‘Cobra Kai,’ ‘Andor,’ a goodbye to ‘Atlanta,’ a new ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and a lot more
September: nature’s intermission. The kids are in school, the weather’s getting less global warm-y, and it’s time to look wistfully toward pie season while digging the flannel blankets out of storage and making insincere plans to “just skip the holidays this year.” But more importantly it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, and streamers are offering trailblazing Latin content like Spanish-language horror spoof Los Espookys on HBO Max, the emotional immigrant family documentary Mija on Disney+, and Netflix’s El Rey, the story of legendary ranchera king Vicente Fernández. And with hugely anticipated titles like Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime, Atlanta’s final season on Hulu, and Sidney, a tribute to Sidney Poitier’s incredible career on Apple TV+, there’s something for everyone—so read on to discover what’s heading to your favorite streaming services this month. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Cobra Kai Season 5 (Sept 9) – The dorky throwback world of SoCal karate continues to get a radical makeover with Netflix’s cheeseball but heartwarming Karate Kid revival series Cobra Kai, following grown-up Johnny and Daniel as they lead dojos of their own while butting heads and breaking knuckles. Season 5 brings the battle of the senseis as evil Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) tries to spread his “No Mercy” martial empire in the Valley. But Daniel will team up with enemy turned ally Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) to “fight for the soul of the Valley.”
End of the Road (Sept 9) – Don’t mess with Queen Latifah’s family in this revved-up momma bear road thriller that looks like a mix of Breaking In and No Country for Old Men. Recently widowed Brenda is driving her brother (Ludacris) and kids across the Southwest desert to begin a new life after losing her job, but a run-in with criminals at a New Mexico motel leaves them with a pile of cash and a heap of trouble. When the mystery killers cross the line by kidnapping Brenda’s son, she finds the courage (and several high-caliber weapons) to take them down. The desert is a sinister place for the Black family in the film, carrying a dark culture of hostile shop owners, redneck pickup chases, and gloomy churches with long-shadowed crosses: “It’s a whole different world out here,” says Latifah.
El Rey Vicente Fernández (Sept 14) – The new Netflix series is based on the life of the late Mexican ranchera icon, from his childhood singing on the streets in Jalisco and Tijuana to becoming a rising mariachi cantante to packing arenas as a Grammy-winning international idol. Following 70 years of Vicente Fernández’s rollercoaster life, the Colombian-produced series takes place in Mexico and the United States, where the “Sinatra of Ranchera” came to life. The series has the backing of the Fernández family and even features a recorded endorsement from the “Volver, Volver” singer himself before his death—unlike the drama surrounding a controversial rival series produced by Televisa, unauthorized (his widow sued) and – fans say – inaccurate. “El Rey” stars Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin), Marcela Guirado, Sebastián Dante and Sebastián García.
Blonde (Sept 23) – Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly) directs a gritty reimagined take on the glittering career and ultimately tragic life of Marilyn Monroe in one of Netflix’s most-anticipated fall movies. Based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates and starring Ana de Armas as Monroe, the film is Netflix’s first NC-17 release.Dominik says Blonde may make waves for being “critical of American sacred cows” like Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale), Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody), and President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson). “We know that her life was on the edge, clearly, from the way it ended,” he told Vulture. “Do you want to see the warts-and-all version or do you want to see that sanitized version?”
Jo Koy: Live from the Los Angeles Forum (Sept 13)
A Jazzman’s Blues (Sept 23)
Lou (Sept 23)
Entergalactic (Sept 30)
Visit Netflix for a full list of releases.
Atlanta season 4 (Sept 16) – The final cycle of Donald Glover’s Emmy-winning show about a cash-strapped dad trying to succeed in the music industry will chronicle the return of the gang to Atlanta after spending Season 3 traveling through Europe. Earn, Alfred, Van, and Darius resume a series of trippy, absurdist adventures in their home city while the series continues to highlight issues at the forefront of Black culture. Glover says after four seasons, the end of the story was inevitable. “Death is natural… when the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right they don’t happen. Things start to get weird… you can’t do too much. The story was always supposed to be what it was and the story, it really was us.”
