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9 Peacock original titles to watch on launch day: Review

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Behold! Another streaming service to light up your life and/or darken your doorway, depending on how you feel about the whole plethora of choice thing. 

On Wednesday, NBCUniversal launched streaming service Peacock nationwide. Available to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex Customers since mid-April at no additional charge, the fledging streaming competitor is now accessible to anyone with an internet connection at a variety of price points. 

You’ve got the ad-supported “Peacock Free” and then two “Peacock Premium” options, ad-supported at $4.99 per month and ad-free at $9.99 per month. You can learn more about what each tier offers here but if you’re just interested in the new shows and movies, look no further.

For launch day, Peacock has nine new titles available: dramas Brave New World and The Capture; comedies Intelligence and Psych 2: Lassie Come Home; documentaries In Deep with Ryan Lochte and Lost Speedways; plus, kids’ programming Cleopatra in Space, Curious George, and Where’s Waldo? Go the free route and you’ll get sample episodes of these projects. Go with premium and you’ll get them in their entirety. There are more projects on the way, so weigh your options well.

To help you navigate your first day with Peacock, we’ve watched everything that’s new and a lot that’s old and provided our thoughts. Listed in no particular order, here’s everything new for Peacock’s first day out of the egg. (Sorry, that joke was p fowl.) 

1. Brave New World

Based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World takes place in a technologically advanced future where humanity has outlawed family, monogamy, privacy, and even money. This vision of utopia falls apart when Bernard (Harry Lloyd) and Lenina (Jessica Brown Findlay) venture out of the bubble of New London and return with a “savage” (Alden Ehrenreich), whose idea of a happy life and what the world should look like could not differ more drastically from his hosts’. — P.K.

Why to watch: You miss Westworld and also Cloud Atlas. You’re curious to find out if Lady Sybil ends up boning Viserys Targaryen or young Han Solo.

How to watch: Brave New World is now streaming on Peacock

2. Intelligence 

The UK government’s cybercrime headquarters gets an unexpected and somewhat unwelcome visit from American NSA agent Jerry Bernstein (David Schwimmer). Jerry is all ego and bluster at first, but he’s poorly hiding deep insecurity and a dramatic exit from his U.S. job. The workplace comedy focuses on Jerry’s relationship with the bumbling Joseph (creator Nick Mohammed) and power struggle with their boss Christine (Sylvestra Le Touzel). — P.K.

Why to watch: Ross was your favorite Friend.

How to watch: Intelligence is now streaming on Peacock

3. The Capture 

A former soldier (Callum Turner), freshly acquitted of a crime, appears to have assaulted and abducted his lawyer — but insists that footage of the attack from CCTVs isn’t real. Detective Inspector Rachel Carrey (Holliday Grainger) looks into it further, uncovering suspicions, agencies, and conspiracies that question everything about the UK justice system and surveillance state. Instead of the torrid formula of a crime drama, The Capture has little to do with the alleged crimes and everything to do with the people looking into them — and whether or not they can be trusted at all. — P.K.

Why to watch: You trust no one and wouldn’t mind further vindication.

How to watch: The Capture is now streaming on Peacock.

4. Psych 2: Lassie Come Home

Social distancing inspired an avalanche of TV reunions this year, but none so good as Steve Franks’ second Psych movie. (Of course, it was filmed and planned months ahead of the global pandemic but credit where credit is due!) Shawn, Gus, and the rest of the gang return to investigate the mysterious shooting of Chief Lassiter and a smattering of ghost sightings that follow the events of the original series and first film, also streaming on Peacock. From the bad green screen to the amazing nicknames, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home is a pitch-perfect return to form. — A.F.

Why to watch: You need the kind of laugh you haven’t had since 2014.

How to watch: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home is now streaming on Peacock.

5. In Deep with Ryan Lochte

I don’t know who In Deep With Ryan Lochte is for, but it’s not me. Inexplicably narrated by Patton Oswalt, this feature-length apology chronicles Lochte’s continued efforts to recover from the 2016 Rio “robbery” scandal and earn a spot on Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Poorly constructed and remarkably tone-deaf, this meditation on contrition will remind you of events you’d rather forget while pushing an agenda that doesn’t pass the sniff test. Sure, there’s an argument to be made here about cancel culture and forgiveness; In Deep just doesn’t make it. — A.F.

Why to watch: You love YouTube apologies and NBC commercials. 

How to watch: In Deep with Ryan Lochte is now streaming on Peacock.

6. Lost Speedways 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matthew Dillner explore abandoned race tracks, guiding viewers through the history and nostalgia behind these sites. Racing aficionados will recognize guest stars and staples of the sport’s history, but even the uninitiated will find a fascinating window into the depth and detail of this subculture. — P.K.

Why to watch: You feel like exploring, but aren’t comfortable going outside.

How to watch: Lost Speedways is now streaming on Peacock.

7. Cleopatra in Space 

Another excellent example of a real Peacock show that sounds like a 30 Rock bit, Cleopatra in Space is the best animated original coming to the streaming service. Follow the 15-year-old ancient Egyptian princess, voiced by Lilimar Hernandez, as she’s catapulted into an intergalactic future and tasked with saving the universe. Full of snappy writing and inventive characters, this is one kids’ show you won’t mind watching a few times over. — A.F.

Why to watch: You’re craving smart dialogue, beautiful animation, and a lot of talking cats.

How to watch: Cleopatra in Space is now streaming on Peacock.

8. Where’s Waldo?

The second season of the latest Where’s Waldo? series comes to Peacock on the day of launch, offering plenty for young viewers to cue up and enjoy. Under the guidance of Wizard Whitebeard (Thomas Lennon), Waldo (Joshua Rush) and Wenda (Haley Tju) continue to wander the globe in search of adventure and new ways to stop anti-wanderer Odlulu (Eva Carlton). Chock-full of problem solving and fun characters, this is a great pick for peachicks. (That’s actually what you call baby peacocks. I had no idea.) — A.F.

Why to watch: You want Waldo on demand; none of this hide-and-seek nonsense.

How to watch: Where’s Waldo? is now streaming on Peacock.

9. Curious George 

I’m typically not a fan of revivals, but Peacock’s Curious George confirms I’ll never tire of this venturesome primate. The latest iteration in H. A. Rey, Margret Rey, and Alan J. Shalleck’s children’s entertainment legacy, 2020 George checks all the boxes for fans new and old. Join him and The Man in the Yellow Hat for new adventures in learning perfect for preschool age children (and 24-year-old entertainment reporters with too much time on their hands). — A.F.

Why to watch: You need an adorable monkey to watch with your adorable monkeys.

How to watch: Curious George is now streaming on Peacock.

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