May is here, along with a crazy amount of TV. And we’re not just talking the “Game of Thrones” finale.
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE (Netflix). This film from Rachel Lears looks at four groundbreaking and recent congressional campaigns — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela (Nevada’s 4th District), Cori Bush (Missouri’s 1st District), and Paula Jean Swearengin (who ran against Joe Manchin in the 2018 primary in West Virginia, but was defeated).
DEAD TO ME (Netflix). Dark 10-episode comedy about widows Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini), the former with a secret. Ed Asner and James Marsden co-star.
THE SPANISH PRINCESS (Starz). This miniseries is based on Philippa Gregory’s novels, “The King’s Curse” and “The Constant Princess,” about Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope), the Spanish princess promised the English throne and became queen in 1509, as first wife of — well, you know who (Henry VIII). She had been the wife of his brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales (Angus Imrie), who had died as a teenager.
CHERNOBYL (HBO). This five-parter starring Jared Harris, Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, and Paul Ritter is a dramatization of the Ukraine nuclear power plant meltdown that occurred April 25-26 in 1986 and which became the worst in history.
LUCIFER (Netflix). The streaming has given second life to a number of network series, with “Lucifer” just the latest. All 10 episodes of the fourth season will drop on this day.
KLEPPER (Comedy Central). Former “The Daily Show” correspondent Jordan Klepper hits the road to investigate a whole range of issues, and first up: The deportation of U.S. veterans.
WINE COUNTRY (Netflix). Amy Poehler is back in her first starring role movie since “Parks and Recreation” ended in 2015. Some other major “SNL” alums (Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell) also turn up in this comedy about a 50th birthday girlfriends’ trip to California’s Napa Valley. Emily Spivey also stars, with cameos from Tina Fey, Cherry Jones, and Jason Schwartzman.
WU-TANG CLAN: OF MICS AND MEN (Showtime). Sacha Jenkins — journalist, filmmaker, hip-hop historian and much else — directs this miniseries about Wu Tang, with lots of interviews, including Method Man, Ghostface Killah and most of the other band members from over the years, who presumably will have much to say about Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who died of a drug overdose in 2004.
WHAT’S MY NAME: MUHAMMAD ALI (HBO). Director Antoine Fuqua has put together this big (160 minutes big) film about “The Greatest.”
CATCH-22 (Hulu). All six episodes of this latest adaptation of the Joseph Heller classic arrive on this day starring Christopher Abbott as Yossarian, Kyle Chandler as Cathcart, Daniel David Stewart as Milo Minderbinder, Rafi Gavron as Capt. Aardvark, Jay Paulson as Chaplain Tappman and George Clooney (who also directs) as the desperately unpleasant Lt. Scheisskopf.
FLEABAG (Amazon Prime) Season 2 of this under-the-radar gem from Phoebe Waller-Bridge arrives; until recently Waller-Bridge was busy writing the first season of “Killing Eve.”
LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE: NORMAN LEAR’S ‘ALL IN THE FAMILY’ AND ‘THE JEFFERSONS’ SPECIAL (ABC). This unique live special presented by Jimmy Kimmel and Lear will recreate classic episodes from these two classic series. Starring Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Ellie Kemper, Justina Machado and Will Ferrell.
VIDA (Starz). One of my favorite new series of ‘18 is back in ‘19. In an unusual departure, Starz will stream all 10 episodes on its app on this day (or will otherwise air weekly on the network).
WHAT/IF (Netflix). This anthology stars Renee Zellweger who makes an offer too good to refuse to a pair of newlyweds. Each season will look at a different offer to different people.
GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH (HBO). While the finale of season 8 airs on May 19, HBO is clearly having a hard time of letting go. This two-hour doc looks back at the eighth season production process.
DEADWOOD: THE MOVIE (HBO). Certainly one of the highlights of the entire year, this two-hour movie puts in the final word on the classic that ended so abruptly in 2006 after just three seasons. The gang’s all here, or most of the gang (Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, etc.). David Milch, one of the greatest writers in TV history, produced.
WHEN THEY SEE US (Netflix). This four-parter from Ava DuVernay is about the Central Park Five, with an all-star cast including Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, Niecy Nash, John Leguizamo and Blair Underwood. Felicity Huffman (long before her recent legal troubles) also taped her role as Linda Fairstein.