And the winner is … you, the viewer, because there’s a plethora of new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, Apple TV Plus, DisneyPlus and other streaming services. Tea Oscars 2022 broadcast is ready to eat up three or more hours of your time on Sunday, but there are also some highly-anticipated titles that make their debut or return.
The lineup is led by Bridgerton season 2, the drama which melds Jane Austen and Gossip Girl. While season 1 followed Daphne Bridgerton’s search for love, the second installment focuses on her brother, Viscount Anthony. For more modern romance, check out season 2 of the insanely charming Starstruck, which features a couple with lots of chemistry and huge lifestyle differences.
Two new highly-anticipated series make their premieres: the video game-inspired Halo and the historical epic Pachinko. And after a four-year break, Atlanta season 3 returns with two episodes per week. Plus, Olivia Rodrigo and Lizzo hit streaming with new projects.
Here’s a guide on what to watch this weekend.
Bridgerton season 2 (Netflix)
For one out for the Hot Duke.
my husband Regé-Jean Page won’t be appearing on Bridgerton this season. Guess Simon Hastings is busy smoldering elsewhere. His wife, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), will be around to support her siblings, though. Her brother, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), is filling the Handsome Heartthrob role as he begins on a mission to find a bride.
His eye lands on Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), a debutante newly arrived from India, but her elder sister Kate (Simone Ashley) doesn’t approve of his reputation as a rake.. He’s put to the test by Kate’s razor wit and sharp tongue … and her stunning beauty. Can these two crazy kids admit their feelings for each other and get it on? This is Bridgerton, so expect to hear wedding bells.
Streaming now on netflix
Pachinko (Apple TV Plus)
The adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel is already being hailed by some critics as the best show of the year. Pachinko is a sweeping historical saga that chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations. The story is set in multiple timeframes and locations and told in three languages (Korean, Japanese and English).
It all starts in a small fishing village during Japan’s occupation of Korea in the 1920s. As a teen, Sunja engages in an impetuous romance that takes her to Osaka. In 1989, the older Sunja (played by Oscar winner Youn Yuh-Jung of Minari) still lives there with her son. When her high-powered grandson arrives from New York City for a business trip, he grapples with still-prevalent ethnic hostility, while Sunja reflects on the difficult journey that brought her to this moment.
Streaming now on Apple TV Plus
Halo (Paramount Plus)
Halo the TV show isn’t so much an adaptation of the video game, but more of an “inspired by” spinoff. The creators have said it takes place within its own Silver Timeline that is separate from the video game canon. Sure, fine, whatever. The show explores an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.
The first episode kicks off with a brutal battle between rebel soldiers and the aliens, which is interrupted by the arrival of the legendary Spartan warriors led by Master Chief. After discovering a Covenant spacecraft nearby, Master Chief unknowingly activates an artifact that triggers a series of cryptic memories. Unsure of what they mean, he disobeys an order from United Nations Space Command to kill the sole rebel survivor, Kwan (Yerin Ha). Instead, they both flee to discover what destinies lie ahead.
Streaming now on Paramount More
Atlanta season 3 (FX/Hulu)
It feels like a million billion years since we left Atlanta. OK, it last aired in 2018, but even in previous times, that’s a long hiatus. At the start of season 3, it first seems like no time has passed for Earn (Donald Glover), Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield). Along with Van (Zazie Beetz), they are in the middle of Al’s European tour — but it’s not the same one he was beginning when season 2 left off. Paper Boi is now the headliner and the friends have access to cash advances, fancy hotels and drivers.
But Atlanta never plays by convention. The premiere episode takes a detour to follow a young teen in a Get Out-like horror story about the foster care system. The second episode checks in with the familiar protagonists in Amsterdam … where Al is promptly arrested.
Streaming now on Hulu
Airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX (via Sling gold Fubo)
Starstruck season 2 (HBO Max)
“Notting Hill meets Fleabag” is how I describe this charming rom-com, which features plenty of rom and a ton of com. Starstruck is the television equivalent of a macaron — a sweet, light-as-air treat that disappears quickly. Both the first and second seasons consist of six half-hour episodes, so you can easily binge either in one evening.
Season 2 picks up right where the action left off: Jessie (Rose Matafeo) decided not to return home to New Zealand and stay in London to explore a relationship with movie star Tom (Nikesh Patel). But the course of true love never does run smooth and Jessie is forced to deal with a number of issues on top of having a famous boyfriend, including the fact that she doesn’t have a job or a place to live.
Streaming now on HBO Max
Olivia Rodrigo: driving home 2 units (Disney Plus)
Don’t expect Olivia Rodrigo’s special to resemble the in-depth, behind-the-scenes Billie Eilish documentary The World’s a Little Blurry. Driving home 2 u doesn’t explore Rodrigo’s personal life; rather, it functions almost as an extended unplugged music video for the songs from her Grammy-nominated album Sour.
In her vintage blue Ford Bronco, Rodrigo takes a solo road trip from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, a journey she took many times as a child performer. She stops at various places where she composed tracks to perform rearranged versions. For the song “good 4 u,” Rodrigo is accompanied by a string section in front of the awe-inspiring Monument Valley.
Streaming now on DisneyPlus
Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Prime Video)
Now, this is good as hell: Lizzo has created a reality competition series to look for “confident, bad-ass women” to join her backup dancer team, Big Grrrls. The superstar singer has always advocated for body positivity. As she says, “Girls that look like me don’t get representation.”
On this show, they do. Ten hopefuls move into the Big Grrrls House, where they’ll take part in dance challenges featuring guests like choreographer Tanisha Scott, musician SZA and a few of the OG Big Grrrls. Over the course of the competition, they must prove they have the juice to join Lizzo on an upcoming world tour.
Streaming now on Prime Video
If you’re growing impatient for Stranger Things 4, Parallels might just be the series to tide you over. Teen friends Sam, Bilal, Romane and Victor are living a normal life in their mountain village on the French-Swiss border when a mysterious event turns their worlds upside down (but not into the Upside Down).
The universe shuffles time, space and reality. The friends are separated and sent into parallel worlds where they must figure out what happened and how to get back to their home before their futures are altered for good.
Streaming now on DisneyPlus
The 94th Academy Awards (ABC)
It was yet another strange year for the movie industry (though not quite as weird as 2020), which is reflected in the topsy-turvy nature of several of the Oscars 2022 races. I’ve made my picks, if you need help to win your Oscar pool. The big prize, Best Picture, seems to be down to a real photo finish between leading nominee The Power of the Dog and the powerful underdog CODA.
The real drama lies in the ceremony, which will pre-tape eight of the categories and show edited clips shown instead. Ironic that one of them is the Best Editing category. The Academy has also added a “Fan Favorite” award, to be voted on by Twitter users. They already have a chance to do this; it’s called the People’s Choice Awards. Just let the Oscars be the Oscars!
Airing Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC (via Fubo)
In other entertainment news, Stranger Things season 4’s first official photos tease a scary new vibe. More, The Bachelorette 2022 unveils the potential suitors,