From a star-studded spy thriller worthy of John le Carre debuting on Apple TV+ this weekend, to a new Marvel superhero solo story arriving on Disney+ — plus new shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, and more — there’s once again a ton of content to stream this weekend that should keep anyone looking for a new show or movie entertained.
Below, we’ve got your usual assortment of new shows to stream over the weekend. Plus their descriptions, as well as trailers to check out.
Given Apple’s big showing at the Oscars last weekend — and, more specifically, the comeuppance it delivered to Netflix in the Best Picture category — we’ll start things off here with the big star-packed Apple TV+ release coming Friday. It’s an adaptation of the first installment in Mick Herron’s Slow Horses series of spy novels. With a stellar cast that includes Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jonathan Pryce, and Olivia Cooke.
At the heart of this story are the sort of washed-up, also-ran caliber of spies who might comprise something akin to Homeland’s B-Team. Oldman here plays the irascible, unpleasant, but deceptively brilliant Jackson Lamb. He leads an MI5 office whose members have all, in one way or another, made a career-ending mistake. The kind of mistake that gets the screw-ups unceremoniously shunted out to the hinterlands — specifically, to “Slough House,” from which the team gets its derisive “slow horses” moniker.
As Herron writes about the aforementioned Slough House, home turf of the spies that MI5 would prefer to forget: “Those who labor here are not so well regarded that their comfort is deemed as being of account. They’re meant to sit and perform their tasks with the minimum of distraction.” That is, until a very real, and very horrifying terrorist plot lands in their laps. Giving the slow horses a chance to not only come to the rescue — but maybe even rejoin their colleagues operating at the vanguard of the Great Game.
Postscript: For more evidence of how much of a push Apple is giving to this series? None other than the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger was enlisted to contribute his first TV theme. The tune is a track called Strange Game. Debuts Friday, April 1, on Apple TV+
Movies about making movies can be a pleasant form of entertainment — and, on rare occasions, even a staggering work of breathtaking genius (see 2011’s The Artist). Another possibility? That the whole thing becomes an overlong indulgence on the part of the filmmaker. The new Netflix original movie The Bubble from director Judd Apatow will try to squeeze into one of those categories when it debuts this weekend. Or perhaps create some kind of all-new, Apatow-ian class all its own.
The story: A group of actors is making an action movie sequel in 2020 as part of a franchise that includes flying dinosaurs. But then, plot twist. They have to put the movie on pause and quarantine themselves at a hotel. Because of … well, take one guess. With a cast that includes Leslie Mann, Borat’s Maria Bakalova, Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, David Duchovny, and Benedict Cumberbatch, this one has certainly got plenty of comedic potential. Maybe also sprinkled with a bit of “it might be too soon for this one.” Streaming on Netflix April 1
Following shows dedicated to characters like Wanda Maximoff and Hawkeye, another member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a solo series on Disney+. That’s thanks to the arrival of the Oscar Isaac-led Moon Knight.
This one will definitely bring an entirely new tone to the MCU. Moon Knight’s central character is Steven Grant (Isaac), a museum gift shop employee. He starts to suffer from blackouts and recurring memories from another life. From Disney’s description, “Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.” Now streaming on Disney+
Chris Pine plays a down-on-his-luck military contractor in this action thriller reminiscent of the Jason Bourne franchise.
He starts out as a career US Army man who gets decommissioned, and then his personal finances go south fast. That forces him into the shadowy but lucrative world of military contract work. He soon finds himself in a mess, fulfilling a dubious mission with plenty of shootouts along the way. Plus taut action scenes, and an adequate enough of a story to keep action fans entertained for the duration of The Contractor’s 103-minute runtime. Available via video on demand platforms on April 1
Fresh off of the release of The Dropout, Hulu brings another adaptation of a real-life scandal to fruition in the form of this dramatization of a now infamous texting-suicide legal case. In The Girl from Plainville, Elle Fanning plays Michele Carter, the young woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for using text messages to convince her boyfriend to kill himself.
This limited series is based on an Esquire article exploring the unprecedented court case around this series of events. Because, for one thing, it raised questions the legal system heretofore didn’t seem adequately prepared to handle. Now streaming on Hulu
Netflix is increasingly branching out beyond its core competencies of making original TV shows and movies. The streamer has, for example, started offering free casual mobile video games to subscribers to play. And on April 1, the streamer will try something else that’s new. Its first daily, interactive trivia series, in the form of a new show called Trivia Quest. Which might actually be perfect for any of you who might be a little tired of Wordle.
From Netflix: “One new episode will be available every day in April (30 total), with each episode featuring 24 questions (12 standard and 12 hard) across categories including science, history, entertainment, sports, art and geography. Each question is a multiple-choice play, with four potential answers to choose from.” Debuts on Netflix April 1
Incidents from when we were children, during our school years, can have such long-lasting resonance over the course of a life. What if someone was able to track down students from the same elementary school, to talk about an episode like a bullying incident? That’s what this Oscar-nominated documentary short film from Jay Rosenblatt sets out to do. He meets back up with some members from his fifth grade class, and they have an important conversation about a bullying incident on the schoolyard 50 years ago. Now streaming on HBO Max
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