Trying to cancel streaming services to make your budget work is a tricky task. Cut the wrong service out and *BOOM*, you're risking FOMO over a new or returning show you need to see. This is why we monitor the best streaming services very closely. So, since it's the start of another month, it's the perfect time to look at what we're getting from the top streamers, to see if they're worth it.
The big news in streaming has been how subscribers are leaving Netflix in droves. And while Netflix estimated that problem would continue this fiscal quarter, I'm here to say you should think twice about canceling Netflix. I mean, I canceled Netflix earlier this year, but their July 2022 lineup is strong enough to keep me here. And that's what this column is all about: looking at the list of new releases to see what's worth keeping.
This way, anyone who is thinking about canceling one or more services will know what they're missing out on. Think of this as my advice for how you can save money on your streaming bill. I'm not canceling all of these services, but that's because I have my own reasons, which I'll explain below.
As I do every month, I'm breaking down the biggest newest additions to Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Hulu and Disney Plus. I won't get into the stuff they already have, as it's impossible to guess what you have (and have not) already watched.
Should you cancel Apple TV Plus in July 2022?
Apple TV Plus is a service that may be keeping recently subscribed members happy. It costs $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month (opens in new tab), and for that, you can catch up on a ton of great shows. But any streaming service can say that. What is Apple TV Plus doing for us this month?
First up is a compelling crime drama that should sate the wants of anyone who wants a dark psychological thriller. Black Bird (July 8) puts Taron Egerton (famous for the Kingsman movies) in the role of a guy who could either go to minimum-security prison or help crack a serial killer case in a maximum security prison. Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell and I, Tonya) plays the haunting man who may or may not have done many a terrible thing.
Then, there's a new show for the younger set, as Duck & Goose (July 8) targets the younger group. Inspired by the bestselling books by author Tad Hills, this is a story about a friendship that isn't always so agreeable.
Next up is Trying season 3 (July 22) as Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) continue to understand the world through the lens of parenthood. Nothing, of course, goes smoothly, as raising children in this world is still as difficult as ever (if not moreso).
Also this month, Best Foot Forward (July 22) is a new family comedy to Apple TV Plus. It's based on the true story of a 12-year-old Paralympic athlete.
Arguably, Apple appears to be saving the best for last. Surface (July 29) gives The Morning Show and Loki's Gugu Mbatha-Raw a leading role with many questions. As Sophia, she wakes up into a very high-end life that she apparently tried to end when she supposedly fell off the side of a boat. This gives her plenty of mystery to solve in Apple's latest psychological thriller.
My recommendation: This is a thin month for Apple on its head-count, but Surface and Black Bird both look like compelling shows worth a fiver.
- If that sounds like a great month of programming, sign up for Apple TV (opens in new tab)
Should you cancel HBO Max in July 2022?
We still think HBO Max is the best streaming service, even though I told you to cancel it last month. I'm changing my tune this month, though. That said, the show I'm most excited for comes at the very end of the month.
Until then, HBO Max starts strong with one of the best new movies to watch this week, as Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho (July 1) hits the streamer, so you don't need to pay to buy or rent digitally online. But after that? Well, less than two weeks later we get a more-recent release, as The Bob's Burgers Movie (July 12) arrives on HBO Max (and Hulu, too). If you have both, watch it on the service you pay for the ad-free version of (if you do).
After that, reality TV lovers can feast their eyes on the divide of nice guys and ... let's call them like they're named: the fboys, of FBOY Island season 2 (July 14). The Nikki Glaser-hosted dating show is back for a second round, and we're rooting for chaos.
There's also a new Nathan Fielder series, The Rehearsal (July 15), which has the permanently-awkward comedian starring as a guy who refuses to allow uncontrollable moments. Instead, he has made his own life into a sort of Westworld, simulating everything in advance.
The next big HBO series is Rap Sh!t (July 21) a new show created by Issa Rae that tracks former best friends Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion) who form a rap group. Rae says her series is partially inspired by how Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's use of social media helped vault them to success, so we're more than just okurrr about this one.
For my money, and I mean that literally, the most exciting thing happening on HBO Max this month is Harley Quinn season 3 (July 28). The adult animated series is back, and so are Ms. Quinn (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) and her new "BFF GFF" Poison Ivy (Lake Bell).
The deranged series presents a very twisted take on Gotham's finest and most revolting members. I'm morbidly curious about how Joker (Alan Tudyk) and Doctor Psycho (Tony Hale) will react to news of the new couple that's trying to wreck Gotham. Even better, though, Harvey Guillen (Guillermo from What We Do In The Shadows) joins the cast as Nightwing.
