New month, new enthusiasm! As May kicks off, it’s time to once again take a look at the pop culture that has me excited this month. And man, this month is humdinger. I mean, we are capping things off with a TV movie finale for my favorite TV show ever. The fact that this entire column isn’t about that one item should tell you what a rad month this is.
Tuca and Bertie (May 3) – This may look like a BoJack Horseman spinoff, and while it does share some writers and it’s designed by Lisa Hanawalt, this does not appear to take place in the same world. It’s like how Matt Groening shows don’t co-exist in the same world even though they have similar looks. (Yes, I know there are tie-ins in the Groeningverse, but they’re few and far between and they spent more time explicitly setting Simpsons and Futurama in different continuities.) Tuca appears to be set in a world of anthropomorphic birds and stars Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong as a couple of friends in their thirties. It looks good, the trailer is funny, and everybody involved has a solid record. (Netflix)
Saints Row the Third (May 10) – My favorite video game franchise is probably Saints Row. What started as an over the top Grand Theft Auto clone became something so much wilder. The games are less expansive and technically adept than GTA entries, but more fun and infinitely more emotionally engaging. The third entry is maybe my favorite in the series, and now it’s being ported to the Switch. That’s going to be better than dusting of a last-gen console. I love this game so much and I’m so happy there’s going to be a nice updated version for me.
Catch-22 (May 17) – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is one of my favorite books. It’s his masterpiece, but I even like the Joseph Heller books nobody likes. (Though not the Catch-22 sequel, oddly enough.) You know what book is pretty good and nobody ever reads it? God Knows. But that’s beside the point. George Clooney is adapting the book as a miniseries for Amazon. I always thought the 1973 Richard Dreyfuss movie was a little too slight, but a miniseries might be just the thing. It’s a book about World War II and logic problems, where some truly glorious ideas sit next to the dumbest jokes, and I can’t wait to see what Clooney and crew do with it. (Amazon)
Fleabag (May 17) – Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag is incredible. The first season is one of the funniest, most brutal things I’ve ever seen. Waller-Bridge stars as a woman who is never named, a woman who is self-destructive and awful but heartbreakingly human and struggling with unimaginable sadness. I can’t say enough good about it. And it’s been a while since the first season, but Waller-Bridge has been busy appearing in Solo (a movie where I hope that, between shoots, she and Donald Glover had a chance to talk about what it’s like to be good at everything), showrunning Killing Eve, and co-writing the next James Bond movie (at Daniel Craig’s request). Season One was very close to as good as TV gets. (Amazon)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (May 17) – The John Wick movies are some of the best things going in modern action movies. Stylish and weird and relentlessly clever in their staging, I love these things. And this one, presumably the final chapter, pits every assassin in New York against John. (You have to understand, in the world of this movie, there are enough working assassins that they have their own separate economy.) I was pumped for this anyway, and then they added Jason Mantzoukas to the cast, which is awesome. And just now, looking on IMDB, I learned that Robin Lord Taylor (the Penguin on Gotham) is in it and now I want nothing more than to see this movie.
Game of Thrones finale (May 19) – I mean, what is there to say? I can’t even imagine what the finale of this show even is, but it’s going to be an event. (HBO)
Archer: 1999 (May 29) – You know I love Archer. For the third season in a row, we’re going to an alternate reality or perhaps a coma dream. This year, Archer and the crew are in a 1970’s sci-fi setting. This looks so up my alley, you guys. There’s a good chance that this is the final season and so I hope we get to see the mainline Archer continuity before it’s all over, but I am so on board for Krieger as Bishop. This is going to be good! (FXX)
Batman: Last Knight on Earth (May 29) – I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not super clear what this three issue miniseries is actually about. DC has posted two different listings, one about Batman traveling through a post-apocalyptic world and one where he wakes up in a world where there was never a Batman. Either way, he’s carrying around the Joker’s head – severed but still alive. The important thing is, it comes from former Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and Snyder has said this is his last Batman story. He’s been the heart of Batman since the New 52 launched in 2011, and I’m looking forward to seeing his last word on ol’ Bruce. And, I mean, Snyder is currently writing Justice League and Batman is on that team, so it’s not like he’s never writing Batman. It’s just the capper on his Batman run. Whatever. It’ll be good. (DC Comics)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31) – The new Godzilla universe might be one of my favorite franchises. The 2014 Godzilla was surprisingly good and Kong: Skull Island was a blast. So many pre-mixed franchises are exploding on the launchpad (farewell, Dark Universe), and this stuff has delivered a couple of satisfying movies without forcing the connection. And this time, we’ve got a whole mess of monsters (Rodan! Mothra! King Ghidorah!), and I’m not clear if they’re all protecting Earth or if they’re going to fight. What I do know is that this movie has a great cast and the trailer is beautiful. Those monsters in the rain look amazing. Yes, it’s the art direction that impresses me most, but I’m also a simple man who enjoys some giant monsters.
Good Omens (May 31) – Hey, it’s another miniseries based on a book! This time, it’s Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved apocalypse comedy. I used to adore the book, but I haven’t gone back and read it in years. But the TV version has Michael Sheen and David Tennant as the angel and demon who decide they rather like Earth and are going to save it. Who else is in the series? Jon Hamm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nick Offerman, Michael McKean, and Frances McDormand as God. (Amazon)
Deadwood (May 31) – OK. Deadwood is my favorite TV show ever and we’re finally getting the long-rumored finale movie. I am avoiding any specific information about this movie, and I am so excited for this. And with the recent news that creator David Milch was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, this is going to be a poignant experience and I’ll be a wreck. (HBO)
That’s a big month right there. I’ll see you on the other side!