9 Upcoming TV Shows To Add To Your Quarantine Watchlist

Welcome to 2021! It’s cold, the sun is still setting too early, and now that we’ve been living in pandemic times for *checks calendar* almost a YEAR, your list of TV shows to get through has probably been whittled down to just a few holdouts. I’m always a proponent of watching all 22 seasons of SVU, but if you’re trying to infuse your TV viewing habits with some new blood, I put together this list of shows that are debuting (or returning) in the next couple months. There’s a little bit of reality, comedy, drama—basically, if you don’t like any of these shows maybe you’re just too picky.

Assuming that you’re still spending the vast majority of your time at home (good work, you’re saving lives!), here’s what you should be watching while you continue to wait for the vaccine. Oh, and if you need MORE to watch, lots of the shows from this list are still rolling out new episodes, too. Don’t tell me you’re bored!

‘Search Party’ – 1/14

All the previous seasons of Search Party are on HBO Max, so you have time to catch up. This show is equal parts dark and hilarious, and it is criminally underrated. Also, I’ll say this for the real fans: Elliott and Portia walked so David and Alexis could run. The first three episodes of season 4 are out now, and the rest will drop in weekly three-episode batches.

‘Selena + Chef’ – 1/21

In the last year, we’ve seen plenty of quarantine-inspired projects, to varying degrees of success, but Selena + Chef is easily one of my favorites. In this cooking show, which is returning for a second season on HBO Max, Selena gets a cooking lesson via Zoom from a different professional chef each episode. The way it’s filmed doesn’t make the Zoom aspect feel lame at all, and the different personalities keep every episode fresh and entertaining.

‘Walker’ – 1/21

Jared Padalecki, whom you might know as Dean from Gilmore Girls, and who just finished a 15-year run on Supernatural, returns to The CW in this new reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger. Sorry Chuck Norris, there’s a hot new sheriff in town. In the new reboot, the widowed main character struggles to move on with his career after his wife passes away. I have no idea if this will be any good, but we get Dean in cowboy clothes, so it’s worth a mention.

‘Euphoria: Jules’ – 1/24

 

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Sadly, there’s still no public timeline for when we can expect season 2 of Euphoria, but at least we still have the second special episode to look forward to. Last month, we got a deep dive into Rue’s story, and this time, it’s Jules’ turn. We have no idea what to expect from this special, but if the Rue installment is any indication, it’ll probably be an emotional roller coaster.

‘Firefly Lane’ – 2/3

Is 2021 the year of the Katherine Heigl comeback? Perhaps! The Grey’s Anatomy alum stars in Netflix’s limited series adaptation of the hit novel Firefly Lane, which tells the story of two childhood friends who go through a lot of sh*t across a span of three decades. The story starts in the 1970s in the Pacific Northwest, so there’s sure to be some great 70s/80s fashion, and yeah, you’ll probably cry a lot.

‘Summer House’ – 2/4

 

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Summer House is the one show on Bravo that actually makes sense to film in a quarantine environment, and the crew is back for a fifth season. If you’ve never watched but you’re missing the messy glory days of Vanderpump Rules, this might be right up your alley. Based on the sneak peek, we can expect another season of drunken antics, relationship drama, and maybe even a wedding? Lots to consider.

‘Clarice’ – 2/11

If you love The Silence of the Lambs, listen up. CBS made a brand-new series centering on Clarice Starling, the FBI agent famously played by Jodie Foster. The show takes place shortly after the events of the movie, and will give us a much deeper look into Clarice’s background, as well as some gritty new mysteries. The title role is played by Rebecca Breeds, whom you may remember as Nicole on Pretty Little Liars, and the trailer looks dark and twisted, just the way it should.

‘Punky Brewster’ – 2/25

After their well-received Saved By The Bell reboot, Peacock is keeping the throwback vibes going with a new version of the ’80s classic Punky Brewster. Original star Soleil Moon-Frye returns to play a much more grown-up version of her iconic character, who is now a single mom raising three kids. To sweeten the pot, Freddie Prinze Jr. joins the cast as Punky’s ex-husband. Aaaaand I’m immediately interested.

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ – 3/19

This week, we’re finally getting our first Disney+ Marvel series with WandaVision, but we won’t have to wait long for the next one to arrive. Up until now, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s characters have been supporting players in the MCU, but they’re finally getting their starring turn in this action-packed miniseries. The story picks up after Avengers: Endgame, when (spoiler) Falcon has taken over the reins as the new Captain America. Obviously, there are bad guys, and it looks like we’re in for a good time.

Images: Courtesy of Netflix; HBO Max, The CW Network, Netflix, CBS, Peacock, Marvel Entertainment / YouTube; euphoria, bravobybetches / Instagram

7 TV Shows To Watch If You Need An Escape From This Sh*tshow

We’ve spent most of this year talking about how ~unprecedented~ these times are, but now that Election Day has come and gone, it feels like the last seven months were just a fun appetizer for a totally hellish main course. While we still await results in many important races, it can be tempting to spend 14 hours a day watching CNN, but that’s honestly not wise (or necessary). Remember, your mental health is as important as ever, and you can be a responsible, informed citizen without refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds.

For that reason, I wanted to put together a list of some TV shows that might be just what you need to take a little mental break from the unbridled chaos that’s happening in the world right now. The shows on this list are a mix of new and old, reality and scripted, but for various reasons, they’re all better than the nightmare purgatory situation we’re currently facing. Put your phone on airplane mode, crack a new bottle of wine, and enjoy your binging.

