‘Army of the Dead,’ Oprah and Prince Harry’s ‘Me You Can’t See,’ Marvel’s ‘MODOK,’ All-Star ‘Solos’ Among Streaming Bonanza, PBS Goes Inside the Met
After briefly invading theaters, Zack Snyder’s zombie epic lands on Netflix. Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry collaborate on a series about mental health. Marvel goes for laughs in the animated M.O.D.O.K. The stars come out for Amazon Prime’s Solos anthology. PBS takes viewers inside one of the world’s greatest museums.
Army of the Dead
Leading a surge of new streaming programming is Zack Snyder’s epic zombie action thriller (released a week ago in movie theaters), which follows a group of mercenaries on a caper to steal $200 million from a vault beneath the Las Vegas strip. One hurdle: Sin City is overrun with alpha zombies. For those who’ve felt The Walking Dead and its offshoots have lost their oomph.
The Me You Can’t See
Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry are executive producers and co-creators of a docuseries that tells deeply personal stories of struggles with mental health. Some of the participants are famous: Lady Gaga (or Stefani), Glenn Close, NBA stars DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway. Others are less well known, but all have something to share about their path toward emotional well-being.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything
A new addition to the streamer’s music-documentary library is an eight-part celebration of the music that defined the start of a tumultuous decade. Archival footage and interviews explore the legacies of the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell and many more.
Check out this lineup of talent, including Oscar winners (Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway), an Emmy winner (Uzo Abuda), and fan favorites like Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Constance Wu and Anthony Mackie. As the title suggests, they’re all mostly solo acts in an ambitious anthology set in the future, where they’re each searching for connection in a high-tech world of A.I. bots, time travel, smart homes and memory transplants.
Also worth a look, for its pedigree in front of and behind the camera. Creators Robert and Michelle King (The Good Fight, Evil) have concocted a timely six-episode nail-biter starring multiple Tony winner Audra McDonald and Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling as neighbors struggling through a pandemic as a deadly new strain of a virus overtakes New York City. (Ironically, this premieres just as the metropolis is finally opening up.) McDonald is Rachel, a doctor practicing telemedicine while her husband (Steven Pasquale) works at the CDC in Washington, D.C., and as the threat grows, she and neighbor Lily (Schilling) race against time to possibly save humanity. The Broadway-heavy cast includes Will Swenson, Hamilton’s Philippa Soo and Leslie Uggams.
So what’s the latest in Marvel’s alphabet soup? Meet would-be supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), voiced by Patton Oswalt in an adult animated comedy, with all 10 episodes available for bingeing. M.O.D.O.K. isn’t as super a villain as he dreams to be, and after failing to conquer the world or make his evil organization a success, he’s also dealing with a collapsing marriage. Sounds like a job for a superhero. The terrific voice cast includes Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero, The Goldbergs’ Wendi McLendon-Covey and SNL’s Beck Bennett.
Inside the Met
As we begin to return to a semblance of normalcy, with museums reopening to limited capacities for now (though maybe not for long), a three-part docuseries goes behind the scenes of New York City’s revered Metropolitan Museum of Art during one of its most challenging periods. The first two hours air back-to-back (the third airs next Friday), with the museum preparing for its 150th anniversary in 2020, only to have the doors close indefinitely when the pandemic takes hold. In the second hour, with social-justice movements and protests on the streets, the Met’s executives examine their own cultural record, finding much room for improvement and atonement.
More On the Stream:
- P!nk: All I Know So Far (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): Go behind the curtain with the music superstar on her 2019 “Beautiful Trauma” tour as she juggles career and motherhood on the road.
- Trying (streaming on Apple TV+): A second season of the bittersweet British domestic comedy revisits the unhappily childless couple of Jason (Rafe Spall) and Nikki (Esther Smith) as they experience the hopeful highs and frustrating lows of the adoption process. The great Imelda Staunton co-stars as their oddball social worker.
- Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (streaming on Netflix): A third batch of animated episodes continues the adventures of the teens stranded on dino-infested Isla Nublar. A tropical storm is their latest obstacle as they try to escape, having discovered more about Dr. Wu’s secret research.
Inside Friday TV:
- The Dick Van Dyke Show—Now in Living Color! (8/7c, CBS): With Dick Van Dyke receiving his well-deserved Kennedy Center Honors accolades this spring, it’s a good time to reflect on his comedic genius in two more colorized episodes from the 1960s classic sitcom. In 1965’s “Baby Fat,” Rob (Van Dyke) helps ghostwrite a troubled Broadway show starring his TV boss Alan Brady (the show’s late creator, Carl Reiner). In 1966’s “The Bottom of Mel Cooley’s Heart,” which aired during the final season, long-suffering Mel (Richard Deacon) once and for all stands up to Alan, his domineering brother-in-law.
- Shark Tank (8/7c, ABC): In the season finale, the sharks look small when compared to the life-sized animatronic dinosaurs being pitched by a husband and wife from Philadelphia.
- See Us Unite for Change (8/7c, simulcast on MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Logo, BET, Nickelodeon): The Masked Singer’s Ken Jeong hosts an all-star global special spotlighting Asian-American culture and activism, with performances from Sting, Jhene Aiko, Sawettie and others, plus appearances by Daniel Dae Kim, Steven Yeun, The Black Eyed Peas, Olivia Munn, Henry Golding, Sesame Street’s Elmo and many more.
- Pride (8/7c, FX): The expansive docuseries about the battle for LGBTQ equal rights concludes with chapters following the movement through the 1980s and the AIDS epidemic, the 1990s and the culture wars, and the 2000s, when queer visibility became more mainstream while the trans community continued to struggle for acceptance.
- The Blacklist (8/7c, NBC): There’s a slippery assassin looking for Liz (Megan Boone), but the Task Force has her back.
- On the true-crime blotter: ABC’s 20/20 (9/8c) looks into a case they’ve been following for 15 years: the disappearance and murder of Paige Birgfeld, a mother of three who secretly ran a high-end escort business. On Dateline NBC (9/8c), Keith Morrison examines the mystery of Elizabeth Sullivan, a mother of two who vanished in 2014 and was found dead in San Diego Bay two years later, though medical examiners determined she had been dead for only a month or two.