What are the biggest TV shows and web series in May 2023? Dimple Kapadia’s Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo leads the pack of new releases this month, alongside Dahaad, the latest crime drama from Zoya Akhtar (Gully Boy) and Reema Kagti. The former is a Hotstar Specials show where a group of inimitable women led by their matriarch Savitri (Kapadia) run an undercover drug cartel in a forgotten village. Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo is out May 5 on Disney+ Hotstar. Meanwhile, in Dahaad, Sonakshi Sinha leads an investigation into a series of murders, where all women were found mysteriously dead in public bathrooms. It premieres May 12 on Amazon Prime Video.
Arnold Schwarzenegger turns up the heat on the Hollywood end with Fubar, an action-comedy in the vein of his 1994 film True Lies, putting him in the role of a covert CIA operative who makes a shocking discovery about his daughter. Created by Nick Santoro (The Sopranos), all eight episodes of Fubar are out May 25 on Netflix. Also what good is May the 4th without some Star Wars fun to sink into? Star Wars: Visions returns with a second volume, boasting nine animated short episodes that explore varied stories from the galaxy far, far away. Unlike the original, the stylistic choices won’t be limited to a Japanese anime aesthetic since Lucasfilm is taking a global approach.
You can read more about all these TV shows and more below — and feel free to discover the complete list of upcoming web series at our entertainment hub. May also brings the much-talked-about Queen Cleopatra documentary from Netflix, and the Rebecca Ferguson-led (Dune) dystopian Apple TV+ series Silo.
With that, here’s our TV guide to May 2023, covering releases on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Netflix.
Star Wars: Visions Volume 2
When: May 4
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
With Star Wars: Visions Volume 2, Lucasfilm wants to see how studios and cultures around the world put their own spin on the Star Wars legacy. Each of the nine shorts has been produced by a different studio, mixing in their music and visual style as a means for creators to make their voices heard. From India, we’ve got 88 pictures, which previously contributed to Dreamworks franchises such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. Their SW: Visions short ‘The Bandits of Golak’ charts two siblings as they flee Imperial forces and seek refuge in a vibrant but dangerous intergalactic dhaba.
Another creator worth noting is the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, best known for their Academy Award-nominated film Wolfwalkers, which featured an organic hand-drawn style resembling 17th-century woodcuts and old picture books. That striking style carries over to ‘Screecher’s Reach,’ wherein a young girl seeking reprieve from her days in a rural workhouse is pulled into a dark, haunted cave, forever changing her life. The anime DNA from season 1 is present here as well, with D’art Shtajio (Attack on Titan) helming the final episode of the bunch — ‘The Pit’, which explores a prisoner’s plight as he continues digging for Kyber under the Empire’s order.
All of these and more episodes of Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 will be up for streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on May 4.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
When: May 4
The first romantic encounter, which sparked the Bridgerton-verse as we know it, is explored in this six-part limited series from Netflix. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story charts the titular young princess’ (India Amarteifio) struggle to fully grasp her power, as she’s forced into marrying the King of England, George III (Corey Mylchreest), ultimately spearheading a societal shift that leads into Bridgerton. The only problem is that she hasn’t seen her soon-to-be husband in person, causing her to worry that he actually might be a beast or a troll. Understandable concerns, given she was demanded to make as many babies as necessary for the kingdom.
While the series is mostly focused on unveiling Queen Charlotte’s past, it will often jump back into the present-day coterie, bringing back Golda Rosheuvel to play the aged version. Expect ballroom dances, displays of glitz and glamour, and young romance as a cover, while the King and his disciples brew something sinister underneath. The series also stars Arsema Thomas (Redeeming Love) as young Lady Agatha Danbury, Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) as Princess Augusta, and Sam Clemment (Cherry) as young Brimsley.
Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo
When: May 5
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
Dimple Kapadia (Tenet) stars as the matriarch Savitri in this action-packed odyssey, controlling every move of a dysfunctional family of women. From the outside, Rani Cooperative appears to be a legitimate business, trading in products such as herbal balms, puppets, and textiles in Hastipur, a rural village in northwestern India. As it turns out, that’s just a front for the drug racket Savitri’s family runs in the inner sanctum — growing their own leaves and manufacturing batches of psychoactive pink-white tinted pills – hence the name ‘Flamingo.’
Running a business as such requires structure and contingency plans, for which Savitri has trained her daughter-in-laws Bijli (Angira Dhar) and Kajal (Isha Talwar), alongside her spoiled biological child Shanta (Radhika Madan) in the trade. But their expertise branches out to fierce combat, gun-toting, and being super-protective of their own. Homi Adajania (Cocktail) serves as the creator and director of Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo, pushing the norm forward on what qualities define badass women. Naseerudin Shah (Taj: Divided by Blood), Ashish Verma (Atrangi Re), Deepak Dobriyal (Good Luck Jerry), and Monica Dogra (Cartel) round out the cast lineup.
When: May 5
Where: Apple TV+
Based on the Silo series of novels by author Hugh Lowey, this upcoming Apple TV+ show is set in a toxic dystopian future, where a community of 10,000 reside in a giant silo underground, with set regulations that prevent them from exiting. While the populace believes that the rules are set to protect them, a murder kickstarts a conspiracy in the lowermost floors, urging a small group to figure out what’s up with this place. Engineer Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) is at the helm of this mystery, working with Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo), who is himself involved in the deaths, in some capacity.
