All The Cool Stuff Coming To Netflix In May 2024

Updated: Apr 29, 2024 09:50
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Interesting Netflix offerings this May are highlighted by the first part of the new season of “Bridgerton.” Period romance fans, though, might be thrown off by the third season’s deviation from its source material.  A mini-series adaptation of a best-selling Tom Wolfe novel might fill a little hole for those who want more “Succession”-like tales of terrible rich people being put through the wringer.  Jerry Seinfeld turns the creation of Pop-Tarts into a comic struggle.  And a South Korean drama about a nasty reality show might not be “Squid Game,” but it has its intriguing wrinkles.  Otherwise, worthy new programs this month are a little sparse.  

Apologies are owed to readers for last month’s Netflix preview.  One suggested item  turned out to be highly offensive to Black viewers.  Whether the late Norman Lear or Stephen Curry deserve to share the blame with Seth MacFarlane will be for the reader to decide.  Also, “Baby Reindeer,” a show that got passed over in last month’s piece turned out to be far more interesting than the preview writeups suggested.  At least, readers here weren’t encouraged or inspired to figure out who the real-life villains in that show were

Whether you need a reason to yell “Holy s**tsnacks” at the screen or to thrill to a Jerry Lee Lewis performance, here’s hoping this month’s list will spark some ideas for your viewing pleasure.

May 1

Dr. Stone Season 1–It’s the year 5738, more than 3700 years since a mysterious worldwide flash turned all of humanity to stone.  Teen prodigy Senku Ishigami gets suddenly revived from his petrified prison only to discover the passage of millennia has badly eroded all traces of human civilization.  He wants to find a way to mass revive other petrified humans and even rebuild human civilization on the basis of scientific principles.  But some revived humans feel this devastated Earth needs to be rebuilt with a civilization based on power and strength.

Girls Trip–Lifestyle guru Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) decides to reconnect with her college friends by inviting them to accompany her to New Orleans’ Essence Music Festival, where she will give the keynote speech.  These college friends are struggling gossip journalist Sasha (Queen Latifah), divorced nurse and single mom Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith), and now-unemployed impulsive party animal Dina (Tiffany Haddish).  The Flossy Posse, as this group is called, soon find their trip marked by misadventures resulting from an unfaithful husband, a dance off that turns ugly, and a badly timed serving of absinthe.  By festival’s end, will the Flossy Posse’s members be tight with each other again?

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar–Mallikajaan runs an elite house of tawaifs (courtesans) in Lahore’s Heeramandi district in pre-independence India.  But her daughter Bibbojaan has joined the revolutionaries demanding independence from British rule.  Youngest daughter Alamzeb wants to leave the world of Heeramandi and hopes to win the love of Tajdar, a nobleman’s son.  Meanwhile, the mysterious courtesan Fareedan decides to challenge Mallikajaan for control of this elite brothel.

Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble In Mind–Ethan Coen’s stunning documentary uses only assembled archival footage of rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis to trace his subject’s life and career.  Drawing on a mix of performance footage and interviews, Coen features Lewis performing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” scenes from his country and gospel phases, and even his cheerfully admitting to an interviewer that he married cousin Myra Gale Brown when she was twelve.  If nothing else, viewers will stop thinking Lewis means anything innocuous when he sings “we got chicken in the barn.”

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The Quintessential Quintuplets–Poor high school student Fuutarou Uesugi may be incredibly studious, but he’s also anti-social.  That attitude slowly changes when he gets a job as tutor to the wealthy Nakano children.  His students are Itsuki, Ichika, Yotsuba, Miku, and Nino: five identical quintuplet sisters who also happen to be Fuutarou’s classmates and on the verge of flunking out of school.  Over time, Fuutarou’s relationships to the individual sisters will change to varying degrees.  Maybe one of the quintuplets will be his future bride.

