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The Ringer Guide to Streaming in June

Steve Carell wants to go to space, Lady Bird wants to go to college on the East Coast, and a bunch of strangers want to go on blind dates

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Summer is around the corner, but there’s always more streaming to be done. HBO Max is coming in hot with its all-star lineup and Netflix is bringing back some familiar faces. There’s something for everyone this month: an Oscar-nominated coming of age story; an unconventional dating show; the ultimate dad movie. Check out everything that’s new on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max below, as well as a few personal selections from the Ringer staff.

What’s New to Streaming in June

A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.

Space Force (Netflix)

Alison Herman: [Steve] Carrell plays General Mark Naird, the unfortunate soul tasked with turning a garbled tweet into an actual organization—a decidedly apt metaphor for spinning a goofy punch line into a 10-episode TV show. Like the actual Space Force, General Naird’s fiefdom is spun out from the Air Force and honored with a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Unlike the actual Space Force, the fictional version runs out of a top-secret facility hidden, James Bond style, in the Colorado mountains. Naird drags his wife, Maggie (Lisa Kudrow), and daughter, Erin (Diana Silvers), out to the wilderness and dedicates himself to the impossible task of making space great again.

Lady Bird (Netflix, June 3)

K. Austin Collins: Welcome to the McPherson clan. Welcome, specifically, to the world of Lady Bird McPherson, a high school senior who doesn’t entirely know what she wants but who knows—fiercely and without hesitation—that she wants. Lady Bird is a student at Immaculate Heart, a Catholic school in Sacramento, in 2002. In the background of her last year at home sit the aftermath of 9/11 and the brewing, but still seemingly distant, war in Iraq. In the foreground, there’s the usual: boys, best friends, arguments with mom, financial stress, college applications, “What do I want to do with my life?” anxieties, and so on.

Pose Season 2 (Netflix, June 11)

Herman: Pose can get a little cheesy sometimes. This isn’t entirely a criticism of the FX series, an ensemble drama following several participants in the New York City ballroom scene during the late 1980s. Every show has its excesses, particularly in its early days, when writers and directors were still calibrating the tone. But the brushes with sentimentality are what make Pose stand out—as a prestige cable series; as an entry in the oeuvre of cocreator Ryan Murphy, TV’s reigning camp maximalist; as a story about a vulnerable population weathering the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Dating Around Season 2 (Netflix, June 12)

Herman: Where The Bachelor escalates a fledgling romance into a full-blown proposal of marriage and Back With the Ex, an Australian series Netflix distributes internationally, sets up an outlandish scenario divorced from real life, Dating Around is relatively streamlined. Each of its six episodes stars a different New Yorker looking for love; they choose between five suitors briefly introduced in an opening montage, the episode’s options laid out as efficiently as its premise. The effect is relatively realistic, though that realism comes with a gigantic caveat: Every flirty glance and awkward silence we see occurs between people who have agreed to let a deeply personal part of their lives play out in front of cameras, a rock-solid fourth wall Dating Around refuses to break. Once you factor in that large grain of salt, though, Dating Around is remarkably natural for a genre notorious for its manipulation and whose audience has grown ever more savvy to its trademarks.

Queer Eye Season 5 (Netflix, June 5)

Herman: There’s a subtly subversive message at work in all this: that fashion, beauty, design, and food aren’t superfluous luxuries, nor the exclusive province of femme-of-center gay men. By teaching the benefits of a good sauté technique or face scrub, the Five can also impart their wisdom on messier, more intangible issues like emotional labor and vulnerability. There’s nothing unmanly about a hug, and it’s not fair to take your wife’s effort for granted if you’re not making the same effort for her. These epiphanies are what Queer Eye is chasing—the spruced-up wardrobes are mostly a visual aid.

Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj Volume 6 (Netflix, June 7)

Rob Harvilla: There is much to love here, and to work with; Patriot Act is a weekly affair with a 32-episode order, guaranteeing Minhaj the long runway Michelle Wolf deserved. You will root for him, hard, especially in those moments when he manages to be cool without trying to be cool. His perspective, shamefully unique in this context, is his not-so-secret weapon.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Hulu, June 2)

Adam Nayman: The casting of Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers is brilliant, of course: one affable American icon playing another. As in Captain Phillips and Sully, Hanks is playing a real person who is also a symbol of something larger, and he fully inhabits Rogers’s genuine, borderline overbearing empathy without resorting to shtick. In the best moments, director Marielle Heller and Hanks show us what it looks like to simultaneously internalize and externalize a simplistic, scriptural idea of goodness, and how closely the end result resembles something like an idiot savant. But where Forrest Gump was an avatar of humble, uncomprehending compliance, there’s a slyness to Rogers that suggests a worldliness being held in reserve; and just as Hanks’s incarnation of the character never quite talks down to the people around him (adult and child alike), neither does the actor condescend to the role.

Ford v Ferrari (HBO Max, June 20)

Miles Surrey: If there was any movie released in 2019 that serves as a signal flare for fathers across the world, it’s this thing. Ford v Ferrari features many of the qualities—a historical basis, fast cars, male friendships, male rivalries, men not wanting to talk openly about their feelings, loud and adrenaline-fueled racing sequences—that are staples of what’s become one of my favorite genres: Dad Cinema. Ford v Ferrari is such a model example of this type of project that I expect test-screening attendees were composed of dads, as assembled by an exalted Committee of Dads, so that the movie could achieve its maximum dad-ness—which it did.

Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed

Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.

