With new shows, returning favourites, and feature films, Amazon and Netflix have a lot to offer next month
Summertime is usually a quiet period on our TV screens, as broadcasters plug scheduling gaps with live sport and repeats of family favourites. But Amazon and Netflix mustn’t have gotten the memo, with June packed full of a number of debuts and returning shows. Here’s Newstalk’s pick of the best new releases coming this month...
Not content with Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman, actor Will Arnett continues to be Netflix’s MVP, returning for a second season of this comic drama. Arnett stars as Chip, a recovering alcoholic in Venice Beach, who falls for a new waitress (Irish actress Ruth Kearney) in town.
This four-hour documentary from director Amir Bar-Lev and executive producer Martin Scorsese is billed as the definitive look at the iconic band the Grateful Dead. Showing how the band got together, how they found their sound, and charting the intense burden of fans that followed them all across the United States, Long Strange Trip should offer everyone a newfound appreciation of the band’s music and its place in American pop culture.
Another documentary series from Amazon, this time focussing on one of the world’s most famous and gruelling motoring competitions – France’s 24-hour Le Mans race. With speeding cars, voice-overs from motoring legends, history, crashes, tension and death, Amazon is revving up anticipation for the show as it follows six teams during the 2016 race.
After the fourth season ended with a cliffhanger, OITNB returns for a new season that promises to shake things up; with a riot underway in Litchfield penitentiary – not to mention a gun in the hands of the inmates – all 13 episodes take place across a single weekend, with relationships pushed to breaking point.
From writer-director Oren Uziel comes this indie feature film of a bank heist gone wrong. Told backwards, reversing day by day through the week, Benjamin Walker’s Sheriff Zeke Sikes will try to figure out what happened. With a cast of instantly recognisable character actors (Wyatt Russell, Rainn Wilson, John Michael Higgins, Adam Pally, Ron Livingston, Rob Corddry), the Netflix film promises a new take on small time crooks.
Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany took home the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ in 2016 for this sci-fi series, though she just as easily could have taken nods for ‘Supporting’ and ‘Guest Star’ in the same show – she’s played no fewer than 11 different characters in the first four seasons. In a show about genetic engineering and cloning, the show enters its final season this month, with the cult favourite a critical darling as well.
For those missing their fix of Narcos, this Spanish-language co-production between Netflix and Univision tells the story of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord. With his criminal activities starting in the 1980s, the show has decades of his activities to explore, complete with infamous escapes and signature patterned shirts.
Starring Community graduate Alison Brie and podcasting star Marc Maron, this 1980s-set comedy-drama series revolves around a fictionalised account of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). That was the name of a 1980s syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit, with the show promising plenty of camp and hilarious throwbacks to the bouts within the ring.
While this feature film may not have made the splash at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival that Netflix would have wanted, the cast alone is enough to attract most audiences. Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal, and newcomer Ahn Seo-hyun star in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s new environmental fantasy. Co-written by Jon Ronson, the story revolves around a young girl named Mija, who must risk everything to prevent a global conglomerate after it kidnaps her best friend – a genetically modified pig named Okja.
Naomi Watts, currently starring in Twin Peaks: The Return, makes the move from big screen to small with this psychological drama. She plays Jean Holloway, a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’ lives. Billy Crudup plays her husband Michael, while Fifty Shades of Grey helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson directs some of the episodes.