Streaming libraries expand and contract. Algorithms are imperfect. Those damn thumbnail images are always changing. But you know what you can always rely on? The expert opinions and knowledgeable commentary of The A.V. Club. That’s why we’re scouring both the menus of the most popular services and our own archives to bring you these guides to the best viewing options, broken down by streamer, medium, and genre. Want to know why we’re so keen on a particular show? Follow the links in each slide to coverage from The A.V. Club’s past. And be sure to check back often, because we’ll be adding more recommendations as shows come and go.
For anyone who came of age watching the many cable channels now organized under the ViacomCBS umbrella—which include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Nickelodeon, and BET—the Paramount+ TV library might look, at first glance, like a streaming El Dorado. But a few clicks through tantalizing titles like Behind The Music (only two episodes available at publication time, Madonna’s from 1998 and Jennifer Lopez’s from 2010) or Double Dare (16 episodes from 1987 is not nearly enough slime!) may yield disappointing returns. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find the televisual gems in this self-described “mountain of entertainment”: the pioneering animated series that aired late at night on Music Television or weekend mornings on Nick; Comedy Central favorites from its late-’90s/early ’00s and mid-2010s heydays; and a handful of over-the-air classics from the Viacom vaults (only some of which have been licensed far and wide across the streaming landscape).