What to watch on CBC Gem in May 2021

Here’s everything new coming to CBC Gem in May 2021, including these shows highlighted by NOW critics.

Bad Rap

Before Awkwafina was, well, Awkwafina – comic whirlwind, breakout TV personality, Disney voice actor, Marvel co-star – she was one of the four Asian-American hip-hop artists profiled in Salima Koroma’s 2016 documentary, which is landing on Gem as part of the Asian Heritage collection. (The others were MC Dumbfoundead, Luricks and Rekstizzy, if you were wondering.) April 30


Also screening as part of the Asian Heritage collection, Steve Loveridge’s documentary about the polarizing artist and activist M.I.A is not a conventional music documentary, but instead a complex collage film about the very different worlds that made her who she is, and which she continues to occupy. And if you don’t know who M.I.A. is, this remarkably honest conversation with NOW’s Radheyan Simonpillai will give you a good idea. April 30

Lost & Found

The Tōhoku earthquake of March 11, 2011 was the largest quake in Japan’s history, and the one that produced the tsunami that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. One of the less frequently considered effects of a tsunami is the volume of debris that washes out to sea afterward – and a year after Tōhoku, things started washing up on the coasts of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington, and the people who found them became determined to return them to their rightful owners. John Choi and Nicolina Lanni’s documentary tells that story. Now streaming.

A photo of musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Alex Sturrock

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

Following a festival run last year, Posy Dixon’s doc profiling the Canada-based American singer/songwriter arrives on streaming. The Philadelphia-born transgender artist has experienced a career resurgence and recently released the retrospective album Transmissions. The film spans “five decades of relentless musical output and shifting manifestations of gender and sexual identity” and is “set against a backdrop of profound social change,” according to a the festival programming description. May 21

Twenties (season 1)

Good Trouble’s Jonica T. Gibbs, Insecure’s Christina Elmore and The Expanse’s Gabrielle Graham star in Lena Waithe’s BET series, inspired by Waithe’s own experiences breaking into television and trying not to betray every last one of her personal values. Gibbs plays the Waithe surrogate, with Elmore and Graham as her straight best friends. May 21

CBC Music Presents: If These Walls Could Talk

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the JUNO awards in June, CBC is rolling out a series of music specials; this one, a one hour special in which “top Canadian musicians share stories of their historic nights at some of the country’s best concert halls,” might be extra helpful if you’re starting to forget what concerts feel like. May 21

The full list of new titles available on CBC Gem in May 2021 by date:

April 30

Bad Rap

The Donut King

Lost & Found

Indian Space Dreams


Palisa Anderson’s Water Heart Food

May 5

Keep Pushing

May 7

The Dog House (season 2)

Escape To The Country

In My Skin

Meghan + Harry: The New Revelations

Nahanni: River Of Forgiveness

Nude To Me

The Royals Revealed


May 14

Alicia Keys Live In L.A.

Bad Banks (season 2)

Blackstone (season 3)

May 21

CBC Music Presents: If These Walls Could Talk

CBC Music Presents: The Intro

CBC Music Presents: My JUNOs Moment

Call The Midwife (season 6)


Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story

My Big Family Farm (season 3)


May 29

Our Game


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