The month of July brings with it a versatile range of on-screen entertainment for all to indulge in. Might you find yourself in a dilemma for what to bank your precious time on, fret not—Vogue Singapore has you covered with a thoughtful selection of shows to hit the play button on—all made available on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+ this month.
First up on the list: Persuasion. On-screen darling Dakota Johnson rises to the occasion to take up the role of Annie Elliott: our protagonist in the adaptation of distinguished novel by beloved author Jane Austen. The book, Persuasion, was Austen’s final piece of work before she passed—and significantly so. At the heart of the novel and show, Annie demonstrates a sentiment of emotional maturity and considerable reflection, for the lover she was once forced to give up due to social station, but has now made an unexpected return to her life. Whilst the novel takes on a more dry satirical undercurrent, an uplifting, witty and humorous tone is adopted for this latest film adaptation instead—setting itself apart from its previous remake attempt in 1995.
Further down the line-up for the month is Apple TV’s Black Bird. The true crime narrative readies itself for a six-episode run of psychological thrill and heart-pounding suspense, as it follows once high school football hero turned drug-dealer Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), who’s been sentenced to a decade-long prison sentence without parole. For the price of freedom, he enters a maximum-security prison to befriend and elicit a confession from suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) who might be guilty of murdering at least 14 young girls. But between the riveting performance of the on-screen characters and the narrative’s high drama, creator Dennis Lehane poses the more morbid question of our own darkness that lurks within.
Others to consider for the month? A line-up of animated favourites and action-packed thrillers: from the highly-anticipated DC fan-favourite Harley Quinn to exciting film releases in the vein of The Gray Man. The former is finally releasing its long-awaited third season, where the cynical villain pair of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy make their official debut as a romantic couple, whilst the blockbuster film release is one to hold your breath on, for its star-studded cast alone—think Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and our ‘Blue’ issue’s Miss Vogue, Jessica Henwick.
Below, the full list of our top streaming picks of the month.
1 / 9
The Gray Man
Directed by The Russo Brothers, who are behind MCU’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: End Game, The Gray Man is set to be a gruelling spy thriller packed with unrelenting action scenes and a star-studded cast featuring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas. Gosling is Sierra Six, a former CIA mercenary, now on the hit list for knowing one too many secrets. Ruthlessly hunted down by his psychopathic ex-colleague Lloyd Hansen, played by Evans, the 122-minute picture promises a high-octane experience of gripping suspense and heart-pounding sequences.
Watch The Gray Man on Netflix on 22 July.
2 / 9
Harley Quinn Season 3
Partners-in-crime Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are back in Gotham for round 3—as both best friends and lovers in the third part of Harley Quinn. Only more mayhem and madness is to be expected as the dynamic duo sends their world into absolute chaos and havoc as they wrap up the “Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour”. Known for its delivery of a punchy script, Poison Ivy sums up the episodic adult animation series in a single sentence: “It’s so fun and then raunchy…and then a little scary,”. With more appearances of other characters such as Swamp Thing, Catwoman and Batman, the fandom seems to be in for a real treat this summer.
Harley Quinn season 3 premieres on 28 July on HBO Max.
3 / 9
When it comes to cinematic adaptations, it’s hard to find an author as well-established and endeavoured as Jane Austen. Next up on the screen line-up from the lauded British novelist is the highly-anticipated Persuasion starring Dakota Johnson as the novel’s protagonist. Previously attempted in 1995, the screen picture adopts one of the author’s more unsettling narratives: following the story of Anne Elliott (Johnson)—whose ex-lover, Captain Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis) whom she had rejected seven years ago, has now returned after the war. Offering a more unconventional take with the characters’ points-of-view, we can expect a more witty, satirical remake where Anne breaks the fourth wall in a Clueless-esque style. Add a prospective love triangle in the vein of one Henry Golding to the mix and we have ourselves the potential drama of a true regency-led production.
