Your Week In Streaming: From Billie Holiday To High School Musical The Series

By Pamela Connellan
on 16 April 2021

There’s so much to watch over the coming weeks, you’ll need to sit back on the couch and enjoy these shows for a very long time. But firstly – if you can get to a cinema – The United States Versus Billie Holiday is released next week and this film is a long-awaited biopic about the blues singer you won’t want to miss.

The United States Versus Billie Holiday will be in cinemas soon

Andra Day is commanding as she plays the enigmatic blues singer, Billie Holiday, in Lee Daniels’s biopic, built around a possible romance between Holiday and a government agent.

In 1947, Holiday was convicted and sentenced to prison for a year for the possession of narcotics but this was just one part of a campaign against the singer, whose songs had become a part of the black civil rights awareness and activism in the US.

Holiday always refused to stop singing the songs which were most political which showed just how tough she was, surviving childhood abuse to become a superstar when there was still so much racial prejudice around.

Trevante Rhodes plays Jimmy Fletcher, a handsome undercover cop assigned to get to know Holiday and her friends and to secure evidence of her drug use. Strangely enough, when they find out what his real job is, Holiday and her friends continue to tolerate his presence.

In the end he shares so many confidences with Holiday and proves his allegiance to her in many ways, which gives the film an unusual twist.

The United States Versus Billie Holiday will be in cinemas by 22nd April

Disney+ will stream High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in May

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will stream on Disney+ on Friday 14th May. In season two, the East High Wildcats, who are preparing to perform Beauty and the Beast as their spring musical, face off against rival school North High to win a prestigious and cutthroat student theatre competition. Wigs are snatched, loyalties are tested, and ballads are belted. The season also features brand-new solos written by Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett.
In addition to Rodrigo and Bassett, the series regulars are Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Joe Serafini, Mark St. Cyr and Kate Reinders. Guest starring this season are Derek Hough, Olivia Rose Keegan, Roman Banks, Andrew Barth Feldman and Asher Angel.
Season one of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is currently available on Disney+. It was recently awarded a GLAAD Media Award and was created and executive produced by Tim Federle.

Disney+ will stream High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, premiering on the 14th May…

Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce star in this crime series on Binge

Oscar winner, Kate Winslet teams up with Aussie, Guy Pearce in this crime miniseries set in small-town Pennsylvania – one of the first must-watch series of this year.

Created and written by Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back) and directed by Craig Zobel (HBO’s The Leftovers), the seven-part limited series follows Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective who investigates a local murder as life crumbles around her.

Aussie and Emmy-winner and Golden Globe-nominee, Guy Pearce, reunites with Winslet in this star-studded ensemble which also features Julianne Nicholson (HBO’s The Outsider), three-time Emmy-winner Jean Smart (Emmy-nominated for HBO’s Watchmen) and fellow Aussie Angourie Rice (Black Mirror).

Exploring the dark side of a close community, this limited drama series delves into how family and past tragedies can define the present.

Other stars featuring in this HBO drama include Evan Peters (American Horror Story); Cailee Spaeny (Devs); David Denman (Outcast); John Douglas Thompson (HBO Max film Let Them All Talk), Patrick Murney (Seven Seconds); James McArdle (Ammonite); Sosie Bacon (HBO’s Here and Now); Joe Tippett (Rise); and Neal Huff (HBO’s The Wire).

The Mare of Easttown streams on Binge from Monday 19th April…

The Nevers takes us back to Victorian London

August, 1896. Victorian London is rocked to its foundations by a supernatural event which gives certain people – mostly women – abnormal abilities, from the wondrous to the disturbing. But no matter their particular ‘turns,’ all who belong to this new underclass are in grave danger.

A period-set superhero drama, The Nevers, stars Laura Donnelly as Amalia True, a mysterious, quick-fisted widow and Ann Skelly as Penance Adair, a brilliant young inventor who are given the responsibility to protect and shelter these gifted ‘orphans.’ To do so, they will have to face the brutal forces determined to annihilate their kind.

