‘Futurama,’ ‘What We Do In The Shadows,’ and More!
Like the muggy breeze from a swamp cooler, July is belching out a midsummer gust of entertainment on streaming platforms: returning hit shows like Futurama and What We Do in the Shadows, anticipated new series like The Horror of Dolores Roach, and innovative documentaries about Oscar De La Hoya and 80’s hair metal. Viewers can look forward to groundbreaking reality shows like travel series Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins, standup specials with Tom Segura and Kevin Hart, and action-packed feature films like The Beanie Bubble and Bird Box Barcelona. In corporate gameplay, Paramount+ merged with Showtime last month and now share titles like Special Ops: Lioness and the Wilt Chamberlain documentary Goliath. Check out the latest July releases for your next must-see:
Wham! (July 5) – Never-before-seen footage and interviews trace the phenomenal 4-year arc of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, school friends who became music superstars when they formed the pop duo Wham! The documentary directed by Chris Smith (Fyre, Tiger King) follows the ups and downs of their fame, charting the rise and breakup of the record-breaking teens with fresh footage and media from their personal archives. Touching on Michael’s experience as a closeted gay man and the band’s experience as the first Western group to perform in China, the documentary highlights Wham!’s role in epitomizing the youthful, ambitious spirit of the era.
Bird Box Barcelona (July 14) – The blind terror stalking the hit 2018 movie has spread to Europe in the Spanish-language spinoff to Bird Box, following a group clinging to life after horrifying entities invade earth and trigger suicides upon sight. A father and daughter roam the abandoned streets of Barcelona in search of other survivors, forming alliances and dodging apocalypse cults in a desperate bid to escape the city. Produced by the same team behind the original film, the look-and-you-die thriller boasts evolving monsters and maniacal humans steering the chaos to their own dark interests.
Tom Segura: Sledgehammer (July 4) – Life’s a bit for Netflix veteran Tom Segura as the acclaimed comic takes the stage in front of a sold-out Phoenix crowd to riff on family, fatherhood and celebrities in his fifth standup special for the streamer. The Austin-based actor, author and podcaster explains his admiration for Brad Pitt, shares weed gummies with his mom, and describes his crisis-fueled excitement at calling 911 after his wife fell down the stairs – reining in his glee as he realizes how the situation looks. Segura’s comic wit lurks in muttered asides punctuated by breathlessly amoral takes delivered with a mischievous-kid grin: no one, including his dying father, is safe from his signature slow-scorching.
The Deepest Breath (July 19) – Plumb the fathoms of human nature chasing its own limits in a moving documentary The Hollywood Reporter calls “Free Solo in descent.” A champion freediver trains to break a world record with the help of an expert safety diver, and the two form an emotional but fateful bond that would end in tragedy. This gorgeous film follows the paths the athletes took to meet at the pinnacle of the freediving world, documenting the thrilling rewards — and inescapable risks – of extreme sport. Director Laura McGann combines tight, crowded shots of team training with panoramic views of solo swimmers dwarfed by dim underwater expanses, hammering home the dangerous scope and camaraderie of competitive freediving.
Hack My Home Season 1 (July 7)
Unknown: Killer Robots (July 10)
Paradise (July 27)
Happiness for Beginners (July 27)
Visit Netflix for a full list of releases.
Futurama Season 11 (July 24) – “Wanna go around again?” asks Futurama’s Twitter page, and fans are saying – maybe! Ten years after its latest reincarnation, Hulu has revived the beloved space comedy from cryo-sleep for a third rebirth after nail-biting negotiations with Bender voice actor Billy West. (Futurama originally aired from 1999 to 2003 on Fox and on Comedy Central from 2008 to 2013.) The synopsis for season 11 promises to tie up storylines for longtime fans while introducing the show to new viewers, but a recent trailer chock-full of topical humor has had a cool reception so far. One Twitter user commented, “very bummed that Futurama started as this brilliant 90s retro-futurist series that shifted to this weird parallel-futurist series ever since it was rebooted the first time.” Another commenter agreed, “I don’t want jokes about crypto or covid testing… Futurama’s strength was their original ideas.” Will the intrepid space delivery crew fall victim to South Park-esque meta-jokes in an effort to broaden their viewership, or will it stand strong on the narrative humor that endeared it to fans in the first place?
