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Warner Bros.’ experiment with releasing films simultaneously to theaters and to HBO Max comes full circle this month as Wonder Woman 1984, which premiered on the service and in multiplexes this past Christmas, makes its return. How’s the experiment going and what effect will it have on movie theaters? We likely won’t know for a while, but it continues this month with the premiere of a new Taylor Sheridan film starring Angelina Jolie. Their film joins will debut along several intriguing premieres and returning shows, including a series we haven’t seen since 2010.
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Legendary (Season 2 premiere, May 6)
The ballroom competition series returns for a second season that finds contestants fiercely vying for the favor of a panel of judges featuring Jameela Jamil and Megan Thee Stallion. Guests include Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, and Demi Lovato. Expect outrageous fashions and even more outrageous moves.
That Damn Michael Che (May 6)
Michael Che has been a divisive presence on Saturday Night Live and that seems partly by design. It also seems unlikely to change with That Damn Michael Che, in which Che takes the spotlight and moves from behind the Weekend Update desk to focus on sketches. Look for some familiar SNL faces both present (Colin Jost, Cecily Strong,) and past (Ellen Cleghorne, Colin Quinn) to make appearances.
The Crime of the Century (May 10)
Tireless documentarian Alex Gibney (Going Clear) takes on the opioid crisis via a two-part look at the business and political conditions that made it possible. Produced in conjunction with The Washington Post, the series follows a story that includes insurance fraud, bribery, and a reckless disregard for human life in the interest of massive profits. The crisis hasn’t lacked coverage, but the prolific Gibney has a long history of efficiently boiling disturbing stories down to their nasty essence and this should prove no exception.
Hacks (May 13)
When did the Jean Smart revival begin? Smart worked steadily after Designing Women ended, but she’s been on fire since appearing in the second season of Fargo, which provided a reminder of how good — and how intense and scary — she could be in the right part. Smart’s at the center of Hacks playing a Las Vegas stand-up whose declining career fortunes lead her to form an uncomfortable partnership with a young comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder).
Wonder Woman 1984 (May 13)
This Eighties-set sequel to Wonder Woman disappointed a lot of viewers when it premiered at Christmas but, a few months out, maybe it’s time to give it a second chance? If nothing else, Pablo Pascal has a lot of fun as the egotistical (and maybe a bit Trump-inspired) bad guy Max Lord.
The Personal History of David Copperfield (May 15)
Armando Iannucci’s non-traditional adaptation of the Dickens classic had the misfortune of hitting theaters at a moment when not many theaters were open (and even viewer moviegoers felt comfortable attending them). Starring Dev Patel and an all-star cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, and Iannucci favorite Peter Capaldi it should find a receptive audience with this second chance.
Apple & Onion (Season 2 premiere, May 19) and Adventure Time: Distant Lands — Together Again (May 20)
HBO Max’s name has always been a bit of a misnomer given that the service draws on so many sources beyond HBO. That includes Cartoon Network, home to many inventive series including the upbeat Apple & Onion (starring series creator George Gendi and Richard Ayoade as as the eponymous anthropomorphic foodstuffs) and Adventure Time. Adventure Time: Distant Lands — Together Again is the third of four hour-long specials continuing the series, this one serving as a reunion for central characters Jake the Dog and Finn the Human.
Those Who Wish Me Dead (Theaters / HBO Max, May 14)
Taylor Sheridan — the writer of Hell or High Water, writer/director of Wind River, and co-creator of Yellowstone — has developed a speciality in tales set in a modern American West that’s never quite shed the danger and violence of the Old West. His latest as writer and director stars Angelina Jolie as a former smokejumper whose isolated existence in a fire tower gets interrupted when she encounters a boy on the run from assassins determined to kill him.
In Treatment (May 23)
Viewers could be forgiven for thinking they’d seen the last of In Treatment, which ran for three seasons between 2008 and 2010. This revival brings in new star Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) as the central character, a therapist who sees a parade of patients while dealing with problems of her own. But instead of the five-nights-a-week format of the original run, it will air two half-hour episodes each on Sunday and Monday.
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