What to stream: ‘Upload’ and SXSW on Amazon, ‘Never Have I Ever’ and ‘Hollywood’ on Netflix, ‘Normal People’ on Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  

Robbie Amell plays a young programmer who ends up in a virtual afterlife after a freak accident and Andy Allo is his personal “angel” guiding his journey in “Upload” (2020, TV-MA), a sci-fi comedy series from “The Office” creator Greg Daniels. It’s a raunchy satire of a world where advanced technology serves base human desires, death is monetized, and people still suffer from the same existential questions in both life and afterlife. 10 episodes on Amazon Prime Video.

Mindy Kaling draws from her life growing up Indian-American in “Never Have I Ever” (TV-14), a high school comedy about a teenage girl, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), who attempts to remake her image and popularity. 10 episodes streaming on Netflix.

Hollywood” (TV–MA) follows an aspiring actor (David Corenswet) as he tries to break into the movies in the 19940s. The limited series created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan mixes history, fiction, and speculation as it trolls the underbelly of show business. Darren Criss, Patti LuPone, Jeremy Pope, Laura Harrier, and Samara Weaving costar. 7 episodes streaming on Netflix.

Normal People” (2020, not rated), based on the novel by Sally Rooney, follows two Irish teens (Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) as they drift in an out of love over five years. All 12 episodes of the romantic drama, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) and Hettie Macdonald (“Howard’s End”), stream on Hulu.

Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star in “Bad Education” (2020, not rated), a satirical drama based on the real-life embezzlement scandal involving Long Island school district administrators. The new feature film streams on all HBO platforms.

Amazon Prime Video presents an online version of the SXSW Film Festival featuring a streaming collection of documentary and narrative features, short films and episodic titles available free for subscribers through May 5. Among the features are the comedy-drama “Cat in the Wall” from England, urban thriller “Gunpowder Heart” (Spain, with subtitles), and “The Choc de Futur” (France, with subtitles), a drama set in the music industry of 1978 Paris.

Free pick: Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation in Danny Boyle’s 2011 stage production of “Frankenstein” (not rated). Both versions available on the National Theatre YouTube channel free for one week only.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020, PG), the cartoonish video game adaptation with James Marsden, Jim Carrey, and the voice of Ben Schwartz, is available for families and the thriller “The Rhythm Section” (2020, R) with Blake Lively and Jude Law is new for older audiences. Both also on DVD and at Redbox.

Available direct to VOD is “Bull” (2020, not rated), a drama about an aging rodeo bullrider (Rob Morgan) and a troubled teen that played Cannes & SXSW film festivals, and the animated thriller “Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge” (2020, not rated), based on the video game.


Coronavirus, Explained” (2020, TV-PG), narrated by J.K. Simmons, explores the origins and history of the pandemic. New episodes will arrive this summer.

A young man (Ashton Sanders) trapped in the violence of Oakland lands in prison with his estranged father (Jeffrey Wright) in “All Day and a Night” (2020, R), a Netflix original drama from “Black Panther” cowriter Joe Robert Cole.

Also new are “Dangerous Lies” (2020, TV-14), a thriller with “Riverdale” star Camilla Mendes, and LGBTQ high school romantic drama “The Half of It” (2020, PG-13).

International cinema: a rich young man pretends to be poor to impress the girl he loves in the romantic comedy “Rich in Love” (Brazil, 2020, not rated, with subtitles). Also new:

  • thriller “Get In” (France, 2020, not rated, with subtitles) about an affluent family who come home from vacation to find squatters in their home;
  • Mrs. Serial Killer” (India, 2020, not rated) about a devoted wife who commits copycat murders to save an accused husband.

True stories: “A Secret Love” (2020, not rated) tells the story of Terry Donahue, who played in the women’s professional baseball league, and Pat Henschel, who kept their love affair secret for decades.

The Artist” (2011, PG-13), starring Jean Dujardin as a silent movie star struggling in the sound era, won five Academy Awards, including best picture, director (Michel Hazanavicius), and actor (Dujardin).

