Every month, streaming services in Australia add a new batch of movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for April.
‘Worn Stories’ Season 1
Based on the Times columnist Emily Spivack’s book of the same name, the docu-series “Worn Stories” features short vignettes about what people wear and why. The show’s crew has assembled slice-of-life footage and thoughtful comments from a wide variety of people, who talk about how clothing — or the lack thereof, in the case of one segment about nudism — connects them to history, to their families, and to the communities they love. “Worn Stories” is comforting TV, designed to leave viewers feeling more optimistic about humanity.
The “Stranger Things” actor Caleb McLaughlin plays a troubled teen named Cole in this coming-of-age drama, set in a Philadelphia neighborhood where the predominately Black residents defy the local authorities by maintaining a stable of horses. Idris Elba plays Cole’s father Harp, who tries to steer him away from the local drug trade by teaching him to cherish the responsibility of caring for a large animal. Based on a Greg Neri novel, “Concrete Cowboy” is an earnest and often lyrical look at an unusual urban subculture.
In the mid-1970s, the con man Charles Sobhraj embarked on a crime spree across eastern Asia, at first swindling and then murdering a succession of tourists, with the help of a handful of loyal followers. Tahar Rahim plays Sobhraj in the British crime drama “The Serpent.” The show features a timeline-hopping structure, meant to compare and contrast the killer’s rampage with the work of the Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle), who investigated the deaths of a young couple from his country. This eight-part mini-series is both a character sketch and a portrait of a wild and sometimes dangerous decade.
‘Shadow and Bone’ Season 1
Fans of big, sweeping Netflix fantasy series — like “The Witcher” and “The Umbrella Academy” — are the ideal audience for “Shadow and Bone.” This adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s popular series of supernatural adventure novels is set in a world where unstoppable giant monsters terrorize a society governed by a rigid military and unscrupulous outlaws. Jessie Mei Li plays Alina Starkov, an ordinary soldier who surprises her comrades by exhibiting extraordinary superpowers — perhaps strong enough to change their lives.
‘Yasuke’ Season 1
In this animated action-adventure series, LaKeith Stanfield voices the title character, very loosely based on the historical records of an African-born samurai who fought in 16th century Japan. Created by the writer/producer LaSean Thomas (who previously worked on “Black Dynamite” and “Cannon Busters”), “Yasuke” follows this masterless swordsman as he reluctantly agrees to escort a superpowered girl on a dangerous quest. The story jumps back in forth in time, showing how Yasuke fights for his own nobility after a lifetime of bad breaks.
Also arriving: “Prank Encounters” Season 2 (April 1), “Just Say Yes” (April 2), “Madame Claude” (April 2), “Family Reunion” Season 3 (April 5), “Snabba Cash” Season 1 (April 7), “This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist” (April 7), “The Wedding Coach” Season 1 (April 7), “The Way of the Househusband” Season 1 (April 8), “Night in Paradise” (April 9), “Thunder Force” (April 9), “My Love: Six Stories of True Love” (April 13), “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” (April 14), “Law School” (April 14), “Love and Monsters” (April 14), “The Soul” (April 14), “Arlo the Alligator Boy” (April 16), “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers” Season 4 (April 16), “Into the Beat” (April 16), “Ride or Die” (April 16), “Zero” Season 1 (April 21), “Stowaway” (April 22), “Fatima” (April 27), “Sexify” (April 28), “And Tomorrow the Entire World” (April 30), “The Innocent” (April 30), “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (April 30), “Things Heard and Seen” (April 30).
‘Made for Love’ Season 1
The terrific comic actress Cristin Milioti takes the lead in this offbeat science-fiction dramedy, based on an Alissa Nutting novel. Milioti plays Hazel, who gets fed up with her controlling tech billionaire husband Byron (Billy Magnussen) and flees to the middle of nowhere to spend time with her relatively low-maintenance dad (Ray Romano). Unfortunately, Hazel soon finds she can’t flee modernity — not with her father’s synthetic girlfriend taking up space around the house, and not with Byron’s cutting-edge surveillance equipment tracking her every move and mood.
‘No Activity’ Season 4
The American version of the Australian series “No Activity” features a new approach for its fourth season, necessitated by the pandemic. The show is still mostly about lawmen dealing with the tedium of waiting for something to happen while investigating cases, but the format has now switched from live action to animation — which also allows for an all-star team of guest stars, including Kevin Bacon, Elle Fanning, Will Forte and D’Arcy Carden. Patrick Brammall (who cocreated the original show with the writer-director Trent O’Donnell) returns as a cop who dreams of tackling major crimes but who keeps getting assigned much duller duties.
