9 new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock and more

Want to know what to watch this weekend? May is already off to a very good start when it comes to streaming, thanks to the bounty of new movies and shows on Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock and other streaming services. 

New series making their debuts include Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, another entry in the final frontier-exploring franchise, and the Mike Myers comedy The Pentaverate. Plus, two fan favorites return: The Wilds season 2 and Girls5eva season 2.

This weekend’s slate also includes a fictionalized version of The Staircase, the OG true crime docu-series about Michael Peterson’s sensational case. Colin Firth plays the novelist, who is charged with murdering his wife Kathleen. If you can’t get enough of true crime, The Big Conn documents a Kentucky lawyer’s outrageous Social Security benefits scam. 

Here’s our guide on what to watch this weekend.

The Staircase (HBO Max)

Before Serial, before The Jinx, before Making a Murder, there was The Staircase. The true crime documentary series chronicled the case of novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused and later convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen. (He claimed her death was the result of her falling down the stairs.) French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade had extraordinarily intimate access to Peterson, his family and his legal team, which made the resulting footage so enthralling. 

Now, The Staircase is getting fictionalized in a star-studded docudrama. Colin Firth stars as Michael, with Toni Collette as Kathleen and Sophie Turner as daughter Margaret. The documentary crew are characters, too, since the series is less of a whodunnit and more of an examination of how storytelling affects subjectivity. 

Streaming now on HBO Max

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount Plus)

The Star Trek universe has been prolific in recent years. Strange New Worlds is the sixth Star Trek series to debut on Paramount Plus (and predecessor CBS All Access), with a seventh on the way. The show, a spinoff of Discovery, represents a return to more classic Trek, featuring a beloved ship, familiar characters and straightforward “adventure of the week” storytelling. 

Anson Mount and Ethan Peck reprise their roles from Discovery, as USS Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike and Spock, respectively. As fans know, Pike was the captain of the ship before James T. Kirk (who will appear in season 2 ). Along with First Officer Una Chin-Riley aka Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), they explore the titular strange new worlds scattered across the galaxy.

Streaming now on Paramount Plus

Girls5eva season 2 (Peacock)

The one-hit wonder girl group is back — and they hope to evolve to two hits, maybe even more.  Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry), Dawn (Sara Bareilles), Gloria (Paula Pell) and Summer (Busy Philipps) head into the studio to make a new album, but they have less than six weeks to write and record a dozen songs. 

Meanwhile, they’re all still trying to evolve as people. Summer wants to divorce Kev, while Gloria wants to win back ex-wife Caroline. Wickie is as self-absorbed as ever, obsessing over Raya (never change, Wickie). Season 2 has no shortage of snarky zingers about celebrities and the entertainment business, but they’re balanced by the often-sweet bonding moments among the women. And get ready to hear some new bangers, like “B.P.E. (Big Pussy Energy).” It’s got Song of the Summer potential!

Streaming now on Peacock

The Pentaverate (Netflix)

Mike Myers has had a quiet decade, keeping his work to a few appearances here and there. Last year, he reunited with Dana Carvey to reprise their iconic roles as Wayne and Garth for an Uber Eats Super Bowl ad. But now, Myers is making a comeback — times eight. He created and plays eight characters in The Pentaverate, which is based on a throwaway joke in So I Married an Axe Murderer. 

The joke was about a secret society of five men that runs the world. Myers is Canadian journalist Ken Scarborough, who sets out to uncover the truth and possibly save the world. He’s also an American conspiracy theorist, Pentaverate leader Lord Lordington, an Australian media mogul, a former Russian oligarch, afar-right radio host, a tech genius and an ex-rock band manager. Myers isn’t the only face you’ll see, though. He’s also recruited Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar and Rob Lowe to contribute to the comedic hijinks.

Streaming now on Netflix

The Big Conn (Apple TV Plus)

The last few months have seen a bonanza of scammer shows, fiction and nonfiction, including Inventing Anna, The Dropout and The Tinder Swindler. The latest is a four-part docu-series from Apple TV Plus that tells the true crime story of Eric C. Conn, a lawyer who defrauded the Social Security system of half a billion dollars. 

