The streaming game quiets down ever so slightly this weekend after last week’s arrival of The Suicide Squad. The Warner Bros. film likely reached a much larger audience on HBO Max than it did in theaters (especially since the Delta variant’s sending people back indoors), but this week, it’s a more low-key TV atmosphere with a feel-good vibe to rule our hearts. That’s why Apple TV+ wins this round with a heartwarming Sundance movie, more Ted Lasso, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s new show. Following close behind is Amazon Prime with Kit Harington’s return to the small screen and Val Kilmer’s A24 documentary. And Hulu’s crushing it with an atypical crime-comedy series and, hey, another Sundance movie for the taking.
Elsewhere, there’s no shortage of streaming content. Disney+’s latest MCU show has the premiere episode, HBO Max has a few new selections that promise to enlighten you and make you feel at least a little cooler, and Netflix has another buffet of fresh offerings for everyone to enjoy. The Star Trek franchise gets profane on Paramount+, and Peacock comes in with the new Kevin Hart talk show in addition to their vast library that’s always available. Here’s the best of the new streaming selections for this weekend.
CODA (Apple TV+ movie) — This Sundance-awarded film (of four awards, including the Directing Award, the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize) from Vendome Pictures touches down on your streaming devices. The story follows a teenager named Ruby, who happens to be the only member of a deaf family who’s able to hear. She’s not only involved with all of the usual teenage concerns but also interpreting duties for her parents and the family business. When she joins her school’s choir, things get rough after she blossoms and finds herself with a difficult choice: keep meeting all of those family obligations, or strike out on her own venture.
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.
Mr. Corman: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series) — Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proven himself to choose his roles carefully after stepping away from blockbuster-land, and that makes his choice, in general, worth watching. In this series, he plays a public-school high school teaser who’s in the midst of an existential crisis. Granted, the word “existential” might make some eyes glaze over with assumptions that this show will contain a lot of naval gazing. However, Gordon-Levitt’s character is fueled by “a sinking suspicion that he sucks as a person.” That’s not only darkly funny but shows that there’s plenty of juice to mine from seemingly mundane life concerns and the fear, which many of us share, that we’ll all feel like impostors while pretending to grow up.
Modern Love: Season 2 (Amazon Prime series streaming 8/13) — Who doesn’t want to watch
Jon Snow Kit Harington romance Lucy Boynton? It’s the return of the popular anthology series that found inspiration in the famed New York Times column. Relationships and connections shall happen, as well as betrayals and revelations, and the cast is chock full of talent you already know and love, including Tobias Menzies, Minnie Driver, Garrett Hedlund. All rules of love shall be henceforth broken in locales including Dublin and the whole of New York, including that Big Apple. Did I mention? Jon Snow getting randy again is not to be missed.
Val (A24 movie on Amazon Prime) — Yep, a Val Kilmer documentary surfaced from the indie studio behind Uncut Gems, Midsommar, Ladybird, and The VVitch. That’s news in and of itself, but now, the atypical doc has arrived to celebrate the Top Gun and Batman actor. The mercurial man’s life and craft will take center stage, since he recorded hours of home-footage (like Soleil Moon Frye did, only with more aviator sunglasses) while filming his most iconic roles and being, you know, Val.
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (Amazon Prime movie) — Here’s the exclusive global premiere of a Studio Khara picture, which is the final chapter of the Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition saga. This follows up on a multi-platform franchise about the versatile humanoid weapon that’s seeking to navigate Earth following a cataclysmic event. One of the previous Evangelion films scored an IMAX record and also managed to be 2021’s top box-office draw in Japan, so this should be quite the streaming event for fans.
Reservation Dogs: (Season 1 premiere) — Taika Waititi’s FX on Hulu followup to What We Do in the Shadows brings us a comedy series that’s co-written by Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo. Yes, the lead quartet in this show rocks suits that look strikingly similar to the characters of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, yet they’re four Indigenous teens who want to commit crime and simply can’t pull it off. The show was shot in and near Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and these teens hope to make it all the way to California. The cast and crew come from indigenous communities, from where Harjo and Waititi are aiming their storytelling styles as well.
Homeroom (Hulu film) — Following a Sundance Film Festival premiere, this documentary follows Oakland High School’s class of 2020 during an enormously fraught year of COVID-19 anxieties. There’s test scores and college applications, of course, but everything is even more complicated than usual for these students, all while the district’s police force faces the threat of elimination against a growing social movement for systemic change.
What If…? (Disney+ series) — We’re in the multiverse after Loki‘s season finale. The MCU promises to show us a wealth of scenarios that stand separate from the existing canon (thus far). Agent Carter will take the serum and become Captain Carter. There’s a Zombie Captain America, and King T’Challa materializes elsewhere as Star Lord. Notably, Chadwick Boseman did voice work here, so you’ll be able to say a proper goodbye to his Black Panther. Let the good times and the tears roll.
