Paramount Plus, the streaming service formerly known as CBS All Access, is probably one of the more underrated streaming platforms available right now. It includes the CBS network’s TV library, combined with NFL on CBS (critically, at no extra cost), the treasure trove of Viacom content (which includes Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1), and Paramount-produced feature films. This means Paramount Plus can entertain a wide variety of tastes, from wine moms to football uncles and every jaded Millennial, Xennial, and Gen Z teen in between. And at $4.99 per month with ads, the price ain’t too bad, either. If you’re looking to give Paramount Plus a try, here are some shows to get you started.
My husband, much to his everlasting chagrin, is a diehard Cleveland Browns fan. But since we don’t pay for cable or own an over-the-air receiver, watching games at home has been all but impossible. We were, therefore, surprised to find out that, since Browns games are broadcast on CBS, we could watch them on Paramount Plus — which sure beats our previous method for watching games (which I will not elucidate here).
The Halo TV show was an interesting experiment in adapting one of the most popular video game franchises on the planet. It took some questionable liberties with canon, created some wholly laughable plot points, and answered for good and all the question of “Does Master Chief bone?” That said, if you’re a Halo fan, it’s a decent watch, if for nothing else than really cool Mjolnir armor action and best Spartan girl Kai-125.
I’ve been a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race since season one back in 2009. But when the show transitioned from being available for free on Logotv.com to cable station VH1, I missed out because no matter how much I loved the show, it wasn’t worth the exorbitant price of cable. That most seasons of Drag Race and all of its spinoff, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, are available on Paramount Plus means I can catch up on the years that I’ve missed. It has been a lifesaver in my household because we love that Drag Race isn’t over-produced like most other reality competition shows, and it’s fun watching beautiful and occasionally bitchy queens essentially play dress up.
I know Nickelodeon is not a show, but Paramount Plus having access to Viacom’s prolific programming library means that I can rewatch all the Nickelodeon shows of my youth — All That, Kenan and Kel, Guts, Nick Arcade, Legends of the Hidden Temple, SpongeBob SquarePants, and many others — with adult eyes. And guess what — they still hold up really, really well.
Same goes for MTV. My afternoons as a tween / teen were dominated by whatever was on MTV when I got home from school. MTV is also home to one of the very first (and arguably best) reality shows, The Real World, introducing Ruthie, Puck, and Teck, who were household names the way Kim, Khloe, and Kris Jenner are now.
Music documentaries are always a fascinating watch. While Paramount Plus doesn’t have the series’ full slate of episodes that aired on VH1 “back in the day,” the reboot, featuring profiles on Ricky Martin, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and Huey Lewis, still proves as addicting to watch as its predecessor. Besides, what millennial doesn’t wanna catch up on the musical acts that dominated their adolescence, like Bret Michaels and Fat Joe?
While the multiple Star Trek spinoffs on Paramount Plus seem like naked attempts to cash in on the history and prestige of the Star Trek name, they’re actually thoughtful, entertaining, and pretty decent shows. Star Trek: Lower Decks is one of the animated spinoffs chronicling the inner lives of the Red Shirts, who Captain Kirk so often sent to their deaths. The show’s pretty funny and features frequent references to the larger Trek canon that you don’t always have to understand to enjoy.
Jackass’ humor has remained crude and gross and borderline offensive for 20 years now, and I still, still nearly piss myself laughing whenever I watch. The latest movie, Jackass Forever, is the funniest movie of 2022, bar none. I laughed so hard I almost stopped breathing several times. There is something inexplicably sweet about the way these men delight in hurting themselves and others in a way that is actually wholesome despite the gruesomeness on display.