Hello, friends. This week brought Boston's first snowstorm of the season, a whopping 13 inches!
While I wish I could say I spent the storm cozied up under a fleece blanket, drinking cocoa and watching Home Alone, it happened on a work day, so I didn't get to treat it like a proper snow day.
The cold temperatures have stuck around, so I am leaning hard into streaming tonight. Before we get into this week's top picks, here are some new things to look forward to:
- Today - Home for Christmas is back on Netflix with season two! This Norwegian show is an absolute delight. Perpetually single Johanne is tired of the constant questioning from her family about her dating life, so she sets out on a quest to find a new boyfriend before Christmas. I cannot wait to start this!
- Tuesday, January 19 - Seasons one - nine of How I Met Your Mother will become available on Amazon Prime. I used to love this show and it might be time for a re-watch. "Have you met Ted?"
- Thursday, January 21 - Call My Agent returns to Netflix with season four. This French show is about a group of talent agents in Paris and their very eccentric clients.
- Friday, January 22 - Back in July 2019 Netflix released a reality competition show called Blown Away featuring glass blowers. Stay with me! While I was skeptical at first, watching these artists create stunning works in a limited amount of time was nothing short of incredible. In a few weeks, the show will be back with season two.
One more housekeeping item: do not watch Prom on Netflix. I tried to watch it last Friday night and despite its A-list cast (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, James Corden and Keegan-Michael Key) I didn't make it beyond the first 20 minutes. It was torture!
Ok, now onto this week's must-watch shows and movies.
1. Selena: The Series (Netflix) - I hadn't planned on watching this show because I felt like I already knew a lot about Selena. I had watched the 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez and the 1998 episode of VH1's Behind the Music, which tells the story of her career and her death. A friend convinced me to give this a shot and I am really glad I did.
In this scripted series, actress Christian Serratos (The Walking Dead ) plays Selena Quintanilla. Her father, Abraham, is played by Ricardo Chavira, who I will always think of as Carlos Solis on Desperate Housewives. Her brother, A.B., is played by Gabriel Chavarria, and her sister, Suzette, is played by Noemi Gonzalez.
The show follows Selena from the time she is a little girl in Texas, all the way up into her early 20s. You see the family band form (Selena & Los Dinos), their songs rise on the Tejano charts, and then Selena be given the chance to be marketed as a solo artist.
The show is as much about the family dynamics as it as about the music. Selena's father was her manager and her brother wrote their songs, making it impossible to separate business from personal.
This first season is nine episodes and it ends before many of Selena's biggest moments and life events.
I hope there is going to be a second season because there is so much more to cover!
2. Tiny Pretty Things (Netflix) - This show was described to me as, "Center Stage meets Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars." Who could resist that?
In the opening scene of the very first episode, we see a young woman get pushed off the roof off a building. It turns out she was one of the most promising dancers at Archer, a prestigious ballet school in Chicago, IL.
Neveah, the show's main character, is recruited from Compton, CA to take her place. Neveah has to navigate this new world of wealth, power and secrecy.
I am two episodes in (there are 10 total) and I'm excited to keep going.
Warning: I wouldn't watch this with kids in the room. There is a lot of nudity and some very racy sex scenes.
3. A California Christmas (Netflix) - Netflix has released quite a few holiday movies this year, and I have to say, A California Christmas is a pretty cute one. The movie is written and produced by Lauren Swickard, who also stars as Callie, a woman trying to save her family's farm.
Josh Swickard, Lauren's real-life husband, plays Joseph Van Asten, a city guy hoping to convince Callie to sell the farm to his family's commercial real estate company.
As I am sure you can predict, Callie and Joseph fall in love. There's a big reveal at the end that nearly ruins their romance, but fear not! It all ends happily.
I wish this movie had a title that better reflected what it is actually about. I would have called it "Once Upon a Winery" or "For the Love of a Ranch Hand."
There you have it! This week's suggestions. I'll be back next Friday (Christmas Day!) with a fresh list.