It’s hard to ignore the influx of teen offerings on streaming platforms. While some are new offerings, the rest are favourite shows returning for a new season. These are the offerings worth binge-watching right now.
The Umbrella Academy S3 (Netflix)
Why am I only just watching this now? Seriously, this series is a stellar superhero offering. For starters, the production value is first-rate. The cast is top-notch. And the storytelling is compelling as it intertwines the whole saving-the-world aspect with the personal struggles of its characters.
The third instalment sees the Umbrella Academy return home after averting the whole doomsday scenario back in 1963.
But they don’t exactly get the warm welcome that they were hoping for. Instead, they arrive in an alternate timeline, and their dad has seven new adopted replacements who have made their mark as the Sparrow Academy.
Ben Hargreeves (Justin H. Min) is very much alive but he is hostile as he asks: “Dad, who the hell are these a******s?
Viktor (Elliot Page), Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castaneda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), and Five (Aidan Gallagher) are confused by the changes.
Meanwhile, the Sparrow siblings, Marcus (Justin Cornwell), Fei (Britne Oldford), Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez), Ben (Justin H. Min), Jayme (Cazzie David), Alphonso (Jake Epstein) and ‘’Christopher”, who is introduced in the physical form of a glowing sentient cube, prepare to mark their territory.
Amid figuring out this new world, Vanya’s character transitions to Viktor as well.
Whether you watching the show from season one or, like me, you are exploring the series now, it will leave you transfixed nonetheless, as the characters deal with challenges, surprises and collateral damage with a destructive entity wreaking havoc in the Universe.
There’s only one way to deal with this threat and it requires the siblings from both sides to join forces.
Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
This coming-of-age dramedy has been grabbing headlines for casting its first Muslim superhero.
By casting Pakistani-Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani as the lead, the creators have shifted the negative narrative around Muslims, who are synonymous with playing terrorists, tyrants or traitors.
The series centres on Kamala ‘(Vellani), a 16-year-old fangirl of the Avengers, particularly Carol Danvers/ Captain Marvel, who struggles to fit in until she gains her own powers.
At home, she finds herself suffocated by traditions and patriarchy that allow little wiggle room for a young woman to be free to do as she pleases.
The story offers relatable issues amid a superhero backdrop. And it is underpinned by humour as well.
In a recent interview with the newcomer actress, she said: “I hope the show will resonate on a special level because we are showing Muslims on screen and people that haven’t been shown in a positive light.
“And I hope that there is someone or something that they relate to, whether it’s Kamala or her friends or family or someone in her community. I just want Marvel fans to appreciate it.”
First Kill (Netflix)
This supernatural drama series is already a hit with streamers. There is a love story at the heart of it. But, as with such entanglements, complications are par for the course.
On the one hand, Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook), a vampire is ready to make her first kill. While her body is adjusting, which includes migraines from hell, she’s drawn to the new girl in town - Calliope (Imani Lewis).
While there is chemistry between the two, there’s just one small snag - Calliope is a vampire hunter looking to make her first kill.
Talk about a conundrum. But I think viewers will definitely enjoy the thrills and adrenalin rush of the chase.
Stranger Things S4 (Netflix)
Critics have given the latest instalment their stamp of approval.
‘Forbes’ says: “The show’s writers have brought their A-game to the table, writing some of the funniest and scariest scenes in the show to date. It’s also more mysterious than ever, with genuinely interesting mysteries to solve and trails of breadcrumbs to follow.”
Season four picks up eight months after the events of March 1986. This time, the narrative is divided into three main plots.
In the first, which takes place in Hawkins, where several teenagers are murdered under mysterious circumstances, Eddie Munson, the leader of the Hellfire Club, becomes the prime suspect.
He is hunted down by Jason, along with members of the basketball club, after Chrissy (Jason’s girlfriend) is killed. They suspect Eddie used satanic powers on her.
Meanwhile, Dustin, Max, Erica, Steve, Nancy, Robin and Lucas investigate and uncover the real murderer - a powerful being that lives in the Upside Down.
The other storyline takes place in California. Eleven, concerned about the safety of her friends on the back of the events at Hawkins, visits Dr Brenner at a secret facility to help restore her powers. Meanwhile, her friends, concerned by her absence, work to track her down.
The third plot centres on Joyce and Murray learning of Hopper’s captivity and work hard to free him from a Russian gulag in Kamchatka.
As you can tell, there’s a lot packed into this instalment of “Stranger Things 4”.