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A strange school year is coming to an end, giving way to an uncertain summer. More and more of the world is reopening for business, in hopes of returning to some semblance of normalcy. But honestly? Right now, at least for entertainment options, it seems unlikely June is going to be dramatically different from May. We can probably expect at least another month of hunkering down in our living rooms, looking for something to watch on TV.
Thank goodness the major streaming services still have a lot of pre-pandemic product in their pipelines, including some shows and movies that have been buzzed about for months — or in some cases, years. Here are our picks for the best new films and TV series premiering in June, plus a roundup of some of the other notable titles that will be available to stream. (Note: Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice.)
New to Netflix
‘Da 5 Bloods’
Starts streaming: June 12
The pandemic may have scuttled plans to put Spike Lee’s latest movie in theaters, but that doesn’t make its Netflix premiere any less of an event. Part war movie and part caper picture, “Da 5 Bloods” is about a group of black Vietnam veterans who return to their old battleground, searching for buried treasure while seeking some closure on a painful chapter of their lives. Lee and his Oscar-winning “BlacKkKlansman” collaborator, Kevin Willmott, have reworked a Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo screenplay that was originally about white soldiers. With the help of a stellar cast — including Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Chadwick Boseman — Lee and Willmott mean to grapple with the enduring legacy of America’s time in Vietnam and its effects on the people who fought.
“Fuller House” Season 5, Part 2
“Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On” Season 1
“Spelling the Dream”
“The Last Days of American Crime”
“13 Reasons Why” Season 4
“Queer Eye” Season 5
“Dating Around” Season 2
“F Is for Family” Season 4
“Marcella” Season 3
“Mr. Iglesias” Part 2
“The Order” Season 2
“Father Soldier Son”
“Feel the Beat”
“Floor Is Lava”
“One-Way to Tomorrow”
“The Politician” Season 2
“Eric Andre: Legalize Everything”
“Nobody Knows I’m Here”
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
“George Lopez: We’ll Do It for Half”
New to Hulu
‘In My Skin’
Starts streaming: June 4
For everyone who has burned through “Never Have I Ever” and “Normal People” and is now in need of another thoughtful and honest take on teen life, this award-winning BBC Three series might fit the bill. The “In My Skin” creator, Kayleigh Llewellyn, draws on her own experiences for this dark and very adult dramedy, about a Welsh teenager named Bethan (Gabrielle Creevy) who’s dealing with the usual adolescent anxieties about peer approval and her own sexual awakening. But at the same time she is also dodging a violent alcoholic father and taking care of a mother with bipolar disorder. The subject matter can be bleak, but Llewellyn and the director, Lucy Forbes, allow their heroine small victories as well as moments of youthful high jinks, in a show that’s attuned to how kids often have complicated private lives beneath their veneer of above-it-all cool.
Starts streaming: June 5
Elisabeth Moss gives an alternately terrifying and heartbreaking performance in “Shirley,” playing the author Shirley Jackson as a deeply cynical and depressive recluse, barely enduring a marriage of convenience with the charismatic Bennington College professor Stanley Hyman (played by the equally excellent Michael Stuhlbarg). Adapted by the screenwriter Sarah Gubbins from a Susan Scarf Merrell novel, the mostly fictional “Shirley” presents Jackson’s life through the eyes of Rose (Odessa Young), the new wife of another faculty member who becomes the writer’s aide, confidant and twisted disciple. Like the director Josephine Decker’s previous film, “Madeline’s Madeline,” this is a hazy and sensuous drama, illustrating how the rituals of privilege and academia can’t keep one mentally ill woman from spinning out of control.
‘We Are Freestyle Love Supreme’
Starts streaming: June 5
We have to wait until July for the much-anticipated arrival of “Hamilton” on Disney Plus. In the meantime, fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda can see him in “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme,” a documentary about the hip-hop improv troupe the actor and composer has performed in for more than 15 years. The “Hamilton” director, Thomas Kail, and the actor Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington in the musical’s original cast, have also been part of this loose collective of theater nerds and amateur rappers that persisted even as their individual careers took off. This film combines old footage with a behind-the-scenes look at Freestyle Love Supreme’s recent Broadway engagement to tell a story about spontaneous creativity and the restorative powers of collaboration.
