Spring has come with a cascade of new TV series with the eligibility window for this year’s Emmy awards nearly at a close. That means there are plenty of new offerings up for consideration, including Amazon’s much-anticipated “Dead Ringers” remake and Netflix’s road-rage-fueled revenge thriller “Beef.” But it’s worth making space in a crowded viewing calendar for returning favorites, like Bridget Everett’s heartwarming “Somebody Somewhere” and veteran award winners “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which will both air their final seasons in April.
And while blockbusters are being held for warmer months and many of the year’s films are just starting the festival circuit, there are some notable indies worth heading to the theater for, including Lisa Cortés’ buzzy documentary, “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” and Saim Sadiq’s “Joyland.”
The show must go on in season two of the campy, musical-theater-obsessed hit series “Schmigadoon!” In season one, which was based on the 1947 musical “Brigadoon,” leads Melissa (Cecily Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) find themselves trapped in a magical, theatrical world that demands they find true love before leaving. In season two, having reignited their flame and returned to the real world, the couple quickly becomes disenchanted and decides to return to Schmigadoon. But instead, they land in Schmicago, a parallel world inspired by the jazzy musicals of the 1960s and ‘70s. Series regulars Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming and Jane Krakowski return with vampy makeovers befitting the cabaret-themed landscape, while newcomer Tituss Burgess plays a villainous M.C. who would be right at home in a Bob Fosse production.
“Schmigadoon!” season two premieres on Apple TV+ April 5.
The new dark comedy series “Beef,” starring Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, explores just how far a feud can go. Wong plays the picture-perfect Amy, a wife, mother and the founder of a houseplant company that’s quickly becoming a massive success with the help of a savvy power lesbian, played by “Coyote Ugly” heartthrob Maria Bello. Yeun’s Danny is a down-and-out contractor who resents the cards he’s been dealt but still believes he can make something of his life, if he could only get a leg up. After the two meet in a road rage accident, the incident escalates into an all-out war that neither one can seem to walk away from — whatever the consequences.
“Beef” season one premieres on Netflix April 6.
'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies'
Forty-five years after John Travolta and the late Olivia Newton-John hand-jived their way into America’s hearts, a new series tells the origin story of Rydell High’s toughest girl gang, the Pink Ladies. Set four years before the events of the original film, “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” centers on four high school students who find power in numbers when they resolve to go from outsiders to the coolest chicks in school. Donning the group’s signature pink jackets and belting out original songs are Jane (Marisa Davila), Olivia (Cheyenne Isabel Wells), Nancy (Tricia Fukuhara) and Cynthia (Ari Notartomaso), whose sapphic story line is teased with a scene-stealing smooch in the trailer.
“Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” season one premieres on Paramount+ April 6.
Filmmaker Saim Sadiq’s debut feature, “Joyland,” was the first Pakistani film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival when it debuted last year, ultimately taking home the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize. At the center of the film is Haider (Ali Junejo), the introverted younger son of a stern patriarch, whose life revolves around his wife and extended family — and their many expectations. After a stint of unemployment, Haider secretly takes a job as a backup dancer for a popular Bollywood-style burlesque act led by a magnetic star, a transgender woman named Biba (Alina Khan). In Biba’s presence, Haider begins to flourish, questioning perhaps for the first time what he wants out of life, and discovering how desire can bloom outside the pressures of the marital bed.
“Joyland” opens in U.S. theaters April 7.
'Tiny Beautiful Things'
In “Tiny Beautiful Things,” based on the essay collection of the same name by Cheryl Strayed, Kathryn Hahn plays a woman who finds purpose as an advice columnist, even while her life is slowly imploding. Clare (Hahn), a once-promising writer who never recovered from the premature loss of her mother, finds herself an outsider in her own family after going behind her husband Danny’s (Quentin Plair) back to loan money and generally bungling her relationship with her queer daughter, Rae (Tanzyn Crawford). In a moment of desperation, she reaches out to the advice columnist Dear Sugar, which ends up with an offer to take over the column and forces Clare to confront the pain of her young adult years and the decisions she made as a result.
“Tiny Beautiful Things” premieres on Hulu April 7.
'Little Richard: I Am Everything'
One of the buzziest films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Lisa Cortés’ “Little Richard: I Am Everything.” The documentary — described in its official synopsis as “finally exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music”— sets out to establish Little Richard as the real king of rock ‘n’ roll by exploring the genre’s queer Black origins. Through archival footage and interviews with friends and family, industry icons and scholars, it tells the story of a complex, often conflicted music legend, who ripped up rules around race and sexuality on his way to the top, but struggled to accept his own homosexuality in light of his religious upbringing.
