Stumped what to stream?


Eric McGuire, Staff writer


This semester, we are destined to spend many a night on the couch as an overwhelming array of new shows, movies, and exclusives arrive on streaming services. With the advent of programs like Disney+ and AppleTV alongside already established services such as Netflix and Hulu pumping out content, wading through the ocean of media available can become overwhelming and even paralyzing.

Rest assured, Wolf’s Print is here to give you the lowdown on the best, buzziest, and brightest shows and movies coming this Fall.

The longevity of streaming services is at a crucial turn right now as new options like Disney+ present themselves as legitimate threats to the current giant, Netflix. The new platform launched November 12th, 2019, offering staggering array of Disney content from days near and far. Several acclaimed films from the Disney Renaissance, like “The Little Mermaid” and “ The Beauty and the Beast” accompany deeper cuts such as 2006’s “Wendy Wu, Homecoming Warrior” and 2005’s “Herbie, Fully Loaded”. No matter what your favorite Disney film or show is, the service seems likely to have it available immediately upon its arrival. 

Most notably, Disney+ also launched completely new programming ala Netflix’s “Netflix Originals”. The two standouts of the bunch are the Star Wars prequel “The Mandalorian” and the High School Musical Vehicle “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”. 

 “The Mandalorian” premiered upon launch of Disney+ and features “Narcos” lead Pedro Pascal as a lone gunslinger journeying around the edge of the galaxy. The story takes place in between the continuity of the original Star Wars films and the newer, J. J. Abrams directed sequels that have launched in the previous few years. With two episodes currently available in the U.S., reviews have remained limited, but overall it has received positive critique for its set design and production, which rivals the lofty standards of modern action movies, while not being praised for doing anything new or spicing up the well-established formula of Marvel and Star Wars movie’s past. 

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” struggled to rise above similar critiques of its two episodes, being labelled as an uncomplicated retread of the previous titles, with a fresh new cast of 20-somethings playing highschoolers. To its credit, the series is completely absent of the gritty, faux-adult veneer dominating media created for younger audiences, Which comes as a breath of fresh air in the midst of teen programming like “Riverdale” and “Pretty Little Liars”. Overall, time will tell if Disney+ can provide entertainment that subverts expectations or breaks the surface of its successful, but safe brand.   

The other major contender to enter the ring is AppleTV+. The app has been available for several months as a convenient option to watch shows and movies from Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime, and other channels through one easy app, despite still paying separate fees for each service. Only recently have they challenged Netflix and others by revealing original content. The series to receive the most coverage from the budding network has been “The Morning Show”, A shiny, high budget take on the cutthroat behind-the-scenes of a major news network. The subject matter of the show, specifically the sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Carrell’s character, conjure up images of similar stories concerning anchors from FOX News and The Today Show.

As readily as “The Morning Show” draws these comparisons, it fails to give a compelling reason as to why it chose to cover such a divisive topic. In fact, the show has trouble justifying several aspects of its premiere season, including but not limited to its talented and ultimately underused cast and it’s very generous budget. The show succeeds to be a relatively entertaining watch with well received performances from everyone involved, but still fails to be a necessary piece of cultural commentary in a post Me-Too world. 

Hailee Steinfeld’s project for AppleTV, “Dickenson”, sees her as a reimagining of 19th century poet Emily Dickinson.

Other streaming services set to launch in the near future include NBC’s “Peacock” and Apple’s “AppleTV+”. These new programs are seen by some as an unnecessary addition to the already wide range of major services available. Other opinions view them as a way to revive and refresh older series. NBC’s “Battlestar Galactica” is just one example, after the sci-fi series was green lit for a reboot. 

All in all, this season in entertainment promises to be an eventful one, with the number of exciting releases slated for the upcoming holiday months.