A long-waited adaptation to a classic novel with a bang-up cast, the world’s most messed-up DC superheroes, and a priest who’s up to no damn good, or so it seems? The streaming game sees stiff competition this week with TV series that simply won’t quit, and we’re calling it a three-way tie this week. That’s the first time that this has happened, ever, so let’s get down with the details. Apple TV+ offers up a space-y series starring the always fantastic Jared Harris and Lee Pace, along with more of The Morning Show and Ted Lasso. HBO Max slides in with the third installment of Doom Patrol (full of highly underrated performances) and more options for the taking. And as always, Netflix has almost too much to offer with a spooky series from the Haunting of Hill House creator at the top of the list.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime (with more Goliath and the social-media-popular LuLaRich) and Hulu (with many, many options, including the Reservation Dogs and a tornado) come in strong as well, and don’t count out Disney+, Discovery+, or AMC+, either. So many pluses, and here’s the best of the new streaming selections for this weekend.
Foundation (Apple TV+ series) — Isaac Asimov’s classic novel gets a heady adaptation starring the always great Jared Harris and Lee Pace. The sci-fi story revolves around exiles who are working to rebuild civilization even as the galaxy falls apart, and surely, there will be plenty of parallels to real-life history here. As one can also see, a great deal of attention has been paid to the epic scale of the show, which Apple TV+ appears to want to be its Game of Thrones. The good news here, though, is that the story won’t closely adhere to the books, which should at least prevent the same sort of finale-season conundrum that we saw with Thrones, if the show makes it that far.
The Morning Show: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series) — The gang (Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Billy Crudup, at least) is back for a new round of attempting to evade the scandal-plagued nature of their business. This season, we’ll not only see more of Steve Carell but also Hasan Minhaj and Julianna Margulies as everyone’s positioning themselves, and they’re clawing at each other on their way to the top. Alex and Bradley still can’t stand each other, despite a certain level of begrudging respect. Things will get intense, as well, with the continued #MeToo theme and also some edging into the systemic racism issue while barbs are thrown, both on-and-off camera.
See: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series) — Apple TV+’s See helped launch the tech giant’s streaming service less than two years ago, and the show was so wild and wooly that it worked. Jason Momoa’s back in fur coats and in warrior mode as Baba Voss. This season, he’s antagonized by Dave Bautista, which should add enough drama to keep the (somewhat silly) story alive, in a world where no one can see, but everyone is beautiful to look at from an audience standpoint.
Ted Lasso: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series) — First thing’s first: Everyone who’s caught a glimpse of this Bill Lawrence co-created and developed series loves it. That’s a notable feat, considering that star Jason Sudeikis first portrayed the title character way back in 2013 for NBC Sports’ promos for Premier League coverage. Fast forward to the fresh hell that was 2020, and the show surfaced as one of the year’s lone bright spots. Ted Lasso is somehow both relentlessly and charmingly cheery, although there’s always the spectre of Led Tasso to consider.
Doom Patrol: Season 3 (HBO Max series) — DC’s struggling misfit superheroes are back for another round of being portrayed by an incredible cast. Brendan Fraser has received plenty of raves for his fury-filled Cliff Steele/Robotman, but don’t count out the rest of the crew. There’s Matt Bomer as the bandage-wrapped Negative Man and repeat appearances from Danny the Street, but the real kudos should go to Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black) as Crazy Jane, which is actually a role that requires Diane to play dozens of incarnations, including a very timely take on a Karen. This season, these lost souls are all starting to come to grips with their place in the group (a support group of sorts) and their own identities, but then the sh*t hits the fan with a time machine. Cue a catastrophic crossroads. Man, I’m excited to hear and see Fraser freak out again.
Cry Macho (Warner Bros. movie on HBO Max) — Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this story about an ex-rodeo star and failed horse breeder who falls upon tough times in the late 1970s. He ends up on a challenging journey of redemption while fetching a young boy from Mexico back to his father in Texas. Along the way, the grizzled horseman ends up teaching the boy how to be a decent man, and apparently, that involves showing emotions at times. Who knew?