Reboot (Sept 20) – Hulu is poking fun at the reboot craze in its newest comedy series by the same name. Created by Steve Levitan (Modern Family), the series follows the fictional resurrection of a beloved family sitcom as its washed-up stars and out-of-touch writers encounter the culture-shock of a new world of entertainment. From overbearing stage moms to frustrated thespians to humorless executives, Reboot has all the main characters and behind-the-scenes drama for a comeback hit. The cast includes Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, Johnny Knoxville, and Calum Worthy as the stars of the fake show they’re reviving, along with Paul Reiser and Krista Marie Yu.
Abbott Elementary season 2 (Sept 21) – After an explosively successful breakout season, class is back in session for the goofy teacher mockumentary that’s basically the Office filmed in an elementary school. Written and created by star Quinta Brunson, the workplace comedy finds teachers played by Brunson, Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris), Chris Perfetti (Crossbones), Lisa Ann Walter (Bruce Almighty) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha) preparing for a new school year of small victories and navigating the pitfalls of the Philadelphia school system. Janelle James (Principal Ava Coleman) and William Stanford Davis (janitor Mr. Johnson) also star in the ABC sitcom that appears the next day on Hulu
Bob’s Burgers Season 13 premiere (Sept 25) – The burger-slinging Belchers are back with fresh slapstick and (fairly) wholesome satire in the cartoon’s thirteenth season as the Bob’s Burgers Movie lingers in theaters. Creator Loren Bouchard told Deadline that making the film inspired the team to “take bigger swings” with the storyline, and production drafted off the feature’s momentum as the cast quickly transitioned to recording for the latest season. Bouchard says he wants to “kill anything that feels self-referential and not new, as if it was season one.” Watch for Easter eggs carried over from the film, along with recurring characters like property manager Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) and his snotty brother Felix (Zach Galifianakis). Like the abovementioned show, this airs first on Fox before quickly finding a permanent holding place on the Hulu platform.
Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter (Sept 22)
Chefs vs. Wild series premiere (Sept 26)
Ramy Season 3 premiere (Sept 30)
Visit Hulu for a full list of releases.
Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power (Sept 2) – Tolkien fans are beside themselves with either excitementor anger over the new sci-fi series adaptation of the beloved book and film trilogy hitting Amazon Prime this month. Fans say that, as part of a streaming paradigm that demands more content made cheaper and faster, the show’s rushed production makes the respected epic look cheap, with promotional images that look like “the cover of a 90s album” and chintzy costuming reminiscent of “McCall’s patterns.” The magic and staying power of the Jackson movies lay in their painstaking creative vision, with thousands of pieces of handcrafted chainmail, hand-dyed fabrics and high-quality wigs anchoring Tolkien’s soaring world-building in believability–while this latest rendering is being compared to a Halloween party.
But disbelief-suspenders are thrilled to find out what the prequel series might hold, which takes place thousands of years before the trilogy and follows the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of Lord Sauron, and the last alliance between Elves and Men
Goodnight Mommy (Sept 16) – Naomi Watts is weirding everyone out in a new horror movie that digs into the psychosocial parental bond with a creepy post-op twist. Adapted from the 2014 Austrian film by the same name, the tale follows twin boys who move to a new house with their mother after she has face-mangling cosmetic surgery– but the boys begin to fear there’s someone else under the bandages. Watts slinks around her darkened room in a silk robe and bandage-balaclava, the boys’ suspicion growing with each unnerving scene. With smears of Mommy Dearest and The Babadook, Goodnight Mommy builds on the inscrutability of motherhood and the changing ways we view our parents as we grow up.
