Streaming Friday is on like Donkey Kong–or at least its distant descendants who are still at the centerpoint at popular video games. We’ve got the return of a Screen Scholars favorite, the newest version of one of the darkest horror franchises, a new dystopian corporate nightmare featuring Christopher Walken in a supporting role, and the return of a parody starring two Academy Award magnets, one of whom is also an A-list star.
Severance [Apple TV+]
Part dark comedy/part corporate thriller, this new Apple series directed by Ben Stiller and starring Adam Scott and a great cast (love seeing Zach Cherry second billed) ponders a work/life balance enhanced by science. A faceless (and surely sinister) company offers its employees the option to forget their work memories while at home and vice versa. Scott takes the procedure, but soon winds up caught up in intrigue when a dismissed employee finds him at home to tell him “the truth.”
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel [Amazon Prime]
Of all the things that can be said for this new season, it’s that there’s not an enormous rift between Susie and Midge (Susie gambled all of their money). The thing I look forward to most, is Midge’s determination to fight for what she deserves (and then some!) and get it, too.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre [Netflix]
Netflix’s newest take on this classic franchise graces us with its presence today. Meant to be a direct sequel to the original 1974 horror masterpiece, it’s safe to say it’s trying to stay true to what made the first film so influential. In these days of reboots and re-imaginings Time will tell if it succeeds, but you have to admire its tenacity. That saw is family.
RuPaul’s Drag Race [VH1, 8p]
The competition is heating up as the number of queens diminishes. Last week the queens were challenged to make a look from unconventional materials found in Amazon boxes. This week the girls have another acting challenge as they are tasked to perform in a campy 80s soap opera.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- The broad satire of Space Force did not find many good reviews on its first season, but it had some promising moments and performances, especially that of Tawny Newsome. And even in the worst titles, there’s something worth watching in a show with Steve Carrell & John Malkovich. So, we (or at least some of us) are glad the show is getting a second chance to build its universe on Netflix.
- The Ron Swanson of jazz musicians, John Lurie has become famous in the past couple decades for allowing you into his world of man-of-the-land obsessive hobbies. His second show of a certain titular construct, Painting with John, returns for a second season today on HBO.
- Three adult siblings find their lives disrupted after their parents suddenly separate on the Amazon Prime Brazilian import Lov3.
- Prolific documentarian Rory Kennedy (yes, of that clan) takes on a terrifying scandal about the greatest airplane manufacturing corporation possibly ignoring an aircraft flaw that led to multiple crashes and the death of nearly 400 people. Downfall: The Case Against Boeing debuts on Netflix today and examines the lawsuit and all the lives who were affected, including the pilots who were scapegoated.
- Amazon’s LOL: Last One Laughing Canada sounds on title like a low-level schlock reality show, but the concept hosted by actor Jay Baruchel where multiple comics are locked in a room and have to try to avoid laughing has signed up some high-level comedians and comic actors including Dave Foley, Caroline Rhea and Colin Mochrie.
- Abraham Lincoln tends to be idealized as one of the saviors of our country and the eradicator of slavery. Apple TV’s four-part docu-series Lincoln’s Dilemma looks deeper into the much more complicated life of the U.S.A.’s 16th President.