Online streaming is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort through the good and the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies worth a watch.
On the list this week: Master of None returns, Clint Eastwood tackles recent events, and a critically acclaimed movie hits Amazon.
Master of None season 2
Aziz Ansari’s slice-of-life series Master of None follows Dev Shah (Ansari), an aspiring actor struggling with work and relationships as he stumbles through his 30s. While the first season took place largely in the bourgeois metropolis of New York City, season 2 begins in Italy, where Dev pursues training in the culinary arts. Despite the change of setting, Master of None’s second season maintains the show’s preoccupation with millennial ennui. Dev is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and what sort of woman he wants to share that life with. The show is not gloomy, however. Episodes often expound on the sort of introspective, observational humor Ansari is known for in his stand-up. Master of None is also gorgeous, with a sleek visual style that draws heavily on art house cinema.
Sense8 season 2
This outlandish sci-fi series from the creators of The Matrix tells the story of eight characters from around the world who, despite having never met before, discover that they are “sensates” who are linked together psychically. As sensates, they can share knowledge and abilities, which they will need to survive the threat of a sensate named Whispers, who wants to hunt them all down. As expected given the show’s creators, Sense8 features some ludicrous action sequences, with gunplay and martial arts — and attempts at philosophical inquiry — that should remind viewers of the Wachowski’s earlier works. Sense8 can be a ridiculous show at times, but it is also wildly entertaining.
Those who watched the news cycle surrounding the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” — in which pilot Chesley Sullenberger (nicknamed Sully) safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 on New York City’s Hudson River after losing both engines — may remember the ubiquitous adoration in the media for a man who skillfully averted catastrophe and kept everyone on board safe. Thus, viewers may be shocked to see Clint Eastwood’s version of Sully (Tom Hanks) subjected to scrutiny by grumpy engineers and bureaucrats, who claim his heroics were unnecessary. Whatever possessed the filmmakers to conjure a witch hunt for a story that had none, the result is a film that is, at the very least, a compelling drama. The film concerns an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, whose agents are convinced that Sully must have been drunk, tired, or reckless when he made his decision. Hanks plays the captain with Spartan dignity; this is a man unconcerned with fame or revenge, only a desire to present the truth.
I Love Dick season 1
Jill Soloway’s latest production for Amazon, I Love Dick, is an adaptation of the popular novel/memoir by Chris Kraus, in which the author penned a number of love letters to a man named Dick. The show follows a similar premise, showing the complicated relationship between Kraus (Kathryn Hahn) her husband Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), and the titular Dick (Kevin Bacon). In this fictionalized telling of the story, Kraus and Sylvere move to Marfa, Texas. Their sexless, though genial marriage receives a fresh spark when Kraus develops an obsession with macho artist Dick, a man clad in cowboy attire who is cruelly dismissive of female filmmakers like Kraus. The show delves into the psychosexual obsessions of Kraus, presenting a unique and insightful look into the psyche of a professionally — and sexually — frustrated woman.
Manchester by the Sea
After the death of his brother, depressed and isolated janitor Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) heads back to his hometown of Manchester by the Sea, only to learn of his late brother’s wish that he take care of his nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges). The town holds tragic memories for Lee, and the film explores this trauma as it slowly untangles the riddle of the man who is Lee Chandler. Manchester by the Sea is the third film by Kenneth Lonergan, and like his previous two, it examines the quiet drama of ordinary life. Despite the tragedy that underlies the story, it is not without moments of humor — much like life. Affleck won an Oscar for his performance as Lee, and the result was not surprising — he plays Lee with a tightly constrained fury.