A new season of 'The Umbrella Academy,' and more things you can stream this week

Jul 29, 2020 at 1:00 am
click to enlarge The Umbrella Academy, Season 2. - Netlfix
The Umbrella Academy, Season 2.

Premieres Wednesday:

The Speed Cubers — Remember when Linus from Peanuts tried to make sugar cubes by pressing sugar together with his bare hands? I was hoping that's what this documentary would be about. Turns out it's actually a profile of two of the world's best Rubik's Cube solvers. So, yeah; looks like I'm in for another week of disappointments. (Netflix)

Premieres Thursday:

The Dog House — Or maybe not! Here are eight episodes of a hit British reality series in which abandoned dogs find homes with good-hearted English people. Sounds like exactly the sort of heartwarming viewing experience we all need. Hey, you know what other unwanted mongrels the British should be adopting these days? Americans! (HBO Max)

Frayed — It seems like an awful lot of modern movies and shows are about people who return to their hometown and find it a thoroughly unenjoyable experience. The latest entry in the genre is Frayed, a self-created vehicle for comic Sarah Kendall in which she plays a London widow forced to move back to her native Australia. With the six-episode first season hitting the States, we can all laugh indulgently at the idea of someplace else being a shithole country. (I wasn't kidding about that adoption thing! I have papers!) (HBO Max)

Premieres Friday:

In Search of Darkness — How much fodder did the horror-movie boom of the '80s provide for a documentary retrospective? Try more than four fucking hours' worth. Seriously, in that amount of time, you could watch The Shining, drive to your local bus station, and have a vagrant explain to you how the film proves we faked the moon landing. And make it home in time for NOS4A2! (Shudder!)

Muppets Now — While every dweeb you know was subscribing to Disney+ just to watch Hamilton, the real reason was to catch the Muppets in a new unscripted comedy series. And it's probably the main reason the entire world isn't unsubscribing right now. Repeat after me: I am not throwing away my frog! (Disney+)

Shakuntala Devi: The Human Computer — A Hindi-language biopic about the Indian writer who could do all sorts of complex mathematical calculations in her head. Worst pickup line to use on this one: "Let me get your digits." (Amazon Prime)

The Umbrella Academy, Season 2 — The second season of the hit show about adoptive superhero siblings sees our heroes hurtling back in time and getting stranded in the early 1960s. Boy, wait until they find out how many horror movies they're going to have to watch in the '80s. (Netflix)

Premieres Tuesday:

Mystery Lab — YouTube personality Felipe Castanhari comes to Netflix to answer questions related to science and history. I could wrap up the entire series in one question: "Science — that's history, isn't it?" (Netflix)

The Swamp — Florida disgrace Matt Gaetz is one of three Republican Congressmen profiled in this documentary about the Trump caucus' supposed effort to end corruption in Washington. Maybe we'll find out how Gaetz "adopted" that "kid" of his. I bet the answer is less wholesome than "from a British kennel." (HBO Max).

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