What We Do in the Shadows Season 5 (July 14) – Jemaine Clement’s and Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary continues to suck in the best way: renewed for seasons 5 and 6, the series continues to backflip off unlikely character pairings to drive the story. Lazlo and Baby Colin’s father/son dynamic comes to a crashing halt when Colin grows into his previous bland self with no memory of his upbringing, while Nadja starts over with the support of her new buddy the Vampire Council Guide (Kirsten Schaal) after burning down her nightclub for the insurance money. Most shocking of all: Nandor’s familiar Guillermo, frustrated by Nandor’s neglect, turns to a friend to finally transform him into a creature of the night –and it’s bound to have vast repercussions for everyone.
A Little White Lie (July 14) – Impostor syndrome, creative insecurity and academic absurdity drive this simple-hearted independent dramedy based on the book Shriver by Chris Belden. Shriver (Michael Shannon), a down-on-his-luck handyman who has never read a book in his life, is mistaken for a famous but reclusive writer who’s been in hiding for over 20 years. With nothing to lose, he accepts an invitation to attend a college literary festival and finds himself surrounded by adoring fans and an English professor (Kate Hudson) who captures his heart. After wringing out his ya-ya’s with young women and whiskey, Shriver decides to shape up for his shot at love, including delivering a keynote address to save the festival–until the real Shriver (Zach Braff) shows up.
Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins (July 12) – Life begins where your comfort zone ends in this joyful NatGeo adventure series with travel journalist Jeff Jenkins, as he travels the world to test his physical limits: climbing a 70-foot cliff face, rafting class 5 rapids, learning the art of sumo wrestling, and sailing in a windstorm. Jeff connects with global communities and takes on thrilling challenges to inspire those who look like him to push past their perceived limitations and explore the world without fear.
The Ashley Madison Affair: Complete Docuseries (July 7)
The Jewel Thief (July 13)
Justified: City Primeval (July 19)
Visit Hulu for a full list of releases.
The Horror of Dolores Roach Season 1 (July 7) – Based on the hit fiction podcast series of the same name, the contemporary Sweeney Todd-inspired movie uses cannibalism as a metaphor for gentrification in this darkly funny tale about love, betrayal and survival of the fittest. Dolores Roach (Justina Machado, One Day at a Time) leaves prison after a 16-year stint for pot possession and returns to a gentrified Washington Heights she hardly recognizes. She sets up an off-the-books massage parlor under her friend’s empanada restaurant in an effort to go straight, but all bets are off after a deadly encounter with a sleazy landlord. Her newfound stability threatened, Dolores is driven to shocking extremes to survive. A gifted ensemble cast includes Alejandro Hernandez (New Amsterdam), Marc Maron (GLOW), Jeffery Self (Spoiler Alert), Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience), and Cyndi Lauper as a private investigator
The Portable Door (July 7) – Sam Neill, Christoph Waltz and Miranda Otto lend star power to this fantasy adventure adaptation of Tom Holt’s early-aughts novel, following lowly interns Sophie and Paul who discover magic and danger at their mysterious London firm. Turns out charismatic CEO (Waltz) and middle manager (Neill) are disrupting the supernatural realm by bringing modern corporate strategy to ancient magical practices, and with the help of a trans-spacetime doorway, the young clerks uncover the vast corporation’s true agenda. The Jim Henson Company elevates the film’s fantasy elements while the narrative stays sharp but kid-accessible, mixing the practical and magical a la Roald Dahl and Harry Potter.
Unseen (July 23) – Two women form a life-and-death connection when depressed gas station clerk Sam (Jolene Purdy) receives a random mis-dial from Emily (Midori Francis), a nearly blind woman who is running from her murderous ex (Michael Patrick Lane) in the woods. Sam becomes Emily’s only chance for survival as she guides the terrified woman through a video call – complicated by her own quickly escalating crisis at the mini mart. While Francis and Purdy offer fully developed character performances, critics are panning the film’s villains as campy, one-dimensional caricatures that tokenize identity-based social issues.
Deadloch (June 3)
There’s Something Wrong with the Children (June 12)
Good Omens Season 2 (July 28)
Visit Amazon Prime for a full list of releases.