Rather–Frank Marshall’s documentary portrait of legendary TV journalist Dan Rather traces his 6-decade career from his early days on Texas radio to his covering such historic events as the Kennedy assassination and the fall of the Berlin Wall to the “60 Minutes” scandal that ended his CBS career to his unlikely resurrection.  The film’s a tribute to an iconic reporter whose conception of reporting “news” as a neutral endeavor would unfortunately be supplanted by Faux News’ Roger Ailes’ turning journalism into a partisan battlefield.


May 2

A Man In Full–If you’re missing “Succession,” you might want to check out David E. Kelley’s miniseries adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s bestselling novel.  Atlanta real-estate tycoon Charles Croker (Jeff Daniels) is an incredibly egotistical tool who seems to have it all.  Unfortunately, thanks to a sudden bankruptcy and conflicts of interest, Croker’s hold on power is about to become very slippery.  However, the tycoon will do whatever it takes to keep his rivals or the Feds from disassembling his empire.

Shadow In The Cloud–It’s 1943, and British flight officer Maude Garrett (Chloe Grace Moretz) hitches a ride aboard the rickety B-17 bomber “The Fool’s Errand” on a nighttime supply drop.  She says she’s on a top secret mission which involves the radio bag she keeps close to her chest, but the all-male crew’s misogyny and suspicion leads to Garrett’s being confined to the plane’s belly gun turret.  This semi-imprisonment turns out to be a good thing, as she’s the one who spots the enemies threatening “The Fool’s Errand”: several Japanese Zeroes intent on shooting down the bomber and some gremlins intent on literally tearing out the plane’s vital parts.

T.P. Bon–In this new animated adaptation of a manga by Fujiko F. Fujio (“Doraemon”), high school student Bon Namihira believes he’s an average nobody.  But when the mysterious girl Ream Stream enters Bon’s life, he soon gets inducted into the secret organization known as the Time Patrol.  The agents of the Patrol are tasked with saving people in need in various historical periods around the world, such as the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages, and World War II.

May 3

Unfrosted–Comedian Jerry Seinfeld makes his directorial debut by expanding his Pop-Tart stand-up sketch into a full blown movie.  It’s Michigan 1963, and the Post cereal company comes up with the idea of creating a pastry that will change the face of breakfast forever.  When rival cereal company Kellogg’s hears of Post’s project, it decides to do the same thing.  The (untrue but still funny) result: a NASA vs. Soviet Union space program-style race involving “ambition, betrayal, sugar, and menacing milkmen.”

May 5

The Peanut Butter Falcon–Zak is a young man with Down syndrome who has escaped from his care facility so he can train and become a wrestler under the tutelage of his hero, the Salt Water Redneck.  Tyler (Shia Le Boeuf) is on the run for burning the gear of his rivals Duncan and Ratboy.  Both fugitives meet and decide to go to the Salt Water Redneck’s school together.  Along the way, they become friends.  Tyler tries to get Zak in shape and even teach him some life skills.  Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a nurse at Zak’s facility, eventually tracks down Zak but winds up joining the two fugitives.  Meanwhile, the pursuing Duncan and Ratboy want to beat up Tyler.    

Bridgerton Season 3

May 6

30 For 30: Deion’s Double-Play–This strange-but-true documentary recounts how Deion Sanders attempted on October 11, 1992 to play both an NFL game (for the Atlanta Falcons against the Dolphins in Miami) and an MLB game (with the Atlanta Braves for the MLB playoffs) on the same day.

May 9

Bodkin–The title of this comic thriller is the name of an idyllic coastal Irish town where three strangers disappeared under mysterious circumstances.  A motley crew led by American podcaster Gilbert Power (Will Forte) and hard nosed investigative journalist Dove come to Bodkin to investigate the disappearances.  But they soon discover a weirder and bigger story than they imagined.  That is, if they can perceive the difference between truth and the rationalizations for the lies they believe.  Executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama.

The Guardian Of The Monarchs–This true crime docuseries recounts the 2020 murder of renowned monarch butterfly activist Homero Gomez Gonzalez.  Gomez defended the Ocampo area’s migratory monarch butterfly population and their 140,000 acre habitat.  However, organized crime groups used the El Rosario butterfly sanctuary’s forest for illegal logging and other criminal activities.  Gomez’s fierce criticism of these illicit acts was strongly suspected of leading to his death.  However, the authorities have officially labeled Gomez’s murder unsolved.