The accusations are bound to affect his ranking and his approval for conceiving a child with his wife Allison (Rashida Jones). It’s a big deal, since population control is a strict measure in the silo — it can only hold so much. Meanwhile, the dead are buried with an odd ritual where people take a bite out of fruits and toss the rest into the hole. This absurd tale is being brought to small screens by creator Graham Yost, best known for co-writing the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Silo also stars American rapper Common as the Judicial Security Sims, Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) as the esteemed physician Dr. Nichols, and Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Bernard, head of the IT department.
The first two episodes of Silo are slated to drop May 5 on Apple TV+, followed by a new episode every Friday until June 30. There are 10 episodes in total.
When: May 10
The latest instalment in executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith’s African Queens documentary series focuses on one of history’s most famous and misunderstood women, Queen Cleopatra. Adele James (Casualty) plays the titular ruler in the Netflix series, charting the queen’s love life, the commanding power she held, and her intellect, which grabs Julius Caesar’s attention. Pinkett Smith returns to narrate the four-part docu-series, featuring interviews with experts that recount her 21-year rule, which ended with her suicide.
All four episodes of Queen Cleopatra release May 10 on Netflix.
City on Fire
When: May 12
Where: Apple TV+
A gunshot in Central Park, New York City, cuts through the fireworks and celebration on July 4, 2003, leading to the death of NYU student Samantha Cicciaro (Chase Sui Wonders). She was all alone at the time, with no witnesses or physical evidence, which is a quite rare occurrence in a chaotic city as such, where every movement is recorded on street cameras. At the centre of this investigation is her close friend Charlie (Wyatt Oleff), who rests at nothing to unravel the mystery behind Samantha’s murder, which somehow connects to citywide fires, the downtown music scene, and a wealthy upstate family whose lives begin to crumble after the incident.
Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who rose to prominence with Gossip Girl, helm City on Fire, which itself is based on the eponymous 2015 novel by Garth Risk Hallberg. The eight-episode series also stars Jemima Kirke and Nico Tortorella Regan and William, heirs to one of the city’s great fortunes. Meanwhile, Max Milner appears as a charismatic activist, and Succession-fame Ashley Zukerman plays Keith, an enigmatic admirer of the heirs.
The first three episodes of City on Fire premiere May 12 on Apple TV+, after which it will follow a weekly schedule until June 16.
When: May 12
Where: Amazon Prime Video
When countless women are found dead in public bathrooms in a small Rajasthani village, a fierce cop Anjali Bhaati (Sonakshi Sinha) is asked to investigate the case. What’s first ruled as cases of clear-cut suicide soon unravels to the point where she believes a serial killer is involved — a hefty claim to make in a small village as such. What’s even more perplexing is the lack of witnesses or complaints made for all 27 missing victims, who were all found in possession of some kind of poison.
The eighth-episode-long Dahaad is created by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, with the former serving as the director. It was the first Indian series to premiere at The Berlinale International Film Festival in February and also stars Vijay Varma (Darlings), Gulshan Devaiah (Badhaai Do), and Sohum Shah (Tumbbad) in prominent roles.
All eight episodes of Dahaad will be up for streaming May 12 on Amazon Prime Video.
When: May 24
Where: Apple TV+
Former best friends Sylvia (Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen) try reconnecting with each other as they approach midlife, hoping to help each other through their crisis. Will, who is getting a divorce, tries hanging out with a married Sylvia more often, wanting to simply be platonic friends as they used to — chugging down alcohol, dying hair, fighting a wild racoon, and sniffing mild horse tranquiliser under the pretense that it was just cocaine. Meanwhile, people around them believe that the friendly relationship is immature and too destructive for their own good.
Caught between all the childish drama is Sylvie’s husband Charlie (Luke Macfarlane), who now feels left out — as now the second-most important man in her life. But Sylvie finds comfort in being a mess in front of Will, whom she considers a much bigger mess — albeit in a charming, hilarious way. Filmmaking couple Nick Stoller (Neighbors) and Francesca Delbanco co-created the 10-episode series, which also stars Tre Hale (Love and Monsters) and Carla Gallo (The Night Shift).
The first three episodes of Platonic drop May 24 on Apple TV+, with the remaining episodes releasing on a weekly basis until July 12.
When: May 25
CIA operative Luke Brenner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is on the verge of retirement, smoking stogie cigars and all, when he is summoned back on a mission to bring home a rogue officer by the codename ‘Panda.’ Upon reaching the destination, he comes to the shocking realisation that the operator in question is his own daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro), who has been working undercover this whole time, without his knowledge. Egos and missions clash when the pair are tasked with extracting a WMD (weapon of mass destruction), leading to comical exchanges between the two.
In classic Arnold fashion, expect over-the-top action sequences, explosions, and quips, as he struggles to separate work from babysitting his 28-year-old daughter. Nick Santora (Prison Break, The Sopranos), who grew up as a fan of Schwarzenegger, is the creator and showrunner of Fubar. Its ensemble cast also includes Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder) as Emma’s lover Carter, alongside Fortune Feimster and Travis Van Winkle (You) as Brenner’s field support agents.
All 8 episodes of Fubar drop May 25 on Netflix.