The streaming services are kicking into superhero high gear this week, well, at least two of them are doing so, and that synchronicity (while awkward) is perfectly welcome. After all, movie theaters obviously couldn’t bring us blockbusters for the past year, and everyone could use a little Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics escapism right now. Well, there’s a lot of it. Not only is HBO Max bringing us four hours of Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut, but the MCU is shifting back into action mode with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. With that said, these two services are pretty much tied for offering the best options this weekend, although HBO Max has a slight edge here because they have additional fresh offerings like a QAnon-focused limited series and the entirety of Allen V Farrow for viewers to enjoy. Still, we’re calling it a tie this week, and the practical difference for which you’ll prefer probably has to do with your comic book preferences. Enjoy them both! There’s plenty of room for that indulgence.
Elsewhere, Hulu has new episodes of FX on Hulu series like Mayans M.C. and Snowfall. Apple TV+ has a spooky new series from the Don’t Breathe and Evil Dead reboot director. And Netflix has a reliable variety of new options including the Operation Varsity Blues documentary and Michelle Obama in the ridiculously charming Waffles + Mochi series. You definitely won’t be bored with streaming TV this weekend, so let’s get rolling.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+ series) — After WandaVision proved that Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige could still bring their A+ game, even on the small screen, we’re getting the (begrudging) buddy comedy for Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes that was forecast when they grumbled over a back seat in Captain America: Civil War. Baron Helmut Zemo (portrayed by Daniel Brühl) is the big bad, but what Marvel viewers will truly love to see is the return of Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who’s kicking ass and making her aunt’s Peggy’s spirit proud. Also, yes, “Who will be the next Cap?” will be the question on everyone’s mind, so get ready.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (HBO Max) — Fans hoped this day would come, and finally, “we live in a society” where the fabled “Snyder Cut” is fabled no more. This four-hour installment is a vast improvement on Joss Whedon’s much maligned theatrical cut, and there’s a smidge of Jared Leto’s Joker to add some “WTF” flavor. Finally, there’s loads of character development, which the hard-core nerds will appreciate, so even though Joss’ version remains canon, the Snyder Cut is here to satisfy the hearts and minds of DC Comics fans.
Q: Into the Storm (HBO Max limited series) — You’ve heard all of those wild QAnon conspiracy theories, and this weekend, thia six-part documentary series begins to chronicle the movement’s evolution. Filmmaker Cullen Hoback drives into the rabbit hole to reveal how the mysterious “Q” wields conspiracies as information warfare to manipulate thinking and influence American culture. In the end, this series will touch upon the Internet’s darkest corners and explore how “unfettered free speech” (according to the synopsis) can go to dangerous places.
Allen V. Farrow (HBO limited series) — This four part documentary series is now streaming in full while digging into the notorious and still-raging scandal of what, exactly, happened with Woody Allen and his family. That includes daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse against her father along with Allen’s relationship with Farrow’s daughter, Soon-Yi, and the custody trial that grew especially ugly. In the aftermath, a sprawling family fractured, and that divide continues to this day with continuing disputes that revolve around the allegations.
Last Week Tonight (HBO Series, Sunday On HBO Max) — Everyone’s favorite sarcastic and satiric late-night host finally returned a few weeks ago (after blowing up 2020 and getting weird with sweet Adam Driver), and not a moment too soon.
Mayans M.C.: Season 3 Premiere (FX on Hulu) — This biker drama’s second-season finale aired in late 2019, and we’ve been waiting all this time to find out the identity of the SAMCRO member who was killed at the Vatos Malditos party. EZ is now a fully-patched member, so he can stress out even more this season, and basically, the whole club starts this season a few months after that party (and the purposeful killing of Dita) in a rough place. Fortunately, this season looks to be a lot less about personal conflict and more about club maneuvering that could lead to war. Not only are the two rival M.C.s coming no closer to peacefully coexisting, but the Galindo cartel is essentially f*cked in multiple ways, and real-world issues intrude to make a fine mess for all characters. Showrunner Elgin James is officially taking the show into the post-Kurt Sutter era of the Sons Of Anarchy franchise, and he’s promised plenty of fallout involving one of my favorite words, “reckoning.” Let’s ride.
Snowfall: Season 4 episode (FX on Hulu) — The John Singleton-co-created series sees Franklin’s struggling to dance between business and authority while tragedy strikes. As the show continues tearing through the mid 1980s, Reagan-era streets of America, Teddy’s attempting to avoid fallout from Tijuana, and Irene’s in investigative mode.
Kid 90 (Hulu movie) — Punky Brewster star Soleil Moon Frye has been playing the long game with this film. Ever since the 1990s, she carried a video camera throughout her adventures — while hanging out with fellow teen stars David Arquette, Stephen Dorff, Balthazar Getty, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Brian Austin Green, and more — as they navigated Hollywood and New York City fame. Then she stuffed this footage away for over two decades, which means that this documentary is a time capsule of what it was like to come of age in the public eye before the whole internet thing. Frye presents her very own spin on the coming of age story, and yes, expect some Punky Power.
Staged: Series 2 (BBC One series on Hulu) — This is the rare COVID-era comedy that’s worth tuning into because who can resist David Tennant and Michael Sheen shooting the sh*t together while playing somewhat fictional versions of themselves? This second installment spans eight episodes and basically follows the two Brits losing their minds during this crisis that’s also making the rest of lose our minds, too. The guest lineup includes Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Schwartz, Jim Parsons, Simon Pegg, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, Ken Jeong, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Waffles + Mochi (Netflix series) — Michelle Freaking Obama stars in this show about two curious puppets, (obviously) Waffles and Mochi, who explore the world through food and culture. This also doubles as an educational series about fresh-ingredient cooking, so learn how to become a chef, along with the puppets and a former first lady. Don’t resist this one! It’s ridiculously charming, and the series travels the globe (by way of the kitchen) to help kids and grown-ups connect with far-flung traditions. From the Miso soup in Japan to spices in Italy and potatoes from the Andes of Peru, the food here might actually be more interesting than the celebrity guests.
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (Netflix film) — Matthew Modine stars as Rick Singer, the man standing at the center of the enormous storm cloud that rocked the Ivy League world. Once all was said and done, Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman received prison sentences for their participation in an elaborate scheme to get children of wealthy parents into elite colleges, and yes, there’s still plenty of scandal left in this saga to entertain.
Sky Rojo (Netflix series) — Three ladies are on the run and working towards freedom while attempting to evade the henchmen of a pimp. It’s a darkly humorous and adrenaline race against many seen and unseen dangers, and they’re taking this race five minutes at a time.
Calls (Apple TV+ series) — Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead) aims to present an immersive TV experience with nine short-form stories based upon dark mysteries that unfold through unconnected phone conversations that shatter the lives of these characters. The season features Lily Collins, Rosario Dawson, Pedro Pascal, and Aubrey Plaza, so get ready for the spine-chilling suspense to begin.