Sally Rooney, Hannah Gadsby, Dead to Me and Steve Carrell! We didn’t start the fire.
Sally Rooney, Hannah Gadsby, Dead to Me and Steve Carrell! We didn’t start the fire.

Pop CultureMay 1, 2020

What’s new to Netflix NZ, Neon and every other streaming service in May

Sally Rooney, Hannah Gadsby, Dead to Me and Steve Carrell! We didn’t start the fire.
Sally Rooney, Hannah Gadsby, Dead to Me and Steve Carrell! We didn’t start the fire.

What are you going to be watching in May? The Spinoff rounds up everything that’s coming to streaming services this month, including Netflix, Lightbox, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, Neon and TVNZ OnDemand.

Click here to read our listings from April.

The biggies

Dead to Me (season 2 on Netflix, binge from May 8)

When you’re scrolling through Netflix looking for a new series to binge, so much depends on the title. Dead to Me isn’t a great one, sounding both supernatural-themed and forgettable. In fact Dead to Me, the show, is neither: it’s a black comedy about two women who bond at a grief support group – and also a Single White Female-esque thriller with plenty of twists to keep the suspense high. Christina Applegate as grieving widow Jen scored the Emmy nomination last year, but it’s Linda Cardellini who has arguably the more compelling role as her flaky, possibly psychotic friend Judy. In the season one finale Judy was faced with her second unexpected death to cover up, this time with Jen’s help. It’ll be good to have the two of them back on our screens. / Catherine McGregor

Normal People (limited series on TVNZ on Demand, binge now)

From our full review: “Rather than a film, which might be more fitting for the book’s fairly short length, Normal People has been adapted into a 12-part series by the BBC and Hulu, headed up by writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Lowe. It’s a risk to take for a story that is this insular; it’s far more attuned to the internal rhythms of its characters than it is any external plot. The obstacles here are interpersonal, sometimes structural (hey class system!), and not necessarily suited to episodic storytelling. There’s every chance the translation could’ve lost what made the book special by adding unnecessary narrative, say a twist here or a character there, and be another in a long line of adaptations made solely for people who didn’t read the book.” You can read the rest of the review here. / Sam Brooks

I Know This Much is True (limited series on Neon, from May 11)

No, it’s not an adaptation of the Spandau Ballet song. It’s instead an adaptation of the popular Wally Lamb novel from the late 90s, about two twins who live, frankly, quite miserable lives due to their various illnesses and social situation. Mark Ruffalo plays both twins, Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) directs and they’re supported by a stonkingly good cast, including Juliette Lewis, Archie Panjabi and Rosie O’Donnell. Expect tears. / SB

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (special on Netflix, from May 26)

Hannah Gadsby is back with another stand-up special, despite famously swearing off the form in 2018’s Nanette, the comedy special that everybody watched and had an opinion on. Surprisingly, almost every opinion was insufferable, mine included, which is a shame, because Nanette was miles better than the discussion around it. Gadsby toured Douglas around the world in the past year, refining the show, and after seeing a 90-minute version in January, I’m keen to see how much the comedian/not-comedian has honed it for Netflix. / SB

The notables

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs The Reverend (interactive special on Netflix, from May 12)

If you watched the interactive episode of Black Mirror and thought what it really needed was a spunky heroine, a melodramatic best friend, a shallow socialite and a purple backpack, then Netflix’s new comedy interactive is all your dreams come true. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back for one last episode, but this time it’s up to us idiots at home to decide how the series ends. We’ve got the power to choose what happens as Kimmy sets off on a mission to free another group of mole women kept captive in a bunker by Reverend Wayne, right before she’s supposed to marry Harry Potter. Goshdarn it all to heck, this is going to be good./ Tara Ward

Space Force (season 1 on Netflix, binge from May 29)

Steve Carrell returns to TV comedy in a show created by Greg Daniels, the guy who created The Office (US). That’s it. That’s the blurb. But seriously: Space Force is a live action comedy that follows Mark Naird (Carrell), an air force general who believes he’s nabbed his dream job when he’s appointed head of the titular force. Because this is a sitcom, and not a nice drama, he finds that it’s actually his nightmare job. Wacky characters abound. It sounds a little bit similar to Avenue 5, or even the latest sci-fi season of Archer. But hey, more of Carrell x Daniels can’t be a bad thing, and the rest of the cast (Ben Schwartz, Tawny Newsome, John Malkovich) is enough to make this appointment bingeing. / SB

Homecoming (season 2 on Amazon Prime, binge from May 22)

The first season of Homecoming is one of the underrated watches on Amazon Prime, a taut thriller based on the podcast of the same name, featuring a late-career highlight performance from Julia Roberts. The second season stars Janelle Monae, who is almost frustratingly great as an actress. The first season took place on a secret government compound, revealing a conspiracy around PTSD therapy and American soldiers. Intrigue! The second season continues to explore that mystery, as Monae’s character wakes up in a rowboat on a lake with no memory of who she is, or how she got there. Intrigue! Thriller! Monae! I’m sold. / SB

