We've got a lot of new shows for you to watch this weekend. We're all the same, always looking for what's new (and clearing our own queues), so a lot of us have begun poking outside of our usual preferences to find something new and novel.
Fortunately, May is starting off with a lot of new shows, and the returns of some favorites that find new ways to reinvent themselves. Our list of hits includes an intriguing sci-fi series that we'll probably binge before Sunday, new comedies with dark twists and another reason to give Apple TV Plus a chance.
And since we know it's hard to find the budget space for every single platform, our list consists of shows across multiple major streaming services. That means people with just Netflix, Amazon or HBO alone all have something to tune in for.
And if you're looking to jump back into a classic? Well, Disney Plus just gained The Princess Bride today (Friday, May 1), if you're up for inconceivable adventures. But for those looking for new shows to watch on TV, we've got you covered.
What to watch that's new this weekend
All times Eastern
Upload series premiere (Amazon)
What happens when you mix The Good Place and Black Mirror's San Junipero episode? Well, heaven may be "a place on earth," but Greg Daniels' Upload positions the afterlife as a wide range of virtual realities. Yes, in the 2033 envisioned by Upload, you'll get to pick and choose where your soul goes, like picking an open world video game to play.
Upload follows Nathan, a coder, who takes his girlfriend's offer to live in Lakeview, a ritzy afterlife that isn't what he opened it would be. The series apparently takes a dark satirical tone, but manages to find some soul in a romance storyline between Nathan and … not his girlfriend. Specifically, Nathan has an angel of sorts, who handles Lakeview's equivalent of customer service, and her name is Nora and well, they hit it off. — Henry T. Casey
Trying series premiere (Apple TV Plus)
Apple TV Plus may have had a somewhat lackluster debut last fall with a fairly meagre lineup of shows, but the streaming service is starting to catch up with interesting offerings like the Beastie Boys documentary and this British comedy from creator Andy Wolton. Trying centers on Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki (Esther Smith), a couple who really want to have a baby but run into fertility issues. When they decide to adopt, they discover a whole list of new challenges that come with the process. The trailer shows a promising amount of chemistry between the underrated Spall and the under-the-radar Smith. And really, you had us by including the incomparable Imelda Staunton. — Kelly Woo
Into The Night series premiere (Netflix)
Looking to make a great escape from your current quarantined reality? Into The Night looks like just the ticket. A 6-episode first season that will likely be binged in a day, Into The Night is a sci-fi drama wherein the sun is burning Earth alive. Multi-lingual, the series takes place on an overnight flight from Brussels, where armed gunmen force a pilot to fly until they can find an escape from the deadly solar rays.
An adaptation of Jacek Dukaj’s best-selling novel The Old Axolotl, Into The Night poses a lot of familiar survival questions to a plane full of survivors. How long can they stay in the sky? How soon will they run out of food? We'd ask "are there enough films pre-loaded into the plane to stay sane?" but this is supposed to be escapist, not a reflection of reality. Into The Night comes from Narcos producer Jason George. — Henry T. Casey
When and Where: May 1 on Netflix (watch the trailer (opens in new tab))
Hollywood series premiere (Netflix)
Prolific super producer Ryan Murphy signed a massive overall deal with Netflix to create original shows. The first was the teen satire The Politician and now comes Hollywood, a drama set in the 1940s Golden Age of the titular town. The eight-episode show follows aspiring actors, writers and directors trying to make it in the movie biz, whatever the personal and moral costs. Hollywood feels like classic Murphy — campy, arch, glitzy and sentimental. It’s A Lot, which is just what Murphy fans adore and want. — Kelly Woo
When and Where: May 1 on Netflix (watch the trailer (opens in new tab))
Parks and Recreation reunion special (YouTube and more)
I never thought we'd be going back to Pawnee, but here we are. In an early preview video, Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson reconnected via teleconferencing (they're just like us), and (predictably) Ron's relocated to his cabin. He even offered to share his big stock of venison jerky, which is seemingly all he's going to eat, but Leslie declined.
