New on Netflix this week: ‘African Queens: Njinga,’ ‘A Girl and an Astronaut,’ ‘Unlocked’ and more

Plus new shows streaming on Apple TV+, Prime Video, Hulu and the rest

Jada Pinkett Smith produced and stars in "African Queens: Njinga"
Jada Pinkett Smith produced and stars in "African Queens: Njinga" photo courtesy Netflix

Premieres Wednesday:

African Queens: Njinga — Jada Pinkett Smith executive-produced and co-stars in a hybrid documentary/dramatization that depicts the reign of Queen Njinga of Angola. An interesting historical fact about Njinga you should know going in: Her hair always looked great, and there was absolutely nothing funny about it whatsoever. (Netflix)

Full Swing — The makers of the racing series Formula 1: Drive to Survive shift their focus to golf to document a year in the life of the PGA tour. Eight episodes of chip shots seems a lot tamer than the possibility of someone's brains getting splattered along a sidewall. But this was the year the tour went head-to-head with Saudi Arabia's LIV Golf, so I guess there's the possibility of more gore than a Herschell Gordon Lewis film festival after all. (Netflix)

Horario Estelar (Prime Time) — Mexico sends us a drama series about a TV journalist who tries to cover up his own role in a crime he's been reporting on. Wringing 10 episodes out of that premise was a lot easier than if he'd been dumb enough to ... I don't know, text regularly with the local gang lord's chief of staff or something. That's the sort of thing you only do if you've never been within three blocks of a J-school. (Hulu)

The Law According to Lidia Poët — The true history of the late 19th century undergirds a drama series about Italy's first female lawyer. Initial reports are that it's very interesting, although the historical accuracy is called into question a bit by dialogue like "It's-a me, Motion to Vacate!" (Netflix)

Mila in the Multiverse — We had told you this sci-fi series for teens was going to be dropping two weeks ago, but that ended up only happening in its native Brazil. I guess Disney+ just wanted to wait until Bolsonaro was out of the hospital so he could enjoy it too. Stay away from the KFC, you crazy bastard! (Disney+)

Red Rose — Straight from BBC Three comes a horror series about teens whose control of their own lives is eroded by a mysterious and malevolent app. I hope it isn't TikTok they're talking about, because as far as I'm concerned, blind obeisance is a small price to pay to be tight with Noodles the corporate canine. (Netflix)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga — In its third and final season, the show analyzes the incredible influence Staten Island's finest had on hip-hop and the culture in general. Ah, yes: We finally come to the Shkreli years. (Hulu)

Premieres Thursday:

Aggretsuko: Season 5 — She's spent four seasons channeling her professional frustrations into death metal, and now the conclusion of her story sees Retsuko the red panda moving in with her boyfriend while entering the world of politics. Look for her to name the chick from Turning Red as her running mate in one of those backroom crony deals. (Netflix)

Star Trek: Picard — After three seasons, it's time to say goodbye to the TNG spinoff/sequel we ended up not needing as much as we thought we would. New developments this time include the return of Gates McFadden's Beverly Crusher, who is now performing medicine on planets the Federation neglected. If you can't wait to find out what that's like, just get vaccinated at a Publix pharmacy. (Paramount+)

The Upshaws — In Part 2's mid-season cliffhanger, Mike Epps' Bennie and Wanda Sykes' Lucretia got arrested for trafficking in stolen goods. Now we get to see the upshot, but I wouldn't worry too much: In a timely plotting decision, the writers have made sure the case is handled entirely by Black cops. Safe at home! (Netflix)

The Witch Part 2: The Other One — Related only tangentially to 2018's The Witch Part 1: The Subversion, this South Korean sci-fi/action/horror hybrid follows a girl with mysterious powers as she attempts to escape from an underground lab. Meanwhile, I still can't figure out where to stand while I'm waiting for my fries at Five Guys. (Shudder)

click to enlarge "A Girl and an Astronaut" debuts Friday on Netflix - photo courtesy Netflix
photo courtesy Netflix
"A Girl and an Astronaut" debuts Friday on Netflix

Premieres Friday:

Animaniacs — A week of farewells continues with Season 3's sendoff of Yakko, Wakko, Dot, Pinky and the Brain. A spoof of Mad Max: Fury Road is among the pop-culture jabs we'll be getting before they're all sent back to the water tower. And what a shame they're going out now, before we could find out what they thought of Velma. (Hulu)

Carnival Row — The Victorian fantasy comes to a close (sensing a trend here?) in a second season that ups the stakes between the humans and the mythological creatures they've oppressed. A spate of killings inflames the already heated tensions, while co-star Cara Delevingne wonders why they can't all just chill out and f*** each other or something. (Prime Video)

Community Squad — Argentina offers its take on the worldwide policing controversy, with a bunch of civilian volunteers finding more trouble than they bargained for when they signed up to patrol their neighborhood. But what did they expect in a place that's overrun with the children of Nazis who were never punished for their crimes? I mean, it's practically Kentucky! (Netflix)

A Girl and an Astronaut — Eternal youth is a mixed blessing in this Polish series starring a space traveler who returns to Earth after 30 years looking not a single day older, and who then tries to resume a relationship with the woman he left behind. "Whatever would they talk about?" frets Leo DiCaprio. (Netflix)

Hello Tomorrow! — In a dramedy series that's said to follow a retro-futurist aesthetic, Billy Crudup plays the leader of a sales force that offers timeshares on the Moon. Somebody tries to get them to branch out into NFTs, but they turn it down because they have some standards. (Apple TV+)

J-hope in the Box — South Korean pop sensations BTS are currently on hiatus so their members can fulfill their governmentally mandated military obligations. So here comes this documentary, which shows J-hope doing his part by ... recording a solo album and playing Lollapalooza? Boy, the South Korean army sure has some progressive career tracks. To think Elvis Presley had to peel potatoes. (Disney+)

Josh Jackson: Up Here Killing Myself — The Daily Show writer and stand-up comic uses a trip to his therapist as the framing device for a soul-baring onstage exploration of childhood poverty. Among other laff-riot topics. (Peacock)

Poor Devil — Spain sends us an animated series about a teenage Antichrist whose Dad wants him to torment and subjugate humanity, but who would really rather star in Broadway musicals. In a novel compromise, the kid gets to play the Dr. Phillips, but he has to give everybody in the audience diarrhea. (HBO Max)

Sharper — Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan star in a psychological thriller set among New York's ultra-rich, here depicted as the unwitting dupes of a clever con man. One word of advice: If he offers to refurbish an ice rink for you, run! (Apple TV+)

Unlocked — The loss of her cellphone puts a South Korean woman at the mercy of a ne'er-do-well who happens to find it. This movie about appropriated data is based on a 2018 Japanese flick called Stolen Identity. Think about that. Take all the time you need. (Netflix)

Premieres Monday:

Marc Marquez: All In — A five-part docuseries follows the long road to recovery MotoGP rider Marquez had to face after his career was derailed by an arm injury and chronic double vision. If you really want to show solidarity, watch it twice! (Prime Video)

Premieres Tuesday:

Kathleen Madigan: Hunting Bigfoot — That isn't a euphemism: It's the actual Sasquatch that veteran comic Madigan is planning to discuss in her first Amazon special. Then again, one of the other topics is "trying to have a conversation with a millennial," so maybe it's a unicorn she's really looking for? (Prime Video)

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