What To Watch: 10/01/2021

The day is finally here when you find out how that Jersey mobster got himself a gun. James Gandolfini’s son pays tribute to his late father by playing the younger version of his signature role as Newark finally gets its day. And that’s just the tip of October’s first Streaming Friday iceberg as there are literally dozens of new and returning shows.

BRAD’S PICK:
The Many Saints of Newark [Netflix]
You will see younger versions of your favorite characters from The Sopranos in this anticipated Netflix prequel. But we know who you really want to see is young Anthony Soprano (played by the late James Gandolfini’s son) and his fall from innocence. Show creator David Chase is steering this ship so this prequel is in good hands. What no f@‘$!$ ziti?

FIONA’S PICK:
The Guilty [Netflix]
Jake Gyllenhal plays a 911 operator. When receives a call from a woman who has been kidnapped, he tries everything in his power to find her and get her home safely, but the situation ends up being more complicated as he digs deeper into the truth.

JASON’S PICK:
Diana: The Musical [Netflix]
This is such a ridiculous concept that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened yet. This will either be a chance to see a wonderful stage experience before it hits Broadway or it could be a delightful mess. Either way, it’s popcorn worthy viewing.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Nostalgia overload alert: it’s the adventures of Luke, Han, C3PO, Chewy, R2, BB8, Anakin, Fen, Po, Daisy, Kylo, etc. (Jar Jar?), but for the like-to-be-spooked set. On Disney+, it’s LEGO Star Wars: Terrifying Tales. A Star Wars holiday special… what could possib-lie go wrong? Happy Life Day, everyone!
  • On its network affiliate, Disney celebrates fifty years in Florida as celebrities praise the mouse in song and dance while meth-fueled alligators take over Epcot Center to make Fantasia even more terrifying. We may have read that wrong, but surely the first part will happen. The second part might just be wishful thinking. ABC’s The Most Magical Story on Earth: 50 Years of Walt Disney World airs tonight.
  • Not to be outdone, HBO Max has scooped up the final episodes of the second season of Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?–a throwback to the 1970s iteration where the oddest assortment of celebrities would improbably cross paths with the Mystery Machine to battle villains who were sometimes masked robber barons, but were often actual supernatural creatures. The title is perfect since the Canadian band who gave us hits like “These Eyes” and “American Woman” would have been a perfect guest star on the original. Now, we want to wish this into existence. Burton Cummings? Hanna Barbera? Make it happen!
  • Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive becomes a 10-part mini-series as simply Maid–added today on Netflix. Margaret Qualley stars as Land, with her real-life mom Andie McDowell playing Land’s real-life mom. Neat!
  • We’ve got our usual crop of imports making their debut on Netflix this week. Forever Rich is a Dutch film directed by a man named Shady El-Hamus, about an aspirant rapper who hits obstacles on his rise to the top. How do you say “mom’s spaghetti” in Dutch? South Korea’s Paik’s Spirit is a cooking show featuring chef Paik jon-wong. Nigerian import Swallow tells the story of Tolani and her friends as she navigates 1980s Lagos, which can include everything from a struggling boyfriend to sexual harrassment and drug trafficking. It looks quite gritty and compelling and it’s based on a novel by Sefi Atta. Finally, we have the German documentary, Colonia Dignidad, about the chilling true tale of Nazis who established themselves in Chile and founded an evil truce with that country’s dictator Augusto Pinochet.
  • It’s a child-friendly heavy week and while Scaredy Cats is determinedly for the under-13 set, feling-loving people might also enjoy a film where witches turn crime-solving children into cats. It’s on Netflix.
  • Honor, pride, courage, many losing seasons. The hockey version of Amazon Prime’s team-following docu-series focuses on the ancient team from Canada’s largest city in All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs.
  • Eli Roth’s History of Horror feels a bit like Maroon5’s History of Rock’N’Roll… I mean, they’re fine, but… you know. Anyway, the master of torture porn looks back at great moments of fright on screen for another season on AMC.
  • Returnees for new seasons tonight on network television include CBS’ tentpole Blue Bloods (season 12), as well as the reboots of Magnum P.I. (season 4) and S.W.A.T. (season 5). The CW brings back the magic-themed reality show Penn & Teller: Fool Us for a mystifying eigth season.
  • Let’s end our Friday journey in the land of Lifetime movies, where tonight’s special feature is My Daughter’s Double Life–we’re guessing the girl is in key club AND math team, but we were all nerds here.

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