The world’s having a meltdown – literally and figuratively— and it’s too darn hot to think or write about it. So, why not turn on the fan or AC, grab a nice cool beverage and chill in front of some good viewing? We recommend the following this month…
EVIL (series, free w/ Paramount+ or Rent on Prime): So, a priest-in-training, a lapsed Catholic psychologist and a skeptic with borderline superhero mental powers when it comes to all things tech and science, work together to assess whether strange phenomena can be debunked with practical evidence, or if it’s of a spiritual nature (i.e. possessions, miracles, prophecies, etc.) if this show were a smoothie, BLACK MIRROR, the X-FILES and Ryan Murphy fell into a blender with the occasional sprinkle of BUFFY providing fun pockets of absurdist camp. I’m well into season two and this show is full still full of surprises. It’s also chock full of social commentary and criticism in fresh and exciting ways. Sometimes it’s truly chilling, but there are also laughs. A new favorite for me.
9 PERFECT STRANGERS (series, HULU): Based on the novel by Liana Moriarty (BIG LITTLE LIES), this limited series centers around a group of broken people that arrive at a posh wellness retreat to get fixed. What’s especially engaging about it, is that each of the characters in this diverse cast feels refreshingly human and vulnerable, regardless of gender, age or background. And while there’s a thrilling sense of unease throughout, there’s also wonderful warmth and humor. The final episode gets a bit Lifetime MOW shmaltzy in places (and in others most definitely not), but after all that the characters go through, it’s not unwelcome. A simple, yet very alluring series. Tread with caution (or at least a high speed blender), you’re gonna be dying for a smoothie by the end of each episode.
WHY WOMEN KILL (series, free w/ Paramount+ or Rent on Prime): Imagine DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES meets MODERN LOVE with a Ryan Murphy camp aesthetic and you’ll have a sense of this fun romp following three women in 3 different timelines who all occupy the same house and experience various relationship challenges. I’m only a few episodes in, so I have yet to learn for sure why women kill, but based on what I’ve seen thus far, I’m eager to find out.
THE JANES (Streaming on HBO): A group of respectable, law-abiding women make the decision to go underground in the late 1960s in order to provide safe albeit illegal abortions to desperate women. The documentary discusses the various societal forces that drove these women to risk everything including those institutions that are paradigms of virtuous behavior: the Catholic Church, the Chicago mob, and a regressive government indifferent to the plight of women. Sound familiar? This documentary is more topical than ever and a reminder of what’s at stake for women when we can no longer make basic reproductive decisions.
THE WOMEN (Streaming TCM and AMAZON PRIME): This classic from 1939 is directed by George Cukor, renowned for films featuring unforgettable female leading roles. THE WOMEN with its all-female cast is no exception. Based on the Clara Boothe Luce play, it’s a comedic drama about a woman who suspects that her husband is cheating on her and is subsequently convinced by her gossipy friends to divorce him. The film features legendary performers Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Joan Fontaine and Paulette Goddard. 1939 is considered to be the most significant year in Hollywood film history, a year which also just happens to portray some of the greatest female characters ever shown on the big screen including Cathy from WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Scarlett O’Hara from GONE WITH THE WIND, and Dorothy from THE WIZARD OF OZ.
~Devi & Amy
© 2018 BeyondTheBechdel. All Rights Reserved.