Looking for something to watch over the long Labor Day weekend? We've got you. Or really, streaming services got you. There are great new movies and shows to watch this weekend.
The selections are eclectic, too, ranging from a family-friendly Disney epic (Mulan) to a surreal, trippy drama (I'm Thinking of Ending Things) to a teachers comedy (A.P. Bio). In the mood to watch superheroes doing bad? The Boys is back. Or want some food porn? Dig into Chef's Table: BBQ.
- Best movies of 2020 so far
- Calendar of new TV shows coming this month
- The best Netflix shows to binge now
While Tenet is the first big movie to open in theaters, not all local screens have reopened for business. Nor does everyone feel comfortable going to public venues right now. Luckily, Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon are here to keep us entertained at home. Oh, and let's not forget HBO Max and Peacock, the two newest players on the streaming block. They've got interesting new offerings of their own this weekend.
Check out our guide on what to watch this weekend, Sept. 4-6.
Mulan (Disney Plus with Premier Access)
In the Before Times, Mulan would’ve come out in theaters in March, made a bazillion dollars and taken its place among Disney’s lineup of successful live-action remakes of its animated classic. Then, the pandemic struck and shut down everything. For a time, it seemed like Disney would hold Mulan, just like many other blockbusters, until theaters reopened. Instead, the film is coming out on Disney Plus Premier Access, which costs $30 on top of the monthly subscription.
Mulan looks like a gorgeous, sweeping, action-packed epic with an interesting, more modern, not-musical take on the beloved animated movie. But is it worth $30? For a family, that’s a bargain compared to going to the theater. Still, they don’t get to see the breathtaking cinematography and fight choreography on a big screen. With more people owning great home theater set-ups, and the dubious prospect of sitting in enclosed rooms with strangers for hours, $30 seems a pretty reasonable price to pay for high-quality entertainment in the comfort (and safety) of your own home.
- How to watch Mulan on Disney Plus now
The Boys season 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
First three episodes streaming now (then released weekly on Fridays)
The “superheroes are problematic” genre has really exploded in recent years, though The Boys may be the most cynical of them all. It may also be the goriest — so many exploding heads this season! The story picks up where it left off, after the titular vigilante group discovered that superheroes are made, not born. The Seven and their corporate overlords, Vought International, want to keep that a secret and will stop at nothing to prevent the Boys from revealing it.
The new episodes expand on the ideas and themes sketched in season 1, most notably the power of branding and image — call it super social media power. A particularly effective wielder of it is newcomer Stormfront (Aya Cash), who really gets under Homelander’s (Antony Starr) skin. Her character brings even more snark, if that’s possible, to The Boys. Dispensing withering one-liners is a special ability of its own.
- How to watch The Boys season 2 online
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
Charlie Kaufman’s films — from Being John Malkovich to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – have an opaque, surreal quality that make them real mind trips. His latest project is a mind trip, wrapped up in a road trip. The story follows a young woman, Cindy (Jessie Buckley), who’s driving with her boyfriend Jake (Jesse Plemons) in a snowstorm to meet her parents. Along the way, they talk about poetry and the musical Oklahoma!, all while she ruminates on the titular subject: whether to break up with him.
That’s the “plot,” as it were, but the movie is much weirder than that. Dinner with the parents is awkward and downright odd. And the movie keeps cutting to scenes of a janitor, who has some kind of unknown tie to the characters. Like most of Kaufman’s work, you’re not going to get a sense of What’s Going On Here until the end. So, buckle up for a mentally disorienting ride!
Space is certainly not the final frontier when it comes to making television. There are so many space shows, and of all different kinds, from Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica to The Orville. Netflix launches another into orbit, this one from executive producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood). And like his other projects, Away features similar heart-tugging family drama, in addition to the space stuff.
Hilary Swank stars as astronaut Emma Green, the captain of an international mission to Mars. As excited as she is about the historic undertaking, she’s also worried about her husband (Josh Charles) and teen daughter (Talitha Bateman) who are dealing with serious issues back on Earth. Home may be where her heart is, but her mind and body are with the stars.
Raised By Wolves (HBO Max)
First three episodes streaming now (then released weekly on Thursdays)
Ridley Scott directs the first two episodes of this sci-fi drama (he’s also a producer), which is more space-adjacent than space-located. After a terrible, world-destroying religious war on Earth, two androids called Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) are sent to a distant planet with human embryos. Their task is to raise these children as atheists, but in time, discover that molding their beliefs is more difficult than expected.
When a ship filled with religious zealots comes to their planet, the life they’ve built is threatened and Mother draws upon a previously unknown strength to protect her family. Like other dystopian works, Raised By Wolves uses the future to muse on today’s weighty topics like indoctrination and nature vs. nurture.
A.P. Bio season 3 (Peacock)
Streaming now on Peacock Premium (one episode on Peacock Free)
School is back in session — on Peacock, at least. A.P. Bio gets a new life (and a third season) on the new streaming service, after two low-rated seasons on NBC doomed it to cancellation. That was a shame, since the comedy has a fantastic cast led by Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswalt.
The premise is a fairly standard workplace comedy, but in a high school. Jack (Howerton) is a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who’s forced to return home to Toledo to teach advanced placement biology. As cranky, snarky Jack, Howerton taps into his inner Dennis Reynolds (from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). In season 3, Jack is more at peace with his lot in life, but the writing is still as sharp as ever, particularly for Oswalt’s Principal Durbin. A.P. Bio’s move to Peacock gets an A in our books.
Power Book II: Ghost (Starz)
First episode premieres Sunday, Sept. 6 at 9 p.m. ET (then airs weekly on Sundays)
This spinoff of Starz’s drug kingpin drama might feel like just another season, especially since the action picks up right where the original left off. But Book II is truly a spinoff since it moves focus from Power’s protagonist, the now-dead Ghost, to his wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton) and his son Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.). Think of Ned Stark’s death in Game of Thrones and how the story moved to his children.
But just as Ned’s death reverberated through the Seven Kingdoms, Ghost continues to haunt his family, since Tasha has been charged with killing the kingpin. Meanwhile, Tariq, the real murderer, attends college and falls in with queenpin Monet (Mary J. Blige).
Chef’s Table: BBQ (Netflix)
Everyone has different taste when it comes to barbecue. Me, I’m an Eastern North Carolina style (whole hog, vinegar pepper sauce) gal. But there’s such a breadth of what constitutes “barbecue” around the world and Netflix’s always stunning Chef’s Table explores four unique takes on it.
The profiled chefs are: Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ in Austin, TX; Lennox Hastie of Australia, James Beard-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott of Charleston, SC; and Rosalia Chay Chuc, an expert on Mayan cooking, specifically cochinita pibil. The show brings its usual visual flair to depict the amazing food, but it’s the deep dive into each chef’s background, history, culture and motivations that makes Chef’s Table truly :chef’s kiss: