Business and Finance

Opinion: Here’s what’s worth streaming in April 2021: ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Mosquito Coast’ and much more

Awards season is upon us, and that’s excellent news for streaming viewers.

Prestige dramas equivalent to Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” and Apple’s “The Mosquito Coast” will premiere in April, as streaming companies attempt to squeeze in their awards hopefuls earlier than the Emmy deadline May 31. They’ll be joined by a slew of latest comedies, docuseries and films with the potential to be the subsequent buzz-worthy sensation. And there’s nonetheless time to take a look at a ton of Oscar nominees forward of the April 25 awards ceremony.

But what is going to really be worth paying for? Well, that’s the large query.

As we’ve previously mentioned, customers can take full benefit of cord-cutting by churning — that’s the technique of including and dropping streaming companies every month — and all it takes is sweet planning. Keep in thoughts {that a} billing cycle begins once you join, not essentially at the start of a month.

Also hold a watch out totally free trials and cost-saving bundles. There are a variety of them on the market, however these offers gained’t final without end.

Free and bundled prospects apart, when it’s time to determine the place your subscription {dollars} ought to go, What’s Worth Streaming is right here to assist. We fee every main streaming service each month as a “play,” “pause” or “stop,” just like funding analysts’ scores of purchase, maintain and promote, and choose the most effective content material that will help you make your month-to-month selections.

Here’s a take a look at what’s coming to the assorted streaming companies in April 2021, and what’s actually worth the month-to-month subscription charge.

HBO Max ($14.99 a month)

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HBO Max has a trio of top-tier authentic sequence developing, together with one other new Warner Bros. film streaming the identical day it hits theaters.

The better of the bunch will probably be “Mare of Easttown” (April 18), a limited-series crime drama starring Kate Winslet as a small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a homicide as her personal life falls aside. The previews look excellent, if bleak, and the premise sounds harking back to Netflix’s “Happy Valley,” which isn’t in any respect a foul factor.

The two different notable new sequence include some severe query marks. “The Nevers” (April 11), a supernatural thriller set in Victorian London about girls who mysteriously get extraordinary skills, misplaced creator Joss Whedon mid-production — he cited exhaustion, months earlier than the latest allegations that he created toxic work conditions on earlier exhibits. Philippa Goslett took over the reins, and it stays to be seen how the abrupt showrunner change will have an effect on the present. Of word: The season will probably be break up in two, with an extra six episodes debuting at a later date.


There’s additionally “Made for Love” (April 1), a “Black Mirror”-ish darkish comedy starring Cristin Milioti as a lady escaping her suffocating marriage to a tech tycoon who finds out he’s monitoring her by way of a mind implant. It sounds fascinating, however early evaluations haven’t been nice, calling it overly complicated and counting on annoying storytelling crutches.

HBO Max’s same-day-as-theaters Warner Bros. film of the month is “Mortal Kombat” (April 16), primarily based on the traditional videogame. No shock: It appears kinda horrible. Smarter choices embody the second season of Robin Thede’s very humorous “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (April 23), with visitor appearances from Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union and Jessie Williams; in addition to the four-part documentary “Exterminate All the Brutes” (April 7), which explores the exploitative and genocidal insurance policies of European colonization.

There are additionally contemporary episodes “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on Sunday nights, and the stupidly enjoyable “Godzilla vs. Kong” will probably be out there by way of the top of the month.

Who’s HBO Max for? HBO followers and film lovers.

Play, pause or cease? Play. Between “Mare of Easttown,” “The Nevers” and “Made for Love,” a minimum of one ought to be worth watching. Plus, there’s HBO’s deep library of wonderful exhibits. Maybe meet up with the wonderful Swedish small-town hockey drama “Beartown,” or the cringeworthy Comedy Central traditional “Nathan for You.”

Disney+ ($7.99 a month)

The solely notable addition to Disney’s
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streaming service in April is “Big Shot” (April 16), a sports-dramedy sequence starring John Stamos as an abrasive big-time school basketball coach who will get fired from his job and has to seek out redemption teaching a ladies highschool crew. Its premise — that teaching ladies is that this man’s punishment — has already come under fire for being “lame, sexist trash.” Even best-case state of affairs, it seems like a lazy twist on “The Mighty Ducks” and 1,000,000 different sports activities tales.

