Even though families are getting ready for the kids to go back to school, streaming services still have new shows and movies to entertain us. The Get Down and The Little Prince prove to be worth the wait, and new shows like Beat Bugs and The Wine Show surprised us unexpectedly. Check out the new binging obsessions or inspiring movies and specials on streaming services Netflix and Hulu this month.
The Get Down – On Netflix August 12
The latest Netflix original series comes from Baz Luhrmann and it’s as binge worthy as anything on Netflix. There will only be six episodes to start so it’s a tad more digestible. Luhrmann takes a look at the birth of hip hop in mid 70s New York through a group of teenagers getting into the music scene.
As such, The Get Down includes more than just rap. It’s got disco and some original ballads created for the show. The music in between the performances is just as important to se the scene of the 1977 Bronx. I’m not even a hip-hop listener but I found The Get Down captivating. Energetic and musically vibrant, this is Luhrmann’s best project since Moulin Rouge.
The Little Prince – Premiered August 5 On Netflix
Netflix rescued this movie from turnaround after Paramount decided not to release it. The reviews of the adaptation of classic French children’s book have been tremendous, and we had an interview with director Mark Osborne discussing the adaptation. Gender swapping the main character gives little girls a fantasy heroine of their own.
The Wine Show – On Hulu August 13
Matthew Rhys and Mathew Goode visit countries to tour their vineyards and learn about wine. Who wouldn’t want to see that? Rhys and Goode bring the same charisma they bring to fictional performances, as well as a natural inquisitiveness to be our guides through the world of wine.
Hour-long seems a bit much. A half hour format would be enough, and there are parts that feel stagey because they just have to set up the scene and transitions. But as reality TV goes, I’d much rather see bona fide stars learn about wine than fake stars pretend to date.
Beat Bugs – Premiered August 3 on Netflix
This musical children’s show introduces kids to music of the Beatles covered by artists like Rod Stewart, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, Robbie Williams, Frances, he Lumineers, Tori Kelly, P!nk, Eddie Vedder, James Corden and Sia. Five little bugs explore their backyard, incorporating the legendary music. Netflix presented the show to the Television Critics Association last month and the series creator Josh Wakely spoke about it.
“We had to reinterpret it so it made sense for children,” Wakely said. “So there were things that we did in terms of putting brass bands on a children’s choir so that you could engage perfectly with a children’s ears. Songs have slightly different interpretation in this world in the sense that ‘Help’ is when Jay gets lost in a jam jar. He’s tried to be too independent, so he says, ‘Help, I need somebody.’ And they say, ‘We’re trying to help you.’ And he says, ‘No, not just anybody.’ And he’s singing that song. So it actually had to play a little bit like a musical in the actual episode. I think, by doing that, it has energy that’s very specific to the show and works as a result.”
XOXO – On Netflix August 26
The latest Netflix original movie is an ensemble comedy set at an Electronic Dance Music festival. Six strangers’ stories intertwine in one night at the EDM Fest XOXO. Think Dazed and Confused with techno. Sarah Hyland looks great in glowing rave makeup and legendary DJ Pete Tong is music supervisor and one of the producers.
David Cross Making America Great Again! – Premiered August 5 on Netflix
Until we get more Arrested Development or Bob and David, we can have more David Cross with his latest comedy special, his first for Netflix and first since 2010. Filmed in Austin, Cross tackles topical issues like immigration and gun control, and can’t help but skewer Donald Trump.