You know that old saying “out with the old and in with the new?” Well, for the streaming titles coming out this June, it’s perhaps more appropriate to say “in with the old and in with the new.” To name just a few returnees, Peaky Blinders Season 6 (June 10) and Westworld Season 4 (June 26) are both returning this month to their old familiar streaming stomping grounds, Netflix and HBO Max respectively. There’s also a bevy of new, new content afoot, including director Olivier Assayas’ collaboration with Alicia Vikander in the remake of his own work (Irma Vep, June 6, HBO Max), Melissa McCarthy’s next comedic turn in God’s Favorite Idiot (Netflix, June 15) and the latest in the ever-growing tradition of BTS pop-singer documentaries with JLo’s Halftime (also coming to Netflix on June 14).
All are good potential options, but alas, none made it on our succinct, carefully curated list of movies and shows to check out in June. Before we get to those picks, we should mention that June also happens to be Pride Month, celebrating all things LGBTQ+. There’s one title down below (a comedy series) that represents for the community. Several other noteworthy LGBTQ films and shows are likewise on the streaming horizon, but didn’t make the cut. We thought we should still highlight them here for perusal anyway.
In particular, Peacock starts streaming the next era of Queer as Folk on June 9, a series originally popularized in Great Britain in the late 1990s and again in the early aughts. Meanwhile, Hulu’s Fire Island (June 3) is a gay rom-com loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice–with Regency-era propriety and grand estates replaced hilariously by night clubs and cheap wine in Long Island. And lastly, another gay rom-com (this one for Amazon Prime on June 17) sees a young man manufacture a fake relationship on social media, only to shortly thereafter find the perfect guy. It’s called, you guessed it, My Fake Boyfriend and stars Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash), Dylan Sprouse (Suite Life of Zack and Cody), and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family).
So check those out, along with the titles below that fit our usual categories: buzzworthy television, this then that, hidden gem, date night, family watch and an international find. I’m thoroughly excited for all of them to start streaming! Happy binge watching!
A Show Everyone Will be Talking About: Becoming Elizabeth
June 12 | Starz
The story of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I is pretty well known in history at this point: the last Tudor monarch with the fiery red hair who famously never married or had children. But now, a streaming series will be tackling her legendary story from the point of view of her younger years, entitled Becoming Elizabeth. Alicia von Rittberg, a real-life German countess, portrays the titular character, with staunch Catholic Queen Mary I played by actress Romola Garai (Atonement) and Thomas Seymour (the speculated lover of Elizabeth) played by Tom Cullen (Knightfall). The dark, eerie cinematography combined with lusty looks of longing sprinkled throughout promise an altogether new period piece on the Starz Channel subscription to rival even its fan-favorite Outlander. The first episode premieres on June 12 and new ones every Sunday thereafter.
Watch This, Then That:
If you’re looking for a feminist double feature night, then you’ve come to the right place. Follow up a documentary about a renegade women’s group who performed abortions in the early 1970s with a Emma Thompson-led dramedy about a 50-something woman taking up with a much younger male sex worker. One could say the theme of such a pairing is, inevitably, women unashamedly asserting their agency in a world that often seeks to deny them.
HBO Max’s documentary The Janes showcases the very true story of an underground network that conducted over 10,000 relatively safe abortions in an era that predated even Roe v. Wade. Some of the actual women involved in the operation, who were subsequently hit with federal charges worthy of 110 years in prison a piece, share their stories and insight into a topic that is just as relevant now as it was then. (Fun fact: a dramatization of the same group is the focus of a film coming out in theaters later this year, Call Jane, starring Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver.) Meanwhile, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is another feminist title streaming this month. In this Hulu original sex comedy, Emma Thompson’s character is retired, widowed and bored–that is until she meets paid escort Leo Grande (played by Daryl McCormack of brief Peaky Blinders fame). Check it out when it premieres on the platform on June 17.
A Hidden Gem: Trees of Peace
June 10 | Netflix
Inspired by true events, Trees of Peace is set in the early 1990s amidst the notorious Rwanda genocide. It tells the story of four women who hide beneath the floorboards of a home for months on end as they attempt to wait out the increasing violence on the streets. What’s most intriguing about this title is that the majority of scenes take place in the women’s one cramped hiding place. Such an insular kind of setting often demands very insular and very powerful performances by the lead actors. Think Room (2015) or Buried (2010). And this Netflix streamer, coming out on the platform on June 10, promises a similarly tense and emotional experience.
Date Night: Hustle
June 8 | Netflix
Not to be confused with JLo’s Hustler, Hustle is the next big feature film likely to inspire the masses vis-à-vis “the love of the game.” Adam Sandler leads the cast as an unassuming talent scout for the NBA. He finds a promising recruit from Spain, but with head honchos vying for interest, it becomes a bigger question of how to do right by the athlete, one’s family and one’s dedication to the game of basketball. Undoubtedly, by Sandler riding high off more recent successes in Uncut Gems and Hubie Halloween, he’s hoping to make this next drama his 3-0. Hustle will premiere in select theaters and on Netflix on June 8.
Family Watch: The Lake
June 17 | Prime Video
Nothing says summer like a family at odds during a lake vacation, am I right? This is what’s expected in Amazon Prime Video’s first Canadian scripted comedy series, The Lake, streaming on June 17. It was perfect casting on the production side of things to foil the sly humor of Jordan Garvaris (Orphan Black) and the dry seriousness of Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You), who play step-siblings feuding over an old family cottage on a lake. To add to the drama, Garvaris’ character, who also happens to be gay, is newly bonding as the “cool birth parent” to the teenage daughter he once gave up for adoption. All it all, it seems like a bundle of laughs and eye rolls are in store for the parents and perhaps teens rooked in to watching the title for family night.
An International Find: As the Crow Flies
June 3 | Netflix
It’s one thing to idolize someone in the abstract, one-sided kind of way. It’s another thing entirely, though, to be face-to-face with one’s idol and yet another even to be rejected by them. This is the conundrum in Netflix’s upcoming drama series As the Crow Flies. The Turkish streamer follows the story of a young whipper snapper who starts working under the seasoned news anchor she always aspired to be. But the other side of perpetuating an idea of a stranger is seemingly disillusionment as ambition and ego take over. Viewers can watch the series when it premieres on the platform on June 3.