Streaming Must-Sees (and Must-Skips) in June 2024

This month's Tune In or Turn Off features two music docs, a Jake Gyllenhaal series and the new season of 'The Boys'

Photo courtesy of Paramount+

BY Rachel HoPublished Jun 17, 2024

The days are long, the weather is having an identity crisis — it's June, baby. As summer blockbusters make their way to theatres, streaming options continue to thrive (mostly).

A couple great music docuseries focusing on the pirate days of 1999 and Stax Records will scratch the itch of the music historians among us, while Jake Gyllenhaal and an iconic Japanese character make their way to Apple TV+ and Netflix, respectively, in engaging fare (with one being far more family-friendly than the other).

Be sure to read our past editions of Tune In or Turn Off here for more hits and misses.

Turn Off: Atlas

The most entertaining thing about Atlas has undoubtedly been the inexplicable shade Sterling K. Brown has thrown and the knowing looks traded between him and Simu Liu while the two actors, along with star Jennifer Lopez, promoted this piece of Netflix content. A sci-fi that looks slightly better than the video game cutscenes from the 2010s and a story that folds in on itself without much fanfare, Atlas takes aim (sort of) at AI. And for all the discourse surrounding AI, I almost wish Atlas was a product of that technology — at least filmmakers would have nothing to worry about then.

Turn Off: The Boys, Season 4
(Prime Video)

The Boys was one of my favourite shows when it first debuted in 2019. Something exciting and new amidst the sterile carbon copy superheroes in cinemas, Homelander and Butcher gave us an alternative. Five years later and in its penultimate season, the shock and chaos of The Boys feels like more of the same. Don't get me wrong — this latest season remains entertaining and well-made, but what was once a gritty show now feels sanded down. Perhaps the series has simply become a victim of its own success.

Tune In: How Music Got Free

For those of us old enough to remember the introduction of Napster and the ads reminding us, "You wouldn't steal a car," How Music Got Free will be a nostalgic ride back to grade school when burning CDs made us computer nerds feel like techy hooligans. Director Alexandria Stapleton takes a look back at this volatile era with the help of Method Man, Eminem, Timbaland and 50 Cent, among others, offering their perspectives as big players in an industry changing. The docuseries offers an entertaining and informative look at how the music biz changed forever as the internet infiltrated more and more of our daily lives.

Turn Off: Jim Henson Idea Man

It's not that Ron Howard's documentary about the man behind the Muppets is a bad film, it's that it commits one of my biggest pet peeves in documentary filmmaking: creating a narrative by omission. Jim Henson's impact on television, film and the entertainment industry in general is incalculable. Most of us grew up with and delighted in his creations, but for all the genius of Henson and his relentless work ethic, he wasn't a man without flaws, especially when it came to being a father and husband, despite what Idea Man shows. For a more well-rounded approach to Henson, I'd recommend Brian Jay Jones's Jim Henson: The Biography — a work that truly seeks to understand, and thereby honour, a man whose imagination only made our childhoods better.

Tune In: The Last Year of Darkness

As part of MUBI's A Place of Our Own: Queer Spaces on Film series in time for Pride Month, Benjamin Mullinkosson's The Last Year of Darkness offers a unique look into the queer culture of Chengdu, China. Taking place in a country that remains a mystery to many around the world, Mullinkosson's film sheds light on the issues of its youth, serving as a reminder that, regardless of the differences caused by time and space, the human experience is surprisingly similar.

Tune In: Presumed Innocent
(Apple TV+)

A quintessential mystery thriller of the late '80s/early '90s, Presumed Innocent finds new life as a limited series starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Rusty, a lawyer charged with the murder of his colleague and former lover. The wheel isn't reinvented here, but it's an engaging series with explosive performances that'll keep even those familiar with the book (and the Harrison Ford-led movie) guessing.

Tune In: Stax: Soulsville, U.S.A.

Stax is a legendary record label deserving of a legendary docuseries treatment — and, thankfully, Jamila Wignot delivers. Across four episodes, Wignot considers the story of Stax Records set against the civil turmoil of 1960s America with special focus given to the life and career of Otis Redding and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For music and American history buffs, Stax: Soulsville, U.S.A. recalls this time period with poignancy and lyricism.

Tune In: Ultraman: Rising

Since his introduction in 1966, Ultraman has become one of Japan's most celebrated superheroes. His success expanded across much of Asia and, thanks to Ultraman: Rising, his reputation will spread outside the continent. A family-friendly animated superhero movie, Ultraman: Rising contains simple entertainment for a quiet evening in.

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