If You’re Obsessively Checking The Results: ‘The West Wing’ (Netflix)

Okay, it might seem dumb to recommend a show about politics to escape the torment of real world politics, but it’s a better strategy than you might think. The West Wing was born out of a time when (most) politicians weren’t literally evil, and it’s a political drama with interesting storylines and characters you can actually root for. The writing is top-notch, and a West Wing binge will give you a few weeks to fantasize about what it would be like to live in a functioning democracy.

If You Need To Fully Turn Your Brain Off: ‘Selena + Chef’ (HBO Max)

Bear with me. When I heard that Selena Gomez was getting a cooking show, I rolled my eyes, but Selena + Chef is surprisingly great. Filmed during quarantine earlier this year, Selena gets a Zoom cooking lesson from a different professional chef each episode. It’s a ton of fun—Selena’s grandparents meander in and out of the kitchen giving unsolicited commentary, and she almost hurts herself at least once an episode. The food also looks incredible, if you’re getting back into a cooking phase for round two of lockdown.

If You Need To Laugh Through The Tears: ‘PEN15’ (Hulu)

PEN15 is definitely one of Hulu’s buzzier shows, and a ton of people have started watching since season 2 came out earlier this fall. If you haven’t watched yet, now is the time. The show stars two 30-something women playing their middle school selves, and it’s both hilarious and uncomfortable in a way that feels strangely cathartic. I think I can safely say that middle school was traumatic for most of us, and PEN15 is exactly what I needed to finally process that trauma.

If You’re Trying To Pretend Everything Isn’t A Mess: ‘Get Organized with The Home Edit’ (Netflix)

You’re either going to love or hate this show, but even though I fell firmly in the “hate” column, I still couldn’t stop watching it. These two women, Clea and Joanna, have a home organization business that’s huge on Instagram (they’re behind Khloé Kardashian’s famous cookie jars), and in the show they help out a mix of celebrities and normal people with their projects. This style of organization definitely isn’t for everyone—everything is in clear bins and categorized in rainbow order—but there’s something incredibly satisfying about watching them work. It’s basically the opposite philosophy of Marie Kondo, but with the same overall effect.

If You Want Chaos To Distract From The Chaos: ‘Dance Moms’ (Hulu/Lifetime)

I started rewatching Dance Moms last month, and I had forgotten how truly wild of a ride it is. Life might feel stressful right now, but nothing compares to the stress of 9-year-olds being yelled at by Abby Lee because they dropped their hat during the group dance. Dance Moms is over 200 episodes of pure reality chaos, and there’s also a Dance Moms corner of TikTok that is beyond hilarious. If you need me later today, I’ll probably be crying watching a compilation of Maddie’s solos.

If You Need To Be Transported To A Simpler Time: ‘The O.C.’ (HBO Max)

Personally, I feel like The O.C. hasn’t gotten the throwback boost it deserves, and it’s time we fix that. Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl are great, but Seth Cohen and Marissa Cooper need our attention too. Especially now that winter is basically here, it seems like the perfect time to watch drama unfold against the sunny SoCal backdrop. Thankfully, all four seasons are available on HBO Max, so I don’t want to hear any complaints about not having anything to watch.

If You Find Murder Cases Oddly Comforting: ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Season 2 (Netflix)

unsolved mysteries

I do realize the whole point of the show is they discuss an unsolved mysterious death, but the murder part is heavily implied. I’m not sure what it is about true crime content that can be at once so morbidly frightening and comforting, but if that’s what gets you going, Netflix recently dropped season 2 of its dark remake of Unsolved Mysteries just in time. Honestly, you might have better luck solving these cold cases than you would trying to make sense of the Electoral College map, so go nuts.

Or, if all else fails, you can always watch Friends or Parks & Rec for the 100th time. Trust me, no one is judging. Whatever happens, it’s going to be okay, just make sure you take care of yourself.

Images: Erica Parise/Hulu; Giphy (6)

12 Fall TV Shows You Won’t Want To Miss

We’re now in the final months of 2020, and let’s face it, this year still sucks. In the spring, we were all focused on finding new hobbies to cure our boredom while we were stuck inside (RIP my needlepoint kit), but now, most of us have settled into our couches and just need something new to watch. Luckily, the stars have aligned to bring us a lot of exciting TV this fall, even after lengthy shutdowns for much of this year. Some of your favorite shows are finally coming back for new seasons, but we’re also getting a whole bunch of exciting new shows and miniseries. Basically, there’s a lot to look forward to, even if the real world is still a f*cking disaster.

‘Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 2’ – 10/19

Our latest true crime obsession, The Vowis drawing to a close this week, but Netflix has conveniently scheduled a new season of Unsolved Mysteries to make sure that we don’t go hungry. Volume 2 of the hit show unpacks six new mysteries that remain—you guessed it—unsolved. The trailer for the new season is creepy AF, which, in the world of true crime, is all we could possibly ask for. Can’t wait.

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ – 10/23

Rising star Anya Taylor-Joy stars in this six-part adaptation of the hit novel. She plays an orphaned chess prodigy who has to deal with addiction and other demons in her quest to be the best chess player in the world. The trailer is full of brooding drama and 1960s vibes, so I have a feeling I’ll be watching this in one sitting.

‘The Undoing’ – 10/25

As a bona fide Nicole Kidman stan, I was thrilled when I found out that she’s coming back to HBO after making me cry for two full seasons of Big Little Lies. This miniseries, adapted from the thriller novel You Should Have Known, stars Kidman and Hugh Grant as a couple who have to deal with the fallout from a “violent death.” It’s also produced by David E. Kelley, the mastermind behind Big Little Lies. Yup, this sounds like exactly what we all need right now.

