What to Watch This Week on Streaming: New Movies and Shows

Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” and Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon” hit Netflix, while Disney+ has “Percy Jackson”

maestro-percy-jackson

It’s not quite Christmas yet, but there are plenty of offerings that will make you want to cozy up with your favorite family member – everything from highly anticipated YA adaptation “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” to Bradley Cooper’s new movie “Maestro” to an outer space epic courtesy of Zack Snyder (“Rebel Moon”). There’s also a new BTS documentary series (“BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star”) and the long-awaited return of “Marvel’s What If … ?” and “Dr. Death.” Plus the season finale of “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” (we think) and the series finale of “Archer” (for real this time). And your next K-drama obsession (“Gyeongseong Creature”).

On with the television! 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Wednesday, December 20, Disney+

Source: Disney+

Based on Rick Riordan’s popular young adult fantasy series that began in 2005, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” returns with a brand-new streaming series. (Two of the books were adapted into movies in 2010 and 2013.) Riordan co-created the series with “Jericho” and “The Old Man” creator Jonathan E. Steinberg, which charts the adventures of the title character (played here by “The Adam Project” vet Walker Scobell), who discovers that he’s part Greek god and is sent away to Camp Half-Blood to unlock his powers. Being a son of Poseidon is complicated! Percy’s two BFFs are played by Leah Sava Jeffries (a daughter of Athena) and Aryan Simhadri (a satyr) but the real star power is unlocked by the series’ super fun guest cast, which includes Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hermes), Jay Duplass (Hades) and Toby Stephens (Poseidon). Plus, Lance Riddick shows up as Zeus in his final television role before his sudden death from heart disease earlier this year. The two-episode premiere was directed by James Bobin (“The Muppets”) and one of the episodes will also stream on Hulu. No matter where you’re streaming, you’ll be able to check out Percy Jackson. Just as the gods intended. [TRAILER]

Lawmen: Bass Reeves

Sunday, December 17, Paramount+

Source: Paramount+

Yeah, we reckon it’s about sundown on “Lawman: Bass Reeves.” The based-on-a-true-story Western, starring David Oyelowo as the mythic lawman, the first Black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi and, depending on who you talk to, the basis for the Lone Ranger character, concludes its first (and maybe only) season this week. And if you’re curious about whether the various plot threads from this season – from drama with his family to the ongoing serial killer mystery of Mr. Sundown – will be tidily dealt with, rest assured, Bass Reeves is bringing justice home. “Lawman: Bass Reeves” has been one of the year’s more involving new shows and another feather in the cap of Taylor Sheridan’s vast televisual empire. It’s also one of the most popular shows of 2023. We’re betting Bass Reeves will ride again. [INTERVIEW]

Maestro

Wednesday, December 20, Netflix

Source: Netflix

Bradley Cooper returns with his second feature as a director. And it’s a doozy. “Maestro” centers around a real-life love story, this time between world famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). What makes this love story so complicated and compelling is that Bernstein took on male lovers throughout his relationship with Montealegre. (The movie avoids explicitly referring to Bernstein as gay but the first image of the movie is him in bed with a boyfriend played by Matt Bomer. Make of that what you will!) The movie has an epic, romantic sweep that flits through time and is hard to not get caught up in (swoon seems like a fair word to use) and Cooper has become an even more ambitious filmmaker (and performer) since his debut, 2018’s brilliant “A Star Is Born.” He inhabits Bernstein fully, with all of his genius and madness, both open-hearted and unknowable, egotistical and demure. It’s a remarkable role to tackle and it could only be achievable with a partner as generous and talented as Mulligan; you can see the torment just beneath the surface, nearly imperceptible but always there. Just please turn out all the lights, get rid of the cell phones and tablets, and turn the music way, way up. That’s how “Maestro” deserves to be experienced. [TRAILER]

BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star

Wednesday, December 20, Disney+

Source: Disney+

Here’s the official synopsis for the new documentary series: “Featuring never-before-seen interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes moments with RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook, BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star will take audiences on an in-depth journey across the band’s 10-year career, highlighting their highs and lows for the first time ever in a captivating docuseries format.” How about that? Sounds smooth like butter, like a criminal under cover. Watch it with the BTS super-fan in your life. [TRAILER]

