New TV series and movies to watch in May 2020 on Netflix, Apple TV Plus, HBO, and BBC
Beastie Boys Story
Cast: Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz
Premise: The story of three friends who inspired each other and the world. Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz tell an intimate, personal story of their band and 40 years of friendship in this "live" documentary experience.
First impression: It is the Beastie Boys! Avid hip hop fans and lovers of documentaries be excited.
Release date: 24 April
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello, Dylan McDermott, Jake Picking, Jeremy Pope, Holland Taylor, Samara Weaving, Jim Parsons and Patti LuPone
Premise: In 1940s Hollywood, aspiring actors and filmmakers will do anything to make their showbiz dreams come true.
First impression: Ryan Murphy can do no wrong, or can he? We all know Hollywood has its dirty secrets and fake lives covered with sparkle and glamour — that's what makes it so appealing. But this time, the theme is tackled in a new light with a tad more diversity in terms of gender, sexuality and race.
What the Internet is saying: Rolling Stone said: "Ultimately, Hollywood errs on the side of dreaming, but who doesn't like to dream about a better world than the one we have?" while BBC gave it one (out of five) stars. Yikes.
Release date: 1 May
Cast: Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell and Rachelle Vinberg
Premise: A diverse group of young women navigate their lives through the male-dominated world of skateboarding in New York City. This HBO series is a remake of the movie Skate Kitchen with the same cast and creator.
First impression: Badass skateboarding girls in New York with queer themes? Yes, yes, and hell yes.
What the Internet is saying: Beautiful cinematography of New York and a showcase of sisterhood girl power. One character in the series says: "I wanna stop fighting the patriarchy and just start helping the matriarchy instead." Preach, sista.
Release date: 2 May
The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better
Cast: Gaby Roslin and Amir Khan
Premise: This BBC Earth programme conducts an experiment where a group of people for 48 hours go sleepless to find out how lack of Zs affects our brains and bodies. The show offers answers to critical questions and sees experts help people with sleep problems — from snoring to night terrors.
First impression: Being stuck in isolation and working from home (therefore sometimes while in bed), sleep is another thing that has been affected in our lives. This could be eye-opening (pun intended) into learning how to combat insomnia and other sleep issues.
What the Internet is saying: Nothing yet. Perhaps they are trying to sleep?
Release date: 21 May
On the Record
Cast: Drew Dixon, Sil Lai Abrams, Sherri Hines, Jenny Lumet, Toni Sallie, Alexia Norton Jones, and more.
Premise: Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, this haunting, Sundance-debuting documentary centres around music executive Drew Dixon, one of the first women of colour in the wake of #MeToo to come forward and publicly name hip hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. Apple TV+ was the original distributor of this emotional film, but it dropped the show when Oprah, one of its producers pulled out "because she felt that the film was rushed to be shown at Sundance".
First impression: A must-see, considering how high profile it is — in terms of its award-winning directors (Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, who did The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War), the #MeToo subject, and its racial dimensions.
What the internet is saying: That it is powerful, traumatic, and convincing, despite Oprah pulling her support after hearing Ava DuVernay's "harsh critique" of the film.
Release date: 27 May
The Vast of Night
Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Bruce Davis, Gail Cronauer, and more
Premise: This award-winning Amazon Original sci-fi film — which premiered at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival to acclaim) follows two industrious New Mexico teens — one a radio DJ, one a telephone operator — in the 1950s as they investigate a strange radio frequency and chase down E.T.s through the wilderness.
First impression: UFOs, the twilight '50s, a captivating cast, and a wild goose chase in small-town America makes for one great escape during a time where every day feels the same.
What the internet is saying: An "ingenious", "brilliant", and "a home-run" feature film debut for buzzing director Andrew Patterson. Vulture called it "one of the best movies to make the rounds on the genre festival circuit in 2019.
Release date: 29 May