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The 20 best Disney Plus shows to watch so far

Disney Plus is finally here but not all the big new Marvel shows are available yet. Here are some ideas for what to watch on day 1...

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Jennifer Bisset
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1 of 20 Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The Mandalorian

Aka the show with Baby Yoda. To understand the craziness around the green alien adolescent some think is made from fungus, watch The Mandalorian, a Star Wars live-action show set in the Wild West of the galaxy.

Why you should watch it is a minor spoiler, but...

The fairly conventional first episode ends with a bang: The eponymous stoic bounty hunter, riddled with traumatic flashbacks, discovers that all this time he's been chasing an adorable, weird animatronic gremlin. Worth it!

Note the episode release schedule is a little weird.

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2 of 20 Disney Plus

Forky Asks a Question

Forky Asks a Question might be a great show for kids, but it's the absolute best show for adults going through an existential crisis.

If you watched Toy Story 4, you know that it's about a crazy spork trying to throw itself in the bin because it thinks that's its inherent end point in life. Damn.

But the material is a little lighter in Forky's own spinoff show on Disney Plus. Each of the 10 episodes focuses on a question. The first one is: What is Money? Forky charmingly bumbles his way to the answer.

The series premiered along with Disney Plus' Nov. 12 launch and the 5- to 10-minute episodes will be released weekly.

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3 of 20 Fox

The Simpsons

This one doesn't really need an explanation.

But note that The Simpsons had a bit of a rocky start on Disney Plus. The first 30 seasons (excluding one episode) are only available to watch on Disney Plus in widescreen. That means some of the visual gags are cut out.

That's not good. But Disney has since said it will include an extra feature in 2020 to watch the first 19 seasons of The Simpsons in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. Good save.

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4 of 20 Disney/Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

This is exciting. Just for Disney Plus, the animated series will get 12 new episodes following Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala and more. The series as a whole delves deeper into the Clone Wars leading up to Revenge of the Sith.

Less exciting: The new episodes aren't out yet.

Instead, you can watch the first six seasons for the show that aired between 2008 and 2014. Then you'll be well and truly prepared for the new episodes arriving Feb. 2, 2020.

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5 of 20 Matthias Clamer/ABC

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel's TV series featuring the once-thought-to-be-dead Agent Coulson has made its way to Disney Plus. The show follows less superpowered ground soldiers who fight against big Marvel comics baddies like Hydra.

While it gets off to a shaky start, the slow build to a bigger villain pays off come the end of season 1. Plus the nods to the bigger Marvel movies are always exciting.

The first two seasons are currently available on Disney Plus.

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6 of 20 Disney

Star Wars Rebels

For even more Star Wars, get on Star Wars Rebels. All four seasons of the 3D-animated series that aired from 2014 to 2017 are on Disney Plus. The visually impressive show follows a fledgling rebellion against the Empire five years before A New Hope.

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7 of 20 Bob D'Amico, Marvel

Agent Carter

One of the best and earliest female Marvel heroes is Agent Peggy Carter. Her criminally short TV series that ran from 2015 to 2016 follows her life as a secret agent in 1940s America. She's still grieving the loss of Steve Rogers after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, but we all know what happens in Endgame.

Both excellent seasons are on Disney Plus.

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8 of 20 Disney Plus

Ultimate Spider-Man

It's no Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but this animated TV series will satisfy any Spidey cravings, with all four seasons available on Disney Plus.

Peter Parker in this series is only one year into the world-saving gig. He's on his way to becoming the "Ultimate Spider-Man" but needs more Nick Fury training, which involves figuring out how to work with fellow teenage superhero pals Nova, White Tiger, Iron Fist and Power Man.

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9 of 20 Disney Plus

The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

Half of Disney Plus is a nostalgia trip, so begin it here.

The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is the show that established Dylan and Cole Sprouse as smart-aleck twins who run riot in a Boston hotel. They live there. They don't own it -- their mom works as the hotel lounge singer.

Watch all three seasons on Disney Plus.

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10 of 20 ABC

Inhumans

This makes the list mainly as a curiosity.

The Marvel TV show was swiftly canceled in 2018 after the first season received woeful reviews.

