From legal eagles to sea serpents, streaming highlights for May

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Riveting tales from the justice system and magical fantasies with sea monsters are just the start of May's streaming highlights.

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Riveting tales from the justice system and magical fantasies with sea monsters are just the start of May’s streaming highlights.

Here’s a look at what’s worth watching on subscription streaming platforms this month:

“The Staircase”

Colin Firth and Toni Colette star in true crime thriller "The Staircase" as seen in this handout photo received April 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Crave/HBO Max**MANDATORY CREDIT**

Colin Firth embodies the role of Michael Peterson, a real-life American crime novelist whose wife, Kathleen, was found dead at the foot of a staircase in their family home in 2001. The strange circumstances take even stranger turns as investigators dig into the couple’s secret past and the family welcomes a pair of French documentarians to capture Peterson’s ensuing murder trial. Led by a cast of big names including Toni Collette as Kathleen and Parker Posey as one of the prosecutors, the eight-part dramatic series is certain to be one of this spring’s TV sensations. Warm up for the true crime story with the original docuseries “The Staircase,” which is streaming on Netflix. (Crave, May 5, episodes weekly)

“The Lincoln Lawyer”

Los Angeles attorney Mickey Haller has a reputation for running a successful law practice out of his Lincoln Town Car. It’s one of the quirks that makes him so notable among the legal community, but it doesn’t explain why he inherits an armful of cases when another lawyer turns up dead and leaves them in his name. Still recovering from a period of substance abuse, Haller dives into meetings with his new clients, including one wealthy entrepreneur who’s harbouring some dark secrets. If the title sounds familiar, it’s because Matthew McConaughey originally starred as Haller in a 2011 feature film based on Michael Connelly’s novels. In the series, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is the leading man while Guelph, Ont. actress Neve Campbell plays his ex-wife. (Netflix, May 13)

“The Essex Serpent”

A recently widowed woman, played by Claire Danes, moves to a village in Essex during the Victorian era, hoping it could mark a fresh start from her abusive marriage. But not long after settling in the new community, she discovers it’s spiralling into chaos as charred, dead bodies begin to turn up on the shoreline. Some say it’s a mythical serpent that’s come back after years of silence, but few have seen the monster. Based on Sarah Perry’s novel, the six-part limited series co-stars Tom Hiddleston. (Apple TV Plus, May 13, episodes weekly)

“The Quest”

Eight real-life teenagers are tossed into the fictional world of Everealm – a place of castles, creatures and obstacle courses – as they participate in a “hybrid competition series” to save the kingdom by fulfilling an ancient prophecy. If it sounds like a cross between “Lords of the Rings” and “The Amazing Race,” it should be no surprise that producers from both of those mega-successful franchises are leading this eight-episode adventure. Filmed in Vienna, Austria, “The Quest” resurrects a concept that first ran on the ABC network back in 2014, but this made-over streaming update comes with an even more polished cinematic look. (Disney Plus, May 11)

ALSO THIS MONTH:

“Benedetta” – A young nun has religious visions as she begins a lesbian affair with a newcomer to the convent. Directed by “Basic Instinct” filmmaker Paul Verhoeven. (AMC Plus or IFC Films Unlimited, now streaming)

“Kids in the Hall” – Canada’s treasured sketch comedy troupe returns with a new series. (Prime Video, May 13)

“Shoresy” – A “Letterkenny” spinoff featuring Jared Keeso in the titular fan-favourite role. (Crave, May 13, episodes weekly)

“Now and Then” – Twenty years after a graduation party leaves one in a group of friends dead, their secret comes to the surface. A Miami-set thriller starring Rosie Perez. (Apple TV Plus, May 20, episodes weekly)

“Pistol” – “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle channels the unhinged spirit of the Sex Pistols in a six-part dramatic series on guitarist Steve Jones and the rise of the controversial band. (Disney Plus, May 31)

RETURNING SHOWS: Netflix delivers its anticipated fourth season of “Stranger Things” starting with the first batch of episodes billed as “Volume 1” (May 27), with more to follow in July. The streaming giant is also launching a new edition of its catfish challenge “The Circle” (May 4, episodes weekly), while the final season of “Who Killed Sara?” wraps up the mystery (May 18). Meanwhile, Crave revisits the dark world of Vegas comic Deborah Vance on Emmy-winning “Hacks” (May 12, episodes weekly), and a third season of ballroom and voguing competition “Legendary” (May 19, episodes weekly). Apple TV Plus returns to espionage thriller “Tehran” with a new season starring Glenn Close as a mysterious character (May 6, episodes weekly).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2022.

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