No matter what you think of Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, there’s no denying the greats. Netflix and ESPN each recently successfully made multi-part docuseries about their respective stars. Now ESPN wants to apply the formula to another highly decorated but polarizing team sports star, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. The seven-part docuseries titled The captain features candid interviews with Jeter, his family, teammates, rivals and sports critics. The series explores Jeter’s five Yankee championships, including the 2000 victory as the World Series MVP. Jeter also discusses his 3,465 hit record as well as why his relationship with Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez went sour. Luckily for us, this week’s new show slate is pretty cool.
Resident Evil (Netflix, July 14)
This series of eight episodes is the last adaptation of the resident Evil video game franchise. In 2021, Sony released Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City and Netflix came out with the animated series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. It’s no surprise that Netflix is reinventing history given that resident Evil is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises in the world, selling over 120 million units. The novelty of the latest narrative incarnation is that it is resident Evil first live-action television series. The video game features heroes fighting against the Umbrella Corporation, an evil pharmaceutical company based in Raccoon City. The Netflix series is set in the year 2036, 14 years after a deadly virus caused a global apocalypse brought on by the Umbrella Corporation. Jade Wesker fights for her survival in a post-apocalyptic London, overrun by infected and bloodthirsty victims/creatures. In her fight for survival, Jade must also wrestle with her own memories of New Raccoon City, her father’s ties to the Umbrella Corporation, and the fate of her sister, Billie.
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons (Hulu, July 14)
This three-part documentary series investigates the rise and fall of Victoria’s Secret. Founded by billionaire retailer Les Wexner, the lingerie company was once worth $7.5 billion, making it one of the biggest brands in the world. Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bündchen were among the supermodels who walked the runways in angel wings and dazzling underwear to promote the company’s bras and underwear, which were not known for their quality. Things turned sour for the company when it was discovered that convicted child predator and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was once Wexler’s financial adviser and attorney. Epstein, the show reveals, posed as a “recruiter” for Victoria’s Secret, which led to sexual assault charges against him. It turns out that Wexler helped enrich Epstein. Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons director Matt Tyrnauer (Where’s my Roy Cohn?, The Reagans) is known for its behind-the-scenes documentaries and investigative journalism.
Hart To Heart – Season 2 (Peacock, July 14)
In the second season of this hour-long talk show, comedian Kevin Hart continues his focus on A-List celebrities. Season 2 will feature Pete Davidson, Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Mark Wahlberg, Tracee Ellis Ross, Mike Tyson, Saweetie, Tyler Perry, Kristen Stewart, Simu Liu, and Seth McFarlan. If you like Netflix My Next Guest Needs No Introduction Starring David Lettermanthen you might like Heart to Heart. Like Letterman’s show, Heart to Heart is funny and insightful. (Note: This celebrity talk show features wine.)
The Rehearsal (HBO Max, July 15)
Fielder, known for his Comedy Central show Nathan for you is back, but this time it’s not helping small businesses. No. This time he helps people solve their problems. Fielder is the star, writer, director, and executive producer of the unscripted series. Each episode features everyday people preparing for one of the greatest moments of their lives. Moments include making a life changing decision or having an awkward/difficult conversation. Fielder rehearses with each person using actors, props and sets to give them the best chance of success. If it sounds weird, that’s because it is. But the critics eat it. “Repetition will move you. Even as a genre hybrid, rigorously mixing raw reactions with scripted machinations, Fielder’s series honestly explores the journeys of its subjects as well as its own,” wrote IndieWire’s Ben Travers.
Don’t Make Me Go (Amazon Prime Video, July 15)
This tearful follows single father Max (John Cho) and his teenage daughter Wally Park (Mia Isaac) as they embark on a journey across the country. Unbeknownst to Wally, the duo are on their way to meet his ex-mother, Nicole (Jen Van Epps). Max arranges the meeting because he is terminally ill and hopes to give his daughter a relationship with her mother before she leaves. The film premiered at the Tribeca Festival in April. “We may not like the way it ends, but the road (and the twists and turns within) is a joy, heartbreaking and encouraging in equal measure,” wrote IndieWire’s Kate Erbland.
Zombies 3 (Disney Plus, July 15)
This third installment in the musical dance zombie franchise follows undead football player Zed (Milo Manheim) and human cheerleader Addison (Meg Donnelly) as they enter their senior year of high school in Seabrook, a city that is a safe haven for monsters and humans alike. But when alien beings arrive at Seabrook, chaos ensues. RuPaul Charles joins the cast as the voice of “The Mothership,” a passive-aggressive UFO that brings aliens to earth. The first broadcast of Zombies in 2018 and its sequel Zombies 2 in 2020 on Disney Channel ranked as the #1 movie in linear television among kids ages 6-11 and tweens ages 9-14 for the entire year of their debut, according to Nielsen. “A fine example of tolerance, Zombies 3 kicks off lessons of acceptance while performing some of the most intricate dance moves known to man, dead or alive,” wrote Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Bruce R. Miller.
The Captain (ESPN Plus, July 18)
This seven-episode series about Derek Jeter, who became captain of the Yankees in 2003, focuses on the baseball superstar’s 20-season career as well as his personal life. Topics explored include: growing up biracial in Michigan; the day Jeter was drafted by the Yankees in 1992; his five Yankees World Series championships, including victory in 2000 when he was the World Series MVP; and its record of 3,465 visits. Fans will be especially interested in episode 3, which focuses on Jeter’s fragile relationship with fellow baseball legend Alex Rodriguez. This docuseries is reminiscent of Netflix’s the last dance and the recent ESPN Arena Man: Tom Brady, in that it is an in-depth retrospective of a living legend. Of course, Brady and Jeter served as producers on their respective projects, making each series at least a little biased.
Colosseum (History Vault, July 18)
This eight-part docuseries chronicles the rise and fall of the Roman Empire by telling the story of the Colosseum. Each episode focuses on a historical figure who played a key role in the Roman Empire. Spanning several hundred years, the series unfolds chronologically, from the day the arena opened to its very last gladiator fights in the 5th century. Live action sequences, special effects, and commentary with leading experts and scholars bring each historical figure to life. If you are a history buff or loved the BBC Me, ClaudiusHBO Rome or Universal Gladiatorthen Coliseum worth a watch.
Aftershock (Hulu, July 19)
This documentary tells the story of two young black women who died from complications during childbirth that could have been prevented. Through interviews with bereaved fathers and mothers, birth attendants and doctors, the film examines the maternal health crisis plaguing the country. After winning the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for American Documentary for Impact for Change in January, Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News acquired the docu. “A revealing and alarming documentary” wrote RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen.
Virgin River Season 4 (Netflix, July 20)
The show stars Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner who moves from Los Angeles to the titular small town in Northern California. Since debuting in December 2019, the romantic drama has become one of Netflix’s biggest hits. Based on the eponymous book series by Robyn Carr, the show is a regular on Netflix’s Top 10 list. Season 4 will pick up where Season 3 left off – Melinda is pregnant and doesn’t know who the baby’s father is. “Even though Virgin River sometimes deals with a lot of soap, it always comes down to the very real and very honest issues affecting women today,” wrote Fairs Kaitlin Thomas on the third season. Netflix has already greenlit the fifth season of Virgin River.