Crime thrillers and cannabis cooking competition among April streaming picks – CityNews

Posted: March 31, 2020 at 6:28 am

With Canadians spending most of their time indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its fortunate that streaming services were already rampingup a busy month of programming for April.

Netflix is set to feed reality-series buffsanother conversation starter on April 17 withToo Hot to Handle, whichgathers a group of beautiful people at a resort before revealing they could win a pot of$100,000 by holding off on sex for the duration of their stay. Spoiler: things get complicated very quickly.

And on Disney Plus, two wildlife docs debut on April 3: Elephant, narrated by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Dolphin Reef with Natalie Portman.

Meanwhile, newcomer streaming service Quibi gets off the ground on April 6 with a selection of 50 short-form programsthat can only be watched on mobile devices. Among the highlights are a refresh onprank series Punkd with Chance the Rapper, home renovationshow Murder House Flip andReese Witherspoons animal doc series Fierce Queens. The platform offersa 90-day free trial for viewers who sign up before the launch date.

Heres a roundup of whats worth streamingin April:

Defending Jacob

An assistant district attorney, played by Chris Evans,confronts the ultimate moral and ethical dilemma when his son is accused of murdering one of his schoolmates and leaving his body in a forest. First assigned to investigate the case, hes pulled offitwhen details emerge of his sons potential involvement. But that onlypushes his resolve to prove his sons innocence. Based on the 2012 novel,this eight-episode limited seriesgives Evans the sort of meaty role that could land him in contention at the Emmy Awards. Hes backed up by a stellar supporting cast that includes Michelle Dockery as his shell-shocked wife. (Apple TV Plus, April 24)


Scene-stealing Merritt Wever, who played Scarlett Johanssons kooky sister in last years Oscar-nominated Marriage Story,has thespotlightin thiseight-episode dramedy on HBO. Wever plays Ruby, a suburban mother who drops her comfortable life the instant she gets a text from her old college flame that simply reads: Run. She meets up with Billy (played by Domhnall Gleeson from Ex Machina) at Grand Central Stationand together they embark on a cross-country train ride that spirals fast. Co-created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag)and Vicky Jones (Killing Eve), theseries takes a few episodes to really find its footing, but once it does, the twists are delicious. (Crave/HBO, April 12, weekly episodes)

Cooked with Cannabis

R&B singer Kelis brought all the boys to the yard with her hit Milkshake, but these days shes doubling as a professional chef serving up cannabis dishes. This new competition series pairs her withPortland chef Leather Storrs as they oversee experienced culinary artists who are racing against the clockto make the best tasting cannabis-infused dishes. A rotating lineup ofcelebrity judges stop by, including Ricki Lake, Elle King and NBA player John Salley. But what makes Cooked with Cannabis stand out from other cannabis cooking shows is its spirited effort to explain theintricacies of cooking with marijuana to newcomers.(Netflix, April 17)

Outer Banks

After a hurricane sweeps through their town, agroup of mischievous teenagers discover a sunken ship filled with a boatload of secrets one of whichcould answerwhat happened to the ringleaders missing father.Set against the backdrop of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, this modern pulp mystery is packed with chiselled bodies and steamy locales, and should finda strong following withfans of Riverdale who like their drama with a side of youthful angst.(Netflix, April 15)

Bad Education

High school can be so dramatic, and especially so within the upper ranks of the Roslyn School District where Long Island superintendent Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman) is doubling as mentor and embezzler alongside his colleague Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney). But when he encourages a young student reporter to start looking deeper into a story, he winds up sending her on a path that winds all the way back to his own shady dealings. Acquired by HBO at last years Toronto International Film Festival, this sharp-witted comedy is based ona real scandal that rocked aNew York school district.(Crave/HBO, April 25)

In Case You Missed It (titles already streaming):

The Other Two

When their little brother rockets to fame as a teenage pop star on social media, two adult siblings ride his coattails in hopes of reigniting their own failedshowbiz aspirations. Thats the starting point for this sometimes cringeworthy but often hilarious take on the power struggle of a family hypnotized by celebrity culture. Molly Shannon plays the single mom whos turned her sons popularity into her own road to success, one shes dubbed her Year of Yes. Created by Saturday Night Live writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, this underappreciated episodic seriessets a fire underneath the YouTube era. (Crave)

Scoresby Quincy Jones

Unmistakable in his singularity, 28-time Grammy winner Quincy Jones is often described as a purveyor of popular music production but hesan influential film composer in his own right, too. Criterion Channel has brought together many of his best works in this collection that pays tribute to his unique cinematic sound, a blend of blues, funk, bossa nova and pop. Start with a Sidney Poitier double bill of In the Heat of the Night and They Call Me Mister Tibbs! before moving along to Truman CapotesIn Cold Blood, and then round it out with the decidedly lighter psychedelic flair of Cactus Flower and 1970 comedy-adventure The Out-of-Towners. (Criterion Channel)


A young Brooklyn woman flees the world shes known in a strict Hasidic community to start anew in Berlin, splitting from an arranged marriage with the help of a friend. But her disappearance doesnt go unnoticed, with her husband trailing closely behind her as she attempts to escape a past of limitations and find her own identity. Inspired by Deborah Feldmans memoir of the same name, this four-part series could position Israeli actress Shira Haas as one to watch for her nuanced turn as the lead character. (Netflix)

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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Crime thrillers and cannabis cooking competition among April streaming picks - CityNews

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