There are some really wonderful gems waiting for you this weekend. And there is also new Maya Rudolph series Loot on Apple TV+. Loot has her reteaming with creators Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang, who she worked with on the wonderful and little-seen Amazon Prime Video comedy Forever (get past that first episode of Forever is my hint...).
It isn't that Loot is a bad TV show. It is perfectly watchable. There's just not a lot to it that is worth recommending - it is pretty flat.
Something well worth watching is new FX comedy The Bear, which is a surprisingly weighty comedy (dealing with suicide and a family picking up the pieces financially and emotionally) about the staff cooking in a foodie sandwich shop. But it is a comedy. Think of it as being not dissimilar to shows like Atlanta. The Bear really surprised me at how instantly engaging it is. And sorry Aussie ABW readers, there's no word yet on when we are getting it locally.
My must-watch recommendations this week is two Paramount+ original films. The first is Jerry & Marge Go Large. It is based on a true story about a guy who, post-retirement, finds himself at a loss of what to do with his life and then realises there is a flaw in the local state lottery that guarantes a substantial win if you buy a high-enough volume of lotto tickets. He then gets his small town to bankroll the scheme and it pays off big-time for everyone and revitalises the community. Bryan Cranston stars opposite Annette Benning and the film is very sweet.
The other film I loved this week is Beavis & Butthead Do The Universe. Here in Australia we didn't get much Beavis & Butthead content (as far as I am aware... anyone?) except for the 1998 film Beavis & Butthead Do America. I have a strong recollection of seeing that film at the cinema during a movie marathon back-to-back with the Howard Stern film Private Parts. You might be surprised to discover that both films played very well to me, a teenage boy back then.
The film is smart juvenile humor with a really pointed script from creator Mike Judge and co-writer Lew Morton (Futurama, Newsradio). You already know if something like Beavis & Butthead is something you might like. If it is, press play. Don't hesitate.
FYI, cheap movie rentals
Australian readers... apparently all week-long starting today, approx 100 movies are available digitally to rent at about $3 and to buy at $10. They are available at all the usual places you'd rent/buy movies: Apple TV, iTunes, Dendy Home Cinema, Fetch, Foxtel Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, Amazon Prime Video, Telstra TV Box Office, YouTube. It is part of a promotion called Movie Frenzy. Some of you may find value in that...
Animal Kingdom (s06), Flatbush Misdemeanors (s02), Birdgirl (s02), Motherland: Fort Salem (s03), The Umbrella Academy (s03)
Loot - Apple TV+
Stars: Maya Rudolph, Nat Faxon, Ron Funches
After discovering her husband's betrayal of 20 years, billionaire Molly Novak spirals into a tabloid-fuelled self-destructive spiral. To her surprise, a charitable foundation offers to help Molly get back on track.
The Bear - FX / Hulu
Stars: Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri
A young chef from the fine dining world comes home to Chicago to run his family sandwich shop after a heartbreaking death in his family. A world away from what he's used to, Carmy must balance the soul-crushing realities of small business ownership, his strong-willed and recalcitrant kitchen staff and his strained familial relationships, all while grappling with the impact of his brother's suicide. As Carmy fights to transform both the shop and himself, he works alongside a rough-around-the-edges kitchen crew that ultimately reveals itself as his chosen family.
The Twelve - Foxtel / Binge
Stars: Sam Neill, Brooke Satchwell, Kate Mulvany, Marta Dusseldorp
The Twelve is a courtroom drama centred on a murder trial, where a woman stands accused of murdering her teenage niece. Because it is Australian, it stars Marta Dusseldorp.
Gordita Chronicles - HBO Max
Stars: Olivia Goncalves, Cosette Hauer
In the 1980s, Carlota "Cucu" Castelli leaves her home in Santo Domingo to pursue the American Dream after her father's work transfer to Miami.
Man Vs Bee - Netflix
Stars: Rowan Atkinson
A homeless man looking for work is mistaken by a business woman for her new house sitter. Wacky hi-jinks ensue as he tries to take care of this house while pursued by a mischievous bee.
Suspect - Channel 4
Stars: James Nesbitt, Imogen King, Sacha Dhawan, Antonia Thomas.
A Veteran detective is called to a hospital mortuary to identify a inactive person only to find it is his estranged daughter. Traumatized by the news she apparently took her own life, Frater sets out to discover the truth about her death.
Money Heist Korea: Joint Economic Area - Netflix
Stars: Park Hae-Soo, Jeon Jong-seo
Thieves overtake the mint of a unified Korea, trapping hostages inside; the police must stop the thieves as well as the shadowy mastermind behind the heist.
Beavis & Butthead Do The Universe - Paramount+
Stars: Mike Judge, David Herman
Blasting off on a NASA space mission in 1998, mischievous best pals Beavis and Butt-head time travel to the year 2022. As the NSA and U.S. government try to track them down, the clueless teens do their best to adjust to modern life.
Jerry & Marge Go Large - Paramount+
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Annette Benning, Rainn Wilson
Jerry Selbee discovers a mathematical loophole in the Massachusetts lottery, and with the help of his wife, Marge, he wins millions of dollars.
I think that is it for today. And this week. There will be more newsletters next week. The gods have deemed it so.