Albums from Kelly Clarkson and Portugal. The Man, as well as the new season of “And Just Like That” are among the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are “The Bear” back for a second helping, Gabrielle Union leading “The Perfect Find” and the Criterion Channel delving into the cliche of the gay best friend.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— In “The Perfect Find,” Gabrielle Union stars as a 40-year-old fashion editor who hits it off with a young man (Keith Powers) only to find out later that he’s the son of her new boss, a media mogul played by Gina Torres. The film, out now on Netflix, is directed by Numa Perrier and based on Tia Williams’ novel of the same name.
— Last year saw a number of excellent memory-drenched autobiographical dramas, like Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” and Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 1/2.” Best of the bunch, though, may have been James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” an acutely observed tale of 1980s Queens, New York. Rather than a wistfully nostalgic film, Gray’s movie interrogates his own past, sifting through societal currents of politics and privilege. Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway play the parents of 11-year-old Paul (Banks Repeta), whose schooling experience vastly differs from that of his Black friend (Jaylin Webb). Anthony Hopkins also radiantly co-stars as his grandfather. In her review, AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr called the film “essential.” It’s now streaming on Prime Video.
— The gay best friend has a times been dismissed as a familiar trope of Hollywood. But a new film series on the Criterion Channel finds much to appreciate and lament in a queer movie legacy that existed only on the margins for much of the 20th century. “Queersighted: The Gay Best Friend” pulls together films from seven decades of American film, from 1937’s “Easy Living” to 1996’s “Irma Vep” to trace the evolution of a stereotype that, as curator and author Mark Harris discuss in an accompanying conversation, offered both relief and dismay for gay moviegoers.
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Kim Petras caps a remarkable few months with her debut album, “Feed the Beast,” out Friday. She was just on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Unholy” with Sam Smith, performed at the Grammys and “Saturday Night Live,” attended the Met Gala, and made the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The new 15-track album includes the buzzy single “Alone” featuring Nicki Minaj, the body-positive “Coconuts” and the beat-heavy single “Brrr.” “Feed the Beast” also includes a collaboration with alt-pop star Banks.
— Portland-based Portugal. The Man return with an album touched by loss. “Chris Black Changed My Life,” also out Friday, is dedicated to Portugal. The Man’s late friend and honorary band member, Chris Black, who died in May 2019. Singles include the dance-floor ready “Dummy” and the mid-tempo wistful groove “Plastic Island,” with the lyrics “Is it the end, my friend/Or is it coming around/Around again?” Collaborators include Paul Williams, Sean Leon, Asa Taccone, Black Thought, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jeff Bhasker and Natalia Lafourcade.
— Loss also informs “Chemistry,” Kelly Clarkson’s post-breakup album. “You can take my money drag my name ’round town/I don’t mind I changed it anyway,” she sings in the kiss-off single “Red Flag Collector.” Clarkson previously released “Favorite Kind of High” and “I Hate Love,” which both feature on “Chemistry,” an album where she gets a little help from comedian and banjoist Steve Martin. “This album takes you down every path that chemistry could lead you down,” she wrote on Instagram.
— Summer and Big Freedia were made to be together and she’s offering us the 16-track “Central City” just in time for backyard parties. The New Orleans-raised queen of Bounce music has brought along some friends — collaborators include Lil Wayne, Faith Evans, Ciara and Kelly Price — and promises a new sound. “My new album is something I call Bigga Bounce. Welcome to Central City, y’all, where I pay homage to my city, my roots, hip-hop, and to the art of creating a new sound.” Singles include the breezy ”$100 Bill” and aggressive “Bigfoot.”
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Max has already publicized two big reveals for season two of “And Just Like That”: the return of John Corbett as Aidan Shaw and Kim Cattrall filmed a scene as Samantha Jones. Although details around each are scarce, we do know Cattrall declined involvement in a third “Sex & the City” film and reportedly wasn’t included in plans for the spinoff series. Fans likely won’t mind how they see Samantha as long as she appears. See how the new episodes of “And Just Like That” on Thursdays.
— Robert Downey Jr. combines two of his passions, classic cars and fighting climate change in the new Max docuseries “Downey’s Dream Cars.” Viewers go along for the ride as experts help the actor make his vintage car collection not only functional, but environmentally-friendly. The show premiered Thursday with two episodes.
— Actor-comedian Anthony Anderson is a proud mama’s boy and loves to dote on his mother, Doris. Cameras rolled as the “black-ish” star took his mom on a six-week dream vacation to Europe visiting England, France and Italy. “It’s the best and worst decision I’ve ever made,” declares Anderson in the trailer. “Trippin’ with Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris” debuted Thursday on E!
— The critically-acclaimed series “The Bear,” which debuted last summer and was an immediate word-of-mouth hit, is back for a second helping. The show stars Jeremy Allen White as a classically trained chef named Carmy who returned home to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich spot called The Beef. In season two, which started Thursday on FX on Hulu, Carmy and his staff are tasked with leveling up The Beef to become a fine dining establishment named The Bear. Carmy’s changes will require adjustment for all the characters. A central theme for season two, says creator Christopher Storer, is what happens when you get what you want?
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Final Fantasy XVI, the new chapter in the groundbreaking role-playing series, takes place in a land fueled by magic crystals whose light has begun to fade. Publisher Square Enix is hoping it can prevent such a fate from befalling its marquee franchise, whose previous installment in 2016 was met with mixed critical reaction (though it still sold millions of copies). The most significant change to the formula is in the combat: Protagonist Clive Rosfield fights mostly on his own, rather than assembling the usual party of warriors and spellcasters, and the turn-by-turn skirmishes that once defined Final Fantasy have been replaced by zippier swordplay. Trailers promise a darker storyline — the producer has acknowledged the influence of “Game of Thrones” — but fans can still expect dazzling scenery and epic sweep. Your latest chance to save the world is available now on PlayStation 5.