A long-awaited prequel movie to an all-time great HBO TV show, a thriller film starring an Oscar nominee, and the continuation of a straight-up pure hero on the way to his season finale. The streaming game is going A-list with more options than you’ll ever have time to digest. We’re calling a very easy winner this week, and that would be HBO Max. Where else can you see a Young Tony Soprano, portrayed by James Gandolfini’s son, who’s flanked by a bang-up cast? The WarnerMedia streaming service has several more options, including a wild docuseries and an adult-animated show, up for grabs. Netflix rolls into second place this week with a Jake Gyllenhaal thriller and a Britney Spears documentary, plus several more offerings, as is customary for that streaming service.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime, Discovery+, and Disney+ bring some early Halloween scares, and Hulu, Apple TV+, and AMC+ keep on filling their coffers with more, more, and more. Here’s the best of the new streaming selections for this weekend.
The Many Saints of Newark (Warner Bros. film on HBO Max) — David Chase’s The Sopranos prequel movie arrives in theaters and in your living room this weekend. The mob-movie cast (including Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga) is almost too good. Notably James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, stars as Young Tony. He’s coming of age (and learning to be a mob boss) while rival gang warfare swirls around the family. Our own Mike Ryan enjoyed the film with some qualifiers while calling it both exhilarating and confounding, and Vince Mancini has rounded up the 10 episodes of The Sopranos that will refresh you before the film.
Ten-Year-Old Tom: Season 1 (HBO Max series) — This adult-animated series arrives courtesy of creator and writer Steve Dildarian (The Life & Times of Tim) alongside fellow executive producer Nick Weidenfeld (The Boondocks, Rick & Morty) with Dilderian voicing the title character, an average 10-year-old who’s attempting to sort out the bad adult advice (of which there is plenty on this series) from the good. He’s accompanied by characters voiced by David Duchovny, Jennifer Coolidge, Natasha Lyonne, Mark Proksch, Tim Robinson, George Wallace, and more.
The Way Down: God, Greed, And The Cult Of Gwen Shamblin: (HBO Max series) — This five part documentary series follows the rise and fall of the Remnant Fellowship Church founder, whose Weigh Down Workshop worked a cult-like racket that preached weight loss as a means to get close to god. This transformed into accusations of abuse (of the emotional, psychological, and physical varieties), all before Shamblin died in a May 2021 plane crash.
Doom Patrol: Season 3 (HBO Max series) — DC’s struggling misfit superheroes are back for another round. 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 Diane Guerrero 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, the sh*t hits the fan with a time machine.
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 escorting 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.
The Guilty (Netflix film) — Jake Gyllenhaal plays an 911 emergency dispatch operator who walks into a situation that he thinks he’s prepared for, but he has no idea… or does he? This movie’s a remake of a Danish film of the same name, and if you’re not familiar with that work (or perhaps even if you are), you aren’t ready for this.
Britney Vs Spears (Netflix film) — Every streaming service is in on the Britney game these days, and Netflix is taking a stab at what really happened during the long, sordid history of the infamous conservatorship. Not only will this documentary paint a tragic portrait of a young woman who became trapped in her fame and family, but there’s also a shocking timeline to be unraveled here while, in real life, the pop singer moves toward (hopeful) autonomy.
MAID (Netflix limited series) — Margaret Qualley (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) stars in this heartbreaking adaptation of Stephanie Land’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. This will, clearly, be a difficult watch, but Qualley’s raw portrayal (of a woman who flees an abusive relationship to go through exceedingly difficult times to break the cycle for her daughter) yields a burgeoning star.
Diana: The Musical (Netflix special) — On the heels of even more The Crown Emmy wins (it’s almost cruel to other contenders at this point), here’s the streaming debut (which undoubtedly also finds inspiration in Hamilton success on Disney+) ahead of this production’s official Broadway debut to shine even more of a light on Princess Diana’s legacy. Unfortunately, the secrecy so far means that we can’t make promises on quality, but this is almost guaranteed to get a rise out of Piers Morgan, so that’s a virtue on its side.
Attack of the Hollywood Clichés! (Netflix special) — Rob Lowe brings his handsome to dig into the history and evolution of the most notorious clichés in Hollywood. Expect a plethora of guests to stop by, including Florence Pugh, along with screeners and critics and academics, all of whom deliver their takes on “meet-cutes” and “ladies running in stilettos.” Yes, there’s a “Wilhelm Scream” section, too.
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.
Welcome to the Blumhouse: Black As Night/Bingo Hell (Blumhouse films on Amazon Prime) — This double feature shines a light on vampires in the Big Easy, who are the next big threat since Hurricane Katrina. Of course, they’re taking up residence in a French Quarter mansion and must be defeated. Speaking of damn funny, a feisty, board-game loving senior citizen arrives to save the day and the lives of her friends, all with the realization that there’s a sinister presence lurking that’s far more dangerous than mere gentrification. Naturally, there’s a whole lot of social conscience at work here.
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.
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.
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.
The Problem With Jon Stewart (Apple TV+ series) — Jon Stewart’s return to TV fast approaches, and it could be argued that he’s never been needed more on TV than this particular moment. The former The Daily Show host will be doing the current-events thing with an episode every two weeks, which isn’t as frequent as fans might prefer, but we’ll trust the process. According to Apple TV+, viewers can expect Stewart to go deep on a single subject per episode with a “solutionary” approach, and yes, there are jokes.
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 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. 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.
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.
LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales (Disney+ special) — The witching hour has arrived for Star Wars characters too, and you know what that means: Luke Skywalker’s heading to the dark side of the Force. This animated is full of haunting moments, including a crime boss that messes with Darth Vadar’s castle, and a misadventure for Poe Dameron and BB-8. There’s an ancient evil threatening to rise, and expect iconic villains from across the vast Star Wars canon to make an appearance.
What If…? (Disney+ series) — We’re in the multiverse, baby. 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.
The Haunted Museum: Season 1 (Discovery+ series) — Eli Roth has so much going on over at Discovery+ this month (following his recent real-life horror/Shark-Week film on the streamer) that one has to wonder… is he running the joint? It’s a valid question, but more to the point, he’s teaming up with Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans for this scripted anthology series, in which they illuminate nine of the world’s most cursed artifacts. These relics are actually in display in Bagans’ Vegas museum, but here, you’ll get the historic commentary in addition to having the pants scared off of you. (When you’re done with that series, prepare for next week’s Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life, which will present personal accounts on those who have survived feeling like they’re been dragged through hell and fought their way back.)
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.
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.
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. This week, vampire and human-type justice are both served.
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