What To Watch: 07/30/2021

While it is Streaming Friday, we’re not above 67% of our recommendations for the day being from good old fashion appointment cable. Let’s just dive in, because there’s a lot.

BRAD’S PICK:
The Last Mercenary [Netflix]
What if you were a bumbling son of the best mercenary that ever lived? And what if that mercenary was Jean-Claude Van Damme? Well If you’re curious, This 2021 flick is as close as you’re gonna get. It’s nice to see Van Damme have a sense of humor about himself, as this film is every bit a comedy as it is an action movie. Live, laugh and enjoy the explosions.

JASON’S PICK:
Back on the Record with Bob Costas [HBO, 11p]
Bob Costas is the Dan Rather of sports, the OG who has been around for just about everything from the tragedy at the 1972 Olympics to tens of thousands of MLB, NFL, and NBA games–probably a bunch of hockey games too, but who will ever know. Also like Rather, he’s not afraid to shy away from politics and has promised his new program will deal with the issues, so watch out Cole Beasley and DeAndre Hopkins. 

FIONA’S PICK:
Surrealestate [Syfy, 10p]
This week Melanie Scrofano guest stars as the Roman Agency works to sell a remote lake house. The lake house may be “perfect for reunions,” but we know that what they’re really talking about is this little Wynonna / Doc nostalgia fest.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • If you know the name John DeLorean and are reading this site, more likely than not you will associate it with that vehicle Doc Brown built a time machine… out of in Back to the Future. However, if you were already an adult when that movie came out, or are a discerning fan of automobile history, you’ll know that John Delorean’s an eccentric car maker who tried to change the way we thought of driving. Netflix’s latest docu-series Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean takes us through the life of the man known for the 1970s luxury sedan with the doors what opened upwards!
  • While some of us have just started hearing the phrase “glow up” recently (and suddenly are hearing it everywhere), it’s been around for awhile. If nothing else proves it, that this season of the UK make-up competition show Glow Up is the third clinches it. It’s from the Project Runway, Rupaul’s Drag Race, ANTM school of reality shows so expect a lot of screeching at guest stars you may or may not be familiar with. This is also on Netflix.
  • It’s a relatively quiet Friday for Netflix as the last new thing we could find is the kiddie show Centaurworld, but based on a few moments in the preview, it’s not impossible that adults will get into it, Adventure Time-style.

  • On the surface, the new Amazon Prime Brit-happy mini-series period piece The Pursuit of Love looks as standard issue as its generic title. And of course it’s based on a 1945 novel (in this case by Kate Mitford). However, it’s also the directorial debut of the wonderful Emily Mortimer and boasts an impressive cast including Mortimer, Dominic West, Lily James, and the good-in-everything Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock, His Dark Materials). It’s also blessed with a clever time-traveling soundtrack with Le Tigre, Cat Power, and Bryan Ferry on the bill.
  • As Joanna Chang, Kristin Kreuk has been fighting for good causes, especially for indigenous Canadians on the CBC import Burden of Proof since 2018. Carried by The CW in America, its fourth and final season starts tonight.
  • Although most people will associate Bruno Mars with the all-time Billboard Hot 100’s all-time top 10 hit “Uptown Funk,” the lead artist on the single was technically mega-producer Mark Ronson. That alone should be enough seven years later to earn a reality series of one’s own name on a major streaming service. And here you have it: Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson debuts on AppleTV today.
  • Speaking of ’10s pop hitmakers, Demi Lovato’s talk show–slated for Quibi before the service proved what everybody already knew about its phone-only concept–gets new life on The Roku Channel (a service where the miniature format makes a bit more sense). If you have the device, find The Demi Lovato Show on your Roku starting today. If you like sassified frank talk on waaaay oversized couches, well, you’re very much in luck.
  • From Magnolia, the TV arm of the one-time home of second-tier-but-classy indie flix, we’ve got Zoe Bakes featuring chef Zoe Francis whipping up delectable looking treats. It hits the streaming Death Star that is Discovery+ today.
  • The Lifetime-Hallmark vortex releases just one new treat, but it’s the delightful twist on mundane titling, Malicious Motives. We guessed that it would have something to do with a kind person meeting a seemingly perfect new friend who turns out to be a muderous stalker… and we were right. Katie seems like Ashley’s savior when she matches for a liver transplant, but something wicked lies beneath her awkwardly charming veneer (we’re just guessing on the awkward part). Who writes this stuff?!?!?! We want to give them a medal.

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