Star on Disney Plus lands in homes across New Zealand later tonight. What this means for those signed up to the existing Disney Plus service is a huge helping of extra content – double, in fact – with a small price increase as a result.
This is Disney’s effort to upgrade its streaming service, taking it from being a hub for family-friendly films and TV shows to a broader service that can compete with Netflix in the entertainment streaming space.
Star aims to achieve this by offering a wide mix of old and new shows and movies. Star on Disney Plus will feature its own originals, primarily from its US-owned production companies such as FX, ABC and 20th Century Fox, with four available on the day of launch.
You can see the full list of Star shows and movies coming to Disney Plus at launch here, but below we’ve picked 8 great shows that we believe are worth a watch once new content becomes available today at 9PM NZDT.
Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland has co-created a new animated series about a group of aliens trying to blend in to suburban American life. Having launched on Hulu in the US last year, we’re extremely excited that the series will now be available to watch in other territories.
Outside of the US, Solar Opposites is considered a Disney Plus Star original. The show has already proved popular enough to earn both second and third seasons, and if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, then you’ll be pleased to learn that it really isn’t a million miles away in terms of its type of humour.
As one of the first adult-oriented original shows on Disney Plus, Big Sky has a lot riding on its shoulders. The shows sees private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) team up with Cody’s estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), in a search for two sisters who have been kidnapped in Montana.
Soon, it becomes evident that this crime is linked to several other missing girls in the area, and it becomes a race against time to stop this monster before it’s too late. Created by David E. Kelley (The Practice, Big Little Lies), we have high hopes for this one.
From creator – and future Avengers director – Joss Whedon, who’s become a complicated figure to discuss these days, the sci-fi western Firefly follows the ragtag crew of the spaceship Serenity, who try to make a living in a galaxy controlled by a totalitarian government.
The series takes inspiration from Cowboy Bebop, and is great fun to watch, even if it ends well before reaching its full potential. You suspect that had it been made for a different channel, or for streaming services years later, it may well have run for five fantastic seasons. The sequel movie, Serenity (not on Disney Plus, because it was made by Universal), is a worthy-if-depressing capper to the show.
JJ Abrams’ spy series is classic ’00s TV – well, for its first two seasons at least; thereafter it begins to lose momentum. Starring Jennifer Garner, the show is about a secret agent who believes she’s working for the US government, but who is in fact operating on behalf of an Illuminati-like terrorist organisation called SD-6.
Gradually weaving in Da Vinci-infused conspiracies and big sci-fi ideas, Alias definitely loses its way at a certain point. However, despite appearing somewhat dated, and the fact that its many apparent ‘international’ settings are clearly just Los Angeles in disguise, it’s extremely entertaining.
Set in the same universe as the hit film Love, Simon, the new Hulu-produced series Love, Victor finds another teenage student (Michael Cimino, not to be confused with the late director of The Deer Hunter) struggling with his own self-discovery and sexual identity while navigating a new town and school. Thankfully, he’ll be able to reach out to Simon (Nick Robinson) for help on occasion.
Is there ever a bad time to watch The X-Files? It’s been a staple of Amazon Prime Video in many countries for a while now, but Disney Plus will soon be Mulder and Scully’s new home. Those who have watched the show, will know the deal: it’s mostly great when it’s about monster-of-the-week stories; but mostly bad when the mythology elements come into the foreground. Still, if you’ve never seen it before, then this is the perfect time to get involved.
Is Prison Break actually good? That’s a tough question to answer. Arriving in the wake of densely serialised dramas such as Lost, it follows Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) as he attempts to break his brother, Linc (Dominic Purcell), who’s on death row, out of jail before he’s executed. The twist? Scofield has the prison’s entire map tattooed on his body. Each week, that plot device is used to get the duo one step closer to freedom. At least, that’s the plot of the first season; then it changes up quite a lot.
Here’s the thing: when you call a show ‘Prison Break’, you have to keep putting the characters back in prison once they escape, which is a problem this show doesn’t deal with all that well. Still, the first two seasons are incredibly entertaining – but is it good? Fifteen years after we first watched it, we’re still not sure.
One of the best animated family sitcoms since The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers follows the eccentric Belcher family, which consists of parents Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts), along with their three precocious children, Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal). Struggling in the face of a rival restaurant, Bob and family struggle to keep their burger restaurant afloat.