January 19, 2022

Eclipse Festival

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The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: The Flash, Cowboy Bebop

If you put week’s best shows and movies on a seesaw, it would break under the weight of everything debuting on Thursday and Friday. So much for spreading out the most exciting new releases! But while streaming platforms are going all out leading into this weekend — the last before Thanksgiving — that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the Monday blues. Just check out Storm Lake, an indie doc about a family-run newspaper, or catch up on Sunday’s premieres, like Yellowjackets. Tuesday, The Flash returns on The CW, and the week gets busier as it goes, building up to buzzy new shows like Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop and Amazon’s The Wheel of Time.

Our list of editors’ picks for the week of Nov. 15-21 is below, but if that’s not enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.


Tom, Art, and John Cullen, Storm Lake

Dolores Cullen

Storm Lake

Monday at 10/9c on PBS
The fact that you’re reading this on your laptop or phone and not on a piece of paper is indicative of the state of journalism today, which the indie documentary Storm Lake looks into by following The Storm Lake Times, a family-run newspaper in Iowa dedicated to keeping journalism alive. But these aren’t randoms who just happen to have a printing press; The Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for uncovering a conspiracy between agriculture giants and local officials. –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON PBS]


Grant Gustin and Brandon Routh, The Flash

Katie Yu/The CW

The Flash

Season 8 premiere Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW
Superhero shows on The CW have become synonymous with crossover events, and this year’s biggie is Armageddon, a five-episode event that will see Barry Allen and his crew meet up with other stars of the Arrowverse to save us all from an alien threat. Sorry, that’s all the details we’ve been given so far. Unlike recent Arrowverse crossover events, this one will take place entirely within The Flash‘s season due to COVID restrictions. –Tim Surette [TRAILER]

Prayers for the Stolen


Prayers for the Stolen

Wednesday on Netflix
Mexico’s official Oscar entry this year is this stirring coming-of-age drama that illuminates the human consequence of Mexico’s war on drugs. Directed and written by Tatiana Huezo, Prayers for the Stolen follows three girls growing up in the shadow of the drug cartels, in a rural Mexican town where girls regularly disappear overnight. To keep them safe, their mothers shear their hair short, but they can’t stop their daughters from finding places to rebel. The movie is a portrait of girls and women under constant threat of violence and a tribute to the friendship that keeps them going. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Jeff Lowe, Tiger King


Tiger King

Season 2 premieres Wednesday on Netflix
March 2020 will go down in history as the month the world changed for millions people. Oh right, the pandemic and global lockdown went into effect, but I was talking about the release of Tiger King, Netflix’s ultra-insane, ultra-popular true crime series that was a perfect complement to the panic of quarantine. Somehow, Netflix is doing a second season despite its star, Joe Exotic, being behind bars and Joe’s arch enemy, Carole Baskin, refusing to participate in the new episodes (Baskin’s lawsuit to prevent the use of footage of her in Season 2 has been fruitless so far). From the looks of the trailer, Season 2 will catch up with some of the stars to see how Tiger King changed their lives and further investigate the disappearance of Baskin’s husband, Don Lewis. Also, more jet skiing! –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For


The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For

Thursday on Hulu
At the intersection of true crime and things Lindsay Lohan wore in the early 2000s, you’ll find Von Dutch. The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For promises to reveal the wild true story behind the Y2K-era fashion brand, infamous not only for its trucker hats but also, apparently, for money laundering and first-degree murder. Do you think this three-episode docuseries, which features interviews with the likes of Paris Hilton, will do anything to talk Gen Z out of bringing back turn-of-the-millennium fashion? –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER | WATCH ON HULU]   

Lead Me Home


Lead Me Home

Thursday on Netflix
It is unfathomable that there aren’t more documentaries on the homeless, which is why I’m really looking forward to this short doc on a community that is in dire need of empathy. Lead Me Home explores homelessness from different perspectives as it follows subjects living on the streets up and down the West Coast, while also covering the programs and resources — or lack thereof — that tackle what is still a growing issue. It’s directed by Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk; Shenk was co-director of Netflix’s Athlete A. –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Vanessa Hudgens, Vanessa Hudgens, and… Vanessa Hudgens, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

Mark Mainz/NETFLIX

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

Thursday on Netflix
If you haven’t been keeping up with the shamelessly cuckoo Princess Switch movies, you might be saying, “Wait, there are three of these now?” There sure are, and this time it’s a heist. Princess Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Lady Margaret (Vanessa Hudgens with a British accent) are simply trying to host a Christmas festival when they discover that the priceless relic loaned to them by the Vatican (yes, you read that right) has been stolen. To get it back, they have to team up with Margaret’s cousin Fiona (Vanessa Hudgens in a blonde wig) and her various criminal associates. Fingers crossed they find a way to somehow add a fourth Vanessa Hudgens to the mix. –Allison Picurro [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Dulé Hill and James Roday Rodriguez, Psych 3: This Is Gus

