New on streaming, May 2023: Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV+, NOW
From garish desires in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story to infamous political crimes in White House Plumbers starring Woody Harrelson, here's the best streaming TV in May
Netflix UK release date: Thursday 4 May
Before the releases of Wednesday, Stranger Things 4 and DAHMER, the silly and sexy Bridgerton was right at the top of the Netflix charts. Maybe the new spin-off series Queen Charlotte will achieve something similar, especially given the current obscurity around the release of Bridgerton, season 3.
This prequel focuses on the titular queen as a younger woman (played by India Amarteifio), beginning with her marriage to King George (Corey Mylchreest). In Bridger-verse lore, the royal pairing spread racial diversity across upper-class English society – thus creating the colourblind aristocracy of the Ton. Golda Rosheuvel and Adjoa Andoh return as the older Queen Charlotte and Lady Agatha, with new additions including Michelle Fairley as Princess Augusta and Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Ledger Bridgerton.
Hannah Gadsby: Something Special, Netflix
Netflix UK release date: Tuesday 9 May
Netflix stand-up specials are often mired in controversy: think of Jimmy Carr, Dave Chappelle, and Ricky Gervais. But thankfully, there are some progressive voices on the platform. Hannah Gadsby became a key player in the latter after their sensational and heartbreaking show Nanette, which cascaded comedy barriers around LGBTQI+ rights and sexual assault. Its follow-up, Douglas – designed like an art-history lecture – covered autism and anti-vaxxers (pre-Covid).
Now, Gadsby is embarking on their third show: Something Special. They
call it ‘feel good’, which feels almost incongruous with their usual blend of
jokes and trauma. They talk about their ADHD, their recent wedding, and a weird
encounter with a bunny.
STILL: A Michael J Fox Movie, Apple TV+
Apple TV+ release date: Friday 12 May
One difficulty with having a disability is the ableist motivation to hide it. It's even harder when you’re one of the biggest screen stars on the planet. Michael J Fox was and is an unforgettable presence in movies and TV, shooting the time-travelling classic Back to the Future and the Emmy-winning sitcom Family Ties at around the same time. At the age of 29, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and went into several years of denial before finally going public in 1998. Since then, he’s started the Michael J Fox Foundation – raising over $1.5 billion for Parkinson’s research.
This new documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), looks at Fox’s story: capturing his glorious heyday in the 1980s and leading into the secrecy and gradual acceptance of his disability.
City on Fire, Apple TV+
Apple TV+ release date: Friday 12 May
Recognise Wyatt Oleff? He played the ill-fated Stanley Uris in the IT movies and also starred in the underrated teen drama I Am Not Okay With This. Now, he takes a leading role in this new and strange Apple TV+ drama City on Fire, based on the novel by Garth Risk Hallberg.
Hallberg’s premise from the 70s to the early noughties, the series adaptation
examines the shooting of NYU student Samantha (Chase Sui Wonders) on 4 July 2003 in Central Park. Her murder connects together seemingly disparate elements, including a recent string of citywide fires, the downtown music scene,
and an affluent real-estate family with plenty of secrets to keep. Also stars Jemima Kirke (Conversations with Friends, Sex Education).
The Clearing, Disney+
Disney+ UK release date: Wednesday 24 May
Disney+ and the American streamer Hulu clearly have a liking for anything culty. Last year, they delivered the murderous Mormon drama Under the Banner of Heaven with Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones; this year, the platforms travel to Australia for The Clearing starring Guy Pearce (Mare of Easttown), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) and Teresa Palmer (A Discovery of Witches).
by The Family and its leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne – operating in Victoria from
the 1960s to the late 80s – this psychological thriller follows a secret cult that
kidnaps children in order to facilitate its master plan. Palmer plays a woman
confronting her past to stop the apocalyptic round-up.
White House Plumbers, NOW
NOW release date: Tuesday 30 May
Watching the representations of Watergate on screen delivers a detailed history of the scandal. Cinematically and chronologically, you’d start with Steven Spielberg’s The Post – about the Pentagon Papers – and then watch the Alan J Pakula classic All the President’s Men. The HBO satire White House Plumbers serves as a great in-between, following the men responsible for perpetrating the infamous, presidential burglary.
Harrelson and Justin Theroux star as E Howard Hunt and G Gordon Liddy, the former
CIA and FBI agents assigned to Richard Nixon’s Committee for the Re-Election
of the President in 1971. Following bizarre attempts at covert espionage, the next move is to break into the Democratic National Committee HQ… with
historic consequences. Also stars Lena Headey (Game of Thrones).
The full slate for streaming in May:
Monday 1 May
Fatal Attraction (Paramount+)
A Small Light (Disney+)
Love Village (Netflix)
The Tailor (Netflix)
Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All (Disney+)
Jewish Matchmaking (Netflix)
One True Loves (Prime Video)
Tom Jones (ITVX)
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Netflix)
Harriet the Spy (Apple TV+)
Silo (Apple TV+)
Beautiful Disaster (Prime Video)
Fever Pitch: The Battle for the Premier League (Paramount+)
Hannah Gadsby: Something Special (Netflix)
Ex on the Beach UK: The One That Got Away (Paramount+)
The Muppets Mayhem (Disney+)
Not Dead Yet (Disney+)
Dance Brothers (Netflix)
Missing: Dead or Alive (Netflix)
Queen Cleopatra (Netflix)
Royalteen: Princess Margrethe (Netflix)
Ultraman, season 3 (Netflix)
City on Fire (Apple TV+)
STILL: A Michael J. Fox Documentary (Apple TV+)
Black Knight (Netflix)
The Mother (Netflix)
Queer Eye, season 7 (Netflix)
Wire Room (Paramount+)
Ten Pound Poms (BBC iPlayer)
Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me (Netflix)
Abbot Elementary, season 2, part 2 (Disney+)
Rhythm + Flow France, season 2 (Netflix)
Working: What We Do All Day (Netflix)
The Never-Ending Murder (Prime Video)
Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight (ITVX)
XO, Kitty (Netflix)
Yakitori: Soldiers of Misfortune (Netflix)
Last King of the Cross (NOW)
The Family Stallone (Paramount+)
No Escape (Paramount+)
Stillwater, season 3 (Apple TV+)
White Men Can’t Jump (Disney+)
Selling Sunset, season 6 (Netflix)
Prehistoric Planet, season 2 (Apple TV+)
Wanda Sykes: I'm An Entertainer (Netflix)
Platonic (Apple TV+)
American Born Chinese (Disney+)
The Clearing (Disney+)
The Ultimatum: Queer Love (Netflix)
James May: Oh Cook!, season 2 (Prime Video)
Blood and Gold (Netflix)
The Gymnasts (Paramount+)
Elvis’ Women (Prime Video)
Son of a Critch (Paramount+)
White House Plumbers (NOW)