Hello, friends. Happy Friday! I am headed up to Maine this weekend and I couldn't be more excited. I have no plans other than floating in a tube in the lake.
There are so many shows and movies to look forward to in the coming weeks. Here's what's on my radar:
- Today - Netflix has been crushing it with the rom-coms this summer and a new one, Partner Track, just dropped. This is number one of my list to watch this weekend.
- Thursday, September 1 - Netflix debuts a new movie called Love in the Villa. I was ready to watch this based on the title alone, but you should know it's set in Verona, Italy and is an "enemies to lovers" trope about two people who book the same villa for the same dates without the owner realizing it.
- Wednesday, September 7 - Netflix's visually gorgeous food series Chef's Table returns with a new season entirely dedicated to pizza chefs. Something tells me these episodes are going to make me very hungry.
- Wednesday, September 14 - Heart Break High, a new series, arrives to Netflix. It's giving me Sex Education vibes.
- Tuesday, October 18 - Season six of Somebody Feed Phil lands on Netflix. This coincides with his book launch. Destinations for the new season include: Croatia, Santiago, Philadelphia, Nashville, and Austin.
Season four of Selena + Chef is also now available on HBO Max, where Selena Gomez does virtual cooking lessons with the best chefs across America. I relate to her novice cooking skills very deeply.
Ok, now let's get into this week's top picks. I am giddy about this spectacular list!
1. Never Have I Ever (Netflix) - I am obsessed with this show. I have been since the very first episode. I was counting down to the release of this new season (season three).
When we're reunited with the Crickets, Devi and Paxton make their debut as a couple. I love them together and I am hardcore #TeamPaxton.
I thought Devi looked instantly more mature than she did in season two. And Darren Barnet (the actor who plays Paxton) continues to be smoldering. I can't hear the song "Heatwaves" without picturing him climbing into Devi's bedroom window.
In Devi's friend group, Fabiola finds herself without her girlfriend, Eve, who has suddenly moved to Korea. No idea why the writers made that choice. It seemed very abrupt. Eleanor, whose outfits were insane this season (particularly the hats), is dating Paxton's best friend Trent. This didn't make any sense to me at first, but by the final episode, I was into their dynamic.
With Fabiola single again, and Aneesa having broken up with Ben, the two girls find themselves attracted to each other. I did not see that coming!
On the home front, the writers made Devi's mom, Nalini, so much more likable this season. She makes a new friend, Rhyah, played by Sarayu Blue, the stepmom from To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Rhyah's son, Des, becomes a new love interest from Devi in the wake up of her breakup with Paxton. Things with them take another turn I was not expecting!
Devi's cousin Kamala got two great storylines this season. The first, constant fighting with Pati (their grandmother) over her ruining her arranged marriage set up, and then a new romantic relationship for her with Devi's favorite teacher, Mr. K.
Among the new cast members this season was Deacon Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe's son! He plays one of Des' high school friends.
One of my favorite parts of the show continues to be the voice of John McEnroe as the narrator. I have no idea who Mindy Kaling has convinced him to do this (and over so many years), but I think he has all the best one liners! And I love that Andy Samberg returned as the narrator inside Ben Gross' head for that one episode.
It has already been announced that there will definitely be a fourth season and I personally cannot wait. I've already re-watched this new season a second time and probably will re-watch it a few more times before the next batch of episodes debuts in 2023.
2. Indian Matchmaking (Netflix) - I cannot explain why, but I am incapable of not immediately binging an entire season of this show. I do not want to walk away until I have seen every single moment!
Last week, season two dropped and I couldn't wait to be reunited with Sima Auntie and her crew of singles.
Some familiar faces were back: Aparna, Nadia, Shekar, but she also added many new clients.
Just when you thought no woman could be more intense than Aparna, Viral and Shital walk onto the scene. When Viral said, "I am out there in the world, giving one hundred, so why can't there be a man as equally great as me?" I just about died. And Shital's list of requirements was outright laughable.
This season, we also saw the first single from the Sikh community, Arshneel. He was very concerned that not all woman would be open to dating someone who wears a turban.
