Hello, friends. Happy Friday! Tomorrow I am headed to Charleston, SC for the first time ever. I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. Naturally, I am thinking about what movies to download for the plane.
Before we get into this week's top picks, let's chat about a few things coming up:
- 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. Garcelle was on Watch What Happens Live this week and spilled some tea about the ladies. Apparently Kathy Hilton is the source of the most drama this season.
I have three TV show recommendations for you this week. Let's get right to it!
1. Elite (Netflix) - If you aren't already watching Elite on Netflix, stop what you're streaming and begin! It's basically Gossip Girl, but set in Spain. The main characters all attend Las Encinas, an elite (get it?) private school in Madrid.
While many of the scenes take place at school, the show is all about the real life drama - romances, love triangles, break ups, back stabbing - the works. What keeps the show interesting is that every time you think you know where it's headed, they throw a curve ball. Every single episode ends on an "oh shit!" moment.
This new batch of episodes is season five. There are two new kids at school, Ivan and Isadora. Ivan is the son of a world famous soccer star and Isadora has made a name for herself as a celebrity DJ in Ibiza. Some things are still the same, like Omar's unibrow. If you know, you know.
I did find myself missing some of the characters from the earlier seasons, like Guzman, Nadia, Ander and Carla. I suppose that's what happens when your show continues on for this long, you lose some actors.
What makes this show such an addicting watch is how over the top everything is. The glamorous parties, the chaotic club scenes, the fashion, and of course, the steamy sex scenes. If you thought Bridgerton was racy, you haven't seen anything yet.
Elite is shot in Spanish, so you can watch with English subtitles or dubbed in English.
2. The Girl from Plainville (Hulu) - This show is a dramatization of the real life story of Michelle Carter, a young woman convicted on involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Conrad Roy. They both lived here in Massachusetts. Her in Plainville (where the show gets its title) and him in Mattapoisett.
Elle Fanning plays Michelle and I would not be surprised if she gets nominated for every possible acting award for this role. It's almost scary how deeply she inhabits this character. Michelle has a very obsessive personality, which manifests in many ways - how she behaves with her friends, how she communicates with Conrad, even how she watches television. There's one scene where Michelle is trying to memorize a monologue and song from Glee. It will give you goosebumps and not in a good way.
Colton Ray plays Conrad Roy. Everyone in Conrad's family calls him Coco. He doesn't fit in with his masculine grandfather or father, no matter how much time he spends on their fishing boats or driving the pick-up truck they bought him.
Coco's parents are played by Chloe Sevigny and Norbert Leo Butz, who you may recognize from Bloodline. They are both cast perfectly. Their performances are layered and complex, sparking deep empathy from the viewers.
While this story does center around Conrad's suicide, a very heavy topic, the acting performances are superb. I would encourage you to tune in. Five episodes have been released so far (of eight total). New episodes drop on Tuesdays.
3. Julia (HBO) - When I was in elementary school, my mom worked at WGBH, Boston's public television station. As a kid, I had no idea who Julia Child was or why it mattered that she was shooting a cooking show there. As an adult, I watched the movie Julie & Julia and began to have a new appreciation for Mrs. Child.
When I heard there was a new HBO show about her and the launch of her TV show, I kind of felt like I already knew it all. My mom urged me to watch and I am so glad I did.
In this version of her story, Sarah Lancashire plays Julia. Her take on Child's voice is a bit more muted than Meryl Streep's was. Less shrieky. David Hyde Pierce, of Fraiser fame, plays Julia's husband, Paul. Bebe Neuwirth plays her editor, Avis DeVoto, and Brittany Bradford plays her TV producer, Alice Naman.
The show is fun for a few reasons. First, many scenes where shot in Boston, including outside Savenor's in Cambridge and Union Oyster House downtown. Second, watching Julia cook all of these French dishes will make your mouth water. Whether you're a confident cook or not, she makes anything seem possible. And lastly, Julia really was flying by the seat of her pants. She was an unlikely television star and had no on-air experience, so you get witness what it's like when someone totally wings it.
Each episode is about 45 minutes. There are five episodes available right now, with three more to come.
There you have it! This week's top three. Happy streaming.