If you total the viewership for all five seasons of the locally produced Spanish thriller Money Heist on Netflix, the hours viewed number comes close to matching the record-smashing performance of Korean-language sci-fi show Squid Game. Now focused on producing local-language hits, perhaps that's what Netflix is thinking by commissioning a Korean version of Money Heist, which is due out this week. Indeed, it's a big week for established entertainment brands, with Paramount Plus launching yet another Beavis & Butt-Head movie, and the returns of Hulu's Only Murders in the Building, HBO's Westworld and Showtime's The Chi.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do The Universe (Paramount Plus, June 23)
This animated feature film starring MTV’s iconic -- and highly sophomoric -- cartoon characters was written, directed and produced by the Beavis and Butt-Head mastermind himself, Mike Judge. Judge, who invented the "BBU" 30 years ago, is also the voice of both Beavis and Butt-Head, teenage slackers with strong libidos who can’t attract women. While it has been 11 years since the last episode of the Beavis and Butt-Head series aired on MTV, nothing has changed about the duo in the film, which is set in 1998. The movie begins when Beavis and Butt-Head are ordered by a juvenile court judge to attend space camp. After ruining a NASA mission, the duo find themselves alone in space where they enter a black hole that transfers them to the year 2022. The pair have a rough time adjusting to the new decade.
"Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe is an admirable follow-up to 1996’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, proving that amusing inanity never goes out of style," wrote The Daily Beast's Nick Schager.
Man vs. Bee - Season 1 (Netflix, June 24)
This new, nine-episode series stars Rowan Atkinson (a.k.a. Mr. Bean) as a man named Trevor Bingley, who goes to war with a bee while house sitting a luxurious mansion full of priceless items. While there are moments that Bingley feels like he's once again playing the iconic Mr. Bean (the eponymous series was first broadcast on Britain’s ITV in 1990) the Independent’s Sean O'Grady wrote that “Atkinson as Bingley is much more engaging than Bean… The fantastical plots and twists work surprisingly well in the end, after all the Beanery.”
Loot – Season 1 (Apple TV Plus, June 24)
When Molly Novak (Maya Rudolph) discovers that her husband of 20 years has been cheating on her, she finds herself with a $87 billion divorce settlement. Not bad. But the high-society woman doesn’t know what to do with all that money. “I need to prove that I have substance,” Novak says. So she does what any ultra-rich woman does -- she throws herself into charity work. If Apple doesn’t get too sentimental about Novak “finding herself,” the show could be very funny. “There’s a lot to enjoy about Loot, starting with its timely narrative and solid showcase for some of Maya Rudolph’s myriad skills,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg.
The Chi - Season 5 (Showtime, June 24)
This hit ensemble drama series created by Lena Waithe is about a community on the South Side of Chicago. Season 4 ended with plenty of drama that involved a dangerous mayor, community policing and the realities of an open marriage. The fifth season focuses on love, but not only the romantic kind. Instead, the series explores relationships with one’s self, between parent and child, and resident and community. Cast members include Jason Mitchell, Tiffany Boone, Shamon Brown Jr., Alex R. Hibbert, Curtiss Cook, and Common. Showtime claims that The Chi is one of the most streamed series on the network with an average of 4.2 million weekly viewers across all platforms during Season 3.
Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area (Netflix, June 24)
A Korean remake of Netflix’s hit Spanish crime drama Money Heist, this 12-episode series is directed by Kim Hong-Sun and stars Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Yunjin, Park Hae-soo and Jeon Jong-seo. The series takes place as North and South Korea are on the verge of a peaceful reunification after nearly 80 years of division. But as the nation’s prepare to print a brand-new unified currency, a heist is hatched. A genius strategist known as the Professor assembles a motley crew of top-tier thieves to steal the new currency. If this series is anything like the original Spanish heist series, which ranks among the top five most watched series on Netflix ever, then the streaming company has another hit on their hands. It’s not hard to imagine given the similar storyline and let's not forget that Korean releases like Squid Game have proven to be immediate hit.
Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil: My Story (Reelz, June 26)
Following the Netflix film biopic The Dirt, Hulu's Pam and Tommy and Reelz' unauthorized Breaking the Band: Mötley Crüe, you could almost invent a new video entertainment genre: Mötley Crüe Stories. Certainly, the hard road driven -- sometimes soberly -- by the band's infamous lead singer, Vince Neal, could merit its own chapter. Neil executive produced the two-hour doc, which features interviews with Crüe bandmates Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee, as well as family members, friends and journalists who have covered Neil’s career.
Westworld - Season 4 (HBO Max, June 26)
It’s been over two years since the third season of the Emmy-winning dystopian sci-fi series Westworld aired on HBO. Show-runners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have kept their lips sealed about any fourth-season details. HBO describes the latest season as “a dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth.” What we do know is that James Marsden will return to the series after his character, Teddy Flood offed himself in the second season. It’s also been announced that Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) will have a recurring role in the robot apocalypse series. Marsden and DeBose join the show’s all-star cast including Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandiwe Newton, Luke Hemsworth, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson and Aaron Paul. Westworld, which was inspired by Michael Crichton's eponymous 1973 film, is centered around a futuristic Wild West fantasy park where a group of android "hosts" deviate from their programmers' carefully planned scripts. Chaos ensues. While Season 3 was criticized for being too confusing, The Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert wrote “This is a zanier, sillier Westworld, and much more entertaining for it.”
Only Murders in the Building - Season 2 (Hulu, June 28)
Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short star as three true-crime podcast loving tenants at The Arconia, a New York apartment complex. Season 1 saw the trio team up to form their own podcast while they solve the murder Arconia tenant Tim Kono (Justin Cihi). Season 2 follows the threesome, who have been framed for the murder of Arconia board president Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell), as they race to clear their names by solving the crime while simultaneously competing with a rival podcast. Season 1 of the comedy-thriller series scored an aggregated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. “The series soon turns out to be -- like The Princess Bride, Galaxy Quest, or Jane the Virgin -- that rare and wonderful thing: the parody that also offers a great example of the genuine article,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall.
The Upshaws: Season 2 Part 1 (Netflix, June 29)
This multi-cam sitcom created by Wanda Sykes and Regina Hicks is about Bennie Upshaw (Mike Epps), the head of a Black working class family in Indianapolis. The show follows Upshaw as he tries to care for his family, which includes his wife, Regina (Kim Fields), their two young daughters (Khali Spraggins, Journey Christine), first-born son (Jermelle Simon) and the teenage son (Diamond Lyons) he fathered with another woman (Gabrielle Dennis). Oh yeah, Bennie also has to deal with his annoying sister-in-law (Wanda Sykes). Luckily this is a sitcom. In the second season’s first eight episodes, the Upshaws are once again attempting to wade through the challenges of life. The new season will feature 16 half-hour episodes, an increase from season one’s 10 episodes. “Having such a particular blended family immediately gives “The Upshaws” a specificity that really works for it, especially when the scripts lean all the way in by letting the characters react to it all individually, too,” wrote Variety’s Caroline Framke about season one.
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