Upload
Once upon a time, a producer on the American remake of The Office decided he wanted to make mainstream sitcoms that were dedicated to being hilarious and sweet and smart. So he went off and made Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and his magnum opus of optimism and philosophy, The Good Place. This story isn't about him though, or his next show. It's about the guy who hired him way back in those Office days, Greg Daniels, and Greg's own attempt at the high-concept afterlife sitcom, Upload, now available on Amazon Prime. Combining sci-fi concepts as seen in Minority Report, Black Mirror, and yes, The Good Place, Daniels tells the story of a software designer who crashes into a garbage truck, and is uploaded into a digital hereafter. The show is a little less concerned with uplift, and a little more interested in using its setting to poke at our current notions of privilege and class. Angels work in call-centers, heavenly benefits come with microtransactions attached, and there's still no net neutrality, not even in the digital afterlife.

Rabbit Hole
There are no lack of podcasts about The Internet being made right now—shows that cover the culture, politics, dark underbelly, and idiosyncrasies of being online are outnumbered only by mediocre true crime pods. Yet Rabbit Hole, the new weekly audio series from the New York Times (updates Thursdays) that explores the internet’s potential to radicalize its users, manages to stick out by pairing deep original reporting with a high degree of specificity. In the first two episodes alone, you will track the viewing history of a guy whose streaming habits went from Frozen parodies to right-wing YouTubers to outright white supremacists, and learn about the YouTube algorithm that favors the fringe. Episodes are kept at a succinct 30 minutes, leaving you wanting more each time. In a media landscape that’s oversaturated with hot takes about Twitter feuds and lacking in valuable reporting about the place where most Americans spend hours of their day, having a pod like Rabbit Hole is a good thing. BLAIR STENVICK

The Assistant
Kitty Green's The Assistant (starring Ozark's Julia Garner, now available for rent on VOD) works quietly in its condemnation of abusive men in power. There's no passionate monologue about how a system enables a predator like Harvey Weinstein to comfortably exploit women without question or cathartic scenes of abusers getting their comeuppance. Rather, the film focuses on the minutiae of office operations and existence, centering the person least in power—a female assistant—as a means of exploring exactly how abusers are enabled by everyone around them. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Ex Machina
From Ex Machina's relatively realistic opening moments—it subtly calls to mind both Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs and David Fincher's The Social Network—things spiral to stranger, creepier places. It's not as if the themes explored in Ex Machina (now streaming on Netflix) are new—from Asimov to Blade Runner, we've pondered them before—but they're handled here with a depth and intelligence that gives them jarring impact, and that impact is only more pronounced when you note that it's effectively set inside a self-quarantine, and ends... maybe the only way it could end when two of its three main characters continually refuse to consider the possibility they're not the smartest person in the room.

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Watchmen
The reason Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie (which, to clarify, is not what we're recommending here) feels like an airless simulacra of the book is due to a fundamental dissonance between its reverence for the original and the basic disrespect that comes with being a party to Watchmen's corporate exploitation. But showrunner Damon Lindelof has chosen instead to steer into that disrespect, openly and thoughtfully rearranging and replacing the building blocks of Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' graphic novel by sequelizing it with his single-season miniseries. And as a result, HBO’s version investigates themes and ideas the book barely, if ever, touched on. The decision to reframe the whole of masked vigilantism as a form of therapy through the lens of America's fundamental, institutionalized, and unending traumatization of Black people feels alarming, shocking, and meaningful in ways Moore never got at. As an act of retconning, it's maybe the single most audacious and successful example in all genre fiction.

Better Things
There might be no comedy series currently running that is as consistently cathartic as Pamela Adlon's Better Things. It was always good, but the leap the show has taken in its last two seasons (not coincidentally, the two seasons created sans-input from Adlon's former collaborator Louis C.K.) is something to behold. Not every character in the show—not Pamela's character, not her daughters, and certainly not the parade of people storming in and out of her already turbulent life—is likeable, but they're all in their own way extremely loveable, in the hard, complicated, but rewarding way you might recognize in relationships with your own (often-infuriating) family members. The fourth season (it's best yet) is now available in full on Hulu, so if you've been waiting for that binge, here you go.

Car Seat Headrest
Calling a band Car Seat Headrest might seem like an odd choice, but given some background, you’ll get it. The main brain behind the project is Seattle-ite Will Toledo, who recorded the vocals for his first few albums in the backseat of a car for privacy—hence the band name. Over the course of his career, that lo-fi/DIY quality is still present, but he’s been fine-tuning it. Most of his songs are specifically about our attempt to derive meaning from all of this (gesticulates wildly), and how sickeningly futile it often feels. In Toledo’s case, assigning a seemingly meaningless name like Car Seat Headrest to his life’s work actually makes perfect sense, and the latest chapter of that work, Making a Door Less Open, is now available for you to dive into. FIONA GABRIELLE WOODMAN