The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Amazon, HBO, Hulu and More in May

‘The Underground Railroad’

Starts streaming: May 14

At once historical and fantastical, Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning novel “The Underground Railroad” depicts an alternate version of the 19th-century American South in which a literal subterranean railway helps ex-slaves escape from plantations, carrying them to freedom through a succession of strange and inhospitable lands. The director Barry Jenkins — best-known for the Oscar-winning movie “Moonlight” — has adapted the book into a ten-part series, starring Thuso Mbedu as Cora, who flees her captors in Georgia and embarks on a winding journey through multiple states, encountering different cultures that are each oppressive in their own way. As with Jenkins’s films, the TV version of “The Underground Railroad” is impressionistic, using immersive sound design and subtle lighting to plunge viewers into the sometimes punishing emotions of each moment.


Starts streaming: May 28

Based on Lauren Oliver’s 2014 novel, the action-suspense series “Panic” is set in a depressed blue-collar town where the graduating high school seniors compete in an unofficial, highly illegal annual competition, completing life-threatening dares for the chance to win enough money to move away. Olivia Welch plays Heather Nill, a smart kid who doesn’t think she needs to play the game, but who is ultimately tempted by financial need and a larger-than-usual jackpot. The bigger prize comes with bigger risks, which ultimately feed into the participants’ secret plans and alliances. Reminiscent of “The Hunger Games” but grounded in the real world, “Panic” is aimed at fans of the kinds of sensational young adult literature and soapy TV teen dramas where desperate people risk everything to change their lives.

Also arriving:

May 7

“The Boy from Medellín”

May 21

“Pink: All I Know So Far”


May 21


‘Pose’ Season 3

Starts streaming: May 3

When last we saw the men and women of “Pose” in the show’s second season, they were sharing triumphs and tragedies at the dawn of the 1990s: a time when AIDS was ravaging New York’s L.G.B.T.Q. community and their own drag ball scene was seeing its Madonna-aided spike in popularity begin to fade. The series’s third and final season will jump ahead a few years, focusing again mainly on the MC Pray Tell (Billy Porter) and the House of Evangelista mother Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), both of whom are dealing with their own chronic health issues while trying to nurture a new generation of gay and transgender youth. “Pose” has been one of TV’s best dramas since it debuted in 2018, capturing the humor and the heartbreak of a handful of marginalized people who have created their own family and are fighting hard to leave a meaningful legacy behind.

‘Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.’

Starts streaming: May 7

Many of the Marvel Comics-inspired movies and TV shows of recent years have paid homage to Jack Kirby, the company’s influential artist. But few have embraced his wild ideas and weird designs as openly as this new animated series. The comedian Patton Oswalt co-created “M.O.D.O.K.” with Jordan Blum, and he also voices the title character: a genius-level supervillain with an enormous head, a tiny body and a technologically advanced, weapons-bearing hover-chair. With a visual style meant to resemble plastic toys moving and taking — and with absurdist stories that deal with the odd-looking criminal mastermind’s mundane work and family life — “M.O.D.O.K.” is made for comic book fans with a sense of humor and an appreciation for Kirby’s thick-lined, dynamic style.

Also arriving:

May 3

“The Legend of Baron To’a”

May 5

“Shadow in the Cloud”

May 7

“Little Fish”

May 10

“Wander Darkly”

May 13

“Saint Maud”

“Some Kind of Heaven”

May 14



May 15


May 18


May 27

“Madagascar: A Little Wild” Season 3

‘The Crime of the Century’

Starts streaming: May 10

The two-part, four-hour latest investigative documentary from the director-producer Alex Gibney argues that some major American pharmaceutical companies deliberately helped fuel the opioid crisis, bending laws and ignoring sound medical science to maximize profits. With the help of journalists from The Washington Post and The New York Times who have reported in-depth on “big pharma” — and with the input of the author Patrick Radden Keefe, whose book “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty,” about the founders of Purdue Pharma, was just published — Gibney and his crew trace the long, often sordid history of legal narcotics. “The Crime of the Century” also relies heavily on video footage from legal depositions and sales conferences, revealing some of the ways that corporate decision makers may have exploited their customers.

Also arriving:

May 6

“Legendary” Season 2

“That Damn Michael Che”

May 13


May 14

“Those Who Wish Me Dead”

May 15

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

May 23

“In Treatment” Season 4

May 29


‘Mythic Quest’ Season 2

Starts streaming: May 7

“Ted Lasso” has been Apple TV’s most talked-about show so far — and rightly so — but this other Apple sitcom deserves just as much buzz. The first season of “Mythic Quest” introduced the staff of a popular video game company, led by the gifted egomaniac Ian (played by Rob McElhenney, who also co-created the show) and the brilliant but neurotic programmer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). In season two, the team returns to the office after a pandemic layoff and has to adjust to new roles, with Ian and Poppy in particular having to figure out how to work together as equal creative partners. As with the debut season, this new set of episodes derives its humor from the pretensions and the preoccupations of a bunch of committed gamers. But it also gets its heart from how much genuine passion these people have for what they have built together.

‘1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything’

Starts streaming: May 21

In David Hepworth’s 2016 book “Never a Dull Moment: 1971 — The Year That Rock Exploded,” the veteran music journalist contended that the intense stresses in global politics in 1971 combined with the unfettered creativity of several of our greatest rock, pop and R&B artists to produce some of the most vital music ever recorded. In this eight-part docu-series, the “Amy” and “Senna” director Asif Kapadia and his team of editors and producers dig deep into the archives of various musicians and news organizations, transporting viewers back to an era where Marvin Gaye and John Lennon were recording masterpieces while war and protest movements were raging around the world. New and vintage interviews provide the narration for a series of anecdotes and reflections on a phenomenal time for popular and political culture.

Also arriving:

May 14

“Trying” Season 2

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