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 – 10/27

Who’s in the mood to cry??? Due to COVID, the new season of This Is Us was originally pushed to November, but NBC saw how much y’all were struggling and moved it up to late October. It’s the little things. Season 5 kicks off with a two-hour premiere episode, which means you’ll probably need two full boxes of tissues at the ready—you’ve been warned. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle all the flashbacks and future scenes this season, considering that none of us even know what year it is anymore. 2015? Sure, sounds close enough to me.

‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 – 10/30

The reason your boyfriend won’t let you cancel the Disney+ subscription is back! But actually, our favorite power couple the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are back for a second season, and with that, hopefully there will be another round of fire Baby Yoda memes. He has some cute moments in the trailer, so it seems promising. But overall, the season looks intense, so maybe I’ll make an effort to watch it this year.

‘Industry’ – 11/9

I don’t know how HBO still has new shows ready to go eight months into a pandemic that brought production to a halt around the world, but I’m certainly not complaining. This new British series follows a group of young associates competing for permanent positions at a high-stakes investment bank in London, and it basically looks like Euphoria, but set in the world of finance. This might not be the one to watch if you have trouble with your anxiety, but personally, I’m very excited. Also, Lena Dunham is an executive producer, so make of that what you will.

‘A Teacher’ – 11/10

FX’s new partnership with Hulu this year is already producing good results, and their latest collab is this miniseries about a teacher who has an illegal affair with one of her students. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but this looks like it’s going to be a thrilling take on it. With stars Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), I have a good feeling about this one.

‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ – 11/11

Last fall, when Bravo announced that the next destination in the Real Housewives franchise would be Salt Lake City, the main reaction was “huh?” Turns out, this wintry spot in the mountains has everything you need for an A+ reality show. The women are rich, glamorous, and most importantly, ridiculous. I got a chance to check out the premiere episode early, and it does not disappoint. And even better, RHOSLC is one of the most diverse Housewives casts ever. You love to see it.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 – 11/12

After season 16 was cut short in the spring due to the you-know-what, Meredith Grey & Co. are finally returning for their 17th season. Yes, it’s a lot of seasons, but if you’re still on the Grey’s Anatomy train, there’s no getting off now. Lucky for you, the season premiere will be a crossover episode with Station 19, which means it’s a two-hour episode. It’s really what we deserve after waiting so long.

‘The Crown’ Season 4 – 11/15

One of Netflix’s top prestige dramas returns for its fourth season, and to quote Chris Harrison, this really might be the most dramatic season ever. As the timeline moves into the 1980s, we’ll see the introduction of Lady Diana Spencer, and in the trailer we see glimpses of her wedding, as well as her tumultuous relationship with Prince Charles. This season’s other top new player is Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson. And of course, we still have Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter killing it as Elizabeth and Margaret, respectively. This season looks like it’s going to be wild, in the most refined way.

‘Big Sky’ – 11/17

Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley has two new shows this fall, and the second is Big Sky, a drama coming to ABC. This one looks worth it for the gorgeous scenery alone, but there’s also a gripping thriller plot to seal the deal. Two private detectives (one played by Ryan Phillippe, swoon) team up with an ex-cop to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. They soon find out that other girls have gone missing in the area, and it becomes a hunt to stop more kidnappings from happening. Looks creepy, I’m in.

‘Saved by the Bell’ – 11/25

The reboot trend is officially not over—sorry if you’re sick of them. This might be the thing that finally forces you to get a Peacock account, because the nostalgia is out of control. In this latest reboot, Zack Morris is the Governor of California, while A.C. Slater is teaching P.E. at Bayside. The old cast is obviously here, but much of the series focuses on a new group of kids at Bayside, who are a mix of wealthy and low-income students. Should be interesting, but let’s be honest, it can’t be worse than last year’s dreadful 90210 reboot.

Images: Liam Daniel / Netflix; Netflix, HBO, TV Promos, Star Wars, FX Networks, Bravo, Netflix UK & Ireland, ABC / YouTube

Is ‘Million Dollar Beach House’ The New ‘Selling Sunset’?

If you’re looking for a new show to fill the gaping hole left in your heart after finishing Selling Sunset, Netflix might already have a solution. Million Dollar Beach House is their newest “unscripted” show, revolving around the luxury real estate market in the Hamptons. Much like the Oppenheim Group in Selling Sunset, Netflix replicates the same format to follow The Nest Seekers, a real estate brokerage firm, in Million Dollar Beach House. But with the ladies of Selling Sunset captivating audiences, can the mostly-male cast of Million Dollar Beach House replicate the same success? TBH, don’t get too excited.

Meet The Cast 

There are five main characters in the show: Michael, Peggy, Noel, J.B., and Jimmy (the boss). Michael, J.B., and Jimmy are three white guys with big bro energy who have been working in the Hamptons market for a little while. Noel is new to Nest Seekers, but he is a seasoned real estate agent who has worked in the Hamptons market for three years. He is also the only Black cast member. Peggy, the only female cast member, has worked for seven years in the Manhattan real estate market, but is a newbie to the Hamptons scene.

Right off the bat, we can sense that some of the characters are skeptical towards Noel, which is odd, since Peggy is also the new kid on the block—yet she does not appear to face the same treatment. Wonder why…

While Selling Sunset had a robust cast of characters running the gamut from angelic to satanic, the predominantly male cast of Million Dollar Beach House fails to captivate. Peggy and Noel are really the only two people bringing the heat in terms of drama, and everyone else is just kind of there. Michael’s wife having a baby does not a reality show make, no matter how many times he talks about it. J.B.’s main conflict is that he’s 29 and isn’t married or engaged, which he mentions one time in an aside to Michael. Any Jimmy, the boss, rarely appears in scenes—aside from that one time he pissed off a Boomer by taking an important call in the middle of a meeting, I can’t remember anything he did.

