This month, ASFF covers the latest in streaming previews from Amazon and Netflix, including Gerard Way’s alternative universe and Sundance premiere art satire.
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)
A subversive alternative to the Marvel-DC duopoly, Gerard Way (the frontman for My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Bá’s cult Dark Horse-published comic book gets it first television season, with Altered Carbonproducer Steve Blackman on board as showrunner. A fractured surrogate family with the weirdest powers – one can conjure up the dead, another uses the power persuasion – reunite after the death of their adoptive father, just as an apocalypse is looming. Co-starring Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan and Mary J. Blige, this is a riotous and anarchic alternative to your typical superhero tale, with some cracking visual effects and music thrown in.
After receiving its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this week, Dan Gilroy’s artworld satire is piped straight to your home via Netflix. The film sees him reunite with his Nightcrawlerstar Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Morf, an LA art critic who gets involved with Zawe Ashton’s Josephine, a gallery employee who finds a house-full of weirdo art that soon has the whole town talking. Co-starring Gilroy’s off-screen wife Rene Russo, Toni Collette and John Malkovich, the film sways between caricature and the supernatural as bodies begin to pile up.
New Amsterdam S1 (Amazon Prime)
Already launched in the US, medical drama New Amsterdamarrives in the UK, courtesy of Amazon Prime. Based on the best-selling book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer and his fifteen years as Medical Director at the eponymous hospital, it stars Ryan Eggold (recently seen in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman) as Dr. Max Goodwin. Like his name suggests, he’s one of the good guys – keen to turn this understaffed hospital into a top caring facility that can treat everyone from Ebola suffers to the President of the United States. Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims and Tyler Labine co-star.
The Expanse S3(Amazon Prime)
So the story goes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was devastated to hear the American network Syfy cancelled this sci-fi show after three seasons. Since then, he’s bought the streaming rights and commissioned a fourth season. Now in readiness for those incoming new episodes, Season 3 comes to the UK, continuing the story – inspired by the series of novels by James S.A Corey – set 200 years in the future where humanity has colonised the solar system. Arriving at the same time as Season 1 of the George R.R Martin-inspired Nightflyers on Netflix, it’s a good month if you’re a sci-fi fan.
Still from The Umbrella Academy.