Referred to as "a new Parks & Recreation story," it's a little safe to presume the episode will be about how the Pawnee residents will be handling quarantine. I can only presume that Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) is dealing with his microchip-like body and that April is stopping Andy from infecting himself. — Henry T. Casey
Billions season 5 premiere (Showtime)
The glossy, propulsive financial drama is back, with new crises, alliances and feuds for Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis) and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti). What’s really exciting is that Billions is returning to its roots in reigniting the rivalry between the two lead men. Chuck is furious about Axe’s role in the dissolution of his marriage to Wendy (Maggie Siff), as well as the pressure Axe put on him to take down Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon).
Expect a lot of chicanery and double-crossing now that Taylor has returned to work at Axe Capital as Chuck’s mole. Billions has always attracted high-profile guest stars and season 5 brings in Juliana Margulies as a sociology professor who connects with Chuck as well as Corey Stoll as a business leader with a do-good mentality who spars with Axe. — Kelly Woo
When and where: Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime (watch the trailer (opens in new tab))
Rick and Morty season 4.1 premiere (Cartoon Network)
After a short break, Rick and Morty's chaotic hijinks return to TV this weekend. This episode (the first of five new chapters) is titled "Never Ricking Morty." And this time, Morty and grandpa Rick are getting extra meta with an anthology format that breaks up many smaller stories into the typical half-hour block. That might sound like the Interdimensional Cable format, but this chapter is taking a different tack by focusing on Rick himself.
Specifically, we're getting a series of stories told by people who have had the displeasure of dealing with the blue-haired dimension-hopper. According to reviews, the episode keeps winking and nodding at the audience as it progresses. -- Henry T. Casey
When and where: Sunday at 11:30 p.m. on Cartoon Network (watch the trailer (opens in new tab))
Never Have I Ever
This funny, sharp, heartwarming coming-of-age dramedy is exactly the kind of content I (and all of us) really need right now. The show was co-created by Mindy Kaling and inspired by her own upbringing. The very charming Maitreyi Ramakrishnan stars as Devi, an Indian-American high school sophomore who’s trying to have a normal American teen experience — which includes having sex with her unrequited crush. Meanwhile, she’s still processing a family tragedy, which has manifested into a short fuse.
The characters who orbit around Devi are all great, with their own nuances and shadings, including Devi’s dermatologist mother (Poorna Jagannathan), her beautiful cousin Kama (Richa Moorjani), friends Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and school nemesis Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). I won’t spoil the identity of the out-of-let-court narrator, but it’s an oddball, fun choice. The story is a mix of typical teen crises, genuine family conflict and issues faced by immigrant communities. Never have I ever watched a new series that spoke so personally to me. — Kelly Woo
Terrace House: Tokyo
If you shy away from the likes of Tiger King and the Real Housewives of Dramatown, you should know that not all reality TV is … well … no offense to those who do … but there's some reality programming that isn't trashy. I've recently fallen for Terrace House, a Japanese series that's utterly kind. Its premise may be traditional and familiar — 3 guys and 3 girls meet for the first time and live together in a beautiful apartment and have their lives filmed — Terrace House's execution is what makes it lovely for those who never thought they'd say "I love reality TV," as the cast are all calm and kind to each other, listening intently, looking to learn and grow and mature.
The first six housemates in this season include Ruka, an amazingly shy boy who blushes every time he talks with girls, the grinning Kenji and actor Shohei, who's so driven he manages to ask a fellow cast member out in the first episode. While the Tokyo 2019 - 2020 series isn't the first edition of Terrace House to hit Netflix (there are three other seasons here for you), I found it to be a great way to begin the series. — Henry T. Casey
Other new things to watch this weekend
- Normal People on Hulu (complete first season on Hulu)
- Virtual Kentucky Derby (Sat., May 2 at 3 p.m on NBC)
- Kids Choice Awards 2020 (Sat., May 2 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon)
- Westworld season 3 finale (Sun., May 3 at 9 p.m. on HBO)
What to watch: Next week's new arrivals
Monday, May 4
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (Disney Plus, 3:01 a.m.)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars series finale (Disney Plus, 3:01 a.m.)
Tuesday, May 5
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.)
Wednesday, May 6
Riverdale season 4 finale (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Becoming - Michelle Obama documentary (Netflix, 3:01 a.m.)
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