This week: It’s an early look at Netflix’s dystopic drama du jour starring Sandra Bullock; teasers for not one but two big Amazon shows this season; a pop-eats-itself drama starring Natalie Portman; a look at upcoming TV docs on the N.B.A. and abuse allegations surrounding R. Kelly, respectively; and the final trailer for the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Get to viewin’, folks.
Blindfolds, bells and Sandra Bullock wandering in a forest, yelling “Please don’t take my children!” Ok, you have our attention. This Netflix-distributed dystopic thriller concerns an epidemic, an entity that takes on the form of your worst fears and the complete breakdown of civilization as we know it. Bullock, Moonlight‘s Trevante Rhodes and John Malkovich, along with the actress’s screen kids, have to survive come hell or high water. (Cue scenes of them river-rafting on high water.) It’s out Dec. 21st, assuming our own society makes it that long.
Fox drops one last look at the long-in-the-making Queen biopic, throwing together a lot of Rami Malek vamping as Mercury, the band sticking together through thick and thin, and some quick glimpses of the Live Aid performance recreation, all set to “Under Pressure.” Best of all are the opening moments in which you see the actor done the sunglasses and go full-on Freddie. Opens Nov. 2nd.
Homecoming, Season One
Hands down, the best trailer of the week: A nerve-jangling, WTF-is-going-on look at Amazon’s new conspiracy thriller starring Julia Roberts, playing a counselor at a center for returning veterans. Only, what’s really going on there? Why is Bobby Cannavale chasing here? What’s up with the changing aspect ratios? Could this show possibly be as tense as it looks here? (Answer: yes.) It’s from Sam Esmail, the man behind Mr. Robot; it starts Nov. 2nd; you’ll want to check this one out.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 2
She’s back! The Emmy-winning breakout hit of last year returns, with more vintage stand-up comedy, great Rachel Brosnahan line readings, those outfits and that set design, Alex Borstein sidekicking like a champ, eloquent smart-ass dialogue (“Alone, I am a spitoon, with you I am a somebody!”) and overall small-screen marvelousness. Dec. 5th can’t come soon enough.
Shut Up and Dribble
Ah yes, you may remember that statement from good ol’ Laura Ingraham, in regards to pro-athletes expressing their opinions. This multi-episode Showtime doc on “the modern history of the N.B.A.” reclaims the dig as a mantra and a title — in terms of pro-basketball players being agents of social change, the movie suggests, shutting up is thankfully the last thing they plan on doing. Everyone from LeBron to Kareem, Magic Johnson to James Harden get their moment in the trailer’s spotlight. Even if you’re not a die-hard b-ball fanatic, this series looks compelling as hell. It premieres Nov. 2nd.
Surviving R. Kelly
“There’s a difference between R. Kelly and Robert,” we’re told. One’s a fun-loving guy; the other “is the devil.” This three-night, six-part Lifetime event (starting on Jan. 3rd) promises to get into the nitty gritty of the child-pornography accusations, the sex cult rumors, the mind games and manipulation, the payouts, the complicit folks around him — the whole enchilada. And judging from the clip, there are a lot of people ready to talk on the record.
Ah, 2018 — when Gaga becomes a serious actress and Natalie Portman plays a Gaga-like pop star. The trailer for this fall festival favorite (it’s coming to a theater near you on Dec. 7th) plays up the character’s diva-like behavior: reading the riot act to a music journalist, throwing attitude at a press conference, falling over in hallways, giving good mean-girl glare, pounding a restaurant table when someone asks for an autograph. There’s other stuff that happens too, but if nothing else, the clip gives you a sense of the pop-singer schadenfreude of director Brady Corbet’s drama.