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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Stream on Demand: Don’t ‘Panic,’ you’re watching with ‘Friends’

By Sean Axmaker For The Spokesman-Review

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and other streaming services.

Top streams for the week

In the young adult thriller “Panic” (2021, not rated), graduating high school seniors play a dangerous game that forces them to face their deepest fears in a series of challenges to win enough money to escape their rural Texas town. This year, the stakes have been deadly. Lauren Oliver adapts her own novel, and Seattle-based filmmaker Megan Griffiths is among the episode directors. (Amazon Prime)

“Friends: The Reunion” (TV-14) was originally slated a year ago, but events prevented a large gathering. It now streams in celebration of the first anniversary of the hit sitcom’s arrival on HBO Max with an impressive lineup of guest stars joining original cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, together on screen for the first time since 2004. Along with creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, guests include BTS, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, James Corden, Mindy Kaling, Tom Selleck and Reese Witherspoon. (HBO Max)

Three Netflix favorite shows return with new seasons. The third and final season of “The Kominsky Method” (TV-MA) stars Michael Douglas as an acting teacher trying to recharge his career. Lena Waithe takes the lead in the third season of “Master of None” (TV-MA), which veers from comedy to drama and is directed entirely by creator Aziz Ansari. The second half of the fifth season of “Lucifer” (TV-14), a mix of murder mystery and comedy featuring Tom Ellis as the Lord of Hell solving crimes in the City of Angels, adds Dennis Haysbert to the cast as God, descended to deal with family issues. (Netflix)

“Plan B” (2021, not rated) joins the small but slowly increasing genre of female-based bad behavior/teen buddy comedies. Kuhoo Verma plays the straight-A student who has her first sexual encounter, and Victoria Moroles is her slacker best friend who joins her in a mad hunt for the morning-after pill in a conservative small town in South Dakota. Natalie Morales directs this comedy that both takes seriously and has fun with the sexual lives of teenage girls. (Hulu)

Emma Stone stars in “Cruella” (2021, PG-13), the live-action prequel about the early life of “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil, when she was a punk-inspired fashionista in 1970s London. It co-stars Emma Thompson as the reigning haute couture designer and features a wild sense of costume design. Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”) directs this collision of “The Devil Wears Prada” and Tim Burton. It debuts on Disney+ at the premium price of $29.99 the same day it opens in theaters.

Classic pick: Ryan O’Neal stars in the comedy “Paper Moon” (1973, PG) with his real-life daughter Tatum O’Neal (who won an Oscar) as a pair of con artists in the depression. (Amazon Prime)

News: HBO Max introduces a new lower-priced subscription tier with ads priced at $10 month featuring everything in the full-price option except the Warner premiere movies. HBO promises that it will have fewer ads than any other advertising-based streaming service. The new option launches in June.

Pay-Per-View / Video on Demand

Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland star in “Chaos Walking” (2021, PG-13), a science-fiction drama set on a remote frontier planet where a young woman crash lands in an all-male society where inner thoughts can be seen and heard. Doug Liman directs the adaptation of the Patrick Ness novel “The Knife of Never Letting Go.”


A group of orphans enter the world’s biggest fishing tournament with a washed-up boat captain (Dennis Quaid) to save their orphanage in “Blue Miracle” (2021, TV-PG), a drama based on a true story. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Bruce McGill and Raymond Cruz also star.

A single mother (Sienna Miller) in the rust belt struggles to raise her grandson when her teenage daughter disappears in the drama “American Woman” (2018, R), also starring Aaron Paul and Christina Hendricks.

Will Smith is a grieving father in “Collateral Beauty” (2016, PG-13), a spiritual drama also starring Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren.

Foodie fun: Food writer Stephen Satterfield hosts the culinary limited series “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” (TV-MA).

True crime documentary: “Nail Bomber: Manhunt” (TV-MA) explores the 1999 London bombings perpetrated by a far-right extremist.

Music: “Sam Smith: Love Goes – Live At Abbey Road Studios” (2021, TV-G).

More streaming TV: Robots raise the last human child in the animated series “Eden” (Japan, TV-PG).

International passport: A rogue detective conducts an unorthodox investigation into a high school massacre in “Black Space” (Israel, TV-MA, with subtitles). Also new:

• Romantic comedy “Mad for Each Other” (South Korea, TV-MA, with subtitles);

• The second season of supernatural thriller “Ragnarok: ” (Norway, TV-MA, with subtitles).

Kid stuff: The animated comedy “Home” (2015, PG) follows the interstellar journey of a misfit alien (voice of Jim Parsons) and the adventurous human girl (Rihanna) he befriends.

Amazon Prime Video

“Drug War” (China, 2013, R, with subtitles) is a lean, sleek gangster drama

True stories: The Oscar-winning “Man on Wire” (2008, PG-13) is a real-life caper drama as artistic stunt: the illegal tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.


A young man (Dave Davis) faces a demonic creature in “The Vigil” (2019, PG-13), a supernatural horror film set in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community and steeped in ancient Jewish lore.

Streaming TV: New seasons of the animated Fox series “Duncanville” (TV-14) and the FX thriller “Mr Inbetween” (TV-MA) stream a day after their respective TV debuts.


After a long hiatus, “In Treatment” (TV-MA) returns with Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”) taking the role of the therapist and a new collection of patients (including John Benjamin Hickey, Joel Kinnaman and Anthony Ramos). New episodes on Sundays.


“Launchpad” (not rated) is a collection of original live-action shorts created by young filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The first six are inspired by the theme “Discovery.”

Other streams

Comedians Dan Perlman and Kevin Iso play fictionalized versions of themselves in the comedy “Flatbush Misdemeanors” (TV-MA). New episodes on Sundays. There are also new seasons of “Black Monday” (TV-MA) with Don Cheadle and “The Chi” (TV-MA). (Showtime Anytime)

“Whitstable Pearl” (not rated) is a mystery series based on the novels by Julie Wassmer about a single mother and restaurant owner (Kerry Godliman) who opens a detective agency, which she runs out of the family restaurant. New episodes on Mondays. (Acorn TV)

The documentary limited series “Between Black and Blue” (not rated) explores the decades-long battle of two New York City detectives to clear their names of a murder charge. (Sundance Now and AMC+)

A supernatural serial killer is on a mission of revenge in the streets of São Paulo in “Skull: The Mask” (2020, Brazil, not rated, with subtitles), a horror film inspired by pre-Colombian mythology. (Shudder and AMC+)

Two limited-series crime dramas arrive from Germany: “The Fox” (TV-14, with subtitles), starring Lina Wendel as a former Stasi spy who pairs up with an Arab importer to solve crimes, and “Charlotte Link” (Germany, TV-14, with subtitles), a trilogy of mysteries based on the novel of Charlotte Link. New episodes each Tuesday. (MHz)

New on disc and at Redbox

“Raya: The Last Dragon,” “Chaos Walking”

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His reviews of streaming movies and television can be found at