Disney+: best streaming shows of 2023

From The Bear Season 2 to American Born Chinese – the top shows on Disney+ this year according to ScreenHub writers.
The Bear. Image: Disney+.

Here are the best five Disney+ shows to stream in 2023, as reviewed by ScreenHub authors.

The Bear S2 – 4.5 star review

The Bear Season 2. Image: Disney+.

‘The second season doesn’t quite bring the magic all the way back, but after that amazing first season almost anything would have felt like a letdown. Just because a little air has been let out of the balloon doesn’t mean the whole thing comes crashing down – far from it. But this season does expand things a little, and that pressure cooker vibe that felt so essential has vented a little steam.’

Read: The Bear Season 2 review: mo’ money, mo’ problems

Faraway Downs – 4 star review

Faraway Downs. Image: Disney+.

‘The bombing by the Japanese air force is an astoundingly cinematic cataclysm that pitches the story into an apocalypse now that’s thrillingly gripping. Scattering the characters amongst the fiery rubble raises the stakes, suddenly much more keenly felt. It’s here that Luhrmann’s extravagant filmmaking style comes into its own, with the drama underlining the stark differences over which lives are most valued. A heart-stopping alternate finale filmed but abandoned drives home a gut-punch with a scene-stealing thrust by Gulpilil.’

Read: Faraway Downs review: Baz Luhrmann lands his Australia re-do

The Clearing – 4 star review

The Clearing. Image: Disney+.

The Clearing recognises that cults thrive on complicity, not raw domination. And it explores with satisfying ambivalence how traumatised people can delude themselves that they’ve mastered their past.’

Read: The Clearing on Disney+ review: a juicy look at cults and complicity

The Mandalorian – 4 star review

The Mandalorian. Image: Disney+.

‘As you’d hope from Lucasfilm, the creatures are marvellous: there’s a new cast of (literally) juicy villains in lavish outfits. There are droids of increasingly absurd purpose. Some monsters are new, but others we know and loathe.’

Read: The Mandalorian is perfectly ordinary and that’s perfectly fine

American Born Chinese – 4 star review

American Born Chinese. Image: Disney+.

‘As directed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings helmer Destin Daniel Cretton and, for one of eight episodes, Charlie’s Angel actor Lucy Liu, some of the show’s loveliest moments are between Jin and his mum. Whether she’s trying to convince him that a cartoon-appliqued hoodie in a shop that also sells milk is the height of high fashion, or responding, when he grumbles about dinner being mostly skin and toenails, that, ‘sometimes the things you hate are good for you,’ the recognisable rub-up of occasionally conflicted love is lush.’

Read: American Born Chinese review: heavenly war vs teenage hormones

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites