We thought streaming picks for August would have been really tricky. However we have been pleasantly surprised by the depth and quality of viewing options available. Usually things can be very quiet as platforms gear up for their Fall release schedule. But with a little from column A, a little from column B and a sprinkle of stardust we’ve put together a combination that will give you plenty of bang for your buck.
Dark Winds is a gripping crime drama based in New Mexico, focusing on the Navajo tribe. Following a robbery in which two guards die and the only witness is found dead in a motel room, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn takes the case and is soon partnered with Deputy Jim Chee. Leaphorn in particular finds that as he gets deeper into the case more of his earlier life returns with a vengeance. As with Rutherford Falls, it is really refreshing to see shows that are Native American-centric. (All eps available now)
Moonhaven is an intriguing sci-fi series. Set 100 years into the future following the Moonhaven community who inhabit a colony… on the moon. While Earth is struggling with pollution, environmental disasters and overpopulation, Moonhaven settlers are trying to forge their own set of values and culture, dare I say it, space-hippies. This being sci-fi, it’s inevitable that these utopian ideals come under threat, and sure enough the murder of one of the colonists rocks the idealism of Moonhaven. There are some very smart critiques of our contemporary society as well as some interesting ideas for where society is headed. It can be a little uneven in places and might not be everyone’s taste, but is certainly worth giving a try. (All eps from August 4)
We head over to Britain for our next few recommendations with This Is Going To Hurt, The Ipcress File, Ten Percent and The Split (all episodes available).
This Is Going To Hurt follows Adam, a young doctor, who is navigating the stresses and strains of making daily life and death decisions against a backdrop of an underfunded healthcare system. It manages, incredibly successfully, to weave between the humorous and the harrowing and will stay with you for a good while after watching it.
Ten Percent is the British remake of the French Netflix hit Call My Agent. It’d be fair to call this a faithful remake of the original, so if you have already seen the source show there’s nothing new to really discover. It’d be great for it to get a second season, ideally to try and forge ahead in its own right rather than merely an English-language version.
The Ipcress File, is a serialized version of the original novel (and subsequent movie starring Michael Caine). Given it is set in the Cold War, there’s not too many changes that can be made to set it apart from the movie. It actively embraces the 60s cool from its predecessor and is a very entertaining show.
The Split is a captivating and intense legal drama about the Defoe women, (a mother and her three daughters) and those that love them. Three of them attorneys specializing in family law, find themselves ill-equipped to deal with their speciality in their own lives. Over three seasons we see births, deaths, marriage, infidelity and everything in between. This is not so much a show you watch, but a show you live.
Paris, 13th District is a French movie shot in the same effortlessly cool way as La Haine and Breathless telling a very modern story about love, loneliness and sexuality. An utterly superb watch. Barbarians is set in Great Britain and is about two couples who come under attack in the house they are staying in. (Both movies available now).
And finally we have the very last chapter of Better Call Saul. Given we first set eyes on Saul Goodman in Season 2 of Breaking Bad way back in 2009, it is testament to creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould as well as Bob Odenkirk for making us take this anti-hero to our hearts. (All episodes available August 15)
The Anarchists is a six-part documentary series following, you’ve guessed it, a group of Anarchists getting ready for their annual Anarchist conference. (Which sounds like something that takes a bit of organizing). With this as the background, it covers the last six years and tells a quite incredible and shocking tale. At the heart of the movement there is a bitter schism between those distrustful of the state (and its controls on the people) and those with a more libertine approach just wanting to do whatever they please. (All episodes available August 14)
The Rehearsal has to be one of the most fascinating concepts in recent memory. Starring Nathan Fielder, it allows for people to rehearse difficult conversation/life moments within an accurate simulation of where that will take place, and with actors. On the one hand it will help people deal with the event in question and potential outcomes. On the other hand, it also creates ‘what if’ scenarios during the rehearsal allowing us to understand the potential pitfalls this could lead to. It’s weird, confusing, funny and thoroughly absorbing – do at least give it a try. (All episodes available August 19)
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is a new chapter in the Pretty Little Liars universe with new characters finding themselves threatened by an unknown assailant, due to events with their mothers 20 years prior. Originally conceived as a reboot, the fact it has turned into a series in its own right suggests there is plenty of life left in this franchise. Already being described as the ‘slasher version’ there are sure to be plenty of jump scares here. (All episodes available August 18)
Season 4 (and potentially the finale) of Westworld is available in August. It is fair to say this has gone from being a pretty big show to more niche/cult viewing. The storyline becomes increasingly complex, and perhaps alienating the more casual/less engaged viewer. (All episodes available August 14)
Edge of the Earth is a 4 part miniseries in which adventure-athletes travel to incredible and remote locations to complete ‘never been attempted before™’ missions. The feats are in equal part hair-raising and jaw-dropping , if you enjoyed Free Solo you’ll love this. (All episodes available August 4)
The delightfully enjoyable Irma Vep (which concluded on 21st June) is well worth a look. Starring Alicia Vikander as Mira, a movie star disillusioned with her life in big budget superhero movies. She moves to Paris to take on the role of Irma Vep in a remake of Les Vampires. With a backdrop of wildly eccentric characters, Mira starts to find her grasp on her reality and Irma’s reality has begun to blur. Full of witty and sardonic lines, this is a real gem. (All eps available)
HBO Max’s movie picks are definitely worth some investigation. As things stand the Baz Luhrmann directed Elvis is due for release on August 8. However, given it has just passed Dune at the box office ($110 million and rising) we might have to wait for The King to enter the building.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie will delight fans of the lurid long-running series and is currently available.
