Spring fever across the platforms
April is warming VOD platforms with sweet reboots, blooming new shows and colorful movies to celebrate spring. Covid-crippled productions, shut down mid-season, are finally releasing their long-awaited followup episodes and giving anxious fans answers to their biggest questions. Popular favorites are awash with celebrity guest stars and exciting new characters. With longtime favorites Ozark and Grace & Frankie wrapping up this month, new shows like Outer Range and Roar are expected to pick up the slack, while trippy dramedies Undone and Russian Doll continue to blow minds. Read on for this month’s freshest picks on your favorite streaming service:
Get Organized with the Home Edit (April 1) Whip your pandemic pigsty into shape with a side of wellbeing under the sunny tutelage of expert home organizers Clea and Joanna, who help celebrities and normal people contain their clutter to create stunning spaces. The home renovation genre capitalizes on the emotional link to our homes and the stuff inside it, and Reese Witherspoon’s company Hello Sunshine is aiming for that sweet spot with the bubbly duo that seem more like life coaches than closet organizers. There doesn’t appear to be much to their process besides color coordinating every object in sight into a rainbow and haunting the container store, but that may not be the point.
Russian Doll Season 2 (April 20) Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy is joining season 2 of the comedy-mystery that picks up as game developer Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) seemingly resolves the fatal time loop in which she keeps reliving the night she dies. It’s a bittersweet metaphor of working through the “underlying brokenness of the human experience … and showing up to fight another day,” in Lyonne’s words. The 8-episode second season, co-created by Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, sees Alan and Nadia return to grapple with their existential shadows, though the 48-second teaser is too high-concept for specifics; it’s expected to be just as innovative and emotionally nuanced as the critically acclaimed first season.
Ozark Season 4 Part 2 (April 29) Ozark fans, already whipped into a froth after the anxiety-cranking drama of the first half of season 4, have to wait until the end of the month until the last few episodes drop. The series, which started with Marty squirming under a mafia gun, set a high bar for tension—and with Ruth now on the hunt for revenge and the Byrds navigating the mafia, the cops, and their own destructive impulses, the wire-taut suspense is bound to snap. Will we get a Breaking Bad ending, or will the Byrdes survive?
Grace & Frankie (April 29) After Netflix surprise-released the first four episodes of the seventh and final season last year, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are back to say goodbye in 12 new episodes. According to Netflix, their 9 to 5 co-star Dolly Parton is expected to join Grace and Frankie as they navigate changes, crises and fresh starts with lots of “laughs and mood-enhancers.” The 94-episode run is the streamer’s longest-running original series.
Trivia Quest (daily starting April 1)
Metal Lords (April 8)
Better Call Saul Season 5 (April 18)
Bullsh*t: The Quiz Show Season 1 premiere (April 27)
Visit Netflix for a full list of releases.
Woke Season 2 (April 8) Cartoonist Keef (New Girl’s Lamorne Morris) is back to lampoon activist culture and the pitfalls of becoming a social justice celebrity in the second season based on the life of co-creator Keith Knight. Keef is a mild-mannered animator whose centrist social perspective changes after a traumatic police encounter, and his animations come to life to steer him toward activism. Season 2 centers around his complicated newfound popularity and brings back co-stars Blake Anderson and Sasheer Zamata.
Mayans M.C. Season 4 Premiere (April 20) Season 4 of the hit Sons of Anarchy spinoff finds the charters gunning for power as betrayal and revenge ignites all-out civil war, just as EZ tries to leave club life and find a new future with Gaby. And with members of the Sons, who’ve cast a long shadow over the series, looking to swoop in on the chaos for their own advantage, new episodes promise to be the most explosive yet.
Under the Banner of Heaven (April 28) A limited series based on Jon Krakauer’s bestselling true crime book, Detective Pyre (Andrew Garfield, perhaps drafting off his role as televangelist Jim Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye) uncovers the dark side of religious extremism while investigating a twisted double murder in a wholesome LDS community in Utah. Pyre, a mainstream Mormon, must wrestle with the disturbing fringes of his faith while taking down the School of Prophets cult; Garfield raises goosebumps as he whispers, “what if this case is just the first edge of a bone finally working its way out of our own desert’s floor?”
