It's week six of quarantine and I hope you all are hanging in. I'm starting to find my work-from-home groove and really relishing the days when the sun is out and the air is warm.
Each week I've been sharing recommendations for TV shows and movies to watch. If you missed any of the earlier lists, you can catch up here:
- 6 Shows to Watch this Weekend (Volume 1)
- 6 Shows to Watch this Weekend (Volume 2)
- 6 Shows to Watch this Weekend (Volume 3)
- 6 Shows to Watch this Weekend (Volume 4)
- 6 Shows to Watch this Weekend (Volume 5)
Before we dive into this week's picks, I wanted to share two things you absolutely do not need to watch. First, Tiger King on Netflix. I watched it about two weeks after the internet hysteria and I have to say, it's just weird. It focuses on such a tiny microcosm of people that it's hard to believe a word like their exists. Second, no matter how badly you are craving a rom-com, do not waste your time on The Wedding Year on Amazon. It stars Sarah Hyland from Modern Family and I had high hopes, but was massively disappointed.
Ok! Now onto this week's top suggestions.
1. High Fidelity (Hulu) - In August 1995, Nick Hornby released his book, High Fidelity, about a record store owner named Rob Fleming, recovering from a break up. In March 2000, it was adapted for the big screen as a film starring John Cusack as Rob. This year, Hulu has released it's own take on the story as a ten-episode season with Zoe Kravitz playing Robyn "Rob" Brooks.
I am three episodes in and I'm loving it! While Zoe Kravitz doesn't break the fourth wall in quite the same way John Cusack did, she adds her own flavor to the well-known part.
For me, the highlight is actually Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Cherise, one of the clerks in Rob's record store. She bursts onto the scene in episode one, encouraging a store-wide sing-a-long to "Come on Eileen." I love this interview she did with ESSENCE, talking about her career and this specific role.
Each episode is about 28 minutes. I'm excited to keep watching.
2. Love Wedding Repeat (Netflix) - Netflix has released many great rom-coms including Set it Up, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Always Be My Maybe. The newest addition, Love Wedding Repeat, stars Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games) and Olivia Munn.
In this part, Claflin feels like young Hugh Grant 2.0. He's a bit of a disaster, but oh-so-cute.
The highlight of the entire movie is Olivia Munn looking stunning in an off-the-shoulder green dress. I think it's the best she's ever looked.
The whole story takes place in one evening, the night of a wedding. Is it the best movie you'll ever see? No. Is it easy to watch? 100 percent yes.
3. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix) - A friend recommended that I watch Crip Camp and at first, I was hesitant. The trailer on Netflix doesn't really do it justice.
The movie (1 hour and 48 minutes) is a documentary about a camp for teenagers with disabilities called Camp Jened. At first, you see all the ways their experiences at summer camp helped them to gain confidence and independence. As the film goes on, you learn that this group of friends would wind up banding together in Berkeley, CA to fight for federal regulations guaranteeing civil rights for the disabled.
The most impressive of the group is Judy Heumann, who became a special advisor to the Obama administration. In fact, President Obama and Michelle Obama are executive producers on the film.
I really enjoyed The New York Times' review of the documentary. It closes with, "Ultimately, 'Crip Camp' has a universal message: Inspirations that begin in youth can lead to radical, world-changing results. At the end, a number of former campers reunite at the camp’s unprepossessing present-day site. They see something more, and so will you."
4. Killing Eve (Hulu or Amazon) - Even though it won multiple awards, I was late to the party on Killing Eve. Last weekend I watched season one and season two, unable to stop myself from pressing "next episode."
The show is based on the Codename Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings. This TV adaptation co-stars Sandra Oh and Jodi Comer. Comer plays Villanelle, an assassin for hire, and Oh plays Eve, the investigator trying to find and arrest her.
I had completely forgotten, until I saw it during the opening credits, that Phoebe Waller-Bridge (of Fleabag fame) wrote the first season of this show! Fun fact: each season of Killing Eve has a female head writer. Emerald Fennell was at the helm for season two and Suzanne Heathcote leads the charge for season three, which just premiered this week.
What I loved is that the show keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you have it all figured out, they toss another curve ball. I will say, I made this mistake of watching the very first episode while eating dinner. There are a lot of gorey murders, so maybe don't eat while you watch?
The show is available on Hulu and you can also purchase it on Amazon Prime.
5. Friday Night Lights (Amazon) - If you've never watched Friday Night Lights before, quarantine is the ideal time to find out what all the fuss is about.
This is one of my favorite TV shows. I have re-watched the series five times. Here is my original blog post from June 2009!
The show stars Kyle Chandler as Coach Taylor, the leader of the Dillon Panthers football team in Dillon, TX. His wife, played brilliantly by Connie Britton, becomes a guidance counselor at the school.
The show isn't really about football, it's about relationships - romance, marriage, friendship, teammates, siblings - everything.
The full series is available on Amazon Prime. You can watch for free with ads or the seasons are available for purchase too.
Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose.
6. Pitch Perfect (Amazon) - I was watching the celebrity seder last weekend when Skylar Astin popped on the screen during one of the songs. He plays Jesse in Pitch Perfect. The moment I saw him I thought, "How have I not recommended Pitch Perfect during quarantine?!"
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. If you haven't seen it, it's about college a cappella. The songs are unbelievably catchy and there is a swoon-worthy romance between Astin and Anna Kendrick's character, Beca. It makes me want to sing "Don't You (Forget About Me)" just thinking about it!
Do yourself a favor and watch it this weekend. You can rent it on Amazon for $3.99.
There you have it, this week's top picks. I'll be back next Friday with a fresh list!