What To Watch: 10/08/2021

This week’s Streaming Friday includes the return of a rising star, familiar [felt] faces, as well as a heralded new bilingual comedy based in an ’80s paradise–and if you enjoy pop hits from that decade en español, you’ll get an extra treat (and we don’t mean that to be flip, the trailer has at least two and it’s delightful). Also, a legendary groundbreaking show’s spinoff ends its second season, presumably with as many resolutions as there are many fun cliffhangers.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Acapulco [Apple TV]
This bilingual comedy series is set in 1984 and follows a young, driven cabana boy in Acapulco’s hottest resort, who must navigate “difficult clientele” (that’s one way of naming it, I guess), a “mercurial” boss, and a stressful home life. Because it’s narrated by Eugenio Derbez in present day, and simply because everything I know about Acapulco I learned from Looney Tunes (for the love of god, take me away!) I’m assuming all’s well that ends well (so, really, take me away). 

JASON’S PICK:
The Amber Ruffin Show [Peacock]
Ruffin swiftly proved the breakout star of Late Night with Seth Meyers with her infectious personality–a wonderfully disarming mix of naifish sweetness and perfectly acidic sarcasm)–and well-written bits like “Amber Says What?!” It took a few beats for her spin-off streaming late night(-ish) series to find its sealegs, probably partially b/c she used up so much great material on her other show, but by the end of its first season it was proving one of the smartest, most provocative, important (and importantly, uproariously funny) talk shows on television. Its second season surely holds more revelations.

BRAD’S PICK:
Muppets Haunted Mansion [Disney+]
It’s no secret that over the past decade Disney has been on a shopping spree, buying up IPs like crazy–including the late Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets. And what does that mean? Mash-ups! This particular mash-up answers the question that no one asked – what would happen if you combine a theme park ride with a bunch of hyper active puppets? Seriously though, Muppets are pretty lovable. Wakka wakka.

FIONA’S PICK:
The L Word: Generation Q [Showtime]
It’s finale time! Dani struggles to testify for her father, Bette and Tina are fighting about Carrie, and Finley needs an intervention. Last week was a rollercoaster and this week seems primed to leave us on some major cliffhangers. If they don’t get renewed for a third season I will riot! 

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • Into prison is not the ideal way to follow in a parent’s footsteps, but that’s the tale at the center of the Hulu documentary Jacinta. The cameras follow a family as our titular 26-year-old Jacinta confronts her twistedly mixed feelings for her own parole as her mother, Rosemary, faces three more years on her own bid. All involved hope to ultimately be there to set a good example for Jacinta’s young daughter.
  • An even more brutal family tragedy is at the center of the new Netflix documentary House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths as 11 members of an Indian family are found dead in the same house. The Indian documentary looks into the mystery and the strange stories surrounding the family before their demise.
  • We’re guessing the pitch for the new Netfix laugh-track comedy Pretty Smart was Big Bang Theory in reverse. This comedy about a 20-something Ph.D coming to live with her comely sister and her three dumb but attractive roommates–a muscled bro, a gay influencer, and a new age hippie–looks truly awful in the trailer, with the aforementioned roomies each a gross stereotype. However, the writers Douglas Mand and Jack Dolgen cut their teeth on some classic Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episodes, and the show’s fourth episode is titled “Check this, Mama; It’s a Laura Dern Party!” so maybe there’s some hope.
  • In the Netflix foreign import round-up (a round-up within a round-up; how Inception of us!) we’ve got the third and final season of the French drug-trafficking comedy Family Business, “justice seeks revenge” (their words) in the Turkish thriller Grudge (Kin), and two estranged siblings have to see if they can count on one another to form a blended family in the Italian flick My Brother, My Sister.
  • The second youngest of the twisted reboots of classic children’s lit, Nancy Drew, turns three on the CW as the legendary sleuth fights dark criminals and if the trailer is any indication, her family is not overly happy about her danger seeking ways.
  • If you’re in New York, London, Paris, or Munich and wish to watch some people talking about pop music, you’re in luck… well, even if you are not in one of those four random–and not at all a lame, klunky reference to a 40-year-old but still catchy disco-era hit–cities, you have your choice between documentaries about Madonna or Justin Bieber. Madame X, about the former, debuts on Paramount+, while Justin Bieber: Our World is on Amazon Prime and is getting the sort of reviews you might expect.
  • Gotta hand it to Lifetime, they always title their shows in a manner that allows you to know what network made ’em. Tonight, it’s Stalked in Paradise. Good night, and good luck!

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