Scenes From A Marriage (HBO limited series on HBO Max) — Here’s the project that Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain were firing up on the red carpet last weekend. This miniseries remakes Ingmar Bergman’s 1970s project original as directed by HBO regular Hagai Levi with a contemporary spin, including all of the love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage, and divorce that one would expect. Considering the Isaac-Chastain chemistry on hand, it’s a remake worth perusing.
Midnight Mass (Netflix series) — Get ready, The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor addicts, because creator Mike Flanagan’s back to cause us more horror fits. This happens to be his favorite project so far and revolves around an isolated community that lives on spooky Crockett Island, which gets even spookier due to a charismatic priest’s arrival. Naturally, a whole lot of supernatural shenanigans are afoot, but human nature (as we are currently experiencing in-real-life these days) can often be scarier than the ghosts that people can dream up. It’s dark, real dark.
Dear White People: Volume 4 (Netflix series) — Enjoy this version of a post-pandemic future while the characters take on senior year look back on their most pivotal year yet. This season’s a 90s-inspired musical event that’s also Afro-futuristic in its bent, all to prove that moving forward often involves the act of looking towards the past.
Love on the Spectrum: Season 2 (Netflix series) — More stories of people on the autism spectrum arrive to show how they meet the challenges of dating and relationships. Expect an even greater variety of personalities, which will illustrate exactly how much diversity arises on the easily misunderstood spectrum.
Crime Stories: India Detectives!: (Netflix series) — An unexpected true-crime entry follows the Bengaluru City Police through every phase of the police process. Crimes will span murder and kidnap and extortion, all the way through what’s known as India’s Silicon Valley. It’s a journey like no other when it comes to law enforcement TV, and expect some truly shocking and compelling developments.
The Starling: (Netflix film) — Melissa McCarthy stars as as a grieving woman who goes battle with a territorial bird, all in interest of dominating a singular garden. Somehow, this leads her to renew her ability to love while gaining the courage to really grieve.
The Great British Baking Show: Collection Nine (BBC One series on Netflix) — John Oliver can’t be happy about this return, but let’s do this anyway. Here’s a new batch of amateur bakers engaging in absurd challenges, and week after week, contestants will fall by the wayside until (much like The Highlander) there can be only one.
Goliath: Season 4 (Amazon Prime series) — If it’s taken you this long to consider testing out this show, then get with the freaking program. It’s got Billy Bob Thornton smoldering through a hard-boiled character who was once a force to be feared in the courtroom, but nowadays, he’s not such a prestigious attorney. This season, Thornton’s Billy McBride is going up not only against Big Pharma but also J.K. Simmons. That seldom turns out well for characters who aren’t played by J.K. Simmons, and both men have just the right degree of “I’m over this sh*t” to make it feel believable. Be careful, because the show is an overall smooth binge that will make you wonder when that viewing time disappeared, it’ll go so fast.
LuLaRich — (Amazon Prime docuseries) — This four-parter from the Fyre Fraud documentarians asks the question of what happens leggings become the subject of a pyramid scheme. Well, it ain’t good, and this project tells the cautionary tale of ruined lives and vast social-media circles that became embroiled in one tacky hot mess.
The Mad Women’s Ball (Amazon Prime film) — Inglourious Basterds star Melanie Laurent directs and stars in this terrifying French film about a woman whose family institutionalizes her in the late 1880s. Before long, the film exposes the harsh treatment of women during that period, as the battle between science and faith isn’t even close to be resolved at that time. Laurent stars as a not-so-friendly nurse to the the young woman, and there’s a supernatural twist that eventually brings women together.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (20th Century Studios film on Amazon Prime) — Here’s the movie adaptation of the hit stage musical about a teenager, Jamie, who doesn’t want a career and, instead, hopes to become a drag queen. He puts that plan into motion whole vanquishing prejudice and bullies with the help of his friends and mom, and before all is said and done, Jamie’s firmly in the spotlight.
