Hi, friends. Happy Friday! It's currently 50 degrees in Boston. I love a rogue, warm day in February.
There are so many great TV shows and movies coming up, including three releases today:
- Today- Love is Blind and Inventing Anna (starring Julia Garner) are both live on Netflix! And, I Want You Back, a new romantic comedy, is now available on Amazon Prime.
- Friday, February 18 - The fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is just a week away! There is a Maisel-themed hotel room you can now book at The Park Plaza Hotel in NYC.
- Monday, February 21 - Below Deck: Sailing Yacht returns to Bravo. Ahoy, Captain Glenn!
- Thursday, March 3 - Top Chef returns! I am elated. This time, the chefs will be stationed in Houston, TX.
- Friday, March 25 - The countdown is on to season two of Bridgerton.
I have three recommendations for you this week. Let's dive right in.
1. Sweet Magnolias (Netflix) - Last Friday, Netflix dropped season two of Sweet Magnolias, based on the book series of the same name. It co-stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott and Heather Headley as Maddie, Dana Sue and Helen, three best friends living in their childhood hometown of Serenity, South Carolina.
I rewatched season one in preparation for this and was so excited to return to Serenity.
In this second installment, Maddie steps out of the shadow of her divorce and gets more serious with Coach Cal. She also rallies the town business owners to submit a request to remove the current mayor, putting her at direct odds with the mayor's wife, Mary Vaughn. Did anyone else feel like they were setting Maddie up to run for mayor in season three?
I was elated by Dana Sue's storyline this season. She found herself at the center of a love triangle between her ex (who she is still legally married to) and her new flame, farmer Jeremy. It's rare to see a plus-size woman being actively pursued by two gorgeous men. I wanted to stand up and clap!
Dana Sue's daughter, Annie, got much more screen time this season as she tried to make sense of her feelings for Maddie's son, Ty, and his baseball teammate, Jackson.
Helen suffered a miscarriage, which was very difficult to watch. In recovering from that, she finds love with Eric (Dana Sue's sous chef). Just when things seem to be falling into place, her ex, Ryan, returns to Serenity and wants another chance.
Jamie-Lynn Spears returned as Noreen, giving birth to her daughter and deciding to raise the baby in Serenity. She moves in with Isaac (another chef on Dana Sue's team) and we learn Isaac's true connection to the town (which kept me guessing!).
I thought the final episode of this season was superb and left us with a few cliffhangers. This show feels like the perfect mix of a Hallmark movie and Bravo's Southern Charm. I just love it!
2. The Tinder Swindler (Netflix) - First of all, how great is the name of this documentary? Besides the rhyme, it's catchy and you immediately want to know what it's about.
The film was inspired by an exposé of the same title, which you can read here. It tells the stories of several women who were conned out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by a man named Simon Leviev.
Simon pretended to be the son of a diamond dealer and flew his dates all over the world on private planes. He booked fancy hotels, white glove dinners, and showered them in gifts.
Eventually he would say his "enemies" were after him, send photos of him and his body guard with injuries, and then beg these women to send him huge amounts of cash.
If you have ever watched 90 Day Fiancé on TLC, you could smell this coming. There are so many parallels to this story and the stories that play out on that show season after season.
Eventually, these women start to realize what's happening and they band together to reveal Simon's hideous behavior. I don't want to say much more because you should watch this and go on the journey yourself, but man! This was a wild ride.
3. Janet Jackson (Lifetime or A&E) - This four-hour documentary travels through time, reliving all the career highlights of Janet Jackson. Janet was an executive producer on this project, so you know she signed off on everything that was included here (and does make it less objective).
We start out in the back of a car with Janet and her brother, Randy, as they drive through the streets of Gary, Indiana, back to their childhood home. Janet was the youngest of nine siblings and one of three girls. She watched her brothers get famous at a very young age and was thrown into performing on stage and on TV alongside them.
She eventually had her own acting roles, notably on Good Times and Fame. She even starred in movies, like Poetic Justice.
For me, the most fun parts of this were re-listening to all her hit songs - Control, Rhythm Nation, Miss You Much, Escapade, Love Will Never Do Without You, Together Again, and hearing from other celebrities like Missy Elliott and Regina King about how Janet and her music impacted their lives.
In addition, we also learn a lot about Janet's romantic life - her first two marriages and her long-term relationship with Jermaine Dupri.
Of course the documentary addresses that infamous Super Bowl halftime show performance and how Janet was blacklisted after that "wardrobe malfunction." I didn't remember that she was uninvited from the Grammy Awards that year.
If you're a fan of Janet Jackson's music, this is like finding a Jukebox packed with all of her hits.
There you have it! This week's top picks. Happy streaming.