Happy Friday, friends! We made it to the end of another work week. I was listening to the Royally Obsessed podcast this morning and one of the co-hosts said, "Doesn't January feel like Q5 2020?" That's exactly it!
In good news, we are just five days away from the Inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th President and I couldn't be more excited. I know with Joe and Kamala on the case, we will turn things around. It will take time, but I am positive it will happen. Let's start with streamlining the vaccine roll out, shall we?
The weather is looking pretty crummy this weekend in Boston (a lot of rain) and you know what that means . . . perfect streaming weather!
Before we get into this week's picks, here are a few things to look forward to:
- Today - Bling Empire is now available on Netflix! The show is about the ultra wealthy members of the Asian community in Los Angeles. I cannot wait to start this.
- Tuesday, January 19 - Seasons one - nine of How I Met Your Mother will become available on Amazon Prime. I used to love this show and it might be time for a re-watch. "Have you met Ted?"
- Thursday, January 21 - Call My Agent returns to Netflix with season four. This French show is about a group of talent agents in Paris and their very eccentric clients.
- Friday, January 22 - Back in July 2019 Netflix released a reality competition show called Blown Away featuring glass blowers. Stay with me! While I was skeptical at first, watching these artists create stunning works in a limited amount of time was nothing short of incredible. In a few weeks, the show will be back with season two.
- Friday, February 12 - The third and final installment of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie franchise hits Netflix. More on this below!
- Wednesday, February 17 - This is a big day. The Real Housewives of New Jersey return to Bravo and Good Trouble comes back to Freeform. I have missed both of these shows terribly!
Ok, onto this week's must-see TV shows and movies.
1. Vanity Fair (Amazon Prime) - After watching all of Bridgerton (twice!) I was craving more British grandeur. A friend who loves period pieces recommended that I try Vanity Fair next. It came out in 2018. The first season has seven episodes, each one-hour long. The story centers around Becky Sharp (played by Olivia Cooke), a woman who is determined to social climb her way to the top.
She starts by marrying a high-ranking army man, Rawdon Crawley (played by Tom Bateman), and quickly moves on to trying to write herself into the will of his wealthy aunt Matilda (played brilliantly by Tony Award winner Frances de la Tour).
While Vanity Fair isn't as sexy or gossipy as Bridgerton, it is an engaging watch.
Johnny Flynn is in it, who I absolutely adored in the British show Lovesick. It was delightful to get to see him again.
My friend also recommend Harlots on Hulu, so I am going to try that this weekend!
2. Brittany Runs a Marathon (Amazon Prime) - I had seen this movie promoted on Amazon for quite a while, and last Sunday I finally decided to watch it. The movie stars Jillian Bell as a young woman named Brittany who starts running after a rough doctor's appointment where she's informed she's approaching "obese" status.
This is a story about finding yourself and committing to the changes that bring you true happiness.
Brittany uncovers a new friend group in her running buddies, and even finds love through a highly unlikely situation (dog sitting!). Utkarsh Ambudkar from Pitch Perfect and The Mindy Project plays her paramour, Jern.
As someone who is plus size and has struggled with weight all my life, there were many moments of this film that were triggering. If you have some of those challenges, watch with caution.
The final scene of the movie brought me to tears. I am not talking a little bit of welling up, actual tears. I had to reach for my box of tissues and wipe my eyes for a good three minutes.
This movie is based on the real-life story of Brittany O'Neill and the script was written by her roommate, Paul Downs Colaizzo. I loved this Runner's World article which tells their story.
3. Julie and Julia (Netflix) - After the riots in the Capitol last week, the news cycle for the following days was so intense that I was seeking something comforting. I was thrilled to discover Julie & Julia is available on Netflix.
The movie originally came out in 2009 and co-stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Streep plays the iconic chef Julia Child and Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a woman attempting to cook all 524 recipes from Child's first cookbook in one year.
Though I've seen the movie before, I couldn't help but think, "This is a superb challenge for the pandemic times!" People who love to cook, but have exhausted their usual, go-to recipes, could also attempt this while we're all staying at home.
Watching these decadent, butter-filled dishes get prepared was soothing.
Julie's husband, Eric, is played by Chris Messina, who I loved as Danny Castellano on The Mindy Project. The always exceptional Stanley Tucci plays Child's husband, Paul.
If you need a break from the news, I can't recommend this enough.
4. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Netflix) - Seeking additional comfort, I also decided to re-watch To All The Boys I've Loved Before. If you aren't familiar, this is a three-part movie franchise based on the books by Jenny Han. The first two movies are already on Netflix, and the third and final one debuts on Friday, February 12.
It's the story of Lara Jean Covey and her unlikely romance with high school heart throb Peter Kavinsky. Lana Condor plays Lara Jean and Noah Centineo plays Peter.
These movies are everything you want in a rom-com. They're light, fun, dreamy and full of emotional pop songs and ballads.
The supporting cast is also excellent. Janel Parrish (Mona from Pretty Little Liars) plays Lara Jean's older sister, John Corbett (Aidan from Sex and the City) plays her dad and Jordan Fisher (Jake Taylor from Work It) plays her best friend from middle school.
If you're interested in the trailer for the third movie, this write up in Vulture is amazing.
There you have it! This week's recommendations. I'll be back next Friday with a fresh round.