What We're Watching This Week 4/17/19
Our Planet, the first nature documentary series produced by Netflix, wows with beautiful footage and a stern warning about climate change. Created by the producers of Planet Earth, this series differs from other nature series in the way that the effects of climate change are central to the story of the earth told within the show. Rather than having a few throwaway lines, or just a single episode dedicated to the effects of climate change, as Blue Planet does, Our Planet centers the conversation in a stark and unforgettable way. At the heart of the show is a call to action to change the current path of the planet to preserve species great and small. This series is a must-see for anyone passionate about the environment, and honestly depicts the devastating effects of human activity and how life may (and sometimes, may not) find a way.
New Netflix releases: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (plus the sequel) and Perfect Date
Netflix’s newest movie releases are the no-brain power movies you need. Like any good Northwestern student who wants to pretend they have absolutely no free time, instead of sitting down for two hours and practicing “self care,” I pretend to be productive while watching bad Netflix movies. So if you are like me and need a good mindless movie, then I (and Netflix) have you covered. First: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. If you have never watched this fantastic flick, you should actually sit down and do it because there is no greater ‘feel good’ than the Sisterhood. For those who missed this early 2000s masterpiece, it is about a pair of pants that magically fits the legs of each of four best friends. We follow the girls through their summers apart as they (get ready for cliche) learn about themselves, together and apart. This film is best paired with math homework, because who doesn’t love a calculus problem accompanied by young Blake Lively’s flowing blonde hair? When you are finished with that, you can also watch The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 because Netflix knows that you didn’t finish your math homework during the first installment. Lastly, catch Noah Centineo, who you may recognize from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, in Perfect Date, a film about a high school senior from Connecticut who desperately wants to go to Yale (and refuses U Conn because he wants to be “elite”). To make extra cash for his college tuition, he creates an app which essentially makes him an escort (this concept seems a little strange, considering this film feels like a glorified Disney movie). Of course he meets a girl (who I’m pretty sure was Ally in Disney’s Ally & AJ) and drama ensues. The whole thing is ridiculous, but perfectly viable to accompany writing that essay you wish your professor didn’t assign in week two of this quarter.
I’m currently watching The Office. Believe it or not, I’ve actually never touched the show until last year—and now I certainly know why people adore it so much. It is a blast, and genuinely funny. Given the fact that The Office started airing 14 years ago, I wonder if all the stunts that Michael Scott pulls off and all the stuff he utters in pretty much every episode would still fly if it was produced today. I don’t think so, but I’m very glad that it’s out there. Truth be told, if you tell a joke that sits completely comfortably with everybody, chances are it’s probably playing it too safe. And at the end of the day, things are funny when they are relatable or at least a tiny bit true. The Office may push boundaries into intensely awkward territory, but this makes for side-splitting comedy. And for anyone who thinks otherwise: get back to me after you’ve listened to Steve Carell impersonating Michael Jackson for a prank call.
Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid
On March 26, Netflix released Nate Bargatze’s first hour-long comedy special, The Tennessee Kid. This special follows Bargatze’s previous 30-minute special released in 2017 as part of the “Standups” series. His deadpan humour and storytelling ability create a wonderful hour of comedy that will brighten any dull evening. DISCLAIMER: If you intend on watching this special I would highly recommend watching the 30-minute special first. Not only is it absolutely hilarious, but at the end of The Tennessee Kid, Bargatze expands upon and gives updates on some previous jokes. It is funny regardless, but why not enjoy an extra half an hour of this man’s work?