My Life is Murder (season 1 on TVNZ OnDemand, binge from May 1)

Nineties fashions are back, going outside is back, and best of all, Lucy Lawless is back, starring in this new mystery-crime drama series set in the exotic metropolis of Melbourne. Lawless plays Alexa Crowe, a retired detective who’s so talented at her job that she keeps getting pulled back into the force to solve tricky crimes. Alexa is brilliant and fearless, a determined heroine who’ll do whatever it takes to fight the good fight in both her professional and personal life. You could even say she’s a modern-day warrior princess. My Life is Murder promises some lighthearted, quick-witted fun and your parents will probably bloody love it. / TW

The Movies

Bad Education (on Neon from May 3)

It’s the late 90s and Frank Tassone is in charge of one of the most successful schools in America. Roslyn High School in Long Island is both high-achieving and prosperous, its student population drawn from wealthy families who expect only the best for their children. Tassone, the man deemed responsible for all this success, is treated like a god by both students and parents – until a student journalist gets interested in Tassone’s latest extravagant school improvement and the truth is revealed. Written by a former Roslyn student who attended the school at the time of the real-life Tassone investigation, and featuring an acclaimed lead performance by a near-unrecognisable Hugh Jackman, Bad Education is the school-set true crime romp to tide you over until the inevitable Felicity Huffman/Lori Loughlin college admissions scandal movie arrives. / CM

Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (on Disney+ from May 4)

If you’re unfamiliar with the series: Star Wars is about a golden mannequin and a sassy trashcan getting mixed up in intergalactic economic disputes. Anyway, the latest films in the series are coming to Disney+ on May 4, because of course they are. Did you know that “May the fourth be with you” comes from a Thatcher campaign way back in 1979? Margaret Thatcher, ruining the lives of miners and nerds since forever. / SB

Edge of Tomorrow (on Neon from May 20)

At heart, Edge of Tomorrow is basically a movie about slick and slimy superstar Tom Cruise being bumped down to the status of an average Joe, and then having a lot of bad days at work in a row. If you watch it with the mindset that Cruise is basically playing himself, then the whole alien invasion premise becomes a lot more plausible. Cruise is probably who humanity would send to the frontlines for a PR win. The film itself is a tense action thriller, which does an excellent job of getting through a complicated plot, showing flashes of genuine humour along the way. / Alex Braae