Memory (Sept 23) – Liam Neeson is still striding around menacing criminals with guns and delivering threatening bons mots that Boomers love, but things seem to be getting a little fuzzy for the action veteran in his newest shoot-em-up action thriller. This time around he’s a freelance assassin who becomes a target after refusing to complete a job for a dangerous criminal organization. Now he must hunt down and kill his employers before they can take him out— while on the run from FBI agent Vincent Serra (Guy Pearce, from the similarly mindbending Memento). But as his memory begins to fail and reality begins to blur, can he hold on long enough to bring the hammer down on the ultimate bad guy? The Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) joint also stars Monica Bellucci as Devana, a sociopathic businesswoman-philanthropist with very dark secrets.
Ambulance (Sept 30) – In April, Michael Bay blew up L.A. again on the big screen, this time with Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II playing desperate brothers who hijack an ambulance after robbing a bank. Now his ambulance finds a permanent parking space on Amazon Prime. Gyllenhaal talks Mateen into the heist to help his wife and child, but when things go sideways they have to scramble to survive: hurtling through empty canals, punching through concrete walls and jumping literal fireballs. The mayhem is punctuated by one odd moment where the brothers split a pair of air pods in the middle of a car chase so they can “chill out” to Christopher Cross’s “Sailing.” Bay offers on-brand high-caliber urban warfare reminiscent of Heat with his trademark helicopters, skyscrapers and lens flare. Also starring Eiza Gonzalez as a plucky medic bravely trying to keep an injured cop alive in the ambulance.
Thursday Night Football (Sept 15)
Dog (Sept 16)
Heatwave (Sept 19)
Prisma (Sept 21)
Visit Amazon Prime for a full list of releases.
Moonfall (Sept 9) – As if conspiracy theorists needed more fuel for their flat-earth-confirming rockets, a new science fiction disaster film offers the perfect material for these reality-bending times: in the new Roland Emmerich-directed Moonfall, two former astronauts and a conspiracy theorist uncover the hidden truth about Earth’s moon when a mysterious force knocks it from its orbit and onto a collision course with earth. After a disastrous theatrical run, Moonfall arrives on HBO to try to find an audience. Stars Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, and Donald Sutherland must pull together an eleventh-hour space mission to save the Moon and beat the monsters that lurk within it. The ambitious, CGI-driven tale was shot on a gasp-worthy $140 million budget and ranks as of the most expensive independently produced films ever made.
See How They Run (Sept 9) – Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan are adorable in the cheeky mystery comedy that answers the question, “what if Wes Anderson adapted a Tom Stoppard script for Clue?” A desperate Hollywood film producer sets out to turn a successful play into a film, but the production screeches to a halt when the director (Adrien Brody) is found dead on stage. Enter Inspector -ahem- Stoppard (Rockwell) and rookie Constable Stalker (Ronan), who find themselves in the midst of a puzzling whodunit with co-stars Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson, and David Oyelowo. Both Ronan and Brody are alums of Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, so expect a rich period aesthetic and lots of dry tete-a-tetes. The movie will also appear in theaters.
Los Espookys Season 2 premiere (Sept 16) – The Spanish-language comedy is back to spoof more horror tropes in the second season of the quirky bilingual satire created by and starring SNL writer Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega and SNL player Fred Armisen. The show follows a group of friends trying to launch a business in Mexico City that offers personalized horror movie experiences, and similar to What We Do in the Shadows, explores the satirical side of the dark genre. Season 2 finds leader Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) haunted by the ghost of a beauty queen, while Tati (Fabrega) adjusts to married life after deciding to take the leap with oddball boyfriend Juan Carlos (José Pablo Minor); meanwhile Uncle Tico (Armisen) finds new purpose after losing his valet job. Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), German pop idol Kim Petras, and Isabella Rossellini will guest star this season.
Escape from Kabul (Sept 21) – The dramatic new documentary from Jamie Roberts (HBO’s “Four Hours at the Capitol”) follows the humanitarian and political crisis developing over three weeks in August 2021, as the U.S. withdrew its troops from Afghanistan and tens of thousands of Afghans flocked to the Kabul airport to seek refuge and escape after the Taliban seized the city. The film combines never-before-seen footage with exclusive interviews with Afghan citizens, U.S. Marines tasked with managing the evacuation, and Taliban commanders and fighters. 124,000 people were evacuated during the Kabul airlift, the largest in modern U.S. history; however a more recently filmed epilogue confirms the Taliban government’s violent reprisals against perceived U.S. allies and restrictions on women and girls, and an uncertain future for those left behind.