The Drama (Or Lack Thereof)

Selling Sunset was packed with drama—in every episode, five different scandals unfolded. Million Dollar Beach House, on the other hand, feeds off of just one incident between just two cast members. In their defense, there are only six episodes that run 30 minutes each. But as the viewer, I couldn’t help but crave some more theatrics. I mean, isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?

The Show Villain The Actual Villain pic.twitter.com/JuVbrSMGKT

— Misha (@Mishavaid) August 28, 2020

It all starts when Noel lists one of his properties for a whopping $35,000,000, a number that everyone at the brokerage thinks is too high. Since real estate is a team sport, and Peggy has some clients interested in the property, she questions Noel’s thinking behind the high price. But Noel is dismissive of Peggy’s concerns and offends her by questioning if her client can even afford such an expensive property. 

The real drama goes down when Peggy takes an important client to Noel and he completely blows the showing, insulting Peggy’s client in the process and almost costing her the client. The showing ends up causing an all-out feud between the two. But this happens in the first episode, and is then dragged out as the one source of conflict for the remaining five.

In addition to the drama falling flat, so does the character development, which feels one-dimensional, as if the show’s creators do not think the viewers are capable of forming their own opinions. For example, they initially want us to hate Noel and side with Peggy. But as the show progresses, they start portraying Peggy as the emotional woman who can’t maintain a professional demeanor (which comes with its own set of sexist issues). TBH, despite Netflix trying to feed me conclusions, I didn’t feel strongly about any of the characters because it felt so choreographed. Selling Sunset has also been accused of manufacturing storylines, but the characters from that show are convincingly charismatic, so it works. I don’t think anyone could create Christine’s character in a writer’s room even if they tried. 

Let’s Talk About Noel

I wanted to like Million Dollar Beach House but the last thing I need to watch in 2020 is mediocre white washed up high school football stars selling other mediocre white men million dollar Hamptons houses while being misogynistic and racist.

— Mare Ham (@hamsammitchhes) August 30, 2020

So let’s get to the big issue. Apart from Noel, the cast of Million Dollar Beach House is entirely white. This makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience, because the microaggressions towards Noel are evident. (The whole incident where no one could pronounce his name also felt weirdly edited.) There is also an awkward scene where Noel’s twin brother Joel (yes, their names rhyme) is asked to speak Korean because he lives in Korea. When he does fluently communicate, the other members accuse him of saying something rude. I’ll give Netflix the benefit of the doubt that they’re not trying to be purposefully racist, but when the only BIPOC is villainized throughout the show, it’s hard not to feel like it’s racist. Viewers were quick to point out the show’s issues with race on Twitter. 

not sure why netflix decided to air this million dollar beach house show. the racist undertones were ridiculous but peggy is over the top terrible. top 5 on the list of terrible humans

— baba nla (@tomivva) September 1, 2020

I remember feeling like the cast of Selling Sunset was too white and this was Netflix’s chance to give the viewers more diverse characters, but this was just not it. 

Skip Or Stream?

Honestly, you’re better off just rewatching Selling Sunset instead of investing your time into Million Dollar Beach House. MDBH does give you its promised dose of real estate porn, and at least its pacing is more realistic to that of actual real estate deals than its LA counterpart. But that also means the show moves at a glacial pace—all of a sudden it’s episode five and still, nobody has sold anything. I’ll take the Oppenheim Group unrealistically selling mansions in 10 minutes flat, thanks.

As a whole, Million Dollar Beach House could have gotten away with being a boring, low-budget knock-off of Selling Sunset, but the racism and gender stereotyping are reason enough for this show to be removed from your watchlist.

 

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Images: Chloe Gifkin / Netflix; mishavaid, hamsammichhes, tomivva / Twitter

What Your Favorite ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ Character Says About You

Over the weekend, whether you were too afraid to rejoin society after lockdown or you were forced back into lockdown because people went HAM and your city saw a resurgence of Covid cases, chances are you might’ve come across the new Baby-Sitters Club series on Netflix Family. Though the series was originally intended for a children’s audience, millennials and xennials on my Twitter and IG feeds have also found themselves binging the show. This wholesome content is exactly the nostalgia we’ve all been longing for in a difficult year, and if you haven’t watched it yet, do yourself a favor and head to Netflix.

So what better way to continue that comforting break from reality than to celebrate the iconic series and its characters by asking yourself the simple question of “What does your favorite Baby-Sitters Club character say about you?” None.

Kristy

Did somebody order a control freak? Kristys (Kristies?) are currently stewing over the fact that their 2020 planner has barely seen any action and spend their days in quarantine crafting the perfect itinerary for working from home. You’re not the best with change, but that’s mostly because things don’t sit well with you if you’re not able to run the show and be in complete control. That being said, you are a natural leader and you do your best to lead with love. Your friends are your people and you always show up for them. Like the Mom of the group, you’re reliable and when people need something done you’re the one they have on speed dial.

Claudia

Claudias are the fiercest, most artistic of the bunch. Never afraid to speak your mind, people naturally flock to your confident attitude and effortless style. You will definitely be voted mostly likely to have a future as an #influencer with a roster of Pinterest-worthy DIYs and sustainable capsule collections. Family means everything to you, though it can be frustrating when your family isn’t as open to your free spirit as your friends and fans. You’re a considerate friend who always has a purse full of snacks, encourages others to explore their creativity, and your attention to detail in your art and for the people you care about never goes unnoticed.

