You have a choice in May – remain gainfully employed or quit your job and try to make a dent in the absolutely packed streaming release schedule.
There is no third option. Happy viewing!
Mr Inbetween S3 (Foxtel Now*, May 26): Maybe there’s something thorny about relating to a criminal-for-hire, but just because Ray does bad stuff for money, it doesn’t mean his myriad life challenges – an ageing parent, working as a freelancer, a daughter that might discover his secret – aren’t resonant.
Mythic Quest S2 (Apple TV+, May 7): Your favourite workplace comedy is back with another season of shenanigans at the video game company run by egomaniac Ian (Rob McElhenney) and the fiery lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). It’s the kind of workplace that would be infuriatingly bonkers to actually work at, but makes for great comedy.
Young Rock S1 (Binge* and Foxtel Now, May 2): Created by Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat, Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23), the American sitcom is based on the childhood and teenage exploits of Dwayne Johnson. The series is set in 2032 during The Rock’s presidential campaign – which totally feels like will happen in real life – as he recounts tales from his past.
Army of the Dead (Netflix, May 21): Sure, the Ocean’s 11 guys pulled off a Las Vegas casino heist during a big fight but have they ever done it while a zombie outbreak was underway? Now, that takes skill and guts (maybe more than one kind). Zack Snyder’s movie stars Dave Bautista and Tig Notaro.
The Bad Batch (Disney+, May 4): The first Disney+ Star Wars animated series and spin-off from The Clone Wars follows a group of clone troopers with weird mutations. Dave Filoni created the series while Dee Bradley Baker, Ming-Na Wen, Stephen Stanton and Andrew Kishino are among the voice cast.
Halston (Netflix, undated): Produced by Ryan Murphy and created by playwright Sharr White, Halston is a miniseries based on the famed fashion designer’s life. It stars Ewan McGregor, Rory Culkin, Vera Farmiga and Bill Pullman. TV director Daniel Minahan, who has helmed episodes of Six Feet Under, Deadwood and The Good Wife, directed at least the first episode.
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Master of None (Netflix, May 23): In the four years since Master of None was last on Netflix, co-creator Aziz Ansari has had a dramatic time. The third season returns with five episodes – subtitled as “Moments in Love” – none of which feature an on-screen Ansari, rather the story will centre on Lena Waithe’s Denise character.
Pose S3 (Binge and Foxtel Now, May 3): Colourful, spirited and groundbreaking, expect the final season of Pose to go out with an energetic bang. The series about New York’s underground ball culture has given space and time to trans actors and stories in a way that celebrates their power.
Cruella (Disney+, May 28): Simultaneously available as Premier Access ($34.99 extra fee) and at the cinemas, Emma Stone as some big, fashionable shoes to step into after Glenn Close’s turn as the villainous and unhinged Cruella de Vil. The film is directed by Australian Craig Gillespie, best known for I, Tonya.
The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime, May 14): Prodigious Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk filmmaker Barry Jenkins’s first foray into TV is a sprawling 10-episode adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-winning novel, which reimagines the Underground Railroad as a literal railroad transporting escaped enslaved peoples out of the American south.
David Byrne’s American Utopia (Binge, May 14 + Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime, May 13): Directed and produced by Spike Lee, American Utopia is no standard concert film, and you would never expect Talking Heads’ David Byrne to be anything but extraordinary.
Rebel (Disney+, May 28): Inspired by the crusading life of activist Erin Brockovich, this series stars Katey Sagal as a legal clerk fighting against big corporations for their deception and malfeasance against everyday folk. It also stars Andy Garcia, John Corbett, Tamala Renee Jones and James Lesure.
The Woman in the Window (Netflix, May 14): Amy Adams’ psychological thriller has bounced from cinemas to Netflix and has already been delayed for a year since its original date. Which is enough to make anyone wary, but you never know, it could be great! Adapted from the popular novel, it’s about a shut-in who thinks she witnesses the murder of her neighbour.
Special S2 (Netlix, May 21): Created by its star Ryan O’Connell, the series follows a young gay man with mild cerebral palsy who decides to take more chances. It’s a warm coming-of-age story with a perspective not frequently heard in TV. The second season picks up after Ryan has moved out from his mum’s place. It’s also the final season so catch it while you can.
Shrill S3 (SBS On Demand, May 7): Aidy Bryant’s easygoing and incisive comedy about a young woman trying to balance life, love and work – ie. everyone’s challenges – will wrap after this final season. We’re excited to see what Annie (Bryant) will do now that she’s finally rid of that good-for-few-things boyfriend. She deserved better.
The Great North S1 (Binge and Foxtel Now, May 3): From the team behind Bob’s Burgers, The Great North is an adult animated family sitcom set in Alaska and featuring the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Will Forte, Megan Mullally and Alanis Morissette.
