Hello, friends. It's been a heavy week. Our country is having a real moment of reckoning.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to still publish this list this week. Ultimately, I decided that if watching TV for a little bit is part of your self-care during these incredibly difficult times, I'd like to help you enjoy those breaks.
Let's begin with some new and upcoming releases:
- Today: At long last, the Fab Five are back! Season five of Queer Eye is now available on Netflix and the guys are headed to Philadelphia
- Thursday, June 11: Season four of The Bold Type returns to Freeform next week. If you've never watched before, it's the story of three young women working at Scarlett (based on Cosmopolitan) and it's fantastic
- Friday, June 19: Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo's Top Chef, has a new show called Taste the Nation, which will be available on Hulu
Now, onto this week's picks.
1. Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix) - Last Friday, Netflix released the third season of Somebody Feed Phil, a travel show all about food starring Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond.
I fell in love with the show because it's like watching a Jewish grandmother (trapped inside a tall, skinny guy's body) jetting all over the globe in search of the best bites. Like me, Phil's favorite food is ice cream, so I always appreciate all the stops he makes for cones and sundaes.
There are five episodes in the new season. Phil travels to Marrakesh, Chicago, London, Seoul and Montreal. You can watch them in any order, so pick the cities that you're most curious about (or already love and want to know if he did it justice!).
In the Marrakesh episode, the food looked visually stunning - the bright colors, the fresh spices - I wanted to beam myself there. At one point it even made me want to eat sardine toast!
In the Chicago episode, Phil meets a friend at Cindy's Rooftop overlooking Millennium Park, which is a place I have actually been. Here is my blog post from that visit.
I was obsessed with the London episode, largely because Phil eats at Rovi, the vegetable-focused restaurant of Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi. He also visits a breakfast spot called Les Filles that looked gorgeous. He closes the episode by having dinner with culinary goddess Nigella Lawson. Does it get better than that?
2. Sweet Magnolias (Netflix) - If you love Hallmark movies, then chances are you are considering watching Sweet Magnolias. The show centers around three women: Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue. They grew up together and now they are joining forces to restore a historic home and reopen it as a spa.
Maddie is fresh of her separation from the town's doctor (played by Chris Klein!) and starting a new romance with her son's baseball coach. Helen is running the spa renovation, while also juggling an unexpected reunion with her first love. Dana Sue's stress is through the roof running a restaurant and trying to keep track of her opinionated teenage daughter.
Did I mention Jamie-Lynn Spears also has a role? Yes, as in, sister of Britney Spears.
Is this the best thing you're going to watch this week? No. It is easy viewing? Absolutely yes.
3. Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix) - Hannah Gadsby rose to popularity with her comedy special Nanette, which won and Emmy and a Peabody Award. Douglas is her newest special, named for the first dog she had as an adult.
The show clocks in at one hour and twelve minutes, but the time goes by quickly. She had a few bits where I really laughed out loud, especially one about the Paleo diet.
What I find so inspirational about Gadsby is the way she speaks openly about having autism. She chooses to put those personal experiences into her routines, educating her audience as she makes them laugh.
This week, I listened to her interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. I highly recommend it.
4. 30 for 30: Lance (ESPN) - I was completely addicted to the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, so when I saw there was a new 30 for 30 about Lance Armstrong, I was intrigued.
If you thought Michael Jordan seemed self-centered, Lance Armstrong is a new kind of ego maniac. I was never a cycling fan, so I didn't know much about him other than the fact that he won back-to-back Tour de France races (seven to be exact).
The documentary covers his childhood in Texas, his entry into professional racing as a teenager, his global icon status, his battle with cancer, his creation of the Livestrong Foundation and ultimately, his demise in a doping scandal.
The documentary is four hours long. It airs in two, two-hour chunks. I watched it all in one sitting because I was in complete shock and awe at his audacity.
5. Lady Bird (Netflix) - This wonderful coming-of-age movie is now available on Netflix. Lady Bird came out in November 2017 and is written and directed by Greta Gerwig. It co-stars Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein as friends entering their senior year of high school.
I loved everything about this movie. I saw it in the theater and when the credits rolled, I turned to my sister and said, "Well, that was perfect."
6. Awkward (Amazon or Hulu) - Awkward is a little known TV show that originally aired on MTV from 2011 - 2016. It centers around Jenna Hamilton, a quiet sophomore who gets in an accident that suddenly makes her the center of attention.
The show covers everything you expect from a high school comedy: classroom blunders, embarrassing PE sessions, first crushes and nosy parents.
This is also the show that introduced me to actor Beau Mirchoff, who now co-stars on Good Trouble on Freeform. Let's just say he's real cute.
Thanks to no commercials, each episode is only 20-22 minutes.
There you have it! This week's list. I'll be back next Friday with a fresh round of suggestions.