With movie theaters and other venues now open in many parts of the country, there are more entertainment options than just watching stuff at home. But to be honest, it’s still nice to stay in, make some popcorn, get cozy on the couch and check out all the new movies and shows debuting this week on streaming services.
This week’s lineup has something for everyone. Angelina Jolie and Amy Adams headline two thrillers in Those Who Wish Me Dead and The Woman in the Window. Meanwhile, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins delivers the historical drama Underground Railroad.
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And let’s not overlook all the new TV shows and specials on broadcast and cable, like the MTV Movie & TV Awards. 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 the new movies and TV shows to watch this week.
Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video)
Series premiere | Season 1, episodes 1-10 | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel gets a sweeping adaptation by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. The story reimagines the famous Underground Railroad of the 1800s; instead of a network of hidden houses and safe passages that slaves, it’s an actual railroad with trains, tunnels and tracks. Enslaved people like Cora (Thuso Mbedu) and Caesar (Aaron Pierre) hope to ride it and escape their life of brutal bondage.
Those Who Wish Me Dead (HBO Max)
Movie | 100 min, Rated R | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Ahead of starring in Marvel’s Eternals later this year, Angelina Jolie returns to the action thriller genre that she found success in with Wanted and Salt. For this outing, she syncs up with director Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water). Jolie plays a smokejumper (someone who parachutes into wildfires) grappling with a tragedy that led to the death of three boys. When Hannah unexpectedly encounters a teen on the run from two assassins, she must call upon all her special skills to protect him. Fun fact: Marvel actors Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast, X-Men) also star.
Limited series premiere | Episodes 1-5 | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Super producer Ryan Murphy presents the latest title under his Netflix deal, a miniseries about the iconic fashion designer Halston (portrayed by Ewan McGregor). Roy Halston Frowick became famous in the ‘70s for his clean, minimalistic silhouettes and and also for frequenting Studio 54 with Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol. Halston’s family is blasting the show as “inaccurate,” but honestly, the most juicy biopics tend to be the most controversial.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney Plus)
Season 2 premiere | Episode 1 | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Since the first season of the Disney Plus series streamed last year, star Olivia Rodrigo achieved supernova status by dropping the mega-hit single “Driver’s License.” The song is rumored to be about the end of an off-screen relationship with her on-screen love interest, Joshua Bassett. So, yeah, watching them play blissful new couple Nini and Ricky in season 2 is going to be interesting.
The Woman in the Window (Netflix)
Movie | 100 min, Rated R | Watch now (opens in new tab)
Amy Adams’ psychological thriller has had a long journey to stream on Netflix. This is a movie that was originally supposed to come out in theaters in 2019! But director Joe Wright decided to retool it after poor test screenings and then its May 2020 release was delayed by the pandemic. The story centers on an agoraphobic recluse who peeps at her neighbor across the street. But when she sees something disturbing happen, her life begins to unravel even further.
Love, Death & Robots (Netflix)
Season 2 premiere | Episodes 1-8 | Watch now (opens in new tab)
The animated anthology show returns with eight more shorts (and fans will be happy to know that a third season is also on the way). Like the first season, Volume 2 will feature dark sci-fi storytelling, violence, sex and action around the themes mentioned in the title. There will be plenty of f*cks given, as episodes explore robots-gone-wild, naked giants and otherworlds.
Hacks (HBO Max)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-2 | Watch now (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.
Series finale | Season 4, episodes 1-10 | Watch now (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.
2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards (MTV)
Special | Airs Sunday, May 16 and Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET
After last year’s show was disrupted by the pandemic, the MTV Movie & TV Awards are back and bigger than ever — airing over two nights. The main event is hosted by Leslie Jones, while comedian Nikki Glaser emcees the second evening focusing on unscripted entertainment. The nominees include favorites like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Bridgerton, while Scarlett Johansson is receiving the Generation Award.
Death and Nightingales (Starz)
Limited series premiere | Airs Sunday, May 16 at 10 p.m. ET
The 2018 BBC drama starring Matthew Rhys and Jamie Dornan makes its U.S. debut on Starz. Set in 1883 Ireland, the story follows a young woman (Ann Skelly) who suffers under the thumb of her abusive, miserly stepfather. When a handsome new tenant arrives, she considers running off with him and escaping the only life she’s ever known.
Who Killed Sara? (Netflix)
Season 2 premiere | Streams Wednesday, May 19 at 3 a.m. ET
The Mexican crime drama returns, as Alex Guzmán (Manolo Cardona) continues his quest to find answers about his sister’s supposed death, for which he was wrongly convicted. Season 1 left the titular question still unresolved. And really, it might not even be accurate since Sara may not be dead and if she is, she may have killed herself.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again (HBO Max)
Special | Streams Thursday, May 20 at 3 a.m. ET
The third hour-long Adventure Time special (following BMO and Obsidian) reunites the main heroes from the Cartoon Network series, Finn and Jake the Dog, for their biggest adventure yet. They’ve taken a break for the last few years, but now the duo embarks on a cosmic journey where they take on a monstrous evil.
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