Set the clock for 12 a.m. PST on July 1 because that’s when Netflix is dropping Stranger Things - Season 4: Volume 2. While the second volume of the fourth season of the series is only two episodes, those installments will provide you with three hours and fifty-five minutes of viewing.
Stranger Things co-creators, Matt and Ross Duffer decided to break up their nine-episode season into two volumes because they felt that Episode 7 served as the ending to a first act, but not to the season.
SPOILER ALERT - Don't read further if you haven't seen the first seven installments of Season 4.
The last image of Episode 7 was the “001" tattoo seen on Vecna/One/ Henry Creel (Jamie Campbell Bower). So despite Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) best efforts, Vecna’s still around. So now what? In the preview Vecna tells Eleven, “It is over. You have freed me.” That would mean Hawkins is over too, but it can’t be because there is one more season left in the series. Seems like the last two episodes of Season 4 will end like any war does. Someone wins. In this case will it be Vecna or Eleven.
Stranger Things - Season 4: Volume 2 (Netflix, July 1)
The first seven episodes of Season 4, which were released in May, became Netflix’s most watched English-language television series ever with nearly 930 million hours viewed through four weeks on Netflix. By the looks of the trailer, by the end of Season 4, we will know if Hawkins and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) survive or if the new super villain Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) wins. Since the fifth season is the last, I'm guessing Hawkins survives, but you never know!
Stranger Things became an instant success when it began streaming on Netflix in 2016. Since then, the show has been nominated for 31 Emmy awards and won six in the creative arts categories.
While the impressive ensemble cast of kids are now adults, critics still adore them. “Stranger Things is bigger, older, somewhat sadder – and as lovable as ever,” The Guardian’s Jack Seale wrote about Season 4.
The Terminal List – (Amazon Prime, July 1)
Does Chris Pratt sleep? It’s a serious question given the fact that The Terminal List -- an eight episode action-thriller series -- is the actor’s third project to be released in less than 30 days.
On June 10, Jurassic World Dominion, which Pratt stars in, hit theaters. Then on June 23 another Pratt flick, Thor: Love and Thunder, was released. Conclusion: He spent a lot of time in production trailers last year.
In The Terminal List, the actor plays James Reece, a Navy SEAL who returns home after his platoon was killed in a catastrophic ambush during a covert mission. Based on the eponymous best-selling novel by Jack Carr, the series follows Reece, who questions his culpability in the ordeal, while also discovering a conspiracy. Turns out dark forces are working against Reece and those closest to him.
“(Amazon Prime) has invested heavily into a specific type of action show targeted at the middle-aged suburban male demographic with Bosch, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, and Reacher… They're also three of the service's most popular and successful shows. Prime Video's latest series, The Terminal List, fits that dad-friendly bill to a T. By the humble standards of the genre, The Terminal List is a smashing success,” wrote TV Guide’s Liam Mathews.
Last Night in Soho (July 1, HBO Max)
This 2021 psychological thriller directed by Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) is making its subscription streaming premiere on HBO Max after a theatrical debut last year.
In the film, Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) stars as Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer who is able to time travel to London's swingin' 1960s. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and Eloise’s world starts getting really dark. The film debuted at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.
“Last Night in Soho is an immensely pleasurable film that delights in playing with genre, morphing from time-travel fantasy to dark fairy tale, from mystery to nightmarish horror in a climax that owes as much to ’60s Brit fright fare as to more contemporary mind-benders,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney.
The Princess (Hulu, July 1)
Fear not. This is not your typical boy-saves-girl fairytale movie. Instead, this 20th Century Studios film has been described as Rapunzel meets The Raid.
Joey King (The Act) stars as a strong-willed princess who, after refusing to wed a sociopath, is kidnapped, and locked in a remote tower of her father's castle. When the scorned suitor, intent on taking her father’s throne, tries to force the princess to marry him things get action-packed. Blood, guts and plenty of bad-assery ensues.
The Princess isn’t breaking new ground by having a woman take control (think Disney's Frozen). That said, it’s always fun to see “happily ever after” achieved minus a marriage. It will be interesting to see if King garners the same attention for The Princess as she did when she co-starred in Hulu’s 2019 crime drama series The Act (2019), for which the actress was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe.
America the Beautiful (Disney Plus, July 4)
This six-episode docuseries narrated by Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed) focuses on North America’s diverse landscapes and the unique creatures that inhabit them.
To capture the raw geographical beauty of the country, cameras were placed on fighter jets and producers worked directly with indigenous tribes to gain access to America’s most spectacular regions.
Each episode of the series showcases an animal, which include grizzlies, bald eagles, mountain lions and honeypot ants.
The series stems from Emmy winning producers Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz. (Planet Earth, Frozen Planet). Per Disney Plus, “The goal is to inspire audiences to conserve the precious habitats and inhabitants found in our own backyards.”
Girl In The Picture (July 6, Netflix)
If you liked Skye Borgman’s bizarre, jaw dropping true-crime documentary Abducted in Plain Sight (2017), then chances are you'll also dig Girl in the Picture.
The doc attempts to explain the mysterious death of a young mother who went by the name Sharon Marshall. Turns out Sharon's father was a murderous, fugitive who trapped his daughter into lifetime of deception that included multiple identities and plenty of dark secrets.
The doc is based on Matt Birkbeck’s international bestselling book A Beautiful Child.
Maggie (Hulu, July 6)
This single-camera comedy was originally ordered to series by ABC last year, but is now streaming entirely on Hulu.
Starring Rebecca Rittenhouse, the series follows the titular psychic as she navigates the dating world and begins to see glimpses of her own destiny after meeting an unexpected stranger.
Per Hulu, “Can you let yourself fall in love when you think you know how it ends? She probably should have seen this coming.”
Sounds like someone over at ABC wrote that given the hokey, broadcast network primetime-feeling marketing lingo, but if you are into female-driven comedies like Hulu’s How I Met Your Father and Life & Beth, then Maggie is worth a peek.
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