Elvis 2022 (Sept 2)
Saving The King (aka Salvar al Rey) Season 1 (Sept 9)
Visit HBO Max for a full list of releases.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin (Sept 8) – The epic 10-part series explores the minds of elite adventure athletes as they share transformative stories of confronting the unknown and facing fear, personal loss, and Mother Nature to reach the top of their game. Hosted by climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin, it features intimate interviews with big wave surfers, climber Alex Honnold, big mountain snowboarders, polar explorers and kayakers about their highest-stakes endeavors and how they evaluate risk and process fear. Packed with heart-pumping GoPro footage of extreme feats and accidents, it’s life or death in the pursuit of the next adrenaline spurt. “Sometimes the only way to find the edge is to go over it,” says Chin.
Pinocchio (Sept 8) – Tom Hanks is Geppetto in the live-action retelling of the classic Disney tale about a precocious puppet who finds adventure and danger in his quest to become a real boy. Though the eponymous puppet is teasingly absent from the trailer for the same reason Disney has a tightly-controlled film catalogue “vault,” (magic is a hot and limited commodity) director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Welcome to Marwen) channels the fairytale whimsy and warmth of The Polar Express with buttery lamplight, magic glitter, and Hanks’s wonderstruck faces. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio’s guide and “conscience,” along with Cynthia Erivo as the Blue Fairy and Keegan-Michael Key as “Honest” John.
Mija (Sept 16) – We inherit our family’s dreams, but also their fears.” The stunning documentary from Emmy-nominated director Isabel Castro features two daughters of Mexican immigrants navigating music careers: Doris Muñoz is an ambitious music manager who feels pressure to find the next big star to provide for her undocumented family, and Jacks Haupt, a talented up-and-comer whose career goals baffle her hardworking parents. Doris and Jacks bond over the tensions of being first-generation Americans and the financial risks of pursuing their dreams while providing for their families and striving for green cards and family reunification. “Our parents came to the U.S. to give us a better life,” says Muñoz, “and then we spend our lives with the pressure to honor their sacrifices. Dreaming big takes a toll.” The documentary offers a poignant glimpse into what the American dream means to a new generation.
Super/Natural (Sept 21) – Explore the animal world through a sensory trip narrated by Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch– and executive produced by blockbuster director James Cameron. The new series will “utilize the latest scientific innovations and leading-edge filmmaking technology to reveal the secret powers and super-senses of the world’s most extraordinary animals, inviting viewers to see and hear beyond normal human perception to experience the natural world— from seeing flowers in bee-vision to eavesdropping on a conversation between elephant seals to soaring the length of a football field with glow-in-the-dark squirrels.”
Star Wars: Andor episodes 1, 2 and 3 (Sept 21): Diego Luna returns as Cassian Andor, a reluctant hero of the Rebel Alliance, in a Star Wars series that takes place five years before the tragic action of ‘Rogue One.’ Director Tony Gilroy, who helmed Rogue One, is the showrunner for this prequel series that traces the origins of the Rebellion against Darth Vader’s evil empire. The outstanding cast includes Stellan Skarsgård, Forest Whitaker, and Genevieve O’Reilly. Early clips and trailers have Star Wars fans excited after the somewhat mixed results of the recent Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi series. The Force will be with them always, and so will Star Wars TV shows, apparently.
Thor: Love and Thunder (Sept 8)
The Art of Racing in the Rain (Sept 16)
Hocus Pocus 2 (Sept 30)
Visit Disney+ for a full list of releases.