Then there's Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (July 28), a spin-off series from Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. While you might as well call it Pretty Little Liars: The New Class, we're sure the series will draw plenty of new and returning viewers to see how a group of teen girls in the blue-collar town of Millwood are dealing with the ramifications of their own sins, as well as those made by their parents two decades ago.
My recommendation: HBO Max is back! This is definitely a month to stay on board, or catch up on Harley Quinn if you're late to the violent and raunchy comedy.
- If you're ready for more Harley Quinn, Issa Rae, Pretty Little Liars and much more, sign up for HBO Max (opens in new tab)
Should you cancel Netflix in July 2022?
For once, I won't tell you to cancel Netflix. While June's run from Netflix was mostly great for comedians and their fans (and those recovering from Stranger Things 4 volume 1), Netflix's got a strong July lineup.
Naturally, that all starts with Stranger Things 4 volume 2 (July 1), the most anticipated pair of episodes in recent history. Yes, the back-end of the seven episodes we got in May is just a two parter. But fear not, the Duffer Brothers have around 4 hours to get the kids and adults of Hawkins (as well as those on the road) out of this jam. Netflix may have a subscription cancelation problem, but that issue may go on hiatus for at least the start of July.
Lana Condor is back on Netflix a week later with Boo, Bitch (July 8), a supernatural coming of age story where Erika (Condor) has to deal with the afterlife a bit prematurely. Now, she's using her new-found powers to achieve the one thing every teen dreams of: popularity.
Internationally, Netflix will also play host to Better Call Saul season 6 part 2 (starting July 11), as AMC doesn't reach outside the States. These last episodes find Jimmy and Kim with a danger on their doorstep, blood on both of their hands and an inevitable future where they're not together. Except they don't know the last part (yet).
Up next, Netflix has a new Resident Evil (July 14) project, and this one's a live-action adaptation. Told in two periods of time — before and after the T-virus wrecked shop — it brings a very Black Mirror-like view to the Umbrella Corporation's activities. Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick) makes the discoveries a bit too late in the 'before' period, and the 'after' period finds his daughter Jane (Ella Balinska) fighting the monstrosities the virus created.
Jane Austen fans get something to talk about with Persuasion (July 15), which some think looks too cheerful and comedic. It stars Dakota Johnson as Anne Ellio, who is struggling after canceling her engagement to naval officer Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis). She mostly did it because her family was against their nuptials. Now, seven years later, they reconnect and she's wondering if he's still looking to tie the knot.
Elsewhere on Netflix, Alex Gibney and Michael Pollan team up for How to Change Your Mind (July 12), a docuseries about mind-altering substances. Before that, How To Build a Sex Room (July 8) is a reality TV series where couples want rooms for adult behavior. The Sea Beast (July 8) tells a tall tale on the ocean, where a young girl and a monster hunter seek danger and glory. And the Bill Burr: Live at Red Rocks (July 12) comedy special lets the comedian share what's grinding his gears right now.
There's even a new Kung Fu Panda series, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight (July 14), wherein Po and an "elite English knight" travel the world. YA fans get more fun on Netflix, as Virgin River season 4 (July 20) brings back one of Netflix's more popular shows.
Then, we've got The Gray Man (July 22), which Netflix hopes is its next big thing. It's an action movie from MCU veterans Anthony and Joe Russo that stars Captain America (Chris Evans) and Ken (Ryan Gosling). The two are trekking around the world in a big-budget spy-vs-spy adventure that's based on Mark Greany's Court Gentry novels.
My recommendation: With the end of ST4, the start of The Gray Man films, the new Resident Evil show, Lana Condor in Boo, Bitch and much more, I'd say keep Netflix.
Should you cancel Hulu in July 2022?
Hulu (starting at $6.99 per month) isn't the big behemoth that its rivals are. It's bundled with Disney Plus for many, so you may not expect it to offer a whole lot. That said, Hulu's got a good offering this month. First off, July (and August) will see new episodes of Only Murderers In The Building season 2 (July 5, 12, 19, 26, and August 2, 9, 16 and 23) keep us guessing with the latest whodunit.
First up, The Princess (July 1) turns its nameless titular character into the John Wick of her era, parkouring around the castle and going medieval on the butts of bad men who want her to agree to a marriage she has no interest in.
