An unorthodox detective, an evil-seeming doctor, an interesting and insightful animated series, and more of Liam Neeson driving a truck in a frigid environment. Do you want to know where you’ll find the best bang for your buck among the streaming services? The competition shapes up to be unusual this week with Netflix taking a slight breather in terms of absolutely-must-see fare, although don’t worry, they will come roaring back in July. And a certain trickster god is still commanding attention elsewhere, along with competition from the other streaming services.
This week, Disney+ manages to win the game with quality and quantity, including a Loki episode (that delivers long-awaited payoffs and takes a detour to a visually spectacular land) along with the launch of a peculiar new show and a documentary film. Amazon rises to the next spot with the aforementioned Bosch and other new selections, while Apple TV+ and Hulu follow close behind. HBO Max also has a new installment from a spectacular true-crime series, so without further delay, here’s everything that you should consider putting in your queues this weekend (and beyond).
The Mysterious Benedict Society: Season 1 Premiere (Disney+ series) — Gather round for this adaptation of Trenton Lee Stewart’s bestselling book series about a group of orphans who are recruited by Mr. Benedict, who is very peculiar, to save the world from “The Emergency.” Together, the orphans must infiltrate an underworld society to uncover the truth about why the globe’s gone so wrong, and except the unexpected when it comes to revelations about the source of this crisis. Tony Hale stars, along with Kristen Schaal and Ryan Hurst (RIP, Opie from Sons of Anarchy).
Wolfgang (Disney+ film) — Wolfgang Puck’s life story gets the documentary treatment, which spans all the way from his troubled childhood to his rise to world-renowned chef. His restaurant and cookbook empire are only part of the story in this film that premiered at this year’s Trebeca Film Festival.
Loki: Episode 3 (Disney+ series) — Tom Hiddleston has an absolute blast playing the mercurial trickster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we shall reap the benefits while he helps (or hinders) the Time Variance Authority during the process of cleaning up the timeline. This week, Sophia Di Martino’s “Variant” character teams up with Loki, and the show inserted a significant detail into canon while appearing to also confirm a theory about the TVA. Also, the episode looks like a straight-up Doctor Who set.
Luca (Pixar film on Disney+) — The film’s promotional material, not to mention the setup, reminded a lot of people Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age romantic drama, Call Me By Your Name. Make no mistake, though, this is a family movie with lots of The Little Mermaid flavor, too. Essentially, the story’s about two sea monsters who transform into young humans and set foot on land, where they enjoy an unforgettable summer that includes gelato, pasta, and scooter rides, all while hoping the fun will never stop.
Bosch: Season 7 (Amazon series) — Everyone’s favorite loose-cannon detective (portrayed by Titus Welliver) who doesn’t shy away from extralegal tactics is back for one final lap, and hopefully, he’ll be weirdly eating pancakes again at some point before this show ends. Please let us see more crooked law enforcement members get their comeuppance, and maybe some mercenaries and drug rings here and there, and Bosch going further than he safely should to achieve justice in every instance. Oh, and after this season ends, there will (at some point) be a spinoff that will pretty much be more Bosch on the way. Welliver, Madison Lintz, and Mimi Rogers will all be on board, and Bosch will move onto some as-yet-detailed new phase of his career. Strange, right?
Mary J. Blige’s My Life (Amazon film) — The singer, songwriter, and actress gets very real in this documentary that details her early life, growing up in “project” housing and enduring some seriously dark childhood moments. She channeled this pain into her second album, 1994’s My Life, and expect this film to contain a rawness that reveals how Blige maintained the toughness to keep pushing to further success despite all odds.
September Mornings (Amazon film) — This Brazilian Amazon Original film tells the story of a trans woman who reunites with her son, and the twist here is that she never realized that she had a son at all. How is that possible? Go watch.
Central Park: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series) — Get ready for more animated musical madness that takes on themes of gentrification and capitalism with such an ease that feels, well, natural. Voice performances from Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, and Daveed Diggs will all entertain with whimsy, and oh, do not forget the presence of Tituss Burgess, ever. The series is co-created by Loren Bouchard of Bob’s Burgers fame, and it’s a heartwarming and unique comedy series following a cast of evolving characters.
Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (Apple TV+ film) — Here’s an ode to the most famous (and beloved) blockhead of all time. You’ll see that on the animation side, but there’s much more here with the splicing of old footage to detail the life and times of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz. This is so much better than watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for the umpteenth time.
Mythic Quest: Season 2 season finale (Apple TV+ series) — Rob McElhenney’s workplace comedy made it back to the office after you-know-what forced the work-at-home situation. They built upon Raven’s Banquet success with a new expansion, but nothing’s going smoothly. Snoop Dogg stopped by this season to spread his feel-good… vibes. And now, it’s time to end this sophomore chapter with an eye toward the future.
Fathom (Apple TV+ film) — If you aren’t all documentarie-d out by the time you reach this selection, you might wanna tune into this deep-dive into humpback whale culture and communication. The film rises to the top of the crop when it comes to championing the scientific process and how we, as humans, inherently want to learn more about, well, everything. Awe-inspiring visuals and a tribute to scientific curiosity and perseverance keeps the momentum going throughout.
Physical: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series) — Pull out the leg warmers, the Jane Fonda exercise videos, and the Rave hairspray, or maybe just turn on some Olivia Newton-John songs to get into the proper mood for this dramedy, which stars the always side-splittingly funny Rose Byrne. She portrays a 1980s California housewife, Shiela, who’s pushing toward empowerment and success while excising personal demons in the process. The pilot’s directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and the rest of the season’s helmed by Liza Johnson (Dead To Me) and Stephanie Laing (Love Life), so expect the comedy to be biting.