Stacey

Ahhh boy-crazy Stacey. On the outside, you give off the vibes of a Real Housewife in the making, when deep down you’re still just trying to figure yourself out (admittedly, most of the Housewives are too). While you worry a ton about what others may think, you try your best to not let your insecurities get the best of you. In reality, all you’re trying to do is find genuine connections in this world, and that goes for friends, romance, and family. You sometimes struggle with living up to your parents’ ridiculous expectations, but you know that at the end of the day they’ve got your back. So keep reminding yourself of that and surrounding yourself with friends and boos who do too.

Mary Anne

 

Mary Annes are either a future therapist’s dream or have a successful future as a therapist. Never one to rock the boat, you’re always listening and taking in everyone else’s energy. By nature you’re a people pleaser, though one should never mistake your kindness for weakness. You’re still learning to find your voice and develop independence from who you think you should be for everyone else and who you actually want to be. And while you’re still evolving your personality and style, you never discount the value of a solid pair of overalls and you can always be counted on to be there for your friends with an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

Dawn

A spiritual goddess, Dawns are optimistic and always look at the glass as half-full—even when the cards they’ve been dealt haven’t always been the best hand. You might have been forced to grow up quickly and play the role of caregiver or authority in your family. And instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you lean into those skills and excel with purpose. Whether it’s educating yourself and taking your efforts beyond performative allyship or leading a guided meditation to calm everyone’s nerves, you are not only happy to be a part of the group but truly want everyone to see just how wonderful and badass they can be in their own right too.

Karen

An honorable mention for Kristy’s soon-to-be step-sister Karen because let’s face it, it’s been a tough year for Karens. Whether we admit it or not, every single friend group has a Karen. Karens can be dramatic and have a tendency to overreact when really all they are is starved for attention. They genuinely believe they mean well, though it often comes out in problematic and extreme ways, like idk, running away at camp or fearmongering over conspiracy theories. And while Karens still admittedly have room to grow and mature, one thing is for sure—if they like you they’ll defend you to the extreme and you’ll always get that impossible restaurant reservation even if you’re just walking in.

Images: Jesse Austin (5), Kailey Schwerman/Netflix; Giphy 

The Best Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In May 2020

You know what they say: April Showers bring May… Netflix marathons? Look, I know you would rather not be watching one million hours of TV. May is supposed to be the beginning of darty season (or maybe you’ve graduated to drinking on rooftop bars). The sun is starting to shine, everyone can smell the beginning of summer, and things are generally looking up. This May… well, there’s no need to restate the obvious, but all I’ll say is that it does not appear we will be heading to a rooftop bar anytime soon. 

At least we don’t have to worry about how pale we’ve all gotten. If only the glow of a computer screen could tan my face. Not that I’d have anyone to show it to, but I’d like to feel at least somewhat confident about my appearance in my Zoom square during meetings, which I do stare at 100% of the time. Anyway, here are the best shows and movies coming to Netflix in May.

‘Becoming’

This week, Higher Ground Productions, The Obama’s production company, announced their plans to air the documentary Becoming, which follows Michelle Obama on tour promoting her memoir of the same title. The documentary is set to premiere on Netflix on May 6th. I will take any and all Obama family content I can get, so I cannot wait to see the stories Michelle encountered and shares in this movie.

‘Back to the Future’ & ‘Back to the Future Part II’

Has the Back to the Future franchise aged well? My guess is no, but I haven’t seen the classic 80s movies in forever. Luckily, the first and second movies about the antics of Marty McFly and Doc Brown time-traveling are coming to Netflix this month, so we can decide once and for all. Hilarious that 2015 was considered to be so far into the future, and now I look back on those days wistfully.

‘What a Girl Wants’

What A Girl Wants is Amanda Bynes at her peak. Fresh off the success of The Amanda Show (can they put that on Netflix?), Bynes goes to England to find her dad, who is none other than Colin Firth. A British politician, he takes her into his family, but she has to learn to fit in and not cost him the election. But at what cost, if she can’t be her quirky, destructive self?

‘Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill’

Seinfeld fans will be happy to know that Jerry Seinfeld is coming out with a brand new stand-up special, taped at the Beacon Theater in New York, premiering on May 5th. I watched the trailer and all 90 seconds of it are Jerry trying to convince the audience that something can suck and be great at the same time. “Never feel bad that your life sucks. The greatest lesson you can learn in life is ‘sucks’ and ‘great’ are pretty close,” he tells us. Okay, clearly he knew this quarantine was coming? Something smells fishy, but maybe he will have some advice for us all.  

‘Workin’ Moms: Season 4′

Netflix is releasing the next eight episodes of Workin’ Moms on May 6th, which gives you just shy of a week to catch up. The comedy follows the lives of four moms who met in Mommy & Me classes, and who have to return to the workforce after giving birth. In season 4, the kids are growing up, and the moms are too. They still have to figure out how to keep their lives, families, and careers are together without going insane.

‘Dead to Me: Season 2’

The end of season 1 of Dead To Me was pretty crazy. (Spoilers ahead.) Judy confessed to Jen that she ran over Ted (Jen’s husband), but then it was like… maybe not? And then Jen shot Steve, Judy’s ex-fiancé, because she thought he was the one that killed Ted? Steve kind of sucked, so when the season ended it was kind of like… okay, I guess everything’s evened out now. Season 2 says not so fast, missy, we’ve got a lot of questions to answer. Does Jen forgive Judy? Is Steve really dead? Who is actually responsible for killing Ted?

‘The Eddy’

The director of La La Land, Damien Chazelle, is releasing his new eight-episode drama, The Eddy, on Netflix May 8th. “The Eddy” is the name of the struggling Paris jazz club owned by musician Elliot. The show follows him as he tries to save his club and his family when both begin to unravel. I expect lots of Paris scenes (who doesn’t like those?), and lots of great music, so this show will definitely be one to look out for.