As I did in season one, I continue to be obsessed with all of Sima's matchmaking inputs - the bio data, the horoscopes, the face readings - it's like a secret recipe for connecting people.
I flew through these episodes and was happy to see the final episode included a sneak preview of the next season, which will be set in London. It seems they already filmed it, so I hope it gets released in early 2023! I can't wait a full year for more matchmaking.
3. A League of Their Own (Amazon) - I have seen the original movie, A League of Their Own, probably 100 times. I owned it on VHS. So when I heard Amazon Prime was doing a remake and doing it as a multi-episode series, I was intrigued.
The show is eight episodes, each about 40-50 minutes. It still centers around the Rockford Peaches, but the storylines are completely new. Because they have nearly eight hours of content (not just a two-hour movie) you get to much deeper into the backstories of each player.
Abbi Jacobson and D'Arcy Carden co-start as Carson and Greta, teammates who become something more. Chanté Adams plays Max, a Black woman desperately seeking her shot to try out. Nick Offerman plays the Peaches' coach, in the role made famous by Tom Hanks.
Rosie O'Donnell, a member of the original movie cast, makes a cameo in episode six and I squealed! Such a nice call back.
The show is not really about baseball, but more about women finding their way during the uncertainty of World War II. The sets and the costumes transport you to the 1940s and each of the storylines has real emotional weight.
There are many scenes that are shot in the dark (people outside, people in bedrooms with lights off) and you can barely see them, which drives me nuts. That was my only complaint!
4. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) - This week was the tenth and final episode of the second season of Only Murders in the Building. I thought the finale was the best episode! Smart, funny and with an epic reveal. The last scene also set them up beautifully for season three.
I thought Selena Gomez's character, Mabel, had much more depth this season. She got a new love interest, Alice (played by Cara Delevingne). Charles returned to filming Brazos, and made a few visits to Jan in jail. They still have chemistry despite her actions. Oliver found himself needing to reveal a tough truth to his son, making his character less annoying and more emotionally resonant.
Charles' daughter, Lucy, gets much more screen time this season and helps uncover the secret passage ways in the Acornia. Amy Schumer makes an appearance (as herself) in the first episode, which felt random and unnecessary.
The supporting cast continues to be stellar: Tina Fey, Michael Rapaport, Nathan Lane, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and many more.
This is one of those shows that is just a bright spot in the week. The episodes are short, but you always know you're going to laugh.
5. The Gray Man (Netflix) - An action movie co-starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans? What more do you need to know about this?
There were some epic explosions and I kept thinking to myself, "I can't believe this was released to Netflix and not to theaters?" We were watching on a huge TV, but if you were watching on a phone or a tablet, it would definitely not have the same impact.
The supporting cast in this movie is awesome: Billy Bob Thorton, Alfre Woodard, Regé-Jean Page (swoon!), and Ana de Armas.
This movie clocks in at two hours, and the final 30 minutes will have your heart pounding! Even my dad was stressed.
6. Look Both Ways (Netflix) - Lili Reinhart (Betty from Riverdale) stars in this movie about a woman in her final week of college who thinks she might be pregnant. The movie follows her, Natalie, through the next five years looking at her life in two ways - what it would be like if she was pregnant and did have a child, and what it would be like if she turned out not to be pregnant.
Down the path where she does not have a child, she moves to Los Angeles with her best friend, Cara played by Aisha Dee (Kat from The Bold Type) and pursues her dream to become an animator. Nia Long plays her boss, Lucy. She falls in love with a co-worker, Jake (played by David Corenswet).
Down the other path, she moves home with her parents, played by Luke Wilson and Andrea Savage, and co-parents her daughter with the baby's father, Gabe (played by Danny Ramirez).
The movie cuts back and forth between the two lives and I was totally convinced that they would somehow meet up or merge at the end. I won't spoil it for you!
I really loved this movie. First of all, both the love interests are gorgeous. Second, it really makes you think how everything can change in an instant.
There you have it! This week's must-watch shows and movies. Happy streaming!
*Images courtesy of Unplash, Netflix, Netflix, NPR, Tom's Guide, Netflix and SF Chronicle.