It’s possible you may not have noticed but, uh… there are so many things to watch. Whether it’s streaming, on cable (dozens of us still have it. DOZENS!), or in theaters, there is an absolute waterfall of art being dropped on us all at any given second. It can feel pretty impossible to navigate that sometimes, but the IGN team is here to help make sense of it all.
…Ok, so the IGN team is here to talk about our favorite stuff! But maybe you like the same stuff we like. That’s helping, right?
This isn’t a roundup of the website’s top rated film and television, or any other kind of aggregate. We just love entertainment, and we want to chill out and chat about the art we loved this month. Some of it will be mainstream! Other times? Maybe you haven’t even heard of it! The world is our oyster. Also? Sometimes we get to shows and movies late, too! So you may even catch a couple older favorites on the list as you dig in!
Spy x Family
Where to Watch: Hulu, Crunchyroll
Alex Stedman, Entertainment Reviews Editor
It’s not a huge surprise that Spy x Family is such a hit, given its beloved manga source material, but this delightfully charming anime has already managed to exceed its pre-release hype for me. It takes an absurd premise – a spy has to cobble together a family for a mission, and accidentally ends up with a telepath daughter and assassin wife – and turns it into a hilarious and often heartwarming comedy of errors as each member of this makeshift family scrambles to hide their true identities from each other. There are some kickass action sequences too, all sleekly animated by Studio WIT and Cloverworks. We love our Attack on Titans and Demon Slayers, but this surprisingly wholesome slice of spy life is the change of pace I needed.
Check out our official premiere review of Spy x Family
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
Where to Watch: Apple TV+
Jacob Kienlen, SEO Specialist
Based on the book by Walter Mosley, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey is an intriguing drama series that I unashamedly binged in one day. Although I usually prefer to avoid dramas, it was Samuel L. Jackson that drew me in, and his overall performance that held my attention throughout the series. He plays the main character, a 91-year-old man who is teetering on the edge of full-on dementia. When given the opportunity to participate in an experimental trial that temporarily brings back all of his memories, he dives deep into the mysteries of his past to deal with both new and old problems within his family. Although watching Samuel L. Jackson acting his way through various states of lucidity is the highlight, standout performances from Dominique Fishback as Robin and Omar Benson as his nephew Reggie bring a level of emotional depth that elevates the limited series overall.
La Piscine (1969)
Where to Watch: The Criterion Channel
Clint Gage, Features, CineFix
Nothing quite says “summer” like a little sun soaked intrigue and murder, am I right? There’s precious little more you can ask for during the hottest months of the year than watching the already strained relationship between two of the decade’s sexiest people unravel in a gorgeously photographed setting. That’s exactly everything Jacques Deray’s La Piscine endeavored to be in 1969, with France’s most perfect looking cool guy Alain Delon leading the way. The film is as psychologically difficult as it is sexy, though. It’s a slow burn thriller with a perfect tan, and you can see it’s influence on anything from Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast to Luca Guadagnino’s loose remake of the film A Bigger Splash (and even shades of it in the gorgeous heartbreak of his Call Me By Your Name) where the setting is photographed as deliberately and deliciously as the actors sharing the screen. But the pulpiness of it, the back page gossip energy of the pretty and rich falling victim to their own vices set against the French Riviera makes La Piscine a decadent treat to kick off the summer.
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Tina Amini, Editor-in-Chief
Even if the idea of Tokyo Vice as digital tourism taking an up-close look at a 90s Tokyo isn’t enough to draw you in, the performances by its main cast as they move through their personal character arcs (and what they learn about their place in Tokyo) should. That, and the conflict that’s spurred by the contrasting existence of well-meaning detectives, not-so-clean detectives, an aspiring foreigner journalist, and throngs of yakuza personalities with their own areas of tension make the show a binge-worthy treat full of surprise moments that give insight into the political and cultural landscape and struggles of the time.
The show competently tells those wider stories about the social dynamic of the time and the strains on detective and journalistic work through the more intimate settings of each of the characters’ stories. And while the exposé nature of the series might not be as true-to-form as the real life stories of journalist Jake Adelstein’s foray into Japanese culture and social politics as he earns a name for himself, they’re still just as entertaining and even insightful.
