The sports drama from Tarell Alvin McCraney and Steven Soderbergh hits Netflix, and a new middle-school buddy comedy comes to Hulu.
HIGH FLYING BIRD on Netflix. This new Netflix film, written by Tarell Alvin McCraney of “Moonlight” fame, explores a central question: When it comes to professional sports, who owns the game? André Holland stars as a sports agent trying to help a rookie recruit (Melvin Gregg) navigate an ongoing N.B.A. lockout, and ultimately ends up fighting for his job, too. Shot entirely on an iPhone by the director Steven Soderbergh, the movie also stars Zazie Beetz of “Atlanta,” Bill Duke, Zachary Quinto and Kyle MacLachlan.
PEN15 on Hulu. Most people would do just about anything to avoid reliving their middle-school years. But not Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, two 31-year-olds who star in this new comedy, playing 13-year-old versions of themselves — braces, bowl cuts and all — next to actual 13-year-olds. The 10-episode series, co-produced by the Lonely Island, follows these two BFFs as they prepare to enter seventh grade in 2000. Like “Eighth Grade,” the series is sure to explore all the horror, anxiety and awkwardness that come with that very bizarre period between childhood and the arguably more exciting high school years.
BIG MOUTH: MY FURRY VALENTINE on Netflix. Ahead of its third season, this animated buddy comedy from real-life best friends Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg explores the pitfalls of celebrating Valentine’s Day as a teenager, like trying to get a girlfriend or boyfriend, or not knowing what to do once you have one. Kroll plays his animated younger self, while John Mulaney lends his voice to Andrew’s character in a series that dives head first into the misadventures of puberty. Keep an ear out for other comedy greats: The show has included the voices of Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate and Jessi Klein.
REMASTERED: THE TWO KILLINGS OF SAM COOKE on Netflix. Music lovers know Sam Cooke as the soul singer behind the major hit songs “You Send Me,” “Chain Gang” and “Cupid.” But this new documentary delves into the musician’s overlooked legacy, specifically his contributions to the civil-rights movement. The director Kelly Duane de la Vega uses archival footage and interviews with Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson and Dionne Warwick to try to tell a fuller story of Cooke’s life, before he was fatally shot at the age of 33 in what was later deemed a “justifiable homicide.”
What’s on TV
TEDDY PENDERGRASS: IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME 9 p.m. on Showtime. This music documentary about the soul singer charts his rise as the first male African-American artist to record five consecutive platinum albums, and follows him after he was severely paralyzed in an auto accident in 1982. Family members, friends and music industry colleagues like Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff speak about Pendergrass, who died in 2010, and tell the story of his triumphant comeback following his debilitating injury.
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