It’s a tale of two Billies on streaming today, and truly the best and worst of times. On one hand, we have the tragic tale of brilliant jazz singer Holiday of the 1930s through 1950s and the story of how this country did her wrong. On the other hand, we have the thrilling rise of young alternative and pop hitmaker Eilish. We also stan every Tom, RuPaul, and Jerry.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday [Hulu]
One of my first ever childhood school assignments was about legendary Jazz singer Billie Holiday. I remember reading all about her iconic hit songs and her abrupt death, but nowhere in my elementary-level research was there a mention of the FBI. I’m looking forward to seeing Lee Daniels’ biopic that will delve into the government’s campaign against her song “Strange Fruit” and how they used it to racialize the drug war. Plus, Andra Day playing her is sure to be a musical treat!
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry [Apple+]
I’m in my 40s and yet I still enjoy Billie Ellish. Mainly because I know that if I was in high school her music would speak to me in similar ways to the way Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana spoke to me back then. And as it goes, she’s a complex artist. In her new doc, an attempt is made to decode that complexity. No matter how much of a fan you consider yourself, you’ll learn something
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Corona Can’t Keep a Good Queen Down [VH1]
While I have shpilkis for the next episode like any stan would, it is a compelling story to see how the contestants weathered this year’s unwelcome and life-threatening guest. As with the NFL season, it’s amazing that they were able to pull this season off.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- While it’s easy to rag on the ratings of this 2021 version of the classic Hanna Barbera cat-and-mouse cartoon that dates back to 1940, we suspect a lot of you will watch Tom & Jerry on HBO Max anyway, and we also bet that many of you will secretly enjoy it (at least at some level). And weirdly, a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for a movie with critics gunning for it might oddly be a sign that it’s not that bad.
- The more low-key animated movie debuting on streaming today, Bigfoot Family on Netflix, does not have any reviews on RT, but it’s a sequel to Son of Bigfoot which is at an impressive 75%.
- Did you know the sons of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade play on the same high school team in Los Angeles with likely future superstar Zaire Williams? Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers on IMDb TV digs into the insanity of being a teenager playing basketball under a spotlight (and microscope) that rivals that of some NBA teams.
- Paula Hawkins’ absorbing 1995 mystery novel about affairs and murders told through three pairs of eyes gets its second screen adaptation. This The Girl on a Train keeps the action in London, but it’s told in Hindi with an Indian cast led by Parineeti Chopra. It’s on Netflix.
- There are two other new Netflix imports added today. Caught By a Wave comes from Italy and tells the coming-of-age romantic story of young Sara and Lorenzo who meet working on a beach in Sicily. Spain’s Crazy About Her features starcrossed lovers at a different point in their lives. Adri can’t forget Carla after a one night stand that was design to last just that night. Unfortunately, when he tracks her down, she is in a mental facility. Adri checks himself in and wacky, yet slick hijinks ensue.
- YouTube’s special Black Renaissance tells the History of Black people through the art they have created over the years, up to and including today.
- We’ll finish up in the Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex where a bridal party becomes violent in Brutal Bridesmaids as Zoila Garcia’s Jessica is engaged to her dream lover Michael, but one of her five best friends–you guessed it, her five bridesmaids–expresses objections as to why these two might not be wed, and speaks now in the form of poisonings and crobars to the head. Brutal, Juice!