Inside Streaming - December 4th, 2019

Inside Streaming (Dec 4th, 2019)

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1. Netflix's series adaptation of the "Locke & Key" graphic novels will debut on February 7. The books, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, tell the story of the three Locke siblings, who move into their family's ancestral home with their mother. Once in the "Keyhouse," the Lockes investigate their father's recent death, discover a set of mysterious keys, and unknowingly awaken an ancient evil. The series comes from creators Carlton Cuse ("LOST," "Bates Motel") and Meredith Averill ("The Haunting of Hill House"), and features Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, and Connor Jessup as the young Lockes; alongside Darby Stanchfield as their mother. Separate adaptations of the books have previously been in development at both Hulu (with Frances O'Connor in the mom role) and Fox (which cast Miranda Otto as mom). – THEWRAP

2. The debut Netflix thriller series "Messiah" has a new trailer. Michelle Monaghan ("Mission: Impossible - Fallout") stars as a CIA agent investigating a mysterious man (Mehdi Dehbi) who's performing what appear to be miracles around the world and attracting a cult-like following. But is he legitimate, or part of an elaborate conspiracy? Durmot Mulroney, Beau Bridges, and Stefania LaVie Owen co-star. The series comes from creator Michael Petroni ("The Book Thief"), director James McTeigue ("V for Vendetta"), and producer Mark Burnett, who's best known for mega-hit reality shows such as "The Voice," "Shark Tank," and of course "The Apprentice." (Burnett has also produced a number of scripted shows and miniseries with religious or spiritual themes.) "Messiah" will debut on Netflix on January 1. – EW


MAGIC FOR HUMANS: Justin Willman's humorous unscripted street magic series returns for a second season. [Netflix]

THE LAST O.G.: Tracy Morgan stars in this comedy series, which airs on the cable network TBS, as an ex-con who returns to his old Brooklyn neighborhood after 15 years, only to find that everything has changed. The second season hits Netflix today; the show will return next year for Season 3. [Netflix]

LET'S DANCE: Comedy-drama feature from France about a hip-hop dancer (Rayane Bensetti) who begins teaching at a Paris ballet academy after his crew breaks up. [Netflix]

LOS BRICEÑO: Katherine Escobar Farfán stars in this comedy-drama series from Colombia as a teen who is disowned by her tough trucker family after getting pregnant and refusing to identify the baby's father. [Netflix]

BRAD PAISLEY THINKS HE'S SPECIAL: The country artist's new musical variety special, shot at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium, aired on Tuesday night on ABC and hits Hulu today. Hootie & the Blowfish, the Jonas Brothers, Peyton Manning, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Kelsea Ballerini also make appearances. [Hulu]

CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS: Trisha Yearwood hosted and performed on the 10th annual incarnation of ABC's musical holiday special, which also featured performances from For King & Country, Kristen Chenoweth, Chris Janson, Tori Kelly, Lady Antebellum, Rascall Flatts, CeCe Winans, and more. [Hulu]

FRUITS BASKET: Anime series about a family cursed to transform into the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the orphaned girl who becomes determined to save them. It's based on a classic manga series that was previously adapted into an anime in 2001. The entire first season of the reboot hits Hulu today. [Hulu]

AMERICAN WOMAN: 2018 drama feature starring Sienna Miller as a woman who must raise her grandson on her own after her teenage daughter (Sky Ferreira) mysteriously disappears. [HBO]

THE GULF: Six-part crime thriller from New Zealand starring Kate Elliott as a detective who begins experiencing memory loss following a tragic car accident. [Sundance Now]

4. Plex launched a free, ad-supported streaming service through its app. The service is currently available to users in more than 200 countries with a free Plex account. Plex's library includes films from MGM, Lionsgate, Legendary, and Warner Bros. At launch, the list included "Thelma & Louise," "Lord of War," "American Ultra," "The Terminator," and "Raging Bull." For pre-existing Plex users, the new content appears in a category labeled "Free to Watch." Even paid subscribers who use Plex Pass to manage their personal video library will have to watch ads when streaming the new content. However, Plex promises that viewers will only be served about 1/3rd as many ads as they'd expect from a cable television broadcast. – ENGADGET


"Atlantics" arrives on Netflix with an impressive resume. The first film directed by a black woman (Mati Diop) ever to compete at the Cannes Film Festival, it ultimately took home the Grand Prix, the second most-celebrated prize after the Palme d'Or. The film currently scores a robust 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has been officially selected by its native Senegal to compete for the Best International Feature trophy at next year's Oscars. But don't get the wrong idea: "Atlantics" does not unfold as a pretentious international art film, thoughtful or provocative but obscure and at arms-length. Diop's debut feature is an earthy, intimate, and engaging supernatural romance, a film with a lot on its mind that doesn't forget to simply tell an involving, twisty story about relatable characters who are worth getting to know.

