May Watchlist: 8 shows, specials, & movies to watch this month

Xavier Clyde in City on Fire; Padma Lakshim; Hannah Gadsby
Xavier Clyde in City on Fire; Padma Lakshim; Hannah Gadsby

So! What are we watching this month, gang? Well, with the deadline for Emmy Awards submissions looming at the end of May, there are still a few notable new and returning TV series yet to premiere — plus, a couple big films, stand-up specials, and documentaries you should really make time for.

Whether you’re into soppy romance, searing comedy, or an expansive mystery, there’s probably something for you premiering in the weeks to come.

Love Again

Admittedly, this by-the-book romance looks a little treacly. But when no less an icon than Céline Marie Claudette Dion makes her feature film debut, who the hell are we to write it off? The Québecois queen of the power ballad stars as an internationally beloved singer with the voice of angel named Celine Dion, who in her boundless wisdom and goodwill helps some journalist profiling her (Sam Heughan) win the heart of some lady he’s been texting (Priyanka Chopra Jones). Yeah, that’s right: Céline Dion is playing herself in this! Give her all the EGOTs right now, okay?!

In theaters May 5.

Taste the Nation

Padma Lakshmi
Rebecca Brenneman/Hulu Padma Lakshmi

In the years since Anthony Bourdain’s untimely death, we’ve seen plenty of variations on his Parts Unknown format. But Padma Lakshmi’s Taste the Nation is possibly the best.

The docuseries finds the Top Chef host traveling the U.S., exploring the immigrant experience through food, and showing how different cultures shaped the American melting pot while retaining their traditions and specificity. In the show’s second season, Lakshmi starts in Puerto Rico, making her way through Washington D.C.’s Afghan community, New York’s Borscht belt, and Lowell, Massachusetts’s Cambodian enclave, with many stops in between.

Streaming May 5 on Hulu.

Hannah Gadsby: Something Special

Hannah Gadsby’s 2018 special Nanette was a tour-de-force that upended the way many of us think about stand-up. But having discussed their trauma and challenged audiences to rethink comedy itself, in their latest special the acclaimed, genre-defying comedian promises “a feel-good show,” and we are here for it!

Premieres May 9 on Netflix.

The Great

Hulu’s wickedly funny, consistently lewd, shamelessly anachronistic, Emmy-winning series extremely loosely based on Catherine the Great’s rise to power returns for a third season. Huzzah!

Premieres May 12 on Hulu.

Queer Eye

Season 7 of this hit make-over series finds the ever-charming Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, and Tan France hitting the Big Easy. Among this season’s challenges, the Fab 5 take on possibly their most daunting mission yet: yassifying an entire frat house full of New Orleans college guys.

Streaming May 12 on Netflix.

City on Fire

A young woman’s murder in Central Park has far reaching consequences, pulling in an expansive array of New Yorkers in this glossy, ambitious limited series based on author Garth Risk Hallberg’s blockbuster debut novel.

Among the characters wrapped up in the mystery are a gay private school teacher (Xavier Clyde) and his troubled lover (Nico Tortorella). Plus, Hedwig creator John Cameron Mitchell co-stars as the sinister head of a wealthy family who may also have connections to the dead girl.

Premieres May 12 on AppleTV+.

Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Three words: Donna Summer documentary. Literally, do you need to know more?

Co-directed by Summer’s own daughter Brooklyn Sudano, the film takes us back to the glittering 1970s disco scene in which the singer rose to fame. It also takes us inside the “Queen of Disco’s” private live, via her own reflections, the memories of close family, friends, and colleagues.

Premieres May 20 on HBO.

Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer

Wanda Sykes
Aaron Ricketts/Netflix Wanda Sykes

In her second Netflix stand-up special, out comedian Wanda Sykes is like, “Let me entertain you!”

Per the streamer: “From the challenges of raising Gen Z teens to the dilemmas of being a liberal in a hyper charged political climate, Sykes, renowned for her social commentary, delivers her insightful and ferocious wit and candor audiences have come to know and love.”

Streaming May 23.

The Little Mermaid

This maybe the queerest of all Disney “live-action” remakes? (Mulan notwithstanding, of course.) There’s Melissa McCarthy’s drag queen-inspired Ursula. King Triton (Javier Bardem) is, like, the definition of a hot dad (all apologies to Pedro Pascal). And the whole thing can pretty much be read as kind of a trans allegory?

Plus, the original Hans Christian Anderson story was basically a stealth ode to the 19th century Danish author’s unrequited crush on another man. All of which is enough to overcome any misgivings lingering after seeing other Disney remakes, down a couple mimosas, and see The Little Mermaid with your queer besties when it hits theaters May 26.

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