Hello, friends. It's Labor Day weekend! I hope you have fun plans (even if you had to modify them due to COVID).
It's week 26 of working from home and social distancing, which means it's also the 26th installment of this weekly TV and movie round up. If you missed any of the previous lists, you can find all of them on my TV recaps page.
Before we dive into this week's top picks, a few things to look forward to:
- Today - The Hillary Swank / Josh Charles show Away is now available on Netflix!
- Wednesday, September 9 - Just a few more days until Getting Organized with the Home Edit premieres on Netflix. Watch the trailer if you haven't already.
- Friday, September 25 - Judy, the movie starring Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland, hits Amazon Prime.
- Friday, October 2 - Darren Star, creator of Sex and the City and Younger, has a new show coming to Netflix called Emily in Paris. Lily Collins stars as Emily, an American who moves to Paris for a marketing job. Here is the one-minute trailer.
OK! Onto this week's top six.
1. Black Panther (Disney+) - I woke up last Saturday morning to the news of actor Chadwick Boseman's passing. I was shocked and devastated. He was only 43 years old. I wanted to be able to see him again in some way, so I decided to watch Black Panther that night, which is available on Disney+.
If you haven't seen the movie before, it is based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name. Boseman plays Prince T'Challa, who becomes king after his father's passing. He defends the throne against Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan.
Lupita Nyong'o and Dania Gurira co-star as Nakia and Okoye, two incredible, fearless women of the tribe.
The scenery is breathtaking, the hair, makeup and costumes are beautiful, and Boseman's performance is one of grace and strength.
2. Love, Guaranteed (Netflix) - You know I love a rom-com. This is the new one from Netflix this week, co-starring Rachel Leigh Cook (She's All That) and Damon Wayans Jr. The actors play Susan and Nick, respectively. Susan is an attorney and Nick is a client looking to sue the dating website Love Guaranteed.
The plot is completely predictable, but there are fun quirks like Susan's beat up car has Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" permanently stuck in the tape deck and she likes to rehearse her closing arguments in the mirror of the women's bathroom at the courthouse. There's also a surprise cameo from Heather Graham, who plays the hippy lifestyle guru who founded Love Guaranteed.
The movie clocks in at 90 minutes, which I've always felt is the ideal length.
3. Inside Bill's Brain (Netflix) - I've had this three-part documentary series on my list for a while, but after listening to Bill Gates on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, I decided to finally watch it.
The series is a bit meandering, but it illuminates three very cool things: (1) the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, (2) the magic of Bill and Melinda's partnership, and (3) Bill's relationship with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett.
If you want to see how wealth can be used for good, queue this up next.
4. Chef's Table: BBQ (Netflix) - Chef's Table is one of the most visually beautiful shows on television. It introduced me to chef Dan Barber and Blue Stone Farm, as well as many other culinary geniuses around the globe. It's back with a new season, this time focused on BBQ pitmasters.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Why would a vegetarian watch these episodes? Well, I was worried about being grossed out by all the meat, but honestly, that isn't the focus on these narratives. It's about the people who make food with fire. Their stories, their traditions and their unique way of cooking.
Warning: this show will make you very hungry.
5. The Notebook (Netflix) - Did you know The Notebook was available on Netflix? Because I didn't and when I found it this week I squealed!
Author Nicholas Sparks is maybe best known for this story of Noah and Allie, played on screen by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
This movie is just food to your soul.
6. Grease (Netflix) - This week, I also discovered that Grease, perhaps my favorite musical of all time (sorry, Hamilton), is available to stream. I know every line of this movie, dialogue and singing.
Fun fact: when I was in elementary school, I danced with a group of girls to "You're the One that I Want" in a talent show. We dressed in all black, just like Olivia Newton-John in the final scene of the movie.
It makes me happy that new generations will have the chance to enjoy this iconic film.
There you have it! This week's picks. I'll be back next Friday with a fresh round.