What to stream this week: 'Descendants,' Megan Moroney, 'Sunny' and new HARDY album (2024)

Country sensation HARDY’s new album and a new “Descendants” movie are some of the new television, films, music and games headed to a device near you.

Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists: and “Faye,” an authorized but candid portrait of the singular screen legend Faye Dunaway and Megan Moroney’s sophom*ore album release.

NEW MOVIES TO STREAM

— Underestimate the popularity of the “Descendants” films at your own peril. Since the 2015 original debuted on the Disney Channel, the subsequent trilogy of movies have proved a huge hit with kids. When the trailer for the upcoming fourth movie, “Descendants: The Rise of Red,” debuted earlier this year, it generated 86 million views within 10 days. This time, the new “Descendants” movie is launching first on Disney+, on Friday, before arriving on the Disney Channel next month. “The Rise of Red” centers on Red (Kylie Cantrall), the rebellious daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Chloe (Malia Baker), kin to Cinderella.

— Laurent Bouzereau’s “Faye” (streaming beginning 8 p.m. Saturday on Max) is an authorized but candid portrait of the singular screen legend Faye Dunaway. In it, the 83-year-old Dunaway, frankly discusses her bipolar disorder diagnosis and her history of alcoholism, along with her long string of classic films including “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Chinatown” and “Network.”

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— Not many films come with instructions to wear headphones while watching, but Sam Green’s “32 Sounds” is not your average documentary, either. Green’s movie, which was shortlisted for best documentary by the Academy Awards earlier this year, explores 32 wildly disparate auditory experiences — the heartbeat of a fetus, a whoopee cushion at work, Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” — to contemplate all the many ways that sound resonates in our lives. The movie, which was first a “live documentary” experience that handed out headphones to its audience members, is streaming on the Criterion Channel.

AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW MUSIC TO STREAM

— Last year, country musician Megan Moroney’s debut album, “Lucky,” was named one of AP’s top albums for 2023, for its sharp writing and congenial delivery — a Gen Z songwriter I previously described as possessing Taylor Swift-level acuity. Her pen continues to be her weapon on “Am I Okay?” a heartbreak-filled rollercoaster ride of a sophom*ore album, filled with quotable kiss-offs and evolved compositions. It releases Friday.

HARDY (real name Michael Wilson Hardy) has been celebrated for his hybrid approach to country music, weaving elements of anthemic rock and even nu-metal into his compositions. ( Kid Rock has left a pretty massive vacancy, it could be pointed out.) On his third studio album, “QUIT!!,” HARDY continues to push the boundaries of his chosen genres. “ROCKSTAR” sounds like something that would’ve found a home on the Van’s Warped Tour, delivered through his signature twang; the line between rock and country has never been thinner.

— On Friday, will release the fifth installment in her popular mixtape series, “Winter’s Diary 5.” If the previously released singles are evidence of what’s to come, the tape will build off what she’s become known for — sultry melodies about every relationship experience imaginable. That means frustration from poor communication and disloyalty, this time atop soft guitar riffs (“Huh”), backsliding and maybe not feeling so bad about it sometimes with smooth harmonies (“Songs About U,” featuring Summer Walker ) and beyond.

— We’re living in a rich period of music documentaries about Memphis (and no, we’re not only including HBO and MAX’s “Stax: Soulsville U.S.A” in that statement, but it is certainly up there.) On Tuesday, a new documentary will become available via video-on-demand: “The Blue Society,” which gleans new insight into the Memphis Country Blues Festival, held between 1966 and 1970. This film examines the relationship between the fest and ’60s counterculture, Memphis blues, and race — particularly looking at the white organizers who put it on, and the Black musicians who played it. It’s appointment viewing for music and American history fans alike.

— Also on Tuesday: Paramount+ will release a new, two-part docu-series, “Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken.” It follows the Grammy-award winning Etheridge, as she organizes a special concert at a women’s prison in Kansas, the Topeka Correctional Facility. Five women incarcerated there wrote letters to Etheridge, inspiring her to compose an original song for them, and throw the event. Throughout is also an addiction narrative, which Etheridge can relate to: In 2020, her son Beckett Cypher died at age 21, from causes related to opioid addiction.

AP Music Writer Maria Sherman

NEW SHOWS TO STREAM

— Jenn Tran, who competed for Joey Graziadei’s heart on last season of “The Bachelor,” is ABC’s new “Bachelorette.” Tran, a physician’s assistant student, is the first Asian American to lead the series. Watch her meet her suitors on Monday on ABC. Episodes also stream on Hulu.

— A new docuseries looks back at Serena Williams’ tennis career, from her own perspective. “In the Arena: Serena Williams” examines her rise to greatness to her retirement announcement in 2022. The eight-episode series debuts Wednesday on ESPN+.

— Rashida Jones stars in a new mystery for Apple TV+ centering around one of the hottest topics of late, artificial intelligence. In “Sunny,” premiering Wednesday, Jones plays a woman living in Japan whose husband and son go missing after a plane crash. She’s gifted with a domestic robot to keep her company and help her through her grief.

— Dakota and Elle Fanning are behind a new true crime docuseries for Hulu. “Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer” introduces viewers to Dr. Ann Burgess, a pioneer in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, who changed the way authorities investigate serial killers. Burgess’ story isn’t just fascinating but inspiring as well, as she earned respect in the male-dominated FBI. The three-part series drops Thursday.

— With the success of “Love Island USA” and “The Traitors,” Peaco*ck has two hit reality competition shows on its roster. Next, hungry bears are the stars of a new non-scripted series for the streamer. “The Hungry Games: Alaska’s Big Bear Challenge” tracks Alaskan brown bears as they seek to eat enough food (approximately three-million calories) to sustain them through their winter slumber. To do so, the hangry bears must battle mother nature and each other. As the title suggests, “The Hungry Games” is presented like a competition show. The games begin Thursday.

— Not to be outdone, the godfather of natural history programs, Sir David Attenborough, has a new wildlife docuseries dedicated to a variety of mammals. “Planet Earth: Mammals” looks at, you guessed it, mammals big and small adapting to their evolving natural habitat due to human activity and the effects of climate change. The six-part series premieres Saturday on BBC America and AMC+.

— A new original for MGM+ explores the world of politics and academia against the backdrop of Martha’s Vineyard. “Emperor of Ocean Park ″ is a thriller mystery series based on a novel of the same name and debuts Sunday. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and Grantham Coleman star.

Alicia Rancilio

NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY

— There really aren’t enough games where you get to kick your enemies, so thank goodness for Devolver Digital’s Anger Foot. Sure, it lets you arm yourself with standard weapons like rifles and crossbows, but for up-close brawling nothing beats a shoe to the face. The visuals look like something you might see after too many Red Bulls, the bass-heavy soundtrack will wake up your neighbors, and the shoe collection should satisfy any sneakerhead. South African developer Free Lives is known for raunchy, ultraviolent comedy, and it doesn’t take the foot off the gas pedal here. Kick out the jams Thursday on PC.

Lou Kesten

What to stream this week: 'Descendants,' Megan Moroney, 'Sunny' and new HARDY album (2024)

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