It’s time to say bye, bye, bye to April—perhaps the longest month any of us have ever experienced—because it’s gonna be May. Sorry maybe it’s the quarantine but *NSync word play is bringing me a lot of joy right now.
Even though television production has shut down, there is still a lot of new programming heading your way this month. And what is a new month without the launch of yet another streaming platform? May brings the long-promised (but currently sans Friends reunion) launch of HBO Max. This month, we’ll also be covering the season finale of Westworld, the second season of Netflix’s Dead to Me, the premiere of the new HBO series I Know This Much is True, and the second season of Amazon’s Homecoming (now starring Janelle Monáe). But, as always, we don’t want you to miss a thing. So join us as we continue to ignore Quibi and give you our picks for the five new, under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month:
Executive Producers: Rachel Lang
Stars: Tess Haubrich, Mandy McElhinney, Jessica Tovey, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Daniel MacPherson, Don Hany, Melissa George
Premiere Date: May 7 on Sundance Now
It’s being billed as Australia’s answer to Desperate Housewives, so count me in. The eight-episode series follows Sarah (Tess Haubrich) as she discovers that her husband Anton (Daniel McPherson) is having an affair with her best friend Charlotte (Melissa George). Things go from bad to worse when Anton is arrested for Charlotte’s murder. This dark comedy will unfold over eight episodes with a new episode premiering every Thursday.
Executive Producers: Alan Poul, Damien Chazelle, Jack Thorne, Glen Ballard
Stars: André Holland, Joanna Kulig, Tahar Rahim, Leïla Bekhti, Melissa George, Adil Dehbi, Benjamin Biolay , Tchéky Karyo, Sopico
Premiere Date: May 8 on Netflix
The man behind La La Land teams up with Alan Poul, Jack Thorne, and Glen Ballard to tell the story of Paris nightclub owner Elliot Udo (Andre Holland). Once a famous pianist, now Elliot struggles to keep his nightclub alive. His life, fraught with a dubious business partner and an on-again/off-again girlfriend who is the lead singer of the club’s house band, becomes more complicated when his estranged adolescent daughter comes to live with him. It’s a good month for Melissa George, who also stars on this series. Plus, Grammy winner and prolific song writer Glen Ballard wrote all of the songs.
Executive Producers: Paul Donovan
Stars: Michael Smiley, Kerr Logan, Eileen O’Higgins, Aidan O’Hare
Premiere Date: May 18 on Acorn
This new Acorn series set in Ireland during the Victorian era tells of the true phenomenon that occurred during that time of people taking staged photographs with their recently deceased loved ones. Photographer Brock Blennerhasset (Michael Smiley) and his assistant Conall Molloy (Kerr Logan) visit the grieving to take a memorial picture. While their business is thriving, a rash of murders is taking place in Dublin, leading Detective Frederick Regan (Aidan O’Hare) to wonder if there’s a connection between the murders and the business of photographing the dead. Written by John Morton, two episodes premiere on May 18 followed by a new episode every Monday until the finale on June 15.
Executive Producer: Elwood Reid
Stars: David Thewlis, Marcia Gay Harden, Aneurin Barnard, James Bloor, Christian Cooke, David Wilmot, Thomas M. Wright, Tallulah Haddon, Kaniehtiio (Tiio) Horn, Lily Sullivan, Zahn McClarnon
Premiere Date: May 25 at 9 p.m. on Nat Geo
Based on the bestselling novel by Annie Proulx, this eight-episode series follows those who explored and settled in New France, now known as Quebec, in the late 1600s. The series explores the conflict between the settlers who were intent on converting the natives to Catholicism and the young women who were sent to the area to be matched with husbands. Keep an eye out for Marcia Gay Harden as the inn owner who knows more than she lets on and is busy working deals behind the scenes. Episodes will also be available on Hulu the day after they premiere.
Executive Producer: Sam Boyd and Paul Feig
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Zoë Chao, Peter Vack, Sasha Compere
Premiere Date: May 27 on HBO Max
There’s a new rule in streaming platform debuts. One of your first projects must star Anna Kendrick. Kendrick’s Noelle kicked off Disney+ and her Dummy, was part of the Quibi launch (where her character becomes friends with a sex doll. No we aren’t kidding). Now the Pitch Perfect star is Darby, a woman we will watch navigate romance in New York City over 10 episodes. The conceit of the series is that each half-hour episode will follow one of Darby’s relationships, and future seasons will follow a new protagonist.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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