Love Me Season 1 (April 1)
The Hardy Boys Season 2 (April 6)
American Sicario (April 9)
The Kardashians series premiere (April 14)
Visit Hulu for a full list of releases.
All the Old Knives (April 8) – The tension of distrust and attraction between ex lovers gives the new spy thriller a bittersweet edge as two CIA agents (is Pine and Thandiwe Newton) hunt a mole behind a deadly hostage disaster. Based on the crackling Olen Steinhauer novel and also starring Laurence Fishburne and Jonathan Pryce, It’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith with a pulse and a good wardrobe.
Outer Range (April 15) Almost 15 years after his role in No Country for Old Men, Josh Brolin is putting on his cowboy boots for another high-concept Western in the thriller series about a rancher facing down hostile neighbors, a missing daughter-in-law, and a literal black hole appearing in his field. Lili Taylor and Noah Reed (Schitt’s Creek) join the supernatural mystery, and Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B signed on too. Outer Range is the latest iteration of hybrid shows looking to reimagine the American West through other genres, like Westworld.
Undone (April 29) The crazy-or-prescient dilemma gets a trippy animated treatment in the universe-bending new season of the comedy-drama series from the creators of Bojack Horseman. After a car accident, Alma starts talking to her dead father (Bob Odenkirk), discovers her ability to time-travel, and seeks to turn back the clock and prevent his death. Is she a time-skipping mage on an existential mission, or simply mentally ill? Reminiscent of Donnie Darko and A Scanner Darkly, season 2 digs deeper into the family trauma behind the mystery and forces Alma to confront foundational experiences and memories.
The Outlaws (April 1)
Bosch Season 4 (April 13)
Pass Over (April 20)
A Very British Scandal (April 22)
Bang Bang Baby (April 28)
Visit Amazon Prime for a full list of releases.
A Black Lady Sketch Show Season 3 Premiere (April 8) – The hilarious comediennes Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Skye Townsend are back for a third season of unhinged comedy madness! The gut-busting sketch show will drop six episodes crammed with more than 40 guest stars like Ava DuVernay, Vanessa Williams, Wayne Brady, Wanda Sykes, Jay Pharaoh and Tommy Davidson. Like Key & Peele, the Black-helmed show has flourished by leaning into the nuances of Black culture while avoiding reductivism; its exuberant send-ups earned multiple Emmy nods, and boasted the award’s first-ever all-Black female production team win.
Barry Season 3 (April 24) Almost three years after season 2 ended, the eponymous assassin-turned-actor is back—but after the finale’s bloodbath, leaving his past behind is proving messier than he thought. Bill Hader won two Emmys for his darkly comic performance as Barry Berkman, a contract killer entangled in a dark world and trying to rebuild himself – but can he resist his own violent impulses? Also starring Anthony Carrigan (Gotham) and Henry Winkler (Arrested Development), who also won a statue for his supporting role.
The Survivor (April 27) Based on the true story of Harry Haft, who lived through Auschwitz by winning brutal gladiator-style boxing matches with fellow prisoners and became a pro boxer in the U.S. Haunted by guilt and the life he missed, Haft decides to fight Rocky Marciano in hopes that the publicity will connect him with his lost love. Ben Foster, who lost 60 pounds for the role, commits convincingly to the ambivalence between survivor’s guilt and the defiance of his will to endure.
Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (April 5)
The Garcias Season 1 Premiere (April 14)
The Great Pottery Throwdown Season 5 Premiere (April 14)
Marlon Wayans Presents: The Headliners (April 21)
The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin (April 28)
Visit HBO Max for a full list of releases.
Explorer: The Last Tepui (April 22) –Alex Honnold (Free Solo) and other elite climbers escort a biologist on a nail-biting climb to a high-altitude plateau in the Amazon rainforest, in search of an undiscovered frog species. NatGeo has kept a tight lid on video of the first-ever 1000-foot ascent of the “sky island” with the 79-year old biologist, releasing still shots of mile-high waterfalls flowing off ancient cliffs and horrifying sheer drops. The one-hour special, aiming to highlight the vulnerability of Earth’s biodiversity, streams on Earth Day.