Reservation Dogs: (FX on Hulu) — The lead quartet in this Sterlin Harjo/Taika Waititi show rocks suits that look strikingly similar to the characters of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, yet they’re four Indigenous teens who fight crime and also commit it. The show (which has some Atlanta vibes) was shot in and near Okmulgee, Oklahoma. This week, it’s tornado time with vigilante acts on the side.
Y: The Last Man (FX on Hulu) — The acclaimed graphic novel gets its due as a dystopian TV drama starring Diane Lane as the globe’s de facto president. Her son becomes, as the title suggests, the very last man on Earth following an apocalyptic event that pretty much obliterates the Y chromosome. FX recently made it known that although the Y appears to refer to the chromosome, the show will take a nuanced approach and not operate on a merely gender-binary level. It also won’t adhere to the biological definition of gender and, instead, will also represent trans characters in accordance with a GLAAD collaboration.
Only Murders In The Building: Season 1 (Hulu series) — Selena Gomez stars alongside the legendary Steve Martin and Martin Short, and the three portray NYC neighbors who aim to unravel an apparent murder inside their apartment building. Yes, they’re all podcasting because everyone does it (duh), and before long, the killer might be after them, too.
The Premise (FX on Hulu series) — B.J. Novak (The Office, Inglourious Basterds) writes all of the episodes on this show, which aims to use dark comedy to tackle tough topics, including sex, social media, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and immigration. Along the way, there’s apparently the “the worst sex tape ever,” and this show aims for satire (which is not easy to pull off, especially with such hot-button topics) with mixed results.
What We Do in the Shadows (FX, 10:00 & 10:30pm) — Well, well, well. Guillermo turned out to be a vampire killer, which sure as heck came as a surprise to Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo, and Colin. The four Staten Island roommates must figure out how to handle this conundrum, along with tackling the other challenges of this season. Those include dealing with wellness cults and gym culture, along with gargoyles, werewolves who play kickball, casinos, and more. In addition, the vamps also receive a higher level of powers while Nandor experiences an eternal-life crisis, which forces him to examine whether he should be a bachelor for eternity or embrace love. This week, vampire and human-type justice are both served.
What If…? (Disney+ series) — We’re in the multiverse, baby. The MCU’s officially launching headfirst into that realm after Loki‘s season finale, and this show’s Twitter account clarified official participation as well. Enjoy this show full of alternate realities that stand separate from the existing canon (thus far), including Agent Carter taking the super-soldier serum, T’Challa materializing as Star Lord, Doctor Strange feeling some real pain, and Black Widow and Nick Fury taking on a murder mystery while Tony Stark eats a donut. Will Tony Stark die again? Knowing this show, probably so.
Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends: Season 1 (Disney+ series) — Spidey completists will dig this collection of stories about Miles Morales and Ghost-Spider, who team up with Spidey to form the Spidey Team. So much Spidey! Also, enjoy Trace the Spider-Bot.
Curse Of The Chippendales: (Discovery+ limited series) — This four-part true-crime project shines a dark light upon the chiseled 1980s strip-teasers that launched an absurdly lucrative brand long before the Magic Mike crew. The group achieved household recognition and qualified as iconic; However, not all of these men would survive the adventure, and in fact, out of the O.G. group, only one was left standing.
Kin: (AMC+ series) — Charlie Cox stars in this new Irish series about a tight-knit crime family that’s drawn into wartime mode with a mighty drug kingpin. The family soon discovers that this is an unwinnable war, yet as the losses begin to mount, it becomes clear that the cartel is at one distinct disadvantage: they’re not bound by unbreakable blood bonds. The cartel does, however, have a host of exotic pets and some snazzy costumes and celebrity status, so this is a heck of a story.
The Walking Dead: Season 11A (AMC series) — This zombie-apocalypse universe’s flagship series returns for one final rodeo with two spinoffs still in motion, so it’s time to wrap this puppy up before the various shows’ timelines begin to intersect. Negan’s no longer the show’s villain, Alpha’s been vanquished, and Carol’s about to split from the group. It’s impressive that Norman Reedus has stuck it out for the long haul, so Daryl and Carol must end this show by literally riding off into the sunset by motorcycle. We’ll accept nothing else