‘House at the End of the Street’

The 2012 psychological thriller House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence will soon be available on Netflix. In case you’re looking to feel something again, horror movies are probably your best bet. When 17-year-old Elissa moves to a new town with her mom, she learns the house at the end of the street was the site of a gruesome murder in which a girl killed her parents and then disappeared. Elissa begins to date Ryan, the girl’s brother, who still lives in the house and holds many secrets and grudges. I’m sorry, but that is a major red flag and her first mistake. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy: Season 16’

The most recent season of Grey’s Anatomy will still be on Netflix. With production cut short due to the virus, the season features 21 episodes instead of the planned 25. If you need something comforting (comforting, as in, a show you’ve been watching for literally ever), then you’ll be glad to see the newest season coming out May 9th, with all of your favorite characters—well, the ones who are still alive.

‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Vs. the Reverend’

I have seriously been missing Kimmy Schmidt in my life, and I am so excited about this special. The whole eclectic bunch from the show appear in this special, and in Kimmy Vs. the Reverend, Kimmy embarks on her biggest adventure yet. The more exciting part? It’s interactive; the viewer gets to choose what Kimmy does with her life. That’s good, because sometimes she needs a little direction. Remember Bandersnatch? I imagine it will the same sort of setup, except it’s not part of the Black Mirror franchise so you won’t be weirdly distraught by the ending. 

‘Riverdale: Season 4’

I seriously cannot believe this show is still being made. So much respect for Riverdale, the best show written by predictive text on an iPhone. I faded out during season 2 when they made up a drug ring and decided to call said drug “jingle jangle.” But that’s not even close to the worst they’ve done on this show. I might need something to laugh at and hate-watch soon, though, so maybe Riverdale will make its way back to my screen after all.

‘Soul Surfer’

This is a classic. Soul Surfer is based on a true story of the life of Bethany Hamilton, whose left arm was bitten off in a shark attack. She eventually recovers and learns to surf with one arm. Still, she is frustrated that she can’t be where she once was, and slowly realizes that her dreams of pro-surfing competitions and sponsorships probably aren’t going to happen. When Bethany goes on a service trip to Thailand after the 2004 tsunami, she realizes that she can still use her skills to teach kids not to fear water. Let me tell you, you are never not in the mood for this movie. It’s inspiring and a feel-good for sure. 

‘Just Go With It’

Just Go With It is your typical Adam Sandler comedy, and is a fun watch when you’re not really in the mood for anything else. Sandler’s character is a womanizer, and his go-to move for getting women is telling them he’s going through a divorce. When one of them demands to meet his “ex-wife”, he enlists the help of Jennifer Aniston and also, to keep it going, pretends her kids are his kids. The kids convince Sandler to take everyone to Hawaii, where he and Jennifer Aniston actually do fall in love at the end of the day.

‘Uncut Gems’

Speaking of Adam Sandler, he stars in Uncut Gems, but this crime thriller is the opposite of his typical roles. I’m glad this movie is coming out on Netflix because I thought about seeing it in theaters last year, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the money, and then promptly forgot about it. Luckily for me, the wait is over. Uncut Gems is about a jeweler who needs to repay his debts quickly. Through dangerous and high-risk pawning and betting, he finds ways to get increasingly more money, and hopefully, it will be enough. 

There’s a lot arriving to Netflix in May, so hopefully, something catches your eye. As always, they’re kicking many shows and movies to the curb as well. Here are some of the shows and movies that are leaving Netflix in May 2020: Scandal: Season 1-7, It Takes Two, Yours, Mine and Ours, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dear John, Final Destination, The Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Final Destination 3, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, My Girl, The First Wives Club, Royal Pains: Season 1-8, Limitless, The Place Beyond the Pines, Love, Rosie, She’s Out of My League, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. 

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A Definitive Ranking Of The ‘Too Hot To Handle’ Cast’s Emotional Growth

There’s no better thrill in this world than when Netflix drops a brand new series. These days, I’d say that feeling is second only to pretending my computer’s video function is broken during a Zoom meeting so I don’t have to show my coworkers what a disgusting piece of sh*t I’ve actually become during the pandemic. Which is why I was over the moon when I learned that over the weekend Netflix had dropped their newest dumpster fire of a reality TV show: Too Hot To Handle. For those of you who haven’t heard of this show, I urge you to drop the banana bread you were thinking about making and instead dedicate the next 8-10 hours of your life watching human evolution happen in reverse. 

The premise of the show is this: 10 hot people from all over the world have been selected to be secluded on a remote beach retreat. They think they’re there to drink-bottom shelf liquor and see how much sand their gynos will have to scrape out of their cervixes after this. Not so! Instead these emotionally stunted circus animals, who have no concept of genuine human connection, have been thrust into this retreat and DENIED SEXUAL CONTACT OF ANY KIND in order to learn it. The phrase “emotional growth” is thrown around no less than 100 times throughout the entirety of the season, which made me think: did any of the contestants actually grow as people? With that in mind, I’ve decided to rank the contestants’ emotional growth on a scale of 1-10, with one being a basic human being allowed to mingle with the rest of society, and ten being someone who remains a dancing monkey. 

*Note: Since we initially only wrote our season predictions for the original 10 cast members, those are the people we’ll be ranking now AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR BOO ABOUT, MMKAY?

10. Haley

I will go to my grave defending this thesis, but here it is: Haley is not a human being. I won’t believe it. I have seen kitchen appliances show more human emotion that this sorority girl from Florida. So it’s not hard to fathom how Haley earned her last place status. In fact, Haley didn’t even make it half way through the season before getting the boot from the animatronic lamp named Lana. I’m sure that will be fun for her to explain to her potential employer. I’d say never change, Haley, but we both know your programming makes you incapable of that! 

