The streaming game couldn’t be more welcome this weekend, given that many of us are retreating back into our home theaters to wait out the current situation. Do you want to know where you’ll find the best bang for your buck among the streaming services? The two most serious contenders this week put up a good fight with Netflix narrowly beating out Disney for the top spot. The former’s variety of quality selections this weekend can’t be beat, and highlights include the return of a popular teen action-soap-opera that adults secretly love to binge, too. On Disney , however, there’s a long-awaited blockbuster starring two of the biggest movie stars out there, and multiple other selections await.
However, it’s worth noting that there’s more than enough to enjoy on the other streaming services. HBO Max offers a terribly funny dating show, a different look at Sesame Workshop, and some Tig Notaro. Apple TV’s going strong with more Ted Lasso arriving this weekend, and more. And AMC is hanging tight with fresh episodes of already-debuted series (including origin stories from, you know, that zombie show). Elsewhere, Amazon Prime, Paramount , Acorn, and Roku all offer new series for the taking.
Here’s everything that you should consider putting in your queues this weekend.
Outer Banks: Season 2 (Netflix series) — This is not your typical teen drama. Last season delivered loads of intrigue and flat-out woo-woo revelations following a hurricane and buried treasure and class warfare between different factions in an overall well-to-do community. There are Kooks and Pogues, and the power’s gone for the entirety of the summer, which sounds miserable, but the mysteries won’t stop, including the whereabouts of John B.’s dad. And oh yes, there’s so much soapiness to the characters’ dynamics that you might lose your footing while slipping towards that sunken treasure. This show is crackers!
The Last Mercenary (Netflix film) — Jean-Claude Van Damme gets flexible again while starring as an ex-secret service agent (in France) who turns into, well, a mercenary. There are mob hijinks and a reckless youngster and bureaucrats and an errant son and yeah, this sounds like 1980s movie that landed three decades too late, but hey, we could all use some silly action on our screens to make us forget about the effects of gravity.
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast): Season 3 (Netflix series) — The controversially named hit series launches a new season with Moritz feeling alienated yet trying to keep it together as the MyDrugs CEO. Meanwhile, Lenny’s condition deteriorates, so Moritz must step in to assist. This season’s pulling the “one last job” trope with these best friends, and expect some explosive consequences.
Tattoo Redo: Season 1 (Netflix series) — Bad tattoos (and poor judgment) happen, and the most talented of artists know how to transform them into something much better. The twist here, though, is that these clients can’t choose their own coverup designs; that’s up to their loves ones, so we’ll see how these turn out.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Netflix series) — The very battle for Eternia’s soul continues with the ultimate fanboy, Kevin Smith, picking up the showrunner sword. Smith’s enthusiasm for all stuff geeky has led him down many roads, all of them filled with huge feelings, and honestly, the dude has the Power of Grayskull running through his veins. So, one can expect him to nail the tone here while advancing the story, justifying a revival, and continuing the story of the rivalry between Skeletor and everyone else. Cringer and Orko and Teela are on board, and the voice cast (including Lena Headey, Henry Rollins, and Jason Mewes) is phenomenal here, especially Mark Hamill as Skeletor. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of He-Man, guys.
Jungle Cruise: (Disney film on Disney ) — Emily Blunt might be the star of the summer (after A Quiet Place 2‘s success) if this long-awaited potential blockbuster’s a hit, and the excellent news is that you can watch it in theaters or your living room. She punches The Rock in this movie, and he plays the shipper who’s attempting to guide her down the river through life-threatening obstacles. This movie’s based upon a Disney theme park ride, so expect plenty of ridiculousness including Jesse Plemons firing a torpedo at the duo after brandishing a German accent and Paul Giamatti with a pretty bird.
Turning The Tables With Robin Roberts: Season 1 (Disney series) — The host jokingly described this as a “tea party,” but really, it’s a gathering of groundbreaking women throughout the entertainment industry. Those ladies include Jamie Lee Curtis and Tig Notaro, along with several other guests who present their own incredible journeys and reveal how they found true purpose. The series aims for authenticity and vulnerability as these women reveal what led them to evolve and expand their careers.
The Wonderful World Of Mickey Mouse: Batch 2 (Disney series) — The Sensational Six (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto) return for more adventures that traverse locations and time periods with special guests, so tuck in and relax with some retro entertainment.
Marvel Studios: Assembled:: Season 1 The Making of Loki (Disney series, releasing in the wee hours of Wednesday morning) — This immersive documentary-type series brings us a fresh installment to help us feel a little bit better about having to wait for Season 2 of all of the Lokis and their mercurial pursuit of the glorious purpose. Tom Hiddleston had an absolute blast playing the MCU’s trickster god, and hopefully, we’ll hear more about that crushing moment and the new big bad. This is the best Disney show so far, and Loki’s so beloved that you might binge the whole season all over again.
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 the last season finale showed the team losing against Manchester City, which spelled bad news, since the team can no longer hang in English Premier League games. We’ll see how they can turn themselves around, and while considering that possibility, it’s best to remember that Ted Lasso (and Walt Whitman) once said, “Be curious, not judgmental.”
Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson: Season 1 (Apple TV series) — The legendary producer and DJ pulls back the curtain on stories of music creation, which can be good, bad, and ugly regarding how far creators will go to nail the perfect sound. In addition, Ronson shines a light on artistry and technology’s intersection, and expect a lot of prominent artist guests.
Schmigadoon!: Season 1 (Apple TV series) — If a musical comedy series starring Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jane Krakowski sounds a little bit too frenetic to you, consider this: Apple TV has been crushing the comedy game these days with the likes of Mythic Quest and Ted Lasso under its still-young belt. So, one can bet that if a series called Schmigadoon! can succeed, the show found the correct streaming home. Strong and Key portray a backpacking couple who stumble into a 1940s musical, literally.
