Here's a roundup of standout TV series and films debuting on subscription streaming platforms in March:
“Daisy Jones and the Six”
Rock ‘n’ roll dramas set in the 1970s seem a dime a dozen and yet this adaptation of the bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid proves there’s still gas left in the tank. Set beneath the palm trees of Los Angeles, the limited series traces the decade-long rise of a fictional rock band — from their creaky formation to their chart-topping infamy. Actress Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and daughter of the late Lisa-Marie Presley, plays the title character, a fiery yet talented singer-songwriter whose solo dreams take an unexpected turn when she’s recruited into the flailing rock act the Six. Her partnership with the band's lead singer Billy Dunne, played by Sam Claflin, creates instant sparks, both good and bad. "Daisy Jones" recalls the love triangles of Fleetwood Mac and the fictional origin stories of "Almost Famous" and "That Thing You Do!" and it's so invested in its own authenticity that there's a full-length album by the band set to hit streaming services for the show's release. (Prime Video, March 3, episodes weekly)
"The Big Door Prize"
"Bridesmaids" actor Chris O'Dowd plays a simple man leading a comfortable life in small-town Deerfield. He has the perfect wife and kid, the perfect home and little else going on. Then a mysterious arcade machine turns up at the nearby grocery store. The Morpho touts the ability to "discover your life's potential" if you simply pop in a coin and pocket the personalized card it spits out. But for the local residents, the machine's magical mystery allure could shake things up in unimaginable ways. With a dash of humour and sharp writing, "The Big Door Prize" goes deep on the question of whether you would upend your comforts for a chance at a new adventure. (Apple TV Plus, March 29, episodes weekly)
After being evicted, working-class single mom Costello Jones and her young daughter hit the streets of Bristol in search of direction. Around the same time, Costello's old friend — a privileged gay man with a boarding school upbringing — turns up in their lives after the end of his prison sentence. Their mixture of toxic anarchy sets the scene for a punchy dark comedy about social class, friendship and staying afloat in an unforgiving world. Daisy May Cooper and Jack Farthing give standout performances in the TV series that's co-produced by HBO and the BBC. (Crave, March 6, episodes weekly)
Oscar oddsmakers say Michelle Yeoh could walk away as this year's best actress winner for "Everything Everywhere All At Once" (now on Prime Video), so it's perfect timing for Criterion Channel to dig into her Hong Kong action past with their "Michelle Yeoh Kicks Ass" collection. Standout titles in the eight-film set include the 1985 female-led fight saga "Yes, Madam!," the 1986 explosive police thriller "Royal Warriors" and 2000's crossover hit "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." (Criterion Channel, March 1)
ALSO THIS MONTH:
“Bruiser” – A teenager meets a charismatic stranger with a secret past in Miles Warren’s powder keg feature directorial debut that examines Black masculinity and fatherhood. (Disney Plus, Now available)
“Chris Rock: Selective Outrage” – Netflix’s first global live-streaming event puts the famed comedian in the spotlight almost a year after Will Smith slapped him at the Oscars. (Netflix, March 4)
"Disobey" - A six-part Quebecois drama on the real-life story of Chantal Daigle, who in 1989 fought for her right to an abortion in Canadian courts. (Crave, March 8, episodes weekly)
"School Spirits" – A high schooler investigates her murder with the help of teens stuck in the afterlife. A dramedy that's "Heathers" crossed with the hit TV comedy "Ghosts." (Paramount, March 9, episodes weekly)
“Luther: The Fallen Son” – Idris Elba reprises his role as London detective John Luther in a film that continues the story of the British TV series. (Netflix, March 10)
"Boston Strangler" – Keira Knightley plays one of the reporters who broke the story of the Boston Strangler murders in the 1960s in a feature drama that centred on the women often written out of the true story. (Disney Plus, March 17)
“The Inspection” – Director Elegance Bratton’s semi-autobiographical film about a Black gay man who faces a stark reality of prejudice when he enlists in the Marines. (Paramount Plus, March 17)
“Murder Mystery 2” – Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston return as the amateur crime-solving couple who have now decided to launch their own private-eye agency. (Netflix, March 21)
“The Night Agent” - A lower-ranked FBI agent is pulled into a conspiracy involving the White House and a woman on the run. (Netflix, March 23)
"Rabbit Hole" – Kiefer Sutherland is framed for murder in this corporate espionage thriller series. (Paramount Plus, March 26, episodes weekly)
RETURNING SERIES: Several hit shows mark their returns this month. The anticipated third season of "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" gets underway on March 3 as the bounty hunter reunites with Grogu for more adventures. New episodes roll out Wednesdays starting March 1 on Disney Plus. Meanwhile, over on Apple TV Plus, the third season of "Ted Lasso" kicks off March 15 with weekly episodes.
On Crave, HBO's "Succession" begins its fourth and final season on March 26 with a major corporate sale, while "Yellowjackets" unveils new plot twists starting on March 24. And a new case begins March 6 on "Perry Mason" involving the brutal murder of an oil magnate.
Relationships go under the microscope in a pair of returning series on Netflix. "Sex/Life" plunges into its second season of steamy drama on March 2, while reality dating show "Love is Blind" embarks on its fourth edition on March 24. Meanwhile, sci-fi fantasy "Shadow and Bones" launches its second season on March 16, and "Next in Fashion" reboots with original host Tan France and new addition Gigi Hadid.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2023.
David Friend, The Canadian Press