Arts & Culture

Southern Streaming: A Must-See High School Football Team, a Wynonna Judd doc, and a Mississippi Mystery

Seven great series and podcasts to tune into this May

Photo: Fager Films/Andscape

Filmmaker Jackson Fager with a member of Edna Karr's football team.

After watching the Run for the Roses (and the royal coronation) on the first weekend in May, what’s one to do with all that free streaming time the rest of the month? Have no fear, your G&G editor with too much TV (and podcast) time on her hands is here!

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Friday Night Heights

Algiers, America, Hulu

In this inspiring and heart-rending five-part docuseries that debuted in late April, the New Orleans filmmaker Jackson Fager follows the football team of Edna Karr High School, in the Crescent City’s Algiers neighborhood, as they strive for their fourth-straight state championship. Led by Algiers native and coach Brice Brown, the Edna Karr team has historically produced many top college and NFL athletes, all while enduring and attempting to overcome the effects of crime and gun violence. 

photo: Fager Films/Andscape
Fager on the sidelines.

A Death in the Family

Witnessed: Devil in the Ditch, Campside Media

For this engaging podcast, the journalist Larrison Campbell returned to her hometown of Greenville, Mississippi, to try to get to the bottom of an unsolved crime she’s unusually close to: that of the 2003 murder of her eighty-five-year-old grandmother, community pillar Martha “Presh” Campbell—a violent death her family alleges was brought about by Campbell’s cousin. 

photo: courtesy of Campside Media

Simply Mer-velous

MerPeople, Netflix

Perhaps riding on the fishtails, ahem, coattails of Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid out this month, Netflix is releasing this docuseries on May 23 highlighting “mermaid enthusiasts” who have turned their passion for les poissons into a business—including, naturally, the beloved performing mermaids of Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs

photo: courtesy of netflix

“Bad Girls,” Good Times

Love to Love You, Donna Summer, HBO Max

The disco diva may have gotten her start in Germany and made her name in New York, but at the end of her extraordinary life, she called Naples, Florida, home (and was buried in Nashville). To show the highs and lows of Summer’s life as a global superstar, the Oscar-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams partnered with the “Last Dance” chanteuse’s daughter, Brooklyn Sudano, who offered personal photographs and home videos for this documentary, out May 20. 

photo: courtesy of hbo max

Bluegrass Winner

The Grinnin’ Possum Podcast, Apple, Spotify, et al. 

Heralded Kentucky poet (and G&G contributor) Maurice Manning spent a year with his producer, Steve Cody, bumping down rural backroads to sew together this delightful quilt of a podcast on the hidden gems of Kentucky—Penn’s Store and Colville Covered Bridge, among them—embroidered with poems and banjo-pickin’. 

photo: Eric Ryan Anderson (left)

Palmetto Patrol

Missing: Dead or Alive?, Netflix

When people go missing in questionable or dangerous circumstances, who goes searching for them? This pulse-pounding docuseries, which drops May 10 and follows investigators from South Carolina’s Richland County sheriff’s department, attempts to shine a light on those with that harrowing job.

photo: netflix
Investigators Vicki Rains (left) and J.P. Smith.

Back on the Road

Wynonna Judd: Between Hell and Hallelujah, Paramount+

The country juggernaut known as the Judds came to a close in 2022 when mother Naomi died (G&G contributor Silas House wrote his own lovely tribute to her here). Daughter Wynonna, though, carried on, and this documentary from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine depicts her as she processes the loss of Naomi and starts touring again with the help of fellow superstars such as Tricia Yearwood, Ashley McBryde, and Brandi Carlile. As Wynonna recalls Naomi saying, “Rub some dirt on it and get back in the game.”

photo: courtesy of Paramount+