Everything That’s Streaming In May

From The Sex Pistols to axe-wielding housewives (plus Star Wars, Star Trek, The Kids In The Hall, and Stranger Things) it’s a wild month on streaming

As temperatures warm and humans strap on their CamelBaks and Fitbits for another season of Going Outdoors™, May will be a fairly light month for streaming releases. But who needs exercise when you can watch Netflix sweat instead? The streaming giant is struggling to recover from a post-Covid slump and a 200,000 U.S. subscriber loss since January, thanks in part to price hikes and withdrawing service from Russia over the Ukraine conflict.

It’s banking heavily on season 4 of Stranger Things, while restructuring its programming to invest in international markets as stock plunges and layoffs and password lockdowns begin. But it’s not all grim news: Amazon Prime is rolling out a cult reboot of The Kids in the Hall, HBO Max is bringing back recent SAG winner Jean Smart for season 2 of Hacks, and there’s a brand-new Star Trek series on Paramount Plus. Unlace those hiking boots and check out this month’s most bingeable picks on your favorite streaming service (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD):

Netflix:

Clark (May 5) – Whoever said crime doesn’t pay has never heard the unbelievable true story of the violent Swedish gangster who inspired the term “Stockholm syndrome.” The limited series follows smooth criminal Clark Olofsson (Bill Skarsgard) who served time for dozens of bank robberies, drug trafficking, assaults and attempted murder–  and still somehow charmed all of Sweden to fall in love with him. A celebrity gangster on par with Charles Bronson or Scarface, Skarsgard indulges in excess and crime with a swaggering frenzy that has to be seen to be believed.

Savage Beauty (May 12) – A gorgeous model with a tragic past becomes the face of a high-profile cosmetics company, but her dark secret could bring down the powerful family who owns it— from the inside out. Show creator Lebogang Mogashoa slings intrigue, corruption and gore against the opulence of the elite with the haute mode flair of an editorial shoot. The South African thriller stars singer and actress Rosemary Zimu as Zinhle Manzini, a street kid who survives the very bad business of corporate greed to get her revenge.

Stranger Things Season 4 (May 27) –  Mike, Eleven and the gang are back to battle cosmic malevolence and a growing Russian threat with their worst haircuts yet, as Netflix leans on its tentpole series even harder after freezing out its real-life Russian viewers. Season 4 opens after the Battle of Starcourt Mall, with Hopper alive but imprisoned in an icy gulag and the kids navigating high school after splitting up—but the Demogorgons are still lurking. Clocking in at twice the runtime of previous seasons, they split the season two parts: volume 2 lands on July 1. With new faces like Robert Englund joining the cast, and a new monster named after an evil D&D beast, season 4 is expected to be a real banger for Netflix, and it better be: the streamer reportedly spent $30 million per episode. With a final season 5 already greenlit, here’s hoping it pays off.

Love, Death & Robots Volume 3 (May 20) –  The Emmy-winning series is returning for a third round of trippy animation, hosting an array of creative teams to produce short stories of horror, fantasy and sci-fi. Created by directors Tim Miller (Deadpool) and David Fincher (Mank), the episodes string together each mindbending narrative into a clever, twisted tasting flight of comedy, surreality and terror.

Also playing:

The Pentaverate (May 5)

Welcome to Eden (May 6)

Senior Year (May 13)

Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive (May 3)

Visit Netflix for a full list of releases.

Hulu:

Candy (May 13) – Jessica Biel reprises her dramatic turn on the Sinner as another housewife with a dark secret in Candy, based on the true story of an affair that led to an axe murder in 80’s Texas. The trailer offers up whiffs of suburban angst as bland and predictable as a bingo night casserole: flashes of a bloody shower and sliced open almost-raw roasts between sanitized church klatches and baby showers. There are only so many creative iterations of “everyone is capable of murder” before the concept dulls, but the wigs are downright haunting.

Breeders Season 3 premiere (May 10) – Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard are back for a third season of the dramedy described as an exploration of “the paradox experienced by nearly all parents, the willingness to die for one’s children coupled with the near-constant desire to kill them.” Freeman’s gone the way of Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood in veering as far afield as possible from the twee roles that made him famous; Freeman, also co-creator and producer, clearly feels the pain of striving for domestic bliss as the dad grappling with aging parents, a troubled kid and his own explosive anger.

