What To Watch: 02/11/2022

Shondaland expands to streaming, androids uprise, J-Lo marries a commoner (but that commoner is played by Owen Wilson), Showtime hosts a real conversation about race, Dollface comes back to do whatever that thing is that it does. It’s a busy Streaming Friday–and not just on streaming.

FIONA’S PICK:
Inventing Anna [Netflix]
I have been obsessed with this story ever since I read this riveting article in New York Magazine. I am very excited to see what Shondaland has created as the real story is so crazy it sounds like Shonda could have used it as a storyline on How to Get Away with Murder.

BRAD’S PICK:
Bigbug [Netflix]
One official description of this new sci-fi show reads “Suburbanites are locked in for their own protection by their household robots while an android revolt rages outside.” Doesn’t that just say it all? That premise can be full of deep subtext, but could also be an action packed nightmare. And that, my friends, is what makes genre fiction great.

KATHERINE’S PICK:
Dollface [Hulu]
Season two is here, at long last! And this isn’t How I Met Your Father, the entirety of season two drops today, reinvigorating the justifiably long-delayed comedy about the importance of friendship.

JASON’S PICK:
everything’s gonna be all white [Showtime, 8p]
A bunch of non-whites look at the absurdity of “white grievance” in a land founded upon Black slavery–a system which has put white people at the top of the social ecosystem in America since its earliest days. The documentary uses comedy to carve up the ridiculousness, but behind the laughs is the severe rage befitting the centuries of injustice that we just can’t seem to overcome.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • It’s hard to hate on Jenny from the Bronx, especially given she’s a sex symbol who’s older than every one of us scholars (and some of us are nearing 50). Just in time for Valentine’s Day, she pairs up with another ageless and affable 50-something as a pair whose public standing seems mismatched in Marry Me. The rom-com is also in theaters, but debuts same day (today) on Peacock. Btw, did you know that Vanessa Williams is married to a random dentist from Buffalo she met on a cruise?
  • That Netflix dating show that became a surprise hit with people stuck at home due to the pandemic returns. Love Is Blind (coming back a day after the offshoot Love is Blind Japan) drops a new set of damaged singles into windowless pods and lets them chat about anything and everything until they (maybe) fall in love.
  • For the Amazon Prime that’s earworming the Jackson 5 in our head (and hearts), I Want You Back, here’s Fiona’s words as it’s kind of her second pick: “A silly cute romcom in time for Valentine’s Day where two people get dumped and then pretend to be in a relationship to make their exes jealous. As a big Jenny Slate fan I think this one will be very funny!”
  • In 1992, The The (the supremely talented British band whose name was archivist torture) had a (very) minor hit with a great song called “Love Is Stronger Than Death.” But is it? The question has become a common trope, and The In-Between is just the latest. Since it’s a rom-com for Paramount+, the lovers are absurdly pretty people with the (pretty people) names Kyle Allen and Joey King.
  • There’s yet more love, death, sadness, and young people in Apple TV’s The Sky is Everywhere about a woman who loses her sister and embarks on two affairs to quell her grief. It’s based on a popular YA novel of the same name from 12 years ago by Jandy Nelson.
  • The Lifetime-Hallmark Vortex has just one new representative from its titular networks, but the name of the new Lifetime Movie Network flick is a doozy. Old Flames Never Die also has love, death, sadness, and young people but mixed up in a quite different method as a woman fleeing her murder-accused ex may be about to be stalked by her high school crush after a one-night stand in her hometown. Lifetime, why do you hate women so?

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