Ice Age: Scrat Tales Season 1 (April 13) Grab the acorns and settle in for a brand-new show that’s all about the zany adventures of prehistory’s most tenacious rodent. Six animated shorts follow clumsy saber-toothed squirrel Scrat as he adjusts to fatherhood with a brand-new nut-chasing sidekick: Baby Scrat. The beautifully choreographed physical comedy, grown-up references and unspoken parental angst will connect with adults as much as kids.
Dollface Season 2 (April 27) Almost three years after its first season premiered, Kat Dennings brings season 2 of the glittery ladypal comedy that filled the void left by Two Broke Girls. Executive produced by Dennings and Margot Robbie, the series has interesting moments where Dennings hallucinates her existential problems, and is otherwise as frothy and basic as a skinny latte. Owning a bar with pink wine on tap. Girlboss vacations where everyone talks about how much they deserved this vacation. Vibrator jokes. “I just heard the words ‘rose’ and ‘bachelor’ so YES to whatever that’s for,” says one future Supreme Court Justice.
Better Nate Than Ever (April 1)
Disneynature’s Polar Bear (April 22)
Visit Disney+ for a full list of releases.
Apple TV Plus
Slow Horses (April 1) Gary Oldman is gruff Jackson Lamb, an MI5 agent who heads up a motley crew of failed spies put out to pasture for career-ending mistakes. When they stumble on high-stakes intrigue that points to a fox in the henhouse, it’s up to Lamb and his breakfast club to save the day. Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) is sere and sinister as Lamb’s deputy director, and Mick Jagger wrote his first-ever TV theme for the witty six-episode series.
Roar (April 15) The new series from the creators of GLOW tells eight darkly comic “feminine fables” exploring the modern problems of womanhood through magical realism. The trailer shows Nicole Kidman eating a photograph and a woman (Meera Syal) returning her husband at a special store. The eight-episode show based on the 2018 short story anthology by Cecelia Ahern also stars Issa Rae, Alison Brie as a homicide victim trying to solve her own murder and Cynthia Erivo as a working mom who starts finding disturbing bite marks on her body.
Shining Girls (April 29) Emmy-winner Michelle MacLaren writes and directs a trip down a rabbit hole of trauma and memory, as a Chicago journalist (Elizabeth Moss) hunts down the man whose brutal attack changed her life. The story’s facts change with her unreliable narration, although the perp is identified to the viewer in the first episode; the point is less about solving the mystery than it’s about bearing witness to Moss’s journey to the truth through the shifting sands of her own mind.
Pine Cone & Pony (April 8)
They Call Me Magic (April 22)
Visit Apple TV+ for a full list of releases.
iCarly Season 2 Premiere (April 8) – The reboot of the 2007-2012 Nickelodeon show continues with a second season of grown-up shenanigans; Carly’s still hustling to promote her web channel, Spencer is adulting while still finding time to break in his “salsa pants,” and Freddie’s a father—and making an app! It’s a little jarring watching the goofy kids who grew up on TV break the swear jar and do rated-R stuff with the same bright overacting, body humor and pratfalls of most live-action childrens’ programs, but it’s hard not to respect Miranda Cosgrove and company for being convincingly game.
Cecilia (April 14) The charming new Spanish-language comedy series finds responsible bakery owner Cecilia (Mariana Trevino) at a codependent crossroads with her tumultuous relatives who’ve become dependent on her leadership. After suffering a stroke during a family brawl, she realizes she must step back to rebuild her life—and keep her loved ones together.
The Offer (April 28) Al Ruddy’s wild tell-all experience of making The Godfather in 1972 plays rougher than the mob classic itself. The film production threatened to expose the inner workings of a real-life criminal underground, and Producer Ruddy (Miles Teller) faced death threats and a Brando-esque mafia boss (Giovanni Ribisi in Russell Crowe makeup) to bring the story to the screen. Film nerds will slobber over sentimentalized origin stories of fan-favorite Godfather moments, like the iconic garlic slicing scene originating from Ruddy’s cooking session with Coppola. The limited series also stars Juno Temple and Colin Hanks.
The 64th Annual Grammy Awards (April 3)
Come Dance with Me (April 15)
100 Days to Fall in Love Season 1 (April 20)
Visit Paramount+ for a full list of releases.