Pistol (May 31) – Director and Banksy of film Danny Boyle serves more gutter art with a limited series based on the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. It follows three years in the band as the noisy, angry working-class teens shook up the stuffy politics of late-70’s Britain and changed music culture forever. “We’re going to kick this country awake if it kills us!” promises Johnny Rotten. Boyle snarls back at all the raw energy with his own signature frenetic style and it’s a dry old cracker who isn’t tempted to splash around in the filth with them.

Also playing:

Conversations with Friends (May 15)

The Valet (May 20)

227: The Complete Series (May 23)

Look at Me: XXXTentacion (May 26)

Visit Hulu for a full list of releases.

Amazon Prime:

The Wilds Season 2 (May 6) – The popular teen survival series is back after season one found a group of high school girls stranded on a desert island after a plane crash as part of a mysterious social experiment. The show drew critical praise for its candid portrayal of the complex emotional lives of teen girls, and the angst is about to double as the trailer for season two reveals a second island with a group of boys.  And as flashforwards show, life after rescue isn’t as rosy as it seems.

The Kids in the Hall Reboot Season 1 (May 13) – Months after Reg Harkema’s documentary Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks debuted at SXSW, the legendary sketch show helmed by Lorne Michaels in the early 90’s is back with all-new episodes. SNL’s zany, kinky Canadian cousin still serves as a giant dress-up closet for the gender-bent pratfalls of Mark McKinney, Bruce McCullough, Scott Thomspson, Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald. The trailer shows a backhoe literally digging the troupe out of their graves, shows off McKinney’s Lorne Michaels impression, and references classic sketches like Head Crusher and calls back recurring character like the annoying Gavin–who’s now a conspiracy theorist. The series also guest-stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Eddie Izzard and Mark Hamill, along with SNL alums Pete Davidson, Catherine O’Hara, Kenan Thomson, Will Forte and Fred Armisen.

Night Sky (May 20) – Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene York (Sissy Spacek) are a retired couple who’ve enjoyed a cosmic air bnb in their backyard for years: a portal to a mysterious, deserted planet. But when their space-haven is threatened on all sides, they’re forced to solve the riddle as its implications grow bigger than they ever imagined—and reckon with their own human frailty. Five years after her riveting performance as Sally Rayburn in Netflix’s Bloodline, Spacek is downright gravitational as the stargazing Irene.

Also playing:

The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith (May 6)

Lovestruck High Season 1 (May 18)

Bang Bang Baby Season 1 Part 2 (May 19)

Kick Like Tayla (May 27)

Visit Amazon Prime for a full list of releases.

HBO Max:

Hacks Season 2 (May 12) – “The bitch is back,” sings Elton John in the trailer for the new season of Hacks, as Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) launches a risky road tour after bombing in Vegas. The show won several Emmys for its portrayal of the mercurial cross-generational mentorship between the aging comedienne and Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a Gen-Z writer she hired to jazz up her act—rendered in hilarious vignette when Deborah throws Ava’s kombucha out the tour bus window in the season 2 trailer. According to a recent statement from Smart, the gloves are coming off– after season 1 ended with Ava emailing Deborah’s dirty secrets to writers. “I told Hannah it’s ‘no more Miss Nice Guy’; from now on it’s Bette and Joan! And guess who’s BETTE?!”

The Staircase (May 5) – Colin Firth and Toni Collette are the latest stars to drift into the true crime docudrama trend with a fictional retelling of the death of Kathleen Peterson. Her husband Michael went to prison for murder after she was found in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in the family’s North Carolina mansion– but walked free seven years later under an Alford plea when lawyers uncovered malfeasance in his controversial trials. Also starring Parker Posey (Best in Show), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones).

That Damn Michael Che Season 2 premiere (May 26) – The comedy series from the mind of comedian Michael Che enlists his SNL buddies in gut-busting sketches about love, unemployment and racial profiling from a Black perspective that skewers the woke and deplorables alike. Che reveals the true extent of his savage humor once a year on SNL when he and Colin Jost try to break each other by reading each others’ scandalous jokes; his sketch show is an elegantly-produced rendition of that same risky, free-climb approach to writing comedy. Season two remains tightly under wraps but if it’s anything like the first season, expect lots of edgy topics and big-name comic guest stars.

Also playing:

Las Bravas F.C. (May 5)

Who’s By Your Side Season 1 premiere (May 12)

Fast Foodies Season 2 (May 22)

The Time Traveler’s Wife (May 15) –

Visit HBO Max for a full list of releases.

