No matter what your take is on Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, there is no denying the greats. Netflix and ESPN have each recently made successful multi-part docuseries on these respective stars. Now, ESPN wants to ply the formula to another highly decorated but polarizing team sports star, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. The seven-part docuseries titled The Captain features candid interviews with Jeter, his family, teammates, rivals and sports critics. The series explores Jeter’s five Yankee championships, including the 2000 victory when he was the World Series MVP. Jeter also discusses his record breaking 3,465 hits as well as the reason why his relationship with Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez went sour. Lucky for us, this week's upcoming new slate of shows is pretty sweet.
Resident Evil (Netflix, July 14)
This eight-episode series is the latest adaptation of the Resident Evil video game franchise. In 2021, Sony released Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and Netflix came out with the animated series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. It’s no surprise that Netflix is reimagining the story considering that Resident Evil is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises in the world, selling over 120 million units. What’s new about the latest narrative incarnation is that it’s Resident Evil’s first-ever live-action TV series. The video game features heroes who battle against the Umbrella Corporation -- an evil pharmaceutical company housed in Raccoon City. The Netflix series takes place in 2036, 14 years after a deadly virus caused a global apocalypse caused by the Umbrella Corporation. Jade Wesker fights for survival in post-apocalyptic London, which is overrun by the blood-thirsty, infected victims/creatures. In her fight for survival, Jade must also fight her own memories of New Raccoon City, her father’s connections to the Umbrella Corporation and the fate of her sister, Billie.
Victoria's Secret: Angels And Demons (Hulu, July 14)
This three-part docuseries investigates the rise and fall of Victoria's Secret. Created by retail billionaire Les Wexner, the lingerie company was once worth $7.5 billion, making it one of the biggest brands in the world. Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bündchen were among the top models who sashay’d down runways in angel wings and bedazzled undergarments to promote the company’s bras and underwear, which were not known for their quality. Things went sour for the company when it was discovered that child predator and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was once Wexler’s financial adviser and held power of attorney. Epstein, the series reveals, posed as a “recruiter” for Victoria Secret, which led to sexual assault charges being filed against him. Turns out that Wexler helped make Epstein rich. Victoria's Secret: Angels And Demons director Matt Tyrnauer (Where's My Roy Cohn?, The Reagans) is known for his behind-the-scenes docs as well as his investigative journalism.
Hart To Heart – Season 2 (Peacock, July 14)
In the second season of this one-hour talk show, comedian Kevin Hart continues to get deep with A-List celebrities. Season 2 will feature Pete Davidson, Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Mark Wahlberg, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mike Tyson, Saweetie, Tyler Perry, Kristen Stewart, Simu Liu and Seth McFarlan. If you like Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, then you might like Hart To Heart. Like Letterman's show, Hart to Heart is funny and insightful. (Note: This celebrity talk show features wine.)
The Rehearsal (HBO Max, July 15)
Nathan Fielder, known for his Comedy Central show Nathan for You, is back, but this time he isn’t helping small businesses. No. This time around he’s helping people tackle their problems. Fielder serves as star, writer, director and executive producer of the unscripted series. Each episode features ordinary people preparing for one of the biggest moments of their lives. Moments include making a life-changing decision or having a tricky/hard conversation. Fielder rehearses with each person using actors, props and sets to give them the greatest chance of success. If it sounds odd, it’s because it is. But critics are eating it up. “The Rehearsal will move you. Even as a genre hybrid, rigorously blending raw reactions with scripted machinations, Fielder’s series honestly explores his subjects’ journeys as well as his own,” wrote IndieWire’s Ben Travers.
Don’t Make Me Go (Amazon Prime Video, July 15)
This tearjerker follows single dad Max (John Cho) and his teenage daughter Wally Park (Mia Isaac) as they embark on a cross-country trip. Unbeknownst to Wally the duo are on their way to meet her estranged mother, Nicole (Jen Van Epps). Max is making the meeting happen because he is terminally ill and hopes to give his daughter a relationship with her mother before he’s gone. The film premiered at the Tribeca Festival in April. “We might not like the way it ends, but the road there (and the twists within) is a joy, heartbreaking and heartening in equal measure,” wrote IndieWire’s Kate Erbland.
Zombies 3 (Disney Plus, July 15)
This third installment of the musical-dance zombies franchise follows undead football player Zed (Milo Manheim) and human cheerleader Addison (Meg Donnelly) as they embark on their final year in high school in Seabrook, a town that’s a safe haven for monsters and humans alike. But when extraterrestrial beings arrive in Seabrook, chaos ensues. RuPaul Charles joins the cast as the voice of “The Mothership,” a passive-aggressive UFO that brings the aliens to earth. The premiere telecast of Zombies in 2018 and its sequel Zombies 2 in 2020 on Disney Channel ranked as linear television’s No. 1 movie among kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 for the entire year they debuted, according to Nielsen. “A shining example of tolerance, Zombies 3 tosses in lessons of acceptance while executing some of the most complex dance moves known to man, dead or alive,” wrote Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Bruce R. Miller.
The Captain (ESPN Plus, July 18)
This seven-episode series about Derek Jeter, who became the Yankees captain in 2003, focuses on the baseball superstar’s 20-season career as well as his personal life. Topics explored include: growing up bi-racial in Michigan; the day Jeter was drafted by the Yankees in 1992; his five Yankees World Series championships, including the 2000 victory when he was the World Series MVP, and his record breaking 3,465 hits. Fans will be especially interested in Episode 3, which focuses on Jeter’s shaky relationship with fellow baseball legend Alex Rodriguez. This docuseries is reminiscent of Netflix's The Last Dance and ESPN’s recent Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, in that it’s an in-depth retrospective of a living legend. Of course, Brady and Jeter served as producers on their respective projects, making each series at least a little biased.
Colosseum (History Vault, July 18)
This eight-part docuseries chronicles the rise and fall of the Roman Empire by telling the story of the Colosseum, the massive arena in Rome. Each episode focuses on historical figure who played a key role in the Roman Empire. Spanning several hundred years, the series unfolds chronologically, from the arena’s opening day to its very last gladiatorial games in the 5th century. Live action sequences, special effects and commentary with leading experts and scholars bring each historical character to life. If you’re a history buff or if you enjoyed the BBC’s I, Claudius, HBO’s Rome or Universal’s Gladiator, then Colosseum is worth a watch.
Aftershock (Hulu, July 19)
This documentary tells the story of two young Black women who died due to childbirth complications that could have been prevented. Through interviews with bereaved fathers and mothers, birth-workers and physicians, the film examines the maternal health crisis happening throughout the country. After winning The Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact for Change in January, Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News acquired the docu. “An eye-opening and alarming documentary” wrote RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen.
Virgin River Season 4 (Netflix, July 20)
Virgin River stars Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner who relocates from Los Angeles to the titular Northern California small town. Since debuting in December 2019, the romantic drama has become one of Netflix’s biggest successes. Based on Robyn Carr's eponymous book series, the show is a regular on Netflix’s Top 10 list. Season 4 will start where Season 3 left off -- Melinda is pregnant and not sure who the baby’s father is. “Even if Virgin River deals heavily in soap at times, it always returns to the very real, very honest issues affecting women today,” wrote Salon’s Kaitlin Thomas about the third season. Netflix has already greenlit the fifth season of Virgin River. ■
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