The ensemble cast includes Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Amy Manson, Pip Torrens, Denis O’Hare, Zackary Momoh, Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, Ella Smith, Nick Frost and Ben Chaplin.

A new episode of The Nevers streams each Monday night on Binge…

Thunder Force, starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer star in this Netflix film

We’ve all loved some of Melissa McCarthy’s films but these could be the earlier ones she made with filmmakers such as Paul Feig (Bridesmaids and Spy). But since these movies, she’s teamed up with her husband, Ben Falcone and the products haven’t been quite as enjoyable.

It’s bad luck for us that Thunder Force was made with her husband Ben Falcone and while it’s OK, it still has quite a few faults along the way.

In Thunder Force, the two female leads are middle-aged women who become superheroes. There’s a great cast who come along for the ride including Melissa Leo, Emmy winners Jason Bateman and Bobby Cannavale, plus Marvel star Pom Klementieff.

McCarthy still puts in a good performance but the story-line isn’t consistent. Still, this is a fun movie to watch if you don’t really want to put your brain into gear.

Thunderforce is now streaming on Netflix…

The Cook Up with Adam Liaw is one to watch out for if you want to learn some great new cooking tips and techniques

SBS Food has been busy cooking up a fresh new food show, The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, and with 200 episodes it’s the biggest commission in the network’s history.

The popular cook, author and TV presenter is joined each night by two food loving friends for a half hour of good fun and conversation as they cook up a variety of dishes centred around a nightly theme. Whether it’s an ingredient, a style of cuisine or cultural inspiration, Adam whips up his dish first before his guests follow suit with easy to follow recipes and tips for viewers to follow at home in time for dinner.

There’ll be celebrities, culture, food, and lots of laughs in a series that will provide everyday inspiration for foodies and non-foodies alike.

Guests include celebrated chefs like Colin Fassnidge, Christine Manfield, Giovanni Pilu, Jock Zonfrillo, Danielle Alvarez, Mark Best, Palisa Anderson, Frank Shek, Mark Olive and Ross Lusted to home cooks like Silvia Colloca, Pamela Clark, Lyndey Milan, Katherine Sabbath, Clarissa Feildel, Amina Elshafei and Lucy Tweed along with personalities Joel Creasey, Myf Warhurst, Yumi Stynes, Mark Humphries, Marc Fennell, Jessica Rowe, Benjamin Law, Kumi Taguchi, Mikey Robbins and Jane and Jimmy Barnes to name just a few.

There’s something for everyone with regular segments including Food for Thought featuring Adam’s cooking tips and techniques, food myth busting inFood vs Truth, and a Food Fight quiz where guests are put through their paces. SBS Food’s Managing Editor, Farah Celjo, will also present two segments Following Food and Top 5’s, sharing what’s trending online in the world of food.

Presenter Adam Liaw, said: “I’ve been lucky enough to film some amazing food series throughout my career, but nothing compares to The Cook Up, by far the biggest project I have ever undertaken. I can’t wait for SBS audiences to join my guests and I as we chop, chat and sauté our way through simple and delicious meals each evening. The Cook Up will hopefully help Australians expand their repertoire and add some extra flavour to their home cooking.”

SBS Commissioning Editor for Food, Josh Martin, said: “Today is a huge day for SBS as we celebrate The Cook Up, the biggest ever commission in our network’s history. The series is 200 episodes of inspiration and entertainment for everyone. Adam brings his trademark expertise and charm to every frame, making all guests feel at home and creating a lovely, inclusive space for guests to share their secrets – both personal and culinary! Food is the great unifier and The Cook Up aims to bring all Australians a taste of the world around them in a way they haven’t seen before.

The Cook Up with Adam Liaw is an SBS Original.

The Cook Up with Adam Liaw
streams weeknights on SBS from next Monday April 19 at 7.00pm and 10.00pm. It will encore on SBS Food at 11am weekdays and at 3.30pm on SBS main channel. SBS Food will air a marathon on Sundays at 2.00pm – 4.30pm. The series is available after broadcast on SBS On Demand.



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