Hollywood is Ryan Murphy’s latest project for Netflix.
Hollywood is Ryan Murphy’s latest project for Netflix.

Everything new to streaming in May

From a slick new series from a Hollywood power player to cheeky and fresh historical comedies, there's a bevy of eye candy for the discerning viewer this month.

Here are our highlights, and you'll find the full lists past the recommendations.

Hollywood (Netflix, May 1): Ryan Murphy's slick new series is catnip to all those tragics (myself included) who can't get enough of Hollywood history. Set in the post-WWII years, it charts the ambitions, successes and disappointments of a group of up-and-comers in that most dizzying of towns for dreamers, Los Angeles.

ZeroZeroZero (SBS On Demand, May 14): Based on a book by Roberto Saviano, this crime drama stars Gabriel Byrne, Andrea Riseborough and Dane DeHaan. The series follows a shipment of cocaine from Mexico to Italy which is unexpectedly rerouted to Africa, setting off countless headaches for all the parties, especially the American shipping company that's acting as a broker.

Run (Foxtel Now, May 7): Created by Vicky Jones and produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Run stars Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson as two former lovers who, as college students, made a pact that if one of them texts the other "RUN" and the other replies the same, they are to meet each other on the first train out of New York's Grand Central Station after 5pm. Charged, funny and super compulsive viewing.

 

Ruuuunnn!
Ruuuunnn!

 

Homecoming S2 (Amazon Prime, May 22): A suspenseful and tense psychological thriller, Homecoming returns without Julia Roberts (who is still an executive producer) but adds Janelle Monae, Joan Cusack and Chris Cooper to its original cast Stephan James and Hong Chau. The series features a shadowy corporation playing with people's memories.

Rick & Morty S4 (Netflix, May 6): The second five episodes of Rick and Morty season four starts this month, the absurd and strange cartoon about a mad scientist and his weird grandson. Expect this season to have the same brand of offbeat humour and meta-meta-meta references.

Ramy S2 (Stan, May 30): American comedian Ramy Youssef's acclaimed dramedy returns for a second season after collecting a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a TV Comedy earlier this year. The story of a young Muslim-American man growing up in New Jersey, the series explores questions of faith, family and desire.

The Lovebirds (Netflix, May 22): Starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, this rom-com caper was originally slated for a cinema release, but Netflix bought up the global rights after the pandemic scarpered those original plans. The pair play a couple who accidentally stumble into a murder plot while out for the night. Has serious Date Night vibes.

 

Date Night 2.0.
Date Night 2.0.

 

The Eddy (Netflix, May 8): American filmmaker Damien Chazelle cannot resist a jazz story and with The Eddy, his first TV series, he returns to the smoky and sweaty confines of a jazz club, this time in Paris. The eight-episode miniseries is centred on a band's origin story while also delving into some family drama. Stars Moonlight's Andre Holland and The Hate U Give's Amandla Stenberg.

Upload (Amazon Prime, May 1): The Office US creator Greg Daniels dips his toe into the teeming "afterlife" genre with a comedy set in the not too distant future in which humans can upload their memories and consciousness into a simulation after death. While you're promised a paradise, what you find is more like a continuation of late-stage capitalism where companies charge you $3 for a can of Coke from your fake minibar fridge. Also, there's a murder mystery.

Trying (Apple TV+, May 1): Starring Rafe Spall, Esther Smith and Imelda Staunton, this new British comedy follows a couple who desperately want to have a baby. When they decide to try to adopt instead, it's not quite the process they thought it was going to be.

Happy Endings S1-3 (SBS On Demand, May 2): This under-appreciated, three-season American comedy about a group of friends starred Adam Pally, Casey Wilson and Damon Wayans Jr and is often included on "cancelled too soon" lists. A must-watch for anyone who loves sitcoms about six friends and all the dysfunctional things in their lives.

 

Choose your own Kimmy Schmidt adventure.
Choose your own Kimmy Schmidt adventure.

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend (Netflix, May 12): Kimmy Schmidt returns for one last adventure in this interactive special - yeah, like that choose your own adventure Black Mirror one-off. The choices you'll have to make include picking Kimmy's wedding dress and steps to defeat Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne for good.

Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (Disney+, May 4): If you love both The Mandalorian and behind-the-scenes featurettes, Disney is giving you a supercharged dose of both in this eight-part docuseries. The series promises to pull the curtain back on everything from the story process to the puppetry. What it probably won't tell you is Baby Yoda's origins - you'll have to wait for that.

Space Force (Netflix, May 29): The Office alums Greg Daniels and Steve Carell reunite in this workplace sitcom they created together. The comedy starring Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz and Noah Emmerich follow the people tasked with establishing the space division of the US army. What could do wrong?

 

Excuse the wide lapels, it was 2002. Picture: HBO via AP
Excuse the wide lapels, it was 2002. Picture: HBO via AP

Looking for things to pass the time? The best shows to watch, the funniest videos, the best hacks? Find it all at our Life (goes on) in Lockdown section

Bad Education (Foxtel Now, May 17): Hugh Jackman is earning rave plaudits for his role as an American school superintendent who, along with his deputy, attempt fraud in the wild true story of a massive embezzlement case. The TV movie also stars Allison Janney, Ray Romano and Australian Geraldine Viswanathan.

Billions S5 (Stan, May 3): The world of high finance and high backstabbing returns for a fifth season. After the intense season four finale, the series has reset itself so that its most fearsome rivalry is back on: Axe versus Chuck, with Taylor in the middle, poised to bring them both down. In addition to the already teeming cast, Corey Stoll joins this season as a billionaire philanthropist.

Project Nim (DocPlay, May 7): A fascinating 2012 documentary that looks into a project mounted in the 1970s over whether a chimpanzee could learn to communicate with humans through sign language. Fun fact, the head researcher named the chimp Nim Chimpsky as a sledge against rival, renowned linguist Noam Chomsky.

Snowpiercer (Netflix, undated): A TV adaptation of Bong Joon-ho's dystopian 2013 movie has been in the works for some years, and this month we finally get to see it. Set on board on deeply socially stratified train in a post-apocalyptic world, the TV version stars Daveed Diggs, Jennifer Connelly and Mickey Sumner.

 

Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great.
Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great.

RELATED: Normal People is a sensual, intimate love story

The Great (Stan, May 16): Helen Mirren played Catherine the Great in her later years in a recent HBO miniseries but here comes a wildly different take on the Russian Empress, set during her youth with Elle Fanning in the lead role alongside Nicholas Hoult and Gwilym Lee. It's a heavily fictionalised telling of Catherine's journey of young outsider at court to the woman who would rule.

High Life (Stan, May 28): French filmmaker Claire Denis' sci-fi horror is a challenging and provocative movie - as all Denis films are. Starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth and Juliette Binoche, it takes place on a spaceship hurtling towards a black hole with a scientist and a group of prisoners aboard. It's visually arresting, deeply uncomfortable and one of the most intriguing films out this month on streaming.

Belgravia (Foxtel Now, May 24): Adapted by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes from his own book, this historical drama series takes place among the posh old money families of London and a new money family whose secrets are tied into the fates of the Count and Countess of Brockenhurst. It stars Tamsin Greig, Harriet Walter and Tom Wilkinson.

Share your TV and movies obsessions | @wenleima

 

 



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