Coming later to Netflix UK and Ireland this month is another brace of content including brand new offerings, new seasons of returning shows and a host of films old and new.
With hints that the UK lockdown may be slightly eased in certain areas following moves from other European countries cautiously attempting to get back to a normal routine of sorts, viewers might find themselves with a little less time than they’ve been used to and might actually have to decide what’s worth watching. As such, here’s an opportunity to see what Netflix has to offer during May so your choices can be just that touch more informed.
Pick of the Shows
(N.O. denotes Netflix Original)
Hollywood (new N.O. from 1st May)
This Netflix Original limited series hit the service at the start of the month and follows the fortunes of aspiring (or could that possibly be, desperate) actors and filmmakers in the golden age of Hollywood following the second world war, as they attempt to hit the big time. Glee and American Horror creator Ryan Murphy’s first full Netflix series is full of period detail and behind the scenes shenanigans. And what doesn’t the film and TV industry love more than making films and TV about itself? Not a lot if we’re honest. Anticipation is high for this one.
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (new N.O. from 5th May)
He’s been largely off the grid since his titular show, appearing occasionally in guest slots for his comedic chums and hosting Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee for Netflix since 2012. This has led to his first original standup routine for 22 years being released this month, where he discusses his secret foodie obsession and the merits of talking vs texting.
Dead to Me S2 (N.O. from 08th May)
After a hugely popular first season, Dead to Me continues tightly wound Jen (Christina Applegate) and her optimistic new best friend Judy’s attempts to get to the bottom of Jen’s husband's hit and run death and uncovered secret life. However, there are secrets between the two new friends too.
The Eddy (new N.O. from 8th May)
From Damien Chazelle, the man behind First Man and Whiplash comes a new drama set around a struggling music club and perils it faces in modern day Paris. Chazelle is well versed in the musical drama setting having secured a Best Director Oscar for La La Land in 2017.
The Hollow S2 (animated N.O from 8th May)
Three teen strangers, Adam, Mira and Kai, who wake up in a room with no doors or windows try to fathom how they got there and how will they escape? As they enter a new, dangerous world and try to make sense of what connection they have, they must learn to work together to stand a chance of surviving and getting back home.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt vs The Reverend (N.O. from 12th May)
One of Netflix’s most popular comedy series presents a final show-ending interactive episode in the vein of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch as Kimmy locks horns with the dastardly Rev played by Jon Hamm. How it plays out is up to you.
White Lines (new N.O. from 15th May)
A new drama from Money Heist’s Alex Pina sees a woman try to solve the mysterious death of her brother, a famous DJ who disappeared from Ibiza 20 years ago but whose body has only just been discovered. As she moves through the hedonistic world of sun, drugs and clubs where people live life to the full, she starts to learn more about her own darker side.
Snowpiercer S1 (new, from 25th May)
Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho’s Chris Evans starring film about the world’s last survivors segregated into the different carriages of a constantly moving train according to societal rules, is quietly lauded. Until recently, it was difficult to get hold of but now its growing recognition has led to this series where presumably the social, class and political clashes between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ can be explored more fully. Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs star.
Space Force (new N.O. from 29th May)
Steve Carell and U.S. The Office producer Greg Daniels reunite for a new comedy looking at the formation of the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces whereby reluctant but dedicated General Naird is tasked by the Whitehouse to re-establish a US presence on the moon. With a cast of familiar faces including Ben Schwartz (Parks & Rec) and Lisa Kudrow (Friends) interest is high for this one.
Pick of the Movies
(N.F. denotes Netflix Film)
The Half of It (N.F. 2020, from 1st May)
When smart, shy cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for a jock, she doesn't expect to become his friend - or fall for his crush. Coming of Age dramedy from Alice Wu.
All Day and a Night (N.F. 2020, from 1st May)
A young man who committed a homicide deals with the repercussions of his actions after he ends up in the same prison as his father.