Full Circle (July 13) – The Steven Soderbergh-directed limited series carries the tagline “everything is connected,” a narrative promise linking the highrise to the hood as a tale of high-stakes secrets and shady dealings unfolds across New York City’s social strata. An investigation into the botched kidnapping of a wealthy family’s son uncovers a suspicious connection to Guyana, with deadly generational secrets and sinister motives impacting characters and cultures citywide. The sweeping modern crime drama stars Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes, Jharrel Jerome, Timothy Olyphant, CCH Pounder, Dennis Quaid and Jim Gaffigan.
Project Greenlight: A New Generation (July 13) – The Ben Affleck/Matt Damon documentary series that offers an unknown filmmaker a chance to direct a feature film is debuting an 8-episode revival, produced by none other than Issa Rae. Project Greenlight will focus on the next generation of talented female filmmakers, with the opportunity to receive mentorship from industry greats— and Rae herself serving as an executive producer and creative guide. The finished film will then premiere on HBO Max.
The Golden Boy (July 24) – An almost unrecognizable Oscar de la Hoya sits for a candid black-and-white interview in the new two-part documentary that peeks behind the polished façade of the multi-world title winning boxer. Executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and told through a series of interviews and rare footage, The Golden Boy explores the highs and lows of superstardom as the charismatic Olympian rocketed to fame both in and out of the ring. From the pressures of being a hometown hero and role model to the Mexican-American community, to the lifelong demons he struggled with, De La Hoya offers a searing look at the impossible burden of a nickname he couldn’t live up to.
Gray Matter (July 13)
After the Bite (July 26)
Visit HBO Max for a full list of releases.
Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire (July 5) – Afro-futurism meets the mouse in an action-packed animated sci-fi anthology that presents ten pioneering visions from Africa inspired by the continent’s diverse histories and cultures. Executive produced by Oscar-winning director Peter Ramsey, these ten short films made by a new generation of animators draw on uniquely African perspectives to imagine brave new worlds of advanced technology, aliens, spirits, and monsters. Buckle up for fantastical visual storytelling featuring breakout talent from Egypt, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda and Kenya.
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse: Steamboat Silly (July 28) – A new original short celebrates the origin of the iconic mouse in an old-meets-new cartoon mashup, as part of Disney’s 100-year celebration. After reuniting with his old friend Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse must stop multiple versions of the vintage Mickey from causing chaos in town. The episode, animated in retro style, pays homage to the iconic 1928 cartoon short that marked Mickey Mouse’s debut and introduced him as a beloved character to audiences worldwide. Select vintage shorts will also air on Disney starting July 7.
SharkFest Series (July 2) – NatGeo’s annual ode to the ocean’s apex predator returns with 72 hours of jaw-snapping programming, bringing in top tier technology and leading industry experts for a deep dive into the world of sharks. Among terror-farming sharksploitation titles like “Cannibal Sharks” and “Sharks vs. Dolphins: Blood Battle” are less splashy documentaries examining features like camouflage and migration patterns. Filming more than a dozen species from around the globe to capture rare events and behavior, the series promises to showcase the captivating science, power and beauty of the toothy sea beast.
Yuzuru Hanyu Ice Story 2023 ‘Gift’ at Tokyo Dome (July 4)
Secret Invasion Episodes 3-6 (every Wednesday)
Visit Disney+ for a full list of releases.
Foundation Season 2 (July 14) – Based on the planet-hopping novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire. More than a century after the season one finale, tension mounts throughout the galaxy as societies unravel and a vengeful queen plots to destroy the Empire from within. The series adaptation lassos a complex, scattered saga into coherence, following four key individuals transcending space and time as they face deadly crises, shifting loyalties and complicated relationships that will ultimately determine the fate of humanity. With apple-crisp production design, flawless special effects, and dramatic performances by Emmy-nominated actors Jared Harris and Lee Pace, the series does Asimov proud.
Stephen Curry: Underrated (July 21) – Emmy-winning filmmaker Peter Nicks uproots the source of Golden State Warriors all-star Stephen Curry’s motivation in an emotional documentary, tracking the athlete from an undersized, underestimated player at a small Division I college to a four-time NBA champion. Blending intimate behind-the-scenes footage with deafening playoff clips and in-depth interviews, the documentary reveals how Curry capitalized on his differences to build one of the most dominant and influential sports dynasties in the history of the game.
