What To Watch: 01/14/2022

Tonight, we have the solo debut of Joel Coen–doing Shakespeare’s most cursed play no less–stop-motion cats, mice, and humans voiced by British movie and music stars, the first cis straight male queen to compete on drag’s premier show, as well as America’s third favorite fixer set to end his run in one splash of a movie.

JASON’S PICK:
The Tragedy of MacBeth [Apple TV+]
The Scottish Play is recast for 60-somethings–not sure what age they are generally thought to be–and its quite a pair of A-listers as Denzel Washington and Frances MacDormand play the general and lady. Oh, and it’s also the first movie to be a singular Coen creation as Joel directs without the input of the everpresent Ethan. It had a limited release on Christmas for Oscar consideration, so it’s iffy as to whether it qualifies, but those lines are long past blurred and for most of us, seeing this on Apple TV will be the first real chance to see this promising and wonderfully reviewed Shakespeare adaptation.

BRAD’S PICK:
The House [Netflix]
The stories of an anxious developer, a cranky landlady, and a poor family are intertwined over generations with the one constant being an old house (oh, and the generations include mice and cats). An interesting idea for a novel, sure, but a dark animated comedy? Answer: yes. Yes, it is. And it’s stop-motion animated. The series debuts today and includes a wealth of British voice talent including Halena Bonham Carter, Pulp vocalist Jarvis Cocker and .. Dizzee Rascal? This one is worth checking out for the curiosity of it all.

FIONA’S PICK:
Rupaul’s Drag Race [VH1, 8p]
Last week we were introduced to seven out of the fourteen queens as we watched them compete in a talent show and walk down the runway in their best drag for guest judge, Lizzo. This week we’ll get to see the rest of the queens compete and guest judge Alisha Keys is here! So far the queens and the guest judges have really delivered.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
The Event [HBO Max]
See the inside of Wolfgang Puck’s catering kitchen as it prepares for upscale events. I didn’t know I wanted to see this kind of minutia, but I’m glad I can.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • You can bet there will be a lot of hand wringing and staring into the middle distance as Liev Shreiber is back in his signature role doing whatever it is that he does for one last ride on Ray Donovan: The Movie. Jon Voigt is also there, thankfully acting and not expressing his political opinions. It’s on the usual Showtime.
  • That important conversation around policing and race that we unfortunately keep needing to have due to incident after tragic incident notches another chapter as Peacock brings us Use of Force: The Policing of Black America–which takes a deep dive into many of the worst tragedies of the last decade.
  • It’s amazing that the animated world of monsters in a hotel has made it to four installments, yet here we are. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania debuts on Amazon Prime today.
  • The latest raunchy teen comedy made it a bit too easy for lazy review headliners to dunk on it. Two pages of google results brought up at least six different sites that used the adjective “unappealing” to describe Sex Appeal. The flashy, trying-too-hard trailer for the Hulu romp doesn’t provide much more hope, but it’s got Fortune Feimster as one of the parents, so there’s that. The plot: an overachiever creates an app to optimize the sexual pleasure of her social group.
  • Based on the reviews, the title of the Mexican flick This is Not a Comedy is not lying. The central character of the heartfelt drama works as a comedian and his story begins when a friend asks him to father her child (as a sperm donor). It’s a Netflix import.
  • Disney+ reaches back to the spirit of the Disney Channel days with the taut teen paranormal thriller Secrets of Sulphur Springs which returns for its second season today.
  • A film restorer is the hero of the new Netflix time-bending thriller Archive 81 as while on an already suspicious gig, he discovers spooky footage on old videotape and believes he can change the fate of a woman who died 25 years earlier. The reviews on this series are raves and the premise is appealing so we probably should have featured this higher up, but, hey, maybe this is the sort of content just made for those of you who scroll all the way to the end of articles.
  • The reviews for another Netflix sci-fi show have never been anywhere near raves, and they are pretty lousy for After Life‘s third and final season as well. However, it’s still standing which means some people like it. And if you don’t know, it stars Ricky Gervais, so that might give you more of an idea as to whether or not it’s for you.
  • Let’s close this out as we so like to do in the LHV (Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex) where we have just one title, but it’s a fun one. Lifetime comes correct with The Wrong Blind Date and you can probably guess it’s not a simple love story and there’s likely about to be a whole lotta stalkin’ goin’ on. Viveca A. Fox (the 21st Century’s Meredith Baxter-Birney) stars.

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