“Into the Dark: Good Boy”
“Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi”
New to Amazon
Starts streaming: June 19
Early in the low-boil suspense film “7500,” terrorists commandeer an ordinary European commercial flight, forcing the pilot, Tobias Ellis (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), into life-or-death decisions for his passengers and crew — all while he’s confined to a cockpit with only a limited-perspective security camera to show him what’s happening in the main cabin. The first-time feature filmmaker Patrick Vollrath (who was nominated for an Oscar for his 2015 short film, “Everything Will Be Okay”) keeps “7500” largely free of any hard-hitting sociopolitical message. This movie is more of a clever exercise in telling a simple story on a confined set. It’s also an intense character study, closely following a conscientious man who’s just trying to puzzle out the best way to keep people alive.
“LOL: Last One Laughing Australia”
“Cómo Sobrevivir Soltero”
New to HBO
‘I May Destroy You’
Starts streaming: June 7
The British playwright, poet and actress Michaela Coel broke through to a wide international audience with her semi-autobiographical E4 and Netflix series, “Chewing Gum,” about a young Londoner raised in a religiously devout family who is contemplating losing her virginity. Coel takes a different approach with the ambitious “I May Destroy You,” a more unsettling half-hour drama, all about a popular libertine writer named Arabella (Coel) whose anything-goes persona changes after she’s drugged and assaulted during a night out with friends. The 12-part series alternates between big-picture stories about Arabella’s similarly sexually adventurous peers and some more subjective and disturbing sequences where she reckons with the lingering trauma of what happened to her. “I May Destroy You” is not always an easy show to watch, but it should be a conversation-starter.
Starts streaming: June 21
Don’t expect any old-fashioned courtroom drama in HBO’s new take on the author Erle Stanley Gardner’s character Perry Mason. This moody and explicit neo-noir series deviates widely from the source material, with an original story that explores the superlawyer’s origins in Depression-era Los Angeles, doing whatever it takes to make a buck. Matthew Rhys plays Mason as a hard-boiled private detective, working alongside his future associates Della Street (Juliet Rylance) and Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) while trying to crack cases that involve fictionalized versions of real-life L.A. celebrities from the early 20th century. The plotting is intricate and the performances are energetic; this “Perry Mason” has more in common with “Chinatown” and “L.A. Confidential” than with its predecessor.
‘Search Party’ Season 3
Starts streaming: June 25
Despite critical acclaim, the satirical dramedy “Search Party” was hardly a sensation when its first two seasons aired on TBS back in 2016 and 2017. Perhaps it’ll find a more appreciative audience now that it’s moving to HBO Max — complete with a new season that continues the story of a group of New York millennials whose lives are upended by mysteries and murder. The latest episodes aren’t for newcomers. The creators Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers presume viewers already know about the restless antiheroine Dory (played by the marvelous Alia Shawkat) and her circle of arty friends, who at the end of Season 2 faced ramifications for many bad choices. Even as the plot intensifies in Season 3, “Search Party” remains a show about young adults looking for a purpose in a society that increasingly values their money more than their ideas.
‘Welcome to Chechnya’
Starts streaming: June 30
With his documentaries “How to Survive a Plague” and “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” the journalist and filmmaker David France has combined history and activism, taking a frank and sometimes furious look at pivotal moments in the larger story of increased L.G.B.T.Q. visibility in the 20th century. France’s new film, “Welcome to Chechnya,” moves that story to the present day, covering a remarkable underground organization that has worked to sneak persecuted gay people out of a Russian republic. The personal narratives of these refugees have the tension of a high-stakes political thriller, which is amplified by France’s use of cutting-edge digital effects to disguise his subjects, giving them other people’s faces as “masks,” to help keep them and their families safe.
“Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It!”
“Infinity Train” Season 2
“Summer Camp Island” Season 2
“Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Adventure Time: Distant Lands — BMO”
“Doom Patrol” Season 2
“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark”
New to Disney Plus
Starts streaming: June 12
When the first book in Eoin Colfer’s “Artemis Fowl” series arrived in 2001, the author’s kid-friendly fantasy franchise — about a brilliant adolescent master-thief operating in a magical world of elves and fairies — seemed fated to be the next Harry Potter, inspiring blockbuster movies. Instead, it’s taken nearly 20 years for the first “Artemis Fowl” film to hit the screen — and it’s the small screen, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Ferdia Shaw as Artemis (with Colin Farrell playing his mysterious missing father), the movie isn’t so much an adaptation of Colfer’s books as it is a compressed introduction to their rich universe, which draws on Irish folklore and relies on the kind of arcane rules and hierarchies common to young adult fiction. The film is frenetically paced and visually busy, but it’ll keep the grade-school set occupied for 90 minutes.
“Walt & El Grupo”
“Schoolhouse Rock” Season 1
“Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2”