Streaming TV: the Australian thriller “Reckoning” (not rated) follows two fathers devoted to protecting their families, but one of them is a serial killer. Also new:

International TV: in “Into the Night: Season 1” (Belgium, not rated, with subtitles), passengers on an airplane do what they can to survive when the sun starts killing everybody. Also new:

Kid stuff: “Song of the Sea” (2014, PG) is an animated Irish fairy tale told in a stylized manner with appeal to young kids and adults alike. Also newly arrived are the musical fantasy “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971, G) with Gene Wilder and Tim Burton’s remake “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005, PG) with Johnny Depp.

Also new: Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning “Django Unchained” (2012, R);

Amazon Prime Video

Happiness Continues: A Jonas Brothers Concert Film” (2020, not rated) takes audiences behind the scenes of the band’s reunion tour.

Aaron Pederson is an aboriginal police detective in the Australian murder mystery “Mystery Road” (2013, TV-14) costarring Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten.

The complete run of “Cougar Town” (2010-2015), the sitcom starring Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, and Busy Philipps, is now streaming. Forget the title; the series left it long behind as it shifted gears to focus on the eccentric neighbors in a suburban Florida cul-de-sac.

International cinema: an Egyptian police orchestra gets lost in Israel in Eran Kolirin’s gently low-key character piece “The Band’s Visit” (Israel, 2007, PG-13, with subtitles).

A trio of cult European horror classics are now streaming: Dario Argento’s “Inferno” (Italy, 1980, R), Vicente Aranda’s “The Blood Spattered Bride” (Spain, 1972, R), and “Daughters of Darkness” (Belgium, 1971, R) with the great Delphine Seyrig.

Also new: Mel Gibson’s pre-Columbian survival adventure “Apocalypto” (2006, R, with subtitles);

Available through the month of May only are the first season of more than a dozen TV shows available through Amazon Channels, including:

  • political drama “Boss” (2011, TV-MA) with Kelsey Grammer (from STARZ);
  • medical drama “Good Karma Hospital ” (2017, not rated) (from Acorn TV);
  • British detective series “Inspector Lewis” (2008, TV-PG) (from PBS Masterpiece);
  • Danish drama “Seaside Hotel” (Denmark, 2014) (from PBS Masterpiece).

Prime Video / Hulu

Paulina García plays a free-spirited older woman in Santiago in Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria” (Chile, 2014, R, with subtitles) (Prime Video and Hulu).


The second season of the Australian science fiction thriller “Bloom” (2020, not rated) is now available.

Also new this month are “Batman Begins” (2005, PG-13) and “The Dark Knight” (2008, PG-13) with Christian Bale and Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas” (1990, R) with Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, and Robert DeNiro.


Betty” (TV-MA), a new dramatic series about young women in the male-dominated skateboarding culture of New York City, debuts with new episodes each Friday.

Showtime Anytime

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” (TV-MA) relocates the Gothic horror series from Victorian London to 1930s Los Angeles, where a shapeshifting demon (Natalie Dormer) gets tangled with Nazis, corrupt politicians, and a lurid murder. New episodes on Sunday nights.

Acorn TV

The final season “Lovejoy” (1994) with Ian McShane as a rakish antiques and art dealer is now on Acorn TV, making the entire series available to stream.


Blood Quantum” (2019, not rated), a zombie thriller set on a First Nations reservation in Canada, and supernatural thriller “0.0 Mhz” (South Korea, not rated, with subtitles) make their respective U.S. debuts on Shudder.

The Criterion Channel

Criterion Channel presents “Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia, 2012, PG, with subtitles), the story of a young girl who defies tradition to learn to ride a bicycle. It’s the first feature directed by a female Saudi director. Also new:

sixteen films “Starring Jean Arthur,” from lesser-known early comedies “If You Could Only Cook” (1935) and “The Whole Town’s Talking” (1935) to such classics as “The Talk of the Town” (1942) with Cary Grant and Ronald Colman and “The More the Merrier” (1944) with Joel McCrea;

  • three films from Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi including “This Is Not a Film” (Iran, 2011, not rated, with subtitles), the first film he made after being forbidden from making movies;
  • California neo-noir double feature “The Limey” (1999, R) from Steven Soderbergh
  • Mulholland Dr.” (2001, R) from David Lynch.

The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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