The Beanie Bubble (July 28) – Ty Warner (Zach Galifianakis, nearly anonymous without his beard) is a frustrated toy salesman until his collaboration with three women grows his pet idea into the biggest toy craze in history. But as the lunacy of American capitalism plays out with Beanie Baby consumers and creators alike, Warner is confronted with his own rotten value system and the downsides of masterminding a pop culture zeitgeist. The trailer is backed by Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity,” the film’s dramatic tagline sitting like a row of the floppy stuffed toys: “Fortune. Fame. Betrayal. Greed. Power. Collect them all.” Flashback to the 90’s and early aughts with a supporting cast that includes Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snookand Geraldine Viswanathan.
Hijack – continuing (Wednesdays)
Afterparty Season 2 (delayed from April 28)
Visit Apple TV+ for a full list of releases.
Special Ops: Lioness (June 27) – Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan is trading the frontier for the fifth column with a new female-led spy thriller series packed with international intrigue. Inspired by a real-life CIA program, Special Ops follows Joe (Zoe Saldaña), a station chief who trains and leads new recruits on undercover missions for the terror-fighting Lioness Program. But the mission gets complicated when a young Marine (Laysla De Oliveira) is enlisted to go undercover with Joe and befriend the daughter of a billionaire with ties to terrorist groups. The series also boasts the star power of Nicole Kidman, Michael Kelly and Morgan Freeman.
Goliath (July 14) – A new three-part docuseries hails legendary seven-foot-tall center Wilt Chamberlain as “the first rock n roll superstar in basketball,” and a “brash and confident Renaissance man who invented the world famous photogenic black millionaire basketball player.” AI was used to recreate the hall of famer’s voice to narrate his own story, presented along with candid interviews and footage of Chamberlain’s epic career and extravagant off-court life. From his emergence on the national scene as a high schooler in the 50’s to his public life as a sports celebrity, Chamberlain broke barriers, followed his own standards and reveled in the spotlight. Racking up splashy romantic exploits and drawing attention to political and civil rights issues, the record-breaking athlete lived life on an epic scale and impacted American culture forever.
I Wanna Rock: The ‘80s Metal Dream (July 18) – A new three-part documentary series is taking fans backstage to tell the wild stories behind the headbanging-est hair metal bands of the 1980s. The series follows the early years of Skid Row, Winger, Twisted Sister, Vixen and The Scream. “Five young dreamers chasing stardom in the cutthroat world of 80s metal,” reads the blurb accompanying the show’s trailer. “Some will succeed, some will fail, but each will make you see an entirely new side of the metal genre.” Director Tyler Meason (I Want My MTV) describes the documentary as “a very kick ass (yet emotional) series,” including interviews with Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, Winger main man Kip Winger, Vixen’s Janet Gardner, Skid Row founder Dave ‘The Snake’ Sabo, The Scream and former Mötley Crüe frontman John Corabi, and former Guns N’ Roses manager Vicky Hamilton.
Big Nate Season 2 (July 7)
Visit Paramount+ for a full list of releases.
Twisted Metal Season 1 (July 27) – Anthony Mackie leads a thrilling live action adaptation of the classic Twisted Metal video games in a hardcore action-comedy series. Mackie is John Doe, a loudmouth milkman who is offered the chance of a better life if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. With the help of axe-wielding car thief Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz), he’ll face bloodthirsty mobile marauders and the dangers of the open road to get the package to its destination– including deranged clown Sweet Tooth, voiced by Will Arnett and played by AEW Superstar Samoa Joe.
Myth of the Zodiac Killer (July 11) – A bold Peacock reality series sheds new light on the identity of the infamous Zodiac, presenting an interesting new theory that would explain why the cryptic serial killer has eluded investigators for over half a century. “What if the reason the Zodiac has never been caught…is because he never existed in the first place?” a press release for the two-part series reads. The documentary joins forces with Thomas Horan to reexamine the evidence in the case, including interviewing new individuals with ties to the victims and using AI technology to analyze 32 letters and cryptograms for the first time.
