Without seeing the metrics, you'd have to assume it's a pretty rough month for Netflix. 13 Reasons Why was slammed pretty hard for its approach to teen suicide, and then Girlboss didn't quite seem to catch on. Maybe this weekend they'll have better luck with Dear White People.
Based on the film of the same name, the series repurposes the characters and a great deal of plot from the movie. So, if you haven't seen the film, it's not going to be a problem.
The danger with a show like Dear White People is that it could too easily veer into being preachy or angry to the point of inaccessible hostility. Thankfully, it manages to stay light on its feet, is funny, charming, and has something to say. There's a great moment in the first episode that nicely articulates the need for shows like this and, more broadly, for campaigns like Black Lives Matter.
Make sure you take the time to give the show a look. Which, I appreciate, isn't easy considering how much great TV there is on right now.
Which brings us to The Handmaid's Tale. Hulu this week dropped the first three episodes. If the rest of the first season is as good as these three, expect to see this at the top of every critics end of year list, with a whole bunch of Emmys to back it up.
Have a happy TV week. Dan Barrett, editor guy firstname.lastname@example.org
What am I going to watch this weekend? Did I miss anything new this week? There's a lot to watch, but what is worth paying attention to? Hopefully this email will help answer some of these questions.
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I've seen the first three episodes of this and it absolutely deserves the hype. The Handmaiden's Tale is absorbing, magnificent television. If you don't check this show out, you really are doing television wrong.
Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, the dystopia of Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized 'return to traditional values'. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred is a Handmaid in the Commander's household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world.
In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids - where anyone could be a spy for Gilead - all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
The second season of this Spanish-language women's prison drama series launches this week in the UK. Retitled Locked Up, the show joins a crowded genre of shows set in women's prisons.
Macarena Ferreiro is a young naive woman who falls in love with her boss and, because of him, commits several accounting manipulation and misappropriation crimes. She is accused of four tax crimes, and consequently she is imprisoned at the Cruz del Sur Prison as a precautionary measure. She has to face the emotional shock that getting jailed means to her, as well as the complicated relationship between the inmates; among them Zulema stands out as the most dangerous prisoner.
In prison Macarena will soon realize the chance to survive her seven-year sentence depends on changing, evolving and becoming a very different person. Meanwhile, in order to pay the bail, her family outside gets involved in finding a large sum of money hidden somewhere, in dispute with Zulema's boyfriend, who will lead the Ferreiros to a terrible situation.
If you haven't seen the film this is based on, you will still be able to understand the TV show just fine. The connection is really in name and themes only. But you should also check out the film, just because it's pretty good.
Filmmaker Justin Simien has returned to write and direct multiple episodes of the series.
Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, Dear White People is an hilarious send-up of “post-racial” America that weaves together the universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path.
The satirical series -- which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off – follows a group of Winchester University’s students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and sometimes misguided activism in the millennial age. Through an absurdist lens, Dear White People utilizes biting irony, self-deprecation and sometimes brutal honesty to hold up a mirror to the issues plaguing society today, all the while leading with laughter.
The premise sounds almost as terrible as CBS' The Great Outdoors, but being that it's from Tina Fey and Tracey Whigfield the show is worth your attention.
Try and read the shows premise without your eyes completely rolling to the back of your head: Getting along with some colleagues can be rough, but working with your mom? That's a whole other story.
When Katie, an up-and-coming news producer, finds out her overbearing mom has rejoined the workforce as an intern at Katie's TV station, it might just be the worst news ever. But, with her biggest cheerleader at her side, Katie might finally get the recognition she deserves!
"I have to say, I didn't feel the full weight of that correlation signing on," she tells me over the phone. "It felt like an adaptation of a book, so we had that road map to follow. I was just working toward honoring that work with my work. I wanted to follow that map carefully and respectfully. And then more recently I've become aware of what it was bringing up for people when they watch it."
"Moss, who seems like a nice, smart, hardworking person, and who’s stubbornly refused to talk about Scientology, a deeply problematic religion in which she was raised and reportedly remains a member of to this day."
There's a great article doing the rounds this week about why liberal-thinking people fell in love with The West Wing. It's a good article, but something that I think is often overlooked is that liberals never fell in love with The West Wing. They fell in love with the first four years of The West Wing - when the show was a love letter to the public service, when the show was inspiring, and when the show was actually funny. liberals love to laugh. They're also mammals.