A fresh batch of new movies and shows is blooming across the streaming services and television. Several brand-new series are premiering this week, including Tina Fey’s comedy Girls5eva on Peacock, the animated Star Wars spinoff Bad Batch on Disney Plus and Netflix’s superhero saga Jupiter’s Legacy. But (sad face) we’re also getting the final seasons of Shrill and Castlevania, two of the biggest TV shows getting canceled or ending in 2021.
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Streaming is still where it’s at — at least until the theatrical summer movie season kicks off with A Quiet Place 2 at the end of the month. There’s a ton of new TV shows on broadcast and cable, too, like season 2 of The Hills and the finale of Married at First Sight. If you’ve cut the cord, just sign up for one of the best cable TV alternatives for access to your favorite channels.
Here are our picks for what to watch this week.
Series premiere | Season 1, episodes 1-8 (opens in new tab)
What if the Spice Girls made a comeback right now? That’s the premise of Girls5eva, which comes from creator Meredith Scardino and executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. If you liked 30 Rock, you’ll likely enjoy the sharp jokes and satirical wit of Girls5eva. It follows a ‘90s girl group that gets a chance to hit it big again. Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell and Sara Bareilles deliver great performances and (warning) you will not be able to get their big song out of your head.
Series finale | Season 3, episodes 1-8 (opens in new tab)
Do all good things really have to come to an end? Aidy Bryant’s comedy really found its voice last season, deftly blending humor and pathos into Annie’s journey of self-discovery. She’s gotten stronger while dealing with online trolls, an awful boyfriend, an eccentric boss and society’s fatphobia. Bryan has promised the ending will satisfy fans, even though “there’s no cherry on top or no golden prize at the end,” she told reporters earlier this year. “In that way, I think Annie’s journey comes to a beautiful end.”
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
Series premiere | Season 1, episodes 1 and 2 (opens in new tab)
Clone Wars fans are in luck. My colleague Tom Pritchard thinks The Bad Batch is essentially another season of Clone Wars — and that’s not a bad thing. The new animated series is also a product of Dave Filoni’s imagination, and it follows a group of elite clone troopers with genetic mutations directly after the events of Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. The first episode premiered on May the 4th (aka Star Wars Day), with the second released on the usual Friday schedule.
Mythic Quest (Apple TV Plus)
Season 2 premiere, episodes 1-9 (opens in new tab)
The workplace comedy set at a video game studio hits its stride this season, expanding upon the characters and giving a spotlight to Danny Pudi’s head of monetization. In his Mythic Quest season 2 review, my colleague Henry T. Casey calls it “a great set of 9 episodes you could easily devour on a lazy Sunday afternoon.” He even compares it favorably to its Apple TV Plus sibling Ted Lasso, which is the gold standard for current comedies.
That Damn Michael Che (HBO Max)
Series premiere | Season 1, episodes 1-6 (opens in new tab)
In the trailer above, Che only half jokes that his new sketch/variety show will be “uncomfortable to watch.” The comedian definitely wants to push buttons, and That Damn Michael Che seems like a spiritual successor to Chappelle’s Show. He takes on everything from police brutality to white privilege to dating, with the help of guest stars including Colin Jost, Cecily Strong, Billy Porter and Method Man.
Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix)
Series premiere | Season 1, episodes 1-8 (opens in new tab)
More than three years after Netflix bought Mark Millar’s comic books imprint, the first Millarworld project is finally streaming. Jupiter’s Legacy is decades-spanning epic centering on an initial group of superheroes who got their powers in the 1930s. In the present day, their children also have abilities but struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary feats. The ensemble cast includes Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, Matt Lanter and Ben Daniels.
Money, Explained (Netflix)
Limited series premiere | Streams May 11 at 3 a.m. ET (opens in new tab)
Anybody who is confused by the American financial system (it me) will find this docuseries very illuminating. It delves into banks, credit cards, student loan debt, retirement and much more. They even get into the whole Robinhood thing from earlier this year that I barely understood.
The Hills: New Beginnings (MTV)
Season 2 premiere | Airs May 11 at 9 p.m. ET
She’s baaaaack! Kristin Cavallari, who first anchored the Laguna Beach/Hills universe, struts into season 2 of New Beginnings to stir up drama. The group is also dealing with the pandemic, which hits some of their business interests hard. And of course, there’s the usual petty bickering and gossiping about each other. This season finds Spencer and Heidi trying for another baby, Brody grappling with his past and Audrina trying to date as a single mom.
Married at First Sight (Lifetime)
Season 12 finale | Airs May 12 at 8 p.m. ET
Wow, this season of Married at First Sight has been a hot mess. At this point, none of the couples are slam dunks to stay together on Decision Day. It’s been a while since the experts totally blanked on the matches; the last time all couples got divorced was in season 4. Personally, I like when the experts get it right, so I’m hoping for at least one happily ever after (come on, Briana and Vincent).
Series finale | Season 4, episodes 1-10 stream May 13 at 3 a.m. ET (opens in new tab)
Season 4 is the last for Castlevania, the anime series about vampire hunter Trevor Belmont and magician Sypha Belnades battling Count Dracula and his army of demons. So, expect an epic conclusion as Wallachia collapses into chaos and Dracula’s followers attempt to resurrect him. Fans can take that stake out of their heart, since Netflix is planning a spinoff set in the Castlevania universe.
Hacks (HBO Max)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-2 stream May 13 at 3 a.m ET (opens in new tab)
OK, Hacks, you had me at Jean Smart. It’s not a coincidence that every show the actress does is excellent (Mare of Easttown, Watchmen, Legion, Fargo). Now, she stars as an aging Las Vegas comedy legend who’s trying to appeal to a younger audience. Her agent sends over 25-year-old Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a millennial comic who is in disgrace in L.A. They immediately clash and trade insults — and prove to be just what the other really needs.
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