The best new shows, movies to come out of quarantine



Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti star in “Palm Springs”, now available on Hulu.

In the five months since quarantine started, there have been dozens of movies and TV shows vying for the public’s attention — capitalizing that for several months, the entire world is stuck at home with little to do than turn on the TV and see what’s on.

Although in the coming months we’ll be entering a drought — considering that film and television production has essentially been halted and will likely stay that way until a vaccine is found — there were still plenty of great movies and shows that first hit our screens during the pandemic.

From “Tiger King” mania at the beginning of the pandemic to “The Old Guard” breaking Netflix viewership records over the past few weeks, the entertainment industry has seen quite a bit of new content since quarantine began. 

Although some of what would’ve been the summer’s biggest hits have been delayed until they can get theatrical releases, there has still been a number of formidable films and television shows released during COVID-19 that are worth your time. 


“The Last Dance”

Co-produced by Netflix and ESPN, “The Last Dance” was an ambitious mini docu-series that followed the monumental life and career of Michael Jordan along with an inside look at the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season. The series featured exclusive interviews not only with basketball legends but also pop culture icons — everyone from Barack Obama to Justin Timberlake appeared to give their two cents on Jordan and the Bulls’ legacy. 

The series ran from April through May in a tight ten episodes, and its expert sense of pacing and magnetic onscreen personalities made it unmissable television that regularly captured the nation’s attention as episodes aired each week. 

If you didn’t catch “The Last Dance” when it was airing live, you can find the entire series on Netflix.


“Palm Springs”

One out of left field hidden gem that I’m glad I found during quarantine is “Palm Springs,” a romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti that dropped on Hulu on July 10. The film follows Nyles (Samberg) and Sarah (Milioti), two strangers who meet at a wedding and have their lives changed forever when they discover that they’re stuck in a groundhog day-esque time loop. 

Directed by Max Barbakow, the film clocks in at just under an hour and a half, which makes it the perfect mood-booster if you have some time to kill and you’re looking for a film that will make you laugh, cry, then laugh some more. With stellar performances from its two leads , as well as supporting actor JK Simmons, “Palm Springs” is a film unlike anything else you’ll watch this year, and in the best way possible.

You can stream “Palm Springs” anytime on Hulu.


“The Great”

Staying on Hulu but pivoting format and genre, another standout quarantine release was “The Great,” a comedy/drama about the rise of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. Although European history may not seem like the typical backdrop for surrealist comedy, “The Great” is an often unbelievably funny take on one of history’s most notorious rulers. 

It should come as no surprise that the show is whip-smart, however, given that its creator was the co-writer of the Academy Award-winning film “The Favourite,” Tony McNamara. “The Great” is very much in the vein of that film — mixing historical drama and dark humor to create a singular viewing experience that is sure to entertain.

“The Great” is now streaming on Hulu. 


“Da 5 Bloods”

Rounding out my list is a film that was hotly anticipated — Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” which was released on Netflix on June 12. The film is a harrowing look at the Vietnam War and its aftershocks and explores the topic through the eyes of five Black GI veterans who return to Vietnam in search of buried treasure and the corpse of their fallen comrade. 

Drawing from classic films like “Apocalypse Now”, “Da 5 Bloods” explores how greed, paranoia, and post-traumatic stress wreaks havoc on a once tight-knit group, and is elevated by a powerhouse lead performance from Delroy Lindo. It’s quintessentially Spike Lee, and the perfect pull-no-punches drama if you’re looking for a movie that will leave you emotionally devastated. 

You can stream “Da 5 Bloods” on Netflix.