Short Circuit: Season 2 (Disney+ series) — Nope, this show still has nothing to do with that 1980s movie starring Steve Guttenberg. Rather, this show follows Walt Disney Animation Studios employees who can pitch and create their own original short films. The series aims to highlight risk-taking approaches and stories that might otherwise never see a greenlight.
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.
The Hype: Season 1 (HBO Max series) — Streetwear professionals finally get a proper reality-competition show that aims to create a collision of streetwear, culture, and business. Cardi B’s judging, along with Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Ferg, Dapper Dan, and Bobby Hundreds. All involved aim to mentor the contestants while imparting their specialized visions toward the visionary contestants. From fashion to music to art to lifestyle and everywhere in between, the creativity here should be off the hook, and maybe some of that coolness will rub off on us.
The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. film on HBO Max) — David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad confined itself to a PG-13 rating, but no one expected James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad to stay with PG-13, and in fact, this R-rated (and quite good) extravaganza is releasing simultaneously on streaming and in theaters. Enjoy the “horribly beautiful” assortment of supervillains as they undertake their latest Task Force X mission, and the cast is an enormous, eclectic, and electric. Not only do we have the returning Margot Robbie (as Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (as Rick Flag), Viola Davis (as Amanda Waller), and Jai Courtney (as Boomerang), but John Cena, Idris Elba, Pete Davidson, and more joined the cast. Also: Sylvester Stallone as King Shark. Sold!
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.)
Beckett (Netflix film) — John David Washington stars as an American tourist, Beckett, who finds himself targeted by authorities following a tragic accident in Greece. Cue the international conspiracy-and-thriller vibes while Beckett desperately tries to clear his name amid political unrest throughout the country. Can he reach the American embassy in time, and will it make sense? Who knows, but this movie’s sure to be less confusing than Washington’s most recent release, Tenet.
Brand New Cherry Flavor (Netflix limited series) — Every so often (Warrior Nun, hint hint) a pulpy-looking Netflix series looks as though it may not last long due to its niche quality, but it’s still worth some time to peruse. And who knows? This pulpy series could find a devoted fanbase, too. There’s sex, magic, revenge, and felines on hand for an early 1990s filmmaker character, who’s attempting to make it big in Hollywood, but things get very spooky. Halloween arrives early this year here, and since time means nothing anymore, go for it.
Untold: Malice at the Palace (Netflix docuseries) — The Wild Wild Country creators bring a fresh, five-part sports docuseries that will drop weekly. The episodes will cover basketball, boxing, tennis, and more, to tell stories that you’ve not heard before about pivotal moments, including playoff and the Olympics. Each episode will go beyond the headlines to reveal what really happened to those at the center of the stories. Yes, there will be a deep dive into the “Malice at the Palace” Pacers-Pistons brawl, but also Caitlyn Jenner reflecting on what it took to win gold. Also, the show shines light on the Trashers, a misfit band of hockey players who were in deep with the mob. Oh boy.
The Kissing Booth 3 (Netflix movie) — The insanely popular yet objectively bad trilogy comes to a close with Joey King’s Elle heading to college while facing a dilemma. Should she go to college with her best friend or throw it all away to move away with the dreamy Noah? If you started these movies, you gotta finish!
Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami: Season 1 (Netflix series) — There’s so much blow in this trailer, which gives the documentary treatment to the excess-filled life of two childhood pals who transformed into powerful Miami drug kingpins over the course of decades. There’s a tiger and bullfighting and speedboats and money flying everywhere, it’s no wonder why “Los Muchachos” were so darn popular. They were also slippery fellows, due to their world-champ powerboat-racing status. A $2 billion empire eventually came crumbling down, but not without a valiant fight from the duo and the prosecutors.
Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season 2 (Paramount+ series) — This animated series from Rick and Morty writer (and Solar Opposites creator) Mike McMahan takes things to the year 2380 (after the original Star Trek beginning in 2265), where the U.S.S. Cerritos aren’t the heroes that you’re expecting. These are junior officers who are not pleased at their lack of power while confronting bizarre alien anomalies like enormous bugs. This violent show’s got a PG-13-like feel, so keep that in mind.
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 only streams here.
Hart to Heart: Season 1 (Peacock series) — Kevin Hart’s doing celebrity interviews with a twist, and that twist is wine. The result, hopefully, will be unfiltered conversation with actors, musicians, and other such influential people. Will things get a little bit messy, perhaps? With any luck, yes, as we hear about these A-listers’ journey to to their current statures, along with an obligatory discussion about obstacles with a dash of humor.