Streaming Friday has its greatest day yet, led by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ode to the neighborhood one of our editors grew up in, but not the one who’s recommending it. We’ve got the returns of a dashing and cunning French thief, a collection of defiant female skateboarders, and a reckless U.S.-expat in London whose job fixing famous people’s messes in life leads to the continual collapse of her own. Let’s keep this party polite and dig into the new shows as we head into this steamy weekend.
In The Heights [HBO Max]
One year after it’s original release date, the long awaited movie musical has arrived! A love letter to Washington Heights, this movie celebrates community and, if you’re anything like me, will undoubtedly make you cry like a baby.
Betty [HBO, 11p]
HBO’s series about a group of teenage skateboarding girls (in a male dominated world) is back for a six-episode second season. The tail-end of the season will depict the pandemic.
When we hit the mid-season break, our hero Assane Diop, the world’s biggest fan of fictional French thief Arsene Lupin, had lost his son on a bucolic beach in a sea of Lupins. He’s now about as far as ever from avenging his dad’s framing at the hands of a powerful industrialist, with his family now in peril as well. Even if it gets a bit ridiculous at times, between the elegant performance of lead Omar Sy and the slick choreography and perfect loud-quiet-loud pacing, this heist story has proven itself one of the great breakout shows of 2021.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- Oh, Flack, will you ever win–or even break your spiral. Anna Paquin’s PR “fixer” queen Robyn has joined Nurse Jackie Peyton, Dr. House and Saul Goodman, in the pantheon of classic characters who are undeniably great at their jobs but whose lives just fall more and more irreparably apart. Its second season drops tonight on Amazon Prime.
- A nine-year-old girl solving a crime is the stuff of movies of the week or light Disney comedy. However, Home After Dark is quite, well, dark, and based on the actual tale of a real-life pre-teen journo. It’s on Amazon Prime.
- It’s a banner day for women and skateboards as in addition to the return of Betty, we also have the debut of the Netflix film Skater Girl. The U.S./Indian project is an uplifting story of a tribal girl who discovers the sport when a cool 30-something returns to her town and teaches her the ropes. It’s from director Manjari Makijany.
- There’s been a bunch of critical buzz around the 2018 South African series Timewasters, and why shouldn’t there be as it’s about a time-traveling five-piece jazz band whose mode of time transport is a dilapidated projects elevator. It finally makes its way to the states via IMDb’s fledgling streaming arm, and while it’s whimsical, it does humorously make the darker point of the level of white privelege involved in exploring other eras as none is particularly safe for a group of Black travelers.
- Discovery+ tries to whet its beak on the Conjuring movies craze. On the heels of The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It. The death star of (theoretically) educational programming looks at the real story behind the movie series (and this particular installment) The Devil Made Me Do It.
- Call it a modern new age Fantasia or a cash grab repackaging its vast library into a configuration fans will surely buy into, Zenimation does have a tight title game. It debuts on, of course, Disney+ tonight.
- The 2018 movie Love, Simon spawned the Hulu spinoff (of sorts) Love, Victor which continues the tales of Creekwood High School self-discovery in its second season, released today.
- Another show with love on its mind and in its title hits its second season: the marvelously titled Korean series Love (Ft. Marriage and Divorce). It weaves together the story of three friends and what happens when they all fall at love on once, and it’s on Netflix.
- Finally, Alexandra Trese helps the police fight supernatural criminals in the flashy Filipino anime Trese, based on a comic book of the same name.