“Little Richard: I Am Everything” opens in U.S. theaters with a special one-night screening April 11, followed by a wider release in theaters and on on-demand platforms April 21.
'Single Drunk Female'
Last year, queer creator Simone Finch’s “Single Drunk Female” introduced perhaps one of the more sympathetic antiheroines in recent TV history, Samantha Fink. After a series of very public, booze-filled meltdowns, Samatha (Sofia Black-D’Elia) struggles for most of season one to hold on to her sobriety with the help of her best friend, Felicia (Lily Mae Harrington), and her sponsor, Olivia (Rebecca Henderson). In season two, Sam faces a new set of temptations, still living at home with her difficult-to-please mother, (Ally Sheedy), trying to prove herself at a new job in Boston and having to rebuild her support network when circumstances change.
“Single Drunk Female” season two premieres on Freeform April 12, with all 10 episodes available on Hulu the following day.
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'
Following award-winning season after award-winning season, it’s finally time for the curtain to close on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and its headliner, Rachel Brosnahan. Over the previous chapters, Midge Maisel (Brosnahan) has come a long way from a rain-soaked, ranting housewife to a full-blown professional comedian who demands almost as much from her agent, Susie (Alex Borstein), as she does from herself. The fifth and final season, which sees the return of the show’s core veteran cast, faces the daunting task of wrapping up Midge’s up-and-down journey through the world of showbiz, while bringing closure to the show’s loyal fanbase and finally providing answers about its beloved characters, particularly the much-speculated-upon Susie.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” season five premieres on Prime Video April 14.
Another beloved series saying its goodbyes in April is Bill Hader and Alec Berg’s “Barry,” about an existentially tortured hitman who desperately just wants to be an actor. Season three of the black comedy embraced its dark side, capping off with a violet finale that saw almost every major character either fighting for their life or taking someone else’s — including the usually comical Chechen mobster, Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan), who saves his Bolivian gangster boyfriend, Cristobal (Michael Irby), from a grisly end. As the fourth and final season opens, the events have left Barry (Hader) in prison after an apparent setup by his acting coach, Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler).
“Barry” season four premieres on HBO and HBO Max April 16.
Despite there being no shortage of blood and body horror, obstetrics has never looked so good as in Alice Birch’s “Dead Ringers” series remake, starring Rachel Weisz as identical twin doctors at the top of their field. The series is a gender-swapped homage to director David Cronenberg’s 1988 film of the same name, which starred Jeremy Irons as leads Beverly and Elliot Mantle. In the six-part limited series, which boasts an all-female writing room, Weisz plays the eerily close Mantle twins, who share everything from women to ethically questionable medical practices. But, as in the original, Beverly and Elliot’s relationship takes a dark turn when a woman, played by Britne Oldford, makes the mistake of coming between them.
“Dead Ringers” premieres on Prime Video April 21.
The lovable residents of Manhattan, Kansas, are back for season two of singer and comedian Bridget Everett’s semi-autobiographical series, “Somebody Somewhere.” After winning over audiences with its relatably flawed characters, the show’s debut season ended on a triumphant note, with protagonist Sam (Everett) surrounded by chosen family and finally at home in the town she returned to, to care for her dying sister. In season two, Sam draws even closer to the members of her inner circle, Joel (Jeff Hiller) and Fred Rococo (Murray Hill), while navigating a fresh crop of setbacks and the occasional reason to celebrate, including perhaps the most queer event in Manhattan history.
“Somebody Somewhere” season two premieres on HBO Max April 23.
In case you missed it …
'Restaurants at the End of the World'
“Top Chef” alum and restaurateur Kristen Kish finds out how far diners and chefs will go for a good meal in the new National Geographic docuseries “Restaurants at the End of the World.” Making her way by land and sea to establishments across the world, in countries from Norway to Brazil, Kish learns about extreme sourcing methods and gives a helping hand to restaurant owners serving up one-of-a-kind meals in isolated locations.
“Restaurants at the End of the World” season one is available on Disney+.
HBO’s “Perry Mason” adaptation, like the original detective stories, is set in 1930s Los Angeles. The noir crime drama, now in its second season, is centered on the titular private investigator turned criminal defense attorney, played by Matthew Rhys, who takes on difficult — and often dangerous — cases to aid the innocent. But Perry wouldn’t get very far without his whip-smart and resourceful associate, Della Street (Juliet Rylance), who has a penchant for case law, stylish skirt suits and sassy women.
“Perry Mason” season one is available on HBO Max, with new episodes of season two dropping every Monday until April 24.