James Dittiger/Peacock

Psych 3: This Is Gus

Thursday on Peacock
C’mon, son! Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez) and Gus (Dulé Hill) are back in action in the third Psych movie, Psych 3: This Is Gus, which pivots on a very personal mystery: What is Selene’s (Jazmyn Simon) real name? What starts as an effort to track down Selene’s husband so she can get a divorce and marry Gus before their child is born goes sideways when the guys realize she’s hiding something — but as usual, the case is mostly an excuse for madcap silliness. Expect plenty of obscure references, jokes about Peacock, and the return of old friends, none more beloved than Lassie (Timothy Omundson), who’s finally back on the force. We’re slicing up a pineapple in celebration. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER WATCH ON PEACOCK]

Reneé Rapp, Alyah Chanelle Scott, Pauline Chalamet, and Amrit Kaur, The Sex Lives of College Girls


The Sex Lives of College Girls

Thursday on HBO Max
I’m a simple person, and if you tell me Mindy Kaling is producing a show about weirdo teen girls, I will absolutely be watching that show. This one follows four roommates in their first year at Essex College, navigating their new sex lives and dealing with the various struggles brought on by higher education. It looks funny and sweet in that way Kaling’s shows usually are, and I don’t need much more than that to be satisfied. –Allison Picurro [TRAILER WATCH ON HBO MAX]

John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda, Cowboy Bebop

Geoffrey Short/Netflix

Cowboy Bebop

Season 1 available Friday on Netflix
Forget Twitter accounts and the children’s shows you grew up on, the new hotness in remakes is anime. Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the beloved Japanese animated series Cowboy Bebop (also streaming on Netflix) is all sorts of entertaining, retaining the series’ oddball mix of science-fiction, Westerns, comedy, and jazz. John Cho and Mustafa Shakir star as Spike and Jet, bounty hunters who get tied up with all sorts of planet-hopping criminals, causing all sorts of destruction through violent shootouts along the way. I’ve only seen a little bit of the anime, but I loved how the new series dips into its source material while also branching out on its own. It’s like a potty-mouthed, bloody Firefly. –Tim Surette [TRAILER WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Elle Fanning, The Great


The Great

Season 2 available Friday on Hulu
Huzzah! Tony McNamara’s The Favourite-flavored royal remix is back for Season 2, which finds Catherine (Elle Fanning) finally claiming the Russian throne and owning her title as Catherine the Great (it’s the titular role!). Thrust into a new dynamic with Peter (Nicholas Hoult), Catherine will continue to spar with her court, her husband, and her mother (Gillian Anderson!) over how best to rule. She’s also having a baby, but no pressure. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER WATCH ON HULU]

King Richard

Warner Bros.

King Richard

Friday on HBO Max and in theaters
There’s been a lot of buzz for Will Smith’s performance in this heartfelt drama about Richard Williams, dad of famed tennis stars Venus and Serena, who helped build them up into the accomplished athletes they are today. It’s an underdog story, it’s a biopic, Beyoncé wrote a triumphant banger of a song for it — we already know this one is going to win a bunch of Oscars and make us all cry. –Allison Picurro [TRAILER | WATCH ON HBO MAX]




Friday on Netflix
Robert Greene’s gutting documentary comes to Netflix just two months after making its debut at Telluride, a quick turnaround that belies how much time went into this movie. Shot over three years, Procession focuses on six men who each suffered abuse by Catholic priests in the diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, when they were boys. Greene’s project is unique: The men, working with both Greene and a therapist who uses theater in her work, create short films about their trauma. It’s an unmissable story of how to reckon with evil. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Andrew Garfield, tick tick…Boom!


tick, tick… BOOM!

Friday on Netflix
Lin-Manuel Miranda has a type: musicals about guys who are worried their time is running out. And why mess with success? Miranda makes his directorial debut with this film adaptation, already racking up good reviews, of Rent creator Jonathan Larson’s semi-autobiographical musical. Andrew Garfield stars as the struggling playwright, who’s anxious that he hasn’t accomplished enough by his upcoming 30th birthday. (The story is made more poignant by Larson’s real-life early death at the age of 35, the night before Rent‘s off-Broadway premiere.) Garfield is a hit in this, Vanessa Hudgens is in her element, and Bradley Whitford does a rock-solid Sondheim impersonation. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER WATCH ON NETFLIX]

