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From gritty indies to superstar divas, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
NetflixTake an intimate peek behind the curtain into the private life of Jennifer Lopez via this new documentary, which reveals the grit and determination that has taken “Jenny from the Block” to the highest echelons of show business, following the intense preparations leading up to her and Shakira co-headlining the halftime show at Super Bowl LIV in 2020. Per the Netflix press release, Halftime “serves as the kickoff to the second half of her life, as she lays bare her evolution as a Latina, a mother and an artist, taking agency in her career and using her voice for a greater purpose.” As the film makes clear, Lopez has long been the butt of late-night comedy jokes (pun intended), mocking her perceived lack of talent as a singer and actress, yet has persevered to become one of the world’s most popular entertainers—something made clear by the fact that Halftime premiered during opening night of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
“Powerful storytelling—whether in music, film or games—encourages us to fight for universal values that bind humanity together. Halftime, featuring Jennifer Lopez, reminds us of that,” said Tribeca founder Robert De Niro in a statement.
Added the film’s director, Amanda Micheli: “It’s an honour to be selected for the opening night of Tribeca, and so fitting to be celebrating this critical milestone in Jennifer’s life and career just miles from where she grew up!”
NetflixGrace and Frankie stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are your hosts for this hilarious evening of estrogen-powered comedy, recorded at the Hollywood Palladium during the recent Netflix Is a Joke Festival, featuring standup sets from female comics Michelle Buteau, Cristela Alonzo, Margaret Cho, Heather McMahan, Tracey Ashley, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes and Iliza Shlesinger.
NetflixIt’s probably just a coincidence, but we can’t help noticing that the past few years have resulted in various high-profile series about a war between heaven and hell finding its way to the middle ground that is Planet Earth. In 2019, we had Good Omens, an adaptation of the classic novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Now in 2022 we’re getting God’s Favorite Idiot, an original comedy created and co-produced by its star, Ben Falcone. He plays Clark Thompson, a mid-level tech support employee who falls in love with one of his co-workers—Amily Luck, played by Falcone’s real-life spouse, Melissa McCarthy—just as he’s selected by the Powers That Be to serve as a messenger of God.
The whole shebang gets started when Clark is struck by lightning and left glowing as a result, but it isn’t until he has a close encounter with the archangel Chamuel—played by Yanic Truesdale, making this a reunion of co-workers from the Independence Inn on Gilmore Girls—that he realizes the lightning bolt was delivered from on high. When Chamuel tells Clark that he’s been chosen by the Almighty to help the world, the man is shaken, as well he should be. But that anxiety gets kicked up a notch when he finds out that Satan has also arrived on our plain. Oh, and did we mention that Satan is played by Leslie Bibb, of Iron Man fame?
Based on the trailer, things get even dodgier for Clark, since we see that he and Amily have a close encounter with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Somewhere during the proceedings, however, there’s also time for a budding romance between the two, so it’s not the end of the world… even though it is, quite literally, the apocalypse.
Disney+These days, there are so many distractions that keep us from sustaining the relationships that really matter. Social media, jobs you can’t help but take home with you, side hustles, after-school sports, smartphones and tablets, oh my! Is there any way to escape it all? Maybe… provided you’ve got a Disney+ account.
From executive producers and real-life couple Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, this six-part offering follows real families with jam-packed calendars as they resolve to reconnect with each other. Uninterrupted and focused, the fams are tasked with renewing their relationships under the watchful eye of a “guide.”
In order to properly focus and “reboot,” as the title suggests, each participating clan takes a week off from previous commitments, phones, laptops and other hindrances to just focus on one another. They’re not even allowed to use a device to get to their vacation destination—forced to rely on a good old-fashioned map instead.
Then, through various activities, games and conversations, they’ll get to know each other again—no doubt inspiring us at home to reconnect with our loved ones in the process.
Disney+In the third and final season of this coming-of-age rom-com spun off from the film Love, Simon, titular teen Victor (Michael Cimino) is now out and proud, and dating boyfriend boyfriend Benji (George Sear). Meanwhile, Victor’s home life is a mess as his parents separate while coming to terms with his sexuality.
W NetworkBack for a second season, this acclaimed comedy continues to follow the musical journey of a one-hit wonder 1990s girl group (Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps) who reunite decades after breaking up. Among the main guest stars in the new season are Amber Ruffin, Amy Sedaris, Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead), Property Brothers siblings Drew and Jonathan Scott, SNL’s Heidi Gardner and Today’s Hoda Kotb.
Disney+When the Kardashians first revealed they were walking away from their lucrative, genre-shaking E! series, we all knew it wasn’t a permanent retirement. Sure enough, this new offering, which again tracks the famous sisters’ trials, tribulations and Twitter feuds, popped up not long after in a content deal reportedly worth just under $100 million.
Throughout season one, we’ve watched Kim host SNL and contend with her ex-husband Kanye. We’ve also witnessed Kourtney and Travis Barker put their love life on display for the world, seen Kourtney’s ex Scott Disick’s reaction to it all and intimately explored Khloé’s anxiety.
This week, the shenanigans come to a close—but we all know it won’t be long before this fame-hungry fam is back for more.
Prime VideoEveryone knows family vacations can be fun, but let’s not kid ourselves: even the tightest bonds often find themselves strained somewhat when placed in unique situations… and in the case of Justin (Orphan Black alum Jordan Gavaris) and Billie (Madison Shamoun), their relationship wasn’t all that strong to begin with.
See, the thing is, Justin has just returned from years of living abroad with his long-term partner, but before he left—and before he decided to come out of the closet—he found himself the father of a little girl, one whom he and the girl’s mother mutually agreed to give up for adoption. It was an open adoption, however, and now that she’s 16 and he’s back in Canada, Justin is trying to reconnect with Billie by taking her to Ontario cottage country, where he spent much of his childhood. Alas, when Justin learns that his father left the family cottage to his “picture-perfect” stepsister Maisy-May (The Bourne Identity’s Julia Stiles), there’s a free radical tossed into this little family bonding experiment. Will it bring everyone closer together or drive them apart?
Fun fact: The Lake marks Prime Video’s first-ever Canadian original scripted series.
NetflixIn a futuristic, state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Thor’s Chris Hemsworth), each inmate wears a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, no orange jumpsuits in this prison, just incarcerated volunteers who are free to be themselves—until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version of themselves. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects—Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett)—form a connection, their path to redemption takes some unexpected twists as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether. Based on a New Yorker short story by George Saunders, this genre-bending and darkly funny psychological thriller is directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Top Gun: Maverick) from a screenplay from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Zombieland).
CraveBurnt out and nearly bankrupt, a porn star (Simon Rex) returns to his small hometown in Texas, where he continues to circle the drain, getting caught up in a slew of romantic and criminal misadventures. It’s the latest from indie darling Sean Baker, director of Tangerine and The Florida Project.