What’s new on streaming services this week, from Star Trek: Lower Decks to Joker
Below, we’ve rounded up eight highlights of the week in streaming. While Netflix is having a quieter seven days – probably because it just dropped a major original, The Umbrella Academy season 2, on Friday – other streaming services have a lot going on this week.
HBO Max releases its first major movie exclusive in the US, for example, while UK viewers finally get to stream Joker on Sky this week. A brand new Star Trek animated series expands the franchise into all-new territory, too, while mobile streaming service Quibi releases one of its biggest new exclusives so far.
Here’s what you can stream this week on Netflix, HBO Max, CBS All Access and more.
The Fugitive (Quibi)
Mobile-focused streaming service Quibi didn’t exactly find a place in our streaming lives when it released earlier this year, probably because we haven’t really travelled anywhere for most of 2020. The big-budget originals keep coming, though, with this latest update of The Fugitive, best known as a classic Harrison Ford movie, but itself based on a TV show.
Mike Ferro (Boyd Holbrook) is blamed for a Los Angeles subway explosion, even though he wasn’t the perpetrator, and now a fierce detective (Kiefer Sutherland in full Jack Bauer mode) is hunting him down. The 24 influence extends further than Sutherland’s involvement, though: the series is also directed by Stephen Hopkins, who directed most of 24 season 1 and helped define the style of that show.
Streaming now on Quibi
An American Pickle (HBO Max)
In 1920, an Eastern European gravedigger (Seth Rogen) emigrates to the US with his wife in search of the American dream. Unfortunately, while working in a pickle factory, he falls into a vat of brine and is perfectly preserved…for 100 years. When he wakes up, he tracks down his grandson, Ben (also played by Rogen), and tries to adjust to the modern world. This quirky-looking comedy is well worth a look if you’ve already got a HBO Max subscription.
In the UK, though, An American Pickle will be released in cinemas at an unspecified point in August.
Streaming on HBO Max from Thursday
Star Trek: Lower Decks (CBS All Access)
Ahead of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, the next entry in the franchise is an adult animated comedy from Mike McMahan, one of the key writers on Rick and Morty. It follows the crew on the lower decks of the USS Cerritos, pretty much the least important ship in Starfleet, and features The Boys’ Jack Quaid in its voice cast, among others. New episodes are rolling out weekly, and a second season is already in the works.
Streaming on CBS All Access from Thursday
Immigration Nation (Netflix)
America’s immigration system gets a detailed look from every angle in this prescient-looking documentary series, which offers an insight into the controversial ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency, as well as the lives of the people their tactics affect.
Streaming now on Netflix
Upright (Sundance Now/Now TV)
Starring comedian Tim Minchin, who sort of looks like Damian Lewis from Homeland if you squint, this Australian road trip comedy garnered acclaim when it was originally released late last year. This week, US viewers get the chance to watch it. Lucky Flynn (Minchin) travels across Australia to see his mother after he discovers she’s dying, with an upright piano strapped to the back of his truck. He soon discovers a teenage runaway, who joins him on a weird and wild journey.
Two new episodes will release every week on the Sundance Now streaming service in the US, with eight in total. UK viewers can already check it out on Now TV or Sky.
Streaming from Thursday on Sundance Now. Available now on Now TV and Sky in the UK.
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (Netflix)
The last of Guillermo Del Toro’s trifecta of animated Dreamworks series, following Trollhunters and 3Below. This series appears to make the worlds of all three shows collide as part of a massive war. We’ve not seen this one, yet, but Trollhunters is easily one of the best family-friendly shows on Netflix, and the animation is fantastic considering it’s made for TV.
Streaming on Netflix from Friday
Joker (Now TV/Sky Cinema)
In the US, HBO Max subscribers have been able to stream the Oscar-winning Joker since around launch time, but UK viewers are just getting it. Reception towards the film was divisive, with some finding its character and message irresponsible.
But the truth is, Joker isn’t smart enough to be that offensive. It’s an entertaining Scorsese movie pastiche built around an iconic comic book villain, borrowing liberally from both The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver. One of Joker’s highlights is its atmospheric, ’70s New York-looking rotten Gotham City setting.
Watch it for Joaquin Phoenix’s creepy-but-sensitive performance, which is as good as everyone says it is, and enjoy its surprisingly detailed take on the Batman mythos. This is a good, elevated popcorn movie – it just shouldn’t have been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Streaming on Now TV from Friday
Selling Sunset (Netflix)
This reality show – even if doesn’t look anything like reality as we know it – is about an LA-based estate agent selling super-expensive houses. Manufactured-looking drama, fancy properties – it’s all here! Selling Sunset season 2 was only released earlier this year, so clearly the series has been a big success for Netflix. Good escapism if this is your sort of thing.
Streaming on Netflix from Friday