Hello, friends! We made it to the weekend. It's cloudy and raining here in Boston, perfect streaming weather. I'll be spending my couch time watching the new season of the Spanish high school drama Elite. I'm also intrigued by the new Julia Child show on HBO Max.
Before we dive into this week's picks, here are some exciting shows and movies coming up:
- Thursday, April 14 - The Kardashians hit Hulu. The family made such a big deal when their show on E! ended, but apparently they just planned to change networks / streaming services. I'd love to tell you that I am not going to watch this, but I think we all know that's not true.
- Wednesday, April 20 - Natasha Lyonne returns in Russian Doll, season two, on Netflix.
- Thursday, April 21 - Season two of The Flight Attendant drops on HBO Max. If you haven't watched the show before, I highly recommend streaming season one ahead of these new episodes.
- Friday, April 22 - I am elated that Selling Sunset season five has a premiere date! This show is the truest definition of a guilty pleasure.
- Friday, May 6 - Season two of The Wilds goes live on Amazon Prime. This show is like Lord of the Flies, but if all the characters were teenage girls and they were part of a controlled experiment.
- Wednesday, May 11 - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills return to Bravo. That trailer had a lot of drunk Erika Jayne. Buckle up!
Now onto this week's streaming suggestions, which include four shows and one very compelling documentary.
1. Getting Organized with The Home Edit (Netflix) - I was introduced to The Home Edit by a dear friend. She sent me their Instagram account as inspiration for reorganizing my kitchen cabinets. About a year later, the first season of their show debuted on Netflix and I watched it all in one weekend. I was ecstatic when I learned there would be a season two!
In these new episodes, organizing duo Clea and Joanna travel to New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta to make rainbow magic for their clients. They also do a few jobs in their hometown of Nashville, TN for stars like Kelsey Ballerini and Tyler Hubbard.
In season two, the celebrity list includes Drew Barrymore, Lauren Conrad (Laguna forever), Winnie Harlow, Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt, and Danielle Brooks (Taystee from Orange is the New Black). I loved the glam room they created for Danielle Brooks. She had been keeping her Grammy award hidden in a storage closet!
My favorite moment of the entire second season was when Joanna and Clea went to visit Clea's mom in LA. Apparently when they first started the business five years ago, they moved in with Clea's mom and used her car to transport all their supplies. They weren't making any money yet, so they returned absolutely everything they bought but didn't use.
As you watch the show, it will undoubtedly make you want to apply their "edit, categorize, contain and maintain" system to every inch of your house. I couldn't stop thinking about how much I'd love to have them come to my place and organize all my party decor and paper goods.
There are eight episodes in this new batch. My only gripe is that they don't wrap each project within just one episode. Most projects carry over into the next episode, which feels like a mistake or that you missed something. When I watched the very first one, I thought my TV had glitched.
2. Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Amazon) - Not only am I huge fan of Lizzo's music, but I have deep admiration and gratitude for her mission to normalize women's bodies in all shapes and sizes. This show is her quest to find a fresh crop of dancers to join her for her Bonaroo headlining performance, and ultimately on tour.
The show has a very similar set up to America's Next Top Model. Each episode puts forth a specific challenge for the girls and welcomes a guest judge. Judges include SZA, choreographer Tanisha Scott and professional dancer Shirlene Quigley.
In addition to learning the steps, Lizzo gives the women many different opportunities to confront their demons and self-esteem issues. She brings in energy healers, movement coaches, and even a photographer to help the women see themselves in a new light.
The show is 50 percent fun and energizing and 50 percent deep emotional conversations and revelations. I found that I could only really watch two at a time because the women's stories were so heavy that I needed a break.
That said, the final episode is a shot in the arm of joy and accomplishment.
3. Starstruck (HBO) - My sister recommended this comedy on HBO. It co-stars Rose Matafeo and Nifesh Patel. I loved Patel in Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral last year.
Matafeo plays Jessie, a woman down on her luck and out a bar. She meets Patel's character in a drunken stupor and doesn't realize he is famous movie star Tom Kapoor. There's a chemistry between them, but Jessie feels intimidated by Tom's status. She enters him into her cell phone as "Tom Famous."
Over six episodes, Jessie and Tom orbit around each other trying to ignore their mutual attraction. My favorite episode is when Tom comes to Jessie's apartment and winds up crashing a murder mystery party her roommate is hosting.
The episodes are just 30 minutes and I'm positive you'll watch all of season one in a single sitting. There is a season two available, but multiple people have told me it isn't a strong, so I plan to skip the next round.
4. Minx (HBO) - Of everything I am watching right now, Minx makes me smile the most. Ophelia Lovibond stars as Joyce, a young feminist in 1970s Los Angeles trying to get a women's magazine published. The only publisher willing to take a chance on her is Doug (played by Jake Johnson of New Girl) and all his other magazines are . . . adult.
Joyce compromises and agrees they can have male centerfold models, as long as the other articles in the magazine talk about real issues. In the first two episodes, Taylor Zakhar Perez (Marco from The Kissing Booth movies) gets plucked from hundreds of models to be the very first centerfold. There's a ton of nudity in those first two episodes. You've been warned!
In each episode, Joyce and Doug encounter a new problem distributing the magazine to the masses. While the two of them could easily carry the show with their relationship, the supporting cast is incredible. Lennon Parham plays Joyce's sister, Shelly, a housewife who raises a hand to help. Jessica Lowe plays Bambi, a model for Doug's magazines who wants to be involved and learn from Joyce.
Each episode is only 30 minutes, so I usually wait until there are two new ones so I can watch two back-to-back. If you liked Mrs. America or Good Girls Revolt, you'll love this too.
5. Phoenix Rising (HBO) - Warning: this documentary deals with the topics of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, which may be triggering for some readers.
Actress and activist Evan Rachel Wood tells her personal story in this two-part documentary. She bravely retells the history of her relationship with a very public rockstar, sharing gruesome details, photos and videos. Though I had followed the press coverage of their relationship at the time, I had no idea that this was going on behind the scenes. And I certainly didn't know she was enduring all of this in her personal life while shooting some incredibly successful movies and TV shows.
When Wood was finally able to escape (after five years) and start to rebuild her life, she decided to take action. She helped co-write the Phoenix Act, a new piece of legislation that extends the statute of limitations on these kinds of crimes. Basically, this new law gives victims more time to process what happened to them and come forward.
There's a very powerful moment in the second installment where Wood gathers many of her abuser's former partners and for the first time they are able to share with each other what happened to each of them.
Towards the end of the documentary, Wood names her abuser for the very first time publicly. She's terrified to do so, literally sitting on the floor, in a ball and shaking before she pushes "publish" on social media posts that put an end to the speculation and name him outright. It felt like a moment that we shouldn't have been able to see, but one I know will give many other victims the courage to push through and share their truths.
While this isn't an easy watch, it's such an important one. Evan Rachel Wood is a guest on Jameela Jamil's podcast, I Weigh, this week if you want to hear more about her journey and her activism.
There you have it! This week's must-watch list.