My Favorite Shows and Movies Streaming during Covid this Summer and Fall

HBO Max wins the summer for me, with the best library of older films and executives greenlighting quality shows with big budgets.  They also had the Third Day with the best first episode I’ve seen in a long time but went off the rails, and Perry Mason, which probably should be on this list.  With movies getting pushed and projects delayed, there wasn’t much but what I liked is really good.

  1. I May Destroy You (HBO Max)-  This show is emotionally powerful, dark, and funny.  With a runtime of around 30 minutes, there is no waste in Michaela Cole’s writing and performance.  I’m eager to see what she develops next.  For me, it’s between this and ZeroZeroZero for best show of the year, neither of which are on Netflix.
  2. Betty (HBO Max) – While I May Destroy you feels heavy at the time, Betty is the light, breezy companion of a group of skateboarding girls wandering New York set to an energetic soundtrack that laid fire to my Spotify daily mixes.
  3. Jojo Rabbit  (HBO Max)- I missed this in theaters, and now I just miss theaters.  I skipped it because the subject-matter seemed so offputting, a comedy with a funny Hitler, I wanted to pass.  Taika Waititi has a near-perfect record for me, so I gave it a go, and after watching it, I get it. It’s not Best Picture worthy, and it’s the only thing on this list I probably won’t watch it again, but it’s worth a peek.
  4. What We Do in the Shadows (Hulu). Also from Taika Waititi, this comedy is like The Office, where the setting is Staten Island instead of Scranton and rather a group of paper salesmen, the characters are centuries old Vampires. This has been recommended to me by family and friends and glad I finally watched it.
  5. Doctor Sleep (Director’s Cut)  HBO Max released the follow up to the book/movie The Shinning with a director’s cut that runs nearly 30 minutes longer and makes it close to a masterpiece.  Doctor Sleep did nearly the impossible cater to the obsessed fans of Kubrik’s film (of which I’m a member) and the original Stephen King book.  The film was released one week after Halloween and carries a stupid name, but it’s delightful if you like anything from King to Kubrick.
  6. Ugly Delicious (Netflix)- Pretentious chatter about the importance of food in culture, and it’s delicious.
  7. The Vast of Night  (Prime Video)- A low budget Spielberg inspired film set in a rural town in the 1950s.
  8. Palm Springs (Hulu)- The less you know about this Andy Samberg film, the better, but know it’s a lot of fun.
  9. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)- We don’t get enough Charlie Kaufman; I’m Thinking of Ending Things makes up for it by being the most Kaufman film yet. It’s pretty much in every way to Palm Springs save for the fact you’ll question every scene previously.  Any move you google and the first thing that comes up is the movie’s name – Explained you know you’re in for it. As many people will hate this movie as will like it, I’m a little wary of recommending to everyone, but it makes me happy.
  10. Da Five Bloods  (Netflix)- Spike Lee latest is a heist film with equal parts history and therapy, but mostly a reminder of how good Delroy Lindo is.
  11. Uncut Gems (Netflix) – The Safdie Brothers’ took years to get this film to screen.  Sandler is cast perfectly as a gambling-addicted gem dealer.  The only film on this list I’ve watched twice.
  12. Lovecraft Country (HBO MAX) – I made it through the season.  Much of it doesn’t make sense under scrutiny, but the horrors are so real it gets by on ambition alone for me. 




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