9. Francesca

Francesca is a modern-day enchantress, and watching her systematically bring financial ruin upon her roommates one over-the-clothes handjob at a time was absolutely riveting to watch. Even though 80% of her identifying features are made up of silicone, she was one of the more attractive girls this season, and the men went into an absolute FRENZY upon her arrival at the retreat. She ended up hitting it off with Aussie Harry and they were one out of the two couples to be established during the show. When she wasn’t hypnotizing him with her tits, she was manipulating the f*ck out of anything else with a penis. Francesca gets second to last place because even though she left the retreat with a boyfriend, I’m pretty sure the only thing she learned throughout this entire experience is how much she should actually be charging for her sexual acts. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future, Fran!

8. Kelz

Kelz Too Hot To Handle

I know I’m going to catch sh*t for this one in the comments BUT COME FOR ME TROLLS because I stand by this decision. Kelz, while the most beautiful person on this show and the source of all comedic relief, also only cared about one thing: getting his goddamn money. He seemed to be far too familiar with how much a blowjob should cost and spent the majority of his time pulling out his hair and screaming “hands!!” any time Francesca and Harry so much as breathed in each other’s directions. The one and only time he tried to pursue a romantic connection with Francesca, all he talked about was winning the money. Then he turned down a soapy handjob, NOT because he wanted to wait and see if they connected on a deeper level first, but because it wouldn’t fit in their budget. Kelz, you’re a money-grubbing whore, but I love you buddy!

7. Matthew

too hot to handle Nicole and Matt

Matthew started out the show by claiming he couldn’t date anyone long-term because he doesn’t believe in marriage, even when “long-term” was later defined as “like, four weeks.” With this sad, romantic rock bottom in mind, you would think the only place he could go is up, but after several weeks on the show his idea of having a meaningful conversation was talking dirty to a robot cone named Lana. The single men of America, ladies! Matthew left the show early because none of the girls would bang him it was time for him to move on. But don’t worry, ladies! He says he will be taking what he learned from the retreat and applying it to his future relationships, which I’m sure means he’d be willing to commit to five weeks with one lucky lady instead of four. We’re not worthy!!

6. Harry

Harry and Francesca Too Hot To Handle

On night one, Harry declared that he was below average in every sense of the word, which is why he does so well with women—and that was the lightbulb moment my therapist has been hoping I’d have for years. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on what made him so attractive to me. Why did I so badly want a 6’5″ man-child rocking a modernized bowl cut to call me his naughty little possum?? Who knew that average attainability could be so attractive? I’m ranking Harry in sixth place because even though by the end of the show he was a reformed f*ckboy ready to move across the world to be closer to Francesca, he was sort of manipulated into doing it. I’m pretty sure if a less hot girl asked him to be monogamous, he would have been gone faster than the 20K he spent in the private suite with Francesca. 

5. Nicole

Nicole Too Hot To Handle

Nicole had zero hookups, love interests, or quotable lines during her time on the show. In fact, sometimes when she wore her hair curly, I thought a new contestant had shown up on the beach altogether. I was inclined to give Nicole the benefit of the doubt regarding her growth since I can hardly pick her face out of a crowd, let alone recall significant details about her personal life. Then I remembered the one challenge where they painted themselves with the  negative comments people have said about them, and the most insulting thing she could come up with was “skinny.” What other horrors do people say about you, Nicole? That you’ve got a face for modeling?

4. Rhonda

Rhonda and Sharron Too Hot TO Handle

I struggled with where to put Rhonda on here but, in the end, 4th place felt right. While she did show tremendous personal growth on the show, I’m not convinced that she wasn’t a decent human being to begin with. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders and only pursued romantic connections with the least douchey men on the island. Congratulations, Rhonda, you aren’t trash!

3. Chloe

Chloe Too Hot To Handle

I think this will be a controversial pick as well, but there’s something about Chloe that has me rooting for her. Though she has the emotional density of a plastic grocery bag, I was actually impressed with her when she cut things off with David after realizing that their connection was only physical, and when she called Francesca out for her two-faced behavior. Plus, she never cost the group more than $12k so that makes her a winner in my book. 

2. Sharron

Sharron and Rhonda Too Hot To Handle

This is a man whose opening line on the show was “I’m most proud of my penis” and by the end of the retreat, he was in a committed relationship—without having sex!—and FaceTiming his girlfriend’s kid because it was important to her. If I had a heart, it would have started beating again for this sh*t. 

1. David

And last but not least, we have British David ranking in at number one for the biggest emotional transformation. When David first graced my television screen, he looked like the type of person who would have spent this pandemic building a bunker out of bulk orders of protein powder and dumbbells. Little did I know that David was a human cinnamon roll hiding in a CrossFit acolyte’s skin suit! When David decided to quit pursuing his romantic connection with Rhonda—a woman who brought him to tears just staring into her soul!!—because he valued his friendship with Sharron too much, I may have actually cried. Though he didn’t end up with anyone by the end of the show, he was constantly lifting his cast mates up and just genuinely being the cutest human on planet earth. David: CALL ME! 

And there you have it! The definitive ranking of emotional growth from the Too Hot To Handle cast. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ll just be sliding into David’s DMs and asking him if he’d like to be my naughty little possum. Ttyl!

Images: Aline Arruda, Ana Cristina Blumenkron/Netflix; Courtesy of Netflix (8)

The Best TV Shows And Movies Coming To Netflix This February

The February slump is upon us, which means we have nothing better to do then succumb to Netflix’s latest additions: murder, musicals, and virgins. I’m not sure why February took such a dark turn Netflix-wise, but I mean maybe that’s just reflexive of the state of our world, you feel me? Anyways, without further ado, here are this month’s latest and greatest additions to Netflix.

