Weekend OTT watchlist: Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and MLB The Show 24

Weekend OTT watchlist: The launch of season 20 of “Grey’s Anatomy” and albums from Justin Timberlake and Kacey Musgraves are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists: The dramedy “The Girls on the Bus” starring Melissa Benoist that follows female reporters embedded on a presidential campaign, Taylor Swift’s concert film “The Eras Tour” landing on Disney and the comedy “Girls5Eva” jumps from Peacock to Netflix for its third season. Check out the weekend OTT watchlist below: 

NEW MOVIES TO STREAM 

Taylor Swift’s concert film “The Eras Tour” is out on Disney this week. The streaming cut features five new songs, including “Cardigan.” “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” was a phenomenon at the theatrical box office, grossing over $262 million worldwide in a groundbreaking deal with AMC Theaters, which released the film instead of a traditional Hollywood studio. In her review, AP Music Writer Maria Sherman wrote that the film is, “a near exact replica of her blockbuster concert performance, which recaps all 10 of her studio albums across 17 years of recorded work,” adding “it is the opportunity to have every seat in the house transform into the best seat in the house.”

Film editor Carla Gutiérrez (“RBG”) makes her directorial debut with “Frida,” an evocative portrait of artist Frida Kahlo told in her own words. Gutiérrez used Kahlo’s diary entries, letters, essays and her paintings to drive the narrative, which delves into her childhood, her marriage, her style, her accident and, of course, her art. “Uncovering her own words and her own voice, I think what we’re presenting is a new way of getting into her world and in her mind and her heart and really understanding the art in a more intimate, raw way,” Gutiérrez told the AP before the film’s Sundance premiere. It’s now on Prime Video.

Nicolas Cage embraces the drab in Kristoffer Borgli’s “Dream Scenario” as Paul Matthews, a perfectly average college professor, husband and father whose life is turned upside down when millions of strangers start seeing him in their dreams. In her AP review Jocelyn Noveck wrote that “Borgli, the Norwegian writer-director making his English-language debut here (Ari Aster co-produces), is aiming for a broader statement about the nature of fame. And while the topic, which he’s broached before, may not be original, it’s ripe for exploration in the right hands — especially with an actor as inventive and unpredictable as Cage. Fame can be intoxicating, this film is saying, but it can and probably will turn on you in an instant.” It begins streaming on Max on Friday. And for the kids, “Trolls Band Together” arrives on Peacock.

AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr

NEW MUSIC TO STREAM

With each album she releases, Kacey Musgraves demonstrates to her loyal listeners that there are no boundaries in her creative process. The same fan who found her on the celebratory country-as-heck LGBT anthem “Follow Your Arrow” from 2013’s “Same Trailer Different Park” followed her through new psychedelic-disco-pop pastures on 2018’s “Golden Hour,” the album that took home the top prize at the 2019 Grammys. Then she pivoted again: with 2021’s “star-crossed,” a meditation on divorce and autonomy, with an uncanny ability to break hearts in less than 15 words: “If this was a movie, love would be enough,” she sings. “But it’s not a movie.” Which brings us to “Deeper Well.” Musgraves’ is once again paving her own path: her country has become folk, her songs are pretty and delicate with lyrics that find profundity in mundanity. It is soft and classic sounding, with hyper-specific language of the current moment. Maybe it dates these songs, maybe it plants them firmly in Musgraves’ reality. Whatever the case, they are affecting. ( Read AP’s review here.)

On “Man of the Woods,” Justin Timberlake ‘s last solo album released in 2018, JT looked to Americana sounds to find his next musical development. It was widely viewed as a critical misstep — a shallow attempt at innovation, mining familiar images of rural country life to mirror his new reality as a father. On “Everything I Thought It Was,” his first new album in six years, JT has done a 180. He’s returned to the ’00s R&B-pop sounds that made him a superstar in the first place. That was evident from the first singles that were released: the moody “Selfish,” and the dreamy reverb of “Drown,” strengthen by Timberlake’s idiosyncratic falsetto. There are a few surprises as well: his boy band (asterisk)NSYNC has a feature, as does Tobe Nwigwe and the Afrobeats star Fireboy DML.

AP Music Writer Maria Sherman

NEW SHOWS TO STREAM

Over the years, the characters on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” have achieved medical breakthroughs, crisis situations, office romances, staffing shakeups and three hospital name changes. We’ll see what’s in store for season 20 when the popular medical drama returned Thursday after filming was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes. This season, Ellen Pompeo — who plays Dr. Meredith Grey — will not be a series regular but will appear periodically. Shonda Rhimes’ other ABC show, the firefighter drama “Station 19,” also returned Thursday for its seventh and final season. Both shows stream next day on Hulu.

Another Liane Moriarty novel has gotten the TV treatment. In Peacock’s “Apples Never Fall,” Annette Bening plays a wife and mother who goes missing, leaving her adult kids suspicious of their father (played by Sam Neill). The cast also includes Jake Lacy and Alison Brie. All episodes of the limited series are out now.

The comedy “Girls5Eva” has jumped from Peacock to Netflix for its third season. The musical comedy is about a girl group from the nineties who achieved a tiny bit of fame and are hoping to revive their celebrity status decades later. The show is executive produced by Tina Fey and stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps. All six episodes of season are out now. Seasons one and two are also available for viewing on Netflix.

The new Apple TV limited series “Manhunt” has made the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth into a political thriller. Tobias Menzies stars as Edwin Stanton, former Secretary of War, who led the search for Booth after Lincoln’s murder. The show is based on the book “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer” by James L. Swanson. It premieres Friday.

Just in time for this election year, a new dramedy follows female reporters embedded on a presidential campaign. “The Girls on the Bus” stars Melissa Benoist (“Supergirl”) as Sadie McCarthy, a newspaper reporter who is enamored with old school journalism and idolizes Hunter S. Thompson. She travels the country by bus with a seasoned print reporter who always gets the scoop (Carla Gugino), a broadcast reporter at a conservative network (Christina Elmore) and a young journalist (Natasha Behnam), who embraces new media and uses Substack, sponsors and social media to reach an audience. “The Girls on the Bus” debuted Thursday on Max.

Cozy PBS staple “Call the Midwife” returns for its 13th season on Sunday on PBS. The period drama, narrated by Vanessa Redgrave, follows nurses, midwives and nuns working in London’s East End and is based on a memoir called “Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s” by Jennifer Worth. The new season is set in 1969. “Call the Midwife” will be able to stream to PBS station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS App.

Alicia Rancilio

NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY

Most pro sports simulators offer gradual upgrades from season to season, but Sony’s MLB The Show 24 is going for something truly revolutionary: You’ll be able to play as a woman. In the “Women Pave Their Way” storyline, you’ll be able to create a female baseball player from scratch and see if she can fulfill her dream of playing in the major leagues. Other new storylines include a tribute to New York Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and season two of the playable Negro Leagues documentary. Of course, there’ll be the usual enhancements to gameplay and animation, with the developers promising a particular emphasis on “fielder urgency.” And Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the new cover model. If you order the digital deluxe edition, you’ll be able to throw out the first pitch Friday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S/One or Nintendo Switch.

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