Photo: Food Ndtv
TV shows & movies on Disney Plus, Netflix and HBO Max this weekend. Photo: Food Ndtv

Spring arrives this weekend and with it, fresh new TV shows and movies hit major streaming services. The big players — Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu — all have something new to offer for your at-home entertainment, including yet another face-off between Marvel and DC.

If you’re not into superheroes, there’s plenty of other great options. The third season of NatGeo’s Genius puts the spotlight on the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. A much-needed comedy special from Nate Bargatze drops on Netflix, while Stanley Tucci wraps up his dreamy Italian adventure. And the indie rom-com/surreal thriller Happily teams up two of our favorite actors.

1. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Photo: Gamesradar
Photo: Gamesradar

Streaming now on HBO Max.

Behold, the Snyder Cut in all its (four-hour-long) glory! The fans stormed social media for it, and what the fans want, they often get — though in this case, they may have gotten more than they wished for. Snyder fans will be happy that the director got to carry out his initial vision for Justice League, which includes more of, well, everything.

While Warner Bros has declared the Snyder Cut isn’t canon, its release could have a great impact on the future of the DC Extended Universe. And at the last, it cements HBO Max’s ascendant place in the streaming landscape.

2. Genius: Aretha

Photo: Detroitnews
Photo: Detroitnews

Part 1 airs Sunday, March 21 at 9 p.m. ET on NatGeo. All four parts start streaming next day on Hulu.

NatGeo’s anthology biographical series kicked off by delving into the mind of Albert Einstein, then painting a portrait of Pablo Picasso. Now, it’s paying some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (played by Cynthia Erivo). The eight-episode biopic, divided into four parts, chronicles how the daughter of a preacher man became an icon.

Like previous seasons, the show toggles between flashbacks to young Aretha (Shaian Jordan) belting out hymns in her father’s church and the adult singer navigating the music industry, racism and sexim in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The production design is top-notch, but it’s Erivo’s uncanny performance that brings Aretha alive again.

3. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American

Photo: Netfix
Photo: Netfix

Streaming now on Netflix.

Filming a comedy special outdoors while helicopters whir overhead might present problems for most stand-up comedians. But Nate Bargatze isn’t most comedians. As he titled his second hour-long Netflix special, he’s The Greatest Average American. He may also be the greatest affable American.

The Greatest Average American is Bargatze’s second hour for Netflix, following his stellar 2019 special, The Tennessee Kid. You may also remember seeing him perform in shorter sets on the streaming giant in 2017 (a half-hour for The Standups collection, and a shorter set for Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo), or his first hour debut on Comedy Central in 2015, Decider noted.

4. Happily

Photo: IndieWire
Photo: IndieWire

Starts streaming Friday, March 19 on VOD.

This dark romantic comedy borrows a page from The Twilight Zone to tear down the facade of the “perfect couple.” Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé play Tom and Janet, who are still blissfully happy — and horny — after 14 years of marriage. Their friends in less idyllic relationships find them insufferable.

Then, a mysterious stranger (Stephen Root) shows up to offer Tom and Janet a serum that will turn them into a “normal couple.” From there, things take a dark turn as all the friends gather for a weekend getaway, where Tom and Janet realize the stranger isn’t the only person trying to wreck their marriage.

5. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

Photo: Youtube TV
Photo: Youtube TV

Season 1 finale airs Sunday, March 21 at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

Stanley Tucci is eating his way through Italy and taking viewers along for the ride. The Emmy-winning actor and best-selling cookbook author is the host of the new original series Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy. ICYMI: The Devil Wears Prada star kicked off the show in Naples and the Amalfi Coast and then made his way to Rome.

After premiering on Valentine’s Day, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy was promptly renewed for season 2, according to Deadline. With a season 2 release date set for 2022, there’s plenty of time to get caught up on the current season and keep tuning in, Goodhousekeeping noted.

6. Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 1

Photo: Vulture
Photo: Vulture

Episode 1 starts streaming Friday, March 19 on Disney Plus.

The “buddy cop show” pairing Captain America’s besties, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), was meant to be Marvel’s first Disney Plus series. It looks and feels like an MCU movie, just cut up into episodes and streaming on a smaller screen. Instead, the pandemic pushed the already-completed WandaVision into pole position.

Will Falcon and Winter Soldier seem a little less interesting because it’s coming on the heels of that genre-mashing puzzle-box success? Perhaps. But it could also serve as a refreshing change of pace, the kind of action-packed popcorn fare we’ve all been starved of these many months. TGIF is rapidly transforming into “thank goodness it’s Marvel night.”

READ MORE: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: How many episodes, How long it be, Who play new Captain America

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