FBoy Island: Season 1 (HBO Max series) — Hoo boy this show looks like one hot mess, and that might be exactly what you need during this slightly disastrous summer. Escape to a land where a dozen self-proclaimed “FBoys” compete against a dozen self-proclaimed “Nice Guys” for the affections of three ladies. Nikki Glaser hosts, and the show aims to answer the ultimate social experiment’s question, according to the synopsis: “Can FBoys truly reform or do Nice Guys always finish last?” (Well, one of the FBoys crushes a mango with his bicep in the show’s trailer, so this is entertainment.)
Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage (HBO film on HBO Max) — All was not what it seems for this three-day music festival that was meant to revive the countercultural idealism of its 1969 predecessor. Well, things weren’t “peace and love” in 1999, but rather, a total disaster by most standards. Mosh pits, blazing heat, a distinct lack of sanitation, and an absence of free water led to riots and looting, all of which were not deterred by the scant security measures. Decades later, this documentary looks back upon a pivotal moment when rose-tinted nostalgia evaporated under the hard truths exposed by this mismanaged festival. All pre-Fyre Festival!
Tig Notaro: Drawn (HBO special on HBO Max) — On the heels of the “hot Tig” role in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, quadruple threat (comedian, writer, actor and director) Tig Notaro pulls off an innovative first. That feat would be the first-ever entirely animated stand-up comedy special, in which you’ll witness an hour of pure genius. Several artistic styles will mesh with Notaro’s voice and storytelling style, and expect anecdotes about Dolly Parton and Jenny Slate, along with other fearless touches.
Gossip Girl: Season 1 premiere (HBO Max series) — The original CW series helped to launch the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Sebastian Stan, and Penn Badgley (and the latter is now portraying an amped-up version of the same character on Netflix’s You). HBO Max is now ready to welcome another crop of mostly unknown faces playing wealthy, privileged teens who find themselves socially surveilled and at the mercy of the “Gossip Girl” narrator, who’s still voiced by Kristen Bell.
Through Our Eyes: Season 1 (HBO Max series) — Sesame Workshop gets dark with this quartet of 30-minute films that intend for adults to watch with their kids, who should be at least 9 years old, according to HBO Max’s press information. Each installment will follow children as they experience enormously challenging family issues, including parental incarceration, housing insecurity, weather-related disasters, and the hurdle of a military parent who’s been injured. These very real issues mean to teach lessons in empathy and will hopefully educate all ages.
The Wine Show: Season 3 (Sundance/Acorn TV series) — Who doesn’t want to see a bunch of dashing and distinguished gentlemen — Matthew Goode, Matthew Rhys and James Purefoy — travel across Portugal to unearth the region’s best wine? There’s also an exploration of sparkling wine and other countries involved, including Thailand and Germany, and eventually there’s New York City, along with wine, wine, and more wine.
Behind The Music: Season 1 (Paramount series) — This revival brings back the Emmy-nominated docuseries that was once so popular on VH1 and will not be updated for a new generation. Of course, one should expect the older generations of music to be showcased here because, let’s face it, music can be considered ageless. The profiled artists this season include Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, LL Cool J, and Huey Lewis, and one can expect plenty of “vault” episodes that have bene remastered and updated with fresh interviews. MTV Entertainment co-produces this series, which will stream only here.
The Walking Dead: Origins (AMC limited series) — This batch of episodes will bridge the gap between zombie-apocalypse-laden seasons with the origin stories of Daryl, Carol, Maggie, and Negan. Expect a lot of interwoven clips (along with cast interviews and narration) to remind everyone of these characters’ most pivotal moments as their stories head into the final season.
Ultra City Smiths: Season 1 (AMC series) — Fans of Robot Chicken will undoubtedly want to check out this stop-motion animated selection from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and showrunner Steve Conrad. Expect very adult-oriented humor and the voices of Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Alia Shawkat, Tim Meadows, John C. Reilly, Bebe Neuwirth, Jason Mantzoukas, and Damon Herriman.
The North Water (AMC limited series) — This adrenaline-filled series stars Jack O’Connell, Colin Farrell, and Stephen Graham with a story about a beleaguered and disgraced military surgeon who must contend with a terrifying Arctic mission. The elements are the worst enemy here, followed closely by the crew-mate violence at hand. Civilization is a long way away from this story.
The Beast Must Die: (AMC series on AMC ) — Jared Harris and Cush Jumbo star in this revenge-thriller series that has already been renewed for a second season. The story’s based on Nicholas Blake’s 1938 novel and revolves around a mother who’s hell-bent upon avenging her son’s death, all while a PTSD-afflicted detective’s working the case. It’s an enormously chaotic show, but it’s so crushingly executed that you’d be gripping your seat arms if you watched it in a theater.
The Demi Lovato Show: (Roku series) — The former Disney (and Camp Rock star) nabbed one of a handful of initial Roku originals with what aims to be more than a mere talk show. Lovato will host celebrity guests and experts, of course, but she’ll do so with honest discussions about hot-button subjects. What’s particularly unusual is that these episodes shall only be 10-minutes apiece, and Roku’s excerpt promises to tackle activism, feminism, mental health, and so much more, along with, uh, “interplanetary visitors.”
The Pursuit of Love: (Amazon limited series) — Lily James and Emily Beecham star as cousins whose friendship is tested to the challenges of love and life. Dominic West co-stars, and there’s a little Andrew Scott (the Hot Priest from Fleabag) for some extra spicy flavor.