Top streams for the week
Ewan McGregor returns to the "Star Wars" universe in "Obi-Wan Kenobi: Season 1" (TV-14), an original series set between the films "Revenge of the Sith" and the original "Star Wars" (aka "A New Hope"). As Obi-Wan hides out on Tatooine to watch over the young Luke Skywalker, he's hunted by the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) and by Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), his former student. Joel Edgerton, Maya Erskine, Kumail Nanjiani, Moses Ingram, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. costar. All six episodes directed by Deborah Chow (a veteran of "The Mandalorian"). Two episodes available, new episodes on Fridays. (Disney+)
Though it's been almost three years since the last season, "Stranger Things 4: Volume 1" (TV-14) opens a mere six months later as a new threat from the Upside Down threatens the town of Hawkins. Meanwhile the Byers family (Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Noah Schnapp) struggles to build a new life in California and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) struggles with life without powers. The new batch of episodes run over an hour apiece and revel in eighties nostalgia while adding new details to show's imaginative mythology. The second half of the season drops in July. (Netflix)
"Joe Pickett: Season 1" (TV-14) stars Michael Dorman as a dedicated Wyoming game warden and family man, more at home with the wildlife than in their economically struggling town, who finds himself investigating a murder. Based on the novels of C.J. Box, it's a rural crime drama in the tradition of "Longmire" and costars Julianna Guill, Sharon Lawrence, and David Alan Grier. New episodes on Sundays. (Paramount+)
A night of partying on a college spring break gets a detour in "Emergency" (2022, R), a buddy comedy that takes a turn into chaos and confusion when best friends and roommates (Donald Elise Watkins and RJ Cyler), both African American, discover a stranger, a white girl (Maddie Nichols), passed out on their floor. Scared the police will blame them, they go careening across town to drop her off at the Emergency room while complications threaten to derail everything. It's comedy strewn through with anxiety, miscommunication, and race. Sebastian Chacon and Sabrina Carpenter costar. It won the screenwriting award at Sundance and streams a week after limited theatrical release. (Prime Video)
The documentary "Navalny" (2022, R) profiles Russian political activist and dissident Alexei Navalny in the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt and follows his efforts to track down the team that tried to murder him in August 2020. It's a real-life thriller that has become more relevant than ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Winner of two awards at Sundance. (HBO Max)
The natural history series "Prehistoric Planet" (TV-PG) uses CGI to transport viewers back in time 66 million years and imagine dinosaur life. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough. All five episodes available on Friday. (Apple TV+)
Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in "The Lost City" (2022, PG-13), a mix of romantic comedy and exotic adventure. Also streams on Paramount+ and Epix.
A small crew makes a porn film on the rural Texas farm of an elderly couple in "X" (2022, R), Ti West's tribute to 1970s American horror. Also on DVD and at Redbox.
The documentary "Since I Been Down" (2022) looks at the damage of the 1980s drug wars through those sentenced to life in prison in Tacoma, Washington.
Available same day as select theaters nationwide is "There Are No Saints" (2022, R), a violent crime thriller about a former hitman out to rescue his son, written by Paul Schrader.
True stories: "Afrobeats: The Backstory: Season 1" (Nigeria, TV-MA) explores the rise of Afrobeats, the lively music that originated in Nigeria and spread around the world.
Streaming TV: there are new seasons of reality show "The Circle" (TV-14, new episodes weekly), foodie series "Somebody Feed Phil: Season 5" (TV-14), and animated science fiction show "Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045: Season 2" (Japan, TV-MA).
Kid stuff: "My Little Pony: Make Your Mark: Chapter 1" (TV-Y) is the latest incarnation of the animated adventure.
Standup: "Ricky Gervais: Supernature" (TV-MA)
"Letterkenny" creator Jared Keeso stars in the spinoff sports comedy "Shoresy: Season 1" (TV-MA) as a hockey player on an underdog minor league team.
The limited series "Oussekine" (France, 2022, TV-MA, with subtitles) dramatizes the true story of the death of Malik Oussekine, a 22 year-old student in Paris beaten to death by police in 1986, and his family's fight for justice. Hiam Abbass and Sayyid El Alami star.
Christoffer Boe's "A Taste of Hunger" (Denmark, 2022, not rated, with subtitles) is a foodie drama starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Katrine Greis-Rosenthal as restauranteurs who sacrifice everything for a Michelin star. Also in an English dubbed version.
True stories: "Look at Me: XXXTentacion" (2022, TV-MA) looks at how Florida teenager Jahseh Onfroy became one of the most streamed rappers on the planet before his untimely death at age 20.
Streaming TV: episodes of the new game show "Don't Forget the Lyrics" (TV-PG), hosted by Niecy Nash, and competition series "Masterchef: Season 12" (TV-PG) stream a day after their respective network debuts. Also new is the classic sitcom "227: Complete Series" (1985-1990, TV-PG) starring Marla Gibbs and Regina King.
Ron Howard's documentary "We Feed People" (2022, not rated) spotlights chef José Andrés and his nonprofit humanitarian aid organization World Central Kitchen.
Amazon Prime Video
"Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks" (TV-MA) looks at the history and legacy of the sketch comedy group.
Martin Freeman plays a cop on the night shift in Liverpool in "The Responder: Season 1" (not rated), a crime drama inspired by the real-life experiences of former officer and writer Tony Schumacher. New episodes on Tuesdays. (BritBox)
"The Dreamers: Season 1" (Israel, not rated, with subtitles) tells the story of three young Palestinian students who travel to Tel Aviv in 2008 and help create an underground scene where young Jews and Palestinians gather together. (AMC+ and Sundance Now)
The two-part documentary "Sins of the Amish" (not rated) exposes the plague of sex abuse in the Amish community and the broken criminal justice system that has failed to protect the victims. (Peacock)
Sir David Attenborough narrates "Planet Earth: Dynasties II" (not rated), which takes viewers into the intimate lives of the world’s most iconic animals from birth to adulthood. New episodes on Thursdays. (AMC+)
"Slippin’ Jimmy" (not rated) is an animated prequel to "Better Call Saul" about the antics of the young Jimmy McGill in Chicago. (AMC+)
"My Sight Is Lined with Visions: 1990s Asian American Film & Video" presents ten features and seven shorts, including the formally daring "Surname Viet Given Name Nam, Trinh T. Minh-ha" (1989, not rated), the touching "Picture Bride" (1995, PG-13) featuring one of Toshiro Mifune's final performances, and the microbudget indie "Shopping for Fangs" (1997, R), the first feature from future blockbuster filmmaker Justin Lin. (Criterion Channel)
New on disc and at Redbox:
"The Batman," "X"
Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and TV can be found at https://streamondemandathome.com.
Copyright © 2022 by Sean Axmaker