In May, you can escape to Ryan Murphy’s version of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Michelle Obama’s book tour and a comedic vision of what a U.S. “Space Force” might look like.

You can escape into these worlds and more by streaming new programming in May on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, which are all still setting records for viewing during the pandemic.

The following are May highlights among movies and series you can find on those three streaming services.



”The Lovebirds”: To be fair, this isn’t a Netflix original film; it was supposed to screen in movie theaters this spring. Then the pandemic hit, and Netflix bought the rights to this relationship comedy, which stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani and comes from the maker of “The Big Sick.” Available May 22.

”Becoming”: This “secret” documentary was just unveiled: A crew followed Michelle Obama on her book tour for “Becoming,” and here’s what happened. (May 6)

”All Day and a Night”: In this gangs-and-prison drama, a father and his son end up inmates together in this film starring Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”) and Ashton Sanders (“Moonlight”). (May 1)

”Ben Platt Live from Radio City Music Hall”: The award-winning actor and singer performs before a sold-out audience at the New York venue. (May 20)

”The Half of It”: In this teen rom-com, a brainy girl who needs money agrees to write a love note for a jock. Then she becomes his friend. Then she falls for his crush. (May 1)


”Hollywood”: The buzz is big for super-producer Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story”) and his new series about actors and filmmakers chasing their dreams in post-WWII Los Angeles. Available Friday, May 1.

”Space Force”: Think of what Steve Carell and writer Greg Daniels did with “The Office,” and then consider what they will do making a comedy about a new branch of the U.S. military. (May 29)

”The Eddy”: From the creator of “La La Land” and others: “Set in the vibrant multicultural neighborhoods of modern-day Paris, (it’s) the story of the owner of a struggling club, its house band and the dangers they face from the chaotic city that surrounds them.” (May 8)

”The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend”: The cast reunites, featuring Ellie Kemper and Jon Hamm, in this “interactive special.” (May 12)

”White Lines”: In this mystery set in Spain, an English woman travels to Ibiza after her brother is found dead to learn what happened. (May 15)

”Sweet Magnolias”: A trio of South Carolina women have gone from best friends in high school to leaning on each other as adults through relationships and family matters. (May 19)

”Dead to Me” Season 2: Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini return as the widow and her free-spirit friend who is hiding something. (May 8)

”Workin’ Moms” Season 4: The four moms in this Toronto-set comedy are back for season No. 4 laughs. (May 6)

”Magic for Humans” Season 3: A new season of Justin Willman’s magic tricks on the street. (May 15)


”Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill”: Seinfeld presents a comedy special about nothing, but as always, it’s funny. Filmed in New York. (May 5)

”Hannah Gadsby: Douglas”: The funny lady won acclaim, awards and a lot of hearts with her comedy special “Nanette.” She’s back with a special filmed in Los Angeles. (May 26)

”Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything”: Listen as the comedian talks about his funny life, like how attending his child’s second-grade art show cost him a chance to board a full-size Millennium Falcon. (May 19)

Movie favorites arriving on Netflix in May: “Uncut Gems”; the “Underworld” trilogy; the second and third “Back to the Future” movies; “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”; “Den of Thieves”; “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; three “Thomas and Friends” movies; “Urban Cowboy”; both “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; “United 93”; “Soul Surfer”; “Just Go With It”; “District 9”; “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

Other series with past seasons debuting: “Supergirl”; “Reckoning”; “Charmed”; “Grey’s Anatomy”; “The Flash”; “Dynasty.”


2020 movies premiere: The faith-based drama ”I Still Believe” (May 26) with KJ Apa of TV’s “Riverdale” starring in the biopic story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp, and the horror film ”The Lodge” (May 5) were both in theaters earlier this year. Now, they make a streaming debut on Hulu.

Movie favorites arriving on Hulu in May: “Rocketman,” “Goodfellas,” “Monster House,” “Soul Food,” “The Graduate,” “The Green Mile” and “Walking Tall.”


”The Great”: From one of the creators of “The Favourite” comes another royal period tale, this one of Catherine the Great, played by Elle Fanning, who co-stars with Nicholas Hoult as Peter. (May 15)

”Solar Opposites”: This new animated comedy about aliens settling in middle America comes from the creator of “Rick and Morty.” (May 8)

”Ramy” Season 2: Ramy Youssef, who beat Bill Hader of “Barry” for the Golden Globe best comedy actor earlier this year, returns for a second season of laughs set in his Muslim community in New Jersey. (May 29)

Other series past seasons debuting: “Vikings,” “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” “Property Brothers,” “Worst Cooks in America” and many more.


Bonus content: Through May 6, Prime Video is partnering with the South by Southwest Festival to present an online film festival with a collection of documentary and narrative features, short films and episodic titles from the 2020 SXSW festival, which was canceled due to the pandemic. A lineup of titles available can also be watched not only with an Amazon Prime membership, but also for free for those who have a free Amazon account.

Original series

”Homecoming” Season 2: The show that starred Julia Roberts in its first season returns with a new mystery and a new star in Janelle Monae as a woman searching for real identity: She doesn’t know who she is. (May 22)

”Upload”: For Greg Daniels’ second series debuting on a streaming service in May (“Space Force” on Netflix), it’s a science-fiction comedy set in a future with way-advanced technology, including the ability to upload yourself into a virtual afterlife. (May 1)

”The Last Narc”: This new docuseries is a four-part examination of the 1985 kidnapping and murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and offers new insight into what happened. (May 15)

Amazon original movies, from theaters to making their streaming debuts: “The Goldfinch” with Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver”), a drama based on the novel about a young man whose world is rocked by a terrorist bombing and a missing piece of priceless art (May 8); “Seberg,” a biopic in which Kristen Stewart stars as the “Breathless” actress and star of the French New Wave, Jean Seberg (May 15); and “The Vast of Night,” (May 29) a radio DJ and a switchboard operator discover a strange audio frequency in this sci-fi mystery.

Movie favorites arriving on Prime Video in April: “The Hustle” (2019), “Escape From Alcatraz,” “Like Crazy,” multiple “Friday the 13th” movies and more.

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Michael Smith