The second season of the dysfunctional superhero series “The Umbrella Academy” opens with the characters scattered through the 1960s before being reunited to stop the apocalypse (again). This season picks up the pace and offers more teamwork (now that they’ve worked through some issues), delivering on they promise of the first season. (Netflix)
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and the gang are back on the small screen in “Muppets Now” (TV-G), a six-episode sketch comedy series that brings the show back to it anarchic roots with fast-paced sketch comedy and irreverent, anarchic humor. And where the original “The Muppet Show” lampooned the TV variety show, this new incarnation goofs on the streaming world and YouTube videos. New episodes each Friday. (Disney+)
Four teenage girls team up to take revenge on their enemies in “Get Even: Season 1” (TV-PG), a British high school thriller based on the “Don’t Get Mad” book series by Gretchen McNeil. When one of their targets is murdered, they realize someone is trying to frame them. The BBC series makes its U.S. premiere. (Netflix)
Edward Norton directs and stars as a detective with Tourette’s in “Motherless Brooklyn” (2019, R), an offbeat private eye drama adapted by Norton from the award-winning novel by Jonatan Lethem. Norton reimagined the novel with the blessing of the author, setting it in the corruption of 1950s New York City and drawing on the buried history of the city’s racist planning policy, and brings sharp intelligence to what is passionate labor of love. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, and Willem Dafoe costar. It disappeared too quickly from theaters last year so take this opportunity to catch up with it. (HBO Max and all HBO platforms)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried play a couple that moves into a vacation home possessed by a sinister force in in “You Should Have Left” (2020, R).
Romany Malco writes, directs, and stars in “Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison” (2020, not rated), a comedy about an ex-convict determined to become a motivational speaker.
Debuting direct to VOD are the documentaries “Rebuilding Paradise” (2020, not rated) from Ron Howard, about the California town destroyed in the 2018 wildfires, and “The Fight” (2020, not rated), focused on a team of ACLU lawyers taking on threats to American civil rights.
Hannah Marks and Liana Liberato play romantic rivals who become best friends in “Banana Split” (2020, TV-MA), an indie comedy from director Benjamin Kasulke, who photographed many of the defining Seattle independent films.
The documentary short “The Speed Cubers” (2020, not rated) focuses on two rival champions in the competitive sport of solving Rubik’s Cubes who became close friends.
More true stories: “Tread” (2020, not rated) documents the strange but true story of a man who destroys his own town with a customized bulldozer.
Streaming TV: “Shameless: Season 10” (2019, TV-MA) continues the raucous and unexpectedly addictive Showtime series about a struggling Chicago family. It’s become a hit on Netflix in the wake of Covid. Also new:
- reality cooking competition “Sugar Rush: Season 3 – Extra Sweet” (TV-PG);
- nonfiction sports series “Last Chance U: Laney (Season 5) ” (TV-MA).
International TV: “Locked Up: Season 5” (Spain, TV-MA, with subtitles) sends the female criminals on the trail of a new heist.
International cinema: the cyberthriller “The Hater” (Poland, 2020, not rated, with subtitles) follows an angry young man who uses social media to bully and smear his enemies, igniting a fuse the blows into the real world. The film’s release was delayed after a real-life hate crime with eerie parallels to filmmaker Jan Komasa’s fictional tale was perpetrated. Also new:
- murder mystery “Raat Akeli Hai” (India, 2020, not rated, with subtitles);
- “Retablo” (Peru, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), a drama about a father and son in the Andes;
- “Shine Your Eyes” (Brazil, 2020, not rated, with subtitles), about a Nigerian musician searching for his brother in Brazil;
- romantic comedy “Seriously Single” (South Africa, 2020, not rated).
Animation: “Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – Chapter 1” (not rated) is a prequel series about the origins of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons.
Stand-up: “Tumi or Not Tumi” (2020, not rated) featuring Tumi Morake.
Amazon Prime Video
Streaming TV: “Animal Kingdom: Season 4 (2019, TV-MA) continues the dark drama of a family of professional criminals run by their ruthless mother (Ellen Barkin).
Prime Video and Hulu
“Bull” (2020, not rated), a drama about an aging rodeo bullrider (Rob Morgan) and a troubled teen, played Cannes & SXSW film festivals
“Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On: Season 1” (not rated) features British chef Jamie Oliver creating home meals from simple ingredients.
O-T Fagbenle creates and stars in “Maxxx: Season 1” (2017-2020) as a former boy band star attempting a comeback. It’s one of four British sitcoms making their respective stateside debuts this week. Also new:
- darkly comic coming-of-age story “In My Skin: Season 1” (2020, not rated) with Gabrielle Creevy;
- “Brassic: Season 1” (2019, not rated) starring Joseph Gilgun and Damien Molony as lifelong best friends;
- “Ladhood: Season 1” (2019, not rated) with Liam Williams, inspired by memories of his own misspent adolescence.
Streaming TV: from Australia comes “Frayed: Season 1” (2019, not rated) starring Sarah Kendall as a wealthy London housewife returning to her hometown in Australia and from England comes the animal rescue reality show “The Dog House: Season 1” (not rated).
Beyoncé’s feature-length “visual album” “Black is King” (2020, TV-14) reimagines the lessons of “The Lion King” for today’s youth. (Disney+)
“Red Dwarf: The Promised Land” (2020, not rated) reunites the cast of the cult science fiction comedy for a 90-minute special. It debuts on BritBox along with two older British series:
- dark crime thriller “The Fall: Complete Series” (2013-2016, TV-MA) with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan;
- “River: Complete Series” (2015, TV-MA) with Stellan Skarsgard as a brilliant but troubled police inspector.
Sascha Zacharias returns as the dogged prosecutor in “Rebecka Martinsson: Series 2” (Sweden, not rated, with English subtitles). (Acorn TV)
The modern romantic comedy “Idiomatic: Season 2“ (Finland, with subtitles) continues the story of a bilingual, environmentally conscious left-wing couple in their thirties. (Sundance Now)
Criterion Channel present eight features “Directed by Atom Egoyan,” from his early, idiosyncratic films like “Family Viewing” (1987, not rated) and “Speaking Parts” (1989, not rated) to his award-winning breakthrough dramas “Exotica” (1994, R) and “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997, R), both featuring Sarah Polley and Bruce Greenwood. Also new:
- “Infinite Football” (Romania, 2018, not rated, with subtitles), an offbeat documentary from Corneliu Porumboiu;
- sexy comic drama “My Twentieth Century” (Hungary, 1989, not rated, with subtitles), which earned director Ildikó Enyedi the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival;
- “Arizona Dream” (1993, R) with Johnny Depp, Jerry Lewis, and Faye Dunaway.
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at http://streamondemandathome.com.