Speaking of, new episodes of the surprisingly good “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” will drop each Friday in April, as will contemporary episodes of the most recent Marvel smash hit, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” which can wrap up its six-episode season on April 23.

Who’s Disney+ for? Families with children, and hardcore “Star Wars” and Marvel followers. For these not in these teams, its library will be missing.

Play, pause or cease? Play. “Big Shot” will not be worth it, however new episodes “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” are motive sufficient for a subscription, together with Oscar nominees “Soul” and “Mulan.” (You don’t should be a child to get pleasure from any of these.)


Netflix ($7.99 a month for primary, $13.99 normal or $17.99 premium)

After just a few lean months, Netflix
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lastly has a more filled-out slate of latest releases for April.

The streaming large hopes it has its latest hit on its fingers with “Shadow and Bone” (April 23), an adaptation of the massively well-liked sequence of YA novels from Leigh Bardugo. Jessie Mei Li stars as Alina, an orphan mapmaker in a war-torn nation who discovers she has mystical powers that would change the destiny of her world. It appears tremendous tacky, however followers of the books probably gained’t care.

For actuality followers, there’s a second season of “The Circle” (April 14), the guilty-pleasure present that surged to reputation in the early days of the pandemic lockdown, that includes contestants flirting, befriending and backstabbing one another as they vie for a $100,000 prize. It’ll be launched in a unique format this time round, with 4 episodes dropping for the premiere, then 4 more on every of the next two Wednesdays, earlier than the finale May 5.

Fans of true crime may have “The Serpent” (April 2) to obsess over. Based on precise occasions, the sequence follows a serial killer who preyed on vacationers alongside India’s “hippie trail” in the Nineteen Seventies. But early evaluations have criticized its muddled storytelling.

Jamie Foxx makes a return to tv with “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” (April 14), a sitcom a couple of single dad and his strong-minded teenage daughter.

Netflix can also be rolling out some big-name films, together with “Concrete Cowboy” (April 2), an city cowboy drama starring Idris Elba; “Thunder Force” (April 9), a superhero comedy staring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer; and “Stowaway” (April 22), a sci-fi thriller starring Anna Kendrick, Toni Colette and Daniel Dae Kim. There’s additionally time to take a look at Oscar nominees “Mank,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” earlier than the April 25 awards ceremony.

For more: Here’s what’s coming to Netflix in April 2021 — and what’s leaving

On the documentary entrance, attempt “This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist” (April 7), a sequence a couple of infamous Boston museum theft in 1990, as a result of artwork heists are nearly by no means not cool; “My Love: Six Stories of True Love,” (April 13), with six longtime {couples} sharing their relationship tales and ideas for eternal love (field of tissues not included); and “Life in Color with David Attenborough” (April 22), an Earth Day-themed documentary about the best way animals use coloration.

Who’s Netflix for? Fans of buzz-worthy authentic exhibits and films.

Play, pause or cease? Play. The content material firehose is again on, with a variety of “good enough” materials so that just about everybody can discover one thing that’s up their alley. And as March Madness wraps up, don’t sleep on the extreme and unexpectedly emotional “Last Chance U: Basketball,” which debuted in March.


Hulu ($5.99 a month or $11.99 with no adverts)

After a two-year break, Hulu’s greatest sequence — “The Handmaid’s Tale” — is again for a fourth season beginning April 28. The Emmy-winning dystopian drama picks up with June (Elisabeth Moss) going through new challenges as she leads a riot towards the oppressive regime of Gilead. It’s a superb present, in case your emotional state can tolerate the misery-porn facets of it. (It is…lots.)

There’s additionally the documentary “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” (April 2), which tells the story of the Adam Neumann-led firm’s fast rise and fall; the three-part docuseries “Sasquatch” (April 20), which investigates whether or not Bigfoot killed three Northern California pot growers in 1993 (significantly!); and “Hysterical” (April 3), a documentary about girls in standup comedy, streaming a day after it premieres on FX.

Also see: Here’s what’s coming to Hulu in April 2021, and what’s leaving

Hulu may even have the seventh and remaining season of the rom-com “Younger” (April 15), which can air on cable later this 12 months. (See the Paramount+ part beneath for more particulars.)

