• The Literary Film & TV You Need to Stream in June

    Summertime, and the Streaming’s Easy

    Every month, all the major streaming services add a host of newly acquired (or just plain new) shows, movies, and documentaries into their ever-rotating libraries. So what’s a dedicated reader to watch? Well, whatever you want, of course, but the name of this website is Literary Hub, so we sort of have an angle. To that end, here’s a selection of the best (and most enjoyably bad) literary film and TV coming to streaming services this month. Have fun.

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    NEW:

    Queenie
    Hulu, June 7

    Literary bona fides: based on Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (2019)

    Carty-Williams’s bestselling novel Queenie was repeatedly pitched as “the Black Bridget Jones,” and much like Fielding’s heroine, she now, naturally, has her own adaptation, in this case starring Dionne Brown as the titular heroine. But, writes Vanessa Willoughby, “Carty-Williams’s protagonist feels much more like a deconstruction of the Sad Girl than a response to Bridget Jones … The heart of Queenie‘s narrative isn’t about coping with the ups and downs of the single life; it’s about self-liberation from the demands of, to borrow a term from bell hooks, a white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” Carty-Williams is one of the executive producers on the show, which gives me high hopes that all the nuance and messy truth of this character will come through.

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    Presumed Innocent
    Apple TV+, June 12

    Literary bona fides: based on Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (1986)

    The only question I have after watching this trailer is, of course . . . but did he kill her? (And: I’m going to have to watch this stressful murder show now, aren’t I?)

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    House of the Dragon (Season 2)
    HBO Max, June 16

    Literary bona fides: based on Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin (2018)

    The second season of the Game of Thrones prequel promises old characters, new characters, massive armies, and actual dragons (five of them, apparently). If you’re waiting for this, you probably already know exactly when it’s coming out, and if you’re not waiting for it, you probably don’t care—but dragons are always fun.

    Land of Women
    Apple TV+, June 26

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    Literary bona fides: based on Land of Women (La tierra de las mujeres) by Sandra Barneda (2014)

    Eva Longoria stars in this dramedy—based on the novel of the same name by Spanish journalist and presenter Sandra Barneda—as a woman forced, along with her mother and daughter, to escape from her husband’s misdeeds to their ancestral home in Spain. Family secrets will be uncovered!


    My Lady Jane
    Prime Video, June 27

    Literary bona fides: based on My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows (2016)

    Well, everyone knows that Jane Grey ruled England for only nine days before she was deposed and beheaded, but what this show presupposes is . . . maybe she wasn’t? Clearly, Amazon is trying their hand at the irreverent (a)historical series centered on a Strong Female Character, which is fine, I guess—though some fans of the YA series on which this is based seem a little skeptical of the trailer.

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    WondLa
    Apple TV+, June 18

    Literary bona fides: based on The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi (2010)

    Eva has lived her whole life in an underground bunker, raised by a robot, taught about life through holograms—until an attack shakes her loose, and she winds up on the surface of Earth. But are there any other humans left? No trailer for this yet, but I for one support exposing children to post-apocalyptic stories as early as possible. They should know.

    Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play.
    HBO Max, June 20

    Literary bona fides: based (sorta) on Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris (2018)

    This is not an adaptation, nor a play (despite the title), but rather a documentary that follows visionary playwright Jeremy O. Harris as he works on and deconstructs his now-famous work. “The documentary mirrors the play’s provocative nature, delving deep into the theory and inspiration behind Harris’ creative decisions as both writer and director,” writes Dan Hunt. “Through intimate workshop footage and candid interviews, the film celebrates Harris’ unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on stage.”

    THROWBACK:


    Dune (1984)
    Netflix, June 1

    Literary bona fides: based on Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

    Oh, have you now seen Dune 2? That means it might be time to revisit Dune 1—the real Dune 1, otherwise known as David Lynch’s glorious failure of an adaptation. Come for the legendary mess of a film, stay for the soundtrack by Toto.

    Fight Club (1999)
    Hulu, June 1

    Literary bona fides: based on Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (1996)

    A cult classic based on a cult classic—and therefore, necessarily misunderstood. But still great (if you know how to read it).

    Stardust (2007)
    Paramount Plus, June 1

    Literary bona fides: based on Stardust by Neil Gaiman (1997)

    Do you need something nice in your life? Try this whimsical fantasy concoction, which features a delightful cast (including Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Rupert Everett, and Peter O’Toole) and which, perhaps not unrelatedly, is simply much better than it needs to be.

    There Will Be Blood (2007)
    Paramount Plus, June 1

    Literary bona fides: based on Oil! by Upton Sinclair (1926)

    Technically, There Will Be Blood is only inspired by Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, and only the first 150 pages of it at that, which go deep on the drilling of oil and the lives of those who did it, but the movie is so good that we shall be counting it here.

    Carol (2015)
    Netflix, June 17

    Literary bona fides: based on The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (1952)

    ‘Tis really . . . not the season for Carol, but that’s okay. This perfect adaptation of Highsmith’s novel, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is good at any time.

    Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
    Netflix, June 6

    Literary bona fides: based on Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (2013)

    On the other hand, summer is the perfect time to rewatch Crazy Rich Asians, a big, funny, feast for the senses. Perhaps outside, with a projector?

    Emily Temple
    Emily Temple
    Emily Temple is the managing editor at Lit Hub. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2020. You can buy it here.





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