‘Younger’ Season 7
The seventh season is the last for this beloved sitcom, created by the “Sex and the City” producer Darren Star. “Younger” started out as a shrewd and cynical take on the modern New York publishing business, with Sutton Foster playing a middle-aged divorcee pretending to be a hip 20-something in order to get a job. But over the course of its run, the series has dealt with more than just the generation gap, as Star and his team have explored the fragile state of modern media. Throughout, the heroine’s big lie has remained the main hook, and the foundation for the cliffhanger setting up this final run.
‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’ Season 2
One of 2020s most entertaining and emotionally engaging new comedies returns for a second season. Josh Thomas plays Nicholas, a formerly carefree Australian now saddled with the guardianship of his two American half sisters: the high-functioning autistic savant Matilda (Kayla Cromer) and the social misfit Genevieve (Maeve Press). While the show is mostly about the girls — both lovable characters, wonderfully played — it’s also about how Nicholas struggles with whether he should be more of a “dad” to these emotionally fragile teens, as they navigate upper middle-class Los Angeles.
‘Godfather of Harlem’ Season 2
The first season of this period crime drama introduced Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker), an aging crime boss trying to reestablish his dominance in early 1960s New York after a decade in prison. The initial ten episodes covered the rapid changes in politics and pop culture, in an era when African-Americans were wielding power more publicly — even in the drug trade. Season two will add even more real-life (and fictional) gangsters, activists and celebrities, and should further the show’s reputation as one of TV’s best-acted and most ambitious crime dramas.
‘Rutherford Falls’ Season 1
The latest project for the writer-producer Michael Schur — one of the creators who brought “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place” to the small screen — is a sitcom about the complex and sometimes combative relationship between the residents of a Native American reservation and a nearby community in upstate New York. Ed Helms (another of the show’s creators) stars as the descendant of a local historical figure. The “Rutherford Falls” head writer Sierra Teller Ornelas leads a staff that is primarily made up of Indigenous people, lending authenticity — as well as some wryly self-aware humor — to these stories of small town life.
‘Jimmy Barnes: Working Class Boy’
Based on Jimmy Barnes’ frank memoir, this documentary tells the story of how the Scottish-born singer-songwriter overcame a rough childhood to become one of the most popular musicians in Australia. The film isn’t a comprehensive look at Barnes or his band Cold Chisel. Instead the director Mark Joffe lets his subject talk at length about his formative years, while cutting occasionally to some new performance footage in an intimate setting, in which Barnes strips his music — and his life — down to its soulful core.
Kate Winslet won Best Actress at the AACTA Awards — and her co-stars Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving won Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor — for this darkly comic melodrama, about a talented tailor who returns to her inhospitable hometown with vengeance on her mind. Winslet plays the title character, who was driven away by her neighbors as a little girl because of a crime she’s pretty sure she didn’t commit. Directed and co-written by Jocelyn Moorhouse (adapting a Rosalie Ham novel), “The Dressmaker” is stylish, dynamic and shockingly — and wonderfully — dark in places.
Also arriving: “Cheat” Season 1 (April 1), “Dinner with Friends” (April 1), “I Used to Go Here” (April 1), “Jiu Jitsu” (April 1), “Recoil” (April 1), “Tyson” (April 1), “The Capture” Season 1 (April 2), “The Moodys” Season 2 (April 2), “Pitch Perfect” (April 7), “Pitch Perfect 2” (April 7), “Home Economics” Season 1 (April 14), “Grow” (April 8), “Reservoir Dogs” (April 10), “Van Der Walk” Season 1 (April 16), “Confronting a Serial Killer” (April 18), “Baby Done” (April 20), “Gold Diggers” (April 22), “Anzacs” Season 1 (April 23).
‘Them’ Season 1
“The Chi” creator Lena Waithe is one of the producers of this socially conscious horror anthology, from the mind of the writer Little Marvin. In season one — subtitled “Covenant” — Deborah Ayorinde and Ashley Thomas play the Emorys, a pair of married Black parents from North Carolina who move to a white middle-class neighborhood in Los Angeles in the early 1950s. Alison Pill plays the block’s bigoted tastemaker, who persuades her girlfriends and their husbands to make the Emorys feel unwelcome. The story eventually takes a turn toward the supernatural, although it’s plenty terrifying when it’s just about discrimination.
Also arriving: “Frank of Ireland” (April 16), “Without Remorse” (April 30).