Netflix’s Virgin River, Neon’s Rap Sh!t Among Big Shows To Stream This Week
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BOO, SLUT (NETFLIX)
A bizarre combination of Booksmart and Randall and Hopkirk (deceased), Netflix’s latest high-concept high school comedy is a farrago so hip it hurts, funny and funny that will no doubt attract a devout and loyal audience.
It’s attitude basically in its very name, the eight-part Boo, Bitch is the story of best friends Erika (Lana Condor) and Gia (Zoe Margaret Colletti).
With only two months left at Parkway High School, the pair suddenly worry that all they’ll leave high school with “is an education.” Having only just found out they’re not on the senior text channel, they’re now lamenting all the “bribes, stockings and hoes” they’ve missed. But while their first big night goes well, the next morning Erika is not only hungover, but also retracing her steps, finding what appears to be her body – crushed under a moose.
Whatever you do, don’t go into this series from the creators of Awkward and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend expecting consistency or subtlety. Boo, Bitch’s strengths lie in her fast back-and-forths, pithy one-liners, and subversion of traditional tropes.
BLACK BIRD (APPLE TV+)
Those who have followed Taron Egerton’s career on the big screen are going to be shocked.
The British actor most famous for playing Elton John, Eddie the Eagle and Kingsman’s Eggsy has stepped up considerably for his latest role in this six-part true crime drama. The 32-year-old looks chiseled and buff as he portrays series protagonist – and author of the 2010 autobiographical novel on which it is based – James Keene.
Originally sentenced to 10 years in a minimum security prison for drug and firearms offences, he is offered “the choice of his life”. Either serve his entire sentence without the possibility of parole, or enter a maximum security prison for the criminally insane and befriend a suspected serial killer.
While directing is split between former directors of The Wire and The Drop, it’s veteran crime writer Dennis Lehane’s (Mystic River) screenplay that really shines. Memorable dialogue abounds, while the mystery and intrigue deepens with each scene and you find yourself drawn into both the investigation and Keene’s riddle, until you’re completely absorbed in it all. that and pushing yourself to watch “just one more episode”.
Eight great shows to stream this week.
* Neon’s First Lady, Amazon’s Outer Range, Apple’s Roar among April’s must-watch shows
* Downton 2, Fantastic Beasts 3, New Zealand-shot X among must-see movies in April
* Question team: Richard Ayoade and his friends “hilariously rewrite the panel show”
* The Chase USA: more money, more danger, but not as much fun
* Winning Time: Neon’s hugely entertaining look at a crazy decade
Sci-fi thriller The Lazarus Project follows a secret organization that can turn back time whenever the world is threatened with extinction.
THE LAZARUS PROJECT (NEON/SKY GO)
I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu stars as George, a man who wakes up one day with a distinct sense of deja vu in this eight-episode sci-fi-inspired action thriller. He relives a day from his past, with a few exceptions – his success at work and his marriage to the love of his life seem never to have happened.
Though convinced he’s lost his mind, he instead finds himself recruited into a secret organization that claims to be able to turn back time whenever the world is threatened with extinction.
Viewers might be given to feel more than a little drained by the exposition and action of the first installment, but fans of sci-fi steeped dramas like Tenet, Station Eleven, Doctor Who, Timecop and The Adjustment Office should be well satisfied.
Screenwriter Joe Barton, who helped create a successful English-language adaptation of The Humans of Sweden and was behind last year’s underrated Riz Ahmed thriller Encounter, is once again demonstrating his ability to make the organic fantasy and my evocative, sometimes gritty personal drama from potential absurd concepts.
LIFE AFTER LIFE (TVNZ+)
Former Shortland Street Pixie Hannah’s return to the small screen for the first time in five years shows just how far she’s come.
Thomasin McKenzie is outstanding in the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s award-winning 2013 novel. You’ll have to wait until episode two to see more than a fleeting glimpse, but once she takes center stage , you’ll be captivated, compelled, and rather concerned about the fate of his seemingly unfortunate Ursula Todd.
Yes, be warned, this is not feel-good TV, our heroine suffers many deprivations, indignities and outright criminal acts as she navigates the first half of the 20th century. The twist here is that if she dies, she is simply reborn.
Screenwriter Bathsheba Doran and director John Crowley have done an excellent job of distilling thought-provoking script, the costumes and production design are top-notch and it’s the TV drama that definitely leaves a mark.
Thomasin McKenzie stars in the drama series Life After Life, which tells the story of a woman who has an infinite number of chances to live her life.
RAP SH!T (NEON)
Insecure’s Issa Rae created this eight-part comedy about two Miami high school friends who come together to form a rap group. Shawna Clark is stuck in a dead-end hotel job, while single mom Mia Knight struggles to support herself and her four-year-old daughter. But when Shawna surprisingly invites Mia out for a drink, the unexpected happens.
“The jokes here pack a punch even when tiptoeing into corny territory, the visuals are fluid, and the chemistry between the performers is warm and familiar,” Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter wrote.
TOO CLOSE (THREENOW)
Emily Watson and Denise Gough team up for this three-part British crime drama about a forensic psychiatrist assigned to assess a woman accused of a heinous crime, who claims to remember nothing. Based on the popular 2018 novel by Natalie Daniels.
“The idea of a psychiatrist being fascinated – or manipulated – by a patient is not uncharted territory, but Gough and Watson are two of our best actresses. Watching them go head-to-head is a treat,” wrote London Evening Standardis Katie Rosseinsky.
Too Close is now available to stream on ThreeNow.
UNDER THE SKY BANNER (DISNEY+)
The latest adult drama to make its unlikely home on Disney+ is further proof that Andrew Garfield is in the actor shape of his life.
Based on Jon Krakauer’s (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air) 2003 investigation into the 1984 murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty, Under the Banner of Heaven sees 38-year-old American-born, English-raised Garfield , playing East Rockwell, Utah detective Jeb Pyre.
Like 99 percent of the town, he is a God-fearing member of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), using the teachings of Joseph Smith to guide his actions and his way of life. But he is deeply shaken by the “house of horrors” he encounters one evening, a 24-year-old young woman and her 15-month-old daughter brutally murdered, their blood spattering over a wide area.
Cast off religious trappings and investigate the history of a particular faith and, at its heart, Under the Banner of Heaven is simply a tremendous dramatization of true crime. Gripping and dripping with dramatic tension, it feels like a lost True Detective series.
VIRGIN RIVER (NETFLIX)
Though it’s more Netflix’s answer to Hart of Dixie or a rural take on A Million Little Things than Yellowstone, it’s easy to see why this Martin Henderson star won an army of fans during his three seasons.
The Northern California soap opera certainly doesn’t dwell on drama, conflict or romance, as it crumbles breathlessly from one crisis to the next, unleashing the next one before you have had plenty of time to process the last one.
But for all its potential absurdity, there is something warm and heartwarming about watching the sometimes insignificant, most of the time heartbreaking trials and tribulations of the people of this small town. Need a few hours to escape crumbling democracies, Covid-ravaged society and climate change-fueled chaos? Welcome to the friendly world of Virgin River, where “the internet is slow, but the gossip is fast”, where a raccoon regularly haunts the local bar to steal silverware and the arrival of a handsome new doctor causes the room to gossip. expectation to be fulfilled by almost all of the female population over 40.