Mame Bineta Sane stars as Ada, who lives in a suburb of Dakar, Senegal, along the Atlantic coast. (Hence the title.) She's in love with poor construction worker Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré), though she's theoretically engaged to a wealthier man she barely knows. Unable to secure payment for their work on a futuristic new Dakar tower, and desperate for money, Souleiman and his co-workers take a far-off job in Spain, only to encounter unseen trouble at sea. I won't give anything else away, but at some point, the film evolves into something more akin to a fable, or magical realism, than a straight-on romantic drama. Ada and Souleiman are forced apart by circumstance, but find a way to ultimately reunite.

"Atlantics," which Diop both co-wrote and directed, works because of a delicate balance between the mysterious and fantasy elements and careful, studied realism. If we weren't properly invested in Ada and Souleiman's relationship, and the unfortunate social and economic circumstances in which they find themselves, the heightened elements would likely feel silly or play as a gimmick. I was reminded at times of Olivier Assayas' "Personal Shopper," which also utilized the language of supernatural thrillers and haunted house stories to investigate real, everyday emotions like grief and isolation. (There are shades of the ghost and monster tales of Guillermo del Toro, too.) "Atlantics" uses the fantastical here allegorically, to express the beauty and frustration and anxiety and trauma of love and loss, and allow us to briefly experience what it's like to feel young and trapped in 2019 Senegal. It's a surprisingly confident, assured debut feature.


Title: "Atlantics"
Where to Watch: Netflix
Running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Fantasy drama
In Wolof, French, and English with English subtitles

6. Amazon started streaming English Premier League (EPL) matches in the UK on Tuesday, but many viewers reported technical issues, including slowness and glitches. Last year, Amazon secured the rights to stream 20 Premier League matches during the 2019/2020 season, all of which will take place this week or between December 26 and 27. On Tuesday, Amazon streamed its first-ever EPL matches: Burnley vs. Manchester City, and Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth. On social media, many fans reported that the streams were constantly buffering, out of sync, or delayed. Many viewers did appear to enjoy an Amazon feature allowing them to watch the match without commentary, hearing only the sounds from within the stadium. – CNBC

7. "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" star Tituss Burgess is working on a secret music series for Netflix. The streaming platform would not disclose any information about the series, other than its existence and Burgess' involvement on some level. According to Variety, the UK-based production company Hello Dolly developed the show, which is currently in production in London. Hello Dolly previously produced "Awake: The Million Dollar Game" for Netflix; the company is owned by former game show producers, and husband-and-wife team, Victoria Ashbourne and Stuart Shawcross. – VARIETY

8. HBO Max picked up the US streaming rights to the five-part drama series "Boys," from creator Russell T. Davies. Set in the 1980s, "Boys" looks at the AIDS crisis from the perspectives of five friends. The cast includes Olly Alexander, Nathaniel Curtis, Shaun Dooley, Omari Douglas, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, and Keeley Hawes. Davies, who will serve as both writer and executive producer on the series, previously created "Queer as Folk" and served as initial head writer and showrunner on the "Doctor Who" reboot. "Boys" will air in the UK on Channel 4 and debut in 2020. – THEWRAP

9. Amazon Studios is developing a feature documentary about R&B singer Mary J. Blige, from director Vanessa Roth and producer Sean Combs. The film follows Blige as she prepares to embark on a tour commemorating the 25th anniversary of her sophomore album, "My Life." It will also chronicle Blige's personal history, including her "past struggles with poverty, abuse, addiction, and heartbreak." Blige will also release a new box set, "HERstory Vol. 1," collecting some of her early hits from the 1990s, later this month. The documentary will debut on Amazon Prime sometime in 2020. – RS

10. The Law & Crime Network will produce two new true-crime docuseries for Facebook Watch. "Buried with Love" relates the story of Ohio high school student Brooke Skylar Richardson, who was implicated in the death of her newborn baby. It debuts on December 15 and streams weekly on Thursdays. "Vanished" looks into active missing child cases, with a focus on how viewers can potentially aid investigators. It will debut on December 26 and stream weekly on Sundays. Each series contains eight total episodes. – ADWEEK

Lon Harris is the writer and editor of Inside Streaming, and was the very first person to ever write an Inside newsletter. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and also writes about TV and film for Fandom, Screen Junkies, Rotten Tomatoes, Gamma Ray and others. He competes on The Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "The Professor." You can follow him on Twitter @lons

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