As weekends go in the calendar of new streaming arrivals, this one’s a big deal. For Disney, in particular, the next few days mark the long-awaited return of its flagship superhero franchise, as well as the launch of a spin-off show for one of its most beloved animated properties. Hell, there’s even a downright bizarre, inter-franchise crossover to enjoy.
The biggest arrival, of course, is Marvel’s Black Widow. The Scarlett Johansson-led origin story takes audiences back to the fallout of Captain America: Civil War, and is the first movie in the studio’s hotly-anticipated Phase Four. It’s also the first feature-length Marvel adventure since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home – so this is a big deal for Hollywood. As well as landing on Disney Plus via Premier Access, you can go see it in theaters, if you choose to.
That’s not the only new movie arriving on the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max this weekend, though. Below, we round up the best of the rest – from returning comedy shows to original thrillers.
Black Widow (Disney Plus)
It’s been a long time coming, but after several Covid-related release delays, Black Widow has finally arrived in theaters and on Disney Plus via the streamer’s Premier Access service. You can see it here on Disney Plus, though it will cost extra on top of your subscription fee.
Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha in the first standalone adventure for the character, in which she’s forced to confront the as-yet unexplored demons of her past. Basically, that means we get a better look at Black Widow’s troubled upbringing as a superspy-in-waiting.
As well as the customary butt-kicking and skydiving, though, we also learn more about her family – made up of David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh – in this story. And if those names still aren’t enough to make you interested in this movie, no amount of positive critical reception will do the trick, either.
We’ve seen it, and you can check out our mostly positive thoughts here.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus via Premier Access
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson season 2 (Netflix)
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson, the widely praised comedy series from the titular SNL veteran, returns to Netflix for a second season this week. The show’s premise remains the same: in each segment, Robinson and his guests do whatever they can to try and drive someone to the point of desperately wanting to be rid of his company.
Sounds fun, right? Well, it is, and the series’ return has garnered near-universal critical acclaim from audiences on side with Robinson’s offbeat, uncomfortable and at times ridiculous humor.
Take it from us, I Think You Should Leave is still Netflix's funniest and weirdest show.
Now available to stream on Netflix
Monsters at Work (Disney Plus)
The chronological follow-up to 2001’s Monsters, Inc., Monsters at Work now finds the scare floor tasked with making children laugh, not cry, in a new animated series on Disney Plus.
The iconic voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger and Jennifer Tilly all return, while the likes of Ben Feldman, Henry Winkler, Mindy Kaling, Lucas Neff and Aisha Tyler join the roster of corporate critters.
Monsters at Work is the first official long-form television series based on a Pixar property which, for our money, makes it worth a try.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus
The Good, the Bart, and the Loki (Disney Plus)
Yes, you read that right. Arriving alongside the fifth episode of Loki this week is The Good, the Bart, and the Loki, a Simpsons short which sees the Asgardian trickster land in Springfield, where he’s forced into a showdown with the town's equivalent of the Avengers.
In this one-off special, Loki turns to the equally-mischievous Bart for help in taking down the likes of Ralph Wiggum, Comic Book Guy and Barney Gumble – so expect hijinks aplenty.
Both Disney and The Simpsons partnered on a recent Star Wars crossover in May, too, so there’s every chance we can expect even more Marvel heroes in Springfield later down the line.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus
Gossip Girl (HBO Max)
If you went to high school in the noughties, you’ll know about Gossip Girl. The cult teen drama series, which first aired in 2007, followed the troubled love lives of popular private school girls as narrated by the unknown, omniscient blogger, ‘Gossip Girl.’
Now, the show is back for 2021. Written by original scriptwriter Joshua Safran and once again featuring Kristen Bell as the narrator, Gossip Girl returns as a new generation of New York’s young elite take control of Constance Billard. There’s no Blake Lively this time around, but expect plenty more backstabbing, bitching and boy drama.
Six episodes are available to stream now, with the remaining six arriving later in the year.
Sadly, if you're in the UK, you'll have to wait until a vague 'later this year' to watch it on BBC iPlayer, which has the rights to show it. Would it kill them to release it now, when everyone in the US is watching it?
Now available to stream on HBO Max in the US, and coming later this year on BBC iPlayer in the UK
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (Netflix)
For the first time in its history, the Resident Evil franchise gets the animated series treatment. Netflix’s Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness follows Resident Evil 2 protagonists Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they investigate – you guessed it – a zombie outbreak in the White House.
The show is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, and may serve as a nice precursor to the arrival of Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, a reboot movie based on the first and second games scheduled to arrive later in the year.
A separate, live-action TV adaptation of the franchise is also currently in production, though that’s not expected to drop on Netflix until 2022 at the earliest.
Now available to stream on Netflix
The White Lotus (HBO Max)
A social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, The White Lotus follows the vacations of various hotel guests as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise – until their darkest secrets are revealed, that is.
This HBO Original series is written and directed by Mike White (of Enlightened fame) and stars the likes of Alexandra Daddario, Connie Britton, Fred Hechinger, Sydney Sweeney and Steve Zahn.
Critical reception has been mixed so far, but The White Lotus has generally been praised for its reluctance to be categorized. It’s not strictly a comedy, thriller or romance, but rather a mix of all three – “an intoxicating rabbit hole” is the best descriptor we’ve found so far.
Given the quality of recent HBO originals, we're inclined to give this one a try. In the UK, we'd expect to see this one on Sky and Now TV at some point, but right now there's no info on its release.
Available to stream on HBO Max from Sunday
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.