With huge studios like Fox and Marvel under its mouse-shaped umbrella you could say that it is fair to expect quality from Disney and, in the last few years, it's largely not disappointed.
In many ways, by casting aside its image of wholesome family entertainment, the brand has expanded and embraced a whole new catalogue of adult dramas that have loaned some much needed range to their available franchises. Marvel shows have gotten more involved and mature, and even old favourites such as the Star Wars universe have realised that their audience has grown up and they need to follow suit.
With that in mind, we have put together a short list of three shows, available to watch on the Disney+ streaming service, that personify this more recent mantra. And what's more, each of them have scored more than 90% on Rotten Tomatoes to prove that this is a much-loved path. Enjoy.
The Beatles: Get Back
- Stars: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Star, George Harrison
- Created and directed by: Peter Jackson
- Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
In January 1969, The Beatles entered the recording studio to write and rehearse the songs for the album Let It Be. They were on a very tight schedule as they intended to debut the songs in a live performance within a few weeks. The performance would then be the album.
A camera crew recorded everything that went on in the studio in order to make a film out of the experience, and this episodic series shows an edited version of what they captured.
What makes it all the more fascinating is that, by the time of filming, The Beatles were pretty much at an end.
In-fighting, boredom, fatigue and simple changes in character brought on by age and situation had forced them apart. So, when they met together to record the famous album and record the concert up on the roof, they had been apart for a while, meeting almost as strangers again. But, within these recordings something magical happened – they bonded through the music and the sparks were lit.
Through hundreds of hours of unseen footage, Peter Jackson has created an absolutely stunning record of The Beatles' final days. It's personal, bold, intimate and gives us the clearest view ever of the inner workings of the biggest band the world has ever seen.
The Beatles: Get Back is an amazing achievement in cinema and absolutely worth a viewing.
- Stars: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edibiri
- Created by: Christopher Storer
- Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
There is an episode late into The Bear where I am pretty sure that, for around 30 minutes, I didn't breathe – such is its power. The writing, the passion, the performances from the cast, and the pace of the direction can actually make it difficult and exhausting to watch. But, once started it is very difficult to stop.
Set in modern day Chicago, The Bear is an episodic comedy drama that follows the story of Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (played by an unbelievably good Jeremy Allen White) who, after the death of his older brother Michael, returns home to take over the family sandwich shop. Carmy has been away for years and has risen to become one of the most prestigious chefs in the country. However, he now finds himself burdened with a failing business, a resentful staff, and debts that there seem no way out of.
Many originally came into The Bear with very little knowledge of the show, even less about the cast and honestly, this is the best way to approach it.
The show grips from the very first episode and refuses to let go. It is relentless, fast-paced, sharp, aggressive and heart-warmingly funny. It brings an unexpected level of human drama and was by far many people's pick of the last year or so in terms of television.
Special note must also be given to Jeremy Allen White and his performance as Carmy. He's absolutely note perfect, heartbreaking, stunning and bold. I cannot wait to see what he does next in his career.
And in season 3, which has recently been announced.
- Stars: Diego Luna, Kyle Soller, Stellan Skarsgard
- Created by: Tony Gilroy
- Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
There is a scene in Disney+'s Andor where Rebel agent Luthen turns to a possible defector and explains what he has given to the cause: "I burn my decency for someone else's future. I burn my life, to make a sunrise that I know I'll never see. So what do I sacrifice?.. Everything!"
This line sums up the entire series in terms of message and tone.
Andor is Star Wars for grown-ups. It is dark, serious, thoughtful, tonally perfect and builds a beautiful and heartbreaking narrative around places and characters we have known since 1977.
Acting as a prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the series follows the character of Casian Andor, played by the excellent Diego Luna (Narcos: Mexico, Y tu mamá también). He's a petty criminal whose fate becomes intertwined with the Rebellion and their fight against the rise of the Empire. It's a story we already know well, but so cleverly told that it still seems fresh.
For instance, the show asks its audience to think about what they would give up, how far they would go, and if they would be willing to sacrifice everything to rise from under the thumb of oppression.
It is very easy to understand why many view Andor as being the greatest piece of Star Wars content. It's even better, in many respects, than the films that have led to its creation.