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3 can’t-miss streaming TV shows to look forward to in May

Published Apr 29th, 2024 7:30PM EDT
Bridgerton on Netflix
Image: Liam Daniel/Netflix

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From a mind-bending and twist-filled new drama from Apple TV+ to the return of a Netflix blockbuster and an underrated Prime Video Western, May is already shaping up to be an exciting month for streaming TV shows — with both new and returning titles already starting to pile up on the release calendar.

Below, we’re going to take a look at three of the most interesting May TV releases that we think are worth adding to your watch list. This collection will certainly grow in the coming weeks, but here are at least a few TV shows to get started with for now. And if you need more ideas for new shows to watch, you can always check out our regular weekend feature running down the biggest shows each week from all the major streamers.

For now, let’s take a closer look at three of our top picks coming in May.

Dark Matter (Apple TV+, May 8)

First up is Apple TV+, which is set to add a new release to its growing list of critically acclaimed sci-fi series like Silo, Foundation, and For All Mankind.

Dark Matter on Apple TV+
Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly in “Dark Matter.” Image source: Apple

Dark Matter is adapted from Blake Crouch’s novel of the same — a book, I might add, that was hailed as one of the best sci-fi novels of the decade following its publication in 2016. It was certainly one that I couldn’t put down, thanks to its addictive storyline involving an ordinary man caught up in the multiverse with a seemingly infinite number of his other selves.

The multiverse is almost always a super-fun concept to play with in sci-fi, and in the case of this Apple TV+ series the central character is a physicist and professor played by Joel Edgerton. One night, while walking home in Chicago, he’s abducted into an alternate timeline. In order to get back to his life, his home, and his true family, he has to defeat a brilliant enemy that knows all the moves he’ll make before he actually makes them: Himself.

Bridgerton Season 3, Part 1 (Netflix, May 16)

These next two TV shows, meanwhile, both debut on the same day in May. We’ll start with Netflix’s, which is one of the biggest streaming franchises of the past few years: Bridgerton, season three of which is just around the corner.

Bridgerton on Netflix
Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich and Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in episode 302 of “Bridgerton.” Image source: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Season 3 of Bridgerton from Shondaland has a new showrunner (Jess Brownell) and will also be split into two chunks, with episodes 1-4 arriving on May 16 — followed by episodes 5-8 on June 13. In terms of the story, Nicola Coughlan’s Penelope Featherington has finally given up on her crush on Colin Bridgerton as a result of hearing his nasty remarks about her last season.

She’s also finally ready to take a husband, especially one who will allow her to continue to enjoy the kind of independence she needs for her double life as Lady Whistledown. Her old crush, Colin, is also back from his summer travels and eager to re-establish a friendship with Penelope, who’s now giving him the cold shoulder. Complicating the feelings between them even more is Penelope’s growing presence in the “ton,” which makes it increasingly difficult to keep a lid on her alter ego.

Netflix is going all-out for the new season, by the way, with an activation in New York City on May 11 that calls for transforming a plaza there into the Bridgerton Promenade. Nicole W. Brown, founder and CEO of lifestyle brand Izzy & Liv, has also created an exclusive collection for Target that will add Bridgerton charm to items like robes, pajamas, slippers, gifts, and hosting essentials.

Outer Range Season 2 (Prime Video, May 16)

Finally, we come to one of the more unusual TV shows being released in May — unusual, in the sense that it’s not like anything else you’ll find on streaming at the moment.

Outer Range on Prime Video
Josh Brolin as Royal Abbott in “Outer Range.” Image source: Prime Video

If you haven’t checked out Prime Video’s Outer Range, or even heard of it, think of it as sort of like Yellowstone meets Stranger Things. A brooding and goateed Josh Brolin stars here as Royal Abbott, a rancher fighting for his land and family, a la John Dutton.

Abbott discovers a dark void at the edge of his property in Wyoming, a mysterious phenomenon that gets even more incredible in season two of the show (which comes from showrunner Charles Murray). Across seven episodes, season two of Outer Range really ratchets up the twists and surprises that have been building since season one — with Royal and his wife Cecelia (Lili Taylor), for example, now struggling to hold the family together after their granddaughter’s sudden disappearance.

Meanwhile, the mystery of that void threatens to shake the foundation of time itself. Speaking of time, Outer Range has some of the most unforgettable scenes from a TV show that I’ve encountered in quite a while — starting with a corpse yelling “Time is a mother f***er!” at Brolin’s Abbott while he, himself, is falling through time.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.