Disney+ made quite the impact when it launched in the UK in 2020, providing hours upon hours of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars content to get us through long periods at home.
The new add-on Star on Disney+ has now launched, and it brings together films and TV shows from Disney’s Creative Studios, such as FX, 20th Television and 20th Century Studios. This means that there’s now double the amount of content available with your Disney+ subscription.
As well as Disney+ star movies that are probably unsuitable for the main service – looking at you Deadpool 2 – Star introduces brand-new original shows from the creators of Big Little Lies and Rick and Morty, as well as modern classics such as Lost and Modern Family.
Here’s the best TV shows available in the Star section of Disney+ – just remember to turn on parental controls…
Best Star Disney+ shows
Back when all US shows ran a gargantuan 24 episodes every year, 24 took the novel approach of having each season cover a single day in real time, resulting in some of the most pulse-pounding days in television history. More than just a gimmick, the show wasn’t afraid to kill off key characters and Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer has since become a pop culture icon. Spin-offs Live Another Day and Legacy are also available on Star.
A brand new Star original, Big Sky hails from David E. Kelley, creator of the acclaimed Big Little Lies. Based on murder mystery novel The Highway, Big Sky sees private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillipe) join forces with Cody’s estranged wife and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) to hunt a serial killer in Montana.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
A teen hit in the late ’90s and early ’00s, Joss Whedon’s iconic Buffy the Vampire Slayer continues to have a cult following and spawned TV spin-off Angel as well as countless follow-up comics, tie-in novels and video game adaptations. As the title suggests, high school student Buffy learns she has been chosen as a vampire slayer, and together with her ‘scooby gang’ must fight off demons and monsters including, of course, vampires. While the special effects may not have aged well, the memorable characters, quippy dialogue and subversive premise definitely holds up.
At a whopping 12 seasons and 246 episodes, there’s plenty to binge here for fans of crime procedurals (or indeed forensics). The show follows FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel), who each episode solve the mystery behind human remains brought in by the FBI. However there’s more to it than just than rotten flesh and bones – despite the setting the show is known for its dark comedy, and even romance.
A ratings phenomenon, Desperate Housewives follows the residents of the now iconic Wisteria Lane as they face the secrets, crimes, and mysteries hidden under their seemingly perfect suburban neighbourhood. Featuring an ensemble cast including Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, the show still makes headlines today with endless rumours of a reunion or reboot.
Still going strong in its 19th season, Seth McFarlane’s edgier take on the animated family-focused sitcom has started to rival The Simpsons in length and pop culture impact. Famous for its cutaway gags and dark humour, the show follows the Griffin family – including talking dog Brian and baby Stewie – as they get into all sorts of comedic shenanigans in their home town of Quahog. Spin-off The Cleveland Show and American Dad are also available on Star.
Still famous for its controversial cancellation some 20 years later, space western Firefly was not long for this world but left quite the impact. The acclaimed show’s single season follows the crew of the spaceship Serenity as they make a living on the fringes of society following a civil war. The starry cast includes Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin.
While it may not have lasted as long as Matt Groening’s other animation The Simpsons, Futurama still has a strong fanbase to this day. The show follows slacker Phillip J Fry who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in the 31st Century, where he works for an interplanetary delivery system with the one-eyed Leela and robot Bender. Much like Family Guy, Futurama was cancelled a few seasons in – but triumphantly returned with four films and two more seasons to wrap things up.
A sensation when it first aired, Glee follows a high school music group and their passionate teacher. Hitting the right balance between musical performances and teen drama, at its peak the show attracted huge guest stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. It wasn’t just the TV show that was successful – over 11 million Glee albums and 36 million Glee singles have been sold.
Still going strong in its 17th season, TV juggernaut Grey’s Anatomy has consistently received critical and audience acclaim since it began all the way back in 2005. Featuring a starry ensemble cast including Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey, the show follows surgical interns as they grow into seasoned doctors while also balancing their personal lives.
The last Marvel TV series before the more MCU-focused Disney+ series began, the somewhat darker Helstrom follows the children of a serial killer as they hunt down and terrorise the worst of humanity. Originally planned to cross over with a now-cancelled Ghost Rider series, Helstrom is now a standalone series for those who like their superhero shows on the darker side.
How I Met Your Mother
Sit down with Ted Mosby’s kids as he tells the nine season long story of – you guessed it – how he met their mother. The ending remains controversial, but the sitcom’s unique angle provides plenty of laughs along the way – mostly from a breakout Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson.
Famous for baffling mysteries and a plot that jumped backwards, forwards and even sideways in time, Lost was one of the most influential and highest-rated shows of the 2000s. The story follows the survivors of a plane crash on an unknown island – in a pilot episode that cost a whopping $14million – as they work together to survive on a seemingly deserted island. Dare you get lost in Lost?
A TV spin-off of the popular Love, Simon, the show follows half Puerto Rican, half Colombian-American Victor as he starts at Creekwood High School and struggles with his sexual orientation as well as problems at home. Nick Robinson, who appeared as Simon in the original film, also appears.
The king of mockumentary comedy along with The Office, Modern Family follows three strands of a diverse family living in LA. Continuously popular through its whopping 11 seasons, the show went full circle as the kids themselves grew up and started to have families of their own. The ensemble cast includes Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet.
While the show’s title was something of a misnomer following season one, Prison Break was phenomenally successful during its original run. The show follows Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) as he engages in a genius scheme to break his brother Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) out from behind bars. The show would expand on this premise for four seasons, and was even revived for a fifth season in 2017.
Another medical show – but this time it’s a comedy. This feel-good series ran for the better part of a decade, with the slapstick antics of JD and his fellow medical interns attracting guest stars such as Colin Farrell, Heather Graham and Brendan Fraser. The final season’s cast change remains controversial – but Zach Braff’s JD character remains iconic.
If you think this show looks awfully similar to Rick and Morty, then you would be on the money – Justin Roiland co-created the meta sci-fi series as well as this new offering. The perfectly-named Solar Opposites follows an extra-terrestrial family who move to their most alien environment yet – middle America. Listen out for the voices of Alfred Molina, Christina Hendricks and Tiffany Haddish.
Sons of Anarchy
The show that made Charlie Hunnam a star Stateside, Sons of Anarchy sees the actor play Jax Teller, the vice president of a California motorcycle club who begins to question everything after the death of his father. One of FX’s most watched series of all time, the show ran for seven seasons and was advised by real-life motorcycle club members.
One of the older shows on this list, but still in the public consciousness – The X-Files spawned a nine-season original run, two feature films and a successful revival in 2016. The X Files follows, of course, the iconic duo of Mulder and Scully as they investigate the strange and unexplained, getting involved in government conspiracies and alien plots along the way. The truth is now out there – all nine original seasons are on Star.