Russian Doll

In one of Netflix’s latest TV endeavors, Natasha Lyonne plays a woman named Nadia who legit can’t stop dying. On the evening that she’s made to be the guest of honor at a party in New York City, she dies – and then wakes up again. She does this a few times on repeat before wondering what the f*ck is going on. The comedy series co-created by Lyonne herself and Amy Poehler is sure to have you laughing for all the wrong reasons. So what, you’re a terrible person? We all are these days.  

Dirty John

So apparently men who stalk and murder women are in this season! Originally a podcast (where all great true crime stories start), this real-life story follows Debra Newell, an interior designer looking for a man after four (yes four) failed marriages. She finds John Meehan, an anaesthesiologist with an overly promising online dating profile. He turns out to like, a sociopath. What exactly he does, though, you’ll have to watch and find out. But I’m just saying, this sh*t better be worth Connie Britton killing herself off Nashville and simultaneously ruining the entire concept of the show.

Nightflyers

The year is 2093 and Kompass Kardashian rules planet Earth. Not actually, but like would you be surprised? A bunch of nerds board a ship called, you guessed it, the Nightflyer to go try and talk to aliens. How arrogant of them to think aliens want to hear from us. Well, they find out pretty f*cking quickly that they don’t. This is basically that episode of Black Mirror when they’re in the spaceship video game, but instead of them living happily ever after fighting off aliens, they all get brutally murdered.

ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke

Clearly Netflix is picking up on the fact that we’re all grossly obsessed with true crime stories (hey did you know we have a true crime podcast? Cause like, you should). Sam Cooke was a soul singer who also had immense socio-political power during the Civil Rights movement. A woman named Bertha Franklin murdered him in a motel, but to this day, the story doesn’t seem to add up. His family and fans have pushed to investigate whether or not his murder was in fact politically motivated due to his rise in influence. Get ready to fall down the rabbit hole with this one. Start your engines, and may the best theory win!

Umbrella Academy

Adapted from a comic book series, this Netflix Original takes the idea of superhero family just about as far from The Incredibles as humanly possible. 43 women give birth having not been pregnant like, the minute before (can you spell nightmare?). Only six of them survive and end up becoming the children of a sketchy old man who trained them to unlock their given superpowers. The show takes place 17 years after the adoption, when the man is murdered. The Umbrella Academy siblings must then reform to save the world. And you thought your family was f*cked up.

Hairspray

If watching Zac Efron take Troy Bolton to ’60s Baltimore isn’t reason enough to watch this iconic film, I will give you a second: Nikki Blonsky. Her fans (often referred to as  “Blonskinators” or collectively as “Blonskyland”) worship the should-have-been it girl of 2007 on Twitter and Instagram. This bitch will never let you f*cking forget that she was Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray with Amanda Bynes and Queen Latifah. I can’t decide what’s better: her singing “Good Morning Baltimore” in her half-lit bedroom on Instagram live, or that legitimately not one of her co-stars follow her back, but she’ll still post congratulatory posts for Amanda Bynes getting her sh*t back together. Oh, and the music is really good.

Billy Elliot

How could you not love a movie that promotes healthy masculinity, shows a lead male pursuing a non-stereotypical career, and supports the LGBTQ community? *Steps off soapbox* Billy Elliot is a pre-teen going through the dilemma of being an un-athletic boy. After getting the sh*t beat out of him in a boxing ring, he stumbles upon a ballet class and finds himself really enjoying the opportunity to dance. The film follows Billy as he tries to convince legit everyone that boys can dance too (even though people are super ignorant and homophobic towards him – please tell me what’s changed). I won’t spoil it for you, but what I will say is that after watching this movie you’re going to be dying to see the musical adaptation.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Also known as Colton Underwood. Although slightly depressing in concept, this Steve Carell movie actually reminds you that he’s someone who does comedy – cause like, have you seen his latest sh*t? It’s dark. AF. Anyways, in this movie, Carell plays a lonely electronics salesman named Andy. Andy really loves action figures and video games, but his friends just want him to get f*cking laid already (side note: WHERE WERE THESE FRIENDS AT 30??). They eventually find him Trish, and the rest is history.

American Pie

A large percentage of the male population would consider watching American Pie their sexual awakening. So that’s the type of movie you’re getting here. My ex-boyfriend used to actually quiz me on the order of every American Pie sequel and saga (hence, ex). In a quest to all lose their virginities (do we have a theme here this month?), five friends attempt to court girls grossly out of their league. This movie involves a lot of nudity, so not really one to watch on an airplane or at your Grandma’s house. Also, this was released in 1999 and the biggest ~scandal~ in it is a webcam link going on an all-school email. Twenty years later and we have to deal with revenge porn all over the internet. God I hate 2019.

Velvet Buzzsaw

I don’t know whom the f*ck was on crack when they thought of this movie title, but like that’s the least of our worries here. To explain the inexplicable, a woman named Josephine finds an old man dead in her apartment complex and therefore decides to go through his stuff (logic is so far out the window). She finds his artwork and decides to show it to her artsy friends Morf and Rhodora to get their opinions. The two fall in love with the work and see its market value, obvs deciding they want to make big bucks off this dead guy. Pretty soon though, sh*t hits the fan when the artwork starts to murder people. Yea, you read that right. Although it’s listed as a supernatural horror film, this movie also has a strange comedic commentary on the absurdity of the art world and money attached to it. How fun?

Images: Shutterstock, Giphy (6)