How much is there really to discover on Discovery+?
The streaming service that includes programming from the parent of Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery, TLC, HGTV, Animal Planet, Food Network and more – has an overwhelming number of unscripted series.
From well-known favorites like "Chopped" and "House Hunters" to new original series such as "Naked and Afraid of Love" and "Race Across the World," Discovery+ has one of the biggest libraries in streaming. Plus, Discovery+ subscribers have free access to Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Magnolia Network programming, which includes 150 hours of unscripted programming covering home, design, food, gardening and other topics.
It's a lot to choose from, and frankly, not every series is a winner. Many of the Discovery+ originals are spin-offs of spin-offs of cable shows, from infinite extensions of the "90-Day Fiancé" franchise to more true-crime series than you ever thought existed. But between the legacy programming from these classic networks and some truly standout originals, there are quite a few things to love on Discovery+. Here are 10 of the best series the streamer has to offer.
'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations'
Bourdain, who died in 2018, was hands down the best TV personality to host a travel and food show, first with Travel Channel's "No Reservations" and later on CNN's "Parts Unknown." His first series is a little more raw, a little less edited and full of pithy insights from Bourdain and gorgeous food. The series isn't available to stream elsewhere, and it's full of wonderful moments from his life.
'Planet Earth' series
The entirety of the BBC's stunning nature documentary series is available on Discovery+, from the original to "Blue Planet II." Narrated by David Attenborough, the documentaries are unique both in their stunning photography and fierce advocacy for animals and the environment.
A cross between renovation and house flipping, this HGTV series chronicles the Indianapolis mother-daughter duo of Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak. Sometimes they flip and sell, other times they redo homes for families in need of an upgrade. But their love of bright colors, their adorable relationship and their keen budgeting know-how make the show practically radiate sunshine and DIY tips.
There is a wealth of food programming on Discovery+, but there is something so comforting and homey about episodes of Ina Garten's classic series. Garten is the quintessential food show host, offering viewers a peek of her aspirational life while offering completely attainable food for them to cook at home. Her soft demeanor and smile are keys to her seemingly endless charm.
There is something so fascinating about this TLC reality romance series, featuring long-distance couples trying to get American citizenship for a foreign fiancé. The rules of the K-1 visa the couples use mean they have 90 days to marry to obtain citizenship, which puts intense pressure to speed ahead with romance. The wildly successful series has generated many spin-offs, only a few of which live up to the original's creative and commercial success. A good one is "The Other Way," in which the American in the couple moves to a foreign country.
This Discovery Channel classic is one of the best and most successful shows the network ever produced, probably because it stayed quirky and fun. The team of scientists debunk (or confirm) urban legends and crazy stunts from movies, such as what would really happen if a car crashed into a fruit stand or a locked gate, as they so often do in movies. Recent Discovery programming is lighter on the science and higher on the drama, so rewatching some "MythBusters" can be a nice reminder of its nerdy past.
'Fixer Upper: Welcome Home'
You could turn to Hulu or your cable on demand to watch old episodes of "Fixer Upper," the HGTV series that put Chip and Joanna Gaines on the map, but Discovery+ and the standalone Magnolia Network app are the official homes of these new episodes featuring Chip and Jo renovating once again in Waco, Texas. While not a carbon copy of the original series (there are more clients come to them with a house they've already bought), the power couple slips right back into the rhythm that made them stars in the first place.
The standout series from the Magnolia lineup follows a couple renovating houses – other people's and their own – in Utah. Candis and Andy Meredith share the important qualities of the Gaineses without being direct copycats: they're easygoing on camera, effortlessly charming, have a huge photogenic family and a distinctive design style. That style is almost the antithesis of Joanna's – it's old world Victorian with dark colors and lush fabrics – and it makes them stand out from all the white kitchens and barn doors on other series.
'Say Yes to the Dress'
Even with so many seasons and its Atlanta spin-off, there is still magic whenever a bride comes out in the wedding dress she knows she's going to get married in. TLC's reality series, set at an upscale wedding dress shop in New York City, had a winning formula from the beginning that has carried through 20 seasons. From gorgeous (and ugly) gowns to dramatic brides, stylists and friends, the series remains a lovable guilty pleasure.
There are plenty of paranormal investigative series on Discovery+, as well as a wealth of true-crime documentaries, but "Ghost Adventures" is one of the scariest and zaniest out there. Zak Bagans and his team travel to some of the most (allegedly) haunted places around the globe, and their footage can be terrifying or mundane, depending on whether you're a believer or skeptic. In one exclusive-to-streaming two-hour episode, the crew visits Los Angeles' legendary landmark, the Cecil Hotel.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Discovery+: 10 TV shows worth watching, from Bourdain to 'MythBusters'