Online streaming channels are putting out more content than ever!  Before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, these companies usually released the typical made-for-TV movies that didn’t have a big enough budget to get a wide theatrical release.  But with all of the changes going on in the world right now, people are watching more movies and TV shows from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Movie studios have responded to the pandemic by releasing big budget productions directly to online streaming services.

Below are some of my top picks and where you can watch them. Enjoy!

MOVIES
Palm Springs (Hulu) is a quirky romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg (from Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine-Nine).  Samberg’s character, Nyles, meets Sarah at a wedding in Palm Springs.  Soon, chaos and comedy follow.

King of Staten Island (Amazon Prime) is a comedy/drama loosely based on the true life story of lead actor Pete Davidson, as he tries to find direction in his life after losing his firefighter dad during 9/11.

Peanut Butter Falcon (Hulu or Amazon Prime) tells the story of a man with Down syndrome who runs away from his residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, and befriends an outlaw along the way.

Irresistible (Amazon Prime) is a political satire that follows a well known Democratic strategist as he helps a retired Marine Colonel run for Mayor in a small town, bringing big money and attention to the race.

Athlete A (Netflix) is a documentary about the investigation into USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, who has been convicted of sexually abusing young gymnasts.

Magic Camp (Disney+) is about an ex-magician (Andy) who returns as a counselor to the magic camp he attended as a kid, only to remember why he fell in love with magic.

TELEVISION SHOWS
Yellowstone (Paramount) stars Kevin Costner as the patriarch of a powerful family of ranchers in Yellowstone, Montana and his struggles to keep hold of his land from outside forces.

Down To Earth (Netflix) is a docuseries starring Zac Efron as he travels around the world looking for healthy and sustainable ways to live.

Perry Mason (HBO) is a crime drama set in Los Angeles, based on the 1950’s & 1960’s original series.

PODCASTS
Land of the Giants – This podcast takes a look at big companies in the US and how they built up their empire.  The first 8-episode season looked at Amazon, and season 2 just finished their 7-episode season looking at Netflix.

Origins is hosted by James Andrew Miller, offering a behind-the-scenes look at cult classic movies and TV shows like Almost Famous, Saturday Night Live, and Sex and the City.  The podcast includes interviews with cast members and those responsible for making the shows.

*Both podcasts are available on all podcast apps including Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

BONUS
If you feel like you need to get out of the house, the Irvine Spectrum is hosting drive-in movies for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own car.  They have set up a big screen at the top of the parking structure closest to the 405 freeway.  To check out their schedule, click here.

Joel Smith