Netflix are absolutely killing it this weekend. On one day they have a brand new Coen Brothers movie (of sorts - there’s debate that this anthology film originally started life as a TV show), a new Michael Douglas comedy (which is actually very charming), a new Narcos series, plus a She-Ra revamp cartoon. All of these shows launched on the same day! It’s incredible.
With so much stuff to watch this weekend, it might be easy to overlook its new factual series ‘Dogs’. I was uncertain going into this one - it struck me as a shameless, feather-light show that’s just leveraging off cute footage including dogs. Years of Animal Planet has just destroyed any validity this sort of show could have.
But it’s genuinely a great factual show that transcends cheap cuteness.
I’ve watched episode one, which follows a young tween girl who is given an assistance dog to identify epilepsy episodes. It was incredible - the main story about this girl is incredibly touching, but heartbreaking as the episode shifts focus to the girls older sister who, after a year of being told they’d be getting this dog, is advised she is not allowed to form a bond with the dog.
I was unsure about it when it started and thoroughly gripped throughout.
Chiko, pictured above, doesn’t feature in the documentary. But boy does Chiko love watching Netflix.
Anyhow, quickly scan through this weeks email and then get watching. You have a lot to cover this weekend.
A weekly guide on what is available to watch from the US/UK/Australia? Yet another thing making Always Be Watching the most valuable thing to hit your inbox every day. Forward it to a friend and/or consider supporting it as a patron:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs [Movie] - Netflix
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a six-part Western anthology film, a series of tales about the American frontier told through the unique and incomparable voice of Joel and Ethan Coen. Each chapter tells a distinct story about the American West.
Dogs - Netflix
Over six episodes, this factual series explores different types of relationships people have with dogs.
The Kominsky Method - Netflix
Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) is an actor who years ago had a brief fling with success and is now a revered Hollywood acting coach. Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin) is his best friend - and longtime agent. Together they tackle life's curveballs as they navigate their later years in Los Angeles.
Narcos: Mexico - Netflix
Explore the origins of the modern drug war by going back to a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose and disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers. The series will chart the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s as Félix Gallardo takes the helm, unifying traffickers in order to build an empire. When DEA agent Kiki Camarena moves his wife and young son from California to Guadalajara to take on a new post, he quickly learns that his assignment will be more challenging than he ever could have imagined. As Kiki garners intelligence on Felix and becomes more entangled in his mission, a tragic chain of events unfold, affecting the drug trade and the war against it for years to come.
She-Ra and The Princesses of Power - Netflix
Adora is a 16-year-old orphan raised by Hordak, the tyrant who rules the planet Etheria through his evil Horde. One day, after getting lost in the woods, Adora finds a magic sword that transforms her into the Princess of Power, She-Ra. Realizing the suffering that the Horde has inflicted on the planet and its people, Adora joins a resistance group of other magical girls, the Princess Alliance, in order to liberate Etheria from Hordak's grasp. This pits her against her former comrade Catra.
Origin - YouTube Premium
A group of troubled passengers wake up on a damaged spaceship abandoned in deep space. Each having left behind a dark past in search of a fresh start on a newly colonised planet, they're desperate to survive at all costs. But as their terrifying situation spirals into paranoia, they come to realize that the greatest threat to their dream of starting over - and indeed their lives - might actually be within their midst.
Room 104 - Season 2 - HBO
Set in a single room of an average American hotel, Room 104 tells a different story of the assorted characters who pass through it in each episode.
Mars - Season 2 - National Geographic
After almost a decade alone on Mars, scientists at the International Mars Science Foundation's (IMSF) fully developed Olympus Town settlement prepare for the arrival of a group of highly skilled astronauts working for Lukrum Industries, a for-profit corporation specializing in natural resource extraction. In present day on Earth aboard the world's northernmost oil platform in the Arctic, extreme conditions make for a Mars-like work environment.
That’s it for this week. Let’s chat again on Monday, shall we?