The Meaning of Life (1983, from 22nd May)
The Python team’s last film together is a return to a sketch approach, painting an overarching theme of birth+life=death. Throw in sex, religion, a machine that goes ‘bing’ and a couple of smart musical numbers and it still hits the spot for the most part.
Plus it’s a chance to say goodbye to the great Terry Jones who passed away recently.
The Blues Brothers (1980, from 22nd May)
There was a point when SNL comedians and sketch characters fueled every third movie in Hollywood and the result was predictably hit and miss. Five minute skits were stretched to tearing point across a 90 minute cinematic framework and featured one note characters whose humour derived from standup catchphrase comedy. The premise here is ‘let’s get the band back together’ and so begins Jake and Elwood’s pilgrimage, taking in many, many music stars along the way and a simply staggering amount of the automotive destruction.
The Lovebirds (2020, from 22nd May)
Due for a theatrical release, Netflix stepped in to add the Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani comedy to its roster when cinemas closed recently. It follows a couple whose relationship is on the rocks and who accidentally careen into a murder and then take off on a wild race to find the killer, clear their names and examine their relationship.
Ted (2012, from 22nd May)
John Bennett, a man whose childhood wish of bringing his teddy bear to life came true, now must decide between keeping his BFF slacker/stoner relationship with the bear or committing to his girlfriend, Lori, and accepting there are certain adult responsibilities he must face up to.
Furry, funny and filthy this teddy bear is strictly adults only. Seth MacFarlane (as Ted) and Mark Wahlberg's interplay remains charming, hilarious and touching throughout.
Justice League (2017, from 25nd May)
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his new-found ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Better than you remember, honestly. Forget Steppenwolf’s industrial sized Oedipus complex as he mutters endlessly about ‘Mother’ and instead enjoy the interplay between the insanely overpowered heroes … and Bruce Wayne, when they’re not saving the world.
Battleship (2012, TBC)
A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.
Park your brain cells, you won’t need them… not a single one. However, replace them all with popcorn and you might possibly get some enjoyment out of this by the numbers U.S-military-stands-up-to-overwhelming-alien-odds guff. Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgård and… checks notes... Rihanna, give their best readings of lines like ‘It was an honor serving with you, Captain’ and ‘The honour was mine’.
Children of Men (2006, TBC)
Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian thriller shows mankind struggling with a single global issue that affects everyone regardless of nationality, something unsettlingly relevant to the world’s current situation.
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist reluctantly agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, once again putting himself in the firing line.
Bravura filmmaking and a thought provoking, profound examination of the human condition, this is intense, thrilling and strangely satisfying.
Steve Jobs (2015, TBC)
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
Directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslett, this had acting and writing awards eagerly thrust in its direction and details a man to whom most of us owe some debt of gratitude as we use the devices he helped pioneer on a daily basis.
The First Purge (2018, TBC)
This horror/action-adventure film serves as a prequel that recounts the events that led up to the first Purge event. To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. The result of this theory? No laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does.
Waterworld (1995, TBC)
In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find fabled dry land.
Kevin Costner’s action adventure is old school and features the kind of enormous sets that are now created by pixels and patience. Here it’s all up on the screen. Co-written by David Twohy of Pitch Black and A Perfect Getaway fame.
Vertigo (1958, TBC)
James Stewart plays a former police detective wrestling with his personal demons while becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman. His psychological downward spiral is depicted by cinema's first use of the 'dolly zoom' - sorry Jaws fans, Hitchcock got there first.
Fans of older films might want to recheck Alfred Hitchcock’s classic out again, as might younger movie fans looking to expand their celluloid boundaries and discover how they used to make them in the ‘olden days’.
Best of the Rest: Shows
N.O. denotes Netflix Original
Drifting Dragons S1 Anime N.O. It's time to see what dragon tastes like. The crew of the airship Queen Zaza makes their living hunting dragons. Succeed, and the reward is riches and all the meat they can eat.
Into the Night S1 N.O. Passengers on an overnight flight face a crisis both inside the plane following a hijack attempt and outside, as a solar event causes the sun to start killing everything in its light path.
