Oscars season is over and—insert extreme sarcasm here—there is nothing left to talk about there. It’s time for TV to fully take over. And take over it will in April with a seemingly impossible amount of buzzworthy shows: the return of Russian Doll, the return of David Simon, the arrival of Prestige TV Andrew Garfield. Let’s stop wasting time: Here’s a handful of must-watch things coming to streaming this month.
What’s New to Streaming in April
A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.
Tokyo Vice (April 7, HBO Max)
Woke, Season 2 (April 8, Hulu)
Michael Tedder: In Woke, Lamorne Morris stars as Keef, an apolitical cartoonist who is about to have his milquetoast strip “Toast and Butter” syndicated. But after getting assaulted by the police, he begins receiving messages from the universe (via talking beer bottles, trash cans, buildings, and other inanimate objects that normally don’t speak) that nag him into using his talents to speak out against systemic racism.
A Black Lady Sketch Show, Season 3 (April 8, HBO Max)
Alison Herman: Sketch is, by its nature, an uneven format, and A Black Lady Sketch Show is no exception. But by the end of Season 1, it leveraged less than three hours of running time into its own distinctive, self-contained world, with recurring characters and tropes the audience has quickly learned to recognize.
Russian Doll, Season 2 (April 20, Netflix)
Herman: When they finally arrive, Russian Doll’s reveals are rooted not in the supernatural or some grand conspiracy, but the quotidian reality of what makes Nadia and Alan tick. Despite what she assures her therapist godmother Ruth, everything for Nadia really does come back to her mom; no matter how many ways he tries to make her stay, the only way out for Alan is to let his fiancée, Beatrice, go. These epiphanies land as well as they do only because Natasha Lyonne and her writers make Nadia and Alan into such textured, well-realized individuals, with quirks and backstories and coping mechanisms all their own.
The Flight Attendant, Season 2 (April 21, HBO Max)
Selling Sunset, Season 5 (April 22, Netflix)
Herman: Even by the standards of such an artificial genre, the Netflix show Selling Sunset is a proudly artificial show. A workplace drama set at a West Hollywood real estate group, Selling Sunset trades in all the most surface-level stereotypes about the city of Los Angeles. The homes for sale are glittering glass palaces set high in the Hollywood Hills; the agents who sell them are pencil-thin bottle blonds who talk freely about boob jobs and Botox, with a couple of brunettes thrown in for diversity’s sake. Spearheaded by Adam DiVello of Laguna Beach and The Hills, Selling Sunset is the kind of slickly aspirational lifestyle content that’s designed as pure escapism—perhaps for no one so much as Angelenos themselves, who can see the distance between the city they live in and the multimillion-dollar compounds the show puts on display.
Barry, Season 3 (April 24, HBO Max)
Alan Siegel: For a fleeting moment before the explosive final scene of “berkman > block,” it appears that Barry may be close to outrunning his past. His quick decision to take the Chechen “debt has been paid” pin that Hank had given him in Episode 6 and plant it by Moss’s body helped clear Cousineau. It was, Hader said, “a very Breaking Bad–type thing.” But Barry’s relief doesn’t last. The last shot of Season 2 is of Gene Cousineau realizing that Barry killed Detective Janice Moss. The show was never going to let him off the hook. After all, a hitman doesn’t deserve a Hollywood ending.
We Own This City (April 25, HBO Max)
Under the Banner of Heaven (April 28, Hulu)
Ozark, Season 4: Part 2 (April 29, Netflix)
Justin Charity: In its first couple of seasons, Ozark was a wild ride. It wasn’t necessarily Breaking Bad, but that was its low-key strength—its trashiness, its shrugging off of the more literary obligations of prestige TV. Ozark was a sweaty white-collar crime drama with a bad temper and a certain zeal in living out a midlife crisis to its sad, absurd conclusions. Four seasons deep, Ozark has become a much more regimental drama. Marty and Wendy work through each new complication in their great escape from Missouri—a stubborn boss, a rogue lieutenant, a teen rebellion, a dead sheriff, a relentless PI—in standardized triage at the dinner table.
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.
Moon Knight (Disney+)
Atlanta, Season 3 (Hulu)
Israel Daramola: Atlanta’s latest season arrives four calendar years since the last. The cast have become genuine stars, with Brian Tyree Henry and Lakeith Stanfield throwing their hats in the ring to be the definitive actors of their generation. Hiro Murai got to make another memorable, idiosyncratic television series in Station Eleven. The third season experienced delays because of their busy schedules and COVID, and it returns to the television landscape as appointment viewing and suddenly event TV (due in part to how sporadically the seasons come). ... But even in this landscape, as Donald Glover’s Twitter account is happy to inform us, there are very few shows that operate quite like Atlanta. That can lead to magic, or it can be maddening from episode to episode.
The Girl From Planville (Hulu)
Bridgerton, Season 2 (Netflix)
Herman: For its follow-up, Bridgerton is largely done with walking the line between straightforward romance and steamy, modern update. Over eight episodes, Season 2 goes all in on the former, switching from explicit excess to relative restraint. It’s a choice that comes with some advantages, though they may be outweighed by drawbacks—namely messing with the formula that made Bridgerton such a juggernaut in the first place.
Pachinko (Apple TV+)
Game Theory With Bomani Jones (HBO Max)
Julian Kimble: The first two episodes of Game Theory featured quick-hitting analysis of major sports stories, like how the trade market for new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson heated up as soon as he was cleared of criminal charges after 22 women filed lawsuits against him that detailed accounts of sexual misconduct and coercion. There have been candid interviews with Bomani Jones’s ESPN colleague Stephen A. Smith and hilariously outspoken rapper Vince Staples. And there was an in-depth look into what retiring Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has meant to white and Black people during his 42 seasons at the school. Jones made a name for himself with his intangibles and made an impact without stepping outside the boundaries of the Worldwide Leader’s red tape. Now he’s bringing everyone into his world.