June 28, 2022
As we enter summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I’m putting my 100-ways-to-ask-for-help newsletter on pause, and instead sending you a few TV/movie recommendations.
– Shtisel (Amazon)
With great acting and writing, Shtisel may be the only Yiddish/Hebrew language tv show you watch this summer. Don’t ask for any more explanation. Just watch it. On my top-tv-of-all-time list.
– Hacks (HBOMax)
This is a great mother-daughter comedy. I recommended it recently to my colleague Charlee Riggio and her mom. They guzzled down all 2 seasons like they were Slurpees.
– Ted Lasso (Apple+)
Ted Lasso may be the TV character closest to my philosophy of life. He’s kind. He’s decent. He’s sometimes silly. And he definitely asks for help. Most people have seen the show. If you haven’t, then lasso up a chaise lounge by the lake. Also on my top-tv-of-all-time list.
– Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Good acting, fabulous costumes, and it’s funny too. What’s not to like? So, go nosh on this dramedy set in 1950s/60s New York. You’d be meshuggeneh to skip it.
– For All Mankind (Apple+)
If you like space, history, or decent acting and writing, then this is for you. Bonuses abound for all who know their 1960s/70s/80s history. Note: If you want a grittier space opera with more uneven acting, then try The Expanse on Amazon Prime.
– Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
I was 11 when the original “Stars Wars” came out so I’m pretty much required to like all things Lucasfilm, but this series, like The Mandolarian, is good. (Note: of course, there’s violence, but violence in space is fake; everyone knows that.)
– Physical (Apple+)
I wrote a column about this show a year ago – it’s the adult version of Disney’s “Inside Out.” Having said that, the show deals with bulemia, sexual abuse, and the world’s worst inner critic – i.e., much tougher topics than the typical Pixar film. Definitely not for kids.
And a few more:
– The Old Man (FX/Hulu)
Season 1 just began and there’s some violence, but the cast is great.
– Loot (Apple+)
Maya Rudolph plays a character who becomes the third richest woman in the world when her tech husband leaves her for a younger woman. Enough said, right? (Side note: my sister who works at NBC Universal is annoyed by all the good shows they produce and then sell to competing streamers like Apple).
– Slow Horses (Apple+)
Some violence but the characters are older and slower so it’s not too bad. Oh, and did I mention Gary Oldman?
– Mare of Easttown (HBOMax)
Kate Winslet stars in this 2021 Emmy winner. There’s some violence, but mostly off-screen. Winslet is terrific. Definitely mature topics.
– Stranger Things got too scary for me
– Peaky Blinders too violent
– Westworld too weird
– Elizabeth (about Queen Elizabeth I) too ‘bodice-ripper’
– Ozark definitely too violent
– Euphoria too upsetting
– Squid Game – wouldn’t go near it – too scary a premise
– Vikings is historically accurate but more violence than I like
– Shameless too shameless
– Bosch way too violent
– The Leftovers is good but scary in a quiet way
And if you are jonesing for a summer family-friendly film to watch, then I recommend either one of my personal summer favs by Wes Anderson:
– Fantastic Mr. Fox
– Moonrise Kingdom
Have a good Fourth of July!
P.S. Did you *not* see a favorite of yours? Add it to this Google Sheet so we can all benefit (feel free to add shows like “Scary Things” or anything else).