It’s Civic Day weekend, meaning it’s time to stream something new! Here’s some of our best recommendations to help make this an even better long weekend!
THE KISSING BOOTH 2 (NETFLIX)
Joey King is back in this direct sequel to 2018’s The Kissing Booth, reprising her role as Elle, who is now in her senior year of high school. Returning also is her flame Noah (Jacob Elordi) who now is studying at Harvard. The love triangle game is strong in this Sequel with her visiting him in Boston, only to meet Chloe, who appears to be getting rather close to him. Bringing back The Kissing Booth for her school’s charity fair, she and BFF Lee (Joel Courtney) recruit heartthrob Marco (Taylor Perez) for a dance competition and before we know it, they start developing feelings for one another. Matters are complicated as Elle isn’t sure if she if Noah is cheating with Chloe and at the same time she feels a romance blooming between her and Marco. She finds herself resented also as Lee‘s girlfriend Rachel (Meganne Young) can’t get a moment together with him, without Elle always being in the picture. All the while, Elle‘s trying to figure out if she will choose Harvard to be with Noah or just go to Berkeley. Above this, she’s worried she won’t have enough money to go to the school of her dreams. While we clearly don’t remember our senior year of high school having this much drama, kudos to Elle who is played well again by King. This Sequel really doesn’t resolve much, leaving room for yet another installment of this Franchise and still capturing that sweet spot in her life where she still is free to do whatever she wants before college. Judging by interest in this, a third Film seems likely!
FEAR CITY: NEW YORK VS THE MAFIA (NETFLIX)
The Producers of Don’t F**k With Cats are back with this gripping three-part Docu-Series which takes us back to the ’70s when New York went from the “City of Fun” to the “City of Fear” as various five big mafia families had their hands in controlling every aspect of the City whether it be garbage collection to real estate. With a combination of interviews, photographs, actual surveillance tapes and re-enactments, we learn how under eventual Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the FBI and a team of undercover agents in gut-wrenching detail, walks us through how they infiltrated the Mafia’s cars, homes and frequented establishments. We see also the challenges the Prosecutors faced convincing a jury with collected surveillance footage, before a ruling defined an era of change for a crime-riddled New York. Once again, some great haunting storytelling here from both sides of law enforcement, which educates as well as it entertains.
THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (NETFLIX)
The ’90s were a pivotal period for Urban Music and Fashion with several of today’s looks and sounds having stemmed from that renaissance period. But did these artists all come armed with their own sense of style to go along with their groundbreaking music? THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION is a concise 67-minute Documentary which premiered at Tribeca, taking a look at some of the unsung heroes of fashion who conceptualized some of the ’90s biggest acts like Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim and more. They came out of the underground and into the mainstream in much of the fashion we see today from major fashion houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Fendi. The Film looks at the likes of Dapper Dan who now is an official collaborator with the former, April Walker of Walker Wear and Stylist Misa Hylton who still is working with the likes of Beyoncé. We see their unsung legacies on style as we know today and how it has left an indelible mark on black and mainstream culture.
GOOD GIRLS – SEASON 1 (NETFLIX)
Acquiring NBC’s GOOD GIRLS has proven to be a winning move for Netflix. The Series now available on the streaming service shot straight to #1 on its Trending list in Canada. Starring Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks in the lead role of Beth, teams-up with best friend Beth (Retta) and her little sister Annie (Mae Whitman) deciding to rob a supermarket to make ends meet. Aiming for $30,000 but instead walking away with $500,000, they soon become the target of a band of criminals, led by Christopher (Manny Montana). Unable to re-pay their debt, they soon find themselves caught in a criminal underworld carrying-out jobs for Christopher, unable to escape. Matters get even more complicated as Christopher and Beth develop a complicated relationship, which at any moment feels like it’s ready to implode. Despite a story which takes some implausible turns, Hendricks carries the lead role superbly, making this a fun watch.
MUPPETS NOW (DISNEY+)
A huge emphatic stamp of approval for this six-episode improvisational Comedy Series which has our beloved Muppets back and funnier than ever as they are in an age of Instagram, Vlogs and Social Media. The episodes are part Talk Show and part Game Show, with a diverse variety of celebrity guests (including RuPaul, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Aubrey Plaza, Roy Choi and more!) who play it straight like they are on any other interview, but what truly makes this a joy is how the Muppets true to form, ham it up true to brand and they ultimately are the stars of the interview. Danny Trejo in a Taco Challenge in episode 2 against The Swedish Chef is outrageously-funny! While this looks like it’s for the kids, it’s definitely more for the big kids. We adore The Muppets and our only complaint is how quick the time passes. We want more!
BLACK IS KING (DISNEY+)
“You can’t wear a crown with your head down” is a quote heard in Beyoncé‘s Visual Album BLACK IS KING, available now on Disney+. And this line sums it all up entirely. Fans have been hungry for new music from the Icon and she rewards them with this gorgeously-shot 85 minute Musical Film immersed in a new Afrobeat-inspired sound, starring, writing, directing and producing. The Film, serving as a companion piece to often-forgotten album The Lion King: The Gift, centers on a young African king, exiled by his family and like Simba, he learns just how dangerous it is out there in the world. While her message is to empower the young to reclaim what is theirs, this might go over the heads of the young audience she is speaking to, but it sure talks to her fans of a generation who are responsible for leading and raising these children by example. BLACK IS KING is loaded with star power including appearances in the Album and Film by Pharell Williams, Kelly Rowland, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Canada’s Jessie Reyez and of course Jay-Z and their children Rumi, Blue Ivy and Sir Carter.If I Were a Boy, Crazy in Love, Single Ladies and Say My Name were an era of the past for Beyoncé. She is here with a new vision and is in it to be heard.
THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY SEASON 2 (NETFLIX)
Picking-up from the end of Season 1, this quirky Toronto-made fan favourite returns with 10 new episodes. Five (Aidan Gallagher) uses his time travel ability and takes his siblings back in time to stop the Apocalypse from happening. Things go awry however and his siblings all revert back to different eras. Vanya (Ellen Page) has Amnesia and is living with a family; Diego (DavidCastañeda) finds himself in an asylum and eager to get out to prevent JFK from being assassinated; Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) is married to an Activist; charismatic Klaus (Robert Sheehan) is finding himself in trouble as usual, having started a cult; and Luther (Tom Hopper) is working in a club as a bodyguard. Season 2 takes us a journey as these siblings find one another again, navigating the scenarios they have landed in, but reuniting is only the tip of the iceberg in the many complex problems they have to tackle.
SUGAR RUSH: EXTRA SWEET (NETFLIX)
This is our first time checking-out this competition Baking Series which takes pairs of skilled bakers, pitting them against other duos in new themed baking challenges each episode. The first round involves cupcakes, the second a confection and the third a cake. This new six-episode set includes celebrity guests like Tyler Posey and the late Naya Rivera and we were entertained as more often than not we agree with the panel of judges’ assessments. Some really brilliant and inspired talent tasked with challenges that update as trends evolve. We were floored by some of these creations including a cake that lit-up under black lights and even levitating cakes!