The four episodes recount how Conn bribed doctors and judges to rubber-stamp disability claims, from which he took a generous cut. He flaunted his wealth by throwing lavish parties and getting married (and divorced) over a dozen times. When his dealings came to light, he fled to Honduras until authorities captured him. Conn is in prison now, but as the documentary shows, his scam continues to trouble Kentucky residents to this day.

Streaming now on Apple TV Plus

The Wilds season 2 (Prime Video)

Before Yellowjackets, The Wilds told the story of a group of teen girls stranded together after a plane crash. They discover they are part of a social experiment run by mad scientist Gretchen (Rachel Griffiths). The season 1 finale threw out a crazy new twist: There was another island, populated by stranded teen boys. 

Season 2 spends time exploring the boys’ experience on their island, as well as their back stories. Suffice it to say they respond to their marooning very differently than the girls. But the focus very much remains on the girls’ coming-of-age trials and tribulations. As they process their trauma and grief, they also find greater depths of inner strength. And not all is entirely bleak, with Toni and Shelby continuing their new romance. 

Streaming now on Prime Video

Along for the Ride (Netflix)

Teen romance has proven to be a strong genre for Netflix, which built franchises around To All the Boys and The Kissing Booth. The next big thing could be this adaptation of bestselling author Sarah Dessen’s book, Along for the Ride.

The summer before college, Auden (Emma Pasarow) is spending time in Colby Beach with her father (Dermot Mulroney) and stepmother (Kate Bosworth). After she’s ostracized by the local teens, Auden meets a mysterious and charming fellow insomniac named Eli (Belmont Cameli). He challenges her to engage in nightly quests to do adventurous “kid stuff” she missed out on. In turn, she helps Eli process the grief that haunts him.

Streaming now on Netflix

Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known (HBO Max)

The 2006 Broadway production of Spring Awakening was a smash success that won eight Tony Awards and a Grammy for the cast album. Fifteen years later, the original cast came together for a one-night only reunion concert. Those You’ve Known documents their journey back to the stage.

The film includes reunion performances by stars Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, as well as interviews, archival video and footage from the original production. As the cast and creative team rehearse for the reunion, they reflect on the hit musical’s origins and themes of teen angst, repression, abuse and sexual identity. 

Streaming now on HBO Max

The Circle season 4 (Netflix)

Netflix’s social media reality series is spicing things up in season 4 — by bringing in the Spice Girls. Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Melanie Brown (Scary Spice) are the first celebrities to join The Circle. Their fellow contestants won’t know they’re playing against two Spice Girls, though; Bunton and Brown will be catfishing them as a guy named Jared. If they can successfully fool the cast, the winner’s prize will go up to $150,000.

The Circle U.S. is now in its fourth season, and as entertaining as it is to watch all the catfishing antics, it’s time to shake things up a bit. Adding celebs into the mix is a good move. Thumbs up emoji, send!

Streaming now on Netflix

What else to watch this weekend

While we’re always collecting the best new movies to stream online, we’ve got even more TV recommendations: 

  • Bosch: Legacy (Freevee)
    Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) begins a second career as a private investigator, while his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) follows in his footsteps as a rookie cop.  
    Streaming now on Freevee
  • Marmaduke (Netflix)
    Pete Davidson voices the mischievous dog, who schemes to become the first Great Dane to become a Westerminster champion.
    Streaming now on Netflix
  • Clark (Netflix)
    The Swedish series stars Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson, the notorious bank robber who gave rise to the expression “Stockholm syndrome.”
    Streaming now on Netflix
  • Tehran season 2 (Apple TV Plus)
    Mossad hacker-agent  Tamar (Niv Sultan) continues her quest to destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor, with the help of a new ally (Glenn Close).
    Streaming now on Apple TV Plus
  • Meltdown: Three Mile Island (Netflix)
    The four-part documentary series chronicles the near catastrophe at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.
    Streaming now on Netflix
  • To Mom (and Dad), With Love (Apple TV Plus)
    Mother’s Day is almost here, and everyone in the Peanuts gang is excited, except for Peppermint Patty.
    Streaming now on Apple TV Plus

In other entertainment news, Peacock canceled one of its biggest shows and a new Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer teases Darth Vader rematch.

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