What to Stream: ‘Tehran,’ ‘The Big Conn,’ ‘The Circle,’ ‘Girls5Eva’

The best TV shows and movies this week include two ambitious series on Apple TV+, a spy thriller ‘Tehran’ and a true-crime docuseries
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Apple TV+ is increasingly coming into its own, with a pair of slick new TV titles this weekend that should help elevate the iPhone maker’s Netflix alternative even more. They include the Israeli spy thriller Tehran, which is back for its second season. There’s also a true-crime drama hitting the streamer — The Big Conn, built around a truly outlandish story. Beyond Apple TV+, though, our list of what to stream this weekend also includes more comfort TV from Netflix. As well as buzzy originals from HBO Max, Amazon’s Prime Video service, and more.

Below, as always, we’ve included the usual summaries for each of the new titles on our list. Along with trailers, and release dates.

Tehran

In retrospect, it’s impressive how quickly Apple TV+ has come into its own — standing up a credible alternative to an established streaming service like Netflix. Despite, of course, having a fraction of the library and only being a little over two years old. And let’s not forget: The iPhone maker was also the first streamer to win a Best Picture Oscar, something Netflix has for years been campaigning hard for.

This year, especially, Apple has teed up a string of top-notch, critically acclaimed new series — including Pachinko, the dystopian workplace drama Severance, and the Gary Oldman-led thriller Slow Horses, about an office of washed-up spies. To this list, we can add Tehran, a series starring actress Niv Sultan as a Mossad spy and hacker who, in the show’s first season, was tasked with sneaking into Tehran and subverting the computer security at an Iranian nuclear facility so that an Israeli attack could take place.

Part of what made the first series of Tehran, which is definitely in the top tier of Apple TV+ releases thus far, so gripping is the degree to which Sultan’s character Tamar Rabinyan has to adapt after everything keeps going wrong. Turns out, by the end of Season 1, we learn that she’s been hindered by a traitor secretly working against her the whole time. And when the credits finally roll on the first season of this John le Carre-worthy drama, Tamar is in the wind. Stuck inside Tehran, but still chomping at the bit to finish her mission. This is a can’t-miss, well-acted, and tightly-written series for fans of espionage thrillers.
Tehran Season 2 debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, May 6.

The Big Conn

Once you’re caught up with this week’s episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul, it might be worth heading over, again, to Apple TV+ which has a new docuseries coming this weekend that’s got plenty of Saul Goodman energy.

Talk about the bad guy of the story living up to his name. Unlike the fictional Goodman, though, Eric C. Conn is a real former lawyer who was living the high life in eastern Kentucky. That is, until two whistleblowers turned him in — and it eventually became clear that Conn was at the center of one of the largest frauds in US history, totaling more than half a billion dollars. With apologies to SNL’s breathy-voiced Stefon, this series has everything. The biggest con in the history of the Social Security Administration. And a lawyer who wore a shit-eating grin on billboards, who got married at least 16 times, who once owned a Halloween-themed brothel in Thailand, and dared anyone to stop him.
The Big Conn debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, May 6.

The Circle (Season 4)

Reality series dominate the daily Netflix Top 10 list with increasing regularity these days. It’s hard to make great TV, but comparatively easier to just make a lot of TV. Game shows (like Netflix’s Is It Cake?) and reality series are easy wins, put points on the board, and are a sure-fire way to rack up hours viewed on the platform. Which is why Netflix is adding a fourth season of The Circle to that guilty-pleasure pile.

The show is a sort of social network-y spin on the Big Brother reality series. Here, a group of participants co-exist in a house, but they don’t meet each other face-to-face. They communicate, get to know each other, and form alliances via chats, sharing photos, and sending direct messages. Some of them operate as catfishes, which can be a chore and a hard ruse to maintain, the longer they stay in the competition.

The participants eventually vote on a single winner, who walks away with a cash prize. Just like on social media, anyone can be anyone they want to be inside “the circle.”
The first four episodes of The Circle Season 4 are now streaming on Netflix, with subsequent episodes to come weekly.

Happening

If you’ve even half-paid attention to the national news cycle this week, you’ll already know why the French abortion drama Happening that’s set in the France of the 1960s is so timely.

The movie actually found its perfect moment by accident. The leak of a draft majority US Supreme Court opinion suggests the high court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and give states the power to allow or prohibit abortion. The latter being something that many Republican-controlled statehouses are already ready to implement. Happening tells the story of a young woman in France on the cusp of adulthood. She’s trying to balancing pursue her dreams, when she is confronted with the risk of imprisonment (and the risk to her health) in order to get an abortion. At a time when it was illegal and perilous to do so.
Happening hits video on demand channels on Friday, May 6.

The Wilds

Season two of this Prime Video original hits Amazon’s service this weekend. In case you missed the inaugural set of episodes, Amazon describes the show as part survival drama, part slumber party.

Season two, according to the official summary, will continue to follow “the harrowing ordeal of a group of teenage girls stranded on a deserted island, and they didn’t end up there by accident — they’ve secretly been recruited into an elaborate social experiment. The new season ratchets up the drama by revealing that the girls aren’t the only ones being studied … there’s a new set of subjects, an island of teenage boys, who must also fight for survival under the watchful eye of the experiment’s puppet master.”
The Wilds Season 2 debuts on Prime Video on May 6.

The Staircase

Colin Firth stars in this new 8-episode HBO Max release that true-crime fans will definitely want to put on their list. Firth portrays novelist Michael Peterson, in this dramatization of his life, his North Carolina family, and the suspicions surrounding the death of his wife Kathleen Peterson.
The Staircase is now streaming on HBO Max.

Girls5eva

For a lot of people, Tina Fey’s name alone will be enough to convince them to try this Peacock comedy. Fey created this charming series, which catches up years later with a girl group that was big in the 90s. When a hot rapper samples their music, the ladies decide to reunite to try and pursue their dream anew.
Girls5eva Season 2 is now streaming on Peacock.


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