There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped, make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our imperative social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.
We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.
Nick’s pick: American Gigolo is both a successful expansion of Paul Schrader’s ’80s noir and another necessary vehicle for Jon Bernthal to be both suave and constantly shirtless. Two reasons to live another week: his chest.
“With a suave sexual confidence that masks a wounded soul, Bernthal is a magnetic man of the night, navigating an underworld that’s at once familiar and foreign, and decorated not only by shimmering lights but by blood that keeps figuratively (and literally) winding up on his hands. Hollander’s series has its own seductive appeal, with Bernthal exuding such easygoing allure that he helps sell this high-class scene of male escorts and the older women who love (and are eager to pay top dollar for) their company.”
Coleman’s pass: Monarch is an off-key adieu to the network drama as we know it. Not even Susan Sarandon can save this schlocky family of country artists, but maybe I just couldn’t understand Trace Adkins’ voice without subtitles.
“Susan Sarandon is largely and vexingly absent from the show she’s being billed as the runaway star of. It’s a confounding choice for a series that’s banking on reeling in viewers by hitching itself to her fame, but one that will ultimately make more sense for viewers once they tune in. The problem is that when Sarandon isn’t on screen, the other characters do little more than wander around with their hands in their pockets waiting for Mama to return. That’s how bad the show’s thinly written plot structures and rote, soapy twists are. After the six episodes provided for press, I was left with a pit in my stomach, a lump in my throat, and one resounding thought: Monarch is proof that the network drama is dead.”
Kevin’s pass: Pinocchio is back to traumatize a new generation of kids all over again in the story’s 67th adaptation this year. And with Tom Hanks dusting off his KFC Colonel wig from Elvis, there are scares for the whole family!
“This CGI Pinocchio also looks exactly like the original cartoon version. The surreal effect of this is that you can’t shake the notion that you’re watching Tom Hanks in a wig talking in an Italian accent to a Pinocchio doll he bought at the Disney Store in 1994. The sight of this cartoon version of Pinocchio frolicking through a real world with actual humans is as bizarre as, well, if you looked outside right now and saw a cartoon version of Pinocchio frolicking through the real world with actual humans. There is an image from early in the film of Pinocchio curiously reaching out his hand to touch a pile of horse manure. It is seared into my brain forever.”
Laura’s pick: Barbarian is a sick, unholy, and repulsive film—and not just because it’s a reminder that Bill Skarsgård isn’t dating me. Run to see it with the biggest crowd, at your nearest theater, with your loudest friends.
“While the first act of Barbarian leans into a Hitchcockian sense of foreboding, its payoff is pure pulp—a B-horror-inflected turn that places this film in a similar category to James Wan’s Malignant. (Thanks to the subterranean horror element and Detroit setting, comparisons to 2016’s Don’t Breathe would not be unfair.) In doing so, the film catapults itself from a capable but underwhelming chamber horror into something truly memorable. Still, to some, the landing might ultimately feel a little shaky. But these moments are few and far between. Although Barbarian largely remixes ideas we’ve seen before—even Airbnb horror movies are not new at this point—it does so with humor and panache.”
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