Who’s Hulu for? TV lovers. There’s a deep library for many who need older TV sequence, and next-day streaming for a lot of present community and cable exhibits.

Play, pause or cease? Pause and assume it over. “The Handmaid’s Tale” will probably be motive sufficient to observe for some, but when that present is just not your factor, there’s not a complete lot else to supply in April.

Amazon Prime Video ($12.99 a month)

Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have a ton of latest stuff coming in April, however what there’s sounds intriguing.

At the highest of the checklist is “Without Remorse” (April 30), starring Michael B. Jordan as John Kelly, a Navy SEAL who uncovers a worldwide conspiracy whereas monitoring down his spouse’s killers. It’s primarily based on the 1993 Tom Clancy novel, and may very well be an honest addition to the exceedingly-violent-revenge-thriller style, alongside the “John Wick” sequence and seemingly each latest Liam Neeson film.

If you’re more in the temper for creepy thrills, there’s “Them” (April 9), a restricted anthology sequence from producer Lena Waithe (“Master of None,” “The Chi”) that explores terror in America. Set in the Nineteen Fifties, Season 1 focuses on a Black household who transfer to an all-white a part of Los Angeles, the place they face hostility from neighbors in addition to supernatural forces. It’s already drawn comparisons to Jordan Peele’s “Us” and “Get Out” and HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” however “Them” appears like a solidly compelling and unsettling drama all by itself.

Amazon
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additionally has “Frank of Ireland” (April 16), a six-episodes comedy sequence a couple of misanthropic slacker attempting to get his life collectively, starring Brian Gleeson and his brother, Domhnall Gleeson.


For more: Here’s everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in April 2021

And you possibly can at all times make amends for Oscar nominees “Sound of Metal,” “One Night in Miami” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”

Who’s Amazon Prime Video for? Movie lovers, TV-series followers who worth high quality over amount.

Play, pause or cease? Pause. “Without Remorse,” “Them” and “Frank of Ireland” all appear watchable. But are they important? Maybe not. They’ll nonetheless be round if you happen to don’t subscribe this month.

Paramount+ ($5.99 a month with adverts, $9.99 no adverts)

It’s really a superb month for the fledgling Paramount+. For actuality followers, there’s “The Challenge: All Stars” (April 1), as 22 “Real World” and “Road Rules” veterans compete to win $500,000. Among the large names this season: Trishelle, Syrus, Beth, Ruthie and Big Easy. (It’s humorous, I haven’t watched any of these MTV exhibits in most likely 15 years or more, however these names nonetheless take up valuable mind house.)

There’s additionally the seventh and remaining season of “Younger” (April 15), the sneakily compelling publishing-house romantic dramedy starring Sutton Foster. Four episodes will drop on the fifteenth, with the remaining eight episodes coming separately each Thursday. If you’re a fan of the present who doesn’t have Paramount+, don’t fear — the entire season will air on TV Land later this 12 months. (It’ll additionally stream concurrently on Hulu.)

“No Activity” (April 8) returns for a fourth season, with an enormous twist: The cops-and-criminals comedy switches from live-action to animation this time round, with the voices of Tim Meadows, Kevin Bacon, Bob Odenkirk and Will Forte. And for Earth Day, there’s “Cher and the Loneliest Elephant” (April 22), a documentary about Cher’s efforts to rescue an elephant from captivity in Pakistan.

It’s additionally an amazing month for sports activities followers. Paramount+ will stream the boys’s Final Four (April 3) and NCAA males’s championship sport (April 5); in addition to the ultimate two rounds of The Masters (April 10 & 11), together with particular hole-specific livestreams from Augusta; and the UEAFA Champions League’s quarterfinal matches (April 6-14) and the primary leg of the semifinals (April 27).

Who’s Paramount+ for? Gen-X twine cutters who miss dwell sports activities and acquainted ViacomCBS
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broadcast and cable exhibits.

Play, pause or cease? Pause and assume it over. Most individuals nonetheless don’t want it. But “The Challenge,” “Younger” and the dwell sports activities will enchantment to completely different area of interest audiences, and every may very well be very interesting.

