The Stream: Willie Nelson releases 152nd album

DEK: Ron Howard’s Jim Henson documentary premieres on Disney+; Lifetime Network’s docuseries sheds new light on Nicole Brown Simpson

Willie Nelson, performing at Farm Aid 30 in 2015, releases his latest album, “The Border,” on Friday. (Rob Grabowski / Invision via AP)

There’s plenty to stream this week as Willie Nelson is back with his 152nd album, Ron Howard dives into the career of Jim Henson, and Lifetime looks into the life and death of Nicole Brown Simpson.


Jim Henson died in 1990 at age 53, but his Muppet creations and their rambunctious spirit have long outlived him. Ron Howard’s “Jim Henson Idea Man” (Friday on Disney+) attempts to document the life and imagination behind one of the most beloved entertainers. Howard made the film with the involvement of the Henson family and the use of its extensive archive.

George Clooney’s “The Boys in the Boat” (Tuesday on Prime Video) is an almost daringly old-fashioned sports drama that makes “Seabiscuit” look comparatively cutting edge. It tells the true-life tale of the University of Washington rowing team that, in 1936, reached the Olympics in Berlin. In her review, AP National Writer Jocelyn Noveck wrote, “Clooney has gone for stirring and a bit stodgy, pleasing and a bit predictable.”

In the Nordic Western “The Promised Land” (Thursday on Hulu), the frontier is Denmark’s remote Jutland heath, where a retired army captain (Mads Mikkelsen) travels with royal permission to cultivate a farm in 1755. His adventures, a loosely true history adapted from Ida Jessen’s 2020 bestseller “The Captain and Ann Barbara,” give Mikkelsen a sweeping backdrop for his magnetic presence.


“The Border,” Willie Nelson’s 152nd album — you read that correctly, at least, according to Texas Monthly — arrives Friday. Across the release, Nelson offers idiosyncratic interpretations of compositions from country songwriting greats: Mike Reid (“Nobody Knows Me Like You”), Rodney Crowell with Will Jennings (“Many a Long and Lonesome Highway”), and Larry Cordle with Erin Enderlin (“I Wrote This Song for You”) among them. The title track, “The Border,” is another reimagination of Crowell, a track from his 2019 album “Texas.” It’s a love letter to the Lone Star State, the kind Nelson knows better than anyone else.

Grammy-, Tony- and Emmy-winner Ben Platt brings his Broadway-sized pop to a third studio album, “Honeymind.” It’s a cheery pop-rock record (produced by Dave Cobb, known for his work with country greats Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile and, most recently, Zayn Malik), deeply informed by his own love story and Peter Gabriel melodies. It’s an ideal record for musical theater fans looking for a different change of pace.

Tanerélle, Republic Records’ latest signee, is preparing to release a new EP, “Electric Honey.” The Atlanta singer-songwriter’s strength is her rich vocal tone — classic and futuristic-sounding in the same breathy delivery of her grounded R&B. She might be a new name to some. Still, she’s already landed some impressive co-signs in the form of A-list syncs: Her music appeared in Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” and Issa Rae’s great HBO drama “Insecure.”

And now for something completely different: On Friday, BMG Records will release “Pepito y Paquito,” the earliest collection of recorded material from flamenco legends Paco de Lucía and Pepe de Lucía — restored partially by using AI technology — captured initially when they were 11 and 13 years old, respectively. (Before working under their names, they were known as “Pepito y Paquito.”) There’s a lot to love here but begin with “Me Falta La Resistencia,” the boys’ adaptation of the La Repompa de Málaga tango.


In the new Netflix series “Eric,” it’s 1980s New York, and Benedict Cumberbatch plays a curmudgeon puppeteer named Vincent with a crumbling marriage. When Vincent’s son Edgar goes missing, he becomes obsessed with finishing a puppet the boy was drawing, convinced it’s the key to bringing him home. “Eric” premieres Thursday on Netflix.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a puppeteer whose son goes missing in the Netflix series “Eric.” (Ian West / PA via AP)

Peacock’s acclaimed British musical comedy “We Are Lady Parts” returns for a second season on Thursday. It follows the members of a female all-Muslim rock band in London. The new episodes pick up after a time jump. Lady Parts now has fans, a rival music group to compete with, and they’re gearing up to release a full album. Activist Malala Yousafzai makes a guest appearance in the new episodes.

A new Lifetime docuseries called “The Life and Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” shares details of her life before she and Ron Goldman were murdered outside her home 30 years ago on June 12, 1994. Her ex-husband, O.J. Simpson, was acquitted of their murders after a lengthy trial that aired live on TV. Simpson, who died in April from cancer, always maintained his innocence. The two-part docuseries premieres June 1-2 on Lifetime and will stream on

Chip and Joanna Gaines get a taste of #lakelife with their latest project filmed for TV. They’re fixing up a mid-century modern lake house near Lake Waco, just in time for the 10th anniversary of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. “Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse” premieres Sunday on the Magnolia Network and HGTV. It streams on Max and Discovery+ on the same day.


For 25 years, Super Smash Bros. has owned its self-created category — goofy, family-friendly, multiplayer brawling — because none of Nintendo’s competitors have its deep bench of characters. Warner Bros. Games could mount a serious challenge, though, with MultiVersus. Why not team up Wonder Woman and Jason Voorhees vs. Bugs Bunny and Steven Universe? And have them fight it out in the Batcave or the throne room from “Game of Thrones”? And it’s free-to-play, although WB hopes you’ll spend cash on season passes and cosmetic upgrades. The initial roster has a couple dozen fighters, and who knows how far WB will dig into its massive film library. Dirty Harry and The Exorcist go toe-to-toe in Casablanca? The battle begins Thursday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox Series X/S/One and PC.