Check out our official premiere review of Tokyo Vice
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Scott Collura, Executive Editor, Entertainment Features
True crime is the name of the game in my house, so when The Staircase showed up on HBO Max recently, my wife and I were all in. (Yes, we’re those people who just click on whatever is rotating in the top carousel of the home screen.) Based on the true crime documentary series that’s also called The Staircase, this miniseries stars Colin Firth as Michael Peterson and Toni Collette as his wife, Kathleen. When Kathleen is found dead at the bottom of the staircase in their home, an investigation begins with Michael as the prime suspect in her murder. But was it even murder? Therein lies the rub, as creator Antonio Campos, who also wrote and directed several episodes, weaves in and out of what could’ve happened, what might’ve happened, and… perhaps… what we’ll never know happened. The cast also includes the likes of Michael Stuhlbarg, Dane DeHaan, Sophie Turner, Juliette Binoche, and many more familiar faces in a tale that spans many years – and many points of view.
Check out our official premiere review of The Staircase
The Flight Attendant
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Jonathon Dornbush, Senior Features Editor
If you’re in need of a stressful, often funny, and surprisingly emotional story of espionage, murder mystery, and more, The Flight Attendant is worth the binge. Season 2 recently just ended, and it’s just as engaging as the first season, anchored around Kaley Cuoco’s excellent performance as Cassie Bowden, a flight attendant-turned-murder-suspect-turned-informant. Go back and watch Season 1 if you haven’t – it’s a thrilling and biting whodunnit with great supporting performances by Michelle Gomez and Zosia Mamet. Season 2 has surprised me by the emotional depths it has explored, with Cassie’s continued battle against alcoholism and her attempted sobriety laying the foundation for a story that is perhaps more sprawling and messy than Season 1, but still filled with plenty of memorable moments and performances. It’s best to go in knowing as little as possible, but if you’re like me you’ll know the full story after quickly devouring the whole thing.
Check out our official premiere review for The Flight Attendant Season 2
The Kids in the Hall
Where to Watch: Prime Video
Jesse Schedeen, Senior Writer & Comics Lead
I haven’t had a good sketch comedy show in my life since Key & Peele went off the air. That was enough to get me excited about the prospect of a Kids in the Hall revival despite some trepidation about how the series might fare after being off the air for the better part of three decades. Thankfully there was never any reason to worry. It’s not just that the Kids haven’t lost their comedic mojo after all this time (though they’re still hilarious even well into middle age). The revival series actually plays the passage of time to its full advantage. Many of the sketches revolve around death, old age or the general sense that the world has isn’t quite what it used to be. As someone rapidly barrelling toward his 40s, I can relate all too well. The new Kids in the Hall features plenty of callbacks to characters and gags from the older seasons, but it never rests on those laurels. If modern SNL leaves you feeling underwhelmed, maybe give this one a look instead.
Where to Watch: Hulu
Amelia Emberwing, Streaming Editor
I’m gonna be honest — I expected to hate Shoresy. Letterkenny is very near and dear to my heart, but the foul-mouthed, fart-loaded hockey player is definitely one of my least favorite aspects of the series. Yet, somehow, Jared Keeso and company managed to put together a show with so much heart that it balances out Shoresy’s vulgarity in a way that manages to make him endearing. Equally impressive is the fact that every single new character is a welcome addition to the Letterkenny world. I hope this ends up being more than just a limited series, because after all those years of annoyance, I’m not quite ready to lose Shoresy yet.
Check out our official Season 1 review of Shoresy
Where to Watch: HBO Max
Rebekah Valentine, Reporter
What I’ve come to love most about Taika Watiti’s work since I was recently introduced is his ability to depict earnestness as something to be celebrated. Steve Bonnet in Our Flag Means Death is sincerity epitomized as he abandons his life as a fancy, sheltered gentleman to become a pirate – a job he is wildly unsuited for. This, naturally, leads to plenty of comedy, and Our Flag Means Death is consistently funny throughout. But what holds it together is its characters’ willingness to be vulnerable with one another and with themselves, and the story itself framing this as their best virtue. While not all of its surprisingly emotional relationships wrap up perfectly by the end of the season (which is why we’re all clamoring for a second one), Our Flag Means Death was a gentle reminder amidst a deeply cynical world of how freeing being genuine with oneself and others can be.
Check out our official Season 1 review of Our Flag Means Death
Of course, some honorable mentions from the staff include the great two-part premiere of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things Season 4 part 1. But what were your favorites this month? We want to hear! Sound off in the comments about what you loved!