Hulu is fast becoming the place for true crime documentaries that take unexpected twists. Captive Audience earlier this year was a great example and with the release of Children of the Underground they are doubling-down in this area. It follows Faye Yager, figurehead of an organization called Children of the Underground which helped women and children escape abusive domestic situations. She is candid about bending and breaking the law in order to protect vulnerable people. However following the rescue of a wife and children from a wealthy banker, Yager finds herself under intense scrutiny. Is there a darker side to her apparent altruism? (All episodes from August 13)
Also worth mentioning again, The Bear (which has been green-lit for a second season) if you missed it the last time we had Hulu as a monthly pick, it’s worth a look now.. A lot of the comedy arises from the culture-clash of a fine dining chef, finding himself back home in a blue-collar environment, fighting his internal snobbery. It aims for more subtle humour that unfolds slowly as opposed to a fast slapstick belly laugh. It is shot with a gritty realism that revels in showing a lot of heart. We can’t praise this show highly enough. (All eps available)
Solar Opposites is an animated series from the minds of Rick and Morty’s co-creators, that also goes for an intergalactic culture-clash. It runs two storylines alongside each other. A group of aliens crash land in middle America, and while studying humans they have to decide whether they want to stay or get away. In the meantime one of the alien party has a terrarium called ‘The Wall’ in which he shrinks humans. Of course it will appeal to Rick and Morty fans, but this has enough nuance in it for everyone to enjoy. (All eps available)
The Old Man has Jeff Bridges as Dan Chase. An ex-CIA agent who (yes, you’ve guessed it) has had to go on the run from his former employers. He is pursued by Harold Harper (John Lithgow) and it transpires that the two men have a shared history of covert operations in Afghanistan. It’s not the most groundbreaking show you’ll ever see but there is more than enough to sink your teeth into and is a really entertaining watch. It’s also been awarded a second season, so you might as well get on this elevator at the ground floor. (All eps available)
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons is the latest in a current vogue of documentaries about large companies that have failed. You could say this is a sparkly rags to rags story, cultural shifts and several blunders are laid bare for all to see. (All eps available)
American Horror Stories S2 unlike its close namesake American Horror Story is an anthology series of chilling tales. Naturally, depending on the plot, you’ll prefer some to others. However unlike American Horror Story, having a bit more variety rather than a season long story arc might be a bit more appealing (and helps for more casual watchers). (All eps available)
We round off with The Only Murders in the Building S2 (all episodes from 23rd of August) picks up with the armchair sleuths where the first season ended…including the witty writing, superb cast and the chemistry between the three main protagonists (played by Selina Gomes, Martin Short and Steve Martin). All we can say is that it is a huge relief that no-one has messed with a winning formula.
Phew! As you can see, there’s plenty to watch, the difficult bit is knowing where to start. If you would like these options for August, but don’t want the admin hassle sign up to BOB Streaming Club. From $29.99 a month, we subscribe our members to a combination of 3 streaming services based on the best offering of new titles. We’ll take care of the admin in opening and pausing accounts as well as keeping you up to date with when and where new titles are released. Sign up today!