So, it’s September and you’re thinking maybe it’s time to head back out into the world. Movie theaters are opening back up. Tenet is pretty good. And you think you’ve seen everything on streaming. Wrong! Each and every month there are new great series coming to a streaming service near you. That’s why I write these dang guides, silly.
Anyway, I know Deepak’s bringing the heat with his movie guide. But, like streaming, I’m still here. Letting you know that it’s okay to hunker down in your living room, and keep letting 2020 ride itself out. As always, stay safe. Wear a mask. And check out some of these new streaming series.
Raised By Wolves | HBO Max
Ridley Scott’s new series, Raised By Wolves, has made its way over to HBO Max after a long incubation period. The series was originally announced as a TNT series in the fall of 2018. Since then, it has been highly anticipated by fans and critics alike. With Scott returning to hard science fiction, hopes are high that the series will bring Alien levels of heat. The HBO Max exclusive looks like it is bringing the full weight of AT&T’s considerable financial strength behind it.
Raised By Wolves centers on two androids raising human children on Kepler-22B, a mysterious planet with a newfound human colony. As religious differences tear the colony apart, the androids work to control the humans’ systems of beliefs. The aesthetics of the show look absolutely buck wild, and the world-building sounds dense as anything we’ve seen on television lately. If the show lives up to its full potential, it could easily be the best show of the year. Then again, Ridley Scott has not had the most success on the small screen in the past. We’ll have to wait and see how Raised By Wolves turns out.
Away | Netflix
Away has the kind of vibe that has come off a lot of the best science fiction movies in the past few years. Movies like Gravity, Ad Astra, or The Martian. A sort of modern story, rooted in modern science, that elevates the subject matter by grounding itself in the real. This kind of hard science fiction can feel less exciting than the “space operas” that get lumped into the sci-fi category, but these stories are really at the heart of science fiction. They’re about how scientists and engineers would solve problems that they might actually encounter. And while it is less dramatic than shooting aliens with lasers, it show us our greatest human potential.
Away puts Hilary Swank at the heart of the first journey to Mars. Along with her multi-national crew, she takes on the three-year mission with a full view of what it will mean for her family. The story looks like it’s deeply personal, using the backdrop of big cosmic adventure to get at the specific, intimate moments that make us human. Just because the drama here will be close to home, recognizable kind doesn’t mean it will be any less dramatic than having to fight an alien with a laser sword.
The Boys | Amazon Prime
The Boys is based on the Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson comic series of the same name. The first season of The Boys was celebrated by critics and audiences alike when it premiered last year. The show’s irreverent tone and violent delight paired well with its willingness to engage with heavy and relevant themes. With the success of the first season and the lengthy run the comics had, a second season was basically guaranteed.
Based on early reviews, The Boys Season 2 is a rare second season that is even better than the first one. The action is bigger. It doubles down on the action and the commentary, without getting bogged down in either. Advertisements or casual viewing of The Boys might make it look like a meat-headed punch fest. But the subversive, cynical show is actually doing more than most superhero programming these days.
Ratched | Netflix
I’ll be honest, I’m not convinced there’s a need for a Nurse Ratched origin story. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the most iconic movies of all time, and her role in that movie is part of what makes it great. Expanding on that in an origin-story TV series feels like something that would have been more in style 20 years ago. I’m not sure I see the appeal.
And then there’s the Ryan Murphy of it all. Murphy’s exclusivity deal with Netflix hasn’t been exactly stellar so far. Hollywood and The Politician were both a little underwhelming. But Ratched feels like a return to form for the creator of American Horror Story. The asylum setting gives him the free rein to bring in the sort of psychological horror elements that have always worked for him. And the show’s distinct visual style suggests that he’s taking more aesthetic risks than with either of the two previous Netflix shows. Hopefully, Ratched can be an opportunity for Murphy and his team to get back to brass tacks and make a high quality show that is equal parts creepy and beautiful.
Which series are you most looking forward to streaming this month? Are any of these at the top of your list? Or is there something else you’re excited about? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook. And don’t forget to check back in for reviews of all these shows and more, all month long.