Hello, friends. Happy Friday! As I type this, the temperature is climbing and the sun is shining. Daylight savings time is this Sunday, March 13, which means it will start to be lighter later - a true sign of spring.
I'm excited about many of the upcoming shows and movies this month and next. Here's what to keep on your radar:
- Today - Season four of Formula 1: Drive to Survive is officially live on Netflix. I never thought I would get into a show about racing, but it's surprisingly addictive.
- Wednesday, March 16 - Bad Vegan, the story of vegan restaurateur Sarma Melngailis, hits Netflix. This documentary series follows the rise of her vegan restaurant in New York City, and its dramatic downfall once she started dating a man who derailed everything.
- Friday, March 18 - Life & Beth lands on Hulu. Amy Schumer is the show's creator, lead writer, director and star. Michael Cera plays her character's love interest. Sign me up!
- Friday, March 25 - I was already excited because this is the day season two of Bridgerton drops on Netflix, but now it is also the day that Lizzo's dance competition show premieres on Amazon Prime. It's called Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. You can watch the trailer here.
- Friday, April 1 - Season 2 of The Home Edit arrives on Netflix, just in time for spring cleaning. Professional organizers Clea and Joanna help transform chaotic spaces for celebrities and us real people too.
This week I am sharing three shows I am currently watching where the episodes are being released weekly or in small batches. While I haven't finished any of these yet, I have watched enough to share some initial thoughts.
1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) - The fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel debuted on Amazon three weeks ago and I could not wait to start watching. I love Rachel Brosnahan as Midge, and I'm a longtime fan of show creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, who made a name for themselves as the show runners of Gilmore Girls.
I hate to say it, but the first two episodes were terrible. Much of episode one takes place at an amusement park and it was so loud that it was nearly impossible to follow the dialogue. In episode two, Midge starts to put her life back together after being kicked off the Shy Baldwin tour. She scores a new gig as the MC at a strip club.
In episodes three and four, Jason Alexander returns as Abe's friend Asher, and causes some problems between Abe and Rose. Susie gets a new apartment and office space thanks to her mob friends, and she starts to get energized again about being a talent manager.
The show finally got it's groove back in episode five, when Midge and Susie are invited to Shy Baldwin's wedding. In those scenes, it felt like the magic of the show (especially the writing) had returned. In that same episode, Susie's other client, Sophie Lennon (played Jane Lynch), makes her triumphant comeback with an appearance on late night TV.
In episode six, comic Lenny Bruce returns, unexpectedly waking up in Midge's apartment. Later on, Midge is invited to open for Sophie on her new game show. Midge is crushing her set when Sophie begins to get jealous and walks onto the stage to steal the mic. Their on-air feud was one of the best moments in the whole season so far.
Today, episodes seven and eight are available and Milo Ventimiglia joins the cast. He's one of many Gilmore Girls alums to make cameos this season, including Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) and Scott Cohen (Max Medina).
Season four definitely got off to a slow start, but I'm hopeful that these final episodes will be stronger.
2. The Dropout (Hulu) - This show is based on the ABC News podcast The Dropout, about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. I listened when it first came out and was completely enthralled. Business reporter Rebecca Jarvis conducted many interviews with Theranos employees that were absolutely chilling.
In this television adaptation, Amanda Seyfried has been cast as Elizabeth Holmes. She plays Elizabeth from the high school years, all the way up into her mid-twenties. She clearly studied Holmes intently, because her body language, movements and the way she uses her voice are spot on. Holmes became known for the low register of voice, particularly in media interviews.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid from Lost) plays Sunny Balwani, Holmes' boyfriend and eventual COO at Theranos. They meet while Holmes is doing a study abroad program in Asia. When they return to the States, she's at Stanford and he's living in Palo Alto.
Hulu released the first three episodes at once, and for me, the stars of those early episodes are Utkarsh Ambudkar and James Hiroyuki Liao, who play Holmes' lead engineers at Theranos, Rakesh Madhava and Edmond Ku. They are under extreme pressure to create a working prototype. When they aren't able to deliver in time for the board meeting or several crucial trials, you begin to see how Holmes misled everyone involved so her vision wouldn't get derailed.
Even though I already know what happens in real life, I cannot wait to watch the rest of these episodes.
3. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO) - Obviously there is a hole in my week where Euphoria used to be on Sunday nights. HBO has filled that time slot with a new show from Adam McKay called Winning Time. It's about the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970s and 1980s.
Last Sunday the first episode premiered and I am already hooked. John C. Reilly plays Jerry Buss, the new owner of the team, and Jason Clarke plays Jerry West, a former NBA player turned coach.
In the first episode, Buss is trying to convince Magic Johnson to play for the Lakers. They have their eyes on him as their first round draft pick. Quincy Isaiah plays Johnson. DeVaughn Nixon plays Norm Nixon and Solomon Hughes plays Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
I was born in 1984, so I was too young to remember these glory days, but my dad talks about this time period in the NBA all the time. I'm excited to watch the story unfold.
The show's supporting cast also includes Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segal, Adrien Brody and Sally Field. Even if you're not a basketball fan, I think you'll enjoy all the behind-the-scenes drama.
There you have it! This week's picks.
I just started Pieces of Her on Netflix, the new Toni Colette show, so I look forward to sharing thoughts on that in next week's recap.