Kevin Hart: Reality Check (July 6) – The outspoken comic takes the Las Vegas stage for his first stand-up special in three years, quipping about mentions on Black Twitter, BBLs, and LeBron James. The trailer strings together Hart’s cursing and trademark sound effects, interspersed with jokes about his aunt’s arm fat and overdubbed with enhanced crowd applause. Hart appears to slur his words in places, but carries off his trademark physical comedy without a stumble – and pokes fun at the Chris Rock/Will Smith encounter by bringing a baseball bat to the stage for defense.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks (July 4)
Tour de France (July 1 – 23)
FIFA Women’s World Cup (July 20 – Aug 20)
Visit Peacock for a full list of releases.
Heels Season 2 (July 28) – The surprisingly emotional series about a dedicated wrestler determined to revive his late father’s small-town wrestling league is back with a second round of drama both in and out of the ring. Jack (Stephen Amell) is dealing with the fallout from season one’s finale, including a complete breakdown of his relationship with his wife Staci (Alison Luff). Jack has also alienated his brother and professional rival Ace (Alexander Ludwig), with the siblings at odds over their father’s legacy and pursuing different ideas of success. Meanwhile, Crystal (Kelli Berglund) is itching to defend the DWL championship in the ring, while black-hearted rival league owner Charlie Gully (Mike O’Malley) is out for revenge against Jack, trying to poach his brightest talent and close down the DWL. Now that he’s gained everything he thought he wanted, Jack will have to fight to build his future and find a way to make things right with his family.
Minx Season 2 (July 21) – The saucy 70s comedy about young feminist Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) and seedy publisher Doug (Jake Johnson) who created the first erotic magazine for women is back – and bringing big changes for the beloved Minx staff. The magazine’s sales explode after they sell Bottom Dollar, replacing season one’s humble beginnings with red carpets, parties and jets. But with the arrival of new leadership, Doug finds himself grappling to retain control within the company, while Joyce begins to drift away from her core beliefs as her stardom grows. As newfound success brings money, fame and temptation, the Bottom Dollar Crew starts questioning their changing identities and desires—but with bigger markets and greater risks to conquer, Minx is ready to take their brand global.
Outlander – continuing (Fridays)
Revenge of the Nerds (July 14)
Visit STARZ for a full list of releases.
Dark Winds Season 2 (July 30) – The hit Western noir picks up a deeper, darker sophomore season with its steely reservation lawmen reeling from the fallout of federal corruption and personal loss in season one. Lt. Joe Leaphorn (the criminally underappreciated Zahn McClarnon) reunites with former deputy-turned private eye Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) when their separate cases bring them together in pursuit of the same suspect. The investigation into a series of strange crimes takes them to the high Navajo desert, chasing a killer who’s turned his sights on them to protect a secret that that will revive old nightmares and challenge Leaphorn’s moral and professional code. With the help of their brothers in blue, Leaphorn and Chee must stop the bloodshed and restore order on the reservation. Guest stars include Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard) as femme fatale Rosemary Vines and Nicholas Logan (Dopesick) as twisted assassin Colton Wolf.
Bloodlands Season 2 (July 1) – Making its stateside debut after a February release on AMC’s British counterpart Acorn, UK drama Bloodlands brings chilly suspense to the cold case crime genre. After viewers learn at the end of season one that veteran detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt, The Missing) is be notorious serial killer Goliath, the murderous cop ties up loose ends to keep his secret buried. But season two brings the murder of a crooked accountant that unravels a trail of greed, once again threatening to expose his identity— and Brannick must stay dangerously close to the accountant’s widow to control the quickly spiraling crisis.
Sharksploitation (July 21) – Classic 1975 blockbuster Jaws sparked lizard-brain terror in audiences and spawned a whole new subgenre that made millions from exploiting humanity’s primal fear of the deep. The new documentary from director-producer Stephen Scarlata (Jodorowsky’s Dune) explores the weird, wild cinematic legacy of sharks on film and the world’s enduring fascination with the fearsome fish. From Roger Corman’s 1958 B-movie She Gods of Shark Reef to Jaws and its attendant knock-offs, filmmakers, critics, scholars, and conservationists discuss the cultural and ecological impact of shark cinema and the misunderstood species it villainizes.
Rare Objects (July 7)
Quicksand (July 14)
Breaking the Ice (July 10)
Visit AMC+ for a full list of releases.