As mentioned earlier, The Bob's Burgers Movie (July 12) arrives on Hulu (and HBO Max) on the same day this month. The film finds the Belchers with a familiar issue with financial solvency for their burger joint on the line, but two other dilemmas shake things up. There's a murder mystery to solve, and Louise is dealing with the prospect of possibly leaving her bunny ears hat behind.
Then, Maggie (July 6) asks "can dating be any better if you're (actually) a psychic?" Soap star Rebecca Rittenhouse stars in this series, which is based on a short-film of the same name. Her powers lead her to meet her new love, and she learns of their future together when she takes his fortune.
Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) brings us Solar Opposites season 3 (July 13), which continues to track a quartet of aliens who aren't entirely convinced Earth is worth it. While Terry (Thomas Middleditch) and Jesse (Mary Mack) enjoy the lighter side of Earth life, Korvo (Roiland) and Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) are a bit more pessimistic. And, lately, we understand the latter just as much as the former.
My recommendation: Hulu's July is decent, though another returning show would be great.
- If that sounds like it's worth $7, sign up for Hulu (opens in new tab)
Should you cancel Disney Plus in July 2022?
After a must-watch month where Obi-Wan Kenobi dominated the conversation, and Ms. Marvel debuted, Disney Plus' July just doesn't look like it stacks up. Especially without a big MCU movie arriving (Doctor Strange 2 arrived in June, and we don't think Thor: Love and Thunder is on Disney Plus until August or September). Here's what to watch before you see Thor: Love and Thunder.
The biggest thing on Disney Plus in July is Ms. Marvel, as its final two episodes air on the first and second Wednesdays (July 6 and 13) of the month. Personally, I love Ms. Marvel, but if you don't? Here's how to cancel Disney Plus.
After that, Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (July 1) is likely worth a go for many MCU fans. There's no trailer yet, but Disney's official description notes that "Sam Raimi and the cast of the film ... recount their experiences bringing Marvel’s darkest story to life."
Nature documentary enthusiasts may be happy to celebrate Independence Day with the premiere of America the Beautiful (July 4). Michael B. Jordan narrates the series that shows off some of the country's most gorgeous vistas and animals.
If you and your family love to spell M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, then you may be into the upcoming The Wonderful Summer Of Mickey Mouse (July 8) special. It's got a look that tries to grab the hand-drawn animation style, but still looks a bit too clean at the same time? Maybe it's just perfect enough for kids to think they're not being tricked into watching their parents old favorites.
July 10 sees a ton of shark-focused content arrive for Shark Week 2022, the third Z-O-M-B-I-E-S original movie, Zombies 3 (July 15) closes out Zed and Addison’s time at Seabrook and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 3 (July 27) debuts for more YA excitement.
Disney Plus closes out the month with the series debut of Light & Magic (July 27), where Lawrence Kasdan takes audiences behind the scenes of the iconic Industrial Light & Magic studio.
My recommendation: Unless you love YA content, Mickey Mouse or documentaries, this is not the month to pay for Disney Plus (especially after Ms. Marvel is over).
- Those who want the docs should sign up for Disney Plus (opens in new tab)
Streaming services in July: Highlights this month
|Service||Noteworthy shows and movies||Monthly price|
|Apple TV Plus||Black Bird, Trying season 3, Surface||$4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99|
|Disney Plus||Ms. Marvel's last 2 episodes, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 3||$7.99 / £7.99 / AU$11.99|
|HBO Max||Last Night in Soho, The Bob's Burgers Movie, The Rehearsal, Rap Sh!t, Harley Quinn season 3, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin||$9.99 with ads, $14.99 without ads|
|Netflix||Stranger Things 4 volume 2, Boo, Bitch, Better Call Saul season 6 part 2 (internationally), Resident Evil, Persuasion, The Gray Man||$15.49 / £10.99 / AU$16.99 for Standard|
|Hulu||The Princess, Maggie, The Bob's Burgers Movie, Solar Opposites season 3||$6.99 with ads, $12.99 without ads|
The one streaming service I'm cutting this month is:
If the above wasn't obvious enough, I'm canceling Disney Plus this month. The only thing stopping me right now are the final two hours of Ms. Marvel. Once that's done, I'm out. Apologies to the High School Musical crowd.
You may also want to cancel Apple TV Plus, but I get it at a discount through though the Apple One bundle, so I'm not dropping that. Plus, I'm still getting Hulu at a $1 per month deal, thanks to last Black Friday.
So, I think you can save $7 this month by canceling your time with the House of the Mouse. But, of course, your mileage may vary. As always, folks, just make sure you're actually using the streaming services you pay for.