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Watchlist: 5 June streams and films to beat the heat

With summer right around the corner, we’re all gonna be searching for more ways to avoid healthy outdoor activities and excuses to stay inside and hide from the cruel sun. Fear not, as I have a list of new entertainment options to keep you comfy in your air conditioned bliss this season.

Though the allure of the release of the long-awaited Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me opening in theaters, may be enough to draw some brave souls out from hiding. Those willing to bear the elements and head out to their local theater, will also be rewarded with comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s film that tells the real-life tale of he and his wife Emily’s love story titled Big Sick.Netflix regulars will be happy to see that Orange is the New Black is returning for its fifth season.

And nostalgia freaks will be fond of the ‘80s-tastic Netflix series Glow, which tells the over-the-top rope story of the all-female wrestling franchise popular during the decade of excess.

Showtime goes back to the ‘70s, celebrating the comedy scene of the time and some of the talent that emerged with a series playfully called I’m Dying Up Here.So whether if you decide to hibernate and stay cool this summer or you prefer to venture out into the sunny world, there will be something to entertain you which ever path you chose.

Film: All Eyez on Me

Release Date: June 16   

It’s going on twenty-one years since the unsolved shooting death of rap icon Tupac Shakur shook the hip-hop world. The large impact Shakur had during his short lifetime is about to be chronicled in the new biopic titled All Eyez on Me, directed by Benny Boom. Newby Demetrius Shipp Jr. portrays the young Tupac, as the film tells the tale of Shakur’s East Harlem upbringing to his rise as a Death Row Records star. Jamal Woolard who played the Notorious B.I.G. in Biggie’s own 2009 biopic Notorious reprises his role in All Eyez.

Dania Gurira plays Pac’s mother Afeni, while the real-life Afeni Shakur who passed away just last year, took on the role as the film’s executive producer. The late Ms. Shakur ran into years of trouble attempting to get her son’s story made into film.

At one point, acclaimed director John Singleton was on board to helm the project, but left due to, say it with me now, creative differences. The flick shuffled around in dreaded development limbo before landing at Lionsgate Summit Entertainment and Boom taking over the directing duties. Hopefully the final edition hasn’t been watered down and stays true to Tupac’s inspiring revolutionary spirit. All Eyez on Me opens in theaters on what would have been Tupac’s 46th birthday, Friday June 16.

Series: Orange is the New Black

Network: Netflix

The chaotic violence that has been escalating in the past seasons of Orange is the New Black are about to come to a crashing crescendo. Last season, the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary did not take the death of one of their own beloved inmates too kindly and the rumblings of an inevitable riot ensued.

Things are about to reach a whole new level of crazy in the Pen, when series regular Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson (Danielle Brooks) takes on more of a central role. Series star Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is still around, but is more of a background player as this season shifts its focus more towards the struggles of Taystee and the more marginalized characters doing hard time. And for the first time, this season’s thirteen episodes will be solely focusing on those three days of chaos.

As with all riots, we’ll have to ride out the wave of violence to see what it leads to. The show had to deal with some real-life mayhem, when a hacker said they had stolen the new series prior to its release and uploaded it online for the world to see. Regardless of the wannabe pirate’s claim, fans will be able to enjoy the entire new fifth season of OITNB when it’s released on Netflix Friday June 9.

Series: Glow

Network: Netflix

If you were a young struggling actress back in the mid-1980s, desperate to make your big break in the biz, there’s a chance you could’ve ended up in the wild world of professional wrestling.

While the WWF was at its zenith of popularity, riding the successful wave of Hulkamania throughout the steroid induced decade, other copy-cat organizations began to popup and attempt to emulate the formula that turned Vince McMahon’s company into such a cash cow.

Netflix has stepped into the ring to offer their raucous comedic recounting of one such venture that ended up becoming a short-lived hit and simultaneous punch-line and turning point in the history of pro-wrestling. The new series Glow tells the tale of the all-female wrestling federation the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which became a surprise cultural curiosity.

The Netflix series features an ensemble cast, centering mainly on out-of-work actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) who is using the theatrics of wrestling as a last ditch chance to boost her fledging career. The ladies have their future resting in the unsteady hands of Glow’s shady b-movie producer turned cocaine infested wresting promotor Sam Sylvia, played by comedian Marc Maron. And as Sylvia attempts to keep his nose clean and his business above water, the women in the suddenly hot organization must deal with the bright spotlight now shining on them, and the new temptations and petty jealousies that can accompany such a whirlwind situation.

We’ll get to see who will have their hands raised in victory, when Glow begins on Netflix Friday June 23.

Series: I’m Dying Up Here

Network: Showtime

If you were a young struggling comedian back in the mid-1970s, desperate to make your big break in the biz, you could’ve found yourself working at a string of seedy nightclubs across the country.

The Holy Grail for just about every comic back then was the chance to display their talents on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. If Johnny genuinely laughed and liked you, then gave you the coveted wave to come join him at his desk for an interview after your set, your career was set for success.

If you were a comic lucky enough to be a regular at a club, your dream was to have a network booking agent see one of your shows and give you the opportunity to do the Tonight Show. Now Showtime takes a look at the comedy scene of the era with their new series titled I’m Dying Up Here, based on the William Knoedelsder book I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak & High Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era, With a backdrop of 1973 Los Angeles, the show is set inside one of the most popular comedy clubs in Hollywood. Goldie (Melissa Leo) runs her club with both an iron fist and mother’s love.

Playing the part of den mother to her brood of naïve wannabe jokesters, Goldie gets the say in who goes on and who gets the boot. And a good gig at her joint is a proven way to get a guest spot on the much sought-after Carson (played by Dylan Baker in the series) show.

Many real-life comedians such as Al Madrigal and Andrew Santino play roles in the show’s vast ensemble cast, which also includes veterans Alfred Molina as a rival club owner and Cathy Moriarty as a disappointed parent of one of the young comics. Half Boogie Nights half Man on the Moon, perhaps since Jim Carey is an executive producer, the wild hijinks of I’m Dying Up Here begins Sunday June 4 at 10pm.

Film: The Big Sick

Release Date: Junes 23

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani has been on a bit of a roll in the last few years. Not only did the Pakistani born comic co-host the hit Comedy Central standup show The Meltdown with fellow busy body Jonah Ray, he’s also a part of the terrific ensemble cast in the Emmy nominated HBO series Silicon Valley.

With guest appearances in a number of other popular shows, including a memorable recurring role in Portlandia, it seems the only logical next step would be for Nanjiani to take his talents to the big screen. And that’s just what he has done with his new movie The Big Sick, which he co-wrote with his wife Emily Gordon.

Directed by Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow, the film tells a fictionalized tale of the couples complicated love story and how it was almost derailed by the sudden onset of a near fatal illness that struck Emily.

Having to also deal with his own conservative Muslim parent’s expectations on top of his ailing loved one, Nanjiani attempts to navigate through the trying time with the help of Emily’s weary parents, played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter.

Hoping that the concern the three share for Emily outweighs any differences they may have about each other and that he may find peace with his own parents, Nanjiani knows it’s going to be no small fight against The Big Sick starting Friday June 23.

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