Apple TV+ ($4.99 a month)

It’s a quiet month for Apple
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originals, however the one premiere may very well be a superb one. “The Mosquito Coast” (April 30), stars Justin Theroux (“The Leftovers”) as a radical idealist and inventor who flees from the U.S. authorities along with his household and settles in Mexico. It’s primarily based on the novel written by Justin’s uncle, Paul Theroux, which was additionally made right into a Harrison Ford film years in the past. This model, produced by Neil Cross (“Luther”), appears incredible and might rapidly grow to be one in all Apple TV+’s most gripping dramas.

There’ll even be contemporary episodes each Friday of “For All Mankind,” which is the present contender for Apple’s most gripping drama.

Who’s Apple TV+ for? It gives somewhat one thing for everybody, however not essentially sufficient for anybody.

Play, pause or cease? Stop. It’s tempting to say “For All Mankind” alone is worth a subscription, however to get your cash’s worth, you’d be higher off ready till it ends and binging the sequence suddenly with a one-month subscription. Besides, “The Mosquito Coast” gained’t debut till the top of the month, and May may have a stronger lineup of latest exhibits.

Peacock (free primary stage, Premium for $4.99 a month with adverts, or $9.99 a month with no adverts)

Peacock has a extremely intriguing sitcom on the best way in “Rutherford Falls” (April 22). Ed Helms (“The Office”) stars as a small-town scion who will get right into a kerfuffle with a neighborhood Native American tribe over shifting a statue of his ancestor, who based the city, whereas Jana Schmieding co-stars as his greatest good friend, who’s attempting to show the tribal cultural heart — presently positioned in a on line casino — right into a full-blown museum. The present has a significantly spectacular inventive crew behind it, with producers Michael Schur (“The Office,” “The Good Place,” “Parks and Recreation”) and Sierra Teller Ornelas (“Superstore,” “Happy Endings”), and half of its writers are of indigenous heritage, which ought to present some contemporary comedic factors of view. No one’s higher than Schur at making feel-good, small-town comedies, and if “Rutherford Falls” can dwell as much as its potential, this may very well be a gateway present to lure paid subscribers to Peacock — name it the “Ted Lasso” impact.

And then there’s wrestling. The WWE Network will absolutely merge with Peacock on April 5, and Peacock Premium subscribers will get entry to observe this 12 months’s WrestleMania (April 10 & 11). A number of WWE programming has already migrated over, together with WrestleManias from years previous. (Tip: If you’re of a sure age and had been a WWF fan as a child, watching WrestleMania from, say, 1986, is extremely entertaining.)

Who’s Peacock for? If you want community and basic-cable TV and don’t thoughts adverts, the free model of Peacock is nice. If you’re eligible for Premium by way of a Comcast
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 or Cox cable subscription, it’s additionally a superbly high quality free addition.

Play, pause or cease? Stop. By all means take a look at the free model, however the paid tier will probably be pointless for most individuals (aside from soccer followers, since Peacock Premium is the unique streaming residence of the English Premier League). “Rutherford Falls” might change that, although, so keep tuned.

Discovery+ ($4.99 a month, $6.99 ad-free)

Discovery+ goes all-in for Earth Day in April, with quite a few authentic docuseries about our planet. That contains “Expedition Deep Ocean” (April 1), in which a submersible crew explores the depths; “First to the Top of the World” (April 8), a documentary a couple of forgotten 1968 polar expedition; “Endangered” (April 22), following wildlife conservationists and narrated by Ellen DeGeneres; and “Chasing Ocean Giants” (April 28), that includes dazzling underwater images of little-seen creatures and surroundings.

The streaming service may even add a handful of previous exhibits from the previous Viceland channel: “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia,” which explores the historical past of medication; the professional wrestling docuseries “Dark Side of the Ring” and its companion present “After Dark,” the Action Bronson cooking present “F*ck That’s Delicious”; “Hate Thy Neighbor,” which examines the rise of hate teams in America; and the pot-culture present “Weediquette.” 

Who’s Discovery+ for? Cord cutters who miss their unscripted TV or who’re actually, actually into “90-Day Fiance.”

Play, pause or cease? Stop. Discovery+ is incredible for background TV. But there’s not much there that’s important viewing. It’s actually solely a superb choice for many who’ve minimize the twine utterly — if you happen to nonetheless have cable or get Discovery 
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 channels by way of a live-streaming service like YouTube TV or Hulu Live, it’s simply not crucial. (Besides, lots of its cable exhibits are additionally out there on Hulu.)



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