Love on the Spectrum S2 (iview, May 18): A gentle and illuminating salve from the more dramatic and scandalous dating shows on commercial channels, ABC’s Love on the Spectrum is a dating show that follows wannabe Romeos and Juliets on the autism spectrum as they pursue love. A dating show where you actually wish the contestants well – how novel.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under (Stan, May 1): Here come the queeeeens! RuPaul and the fabulous cadre are officially down under – although mostly in Auckland – bringing a group of local stars and up-and-comers along for the wild ride.
Grand Designs NZ (Binge, May 27): There is no better marriage than the amazing backdrops of New Zealand’s grand vistas and the ambitious, innovative and beautiful architectural designs of Grand Designs NZ.
Creamerie (SBS On Demand, May 25): In the not-too-distant future, a pandemic wipes out 99 per cent of the world’s male population. So, what does a world run by women for women look like? Free healthcare and education. But no utopia is ever what it seems and this black Kiwi comedy has plenty to say about it.
Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell (iview, May 26): When it comes to satire, few do it as well as Shaun Micallef and his merry band of troublemakers. Returning with their farcical take on the goings-on in Australia, Mad as Hell makes the political circus all the more ridiculous.
Black Monday S3 (Stan, May 24): Leaving behind the 1980s doesn’t mean casting off the greed-driven ethos of that decade – and the scheming characters of Black Monday certainly isn’t going to do that. Loud and bold, the comedy starring Don Cheadle, Regina Hall and Andrew Rannells returns for a third season.
Round the Twist (Netflix, May 1): An Australian after-school classic, Round the Twist was based on Paul Jennings’ short stories and explored the strange goings-on at the Twist lighthouse family home, from cabbage patch kids and ghost musos. Both the original series and recast later one are now available.
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. (Disney+, May 21): Created by Jordan Blum and actor Patton Oswalt, the stop motion animated series tells the story of a failed supervillain who finds himself facing family strife and a midlife crisis.
Solos (Amazon Prime, May 14): With a starry cast including Anne Hathaway, Anthony Mackie, Morgan Freeman, Uzo Aduba, Constance Wu and Helen Mirren, this anthology series wants to explore human connections through eight separate stories of isolated characters. Anthology shows are touch and go but there is usually at least one brilliant episode. Hopefully, that’s at least the case here.
The Girlfriend Experience S3 (Stan, May 2): After an extended hiatus, the spin-off series from Steven Soderbergh’s film about a high-end sex worker, returns with an entirely new story. This season was created by German filmmaker Anja Marquardt and stars Julia Goldani Telles (Bunheads) as a tech company behavioural psychologist who moonlights as an escort.
Bloodlands (SBS On Demand, May 26): Produced by Line of Duty and Bodyguard writer Jed Mercurio, Bloodlands is a crime thriller that stars James Nesbitt as a Northern Ireland cop who catches a case with connections to a series of cold case disappearances from his past.
See What You Made Me Do (SBS On Demand, May 5): Australian documentary series See What You Made Me Do will examine the national epidemic that is domestic violence. The series is hosted by journalist Jess Hill, who will ask what needs to happen to stop the scourge of abuse against women and children.
Intergalactic (Stan, May 1): This British sci-fi drama is set a century into the future and follows a prospective space cop who is framed for a crime she didn’t commit. On board a prisoner ship bound for some far-flung penal planet, she becomes caught up in a mutiny.
Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries S1 (Acorn TV, May 3): The Brits and the Canadians can’t have the monopoly on quaint murder mysteries in beautiful locales, the Americans say. So, presenting, Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries, a series about a former detective (Jesse Metcalfe) who returns to a quiet life. But then a body washes up on shore – so much for retirement.
Pride & Prejudice remastered (Britbox, May 24): Just when you think you can’t best the sight of Colin Firth emerging from the lake, think again, because the beloved BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic can now be viewed in high definition 4K. Where’s that pause button, again?
Generation Hustle (Foxtel Now, May 16): This 10-part doco series tracks elaborate scams perpetrated by con artists and hustlers, including a Wendi Deng impersonator, fake heiress Anna Sorokin, WeWork, and a phony Saudi prince.
Death Comes to Pemberley (Acorn TV, May 31): Matthew Rhys and Matthew Goode? But they’re not talking about wine? It must be Death Comes to Pemberley, a 2013 miniseries based on P.D. James’ novel which continues the Pride & Prejudice story, but as a murder mystery.
Atlantic Crossing (SBS On Demand, May 6): Kyle MacLachlan as Franklin D. Roosevelt probably wasn’t on many people’s bingo cards but once you see him in the get-up, with the little glasses, it kind of works. This WWII-set story features The Bridge’s Sonia Hellin as a Norwegian royal who pleads with the US government to come to Europe’s aid.
Dylan Moran’s Dr Cosmos (Dice, May 8): If you’re missing the presence of international comedians in Australia, then this live stream of Irish funnyman Dylan Moran’s set Dr Cosmos might help to plug that hole. Dice is a pay-per-view deal, but only about a fifth of the cost of an actual live performance ticket.
*Binge and Foxtel Now are majority owned by News Corp, publisher of news.com.au
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Originally published as Eye-popping list of new streaming releases