MacGruber

Peacock

Source: Peacock

Just like “Die Hard” has become an unorthodox Christmas classic, we would argue that the “MacGruber” limited series, which came out in 2021 and was almost instantly forgotten about, deserves the same label. (Yes, we know we just made this same argument for “Hawkeye.” We stand by both.) Quite frankly, it should be an annual tradition to gather around the television and watch Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Sam Elliot get silly. The plot of the eight-episode series (gee, maybe that was too many episodes) doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the show gleefully lampoons “Die Hard” (and “Lethal Weapon” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight”) – action movies set at Christmas where explosions are easier to find than genuine yuletide cheer. If you’ve never seen the series, it will make you howl with laughter. It’s the perfect follow-up to the cult classic movie. And one of the more hilariously profane things you can find on streaming. Served best with spiked eggnog, perhaps. [WATCH]

Source: Netflix

Archer: Into the Cold

Saturday, December 17 at 10 p.m., FX/FXX

Remember when “Archer” ended its 14 season run in October? Well, as it turns out, it didn’t! And the show is actually concluding with “Archer: Into the Cold,” a three-episode finale event that will run tonight on FX and FXX. That’s right: a feature-length send off to our favorite bumbling spy. This has got to be it. Right? [TRAILER]

Dr. Death

Thursday, December 21, Peacock

Any popular limited series can turn into an “anthology” show – like that! (Just as “The White Lotus.”) “Dr. Death,” which premiered in 2021, was based on the podcast of the same name and followed the true (crime) story of very bad doctor Christopher Duntsch (played by Joshua Jackson). Season 2 follows another person who probably shouldn’t be practicing medicine – Paolo Macchiarini (played by Édgar Ramírez), an Italian surgeon in Italy. What twisted stuff did this very bad doc get into? Well, you’re going to have to watch the series (which also stars Mandy Moore and Jack Davenport) to find out. Isn’t going to the doctor scary enough? [TRAILER]

Rebel Moon

Thursday, December 21, Netflix

Zack Snyder is back. And he’s starting an entirely new universe. “Rebel Moon,” which is based on an unsuccessful pitch for a “Star Wars” movie that Snyder made years earlier, follows a freedom fighter named Kora (Sofia Boutella) as she squares off against the large, faceless forces of the Motherworld. She’ll recruit a ragtag group from across the galaxy, including Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam, Doona Bae and Snyder’s “Justice League” co-star Ray Fisher. Also Anthony Hopkins is the voice of a robot. On the side of evil, there’s Fra Fee, Ed Skrein and Jena Malone as an evil spider-woman (yes, seriously). Expect lots of dazzling visuals, a Snyder staple, and, hopefully, a world that is very much revisiting. This is actually the first part of a two-part movie (the second part is out in April), with a longer, bloodier, R-rated cut also coming to Netflix sometime in the near future, with plans for additional spin-offs (like a television series) in various stages of development. Hopefully “Rebel Moon” will do a number of things – signal the return of a big budget auteur, scratch the itch for a “Star Wars” movie (remember “Star Wars” movies?) and start a brand-new franchise for us all to enjoy. That’s a lot riding on one movie. But if anybody is up to the challenge, it’s the typically blustery Snyder. [TRAILER]

Gyeongseong Creature

Friday, December 22, Netflix

This show looks awesome. According to Netflix, Korean series “Gyeongseong Creature” “mixes lush historical drama and mystery for a period piece you won’t forget.” The show is set in 1945, when Korea was under Japanese imperial rule, “the series centers around two young adults who encounter strange creatures born from greed, and then must battle for survival in the city of Gyeongseong — now known as Seoul. But it turns out, there may be something even more dangerous out there than the creatures themselves.” The series stars  Park Seo-joon, Han So-hee, Soo Hyun, Kim Hae-sook, Jo Han-chul and Wi Ha-joon. And an important programming note: On Dec. 22 seven episodes debut, with the remaining three premiering on January 5, 2024. Spend Christmas with the creature. [TRAILER]

Marvel’s What If … ?

Friday, December 22, Disney+

This is pretty fun – “Marvel’s What If … ?,” which offers theoretical adventures across the Marvel multiverse, featuring a killer art style that combines computer animation with 2D flourishes (and is narrated by the great Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher), is rolling out its second season across nine consecutive nights, beginning Dec. 22. And what’s more – there’s even a Christmas episode slotted in there, episode 3 (“What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?”), which streams on Christmas Eve. This show is a total blast and its inspired rollout schedule makes it even cooler. Merry Marvel everyone! [WATCH]

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