Masha and the Bear S4
Medici: S3 N.O.
Transformers: Cyberverse S2
Becoming N.O. Documentary. Cameras follow Michelle Obama as she embarks on a 34-city book tour.
Scissor Seven S2 N.O. Chinese animated series.
Workin’ Moms S4. Edgy Canadian comedy about the struggles of motherhood and its vacillation between miracle and hot mess.
Restaurants on the Edge S2 N.O. Reality show which sees a restaurateur, chef and designer save even more ailing restaurants.
Rust Valley Restorers S2 N.O.
Bordertown S3 N.O.
Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics N.O. Documentary that sees celebrities sharing their adventures of psychedelics shown with the mind-bending tales re-enacted or animated.
Trial by Media S1. N.O. True-crime docu-series looking at how the media may have impacted the verdicts of some of history’s most dramatic trials.
Schitt’s Creek S6. Final season of the comedy that sees rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke and forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt's Creek, a town they once bought as a joke.
Inhuman Resources S1 N.O.
Magic for Humans S3
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power S5 N.O.
The Big Flower Fight N.O. Reality challenge for amatuer florists, sculptors and garden designers.
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything N.O. Standup special in which the U.S comic explores being a Dad in his 50s, and his Star Wars obsession.
Sweet Magnolias S1 N.O.
Ben Platt Live From Radio City Music Hall N.O. 2020 concert film featuring the American actor/singer-songwriter.
The Flash S6
Control Z S1 N.O. When a hacker begins releasing students' secrets to the entire high school, the socially isolated but observant Sofía works to uncover his/her identity.
History 101 S1 N.O. A new type of history show for a new type of audience. Big History delivered in an unadulterated hit of premium archive and jaw-dropping infographics.
Selling Sunset S2 N.O. Reality series following elite real estate brokers attempting to sell the luxurious life to their affluent buyers.
Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series S2 N.O.
Spelling the Dream Documentary which follows four hopefuls in the US Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas N.O. Follow up to Emmy and Peabody award winning comedian Gadsby’s genre bending first show, and named after her dog.
Somebody Feed Phil S3
Best of the Rest: Movies
N.F. denotes Netflix Film
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Adult Life Skills
Back to the Future
Back to the Future 2
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Den of Thieves
De Seuss’ The Cat in The Hat
Fun With Dick & Jane
Get In N.F. French home invasion thriller
I Am Divine
Jarhead 2: Field of Fire
Jarhead 3: The Siege
Labyrinth - Classic Jim Henson fantasy featuring a young Jennifer Connolly as a girl searching for her baby brother who has been kidnapped by the Goblin King - something she actually wished for!
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Mrs. Serial Killer N.F.
Song of the Sea
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Heartbreak Kid
The Rugrats Movie
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
What a Girl Wants
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
The Wrong Missy N.F.
I Love You, Stupid (N.F 2019, International, Romantic Comedy)
The American (2010, Crime, Thriller - George Clooney)
Aerials (2016, International, Sci-Fi)
American Wedding (2003, Comedy - part of the American Pie series)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007, Historical, drama - Cate Blanchette, Clive Owen)
Inside Man (2006, Action, Crime - Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, Dir. Spike Lee)
Kindergarten Cop (1990, Comedy, Crime - Arnold Schwarzeneggar Dir. Ivan Reitman)
Oblivion (2013, Action, Sci-Fi - Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough)
Role Models (2008, Comedy - Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott)
The Soloist (2009, True Life, Drama - Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Dir. Joe Wright)
Just Go With It
Harry and the Hendersons (Bigfoot and the Hendersons)
Norm of the North: Family Vacation
I'm No Longer Here
The Lincoln Lawyer
High Strung Free Dance
So, there's plenty to go at during the rest of May whether you're looking for action, comedy, documentaries or animated content. Has anything is particular caught your eye? Why not discuss with others in the chat thread what they think is worth catching up on?