What To Watch: 02/05/2021

It’s Streaming Friday as today’s network fare is mostly of the Blue Bloods variety–not that there’s anything wrong with that (we Scholars have been known to enjoy the occasional episode). And we’re led by that sassy puppy who has been cheering up blue souls for over 70 years. If his new show does not get you searching to figure out how to get Apple TV+, nothing will. There’s also a virtual tsunami of streaming flicks from beloved sources… that most of them are getting tepid to awful reviews is beside the point. Here we go go go to the temple of consumption!

KATHERINE’S PICK:
The Snoopy Show [Apple TV+]
I may die mad that Apple TV+ has the rights to the Charlie Brown universe but I nevertheless look forward the platform’s Snoopy Show, a series of new animated adventures following America’s animated Beagle. The tone and animation are comfortingly similar to the original, and I can’t wait to share this with my toddler nephew and his cool, Gen-X mom.

NAVANI’S PICK:
Malcolm & Marie [Netflix]
This highly anticipated black-and-white romantic drama centers on a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend (all grown up Zendaya) whose relationship has a reckoning after his latest film premiere. The intimate story spans over one night of waiting for the critics’ reviews after getting home from the premiere. What makes this film special is not only that fact that both co-stars are also producers, but it’s also one of the first feature films conceived and filmed (successfully) during the COVID-19 pandemic. That makes me feel hopeful for future productions.

BRAD’S PICK:
Earwig & the Witch [HBO Max]
Studio Gibli goes CG? Yup! Their latest tells the story of a little girl who discovers she’s a witch’s daughter after being taken from her orphanage by two strange women. I, for one, cannot wait to see what Studio Gibli has in store as they embrace new technology.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Director Mike Cahill brings to Amazon Prime the action/adventure flick Bliss featuring Owen Wilson as a man whose dreams about Selma Hayek let him know that his reality is unreal and he is in… well, we don’t want to say The Matrix, but that’s about the size of it. While it’s been done, it’s always a fun premise, although its Reloaded/Revolutions-level reviews makes us wonder if you want your fill of Hayek and Wilson, just watch the second season of 30 Rock and Melissa Villasenor’s imitation on SNL.
  • When you think of pole dancing, where does your mind go? Well, if you’ve cleared your mind of the trash, Strip Down, Rise Up reminds us it can also be about empowerment as the Netflix documentary digs into the fad that took the activity normally associated with gentlemen’s clubs into women’s gyms.
  • Host and comedian Craig Robinson returns with a second season and 12 new stories of African American innovators on Your Attention Please, again, on Netflix (are you sensing a theme, yet?)
  • Doesn’t Space Sweepers–the new South Korean import on a certain extremely popular streaming service that rhymes with Jetblix–look fun? In this 2021 space opera, a trio of astronaut Sanfords & Sons, come across a little girl who is also a robot who is also a massively powerful bomb. Cute, huh?
  • In fact, if you’re a collector of Rhymes-With-Jetblix imports, you’re in luck as there’s the Spanish crime drama Hache, set in the world of drug trafficking, back for a second season. Invisible City comes from Brazil and involves a murder mystery that spans the tangible world and an underground one populated by mythical creatures. We travel back across the ocean to Italy for the Rocco Ricciardulli impossible love story, The Last Paradiso. Little Big Woman was box office boffo in Taiwan as its highest grossing film of last year (yup, some countries actually figured out how to get back to movies). It’s director Joseph Chen-chieh Hsu’s memoir about his family’s dealing with his dead grandfather’s affair. And we’re not done: The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is from China and its trailer opens with the line “Why do you hate demons so much?” Spoiler alert (do trailers need spoiler alerts?): they killed his mother. It’s a film so magical, they seem to have somehow made a sequel 18 years ago.
  • We’ll close, as we like to do, over in LifetimeMovieLand, where tonight’s delight is Killer Advice in which Kate Watson and Eric Roberts (SIDEBAR: did you know back in the 1980s, Julia was known as his sister?! grow to that one!) play Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren as decades of listening to tales of husbands who don’t load the dishwashers right from Carol in Omaha and daughters who are dating losers from Louise in Sheboygan have turned them into vicious serial killers. Or maybe it’s–as the Lifetime site says–about a woman who, after a ruthless attack, turns to a therapist who turns out to be more than she bargained for. We’ll never truly know, will we?

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