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The Ultimate Guide to What to Watch on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and More (May 2022)

Two of the biggest shows of the year are still coming this month

Kelly Connolly

There's only a week left in May, but that doesn't mean it's time to write off the month when it comes to finding good things to watch on TV. In fact, we know most of you out there have had May 27 circled on your calendars for months now, because that's the release date of the new season of Netflix's Stranger Things and the debut season Disney+'s Obi-Wan Kenobi, arguably two of the most anticipated series of the year. We've seen Stranger Things, but we're still curious about Obi-Wan

Below, we've put together everything you need to plan your month of TV watching, starting with our picks for the very best shows out this month. Then we'll go through each major streaming service so you can get the most out of your subscription, whether you're looking to find the best new releases to watch or a larger list of the best shows and movies currently on the service. And finally, our easy-to-read calendar at the bottom of the page lists all the month's highlights from a variety of streaming, cable, and broadcast options. Happy watching!

Looking for the Ultimate Guide to What to Watch in June?

The Best Shows and Movies to Watch in May

Ewan McGregor, Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor, Obi-Wan Kenobi


I Love That for You (May 1, Showtime)

Saturday Night Live veteran Vanessa Bayer created and stars in this dark comedy about an untalented home shopping network host who says she has cancer in order to keep from getting fired. The thing is, she really did have cancer when she was a kid, but she doesn't now. It's loosely inspired by Bayer's own experience with childhood leukemia. Bayer is incredible at playing characters whose cheerful disposition only draws more attention to the pain and sadness they think they're hiding, so this is the perfect use of her talents. The cast also includes Molly Shannon, Jenifer Lewis, and Matt Rogers. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

Girls5eva (May 5, Peacock)

One of my favorite shows that got me through the pandemic lockdown was this goofy escape about a girl group from the '90s that tries to reunite today. Except they're 20+ years older, one of them acts even older than that, and one of them is dead. Produced by 30 Rock's Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, it's a fast-moving comedy with more jokes in a minute than most shows have by their first commercial break. The cast is excellent, led by a truly inspiring performance by Reneé Elise Goldsberry as a diva with everything but the fame and fortune, and should only get better with the Season 2 additions of Amy Sedaris and Neil Flynn. Yes, Girls5eva is returning on 5/5, which is very 5tuitous. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Candy (May 9, Hulu)

Following Season 1 of The Sinner, Jessica Biel goes back to stabbing people on television in this five-night true crime miniseries about Candy Montgomery (Biel), a housewife in the 1980s who has an affair with her friend's (Melanie Lynskey) husband (Pablo Schreiber) after she feels constrained by the conformities of being a housewife. That leads to the stabbing, or hacking, actually, since the murder weapon was an ax. Hulu is trying something different with Candy; the miniseries will release one new episode per day, starting Monday, May 9, and ending Friday, May 13. -Tim Surette [Trailer]     

Hacks (May 12, HBO Max)

HBO Max's best original comedy, heck, series (yeah, I said it), returns for Season 2, which finds Deborah (Jean Smart) and Ava (Hannah Einbinder) going on a cross-country tour to test out new material. What will Deborah do when she inevitably learns about Ava giving defamatory information about her to those TV producers at the end of Season 1? I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

Night Sky (May 20, Prime Video)

Amazon's got a thing for older people finding weird passageways to weirder places. Following Josh Brolin's "cowboy finds a hole" show Outer Range comes J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek's "couple finds a portal to another planet" show Night Sky. In it, Simmons and Spacek's characters keep their secret from everyone... until someone else shows up. Commence the sci-fi mystery! -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Obi-Wan Kenobi (May 27, Disney+)

Ewan McGregor has been keeping his Jedi skills fresh by using the Force to open automatic doors, practice that will finally pay off when he gets his lightsaber back in his new Disney+ limited series. Obi-Wan Kenobi picks up with the Jedi master 10 years after the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and it also marks the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Defenders of the prequels, this is your time to shine. Here's everything we know about the series. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

Stranger Things 4 (May 27, Netflix) 

The beloved sci-fi adventure series is finally back for its fourth season, after an interminable three-year break. It's Netflix's TV event of the year. It might single-handedly revive the steamer's stock price. There's a lot riding on this season, and if the trailer is to be believed, the Duffer Brothers & co. are going to deliver. The kids face a new threat from the Upside Down, while Hopper (David Harbour) fights to survive in a Soviet prison camp. The first part of Season 4 drops May 27, with the second half coming in July. -Liam Mathews [Trailer | Review]

The Best Shows and Movies in May by Streaming Service: Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, and More

Jessica Biel, Candy

Jessica Biel, Candy


The Best Shows and Movies on Hulu in May

Have you ever wished you could see Jessica Biel in a curly-haired wig and big glasses wielding an ax and chopping up her friend? If so, then you have problems. But you'll also get your wish granted in May, when Biel stars in the new true-crime miniseries Candy, which comes to Hulu on May 9. It's just one of the new shows coming to Hulu in May. On May 15, fans of the Sally Rooney novel Conversations With Friends (and the previous Rooney adaptation Normal People) get to see the small-screen adaptation about friends, husbands, and wives with benefits. Season 6 of OWN's Queen Sugar comes to Hulu on May 16, the Hulu original film The Valet pulls up on May 20, and the Letterkenny spin-off Shoresy premieres May 27. Here's our list of the best shows and movies on Hulu in May, plus everything coming to Hulu in May.