The rest


May 1

Casi Feliz

Into the Night


The Half of It

All Day and a Night

Clash of the Titans

The Edge of Seventeen

Eight Crazy Nights

Mrs. Serial Killer

Go! Go! Cory Carson

The Hunt for Red October

Osmosis Jones

The Rainmaker

The Color Purple

Cracked Up: The Darrell Hammond Story

May 5

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill

May 6

Rick and Morty: Season 4

Workin’ Moms: Season 4

May 7

Scissor Seven: Season 2

May 8

The Eddy


18 regali


Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt

The Hollow: Season 2

Restaurants on the Edge: Season 2

Rust Valley Restorers: Season 2

May 11

Bordertown: Season 3

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

Trial by Media

Breaking In

May 12

True: Terrific Tales

May 13

The Wrong Missy

May 15


White Lines

Magic for Humans: Season 3


Te quiero, imbécil

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

The Butterfly Effect

Human Nature

Kangaroo Jack

National Lampoon’s Vacation

May 16

La reina de Indias y el conquistador

Night School

May 18

The Big Flower Fight

First Reformed

May 19

Sweet Magnolias

Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything

May 20

Ben Platt Live From Radio City Music Hall

May 22

History 101

Selling Sunset: Season 2

Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series: Season 2

Control Z

The Lovebirds

The Little Rascals

May 23

Dynasty: Season 3

First Man

May 27

I’m No Longer Here

May 28


The Meg

May 29

Somebody Feed Phil: Season 3

May 30

Free Fire



May 2

Betty: Season 2

May 4

Billions: Season 5

Blue Planet: Season 2

Frozen Planet: Season 2

Natural World: Attenborough’s Wonder of Eggs

Humpback Whales: A Detective Story

Natural World: Nature’s Miniature Miracles

8 Days to the Moon and Back


Snow Wolf Family and Me

Spy in the Snow

Zoo Quest

Earth’s Great Rivers

Earth’s Sacred Wonders

From Ice to Fire – The Incredible Science of Temperature

Seinfeld: Seasons 1-10

Baby Riki Day Routine: Seasons 1-2


Cutie Pugs

America’s Icons

Animals Builders

Asteroid Belt Discovery

Big World in a Small Garden

Bitcoin Big Bang

Building the Sun: The 250 Million Degree Problem

Butterfly Effect: Season 1

Castle Siege Defense

Conversations with Dolphins

Creating an Ocean

Curious Minds: Deepak Chopra

Curious World: Season 1

Destination: Jupiter

Destination: Moon

Drilling for Marsquakes: Mars In Sight

Earliest Americans


Expedition: Black Sea Wrecks

First Man

Gravitational Waves

Gravitational Waves: Rewinding Time

Homo Naledi

How to Build a Castle

Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World

Leonardo: The Mystery of the Lost Portrait

Many Worlds of Quantum Mechanics

Marie Tussaud: A Legend in Wax

Mars in Sight: Seven Minutes to Touchdown

Miami Beach Underwater

Mysteries of Paris

Mystery of the Longest Living Vertebrate

Plate Resurrection

Return to the Moon

Reversing Alzheimers

Sherlock Holmes against Conan Doyle

Size Matters

Song of the Sperm Whale

Space Probes!

Spies of War

Spying Game: Tales from the Cold War

Storm Chaser’s Guide


What is CRISPR

World’s Best Dinosaur Fossil

May 5

iZombie: Season 5

May 6

Shaun of the Dead

May 7

Free Birds

May 9

Six Feet Under: Season 1-5

Canadian Strain

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

May 11

I Know This Much Is True: Season 1

Curfew: Season 1

Deadman Standing

May 13

Jurassic World

Midsommar: Director’s Cut

May 14

Late Night

May 17

Looking: Seasons 1-2

Looking: The Movie


May 18

The Great: Season 1

May 19

Don’t Kill It

Mr. Bean’s Holiday

May 22

Trading Paint

May 23

Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus: Seasons 1-2

Dwight in Shining Armour: Season 1

Running with the Devil

May 24

An Affair to Die For

Angel Has Fallen


The Humanity Bureau

May 26

Snakes on a Plane

Spy Kids 4

May 27


May 28

Crashing: Seasons 1-3


May 31

Earth to Echo

The Stolen Princess

TVNZ on Demand

May 1

From The Vault: Kiwi Music Flashbacks

My Life is Murder: Season 1

North Korea – Voices From The Secret State

Original Copy

Smart Drugs

Sugar Sisters

May 14

The Split: Season 2

May 21

Snort: Live: Season 1

The 100: Season 7

May 28

Survive the 80s: Season 1

The Sex Clinic


Amazon Prime

May 1

Upload: Season 1

Lano & Woodley: Fly

Tom Walker: Very Very

Battlestar Galactica: Season 1-4

May 8

Tom Gleeson: Joy

Anne Edmonds: What’s Wrong With You

Dispatches from Elsewhere

May 15

Paatal Lok

The Last Narc

May 22

Homecoming: Season 2


May 1


May 4

The Arrangement: Season 2

May 6

Evil: Season 1

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

The Kill Team

Lucky Day

May 7

Rebecka Martinsson: Season 2

May 8

Tommy: Season 1

May 13

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge

Line of Duty

Black and Blue

The Grudge


May 20


(Impractical) Jokers: The Movie

Motherless Brooklyn

Run This Town

Horrible Histories: The Movie

May 27

The Song of Names

Dark Waters

Justice League: Apokolips War

The Lighthouse


May 1

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

101 Dalmatian Street: Season 1

America’s Funniest Home Videos: Season 13

Awesome Animals: Season 1

Birth of Europe: Season 1

Bride of Boogedy: Season 1

Buried Secrets of the Bible with Albert Lin: Season 1

Car SOS: Season 1-6

How to Play Baseball

In Beaver Valley

Kirby Buckets: Season 1-3

Lost Treasures of Egypt: Season 1

Love & Vets: Season 1

Nature’s Half Acre

Primal Survivor: Season 1-4

Prowlers of the Everglades

Running Wild with Bear Grylls: Season 5

Secrets of the Zoo: Season 1-2

United States of Animals: Season 1

Unlikely Animal Friends: Season 3

Water Birds

May 4

Star Wars: Resistance: Season 2

May 8

Time Scanners: Season 1

May 12


May 15

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

It’s A Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer

Fury Files

May 22

The Big Fib

Disneyland Goes to the World’s Fair

Doc McStuffins: Season 5

Hello, Dolly!

Marvel’s Future Avengers: Season 2

Mech-X4: Seasons 1-2

T.O.T.S.: Season 1

May 29

Mickey and the Seal

The Evermoor Chronicles: Season 1-2

The Moon-Spinners

Violetta: Season 2

Apple TV+

May 1


May 29

Central Park

Acorn TV

May 4

Good Karma Hospital: Season 1-2

The Hands of a Murderer: A Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery

May 11

A Woman of Substance

Midsomer Murders: Seasons 5-6

May 18

The Crimson Field

May 25

A Difficult Woman

Agatha Raisin: Season 2

Keep going!