The Wheel of Time


The Wheel of Time

Season 1 premieres Friday on Amazon Prime Video
It’s no billion-dollar Lord of the Rings TV series (that’s coming soon courtesy of Prime Video), but Amazon’s Wheel of Time is based on another popular high fantasy book series and has its own goals of becoming the next Game of Thrones. It’s got the usual fantasy boxes to check off: a prophecy about a powerful young person who will save the world, vast world-building that requires its own atlas to keep track of, British accents (why is everyone always British?), and a roster of characters that will take you a few seasons to familiarize yourself with. But after you get past the initial premise — a magician (Rosamund Pike) takes five young people on an adventure to figure out which one of them is “the dragon reborn” — and the deeper you go beyond the initial episodes, the more this looks like it could actually be the next big thing, thanks to an engaging universe and characters you might actually care about. –Tim Surette [TRAILER WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO]


Archie Yates, Home Sweet Home Alone

Philippe Bosse/Disney+

Home Sweet Home Alone

Premiered Friday on Disney+
There isn’t a single good reason to reboot Home Alone, unless you’re really curious how anyone could make that plot work in the age of cell phones. But listen, maybe some of us are a little curious how anyone could make that plot work in the age of cell phones! Home Sweet Home Alone stars Jojo Rabbit‘s Archie Yates as Max, a boy who winds up at home alone (obviously) when his family goes on vacation without him, leaving him to violently defend his house against burglars played by Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney. The internet is outraged about this, but this movie is not for the internet. This movie is for parents who are running out of holiday programming to show their kids. Cheers to that. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER | WATCH ON DISNEY+]

Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, Red Notice


Red Notice

Premiered Friday on Netflix
If your libido needs a jumpstart, you could do worse than watch Red Notice, a movie starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. And Netflix is hoping that you do, because the streamer spent a reported $200 million on the flick (the most ever for Netflix). Rocky and Ryan play a fed and an art thief, respectively, who team up to catch the world’s most-wanted art thief (Gadot), and, according to the trailer, there are tons of fights, big action sequences with rocket launchers and helicopters, and one bit where the former Brahma Bull takes on a real bull in a bullfight. This would normally be a slam dunkarooni to watch, but reviews are pretty terrible. However, even some critics who think it sucks admit that it’s kind of fun. I’m inclined to turn off the brain for two hours and agree with them. –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON NETFLIX]

Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell, The Shrink Next Door

Apple TV+

The Shrink Next Door

Series premiered Friday on Apple TV+
Like a really dark Anchorman reunion, Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell star as psychiatrist and patient, respectively, in this miniseries. Rudd plays Dr. Ike Herschkopf, and Ferrell plays Marty Markowitz, a fabric store owner who feels out of control in his own life. The longer the two work together, the darker things get, the blurrier the boundaries become, and it quickly becomes clear, to everyone but Markowitz, that his therapist is taking advantage of him. Kathryn Hahn and Casey Wilson co-star, and the show is written by Succession‘s Georgia Pritchett. If you’ve ever wanted to see beloved actors wear bushy eyebrow wigs, now is your chance! –Allison Picurro [TRAILER | WATCH ON APPLE TV+]

Kyle Chandler and Jeremy Renner, Mayor of Kingstown


Mayor of Kingstown

Series premiered Sunday at 9/8c on Paramount+
Not to be confused with Mare of Easttown, Mayor of Kingstown is set in a fictional Michigan town with an economy driven by incarceration. Jeremy Renner stars as Mike McClusky, a member of a powerful local family in Kingstown. And few producers on TV right now are doing stories about powerful families in controversial industries like Yellowstone super-producer Taylor Sheridan, who co-created this series with Hugh Dillon. That pedigree, combined with a cast list led by stars like Renner, Kyle Chandler, Dianne Wiest, and Aidan Gillen, makes the plot of this series almost secondary. –Kelly Connolly [TRAILER | WATCH ON PARAMOUNT+]

Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets

Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME


Series premiered Sunday at 10/9c on Showtime
It isn’t enough in TV these days for people to survive a plane crash, eat the ones who didn’t, and form some sort of tribunal council in which someone rules with an iron fist. Now we have to catch up with these castaways later in life after they’re rescued. It was true for Lost, it was true for Amazon’s The Wilds, and now it’s true for Showtime’s Yellowjackets, which follows a high school girls soccer team that gets stranded on an island when their plane crashes. Decades later, the adult versions of the girls — played by Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, and Tawny Cypress — are hiding many secrets, and the fun of the show, which is told across both timelines, is figuring what happened on the island and who *gulp* got eaten on the island. It’s pretty heavy, but it also has fun with that heaviness. –Tim Surette [TRAILER | WATCH ON SHOWTIME]

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