Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Rain,’ ‘Anon,’ “Lady M - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Rain,’ ‘Anon,’ “Lady Macbeth,’ and more

By Will Nicol

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Streaming entertainment is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort through the good and the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and other services.

On the list this week: A frightening new series from director Mike Flanagan, a puzzling new series from the creator of Mad Men, and a long-awaited reunion.

‘The Haunting of Hill House’ season 1

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Shirley Jackson’s horror novel The Haunting of Hill House has been adapted for film a couple times, first in 1963, then again in 1999, and Mike Flanagan’s new take on the story might be the most ambitious yet. The television series follows the various members of the Crain family, who suffered through a traumatic event that haunts them over decades. The first season comprises 10 episodes, with the first half of the season exploring the disparate lives of the various Crain children, who along with their father, fled their childhood home the night their mother died. The Crains have grown apart by adulthood, each coping with their terrifying memories in different ways. Like a black hole, however, the house has a terrible gravity, drawing them back. Horror movies have to delicately maintain tension over the course of a couple hours, and it remains to be seen if The Haunting of Hill House can pace itself well over 10 episodes — let alone another subsequent seasons — but given Flanagan’s string of good horror movies (Oculus and Hush, among others), horror fans should give it a shot.

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‘The Kindergarten Teacher’

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Art and obsession go hand in hand in Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, a creepy thriller about a teacher who takes too great an interest in a student’s talent. The film follows Lisa (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the aforementioned teacher, who moonlights as a poet desperate to succeed. Her poetry is lackluster, however, and she can’t seem to improve. When she discovers that one of her students, Jimmy (Parker Sevak), has a knack for poetry, she decides to nurture his talents, crossing a few lines in the process. The Kindergarten Teacher is a tense character study, built around a devilish performance from Gyllenhaal.

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‘Flight of the Conchords: Live in London’

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New Zealand’s guitar-playing comedic duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement were some of the biggest stars in the galaxy of early aughts comedy, performing as an act called Flight of the Conchords, making hilarious folk songs about topics like the robot apocalypse or David Bowie being lost in space. After a long hiatus, the Flight of the Conchords are back together in Live in London, a showcase of material both old and new. Nostalgic fans will probably appreciate the renditions of the old hits, but the new songs are the real draw, as Clement and McKenzie demonstrate that they are not only still funny, but also still pretty talented musicians.

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‘Into the Dark: The Body’

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Into the Dark is a new monthly horror series, with each episode set on a particular holiday in the month it comes out. The first episode, released in October, is naturally set on Halloween (sorry, International Coffee Day). The Body follows a hitman (Tom Bateman) trying to dispose of his latest victim on Halloween night. As he drags the body around with him, people assume he’s just rocking a cool costume, unaware of the danger they’re in. The Body leans a bit more into comedy than most people might want in a horror show, but the larger series is an interesting premise, one that will hopefully evolve each month.

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‘The Romanoffs’ season 1

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A new series from the creator of Mad Men, The Romanoffs follows a variety of characters, each of whom believes themselves to be descended from the Romanov dynasty, the aristocratic rulers of the Russian Empire. Each episode is its own story, with different characters and even varying tones: One early episode follows a man (Aaron Eckhart) waiting for his wealthy aunt to die and leave him an inheritance, another is a psychological horror movie about an actress (Christina Hendricks) dealing with a diabolical director (Isabelle Huppert). Each episode of The Romanoffs is feature-length, making it a larger time investment than a typical show, and like many TV anthologies, the quality of the stories may vary, but it’s an ambitious project with a lot of potential.

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