New on Netflix: ‘Transatlantic’ finds the humor in Nazi-occupied Marseille during World War Two

Director Anna Winger took inspiration from the comedic elements of ‘Casablanca’

"Transatlantic" takes a lighter look at World War II. (We said what we said.)
"Transatlantic" takes a lighter look at World War II. (We said what we said.) photo by Anika Molnar, via Netflix

Premieres Wednesday:

The Crossover — A series based on Kwame Alexander's novel finds two brothers pulled between the influence of a father who's a former basketball player and a mother who's striving toward goals of her own. Given that one of the sons narrates the series under his poetry alias, Filthy McNasty, I'm not sensing dear old Mom winning out. (Disney+)

The Good Mothers — True events inspired this Italian crime series, in which the wives and daughters of Mafia kingpins unite to undermine Italy's criminal underworld. Float that idea to Carmela Soprano if you want to see somebody laugh so hard they almost choke on their chicken parm. (Hulu)

Lewis Capaldi: How I'm Feeling Now — Go home with the 26-year-old Scot as he prepares his second album and fends off the pernicious influence of anxiety. While we're on the subject, isn't it funny that the only singing star who isn't talking about his mental health these days is Ozzy? (Netflix)

The Pope: Answers — THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE VATICAN! Oh, sorry. I didn't see the colon at first. Anyway, this is a documentary special in which 10 20-somethings of various backgrounds get to hang out with Pope Francis and dish with him on the matters of the day. Knowing TV, the show will probably be set in a huge apartment none of them could ever afford in real life. (Hulu)

Schmigadoon! — The hit comedy changes up its game in Season 2, with Josh and Melissa entering the land of Schmicago, where life takes after musicals of the '60s and '70s. For a similar experience that takes less time, get stuck next to a UCF theater student on a Lynx bus. (Apple TV+)

Premieres Thursday:

Beef — Black comedy and straight drama have a fender bender in a limited series that brings Steven Yeung and Ali Wong together for a highway incident that explodes into a full-on feud. Meanwhile, in real life, Wong is about to go out on the road with her ex-husband and their kids for a series of stand-up gigs in which she'll tell jokes about what it's like to be dating again. So overall, I don't think we can describe her as "conflict-averse." (Netflix)

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies — Prequel-itis sets out to claim a fresh new crop of victims, in the form of a musical-comedy series that explores the origins of Rydell High's ubiquitous girl gang. Clearly, this is a backstory the world could not have lived without knowing. Now can we please find out what Lenny and Squiggy were doing before Laverne and Shirley moved in? (Paramount+)

Lizzy Hoo: Hoo Cares? — The Australian comic performs a set of observations about her life and family, including the time her brother tried to start a trout farm. And if you think that's a polite euphemism, wait 'til you hear what they call it in New Zealand. (Prime Video)

Looney Tunes Cartoons Season 5 — Just when you think this show is over, done with and dead, it wheezes out another (final?) gasp. Then again, anybody who can get blown up by a live stick of dynamite and come back for more isn't exactly the poster child for acquiescence. (And yes, I'm talking about Rushdie.) (HBO Max)

Slasher: Ripper — The fifth season of the anthology series is set in the late 19th century, where a serial killer is targeting society's upper crust. Can an intrepid detective (Eric McCormack of Will & Grace) put a stop to it? Or will we just have to watch helplessly and wish it could happen here? (Shudder)

click to enlarge The chupacabra isn't a terrifying, bloodthirsty cryptid; it's a cute and cuddly creature in "Chupa." - photo courtesy Netflix
photo courtesy Netflix
The chupacabra isn't a terrifying, bloodthirsty cryptid; it's a cute and cuddly creature in "Chupa."

Premieres Friday:

The Boarding School: Las Cumbres — The arrival of a new student from a foster home may be the key to solving the mysteries of the school by the end of this final season. But first you're going to need to get your hair out of your eyes, Miss Ellie Kemper. (Prime Video)

Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker — The contributions and personal challenges of the tennis legend are recalled by other giants of the sport. And also maybe by his H&R Block representative and a few former cellmates. (Apple TV+)

Chupa — The chupacabra isn't a terrifying, bloodthirsty cryptid, says director Jonás Cuarón; it's a cute and cuddly creature that befriends sensitive young boys, who then have to return the favor by protecting it from nosy scientists. Sounds a bit ... familiar as setups go, but maybe a Mexican Mac and Me has been just what Paul Rudd needed to keep the act from going stale. (Netflix)

Gangs of Lagos — The first African-made Prime original is a crime thriller that shows childhood friends navigating the mean streets of Nigeria. It has to work better than the almost-forgotten '70s network series The Mean Streets of Nigeria, because Karl Malden and Michael Douglas weren't very believable as Africans. (Prime Video)

Oh Belinda — In this remake of a 1986 Turkish feature, the star of a shampoo commercial literally becomes the character she's portraying. Clearly, commercial considerations made them retain the title of the original, rather than going for something more imaginative like The Unbearable Lightness of Conditioning or Gee, Your Hair Smells Like an Existential Crisis. (Netflix)

On a Wing and a Prayer — More faith-based hugger-mugger from Dennis Quaid, this time playing an airplane passenger who relies on the power of prayer to land their vehicle after the pilot suffers a heart attack. "Fly this plane? Jesus, you can't be serious!" "I am serious. And don't call me Jesus." (Prime Video)

Praise This — Dislocation has its advantages when a young Los-Angeles-to-Atlanta transplant realizes that her grudging entry into a gospel choir might be the catapult to superstardom she's been seeking. Because really, what good is that old-time religion if it doesn't even land you an agent? (Peacock)

Thicker Than Water — A Swedish mother's attempt to heal the rift between her squabbling children is undermined when she suddenly drops dead instead. "You're only supposed to threaten them with it, stupid," say Jewish mothers everywhere. (Netflix)

Tiny Beautiful Things — Kathryn Hahn plays a writer whose lack of success in her personal and professional lives paradoxically makes her a success as an anonymous advice columnist. "Dear Agatha: My dog is missing and I suspect my neighbor. How do I broach the subject without jeopardizing my control of our alternate reality?" (Hulu)

Transatlantic — Show creator Anna Winger told Deadline that her new series about refugee evacuations in World War II is meant to ape the comedic bent of 1940s movies like Casablanca, not the dour seriousness of a Schindler's List. Next on Winger's to-do list: punching up the jokes in The Sorrow and the Pity. (Netflix)

Premieres Saturday:

Hunger — Apprenticing under an abusive sous chef teaches a Thai woman some harsh lessons about life in a dramatic feature that's being compared to everything from The Menu to The Bear to Whiplash. And also to working the closing shift at Chicken Guy, but that's on the QT. (Netflix)

Premieres Tuesday:

Am I Being Unreasonable? — This already-acclaimed BBC export casts Daisy May Cooper as a frustrated wife and mother who unloads her secrets on a new neighbor. Those British chicks, always bending your ear when you just wanna borrow a cup of spotted dick. (Hulu)

FBI True — Season 2 has more veteran agents telling stories of their most dangerous cases. If Jim Jordan doesn't get to them first! (Paramount+)

Yonder — When a Korean man learns his dead wife's consciousness has been preserved in a high-tech limbo, all sorts of questions arise. Questions like "What is the true nature of existence?" and "Should I tell my 19-year-old girlfriend about this?" (Paramount+)

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