#FIRSTLOOK: WHAT TO WATCH – NOVEMBER 2020: “MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION”, “UNSOLVED MYSTERIES”, “THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR”, “HOLIDATE”, “THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT”, THE RIGHT STUFF”, “THE LIFE AHEAD”
We enjoy this time of year as the onslaught of Holiday-theme programs, Horrors and Awards Season contenders start surfacing. Here’s some of our recommendations what to watch right now!
MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION SEASON 3 (NETFLIX)
David Letterman is back in this abbreviated third season of his Talk Show MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION and true to form, he’s unafraid to ask the questions we’ve all been curious about. Robert Downey Jr. discusses his drug addiction; Dave Chappelle opens-up about that time he walked away from the spotlight; Kim Kardashian reveals what it felt like to be robbed in Paris; and Lizzo talks about her rise to fame and being “unapologetic” in an interview taped during the Pandemic. We only wish there were more episodes!
Fun fact, some of our archived Lizzo footage made the cut in her episode and we’re so honoured!
As if we weren’t mortified enough by the first Volume, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES already is back with a second set of mysteries waiting to be solved. Among the stories this round are a mother goes missing after visiting a church and her body is found, without any clear leads; a convicted child killer on death row escapes prison and still hasn’t been found; two young children go missing in New York and still to this day have not been found; and the phenomenon of Tsunami ghosts which haunt communities in northeastern Japan after 2011’s catastrophic earthquake. The latter episode was our clear favourite, hitting some real emotional notes and also remaining haunting at once. Shivers.
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (NETFLIX)
Following the great success of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR is the second entry in The Haunting franchise. Set in the ’80s, a young governess is hired to take care of a man’s nephew and niece at his country home, where she discovers apparitions. We learn too that some ghosts from her past might be haunting her. Victoria Pedretti returns here as Dani, the governess and is phenomenal once again and this fresh-faced Ensemble is fantastic including Oliver Jackson-Cohen, T’Nia Miller, Rahul Kohli and Tahirah Sharif. While the pacing at times suffers a bit and the jump-scares might not be as great as its predecessor, the Series keeps intact that unique tone in the Series’ sentimental mixture of Horror, Romance and Drama.
After a chance meeting at the mall, Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) both equally hate Christmas and together in their bond, these singles who are over putting-up with judgment, vow to be each other’s “Holidates” for every festive occasion in the year ahead. What initially starts off as being in good fun could lead to romance between these two. John Whitesell directs this crude Rom-Com which at once is an Anti-Rom-Com. Definitely some sentiments several of us can relate to with its cynical view of traditional love and we must we’re extra forgiving whenever there’s a Holiday theme involved!
THE RIGHT STUFF (DISNEY+)
Based on the Book by Tom Wolfe and the 1983 film of the same name THE RIGHT STUFF is an eight-episode Series which continues National Geographic’s foray into scripted programming. The Series, which is racy and gritty by Disney standards, introduces us to the “Mercury Seven” as the origins of the United States’ space program in the late ’50s is explored with NASA putting out a search throughout the country for its first set of pilots to lead its first space mission. These pilots and could either day or become immortal. Toronto’s Patrick J. Adams (Suits) gets the Lead Role, unrecognizable as John Glenn in this stylish-looking Series (think Mad Men) which nails all the details of the era including its Soundtrack.
New episodes arrive weekly till November 20, 2020.
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT (NETFLIX)
Based on Walter Tevis‘ Novel of the same name, this seven-episode Mini-Series directed and written by Scott Frank tells the story of a young woman named Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) who was orphaned at a young age. We witness her youth, where she is played by Isla Johnston and Annabeth Kelly and she is introduced to a life of things a child shouldn’t know about, leading to her subsequent battle with both drugs and alcohol in her adulthood. Through this, her solace is her adopted mother Mrs. Wheatley (Marielle Heller) who supports her drive and ambition, with her excelling at her academics and her passion for chess, which she learns from a janitor (Bill Camp) at the home where she is raised. From this she finds herself at age 22 overcoming all odds, competing with the world’s best and overcoming expectations of her age, past and gender. Taylor-Joy as always is sensational, mastering Beth‘s focused yet world-worn gaze and fully commits, nailing nuances of the time this is set.
THE LIFE AHEAD (NETFLIX)
Sophia Loren makes her return in this adaptation of the Book The Life Before Us, directed and co-written by her son Edoardo Ponti. The Italian film centers on an orphaned 10-year-old boy named Momo (Ibrahima Gueye) who robs Madame Rosa (Loren), a former prostitute and Holocaust survivor who cares of the children of other prostitutes. She then takes him in as he navigates his life hustling on the streets and with her becoming increasingly-ill, he realizes life’s fragility and questions his own direction. With authenticity, we get a painful reminder of what it is like for a child to realize that their loved ones might not be around forever. At the heart of this Drama is the beautiful bond between this unlikely pair, each filling something of a void in each other’s lives. While their relationship often is confrontational, it blossoms and becomes a beautiful thing to watch. In addition to its lightheartedness, brought by newcomer Gueye‘s carefree-ness, the Film explores some heavier territory in Rosa as she confronts triggers which force her to examine her painful past in her own youth. Loren‘s performance feels effortless and fully lived-in, proving she still is at the top of her game.
THE LIFE AHEAD arrives on Netflix Friday, November 13, 2020.
Click on links below to read our Reviews of the following: