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7 movies and TV shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, HBO Max and more

What to watch this weekend: The Chair and Annette
(Image credit: Netflix; Amazon)

More new movies and TV shows are coming our way this weekend, so turn down the lights, turn up the AC and open Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and other streaming services on your preferred device.

This weekend’s lineup has something for everybody. There's The Chair, a satirical comedy about university professors that stars Sandra Oh. Adam Driver headlines a deeply weird film that was the toast of Cannes. A Big Little Lies reunion brings together Nicole Kidman and David E. Kelley for an adaptation of Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers. 

If you like mental thrillers, Reminiscence takes parts of Minority Report, Inception and Westworld and mashes them into a twist-filled creation. And Insecure's Issa Rae debuts a reality series about young Black professionals, Sweet Life: Los Angeles.

That's just the start. Here are our picks for the new movies and TV shows to watch this weekend.

The Chair (Netflix)

Series premiere | Episodes 1-6 (TV-MA) | Watch now
The always delightful Sandra Oh puts her comedic charms to full use in a sharp satire of collegiate life from creator Amanda Peet. As the new chair of Pembroke University’s English department, Ji-Yoon Kim is conscious of her status as the first woman and woman of color to fill the lofty role. But she’s put into crisis mode from day one — persuading older professors (Holland Taylor, Bob Balaban) to retire, attempting to promote Black female colleagues in spite of institutionalized racism and dancing around a budding romance with her predecessor (Jay Duplass). Oh, and on the home front, she’s raising a daughter, Ju-Hee (Everly Carganilla), who has started lashing out. 

Annette (Amazon Prime Video)

Movie | 2 hr 21 min (R) | How to watch Annette online
Adam Driver’s oeuvre can best be summed up as “extremely eclectic,” and this trippy dramedy does nothing to change that. He plays a stand-up comedian named Henry McHenry (really) who falls in love with a world-renowned opera singer, Ann (Marion Cotillard). The passionate and glamorous couple soon have a daughter, Annette — portrayed by a wooden marionette puppet (yes, really). But as Ann travels the world singing, Henry's career begins to suffer and their marriage unravels. After a tragedy, Annette develops a mysterious ability that stuns her father and the world.

Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)

Series premiere | Episodes 1-3 (TV-MA) | How to watch Nine Perfect Strangers online
If you’re already feeling bereft after the end of The White Lotus season 1, here comes another dark satire about wealthy white people with problems. And it comes from the team behind a titan of that genre, Big Little Lies, as creator David E. Kelley and star Nicole Kidman take on an adaptation of another Liane Moriarty novel. The titular group embarks on a 10-day retreat at the health and wellness resort Tranquillum House, hosted by Masha (Kidman). However, the resort isn't the sunny, healing place it purports to be; there's darkness lurking under the surface. And the guests begin to discover disturbing secrets about each other.

Reminiscence (HBO Max) 

Movie | 1 hr 56 min (PG-13) | Watch now
Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy brings her musings on the mind and technology to a thriller that also has shades of Minority Report and Inception (the film made by her brother-in-law). Hugh Jackman plays a private investigator who uses a machine to access clients’ memories. He falls for a woman, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), who needs help finding her lost keys. But when Mae disappears, Bannister plunges into his own memories in the hope of finding out what happened to her.

Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (Comedy Central)

Season 2 premiere | Episode 1-2 (TV-MA) | Watch now
Not much has changed for Nora Lin, played by creator/star Awkwafina, in season 2. She’s still living in Queens with her dad (BD Wong), grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn) and cousin Edmund (Bowen Yang) and continuing her attempts at adulting. She’s got a new job and even fields a marriage proposal, but she’s also getting in the way of her dad’s romance with Brenda (Jennifer Esposito). Season 2 brings in more amazing guest stars, including Alan Kim of Minari, Margaret Cho, Alex Borstein and Haley Joel Osment. If you need to catch up, all of season 1 is streaming now on HBO Max.

Sweet Life: Los Angeles (HBO Max)

Series premiere | Episodes 1-3 (TV-MA) | Watch now
Issa Rae is behind this reality series, which she’s likened to a Black version of The Hills or Vanderpump Rules. The show follows a group of Black twentysomethings navigating love, friendships and careers in south L.A. There’s Amanda, a PR professional seeking to buy her first home, and bestie Tylynn, an event planner who strives to highlight Black excellence. Fashion designer Cheryl and her former athlete boyfriend, Jerrold, are figuring out the next steps in their relationship and their careers. The cast members don’t feel that far off of the characters from Rae’s Insecure, which portends well for its future watchability. 

The Defeated (Netflix)

Series premiere | Episodes 1-8 (TV-MA) | Watch now
Netflix releases so much stuff every week, it’s easy to miss out on something — like the gritty period drama The Defeated. The series came out last year on Canal+ (titled Shadowplay) and didn’t get a ton of fanfare. Set in 1946 Berlin, it features a great international cast, including American actors Taylor Kitsch and Michael C. Hall. The former plays Max McLaughlin, a Brooklyn NYPD detective sent to train the Berlin police force as they contend with post-World War II chaos and violence. He's also looking for his missing brother.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.