Is it May already? True crime adaptations, Jedis, and comedies are at the top of the TV pile as you hide from springtime pollen and stormy weather. In other words, you’ll almost certainly find a few shows here that fit your interests before those “blockbusters” of summer television (and movies) arrive. One of those bigger shows, Stranger Things, will arrive at the end of the month, but what else is on the way?
In the first category above, The Staircase and Candy will engross you and possibly gross you out at the same time. Star Wars fans will enjoy Ewan McGregor’s return to a universe far, far away. And if you need to laugh until your belly hurts, there’s several options for that, too, including Hacks, Ziwe, The Kids In The Hall, and Angelyne. Here are the shows worth putting on your list for May.
Ziwe: Season 2 (Showtime series streaming 5/1)
Ziwe Fumudoh, a former Desus & Mero writer, took her audience by storm last season while wielding comedy as a weapon to satirize socially relevant issues (while, at times, skewering her own guests) and also spread unfiltered chaos. After leading a focus group for real-life “Karens,” she’s moved onto more hard-hitting explorations in a bifurcated season. The first batch of episodes will feature a wide range of guests, including Chet Hanks, Emily Ratajkowski, Charlamagne Tha God, Chet Hanks, Ilana Glazer, Hannibal Buress, Mia Kalifa, Adam Pally, Nicole Byer, and Deux Moi.
Meltdown: Three Mile Island (Netflix documentary series streaming 5/4)
The team behind Erin Brockovich presents this limited series about how ordinary people stepped up to work extraordinary feats after a near-catastrophe at a Pennsylvania nuclear plant. Expect to see archival footage and reenactments along with home video that’s never been presented before in a public forum. In the end, director Kief Davidson (The Ivory Game) will also take viewers through the perspective of whistleblower Richard Parks to see how this terrible nuclear incident really went down.
The Staircase (HBO Max limited series streaming 5/5)
The true-crime docuseries (originally on Sundance TV) captivated enough people on Netflix that HBO Max decided to dramatize the story, and boy, did they accomplish that mission. Colin Firth plays Michael Peterson, who served prison time after the death of his wife, Kathleen (portrayed by Toni Collette) under mysterious circumstances. Sophie Turner and Parker Posey joined the cast, and there’s a (SPOILER ALERT) certain theory that won’t be overlooked. This shall be an eight-part adaptation that explores the nature of fact and fiction and goes to some unexpected places, as well.
The Pentaverate (Netflix series streaming 5/5)
Mike Myers (he’s back) wasn’t content to play a few characters in this series, so he decided to portray eight different personalities. Take that, Bridgerton netball prop. The show revolves around the centuries-long aftermath of a catastrophe (the Black Plague of 1347), after which a secret society came together to make sure that humanity’s sh*t doesn’t go off the rails again. Since there (probably) won’t be an Austin Powers 4, we can all relax and enjoy Myers while feeling grateful that this isn’t a Love Guru sequel.
Bosch: Legacy (IMDb TV series streaming 5/6)
Let’s hope that Titus Welliver’s character eats more pancakes in this spinoff that sounds like straight-up Bosch, only in a different place than the O.G. Amazon Prime location. Yup, you’re getting more of Harry Bosch (still played by Welliver) while he takes on a new phase of his career, all while teaming up with Mimi Rogers’ Honey “Money” Chandler, and since they’re former enemies, expect things to grow increasingly complicated.
Candy (Hulu limited series streaming 5/9)
Jessica Biel portrays a 1980s housewife (Candy Montgomery) with two kids and the figurative picket fence and amazing husband. She’s also, however, an ax murderer who took out her frenemy, Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey). With that out of the way, this show’s about tracing how Candy felt the crushing nature of conformity, and everything’s building to a boiling point. Pablo Schreiber is also aboard the cast, and he’s great in everything. Scammer shows might be all the rage, but the intrigue of more viscerally horrific true-crime adaptations shall never go out of style.
Hacks: Season 2 (HBO Max series streaming 5/13)
Jean Smart’s dueling curmudgeons won’t both return because we can’t always have nice things. Yet we still have her cranky comedian, Deborah, who’s back in the comedy game (this time on tour) with Hannah Einbinder’s Ava in tow. These two are the perfect foil and compliment to each other at the same time, but unfortunately for Ava, that horrible email is still out there, looming over both of them. Also, Jean gets to wield a chainsaw, and that’s worth the price of admission on its own, but getting to see the dynamic duo in action is something that we’re frankly not worthy of — we will take it.
The Kids In The Hall (Amazon Prime series streaming 5/13)
Yep, there’s another reboot coming your way, but this one arrives with a decent twist, at least in the trailer. The Canadian sketch troupe (Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Scott Thompson, and Kevin McDonald) is back, and they’re taking aim at their newfound Amazon overlords. That’s all very circular, but perhaps this show will fare better than that movie that got shipped out after five well-received seasons on HBO and CBC Television. It won’t be a stressful affair, that’s for sure.
Angelyne (Peacock limited series streaming 5/19)
It’s Emmy Rossum, all bewigged and looking nothing like Fiona Gallagher, which is probably exactly the type of thing that Rossum wanted to do after a decade in the same role. Here, she portrays the iconic billboard queen and mysterious buxom blonde who parlayed herself into a sensation. Expect a whole lot of pink with hair, makeup, and wardrobe on (tacky) point. Hamish Linklater will look nothing like his usual self either, but I wouldn’t mind if he vamped out like his Midnight Mass character just for fun. And Rossum looks like she’s having a blast as a precursor to the Paris Hiltons of today.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+ series streaming 5/27)
Ewan McGregor returns as the title character, 10 years following Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith‘s events. Obi-Wan is attempting to shake off Anakin Skywalker’s downfall, and it’s guaranteed to be a struggle, given that the Jedi considers this to be “his greatest defeat.” Yep, his BFF has gone to the dark side and become and evil Sith Lord, and Hayden Christensen will return to once more do the honors there. Of course, this isn’t officially titled The Darth Vader Show, but The Mandalorian isn’t called The Baby Yoda Show either, and you know what happened there.
Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 (Netflix series streaming 5/27)
Bad hair abounds as darkness once again descends upon Hawkins, Indiana. Hopefully, there will be some answers regarding the Upside Down, and The Duffer Brothers are promising that this season’s delay is down to it simply becoming so big. Also, it’s spring break! But it’s not a fun time, since there’s new terror on the horizon and possible war. Fortunately, the gang is all back, including Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and more. Also, Robert Englund will bring some Freddy Krueger flavor ahead of a fifth and final season.
Pistol (FX limited series streaming on Hulu 5/31)
Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Sunshine) directs this six-part story about the Sex Pistols’ guitarist and founder, Steve Jones, while he’s in the midst of a raging storm of revolution. It’s a funny and emotional odyssey of three swift years in musical history that shall live on forever. Aside from all of Sid Vicious’ violent drama, there’s a deeper story of working-class blokes who rose above the Establishment while transforming music and culture along the way. Toby Wallace stars as Jones, and look for Louis Partridge as Vicious, Maisie Williams as fellow punk icon Jordan, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren, and Talulah Riley as Vivienne Westwood.