Apple TV Plus
Central Park Season 3 (Sept 9) – The anticipated third season of the Emmy-nominated show is back for more municipal hijinks and land management pratfalls with the Tillermans: park manager Owen (Leslie Odom Jr.), his journalist wife Paige (Kathryn Hahn) and kids Molly (Emmy Raver-Lampman) and Cole (Titus Burgess) live in Central Park, navigating the trials of family life while saving the park from the greedy clutches of a hotel heiress who wants to develop the land (played with gravelly glee by Stanley Tucci). Co-created by Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith and filled with heartwarming family values and feel-good musical numbers, it’s an open-air Bob’s Burgers.
Sidney (Sept 23) – Trailblazing actor, filmmaker and activist Sidney Poitier lived at the bleeding edge of Hollywood genius and became a fiery central figure in the Civil Rights movement. A new documentary from producer Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin reveals the legacy behind the iconic actor who passed away in January at the age of 94. Poitier riveted the world with roles in Raisin in the Sun and Look Who’s Coming to Dinner; he became the first Black man to win the Academy Award for best actor for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. The new documentary, produced in collaboration with the Poitier family, features candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand and Spike Lee.
The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Sept 30) – how far would you go to have a beer with the boys? Peter Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber) directs the incredible true story of a hometown guy (Zac Efron) who goes on an insane, symbolic mission to bring a beer to all his childhood buddies deployed to Vietnam in a naïve but heartfelt stunt to show support for the local boys drafted into an unpopular war. He packs a duffel bag with brewskis and hops across a warzone, dodging bullets to track down his buddies and getting stern dressings-down that war is not a joke or a vacation. His journey connects him with a journalist (Russell Crowe) and exposes him to the realities of the controversial war, the difficulties of adulthood and the depth of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice.
Life By Ella (Sept 2)
Gutsy (Sept 9)
Visit Apple TV+ for a full list of releases.
The Good Fight Season 6 (Sept 8) – The popular legal drama inspired by The Good Wife and headed by Christine Baranski is set to begin closing arguments in its sixth and final season. With the show expected to take on real-life controversies like the reversal of Roe v. Wade, police brutality and voting rights, the trailer portends an unsettling future. Birds crash into windows. Rioters fill the streets. “We’re one slash away from Civil War,” laments somebody.
Is America doomed? Diane Lockhart (Baranski) seems to think so: “I used to believe in progress. No matter what we do, we just end up back at the start.” So she experiments with hallucinogens and commiserates with colleague Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald) about “losing the country” over a thick glass of wine. The anxiety is thick – but as Diane admits, “I’m feeling it, that most dangerous feeling: hope.” The new season brings in John Slattery (Mad Men) as Diane’s physician and also guest-stars Alan Cumming and Gary Cole.
My Dream Quinceañera (Sept 16) – In a revamped take on the hit YouTube series that ran for an astonishing 230 episodes, My Dream Quinceañera follows three Southern California teens who go through the ups and downs of preparing to celebrate the coming-of-age birthday parties of their dreams. In a first for the ten-episode reality series, the girls will have expert quinceañera planner Maria Perez to help them navigate all the drama, glitter and dress shopping to make their most extravagant wishes come true.
On the Come Up (Sept 23) – Emmy-nominated actress Sanaa Lathan makes her directorial debut with On the Come Up, a fierce new hip-hop movie based on the New York Times #1 best-selling novel by Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give). Newcomer Jamila C. Gray is Bri, a talented teen rapper trying to conquer the battle rap scene and honor the memory of her father, a local hip hop legend. But when her first hit song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, she finds herself torn between staying true to her roots and accepting the false persona that could make her famous—and save her family from homelessness. The coming-of-age film also stars Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lil Yachty, Mike Epps, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Justin Martin, Titus Makin, Michael Cooper Jr., GaTa, Sanaa Lathan and Cliff “Method Man” Smith.
Big Top Pee-Wee (Sept 1)
Ink Master (Sept 7)
SEAL Team Season 6 (Sept 18)
Visit Paramount+ for a full list of releases.