Paramount network series “Yellowstone.” Pictured: Kevin Costner.
Paramount network series “Yellowstone.” Pictured: Kevin Costner.
Paramount network

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Critic’s picks: Michelle Wolf, a Stephen King-themed miniseries, and more

Picnic at Hanging Rock This six-episode limited series is set in 1900, when several Australian schoolgirls and a teacher go missing during the titular outing. Based on the 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, and following a 1975 film directed by Peter Weir, the series stars Natalie Dormer — that’s Margaery Tyrell to “Game of Thrones” heads — as the headmistress of the school. Amazon, May 25

The Tale This movie, which HBO picked up at Sundance, stars Laura Dern. Oh, you need to know more, even though it stars one of our finest actresses (see: “Enlightened,” “Big Little Lies”)? OK: Dern plays a documentary filmmaker who digs through her past to look more closely at her first sexual experience. She brings her reporting skills to bear on her own past, and in the process explores the idea of consent and the distortions of memory. Ellen Burstyn, Jason Ritter, Frances Conroy, and Common also star. HBO, May 26

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The Break With Michelle Wolf Uh huh her. The comic who gave the country one more reason to polarize after April’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner has a weekly half-hour talk and variety show. Now if you find brutal political comedy and uncomfortable gender observations upsetting, you’d best stay away. The “Daily Show” alum does not go gentle into that good night. Netflix, May 27

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The Fourth EstatE Filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone,” “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib”) got access to the inner workings of the New York Times, and she turned it into this four-part documentary series. Her idea is to explore the role of the press during the Trump presidency, looking into the decision-making and reporting behind some of the biggest headlines. At a moment when any news story that’s critical of Trump gets labeled “fake news” by his supporters, this show sounds essential. Showtime, May 27

Pose Ryan Murphy’s latest series looks into 1980s New York — in particular, drag ballroom culture (see the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning”) and the emergence of glitz and wealth during that earlier Trump era. The show, Murphy’s last for FX as he starts his Netflix contract, includes music and dance, and it features the most trans performers ever cast in one show. Evan Peters, Kate Mara, Tatiana Maslany, and James Van Der Beek (as a drug kingpin) are also featured. FX, June 3

HBO series "Succession." Pictured: Brian Cox.
HBO series "Succession." Pictured: Brian Cox.
HBO

SUCCESSION This darkly comic series, set in New York, looks at the complicated succession story of a family behind an international media empire. Sounds a little like the Murdochs, no? Brian Cox stars as the patriarch, now married to his third wife, and Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, and Sarah Snook play his four children. The show is from Jesse Armstrong (“In the Loop”) and Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), which bodes well. HBO, June 3

AMC
Joy Nash as Plum, Tamara Tunie as Julia; group - Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Dietland From Marti Noxon of “UnREAL” and “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” the show stars Joy Nash as a ghostwriter for an advice column in a teen magazine. She gets caught up in an underground feminist organization that goes up against those who mistreat women. Julianna Margulies appears as an ice-cold New York fashion editor, as the show — based on Sarai Walker’s novel — takes on the themes of patriarchy and our society’s obsession with weight. AMC, June 4

Yellowstone This contemporary western series is from the celebrated Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the movies “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water” and wrote and directed “Wind River.” It’s about the owner of a large ranch, played by Kevin Costner, who fights off land developers and frackers but also clashes with Native American reservation leaders. Also in the mix: unsolved murders and poisoned wells. Paramount Network, June 20

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Castle Rock This spooky Stephen King-themed miniseries, set in King’s titular fictional Maine town and filmed in Massachusetts, travels through some of the author’s best-known fiction. What’s it about? It’s not entirely clear, but it will definitely be a great trivia test for King fans as the story brings in elements from “It,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “Needful Things,” and “Salem’s Lot,” among many other stories. The promising cast includes Jane Levy, André Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Melanie Lynskey, Sissy Spacek, Terry O’Quinn, and Scott Glenn. Hulu, July 25

Amazon series "Jack Ryan." Pictured: John Krasinski.
Amazon series "Jack Ryan." Pictured: John Krasinski.
Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios

Jack Ryan John Krasinski does the action thing in this Tom Clancy-inspired series. In his first TV series since “The Office,” he plays an up-and-coming CIA analyst who gets pulled into a war-zone assignment and uncovers a pattern of terrorist communication. Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish also star. Amazon, Aug. 31