Happy Streaming Friday! To celebrate, we’re picking one each from three of the biggest streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV+, and Amazon Prime… sorry Hulu and Tubi). “Isn’t that what you always do?” you might well ask. Rude, but a valid question. Yes, it is, but this is the first time we’re doing it for a day that’s the final day of the third month of 2023, so… we know we are, but what are you?
The Power [Amazon Prime]
Teenage girls around the world discover they have the power to control electricity. Boom! The results are as sexist as you may expect, but these girls will fight nback and it’s going to be fun to watch. It will be interesting to read some deconstructions of this series. It’s been vomit-inducing to read what the incels have to say. Gotta love the 21st century.
Tetris [Apple TV+}
The popular Russian block building game comes to life with Daniel Day-Lewis likely to get his seventh Oscar in his stirring performance as the L-shaped blo… OK, versions of that joke have been flying since this project was announced. By now, it’s clear to most who might see this that this movie is about the crazy story of Tetris’ introduction to the international world. Obviously, this thriller will exaggerate the story, but Henk Rogers (played by Taron Egerton in this movie) did consult in telling his tale.
Kill Boksoon [Netflix]
By day she’s a single mom to a teenage daughter–but outside the home she’s a trained assasin!
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- The British movie Rye Lane is a rom-com whose meet cute takes place in a gender-neutral bathroom—don’t tell the American right. The Hulu flick has a working class London vibe similar to movies from Mike Leigh or Stephen Frears with the philosophical bent of Richard Linklater.
- One UK genre that has oddly never really crossed over stateside is the panel show. It seems like 8 out of 10 cat… we mean shows on the BBC are these sometimes scripted “game” shows keeping comedy minds like David Mitchell, Noel Fielding and James Acaster very, very busy. Sure, there are some examples like @Midnight, but they are few and far between. The newest of these rarities looks like a whole lot of fun. The CW’s The Great American Joke Off (terrible title) is hosted by Dulce Sloan and features two groups of three comics given topics and trying to make the best off the cup quip.
- Carpool Karaoke:The Series takes the best part of James Corden’s late night show and removes the worst part of it, James Corden. Alan Cumming hosts the celebrities singing songs within the confines of vehicles and is not on a network, but on streaming on Apple TV+.
- Adam Sandler’s Netflix movies (and most of his A-list career) have tended to be at one end of the quality spectrum or the other—from single-digit Rotten Tomatoes films like The Do-Over to prestige flicks like Hustle and Uncut Gems. His generically titled 2019 Jennifer Aniston collabo was one of the few kind of in the middle—not beloved, but watchable. Its sequel Murder Mystery 2, released today, would seem to be getting the same reception. Need any more be said?
- Shudder’s latest offering The Unheard lives on the psychological terror neighborhood of the horror world. A young deaf woman (hence the title) gains hearing for the first time. As she’s overwhelmed this barrage of new experiences, she becomes more and more haunted by the strange disappearance of her mother.
- While the title leads us to get to The UnXplained next, it’s clearly a much different event. The fifth season of the show finds 93-year-old host William Shatner—fresh off a very fun battle with Elon Musk—delving even deeper into the mysteries of the universe. Way to history, History Channel.
- Originally on Quibi, but moved to The Roku Channel, Kevin Hart’s metacomedy Die Hart perfectly reflects star Kevin Hart himself. The program about the comedian trying to become a genuine action star is genuinely hilarious at times, not without charm, but uneven and often having the tendency to be way too much. Die Hart 2: Die Harter keeps the naming structure and if the trailer is any indication, a lot of the over-the-top energy. This second season also would seem to lean far more heavily on the best part of the show so far, Ben Schwartz as Hart’s unflappable agent.
- Precocious teen doctor Lehala returns for a second season of Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.. The Hawaii-based remake of the Neil Patrick Harris show of yore has charmed many and even if you aren’t drawn in by the upbeat, sanitized comedy of Disney comedies, we’ll repeat, it’s filmed in Hawaii, so at least it will be filled with great visuals upon which to gaze.
- There’s no new Lifetime or Hallmark movie… or anything even in that vicinity. So we’ll just end with the classic quick-bite improv game, Whose Line is it Anyway?, back for a… does it matter how many seasons at this point. Third host Aisha Tyler returns, joined by four actors who have been part of the schtick since its days in the UK with Clive Anderson in Greg Proops, Colin Mocherie, Ryan Stiles, and Wayne Brady. It’s on The CW these days.