It’s the Fourth of July, and you know what that means: Time to drink exactly one beer and watch TV all weekend long. Just kidding, go out an enjoy the sunshine, but if you are in the mood for some TV or a good movie, we’ve got 10 great streaming recommendations to keep you busy over the holiday weekend.
This is a recreation of the July 2 edition of our twice-weekly entertainment newsletter, the Multiverse. Subscribe here to get the biggest pieces of entertainment news each week, along with streaming recommendations.
First Up: Stranger Things Season 3
Not even in our top 10 — because it transcends the list — is Stranger Things. The tweens of Hawkins, Indiana, return for a new season on Netflix. It arrives at 3 a.m. Eastern on July 4, but we’ve already seen it all and can say it’s a thrilling new mystery that fuses Cold War conspiracies with Lovecraftian horror. Read our spoiler-free review here.
One more thing: Before we get into the list, we wanted to say that the original Independence Day is on Hulu, if you’re feeling nostalgic and festive AF.
10. Scream 3
You might easily pass by Scream 3 without even giving the movie a second thought. Stop! The third film in horror master Wes Craven’s meta horror franchise isn’t just hilarious; it’s also legitimately scary.
Streaming on Netflix as of July 1, Scream 3 takes place on the set of Stab 3, a fiction horror franchise inspired by the events of the original Scream. (I told you this was meta.) The movie might be missing some of the bite of its predecessors, but it’s still an absolute joy to watch any time of the year. (Or, you know, just rewatch Scream again.) — Jake Kleinman
If there was ever an underrated and overlooked horror movie, it’s Under the Shadow (2016). The film, which made its rounds at various festivals, including Sundance, is an Iranian horror film set during the end of the Iran-Iraq war. It follows Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), as they attempt to fight off a jinn, a supernatural spirit of Middle-Eastern origin, that is haunting their apartment.
Under the Shadow is an incredibly intense horror/thriller that explores the tumultuous mother-daughter relationship as the jinn preys on Shideh’s worst fears. If Hereditary or The Babadook are horror films you loved, then Under the Shadow is right up your alley. — Mae Abdulbaki
Neon Demon director Nicolas Winding Refn is shaking up Amazon Prime Video with his new cinematic limited series, Too Old to Die Young. Telling the story of Martin Jones (Miles Teller), a Los Angeles detective leading a double life as a killer for hire while undergoing an existential crisis that pulls him deeper into crime, Too Old delivers an engrossing slow burn of a story you truly do not want to miss.
If you’re a fan of Teller, Refn, crime dramas set in Los Angeles, stories steeped in the esoteric, neon lighting used with wild abandon, or any combination of these elements, then you should run, not walk, and watch ASAP. — Allie Gemmill
All three original seasons of Veronica Mars are now available to stream on Hulu. That’s right, ahead of the highly-anticipated eight-episode revival (which will also premiere on Hulu) at the end of July, the streaming service has gifted us with all of the show’s previous episodes.
This is a good time to catch up on the series if you’re a first-time Marshmallow (aka a Veronica Mars fan) before the July 26 premiere of Season 4 on Hulu. Kristen Bell stars as a private investigator alongside her dad (played by the inimitable Enrico Colantoni) to uncover the town of Neptune’s greatest mysteries, including the identity of her best friend’s murderer. — Mae Abdulbaki
What if Game of Thrones was a time-traveling love story rooted in Scottish folklore? You still get all the archaic violence and R-rated violence and sex, but it’s actually got some heart.
That’s what you get in my latest guilty pleasure, Outlander, which blends sci-fi, fantasy, and two different historical dramas in the story of a woman displaced in time by two centuries. Claire Randall had been on holiday with her husband in Scotland shortly after serving as a nurse in World War II, but then she awoke to find herself in 1743.
A stranger in an alien land, Claire has to fend for herself without ever knowing if a return trip home is even possible. Inevitably, she falls in love with a strapping young Scot, transforming Outlander into a passionate and delightfully smutty romance. Season 4 on Starz ended in January, but viewers can also find Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. — Corey Plante
The elevator pitch for Dark was intriguing enough: Stranger Things meets German angst. But this Netflix original turned out to be something even better.
Set in a small German town built around a nuclear power plant, Dark takes the already complicated premise of a portal that lets people travel exactly 33 years forward and backwards in time and stretches it to the absolute limit. Season 1 delivered an emotional rumination on the nature of good and evil, all wrapped in a decade-spanning whodunnit mystery. Season 2, which hit Netflix on June 21, goes even further, introducing a time-traveling cult and a terrifying new villain.
Just do yourself a favor and watch it with subtitles; the dubbed version, while tempting, is horrendous. — Jake Kleinman
Nothing says “AMERICA!” like teenage nihilism. Just two weeks ago, Netflix made the ‘90s anime classic Neon Genesis Evangelion and the epilogue film, The End of Evangelion, available to stream.
The series, created by Hideaki Anno, is the incredibly dense story about a boy in the year 2015 (at one point that seemed so far away) who is forced to pilot a giant robot to save mankind. Lauded for its bold and breathtaking animation and storytelling, Evangelion is a landmark that can’t be missed.
Although the new English dub track isn’t a hit with fans, one still can’t ignore a neo classic available right alongside The Office and Friends. — Eric Francisco
3. Good Omens
Give your holiday weekend a dose of cheeky British humour when you stream Amazon Studios’ Good Omens.
The series follows very old, very close friends: Aziraphale, an angel (Michael Sheen), and Crowley, a demon (David Tennant). They must join forces to find the young Antichrist destined to bring about the end of the world and stop him from doing it. It won’t be easy considering they don’t exactly know where he lives and they only have a week to find him.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag straddles the line between humor and heartbreak. She writes and stars as the protagonist, identified as “Fleabag” in the credits. Adapted from Waller-Bridge’s one-woman play of the same name, Fleabag shows her grapple with relationships in London with a sharp wit and a simmering rage.
Fleabag is the kind of show that is evangelized by its fan base, thanks to brilliant writing from Waller-Bridge and her memorable performance. The show incorporates asides to the viewer as a fundamental part of its storytelling, making it feel unlike anything on TV in years.
Since Season 2 hit Amazon Prime Video streaming in mid-May, Fleabag has come up as a topic of conversation at every party or social gathering I’ve been to. If the same has happened to you, it’s finally time for you to binge all 12 half-hour episodes. — Corey Plante
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is sensational. Sony’s animated Spider-Man spinoff movie that introduced Miles Morales to the masses was the talked-about superhero hit of the winter.
The film stole the Best Animated Feature Oscar away from Pixar, wielding style and confidence like we’ve never before seen in a comic book movie. If you can’t get enough fireworks this Fourth of July, fire up Into the Spider-Verse on Netflix. — Eric Francisco
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back to our regular Tuesday and Thursday schedule next week.
Do you know any good July 4 movies we missed? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.