Love Life (HBO Max)

Michael Baumann: Love Life carries the stylistic trappings of prestige cable dramedy, and the imprimatur of executive producer Paul Feig, who directed Kendrick in A Simple Favor. It’s well acted, with a supporting cast that includes John Gallagher Jr., Hope Davis, Zoe Chao, and Scoot McNairy. (It’s against federal law to make a semi-indie series without involving Scoot McNairy.) And if we’ve learned anything from the runaway success of Hulu’s Normal People, it’s that the public is champing at the bit to watch attractive young people grow up and fall in love over the course of a limited series.

Homecoming Season 2 (Amazon Prime)

Surrey: There’s a case to be made that Homecoming didn’t need the Big Little Lies treatment—a second season that seems to exist solely because the first one was such a hit—but while Season 2 doesn’t quite reach the highs of its predecessor, it does excel as a somewhat understated epilogue. One of the biggest selling points for the first installment of Homecoming was the fact that each episode was roughly half an hour long at a time when TV dramas have become increasingly bloated—the show was a marvel to look at, but it was also admirably efficient. That Season 2 only has enough material for seven episodes is a double-edged sword: There isn’t a lot of new ground for Homecoming to cover, but at least the series spared us the torture of dragging things out just to fill a longer runtime [gestures to every Netflix-Marvel show].

The Great (Hulu)

Herman: The Great is something of a comfort watch, even as it uses the omnipresent violence of its time and place as a punch line. No, Tony McNamara didn’t invent the idea of turning the past into a projection room for modern-day anxieties like women in charge, nor making light of customs we now see as atrocities. (“How was your evening?” “Avoided rape. You?” “Same.”) But he puts these tropes to capable use, yielding a coming-of-age story whose expected pleasures are somewhat at odds with its intended shock value. Even The Great’s weak points are more forgivable, given that we’ve seen them before.

The Eddy (Netflix)

Justin Charity: The Eddy assembles all the elements required to make a series “about jazz”: It’s set in a seedy nightclub in Paris; features a washed-up virtuoso in arrears, a misfit band, a fussy critic, and a record deal; and has an overall sentimentality about live musical performance. These are ideas. These are, dare I say, “ideas about jazz,” though The Eddy bears other talents, themes, and ideas about fatherhood, blackness, excellence, and belonging. If the series creators had set out to make the whole thing “about jazz,” I might have resigned from the internet altogether. We’re not doing this again.

Bonus Watching

A random collection of movies and TV shows that are a little more off the beaten path.

What to watch if you need some TV comfort food:

I’m not sure how or when Bob’s Burgers became my therapeutic viewing of choice. I’ve never been a big fan of cartoons, but the everyday triumphs and tribulations of the wacky Belcher family scratches an itch I didn’t even know I had. Something about the mix of their relatable working-class struggles mixed with over-the-top characters and absurd story lines makes for perfect soothing television. A recent episode, now streaming on Hulu, follows the Belcher’s youngest, the fiery, mildly evil Louise, as she takes a school trip to the aquarium and is forced to face her greatest fear: pooping in public restrooms. Meanwhile, the rest of the Belchers don pickle suits to make a viral video for their grandparents’ anniversary. It’s ridiculous, and hilarious, and strangely comforting—as Bob’s Burgers always is. Kate Halliwell

What to watch if you’re a fan of fantastic 22-minute animated series:

After watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, the next animated show worth streaming is DC Universe’s Harley Quinn. The show’s creators—Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey—craft a bright world that’s just as compelling as any other show out right now. (Just a heads-up, it’s a very adult show, so DO NOT watch it with children present.) Harley Quinn perfectly straddles the line of violent and raunchy without completely overdoing it. It’s filled with interesting and complex characters, fun visuals, and amazing story lines. It’s the perfect show to binge watch, and by the time it’s over, you’ll understand why people are constantly tweeting #RenewHarleyQuinn. Jomi Adeniran

What to watch if you need your travel (and dancing) fix:

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, now streaming on Hulu, is the perfect movie to watch during these stay-at-home times—the illustrious sights and sounds of Cuba will cure the itch to travel, and the film’s soundtrack will automatically make your hips shake. Set in the late 1950s, a shy American girl, Katey (Romola Garai), breaks out of her shell to enter a dancing competition while her family is in Havana. She chooses Javier (pre-Narcos: Mexico Diego Luna) to teach her how to dance, and they fall for each other in the process. You have to excuse the chessiness of the plot—and the fact that the trailer basically shows the climax dancing sequence of the movie!—but it’s a fun ride. Mya also has a random cameo, and there’s a small history lesson intertwined with the story line. There’s no comparison to its predecessor, but it’ll still have you up off your couch practicing your own salsa moves in no time. —Jordan Ligons

What to watch when a Gen-Z teen hasn’t seen the perfect teen movie:

Clueless is a quintessential teen movie—if you haven’t watched it in a while, it’s worth a revisit to catch references you might have missed if you watched on the younger side (or only caught the edited version on cable). Its emergence on a streaming service offers an opportunity to introduce it to the younger generation; when I found out it was being added to Netflix, I reached out to the same teens who explained TikTok to me to see if kids these days even know what Clueless is, and to offer up a brief summary for why high schoolers should add it to their June queues. Says Fatimah: “The movie is about a rich popular girl named Cher that gets two teachers together just because one wouldn’t give her a better grade. When another girl named Tai comes to the school, Cher and her friend Dionne give her a makeover and hope that they’ll find her a boyfriend. Then that’s when Cher realizes there is more to life than looking good and being rich. So any teenager that likes movies about a rich blondie who’s slowly finding her place and learns that she should never settle would love Clueless.” Well said. The teens are all right. —Jacqueline Kantor