by Julian Spivey
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill – Netflix – May 5
Jerry Seinfeld is one of the greatest and most successful stand-up comedians of all-time and just based on the syndication and streaming rights to “Seinfeld” is likely one of the richest people in the entertainment industry, but the thing I most respect about him is he doesn’t just sit in his rich home on his rich couch counting all his millions like many who made their bones in stand-up and left it behind seemingly never to return. Seinfeld still loves doing stand-up sets on late night TV shows and is returning for his second stand-up special for Netflix and the first completely original stand-up special since 1998.
Dead to Me: Season 2 – Netflix – May 8
Netflix’s “Dead to Me” was billed as a comedy in its initial advertising and with its lead Christina Applegate being nominated in comedy categories at award shows. But, while their were moments of humor sprinkled here and there “Dead to Me” is pretty much a drama (and that’s not a knock on the series) and it’s nice to see Applegate shine in something a bit more dramatic and darker after spending much of her career on traditional sitcoms. Applegate is terrific in her role as Jen Harding, a widow whose husband was killed in an unsolved hit-and-run and is out to solve the crime. She befriends Judy Hale, played by a strong Linda Cardellini, in season one and it’ll certainly be interesting to see where these two take off in season two after the shocker of a season one ending.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend – Netflix – May 12
When Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” ended in early 2019 after four seasons I was alright seeing it go. It certainly still had its laugh out loud moments but wasn’t quite as fresh as it was in the beginning. With that said, I’m still happy to see the one-off interactive special premiering on May 12 titled “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend.” Netflix had success with the interactive movie “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” in late 2018 and decided to give it a shot with Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) who will be attempting to foil a new plan by the villainous Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) in a choose your own plot adventure.
Rocketman – Hulu & Amazon Prime – May 22
“Rocketman,” the biopic of Elton John that received major praise from critics and won Taron Egerton a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the pop-rock piano legend, is debuting on both Hulu and Amazon Prime on May 22 giving many folks who haven’t yet seen it a chance to see one of the best films of last year. Director Dexter Fletcher did a terrific job of telling the story of Elton John’s heyday in all its glory, and most important imperfections, and does so with a flare that gives the biopic a feel of a grand musical in some scenes. I highly recommend this film even if you’re not a huge fan of its major focus.
Space Force – Netflix – May 29
Steve Carell has re-teamed with “The Office” showrunner Greg Daniels for a new Netflix comedy that pokes fun of one of the Trump administration’s dumbest ideas, the creation of a sixth brand of the United States Armed Forces called the United States Space Force. There is absolutely no other actor I’d like to see in charge of a Space Force than Carell, and I think a lot of that has to do with this brilliant ‘SNL’ sketch from last season. This series seems like it’s going to be wacky as hell and a ton of fun, especially with John Malkovich co-starring in a role that amounts to a parody of Dr. Strangelove.