False Positive (Hulu film) — Hide your uteruses! Pierce Brosnan is the worst fertility doctor. As if being a woman wasn’t hard enough, Hulu (through this A24 film) will give us even more fuel to dread going to a gynecologist, or baby doctor, or fertility whiz, or whatever term you want to use. Ilana Glazer stars as one half of a couple, alongside Justin Theroux, who seeks to become pregnant, and things aren’t exactly going well with the natural route, so they find themselves seeking professional help. And from there, things get all Rosemary’s Baby in a very 2021 way, and in an entertaining way, too, while everyone slowly realizes that something is simply not right with Brosnan’s Dr. Awesome. From there, the this trailer shows how the gaslighting really kicks in, and could it be… Satan?
The Ice Road (Netflix film) — Did you want to see Liam Neeson in another snowy film, as in The Grey? Or did you even want to see him once again playing a trucker in another snowy film, as in Cold Pursuit? Well, you’re in luck then because Neeson is doing the latter type of movie, and his big-rig ice-road driver is attempting to lead a rescue mission atop a frozen ocean, but there’s a storm and thawing water, and yes, good luck, Liam Neeson
Sex/Life: Season 1 (Netflix series) — This show revolves around a love triangle, but it’s an atypical one between a woman, her husband, and her past while grappling with her current life as a stay-at-home suburban wife. Billie realizes that she misses her wild New York City life while still enjoying domesticity in Connecticut. This leads Billie to do something perhaps unwise: take up journaling about her past sex life. Then, of course, her husband finds the journal, and you should probably expect a ton of drama.
Too Hot To Handle: Season 2 (Netflix series) — This frustratingly horny dating show’s all about figuring out whether any of the sexy singles can withstand the no-kissing and no-heavy-petting and no-masturbation rules of the house. It’s somehow sexy but not-sexy at the same time, and the show’s inspired by a Seinfeld episode, in which Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all tried super-hard to withstand the urge to self-pleasure themselves. I dunno, man. Questions of proof abound, but people sure are entertained by this Netflix show.
Good On Paper (Netflix series) — Comedienne Iliza Shlesinger wrote and stars in this romantic comedy film that co-stars Ryan Hansen and Margaret Cho. Iliza plays the heroine and a stand-up comic who’s finally looking to prioritize something other than her career, and then a disarmingly perfect nerd persuades her to let her romantic guard down. Then there’s a wild-goose chase to figure out who this dude really is, so it’s a bit of a caper that’s apparently based upon real life.
Godzilla Singular Point (Netflix anime series) — A grad student and an engineer team up to battle an unimaginable and ominous force that could very well bring down the globe. This Godzilla design arrives courtesy of legendary Ghibli animator Eiji Yamamori, and more character designs come from Blue Exorcist‘s Kazue Kato.
The House of Flowers: The Movie (Netflix film) — Get ready for some soap operatics here with a family member heading into a delicate surgery while there are secrets afoot. Not only that, but there’s a buried treasure and a secret room and a murder that still hasn’t met justice, and confessions, and a nanny and vengeance, and yeah, this is a good candidate for helping to forget all about pesky reality.
Kevin Can Go F**k Himself (AMC series) — The title alone will reel people into sampling this series, at the very least, and also the fact that it rips apart a certain sitcom starring Kevin James and Leah Remini. Really, though, this show parodies all of those comedies with schlubby, burp-happy husbands and their often stunningly gorgeous wives who put up too many shenanigans. Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek) stars as a woman who realizes that she wasted a decade on being the perfect housewife in an awful marriage, and, well, she decides to get out of it by attempting to murder her husband. You definitely won’t be bored by this one.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: Special Episode (HBO series on HBO Max) — The one-year anniversary of Joseph James DeAngelo’s guilty plea as the Golden State Killer fast approaches. So, HBO’s revisiting the dogged investigating efforts of true-crime blogger Michelle McNamara after the revolutionary docuseries of 2020. Original series director Liz Garbus will be back to produce alongside Patton Oswalt (McNamara’s husband at the time of her death) and true-crime writers Paul Haynes and Billy Jensen (who helped piece together McNamara’s research into the book) for a special episode, which contains revelations about another case that informed McNamara’s true-crime obsession. That would be the 1984 death of Kathleen Lombardo in Oak Park, Illinois. The case sparked McNamara’s initial interest (at age 14) in investigating murders; Lombardo’s murder remains unsolved to this day, and the episode highlights how important citizen sleuths are while continuing to pursue the truth.
Betty: (HBO series on HBO Max) — The skateboarders are back. It’s what we really need to heal our pandemic-addled minds, and somehow, director Crystal Moselle managed to gather the Skate Kitchen crew back up for a second season and film on the streets of New York City. The main players are all back — Rachelle Vinberg as Camille, Ajani Russell as Indigo, Dede Lovelace as Janay, Moonbear as Honeybear, and Nina Moran as Kirt — and they’re still making the act of soaring through the streets look like the coolest thing on Earth.
iCarly (Paramount+ series) — This revival series picks up a decade following the beloved Nickelodeon classic with Miranda Cosgrove returning as the title character, who happens to be the O.G. webcast influencer. She’s accompanied by returning stars Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress, so the whole gang’s getting back together for more comedic mishaps and adventures while fans can enjoy seeing where these characters ended up for a new chapter.