Always Be Streaming... violent hotel action shows and lovely romcoms
The new John Wick prequel TV show and a quirky new comedy are your must-see shows this weekend
It’s a pretty great weekend for sitting on your couch and pressing play with some very good titles that you might not really expect all that much from.
I absolutely adore new Apple TV+ show Still Up. It’s a legitimately funny, and genuinely charming romcom from the UK starring Craig Roberts (from the underrated Red Oaks) and Antonia Thomas (Lovesick). The two have incredible chemistry on screen together, but here’s the thing… and this is the entire gimmick of the series… the two are never actually on screen together.
The premise has two friends, who both suffer from insomnia, getting through their sleepless nights through constant phone calls with one another. The conceit never gets old and, to be honest, I hadn’t cottoned on to the fact we hadn’t seen them together until halfway through the run of the first season.
It’s wonderful, low-fi television and is very easily going to be in consideration for my end of year top ten. Ironically, I lost a few hours sleep the other night binge-watching screeners for the show.
If you want TV that is louder, more aggressive, and has lots of Biff/Bam/Pow!, fret not, there’s a pretty good option for you as well with The John Wick prequel series The Continental.
Set in the 70s, the show is about the New York City assassin hotel featured in the John Wick films and focuses on a younger version of Ian McShane’s character, Winston.
A lot has been made of the casting of Mel Gibson in the show. He’s perfectly fine in the role, but does bring unnecessary baggage to it - if the producers were so desperate to stunt cast, I’d have started with the lead of the show playing the young Winston. Colin Woodell is fine in the role, but, like Gibson, it does feel like a role that could have been cast with someone else without losing anything.
If you are expecting the constant extreme action of a John Wick film, you won’t get that. It plays more as a 70s era exploitation film. But the show isn’t short on action at all (much of it is good) and it is loaded with attitude. Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) directs the first and third episodes.
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