What to Watch This Weekend: July 15-17

This weekend’s What to Watch list features a handful of literary adaptations and one standout reality series that’s full of laughs, though some of them might be a little uncomfortable. Whether you’re in the mood for a romance, a psychological thriller, a riveting true crime story, or something unexpected, we’ve narrowed down the endless scrolls to five picks we think are worth your time.

And if you don’t find a show or movie that appeals to you here, try out our recommendation engine, which can help you discover even more titles.


Under the Banner of Heaven Jones
Normal People promo

After You Watch Where the Crawdads Sing: Under the Banner of Heaven and Normal People

Find them on: Hulu

You’ll be hearing a lot about Where the Crawdads Sing, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, as it opens in theaters nationwide this weekend. But if you’re planning to stay home, you can check out some of the star’s other recent work based on popular books. Like Crawdads, Hulu’s Under the Banner of Heaven centers on the true story of a shocking small-town murder, and features Edgar-Jones in a riveting role a young Mormon wife who was murdered.  If you’re looking for something closer to a steamy beach read, counter the streaming algo true crime recommendations with the Emmy-nominated Normal People, a slow-burn romance starring Edgar-Jones in her breakout role as a smart loner who embarks on a complex decade-long relationship with her first love. Based on the bestseller by Irish author Sally Rooney, you can also find the series on Hulu.

Photo Credit: Nick Wall/Netflix

In the Mood for Romance: Persuasion

Find it on: Netflix

Sticking with romance, another high-profile literary adaption drops this week on Netflix. Jane Austen gets a cheeky update in Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson as a fourth-wall breaking regency heroine seeking a second chance at love. Purists may scoff at the anachronisms, but if you can look past that — and the very attractive cast — it’s a fresh twist on the story of love and loss that’s captivated readers for more than 200 years.

Apple TV+

Hidden Gem: Black Bird

Find it on: Apple TV+

Our underrated pick this week is Black Bird, an engrossing psychological thriller set in a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane. Based on the true crime memoir by James Keene, it was adapted into a six-episode series by Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone) and stars Rocketman’s Taron Edgerton as a low-level prisoner offered a chance of release in exchange for befriending and subtly interrogating a suspected serial killer. Fascinating and addictive, it also stars Ray Liotta in one of his final screen roles. New episodes are premiering on Fridays on Apple TV+

Photo: David M. Russell/HBO

Make Me Laugh: The Rehearsal

Find it on: HBO/HBO Max

If you’re feeling the need for something lighter, head over to HBO Max and sample the new reality series The Rehearsal from offbeat comedian Nathan Fielder. This one’s sort of hard to describe if you’re not familiar with Fielder’s previous unscripted series. According to HBO, the show “explores the lengths one man will go to to reduce the uncertainties of everyday life.” Basically, Fielder helps regular folks prepare for an upcoming situation in their life, like a new baby or a difficult conversation, by creating an immersive environment and giving them a chance to practice the interaction in advance. It’s an unlikely combination of absurdity and surprisingly genuine emotion. You can read our full recommendation for more on this truly original series.

We’re looking for your picks.  If you’ve found films and series that you want to talk about — and have a recommendation for something to stream based on your interests and frame of mind, let us know about them here!

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