Something to Stream Every Day this Week: ‘Better Call Saul’ Finale; ‘House of the Dragon,’ ‘She-Hulk’ Premieres, UFC 278
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. 15 through Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.
Monday, Aug. 15
“Better Call Saul” Series Finale | AMC+
It is the end of an era on AMC and AMC+ as the story of Jimmy McGill officially comes to an end in the season finale of “Better Call Saul.” While we know that the character moves on to fully embrace the persona of Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad,” timelines are all over the place as the prequel series comes to a close on Monday.
The show has accomplished something that very few spin-off series ever have, and at least equaled — if not surpassed — the iconic original in terms of quality.
Better Call Saul
Six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White. We meet him when the man who will become Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside, and, often, against Jimmy, is “fixer” Mike Ehrmantraut. The series tracks Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman, the man who puts “criminal” in “criminal lawyer”.
In the preview for the finale, we hear Saul (or maybe it’s Gene) trying to order an extraction from Ed while his car appears to be up-side-down in a ditch. Now that he’s confirmed to be alive and presumably on the run, the future is very uncertain for our favorite ambulance chaser. There will likely be nothing more popular on TV (and social media) on Monday than this finale, so don’t miss out.
Tuesday, Aug. 16
“Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist” Premiere | Netflix
I am old enough to remember the sheer lunacy of the entire Manti Te’o/fake girlfriend fiasco of 2013. It was equal parts sad, ridiculous, disgusting, and heartbreaking. Now, the Netflix documentary series “Untold:” is back with a new edition completely devoted to what is very likely the highest profile example of catfishing that we have ever seen.
The two-part documentary is the sixth installment of the nine-part “Untold:” series, and will look at Te’o’s All-America football career and how being duped by an acquaintance nearly ruined his life, career, and legacy.
Wednesday, Aug. 17
“On the Count of Three” | Hulu
It has been a good year for Jerrod Carmichael. After the release of his critically acclaimed comedy special “Rothaniel” and his successful turn hosting “Saturday Night Live,” the multi-hyphenate star is making his feature film directing debut with the black comedy “On the Count of Three” debuting on Hulu this Wednesday.
Carmichael stars alongside Christopher Abbott as a pair of best friends who make a suicide pact before going off on one last day to tie up loose ends.
On the Count of Three
Val has reached a place where he feels the only way out is to end things. But he considers himself a bit of a failure—his effectiveness lacking—so he figures he could use some help. As luck would have it, Val’s best friend, Kevin, is recovering from a failed suicide attempt, so he seems like the perfect partner for executing this double suicide plan. But before they go, they have some unfinished business to attend to.
Also in the cast are Tiffany Haddish — who co-starred on NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” — Henry Winkler, J. B. Smoove, and more. After premiering at Sundance in 2021, the film had a limited release in the United States this past May before arriving on streaming.
Carmichael is an immensely talented and truthful performer, comedian, and storyteller, so there is little doubt that this has all the makings to be a funny and emotionally satisfying film.
Thursday, Aug. 18
“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” Series Premiere | Disney+
There are very few things that I have looked forward to more than Tatiana Maslaney coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I stand by my longtime assertion that the first season of “Orphan Black” was one of the most incredible seasons of television that I have ever seen and that Maslaney’s Emmy-winning turn on that show represents one of the best acting performances ever captured on film.
She so naturally played multiple characters with disparate personalities and physical traits that when one of them wasn’t featured on a given episode, I genuinely felt sorry for the actress playing her because she wasn’t on the show that week… I then had to remind myself that they were all the same actress.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Jennifer Walters navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.
What makes Tat’s arrival in the MCU even more exciting is that she is playing a character that gives her the ability to flex all of her acting muscles (pun only somewhat intended). “She-Hulk” appears to be the MCU’s most light-hearted Disney+ story yet, as Jennifer Walters has always been one of the funniest characters in comics canon. Long before Deadpool started doing it, Walters broke the fourth wall by talking directly to readers and based on the show’s trailers and teasers, that isn’t going to stop in live action.
After seeing her on and off Broadway pre-pandemic, I am so incredibly excited to have Maslaney back on my TV, especially since “She-Hulk” is abandoning the traditional MCU streaming formula and the first season will consist of nine episodes instead of six. I am ready to smash an entire season of this show starting on Thursday.
Friday, Aug. 19
“Bananaland” Series Premiere | ESPN+
Long before their social media superstardom, I was a fan of the collegiate summer baseball team the Savannah Bananas. If I’m being honest, at first it was just because of their clever, minor league name and the fact that banana candy and banana creme pies are my absolute favorite. However, the more I got to know their unique brand of showmanship, I became increasingly obsessed with their approach to America’s pastime.
While so many baseball purists stick to unwritten rules of how the game should be played, the Bananas take great joy in breaking every rule, written or un. This new five-part original series will live on ESPN+ starting on Friday, with the premiere episode also airing on ESPN2. The show will follow the Bananas’ owners, players, coaches, and staff as they embark on a seven-city “World Tour” in their quest to bring the revolutionary rules and extravagant showmanship of Banana Ball to the masses.
Since there is a waiting list of tens of thousands of people to get tickets to see the Bananas play, I will be tuning into the entire series to get my Banana-fix.
Saturday, Aug. 20
UFC 278 | ESPN+ Pay-Per-View
I am not the biggest MMA fan in the world, but from what I have heard, this Saturday’s UFC 278 is an absolute must-see for anyone interested in the finer points of the sport. The Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards rematch headlining the card will be for the former’s UFC Welterweight Championship.
Known as the Nigerian Nightmare, Usman defeated Edwards almost seven years ago and has been essentially unbeatable ever since. These two have a combined record of 39-4, but despite Edwards coming in at 19-3, he is undefeated in 10 fights since 2015. These two might not garner as many headlines as other more flashy fighters, but in terms of talent, they are at the top of their game.
Also on the card will be exciting matches between Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili, Paulo Costa and Luke Rockhold, Miranda Maverick and Shanna Young, and more to make the entire evening thoroughly entertaining.
Sunday, Aug. 21
“House of the Dragon” Series Premiere | HBO Max
Here’s the thing, I am generally not a traditional fantasy genre fan. Despite my love for all things superhero, when it comes to elves, wizards, and dragons, I just have never had much interest. Therefore, I completely missed the boat on the original “Game of Thrones” and all of the discussions that came with it. So, as HBO readies the show’s prequel series to premiere on Sunday, I am torn between whether or not I want to give “House of the Dragon” a try, just so I can keep up with all of the conversations that will inevitably flood my social media feeds.
House of the Dragon
The Targaryen dynasty is at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke. Most empires crumble from such heights. In the case of the Targaryens, their slow fall begins when King Viserys breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne. But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm.
With a cast featuring Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Paddy Considine, Rhys Ifans, and others that I have long enjoyed, I know that the talent will be there to make the story compelling, but I just don’t know if I want to jump into the show without all of the requisite original series knowledge, and I certainly don’t have time to binge all 73 “GoT” episodes before Sunday — even though I could, since they are all streaming on HBO Max.
So, this will likely be a game-time decision on if I give in to my basest FOMO demons and watch “House of the Dragons,” but whether I watch it or not, between the “Saul” finale on Monday and this premiere on Sunday, I defy anyone to say that Peak TV is dying.