With Disney+ strongly favouring family-friendly TV specials, it’s slimmer pickings for adults looking to diversify their streaming diet beyond Netflix, Amazon and Now TV.
In this guide we’ve selected some of the best Disney+ series for adults and highlighted the new shows in development coming later this year or next.
When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. This does not impact the products we recommend
The best shows on Disney+ right now
Disney+’s TV roster is dominated by children’s TV specials of dubious quality and one or two animated gems that will tickle your nostalgia bone. More and better is to come, but before we get to what’s coming soon, here are our picks of the best Disney+ series right now.
Star Wars: Rebels
The Mandalorian may have been Disney’s big ticket for the launch, but we reckon Rebels is the best Star Wars TV on the service. Accessible for kids and adults alike, it follows a group of rebels led by the former Jedi Kanan Jarrus and featuring his force sensitive Padawan Ezra Bridger. Fan favourite Ahsoka Tano is another regular character across its four seasons, which does a neat job of fleshing out the time between the end of the prequel trilogy and the beginning of the original one.
This eight parter is exactly what Star Wars needs right now. The Jon Favreau show feels like TV – from the episodic adventures to the cameos – and that’s a great thing. Set in the outer reaches of the galaxy, it follows a moody, masked, mensch Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) and, a few wobbles aside, really delivers on the hype. New retro-futuristic robots. Salty space Western vibes. No Skywalker baggage. And a Baby Yoda. Season 2 is coming in October.
So, you have some time on your hands? Well, the 29 seasons of The Simpsons should keep you busy. What can be said about arguably the most famous television show ever made? Well, the first season is a little patchy to be sure and we won’t get into the argument about when the show went from essential viewing to neglected cash cow, but whatever your view there’s hours of entertainment here.
X-Men: The Animated Series
If you really want to nerd out, the critically acclaimed 90s animated series of the X-Men is worth a watch. Bryan Singer drew on the series heavily when making his two high-regarded movies and given the recent movies have been an unqualified disaster, it’s a nice reminder of what can be done with the rich source material.
Marvel’s Agents of Shield
One for the serious Marvel fans, this. The first season takes a while to warm up, but it really hits its stride in its second and especially third seasons. The series revolves around the agency’s less super agents, led by Agent Coulson, and eventually ramps up with a complex plot that ties into the films.
Agent Carter is a better show than Agents of Shield, but struggled to find an audience across its two seasons. Peggy Atwell reprises her role from the films in this series set in the 1940s, where she doubles as an agent for the US government while also helping Howard Stark with various entertaining problems he has. The two seasons only stretch to 18 episodes, so it’s a quick watch, but one worth making the time for.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Another Star Wars animation worth seeking out, though it’s not to be confused with the equally worthy 2003 animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars from legendary Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky. The two series deal with the same period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and chronicle the rise of Anakin Skywalker from arrogant Padawan to powerful Jedi Master.
The new Disney+ shows coming soon
Disney has plenty of new shows in development for Disney+, predominantly Marvel series to support its huge cinematic universe. Here are some of the most noteworthy.
WandaVision, as it may not surprise you, centres around Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlett Witch) and Vision (an artificial intelligence brought to life by the Mind Stone). They are happily married living a suburban life. Doesn’t sound like what you expected? That’s because everything in their retro sitcom-like life is not as it seems. Kat Dennings is finally due to reprise her role from Thor and Randall Park will be making an appearance. If all goes according to plan, WandaVision will be released in December 2020, although production has been slightly delayed by the outbreak of Covid-19.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier
After a long and eventful life, Steve Rogers AKA Captain America, has passed away. His two best friends, Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) take over his crime-fighting remit, though they find it hard to get along. Before he died, Steve passed Sam his iconic shield, and even though he doesn’t take on the title, he does his best to continue Steve’s legacy. There will be six episodes in this miniseries, due to be released in August 2020.
In Avengers: Endgame, Loki managed to escape after the battle of New York with the tesseract, thanks to a fumble when Tony Stark, and Steve Rogers and the Hulk went back in time to retrieve it. Loki sees him getting up to mischief with it, travelling through time and altering human history. Tom Hiddleston will be starring, with Richard E.Grant, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and, somewhat bizarrely, Owen Wilson in undisclosed roles. Production of this show was paused due to the coronavirus, but otherwise it’s due to come out in early 2021.
Here’s an animated series all based around the simple question: what if? The Watcher, played by Jeffrey Wright, is an extraterrestrial being who observes the multiverse, occasionally making minor changes to influence events. In this series, we’ll see how events in the Marvel movies would have turned out if they had their Sliding Doors moment. Actors from the films will reprise their roles, including Josh Brolin as Thanos, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Karen Gillian as Nebula. The first 10-episode series will be released mid-2021, with a second series already announced.
Bruce Banner’s cousin receives a blood transfusion from him after being shot, with some unexpected consequences – she also gains his superpowers. There are rumours that Mark Ruffalo will be reappearing as the Hulk, and apparently the show will stick closely to the comic book source material. She-Hulk is expected to be on Disney+ in 2021.
Disney has announced a brand new superhero series, led by Jeremy Slater who adapted The Umbrella Academy and Death Note for Netflix. Although plot details of the series haven’t yet been released, in the comic books, the main character Marc Spector has a dissociative identity disorder. He is a former CIA agent who finds his purpose under the name Moon Knight after he kills his terrorist enemy. Filming isn’t due to start until later this year, with the series coming out in 2022.