If there’s a theme of the day, it’s animals… or sci-fi… or animation… well, it’s really how you look at it, but there are a lot of intriguing, and in many cases bonkers, new programs on this Streaming Friday, including a reimagining of the real world, the latest chapter in the TigerKing-averse, SNL‘s Kyle Mooney’s madcap ’80s/’90s cartoons-in-a-blender program, as well as the endgame of one of the most confusing television rides in history.
20Somethings: Austin [Netflix]
I’m not sure how all the copyrights work, but somehow Netflix has created their own version of The Real World. MTV dropped the ball on that one because people are lining up to watch more of this content.
Saturday Morning All Star Hits! [Netflix]
Kyle Mooney stars twice–thrice?–over in what probably should have remained a TV Funhouse bit on SNL, blending parody lo-fi animation (there’s a Dinosaucers and Care Bears homage) with true crime (this is Netflix and it is 2021) and cheesy MTV videos. I’m thirsty for the ’80s–Gen-Z breezed right through it, and suddenly wer’re re-living 2005 again–so I’ll take it with quiet hesitation.
Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story [Netflix]
Need more Tiger King? Who doesn’t? Telling the story of Doc Antle, another exotic species lover. He’s also been a professional magician and practicing polygamist. So there is plenty of drama and craziness to go around. There but for the grace of God go us.
Back to the Outback [Netflix]
I’m basic for animated animals–was surprised how much I enjoyed Madagascar and Over the Hedge (and I was very much an adult in my 30s when those came out). Therefore, I’m certainly here for a zoo escape featuring the voices of Isla Fisher, Tim Minchin, Jacki Weaver, and Guy Pearce.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- If your head droops when you’re told “there will be no math,” there’s a good chance you are the fan of the mindbending space opera The Expanse which will wrap up its complex storytelling this year, but first we have the sixth season which begins today on Amazon Prime.
- On the other end of the specrum, if you like to play with clay (or watch others do so) and enjoy precocious kids who say things like “but who remembers the ’90s, right?!,” you might like the new IMDb game show Play-doh Squished. It’s hosted by Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland and this may be its only episode, so buy one now!
- German director Nora Fingscheidt makes her English-language debut with The Unforgivable in which Sandra Bullock is a hardened ex-con trying to adjust to life in the outside world (someone wants another Oscar). It’s based on a mini-series from 10 years ago and sports an impressive supporting cast including Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio, and John Boy himself Richard Thomas.
- At this point, it’s hard to believe there is a holiday that the Peanuts gang has not celebrated in half-hour special form (they’ve even done Thanksgiving twice). However, New Year’s Eve/Day was still out there for the taking and Charlie Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, and Snoopy D’Beagle’s new home of Apple TV will be releasing For Auld Lang Syne with just three weeks to spare.
- The Fisher Price-esque stop motion figures continue to fight for their castle in season two of Crossing Swords on Hulu. It’s from the Robot Chicken peeps, so that’s a good idea of what to expect (raunchy, referential, sometimes very funny).
- A photographer with an eye for the edgy spirit of the 1980s New York City streets, and especially for the rising hip-hop culture, gets his profile (including a desent into booze and pills) in the Showtime documentary Ricky Powell: The Individualist.
- Speaing of hip-hop, respected Pakistani-Brit rapper Riz MC has a side gig as an Academy Award nominated actor, and gets to show his range as a sci-fi/action hero in the alien-battling Encounter on Amazon Prime.
- In a last minute drop on The Roku Channel, Dave Franco stars in a series from the Farrelly Brothers called The Now. Franco is a man who survives his suicide at the same time his brother tragically succeeds at the same act. O’Shea Jackson and Jimmy Tatro play the friends who help him sort through it, Bill Murray is his psychiatrist, and Alyssa Milano and Pete Davidson also make appearances.
- Hope you are ready for some long round-ups as there’s a lot of new stuff today. First the Netflix imports in alpha order: Anonymously Yours is an appealing looking Spanish high school rom-com about a flirtation that arises from an accidental text message. In the Indian thriller series Aranyak, a detective’s last case is a terrifying disappearance. The Italian rom-com Still Out of My League is the sequel to a 2020 film about a woman’s search for love as she’s dying. It’s a quirky comedy. Finally, in the Spanish creeper Two, it’s Saw meets Human Centipede as a man and a woman wake up to find themselves sewn together at the abdomen.
- And it’s just round-up following round-up as we’ll end with a gathering of the sweet, if smarmy, rom-coms, mostly of the Christmas variety. On Lifetime, we’ve got the simply titled Holiday in Santa Fe. Lifetime Movie Network brings us the slightly more vague A Daughter’s Deceit, while Hallmark offers up the literary Dickens of a Holiday.