7 new TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and more this weekend

The Expanse season 5
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Wondering what to watch this weekend, but you're not in the mood for the best Netflix Christmas movies, or other similarly festive content? Good news: this is a surprisingly packed week for new TV shows and movies on the big streaming services, aided by the long-awaited release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet on VOD. 

Still, it's not just confusing blockbusters you can stream this weekend – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and a few other services have a bunch of cool stuff to watch, from epic sci-fi dramas to another big Oscar contender. 

Here's what you can stream this weekend in the US and the UK.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)

Netflix rolls out another big awards season movie this weekend, this time featuring the final performance of the late Chadwick Boseman. This adaptation of the 1982 play is about the tensions between famous blues performer, Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), ambitious trumpet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) and the white management behind the scenes. Not all of Netflix's original movies have been winners this year, but this one has 99% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes – it's well worth adding to your watch list.

Now streaming on Netflix

Song Exploder season 2 (Netflix)

Netflix's adaptation of the popular podcast goes inside the making of a whole bunch more big hit songs. This series features Dua Lipa, The Killers, Nine Inch Nails and Natalia Lafourcade, although criminally, The Killers aren't talking about Mr Brightside. Surely that's the one everyone wants to hear about?

Well worth a watch regardless, even if not all of the artists match your tastes.

Now streaming on Netflix

The Expanse season 5 (Amazon Prime Video)

The most acclaimed sci-fi show you're possibly not watching is The Expanse, which Amazon saved from cancellation in season 4 – and will end after its forthcoming season 6. Liked by critics for its knotty politics and deep character development, it's perhaps a little too straightforward to compare it to the imagined Battlestar Galactica, but it certainly scratches a similar enough itch for sci-fi fans.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

The Grand Tour: A Massive Hunt (Amazon Prime Video)

Fans of old school Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have waited a whole year for this new Madagascar-set special episode – which apparently features a whole lot more peril than you might be expecting from a show about three middle-aged men driving cars around. It might be a while until there's another episode of The Grand Tour, so hopefully you'll think this one was worth 12 months of waiting. 

Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video

The Stand (CBS All Access)

Another big-budget Stephen King adaptation, this long-awaited TV version of gigantic post-apocalypse novel The Stand is one of the biggest non-Star Trek shows to hit CBS All Access yet. Featuring a big-time ensemble (Alexander Skarsgård, Whoopi Goldberg and JK Simmons, among many others), try not to dwell too hard on the fact that it's from the same writer and director as this year's poorly-received The New Mutants movie. 

Now streaming on CBS All Access in the US, and launching on Starzplay in the UK on January 3

Tenet (VOD)

Christopher Nolan's Tenet is arguably the only full-blown blockbuster that actually released on the big screen in 2020 (sorry, Sonic the Hedgehog). It's a confusing but ambitious and exciting riff on James Bond, with some time travel elements, and a bunch of visually spectacular set pieces that compare to nothing else you've seen in a movie to date.

The story is pretty straightforward: The Protagonist (John David Washington) and Neil (Robert Pattinson) team up to stop Russian moneyman Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) from destroying reality – to say any more would spoil the surprises the film has in store. After you've watched it, check out our Tenet ending explained piece to make sense of everything you just saw. 

Now available on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD

The Mandalorian season 2 finale (Disney Plus)

The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8 recap

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/screengrab)

Hey, you probably didn't need a reminder that the final episode of the Star Wars TV show's second season just released on Disney Plus – but here it is anyway. Once you're done digesting the fate of Grogu (aka The Child, or Baby Yoda), check out our recap of The Mandalorian season 2 episode 8 to catch every reference, and make sense of what's likely to come next...

Now streaming on Disney Plus

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.