This Fourth of July, take a break from the hot sun with a trip to Hawkins, the Upper West Side, or perhaps a multiverse of madness. Here's a look at some of the best new streaming options for the long holiday weekend:
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Netflix split Stranger Things' massive fourth season into two volumes; the final episodes debut July 1. There are only two, but they're both quite long, with the finale clocking in at nearly two-and-a-half hours.
The Vol. 2 trailer teases a confrontation with Vecna, whose identity was revealed in a massive mid-season cliffhanger, and it heavily implies some big deaths are coming. Are fans in for an Empire Strikes Back-style downer ending? Will Steve bite the dust? And most importantly, what the heck did Will paint?
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Only Murders in the Building returned for its second season ahead of the long weekend, and the first two episodes are streaming now with more to come each Tuesday. Starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, the acclaimed mystery-comedy follows true-crime podcasters who attempt to solve a murder in their apartment complex, and season two adds some new cast members into the mix, including Cara Delevingne and Amy Schumer as … Amy Schumer. It's "every bit as breezy and fun" as the first season, CNN says.
Created by The Good Wife's Robert and Michelle King, this absolutely deranged, The X-Files-esque horror show sees a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers) and priest-in-training (Mike Colter) team up to investigate freaky supernatural cases. It might be one of the weirdest and most unpredictable things on TV, and the Kings have really been letting their freak flag fly since the show moved from CBS to streaming. Recent episodes include "The Demon of Memes" and "The Demon of Sex," and Entertainment Weekly praises the third season, now airing new episodes weekly, as "hellishly fun."
The creators of American Vandal, Netflix's hilarious and surprisingly poignant send-up of true crime documentaries, return with another mockumentary series, this time tackling sports documentaries like The Last Dance. Centered around professional League of Legends players — including a famed gamer known as Creamcheese — IndieWire calls Players an "instant classic fictional sports doc," while Mashable praises it a "smart and heartfelt character piece."
Loot (Apple TV+)
Created by Alan Yang (Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (30 Rock), this new Apple TV+ comedy series stars Maya Rudolph as a rich woman who, after divorcing her husband (Adam Scott) upon finding out he cheated on her, decides to make a fresh start by getting involved in her charitable foundation and trying to put her divorce settlement to good use. Mj Rodriguez (Pose) also stars, and new episodes are airing weekly. "Rudolph finally has a starring TV vehicle of her own," Variety says, "and quickly demonstrates why it's so overdue."
Irma Vep (HBO Max)
Olivier Assayas directed the 1996 movie Irma Vep, which followed an actress tapped to star in a remake of a classic silent film. Years later, Assayas returns for this miniseries remake of his film — making this a remake of a movie about making a remake, which critics say is as delightfully meta as you'd expect from that hook. Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander stars in the lead role this time, and The A.V. Club praises the "self-referential richness" of this series, a "behind-the-scenes comedy with enough heartbreak and humor to keep it grounded."
The Terminal List (Amazon Prime Video)
Chris Pratt stars in this action-thriller series as Lt. Commander James Reece, who seeks answers and revenge after his platoon of Navy SEALs are killed on a failed mission, which he comes to believe was a set-up. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) directs and produces, and Taylor Kitsch, Constance Wu, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and Jai Courtney also star. Between this and Jack Ryan, the "goofy dude from an NBC sitcom becomes an action hero on Amazon" subgenre is clearly still going strong.
The Princess (Hulu)
Joey King of The Kissing Booth and The Act stars in this action-comedy film as a princess locked away in a tower and set to marry a terrible man until she decides to fight back. "These guys f--ked with the wrong princess," the trailer proclaims before King's character kicks some butt and makes an escape. "With her scorned, vindictive suitor intent on taking her father's throne, the princess must protect her family and save the kingdom," the plot synopsis says. Olga Kurylenko, Dominic Cooper, and Veronica Ngo also star in the Hulu original.
The Bad Guys (Peacock)
Minions: The Rise of Gru is the weekend's big new movie release, but parents who don't want to trek out to theaters can throw on another animated movie from Universal: The Bad Guys, which hit theaters in April but is now being added to Peacock. The DreamWorks film follows a crew of villains who decide to become ... the good guys. Reviews were surprisingly decent for a movie like this, with IGN calling it a "slick, hilarious heist movie with buckets of laughs and a lot of heart."
Downton Abbey: A New Era (Peacock)
The latest extension of the wildly popular British drama, Downton Abbey: A New Era wasn't a huge hit in theaters, but perhaps fans were just waiting to catch up on streaming. That time has come: The film follow-up was recently added to Peacock for those looking to spend their Fourth of July with the Crawley family in the South of France. Fans should be happy with A New Era, according to critics, with USA Today calling it a "charming and soapy new chapter."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney+)
The Marvel blockbuster that kicked off the summer movie season has already hit Disney+ for those who somehow haven't already been spoiled on its biggest twists. Following up WandaVision, Multiverse of Madness sees Doctor Strange pitted against Wanda Maximoff in a twisted, Evil Dead II-style journey through the multiverse, which brings Sam Raimi's horror aesthetic into the MCU in some shocking ways. Plus, a new making-of documentary hits Disney+ on July 1 as part of the Marvel Studios Assembled series, for those interested in seeing the inception of gloriously wild lines like "this time it's going to take more than killing me to kill me."