bolder Star Wars stories that you’ll love.
This show makes Disney+ better. Don’t take my word for it, critics gave it 94 percent, and the audience 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And now, Season 7 has almost concluded, there’s all the more reason to check it out now.
CHECK OUT: Star Wars spin-off stories we’d love to see on Disney+
Star Wars: Rebels
(Fitzgerald) Oh look! More Star Wars. Whereas Clone Wars gives a little more context between Episode II and III of the film saga, Rebels takes place more than a decade after the events of Revenge of the Sith. It runs up to about one year before the Battle of Yavin.
There’s a lot of runway for the show to play with, and it capitalizes on what makes Star Wars so popular.
Force-sensitive characters such as Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano (carryover from Clone Wars) helped make the show a strong standalone adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
And that’s not even to mention the villainy. Darth Vader appears, of course, yet there’s also the ruthless imperial leader Grand Admiral Thrawn. A popular character in the extended universe, he became part of the new, official canon when he was reintroduced in Season 3 of Rebels.
CHECK OUT: Star Wars The Mandalorian Season 2 release date on Disney+
Adventures of the Gummi Bears
(Beckett) People overlook the Adventures of the Gummi Bears but I remember it fondly.
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a show I checked out first. It’s just that The Mandalorian episodes are so short I’ve had time to explore.
I stumbled back upon this childhood favorite and there’s no reboot here. It’s 1987 to 1991 animation and it looks it’s age, and it’s better for it!
The show was made at a time when there was no social justice or political messaging. There’s an innocence and it’s ideal for parents dodging shows that are overwhelming for younger audiences.
Adventures of the Gummi Bears isn’t going to appeal to everyone but if you can look past the wrinkles it’s charming. Reviewers gave it a 7.5 on IMDB, no Rotten Tomatoes profile was available.