Hi, friends. Happy Friday! It's Labor Day weekend and I am definitely ready for a break from work. How about you?
I've been quiet here the past few weeks. My aunt passed away and I've had a very stressful last three weeks at work. Thanks for your patience while I took some time for myself.
I'm excited to be back and sharing some TV and movie recommendations with you. Before I get into what I've been watching lately, here's a look at a few things coming up:
- Tuesday, September 7 - Beanie Feldstein stars as Monica Lewinsky in American Crime Story: Impeachment on FX. I love Beanie and am excited to see her take on this role.
- Friday, September 17 - Season three of Sex Education on Netflix is almost here! This show makes me laugh so much and also gets the awkardness of high school in a way that few others have.
- Wednesday, September 22 - Netflix debuts season four of Dear White People. If you aren't watching this show, you should be.
OK! Lots to share this week. Here we go.
1. Count Me In (Netflix) - The best thing I watched this week was a documentary on Netflix about drummers. It features dozens of professional musicians talking about how they discovered their love of the drums, their path to performing with a band, and what it was like to travel the world playing live shows.
All of the drummers who were interviewed come from high caliber bands, including Queen, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hole, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Jane's Addiction and more.
If you love music, you will love this film.
2. Kissing Booth 3 (Netflix) - Do I count down to the release of teenage rom-coms? I sure do. And I had been waiting on this one a while. If you didn't watch the previous two, this trio of films is about a love triangle between Elle (Joey King), her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney) and Lee's older brother / Elle's crush Noah (Jacob Elordi).
The third and final movie takes place the summer before Elle and Lee are set to leave for college. Elle is dragging her feet on where she's planning to go - to Berkeley with Lee or to Harvard with Noah. Lee and Noah's parents are planning to sell the beach house they all grew up going to every summer, so the trio offers to stay in the house and get it ready for showings.
Elle and Lee create and epic bucket list for their last summer at the beach, which leads to many slapstick moments. There's a flash mob scene that had me grinning ear to ear. And just you wait for the Race Day scene at the local go kart track.
I didn't love this movie as much as the first two, and I was particularly disappointed in the ending. The final scene left me wanting so much more. That said, on a rainy day, doing these as a triple feature would be an absolute delight.
3. Modern Love (Amazon) - I am a huge fan of the Modern Love column in The New York Times and I used to love their podcast (when it was produced by WBUR). When I heard it was becoming a TV series for Amazon, I was excited. I liked the first season, but felt certain things where lost in translation from page to screen.
The second season is now on Amazon, bringing an additional eight essays to life. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in this new batch. Epsiode five, "Am I . . . ? Maybe This Quiz Will Tell Me" takes place at a high school lock in night, and the way it was shot makes you nauseous. The camera is just jerking all over the place. You can skip right past that one.
I did enjoy episode seven, "Do You Remember Me?" which centers around two former lovers who walk by each other on the street.
The episodes flash back to each of their individual memories of how they met, their first date, etc. It was poigant and beautifully captured that sucker punch feeling you get when you see an ex out of the blue.
4. The Chair (Netflix) - Sandra Oh is the star of The Chair, where she plays Ji-Yoon Kim, the first-ever female chair of the English department at Pembroke University, a fictional school that is obviously meant to be Harvard.
Jay Duplass co-stars as Bill Dobson, a celebrated professor in the department, who is exhibiting some erratic behavior after the death of his wife. He seeks comfort in a romantic relationship with Ji-Yoon, which threatens to compromise her role as chair.
Nana Mensah plays Yaz McKay, the young professor shaking things up in the department. Holland Taylor plays Joan Hambling, a veteran member of the department who the dean is trying to force into retirement. Taylor has the best scenes in the entire show, including one where she convinces the IT director to help her track down students leaving negative reviews on RateMyTeacher.com.
There's another scene stealer in the cast, Everly Carganilla, who plays Ji-Yoon's adopted daughter, JuJu. She scares away every babysitter and winds up forming a deep bond with Bill while he's suspended from teaching.
There are only six episodes and each is just 30 minutes long, so these fly by quickly. If you wind up loving it, you'll enjoy this interview with the show's co-creater, Annie Julia Wyman.
5. Clickbait (Netflix) - I don't usually watch murder mystery shows because I'm not super into feeling scared. That said, three of my besties recommended this one, so I decided to put on my big girl pants and give it a whirl.
In the very first episode, a video is posted of Nick Brewer (played by the gorgeous Adrian Grenier) allegeding that he abuses women. The person posting the video announces that if it hits five million views, Nick will die. Intense, I know.
Over the course of eight episodes, you watch as Nick's sister, wife, sons and coworkers try figure out who kidnapped him, why they made the video and if the accusations are true. Each episode focuses on the point of view of a different person, which helps to give more back story and potentially a motive.
I found myself hitting "next episode" immediately after the credits would start to roll. The show is addicting and I must admit, I didn't see the ending coming.
There you have it! This week's top picks. Enjoy the long weekend!
*Images courtesy of Unsplash, IMDB, Cosmopolitan, TV Insider, VICE and Entertainment Weekly.