Violent chimp societies at war for domination of the Ugandan jungle. Mysterious vampires lurking in the shadows. Cannibals, spies and billionaires, oh my!
It’s a big weekend for great shows and new movies on all your favorite streaming services (and in movie theaters, but that’s a separate list). Dramas, comedies, even some exciting new nature documentaries. Something for everyone, in other words.
There’s lots to go over so I won’t waste our time with preamble. Let’s dive right in.
First up, I just finished watching Beef on Netflix and while it’s been out for a couple weeks, I need to sing its praises and make sure everyone checks this show out. It’s honestly one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen, and shockingly good for Netflix, which is at best hit-or-miss when it comes to quality. This is likely a result of it being an A24-produced series.
The show follows Danny (Steven Yeun) and Amy (Ali Wong), two people leading very different lives who get into a road rage incident with each other. What follows is best described as escalation. The feud is often hilarious, always super tense, and—at times—profoundly moving. I found myself thinking, “I’m so glad they killed off Glenn from The Walking Dead so that Yeun can make stuff like this instead.” Seriously, while everyone in this show is incredible, Yeun’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen in anything. I talk about how great the cast of Succession is but I hope Yeun gets Best Actor this year. He deserves it.
Speaking of Succession, we get to the halfway point of the drama’s final season this Sunday with ‘Kill List’. The episode appears to take place at the GoJo company retreat we heard about last week, and it looks like the whole gang is headed out to have a chat with Mattson about the deal. This is one of those shows that might not click with everyone right away, but I urge you to please watch it for some of the finest writing and acting out there, period. It’s consistently brilliant and knows exactly what it is. Unwavering quality from season to season, episode to episode, and one of the finest casts ever assembled.
If you’re familiar with my TV writing, you’ll know just how much I adore Showtime’s gripping, scary drama Yellowjackets. It’s a deliciously dark character study of a girl’s soccer team trying to survive in a terrifying wilderness juxtaposed against the lives of some of the survivors 25 years later, as they navigate life, the past, and a rising darkness that threatens to consume them. Terrific performances, juicy mysteries to unravel and some truly shocking twists. Fans of Lost should take note.
Rabbit Hole (Paramount+)
Kiefer Sutherland and Charles Dance in the same trippy thriller series? How could you not want to watch that? Dance—who played Tywin Lannister in Game Of Thrones—is delightful in this series, and Sutherland seems to be having a genuinely great time as well. 24 fans will be pleased. (And yes, now I’ve mentioned both 24 and Lost in the same post). I won’t give away any details here. Suffice to say, by the end of the first episode your expectations for what this show is going to be about will have gone on quite the dizzying ride.
From Season 2 Premiere (MGM+)
Okay, sorry, but I have to mention Lost again! That’s because MGM’s phenomenal, terrifying show From returns this weekend! It’s like Lost if the island was a town in the middle of nowhere with terrifying vampire monsters that come out at night and kill anyone they find in the most grotesque way imaginable. And it stars Lost alumni Harold Perrineau as the town’s Sheriff, Boyd Stevens. It’s really good, though I suspect a lot of people don’t even know it exists, or that MGM+ is a thing. Please do give it a chance. You can always purchase the season on Amazon if you don’t want to sign up for another streaming service.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
I admit, I’m behind on the final season of Ted Lasso, partly because there are just so many shows to watch these days it’s hard to keep up. But also because I’m not sure how to feel about it ever since they made Nick the bad guy. Or a bad guy. I didn’t love how that was handled in Season 2 and I didn’t love Season 2 nearly as much as Season 1. So I watched one episode of Season 3 and then took a break, but I will get back to it soon enough. If you’re watching, what do you think of Season 3 so far? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.
Secrets Of The Elephants (Disney+)
I told you there’d be nature documentaries in this list! The first is on Disney+ (where you can also finish watching Season 3 of The Mandalorian, which was a weirdly uneven season but had a pretty exciting finale). Secrets Of The Elephants is another documentary in the ‘Secrets Of…’ series produced by James Cameron. It’s narrated by Natalie Portman and, as you may have guessed by now, is a deep-dive into the many things that make elephants so special. Might be a good one to watch with your kids. Lord knows, few of these shows are kid-friendly!
Chimp Empire (Netflix)
So this is a nature documentary but it’s also a gripping drama of succession, betrayal and violence. This is House Of The Dragon or Succession but with chimpanzees. This is not your typical nature documentary. It’s narrated by the wonderful Mahershala Ali and directed by James Reed. I’m honestly floored by the cinematography and what they were able to capture here. Pretty unbelievable!
What did I miss, dearest readers of mine? What TV shows are you watching at the moment? Any new movies out on streaming services that I should check out? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.
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