6 months ago
Welcome to What to Watch, a series where we tell you the best shows, movies and series out right now, both on networks and streaming services.
Arrested Development (Netflix):
The cult classic about a narcissistic family whose lives are narrated by Ron Howard returned to Netflix earlier this week, and so far, the reviews are as mixed as Solo. Maybe that’s because the fourth season–which aired alllll the way back in 2013 after being bought by the streaming service–was a hot, jumbled mess of non-linear narratives. Each episode followed a character through a particular arc, leading to a fractured timeline of events not even a Nolan brother would attempt.
Still, it’s a joy to see the gang (and Gangie) back together again, a little bit older but none the wiser. If nothing else, watching how this rich, corrupt family tries to cash in on current geopolitical events is both hilarious and, occasionally, creepily predictive.
Essentially Arrested Development as a drama, Succession is a story about a media mogul patriarch (Brian Cox) whose kids are all fighting to take over his company. So I guess you could also call it “Empire for white people,” though that has less of a classy ring to it.
The trump (no pun intended) cards of Succession are the behind the scenes talent: helmed by Peep Show‘s co-creator Jesse Armstrong and producer Adam McKay, who directs the first episode. It’s definitely not a comedy, despite Kieran Culkin’s laconic delivery after his father asks why they can’t own all the news: “Well, because Kim Jong Pop, that’s not how things work in this country.”
It’s been approximately *checks watch* two months since a Ryan Murphy project has been on the air, so it’s time for Pose: a “dance musical” set in the 1980s ball culture. (No, not that those kind of balls). We’re actually looking forward to Pose, as it’s: a) the last original series Murphy developed for FX before he moves over to Netflix, b) a return to the Glee-ful spirit of Murphy and Falchuk collaborations (it’s practically Baz Luhrmann-esque!) and c) manages to deal with issues of race, class and sexuality in New York with a sassy flair missing from, say, The Normal Heart.
C.B. Strike (Cinemax):
Based on the bestselling Cormoran Strike novels penned by Robert Galbraith (revealed to be a pseudonym’d J.K. Rowling), this miniseries stars Tom Burke (BBC’s Three Musketeers and War & Peace) as a war veteran turned private dick. Hopefully with better results than that of the protagonist of Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, who followed a similar career trajectory into some very bleak territory.
November 13: Attack on Paris (Netflix):
If you are in the mood for more somber fare, check out November 13: Attack on Paris, a Netflix-produced documentary about the terror attacks in Paris two and a half years ago which left 130 people dead. The French title of the three-part docuseries is Fluctuat Nec Mergitur; Paris’ Latin motto “[She] is tossed but doesn’t sink.”
It may be a little besides the point of the film, but it bears mentioning that the directors of this documentary Jules and Gédéon Naudet, are brothers…a collaborative trend that’s certainly seen an uptick since the only doc siblings on the scene were the Maysles.