We recommend: The best new movies and TV
FUBAR: Did you miss Arnold Schwarzenegger as much as we did? No need to keep revisiting his old flicks, because he is making a comeback with ‘FUBAR’. This action-filled comedy TV series sees him play a CIA agent close to retirement, who gets caught up in a new mission involving his daughter (played by ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ actor Monica Barbaro). The funniest part: the father-daughter don’t know they both work for the CIA, leading them on a journey to rediscover their relationship.
Reviews are a little lukewarm considering the star name attached to the show. Collider finds it “entertaining yet inconsistent” but ends up saying: “There's nothing offensively terrible about FUBAR; it just needed its story to be much more focused than what it ended up being.” The Guardian is gushing over Arnold and writes, “Schwarzenegger shows the viewer that he is chiefly a comedian.” Our take: We are geared up to watch this one as action spy comedies involving a father-daughter duo are a refreshing change of pace. The series released on Netflix on May 25.
Platonic: This is a new comedy series that explores if ex-BFFs Will (Seth Rogan) and Sylvia (Rose Byrne) can rekindle and maintain their platonic friendship while juggling their lifestyles and mid-life crises. Sylvia is married with kids whereas Will is running his own brewery. While they think they have a constructive friendship, others encourage them to separate.
Reviews for the show are positive. Hollywood Reporter gives the verdict: “Platonic is in its own way a celebration of love — an imperfect, enabling, destabilizing love, but a real and meaningful love all the same.” AV Club says, “Platonic doesn’t break any molds, but it’s nice to see another example of a breezy comedy that’s not afraid to let its characters be human and even unlikable at times.” Our take: We’ll be honest, more than the plot, the cast is drawing us in on this one. The first three episodes came out on Apple TV+ on May 24.
American Born Chinese: Here is a fantasy recommendation. This TV series, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, starts with a high school boy Jin Wang (Ben Wang) who is having trouble assimilating at school due to his visibly Asian background. But a new foreign exchange student named Wei-Chen completely disrupts his world and pulls him into a different one where they battle the Gods of Chinese mythology. The best part: Oscar-winning actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan from ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ are part of the cast.
Reviews are good for this one too. Entertainment Weekly says, “American Born Chinese presents an inviting blend of heartfelt coming-of-age humor and exhilarating martial-arts action.” AV Club writes that despite succumbing to “superhero-level fare in its climax”, the “end result is a vibrant, inclusive, and enlightening season of TV.” Our take: We love that more coming of age stories are using diaspora stories and exploring them through the massively popular fantasy genre. The series is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
The Little Mermaid: Disney’s live-action adaptation of the Danish fairytale ‘The Little Mermaid’ is finally here. What’s new: Black Ariel played by Broadway actor Halle Bailey. FYI: the animated version of the story is heavily criticised for its anti-feminist views but director Rob Marshall—who has directed musicals ‘Chicago’, ‘Into the Woods’, and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’—has fleshed out the roles of Ariel and Prince Eric.
We’ll be honest, the reviews aren’t off the charts, and it mostly has to do with music and bad CGI. The Guardian writes that some of the iconic underwater scenes are “rendered lifeless by CGI.” OTOH, BBC Culture is a little harsh in saying: “Little Mermaid reinvents the animated classic for the age of Marvel movies, complete with kinetic action scenes and an endless overload of CGI.” Our take: Despite the reviews, we will indulge in this highly anticipated retelling of the fairytale to see how agency is given back to the teenager’s need for freedom. The film hit the theatres on May 26.
Here’s a new chapter…
Prehistoric Planet: This docu-series is from BBC’s best team of executive producers Jon Favreau and Mike Gunton, exploring the Earth when it belonged to the dinosaurs! The breathtaking photo-realistic visuals are set to original music co-composed by Hans Zimmer, and narrated by the legendary David Attenborough. Season 2 has five episodes which are now available to watch on Apple TV+.