The rise of Kumail Nanjiani from celebrated stand-up and Portlandia sketch stealer to Oscar nominee, Marvel superhero, and general movie star has been one of the pleasant surprises of the last decade. He teams with veteran comic mind Robert Smigel (SNL intersticial content creator and voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) to create a comed… wait, no, it’s a melancholy drama about a strip club innovator whose life took a tragic turn. We’re also recommending another one-time standup turned TV star going back to his roots and the unusual story of a man whose love of cats made him a documentary subject, but whose treatment of humans made the tale take an unfortunate turn.
Welcome to Chippendale’s [Hulu]
Our fave, Kumail Nanjiani stars as Somen Banerjee, the Indian founder of Chippendales in this drama about the rise and tragic fall of the male strip club. The cast also includes Annaleigh Ashford and Dan Stevens, so though sordid, it seems promising.
Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would [Netflix]
Trevor Noah may be leaving The Daily Show after 7 years, but judging by his new stand up special, he has a bright future returning to stand up comedy. This special is observational and political: basically everything you’d want from Trevor as he begins his next chapter.
Dangerous Breed: Crime. Cons. Cats. [Peacock]
In the long tradition of documentaries like The Thin Blue Line and Capturing the Friedmans where the creators started with a relatively simple mission and wound up learning information which takes the project in a completely unexpected direction, this doc started as a basic reality show about WWE wrestler Teddy Hart who breeds Persian cats in his spare time, but wound up as an expose about a violent man at the center of a five-year-old missing persons case. As a lover of cats and their unlikely fanatics, this is both compelling and somber in that the first impulse will be to like this quirky man and his adoration of felines, but then the monster underneath will peek out.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- There have been myriad movies, TV shows, and specials attempting to cover the history and entirety of known existence, but how many have had the voice of God telling the story. Actor and American treasure Morgan Freeman narrates Our Universe for Netflix, covering 13.8 billion years of celestial being in hopefully a little less time than that.
- History Channel gets more specific–and a bit more grainy and speculative–as it hones in on a flight zone that has been synonymous with weird happenings practically since the advent of aviation. The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters could be a sedate history or a wild sideshow… one never really knows with History Channel.
- Blood Relatives has a much more indie, much more farcical flavor than the average Shudder horror fare. 115-year-old Francis the vampire has to learn how to be a dad when his teenage daughter (not sure how that worked) hunts him down in his completely newspaper-shrouded motel room. It looks… actually pretty promising.