Persuasion premieres on Netflix on 15 July.
4 / 9
IN THE SOOP: Friendcation
Make no mistake, this isn’t your typical travel reality series. Rather a travel reality series anchored by an ensemble cast or rather South Korea’s adored inner circle: Park Seo Joon, BTS’s V, Park Hyung Sik, Choi Woo Sik and Peakboy. ‘In The Soop’ will see these five best friends retreating to a countryside together, away from their hectic yet glamourous work schedules for a much-needed respite. Fans of the stars can expect a showing of their brotherly love and humourous banter in this series, while featuring scenic spots, their individual quirks and plenty of enticing food.
IN THE SOOP: Friendcation premieres on Disney+ on 22 July.
5 / 9
Neil Patrick Harris returns to the television rom-com scene with Darren Star’s Uncoupled. Star, who is behind hit TV series such as Emily in Paris and Sex and the City, joins hands with Netflix once again to narrate the story of Michael (Harris) who finds his happily married life completely ruined overnight, when his husband and soulmate of 17 years, decides to walk out on him. He now finds himself as a single, gay man in his mid-40s—experiencing the high excitement and offbeat in-between moments that the city of New York has to offer. Expect awkward intimacy, budding friendships and a good dose of dramatic humour to come along with it.
Watch Uncoupled on Netflix on 29 July.
6 / 9
Making friends with the serial killer in the room was never on Jimmy Keene’s list of things to do—but now it has to be. Striking the deal with the devil is the compelling Taron Egerton as Keene, attempting to solicit a confession of Larry Haul (Paul Walter Hauser) via befriending him in prison. Keene, sentenced to 10-year prison time for dealing drugs, is met with the enticing offer of freedom by the FBI, in exchange for the high risk exchange between him and Haul, the potentially heinous murderer who finds his pleasure in deeply unsettling conversations and shared secrets. From the teaser alone, we witness Egerton’s charisma seeping through, as he holds his own: building intensity in his back-and-forth interactions with Hauser and delving deep into the narrative’s deeply-seeded question: how many sides to ourselves are we keeping hidden away?
Black Bird is set to screen on Apple TV+ on 8 July.
7 / 9
Going beneath the surface, the eight-episode psychological thriller casts us into the unreliable, fragmented world of Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)—who wakes up from a traumatic head injury after a suspected suicide attempt, with absolutely no memory of the life she once lived. As she comes around with the supposed help of her husband and close friends, she struggles to accept the supposed truths she’s being fed, instead attempting to put the pieces together on her own. “Sometimes it’s hard not knowing your own secrets,” Sophie cautions, as she takes us on a narrative of self-discovery, asking after our own agency in choosing who we want to be. The suspense can be expected to be nerve-wrecking, and the thrill, exhilarating.
Catch Surface on Apple TV+ on 29 July.
8 / 9
Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World
When it comes to the world of travel documentaries, perhaps none are quite as lauded as Joanna Lumley’s spectacular lineup from her Joanna Lumley’s Japan to Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights. Seemingly on a mission to cover the entire globe, the docu actress explores the greatest cities of Europe, from destination-favourites such as Paris and Rome to the culture-centric city of Berlin. Gaining exclusive access to the sights beyond just the usual famous landmarks of these cities, she shows us the true opulent decadence that lies behind them all.
Watch Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World on BBC Player come 6 July.
9 / 9
If you remember loving the Oscar-winning feature Big Hero 6 when it was released in 2014, this is one to keep your eye on. A throwback to an animated favourite of the past decade, comfort comes to life once again in the vein of healthcare robot, Baymax who makes its return to the screen in this Disney+ six-episode series. Affable, fantastical and completely inflatable, the big, huggable character was a crowd favourite of the animated feature, for the healing on-screen presence it offered to so many. Back in San Fransokyo, the robot companion is doing what it does best: helping others, in ways they never really knew they needed either.
Watch Baymax! on Disney+ now.