May 13

Archer (The Complete Series)–Imagine what you’d get if you crossed “Arrested Development” with Sean Connery-era James Bond and then animated the results.  The answer is this hilariously filthy spy spoof.  Spy Sterling Archer is the deadliest spy in the organization known as ISIS (not the one involved in Middle Eastern terrorism).  He’s a womanizing boozehound who takes his globetrotting missions based on how much fun he’ll have.  His work also sexually turns him on.  His love-hate relationship with ISIS head Malory comes from the fact that she’s both a fierce domineering woman…and his mother.  In addition, the show boasts a great supporting cast, hilarious dialogue, and lots of insane comedy references.  Anybody who tells you to avoid this show is not your friend, they’re a Decepticon.

May 16

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1–Taking a left turn from Shonda Rhimes’ series’ source material, this new season’s central romance will please Polin (Penelope Featherington & Colin Bridgerton) shippers.  When Penelope overheard Colin saying that he would never dream of courting her, she decides to look elsewhere for a husband.  But her lack of confidence dooms her efforts to find someone else.  Penelope’s cold shoulder gives Colin the clue train ticket that he needs to try to get back in her good graces.  But the confidence lessons he gives her are too successful, and he starts wondering about his true feelings towards Penelope.  But he’d better hurry, as  Lord Debling also has his eye on young Miss Featherington.  On top of all this, best friend Eloise Bridgerton has become distant towards Penelope after learning she’s notorious gossipmonger Lady Whistledown.    

The 8 Show

May 17

The 8 Show Season 1–What would you do if you were desperate for money?  For the eight people who agree to appear on the reality variety show “Money Game,” it’s to stay at the show’s studio for 100 days.  If the contestants do so, they can equally split the prize pot, which currently stands at 44.8 billion won.  The first of the big catches: the studio consists of just concrete walls.  The second catch: if the contestants want such necessities as food, water, and electricity, they need to spend the money in the prize pot.  The final catch: the prices for these necessities are 1000 times what they would be in the outside world.  Will greed win out over personal survival?

Open Heart–New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist built an impressive NHL career.  His accomplishments include leading Sweden’s hockey team to Olympic gold in 2006 and having 11-straight 30-win seasons.  In 2020, Lundqvist was forced to undergo open-heart surgery at age 38.  Can arduous rehab make him ready to resume his NHL career?

May 30

Eric–In 1980s New York City, leading children’s puppeteer Vincent (Benedict Cumberbatch) starts emotionally spiraling when his 9-year-old son Edgar disappears on the way to school.  His distress and volatility alternate with self-loathing and guilt as his searches fail to bear fruit.  Vincent’s only emotional lifeline turns out to be Edgar’s drawings of a blue monster puppet named Eric.  The puppeteer’s convinced that getting Eric on TV is the key to getting his son to come home even as family and colleagues question his sanity.

May 31

A Part Of You–In this Swedish teen coming-of-age drama, Agnes wishes she could be more like her older sister Julia.  The elder sibling is the school’s coolest person, the center of every party, and the girlfriend of the popular Noel.  When the worst possible circumstances force Agnes to reinvent herself, is the cost of realizing her wishes too high?

Raising Voices–Why does a 17-year-old girl hang a huge banner on the front of her school reading “Careful! Rapist hiding here?”  Who’s the person who posted on social media a photo captioned “This is me the day before I was raped?”  How does the rape accusation and the subsequent investigation affect the lives of 17-year-old BFFs Alma, Greta, and Nata, who have been friends since they were little? 










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Peter Wong

Peter Wong

I've been reviewing films for quite a few years now, principally for the online publication Beyond Chron. My search for unique cinematic experiences and genre dips have taken me everywhere from old S.F. Chinatown movie theaters showing first-run Jackie Chan movies to the chilly slopes of Park City. Movies having cat pron instantly ping my radar.