But listen. It had a run in actual theaters and was partly filmed with IMAX cameras. It stars Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon and why not take a look at what has been dubbed "one of the worst" MCU entries ever seen.

Watch at least one of the eight episodes available on Disney Plus.

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11 of 20 Disney Plus

Wizards of Waverly Place

This is the Disney sitcom that introduced the comedic charms of Selena Gomez before she became a massive pop star.

It's about, unsurprisingly, wizards. The Russo siblings are just learning how to use magic, with one of them ultimately set to become the one and only Family Wizard. The series borrows a little from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which is only a good thing.

Watch all four seasons on Disney Plus.

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12 of 20 Lucasfilm

Star Wars Resistance

Yes, more Star Wars! And like the rest of Disney's Star Wars content, this series is well-reviewed and will satisfy anyone desperate to roam every inch of the galaxy before Rise of Skywalker.

This animated series follows Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance to spy on the First Order. It's set before and during the sequel trilogy.

For now, only the first season is available on Disney Plus.

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13 of 20 Disney Plus

Kim Possible

The nostalgia train keeps on running...

Kim Possible is the best. The 2002 show follows a high schooler by day, crime fighter by night. Kim's team includes Ron Stoppable -- he's a beautiful coward and the exact opposite of Kim -- and computer genius Wade, who sources missions for Kim to take on.

And there's Rufus. Ron's naked mole rat.

All four brilliant seasons are on Disney Plus.

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14 of 20 Disney Plus

Jonas

After the Camp Rock movies, the Jonas Brothers starred in their own TV show called simply Jonas.

It stands out from the Disney sitcoms because it's not filmed in front of a live studio audience. If you don't like annoying canned laughter, this could be up your alley.

But it also depends on whether you like the Jonas Brothers and watching their TV alter egos try to balance rock stardom with normal life. Both seasons of Jonas are on Disney Plus.

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15 of 20 Disney Plus

Recess

Next stop -- Recess!

This classic cartoon is set in high school during... recess. The insanely shrewd writers frame social commentary about government and class structure on a backdrop of school kid society. Watching it as an adult is a treat.

Three seasons are on Disney Plus.

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16 of 20 Disney Plus

Lizzie McGuire

A revival of the original 2001 Lizzie McGuire show is coming to Disney Plus, so a big catchup on the excellent children's series is the requisite prep.

It of course stars Hilary Duff, a teenager growing up with all the fun issues teenagers go through. Conveying Lizzie's thoughts is her animated persona, providing a unique way to go further into her head.

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17 of 20 Disney Plus

That's So Raven

Raven, played by Raven-Symoné, is a precognitive teenager. Aside from psychic visions, she loves fashion and her sass levels are something we can all aspire to.

Her attempts to make her visions of the future come true are as troublesome as you'd expect. They make for great TV: The 2003 series was the highest rated in the history of the Disney Channel.

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18 of 20 Disney Plus

Even Stevens

See that little guy? That's Shia LaBeouf before performance-art Shia LaBeouf came up with the extremely motivational piece Just Do It.

Even Stevens follows Ren and Louis, classic clashing siblings. LaBeouf plays Louis, the naughty one, opposite Christy Carlson Romano as his perfectionist brother.

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19 of 20 Disney Plus

Hannah Montana

Combining the sitcom format and musical numbers, Hannah Montana is peak Disney.

Miley Cyrus plays the eponymous Hannah Montana, the pop star alter ego of teenager Miley Stewart. Cyrus' real dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, plays Stewart's dad in the show. Juggling being a pop star and normal teenage life is entertainingly problematic, with Stewart's secret always teetering on being exposed.

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20 of 20 Disney Plus

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

Let's just let Jeff Goldblum explain his show in his own words:

"The premise of the show is, because it's the world according to Jeff Goldblum, it's me with all the information and experience that my life has entailed up til this point," he said at at D23 Expo panel, according to IGN. "It's not as if I do some extra homework/research/bone up on it so that I tend to know something about it and then tell you about it. No, it's not like that."

It might not be entirely educational, but the show does give you more insight into Goldblum's singular brain.

That's the list for now! Expect updates as more shows arrive on Disney Plus.

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