Something to Stream Every Day this Week: ‘A League of Their Own,’ ‘Tales of the Walking Dead’ Premieres; ‘I Am Groot’ Shorts
In a world where there is an insurmountable amount of content to watch and an ever-increasing number of streaming services to watch it on, sometimes you need something (or someone) to just tell you what to watch on a given day. So while you certainly don’t have to take all of my recommendations, I’ve selected one thing every day this week that promises to be a worthwhile streaming option. So here are my picks for what to stream every day of the week from Monday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022.
Monday, Aug. 8
“Darby and Joan” Two-Episode Series Premiere | Acorn TV
I don’t know what it is, but there is just something so soothing about British TV, even when it involves grief, mysteries and actually takes place in the Australian outback. On Monday, the new Acorn TV Original road trip comedy “Darby and Joan” follows a retired Australian police officer and his dog as they team up with a widow from England to travel across Australia.
Darby and Joan
An English widow on a reluctant quest. An Australian detective escaping his past. When lives collide, two strangers embark on an epic outback odyssey together.
As the two strangers set out on an adventure in Joan’s massive RV, they get themselves mixed up in various situations both romantic and dangerous, while also dealing with the difficult circumstances that led them out on their respective journies to begin with. Starring award-winning actors Bryan Brown and Greta Scacchi, this eight-episode series is sure to deliver all of the laughs, thrills, and feels that only the best TV can supply. And what’s more, I’ve never watched anything on British streamer Acorn TV that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed.
Tuesday, Aug. 9
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp” Season Premiere | HBO Max
I know that it is still summer across the country and that many areas are dealing with record heats, but, friends, it is now officially football season! With the preseason Hall of Fame game happening last week and preseason college camps kicking off in earnest this week, it is time to completely dive into the gridiron content.
Last season, the Detroit Lions welcomed in new quarterback Jared Goff as their former signal caller Matthew Stafford went west and won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. Now, the Lions will look to improve behind their young QB heading into Year 2.
An inside look at NFL training camps. From the top coaches to the rookies trying to make the team, Hard Knocks showcases what it takes to be in the NFL.
The five-episode, preseason version of the long-running “Hard Knocks” franchise kicks off on Tuesday, and while — as a native Ohioan — I have no love lost for anything based in Michigan, I’m ready for all of the yelling, preseason platitudes, and sky-high expectations that we have come to expect from a team that is perennially at the bottom of their division, as the Lions were last year.
Wednesday, Aug. 10
“I Am Groot” Premiere | Disney+
I contemplated making the entire section for this item just “I am Groot,” over and over again, but as funny as I would think that is, it probably wouldn’t be the best journalistic practice. So, I will continue with actual facts about the series. This upcoming set of five original, animated shorts focus on the tree-adjacent “Guardians of the Galaxy” hero in his regenerative “Baby Groot” stage.
While Groot looks like a tree, he is some sort of wood-like alien who even after being destroyed is able to restart his life cycle as a sapling. So, while we have seen him in various stages of development, these shorts take a look at the “toddler” version of Groot, who is sure to get into all kinds of mischievous trouble.
Again voiced by Vin Diesel — in what has to be the easiest voiceover gig in Hollywood history — the shorts will feature several new and unusual characters when all five drop on Disney+ this Wednesday. Or, if you prefer it in Groot’s native language, “I am Groot. i AM groot. I AM GROOOOOOT.”
Thursday, Aug. 11
“Send Help” Series Premiere | ALLBLK
The new dark comedy “Send Help” premieres this week on AMC Networks-owned streamer ALLBLK. The series follows a Haitian American actor starring in a popular TV series who begins to see his life unravel as he deals with professional and romantic issues, all the while avoiding dealing with a recent family tragedy.
This show has everything that I look for in something to watch, it has humor, heart, a little bit of Hollywood naval-gazing, and a unique voice and perspective that we don’t often get to see on television.
Friday, Aug. 12
“A League of Their Own” Series Premiere | Prime Video
While generations before me had “Bull Durham” and “The Natural,” baseball fans my age had “Field of Dreams” and “A League of Their Own.” Both still hold up as classics and even though Peacock recently passed on the Michael Schur-helmed “Field of Dreams” series, I could not be more excited that Prime Video’s series take on “A League of Their Own” is finally arriving this week — ironically featuring two stars of previous Schur projects.
A League of Their Own
In 1943, Carson Shaw travels to Chicago to try out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. There, she meets other women who also dream of playing pro baseball and makes connections that open up her world. Rockford local Max Chapman also comes to the tryouts but is turned away. With the support of her best friend Clance, she must forge a new path to pursue her dream.
Abbi Jacobson — who also is the series co-creator — stars as one of a new crop of WWII-era women baseball players. The story does not tie directly into the original film’s storylines, but does begin with the formation of the league and follows players through “close games, injuries, sexual awakenings and road trips across a rapidly changing U.S.”
Joining Jacobson in the cast are Chanté Adams, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Priscilla Delgado, former “The Good Place” star D’Arcy Carden, and former “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman. Although my Cincinnati Reds have effectively been out of playoff contention since the first week of the season, I am ready for all of the baseball action kicking off on Friday.
Saturday, Aug. 13
“South Park The 25th Anniversary Concert” | Comedy Central at 10 p.m. ET and Paramount+ the next day
I have a confession to make: I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen a full episode of “South Park” from start to finish. What makes that even crazier is to consider that when the show premiered on Comedy Central, I was very much in the target demographic; the first episode aired just a few weeks before I started college in 1999.
Crazy, right? But what makes this regrettable fact even more shocking is that I consider “South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut” to be one of my favorite movies of all time; like top-5 or top-10 level favorite.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance and Philip, they are pronounced “corrupted”, and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada.
That movie is one of the best modern movie musicals ever made, and if you don’t believe me, the late musical theatre god Stephen Sondheim thought the same thing (he famously voted for the “South Park” team’s “Team America World Police” for Best Picture at the Oscars). So, while I am not sure that I will know many of the songs featured in this Saturday’s 25th Anniversary Concert, between “Bigger, Longer, Uncut” and “The Book of Mormon” — which Trey Parker and Matt Stone co-wrote — it definitely feels like it is worth checking out this weekend.
Sunday, Aug. 14
“Tales of the Walking Dead” Series Premiere | AMC+
The “Walking Dead” cinematic universe continues to expand as this coming Sunday, AMC and AMC+ debut a new, star-studded anthology series set in the post-zombie apocalypse world that fans know and fear. Each of the season’s six episodes will focus on a different character — some new and some familiar to “TWD” diehards — and will stand alone (for now).
The series will feature Anthony Edwards, Parker Posey, Jillian Bell, Terry Crews, Olivia Munn, Poppy Liu, Danny Ramirez, and more.
Tales of the Walking Dead
Six original one-hour standalone episodes focused on both new and established characters within the walker apocalypse. Each episode has its own distinct tone and point of view — but the stakes are high in each story, pushing new, indelible characters with relentless, life-threatening choices and situations. We get to see the apocalypse through different eyes, discovering more worlds, mythos, and mysteries of the Walking Dead.
With the original “TWD” series wrapping up this November, “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 8 prepping for a return, and three new spinoffs set to premiere next year, if “Tales of the Walking Dead” does well, I would not be surprised if whichever stars survive their episodes, return in either a second season, a completely new series, or one of the recently announced spinoffs.
All media companies — linear, theatrical, and streaming — are looking for blockbuster, tentpole content, and “TWD” universe is very much that for AMC. No one should be surprised if the network keeps pumping out more zombie stories for the foreseeable future… or until we are all eaten alive.