More on Hulu

Colin Firth and Toni Collette, The Staircase

Colin Firth and Toni Collette, The Staircase


The Best Shows and Movies on HBO and HBO Max in May

As if the idea of Colin Firth doing an American accent isn't unnerving enough, it just so happens that he's doing it for the scripted TV version of an especially unnerving true crime case. In HBO Max's The Staircase, Firth plays Michael Peterson, a writer who was accused of killing his wife after claiming she died by falling down a staircase in their home. The miniseries premieres May 5. Other options on HBO and HBO Max in May include Season 2 of one of last year's best (and funniest) new shows, Hacks, returning May 12, and The Time Traveler's Wife, an unintentionally funny TV adaptation of the 2003 romance novel, on May 15. Two very different documentaries that will interest two very different nerd groups (Broadway nerds and comedy nerds) also premiere in May: Spring Awakening: Those You've Known, which doubles as a concert film in honor of the rock musical's 15th anniversary, and George Carlin's American Dream, which is co-directed by Judd Apatow. Here's our list of the best shows and movies on HBO and HBO Max in May, plus everything coming to HBO and HBO Max in May.

More on HBO and HBO Max:

Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin, Stranger Things

Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin, Stranger Things


The Best Shows and Movies on Netflix in May

Stranger ThingsStranger ThingsStranger Things! The only thing you really need to know about the new movies and shows coming to Netflix in May begins with "S" and ends with "tranger Things." Season 4 of Netflix's most popular series premieres at the end of the month on May 27, and if you're like us, you will be finishing the season on May 27. But there's plenty more coming to Netflix in May. For dads, there's The Lincoln Lawyer (May 13), a legal drama based on the books by Bosch author Michael Connelly. For kids, there's a Marmaduke CGI movie (May 6), with Pete Davidson of all people providing the voice of the big dog. For moms, there's Workin' Moms (May 10) and Outlander Season 5 (also May 10). And for masochists and/or stoners, there's Mike Myers' new show The Pentaverate (May 5). Here's our list of the best shows and movies on Netflix in May, plus everything coming to Netflix in May

More on Netflix:

Night Sky

Night Sky

Amazon Studios

The Best Shows and Movies on Amazon Prime Video in May

In May, Prime Video sends you back to Girl Island (and Boy Island!) in Season 2 of The Wilds (May 6), the YA drama about teen girls who crash land on an island that was better than Yellowjackets in its first season (you heard me). Later in the month is the revival of The Kids in the Hall (May 13), as well as Night Sky (May 20), a new sci-fi series starring J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. Fresh off its April 27 name change, Freevee (formerly known as IMDb TV) has a couple of enticing offerings in Bosch: Legacy (May 6) and the Australian crime drama Troppo (May 20). And you want classic movies? Watch Will Smith slap the s--- out of some aliens in Independence Day on Amazon starting May 1, or stream Galaxy Quest, arguably the greatest movie of all time, on Freevee at the top of the month. Here's our list of the best shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video in May, plus everything coming to Prime Video in May.

More on Amazon:

Busy Phillips, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles, and Paula Pell, Girls5eva

Busy Phillips, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sara Bareilles, and Paula Pell, Girls5eva

Zach Dilgard/Peacock

The Best Shows and Movies Streaming Everywhere Else in May

Get your lightsabers ready for Obi-Wan Kenobi, coming out of hiding on Disney+ (May 27). Also on Disney+, Cinderella gets a sneakerhead update in Sneakerella (May 13) and John Mulaney and Andy Samberg voice Chip and Dale in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (May 20). Apple TV+ is getting creepy in May with The Essex Serpent (May 13), a new drama starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston... and a mythical creature. The streamer also has Now and Then (May 20), a thriller about a group of college friends with a secret. Peacock is bringing us all 3gether for Season 2 of Girls5eva (May 5) and the Zac Efron-starring Stephen King adaptation Firestarter (May 13). Finally, Paramount+ expands its Star Trek universe with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (May 5) and sounds the alarm about the climate crisis with Black Gold (May 17).

More on Apple TV+, Peacock, Disney+, and Paramount+:

May TV Calendar Highlights

Sunday, May 1
I Love That for You (Showtime)
Ziwe (Showtime)

Tuesday, May 3
Spring Awakening: Those You've Known (HBO)

Thursday, May 5
Girls5eva (Peacock)
The Pentaverate (Netflix)
The Staircase (HBO Max)
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)

Friday, May 6
Bosch: Legacy (Freevee)
Hatching (Hulu)
Marmaduke (Netflix)
The Wilds (Prime Video)

Monday, May 9
Breeders (FX)
Candy (Hulu)

Tuesday, May 10
Workin' Moms (Netflix)
Operation Mincemeat (Netflix)

Wednesday, May 11
The Challenge: All Stars (Paramount+)

Thursday, May 12
Hacks (HBO Max)

Friday, May 13
Couples Therapy (Showtime)
The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+)
Firestarter (Peacock)
The Kids in the Hall (Prime Video)
The Lincoln Lawyer (Netflix)
Sneakerella (Disney+)

Sunday, May 15
Billboard Music Awards (NBC)
Conversations With Friends (Hulu)
The Time Traveler's Wife (HBO)

Tuesday, May 17
Black Gold (Paramount+)

Wednesday, May 18
Love on the Spectrum U.S. (Netflix)

Thursday, May 19
Angelyne (Peacock)

Friday, May 20
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney+)
George Carlin's American Dream (HBO)
Jackass 4.5 (Netflix)
Love, Death + Robots (Netflix)
Night Sky (Prime Video)
Now and Then (Apple TV+)
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars (Paramount+)
Troppo (Freevee)
The Valet (Hulu)

Tuesday, May 24
This Is Us series finale (NBC)

Friday, May 27
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
Shoresy (Hulu)
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Tuesday, May 31
Pistol (Hulu)