Disney Plus:

Life Below Zero Season 18 (May 4) – After the long cold months of winter, who doesn’t want to curl up in the warm spring sunshine and watch other people freezing somewhere else? The latest season of long-running reality series Life Below Zero is hitting Disney Plus to make us all thankful we don’t have to chop eight cords of firewood and club a salmon to eat dinner. In the latest season the hardy homesteaders face a spring thaw, endless summer daylight, and take advantage of an unseasonably warm autumn to prepare for winter—never more than a step ahead of mother nature.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (May 27) – Ewan MacGregor is back as the fan-favorite Jedi Master in the new limited series from the Lucasfilm/Disney juggernaut. Kenobi is still picking up the pieces ten years after his apprentice Anakin turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Living in exile as the Galactic Empire rules with an iron fist, he must embark on a crucial mission that will put him in the Empire’s crosshairs as he dodges allies turned enemies. Directed by Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) and featuring Hayden Christensen returning as the evil Sith Lord Vader.

We Feed People (May 27) – Director Ron Howard (Arrested Development) follows Chef José Andrés on his mission to feed the world through his NGO, World Central Kitchen. The National Geographic documentary follows the celebrity chef from one disaster zone to the next as he hurdles red tape and sets up efficient and sustainable systems to provide fresh, healthy meals to refugees. When the film premiered at SXSW in March, Andrés was feeding displaced people in Ukraine; the boots-on-the-ground urgency of the footage drives home escalating climate and humanitarian problems.

Also playing:

Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers (May 20)

Marvel Studios Assembled – The Making of Moon Knight (May 11)

Visit Disney+ for a full list of releases.

Apple TV Plus:

Tehran Season 2 (May 6) – The stakes are higher than ever when Mossad hacker Tamar (Niv Sultan), embedded in Tehran to help destroy its nuclear reactor, goes on the run after a failed operation in the electrifying international spy thriller. Season two finds Tamar forced to survive by her wits as the city locks down, taking on an even more dangerous mission that will put those close to her in danger. Also stars Shaun Toub (Homeland) and Glenn Close as a British woman who appears to be working with Tamar—but things may not be what they seem in this spy game. 

The Essex Serpent (May 13) – The line between and belief becomes blurred when Cora, recently free from an abusive marriage, moves to a small town in Victorian England to investigate reports of a mythological sea monster lurking in its estuaries and terrorizing the hyper-religious villagers. She forms a bond with a local pastor who’s also trying to disabuse the local rubes, but the pitchforks come out anyway when their entanglement turns spicy, then deadly.

Now and Then (May 20) – Rosie Perez is a relentless Miami detective with a 20-year itch to solve a deadly mystery in the bilingual thriller series from the executive producers of Homeland. The lives of college friends were forever changed when a celebratory weekend ends with one of them dead. Now 20 years later, the five survivors are reunited by a mysterious blackmailer that threatens to shatter their carefully constructed worlds- and another body puts Perez back on the scent.

Also playing:

The Big Conn (May 6)

Prehistoric Planet (May 23)

Visit Apple TV+ for a full list of releases.

Paramount Plus:

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (May 5) –  Anson Mount is back as the debonair Captain Pike in the Discovery spinoff series that continues the intergalactic adventures of the warp-jumping space patrol. Set a decade before James Kirk takes the captain’s chair, the series is expected to return to more capsule narratives and fewer serialized storylines. Also returning to the USS Enterprise are Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Spock.

Joe Pickett premiere (May 15) –  Joe Pickett (Michael Dornan) is a Wyoming game warden fighting poachers, hostile townsfolk and corporate greed in a rural town on the verge of economic collapse. The drama plays out against Yellowstone’s breathtaking granite and pine backdrops as Pickett and his family are swept up in dangerous sociopolitical currents—and ultimately forced to take a stand. Also starring David Alan Grier and Sharon Lawrence, the ten-episode series originally debuted on Spectrum back in December; season 2 is already greenlit.

Also playing:

The Fifth Element (May 2)

Groundhog Day (May 2)

The Challenge: All-Stars Season 3 premiere (May 11)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (May 16)

Visit Paramount+ for a full list of releases.-

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Rachel Llewellyn

Rachel Llewellyn is a saucy media mercenary who's worked at Curve Magazine and Girlfriends Magazine in San Francisco, and ghost-edited two noir novels. She's also translated academic material, written corporate website content, taught adult school, and produced morning television news. Rachel lives in Bakersfield, California, where she hikes with her dog and pushes paper in the government sector.

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