Docuseries with a twist, a tense western thriller and a toy craze that doesn’t have to do with Barbie makes this week chock full of interesting additions to the streaming world. Plus, several hit shows return with new seasons, so there’s plenty to binge.
What to watch on Netflix
How to Become a Cult Leader
Everyone loves a cult—or, at least, a six-episode docuseries detailing the oddities and horrors of a cult. How to Become a Cult Leader takes that interest and puts a refreshing spin on it, serving as a satirical guidebook on how to attract followers and inspire loyalty. Each episode focuses on a different cult leader and their respective rise to power, and it’s narrated by an especially sardonic Peter Dinklage. It’s sure to scratch that true crime itch from a few odd angles. How to Become a Cult Leader premieres Friday, July 28th.
This coming of age series became a massive hit for Netflix (NFLX) last year, thanks to its charming performances and sensitive storytelling. Heartstopper comes from the graphic novel of the same name, revolving around a gay high schooler as he navigates the recent revelation of his identity as well as his burgeoning crush on a classmate who struggles with his own sexuality. The second season promises a few bumps in the road of Nick and Charlie’s new relationship, as well as a romantic school trip to Paris. Season 2 of Heartstopper premieres Thursday, August 3rd.
What to watch on Hulu
Thandiwe Newton stars in this tense thriller that seeks to deconstruct the ideology and mythology of the American West. Newton plays Sandra, a cop-turned-college professor who moved out to the cold, mountainous Montana some time ago. She recently lost her mother, but that grief is hardly at the front of her mind—instead, she’s consumed by the threatening presence of two hunters who plan to use her land. It’s a quiet film, sparse on dialogue and action, but it’s one that uses its silence and negative space wisely. God’s Country streams starting Friday, July 28th.
Reservation Dogs’ third season in as many years comes this week, serving as a farewell to the groundbreaking series. Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s show has been revolutionary in its employment and representation of indigenous people, from its cast to its writers and directors, and that authenticity has made it one of the best shows on TV. The titular Rez Dogs (Devery Jacobs, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Lane Factor and Paulina Alexis) have completed their original quest of reaching the California coastline, but the pull of their home and their families remains strong. Season 3 of Reservation Dogs premieres Wednesday, August 3rd.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
Neil Gaiman’s work has always been ripe for adaptations, and that includes the devilishly fun Good Omens. The show first premiered as a limited series back in 2019, but the powers that be have ordered more. In the first season, a demon (David Tennant) and an angel (Michael Sheen) get on well as longtime immortal acquaintances who enjoy their earthly experience. But when they discover that a biblical apocalypse is on the horizon, they band together to stop it. This time around, they have to deal with an amnesiac archangel Gabriel (Jon Hamm). Season 2 of Good Omens premieres Friday, July 28th.
What to watch on Max
How To with John Wilson
How To with John Wilson returns for its third and final season this week. The idiosyncratic docuseries (produced in part by Nathan Fielder, a talent with a similar vibe) has become a small wonder of ‘20s television, as Wilson constructs intricate encapsulations of the human experience under the guise of mundane topics like scaffolding or furniture covers. It’s a wonderfully weird viewing experience, and Wilson’s skill with storytelling makes it unlike anything you’ll see on streaming. It’s far from Max’s flashiest title, but it may stand as the platform’s most interesting. Season 3 of How To with John Wilson premieres Friday, July 28th. (Read our review here.)
What to watch on Apple TV+
The Beanie Bubble
Though one movie about a toy that carries some real world tension is currently in theaters, another is making its debut on streaming this week. The Beanie Bubble tells the tale of perhaps the biggest toy craze of all time, tracking the rise and fall of Ty Inc. during the Beanie Baby boom and bust of the ‘90s. Zach Galifianakis stars as Ty Warner, the company’s founder, who spearheads the plushy revolution alongside his business partner (Elizabeth Banks), an internet-savvy employee (Geraldine Viswanathan) and his girlfriend (Sarah Snook). The Beanie Bubble premieres Friday, July 28th.
What to Watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.