With the Tokyo Games set to finish on August 8, or because you’ve run out of streaming options while in lockdown, a feast on the couch awaits courtesy of Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Stan and Binge, among others.
So hold onto your hats, people, because first up we have the long-awaited Nicole Kidman drama Nine Perfect Strangers finally dropping on Amazon Prime Video with the first three episodes on Friday August 20 and then weekly thereafter.
After much was made of claims of special treatment in allowing A-list celebrities, including Melissa McCarthy (Spy, Bridesmaids), into the country in 2020 during the pandemic, and Byron Bay locals irritated by the influx of cast, crews and endless traffic jams, the eight-part limited series is ready to roll.
From best-selling author Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) and based on a novel by the same name, Nine Perfect Strangers is set in a fictional wellness resort, Tranquillum House where guests are promised “total transformation”.
Kidman, who plays resort director Masha Dmitrichenko in her best Eastern European accent, welcomes her strangers – a romance novelist, a former NFL star, and an Instagram influencer among the guests – and tries to unconventionally cure them of their mental baggage, but it all ends up as one “dangerous game”.
In the latest trailer – courtesy of US subscription service Hulu – we see this particularly “volatile group” getting water-tortured, laying in open graves, dancing around giant bonfires, and basically “complimenting each other’s demons” in front of “bats–t guru” Kidman.
It’s a winner. Lock it in.
Streaming this August
First Ladies – SBS ON Demand, from August 2
No Melania? Six-part documentary series with interviews and rare footage of the lives of First Ladies – Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michelle Obama.
“While they certainly helped shape their husband’s legacy, this series uncovers the pivotal, often hidden moments that shaped each woman’s own journey,” SBS says.
Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified – Netflix, from August 3
August is the month to unpack whether alien visits are a thing. There’s a few series doing the rounds but this docuseries pushes our understanding of the extraterrestrial encounter, and that we’re “certainly” not alone.
Rosehaven – ABC, ABC TV, ABC iview, from August 4
Written by and starring comedians and real-life best friends Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola, Rosehaven continues to dig deep into the adventures, or misadventures, of two fictional friends and unlikely real estate agents, Daniel (expat Tasmanian McGregor) and Emma (Pacquola). This will be the Tasmanian-filmed series’ fifth, and final season.
Reservation Dogs – Binge, from August 10
NZ TV-and-film director of Thor fame, Taika Waititi, and Sterlin Harjo, bring you a new weekly comedy series looking at the exploits of four Indigenous teenagers, struggling a little bit to be warriors in rural Oklahoma who steal, rob and save in order to get to the “exotic, mysterious and faraway land of California”. More than just one season please.
Everyone is Doing Great – Paramount+, from August 11
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – SBS On Demand, from August 13
After seven seasons, this old beloved comedy favourite returns for one final series. While information about what to expect is thin on the ground, a double episode will be fast-tracked to get fans in the zone.
The Newsreader – ABC TV, ABC iview, from August 15
Set in the tumultuous world of a television newsroom, The Newsreader takes us back to 1986 when Lindy Chamberlain was making news, so was the AIDS crisis, 60 Minutes was sending female reporters to war zones and the Challenger explosion shocked the world. Newsreader Helen Norville (Anna Torv) is determined to build her credibility, while colleague Dale Jennings (Sam Reid) is desperate to become a newsreader.
Heels – Stan, from August 15
If you’re into pro wrestling, and who isn’t, quite frankly, after too much Olympics coverage, Heels is brand new series about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals war over their late father’s legacy.
Question Everything – ABC TV, ABC iview, from August 18
From the team behind Gruen, Question Everything is a brand new quiz-panel show created and hosted by Wil Anderson. With co-host Jan Fran (The Project), the eight-part series attempts to sort through fact from fiction we read everyday with a revolving panel of comedians.
Chapelwaite – Stan, from August 23
Academy-award winner Adrien Brody is Captain Charles Boone who relocates his family of three children to his ancestral home in a sleepy town called Preacher’s Corners, Maine, after his wife dies at sea. There’s a sordid history to confront over a 10-episode series.