Netflix and chill takes on a whole different meaning during these long, hot days of summer. Why sweat outside when you can stay in, blast the AC and watch new movies and TV shows on streaming services? This weekend brings a ton of premieres on Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu and cable TV.
We’ve been enjoying the summer movies and summer TV seasons, and there’s even more to come. This weekend brings the latest Marvel movie, Black Widow, which focuses on Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff.
Also on deck are the Gossip Girl reboot, the final season of Atypical and Virgin River season 3. For scares, watch the next installment of the Fear Street trilogy; for laughs, check out I Think You Should Leave season 2.
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That’s just the tip of the iceberg of new TV shows and specials available on broadcast and cable. 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 weekend.
Black Widow (Disney Plus Premier Access)
Movie | 2 hr 13 min (PG-13) | How to watch Black Widow
Natasha Romanoff’s wait is over: She finally gets her own standalone Marvel movie. Of course, in the MCU timeline, she died in Avengers: Endgame. But that’s what prequels are for! Black Widow digs into the family Natasha had before the Avengers — younger sister Yelena (Florence Pugh), mom Melina (Rachel Weisz) and dad Alexei (David Harbour). Her faux parents are actually spies, a la The Americans, while both sisters get shipped off to Soviet boot camp to train as assassins. Fast forward to the period following Captain America: Civil War, when Natasha teams up with her former family to bring down the operation that brought them together. Black Widow is likely to be a one-off, but it shines a deserved spotlight on the mysterious Avenger.
Oh, and SPOILER WARNING: We've got a Black Widow post-credits scene explainer if you're left confused by the film's ending.
Gossip Girl (HBO Max)
Series premiere | Episode 1 (TV-MA) | How to watch the Gossip Girl reboot
Spotted: A reboot of the sudsy teen drama, Gossip Girl. The sequel series is extremely Gen Z (it may make you feel positively ancient) and focuses on a new set of ultra-wealthy, fabulous private school teens and their first-world problems. Their secrets and scandals are being exposed by a new Gossip Girl — whose identity is revealed in the very first episode. No more speculating about their identity. Instead, the Gossip Girl reboot focuses on how much social media has transformed since the OG series and the way these teens use and abuse it (and fall victim to it). One thing that hasn’t changed: Gossip Girl is still serving up fabulous fashion. XOXO!
Virgin River (Netflix)
Season 3 premiere | Episodes 1-10 (TV-14) | Watch now
The romance at the heart of Virgin River elicits more of a gentle swoon than fiery passion. And that’s just fine! Not every show needs to be about people ripping each other’s clothes off. Season 3 finally gets Mel (Alexandra Breckinridge) and Jack (Martin Henderson) past the courtship dance and into a full-fledged relationship. The “L” word even gets tossed around and there’s talk of babies! Of course, the course of true love never runs smooth, and the couple will have to unpack all of their baggage as they move forward. But we expect more swooning, light criminal complications and quirky small-town hijinks from the local denizens.
Season 4 premiere | Episodes 1-10 (TV-14) | Watch now
Sam’s journey to becoming an adult is nearly complete. The final season of Atypical sees Sam (Keir Gilchrist) leave home and move in with buddy Zahid. Along with navigating living without his parents for the first time, he’s also amping up his relationship with one-time “practice girlfriend” Paige. Meanwhile, Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine) is enjoying her own new relationship with Izzie, while working hard 12 new things to watch this weekend: Black Widow, Gossip Girl, Shark Week and moreto get into UCLA. As for parents Elsa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Doug (Michael Rapaport), they must face their not-too-distant future as empty nesters.
Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (Netflix)
Movie | 1 hr 50 min (R) | Watch now
Even R.L. Stine stans can be forgiven for being a bit skeptical about Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy. But the first part, 1994, really delivered with genuinely frightening thrills and chills and part 2 looks just as scary. The story is told via flashback, as Deena and brother Josh look up the only survivor of the 1978 Camp Nightwing Massacre. Back then, Christine “Ziggy” Berman (Sadie Sink of Stranger Things) and sister Cindy (Emily Rudd) are attending camp when the Shadyside witch begins terrorizing them all.
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (Netflix)
Season 2 premiere | Episodes 1-6 (TV-MA) | How to watch I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson season 2
The wonderfully weird sketch show returns with six more episodes, which quite frankly, isn’t enough. Then again, those six gems are so brilliantly done that it’s hard to quibble with Tim Robinson’s vision. Better yet, none of them repeat any bits from the first season (so no hot dog costumes in sight). The two-dozen-plus sketches cover everything from swearing on ghost tours to bodies falling out of coffins to more awkward party interactions. And the phrase “sloppy steaks” now triggers me into tears (of laughter).
Leverage: Redemption (IMDb TV)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-8 (TV-14) | Watch now
Sure, everything is getting rebooted (see Gossip Girl above) but TNT’s Leverage was probably very far down on most people’s lists of hoped-for revivals. Not to say it wasn’t a good show — it did its crime drama thing well. For IMDb TV’s sequel, most of the original cast members return, reuniting the team of reformed criminals with specialized skills. Once again, they put them to good use by helping regular people fight back against corporate and governmental injustices.
This Way Up (Hulu)
Season 2 premiere | Episodes 1-6 (TV-MA) | Watch now
The first season of the BAFTA-winning series somehow flew under the radar. So if you missed, rectify that immediately. This Way Up has shades of Fleabag, as its central character Aine (creator Aisling Bea) is kind of a mess. In season 2, she’s ready to leave her time in rehab behind and live a little, though that may not be a great idea. Then, there’s her burgeoning, still awkward relationship with Richard (Tobias Menzies). As for sister Shona (Sharon Horgan), she’s dealing with running a business with Charlotte (Indira Varma), while the two have feelings for each other. Oh and let’s not forget Shona is supposed to marry Vish (Aasif Mandvi). Yeah, it’s messy — and so watchable.
Shark Week (Discovery)
Specials | Airs Sunday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET
Discovery’s annual Shark Week returns with new specials focusing on the oceans’ top predator. It all kicks off with Crikey! It’s Shark Week, which sees 17-year-old Robert Irwin come face to face with a great white shark for the first time, accompanied by conservationists Paul de Gelder and Madison Stewart. He’s following in father Steve Irwin’s footsteps to determine which apex predator reigns supreme: great whites or crocs?
The Real Housewives of Potomac (Bravo)
Season 6 premiere | Episode 1 airs Sunday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET
The ladies of DC are back for more Capital D Drama. Gizelle Bryant, Karen Huger, Ashley Darby, Robyn Dixon, Candiace Dillard Bassett, and Dr. Wendy Osefo all return, while new housewife Mia Thornton joins the cast with a boss mentality. In her book, respect is earned, not given. Let’s see how that goes over with the other women.
Wellington Paranormal (The CW)
Series premiere | Episodes 1-2 airs Sunday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET
The New Zealand-set spinoff of What We Do in the Shadows (the movie) is finally coming stateside. The series is already on season 3 in NZ, but premieres on The CW with an introduction to police officers Minogue (Mike Minogue) and O'Leary (Karen O'Leary). They were bit players in the film and now get their own spotlight, as they deal with paranormal creatures in their town.
The White Lotus (HBO)
Series premiere | Episode 1 airs Sunday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET
Mike White returns to HBO, a decade after he created Enlightened for the network, with a new satirical comedy set at a lush, decadent resort. On the surface, it’s paradise; but darker things are happening behind the scenes. Resort manager Arnomd (Murray Bartlett) and his team welcome a new round of guests, played by an ace cast including Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Jake Lacy and Alexandra Daddario.
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