Film & TV

What’s on Streaming: May

Here’s a small list of our favourite shows that you can stream this month! Enjoy.

Hollywood
By Alisha Keane

You are stuck inside, lacking hope, and feeling as though the world outside is scary and dark. Correct? Hollywood on Netflix is the show for you. Set in post-WW2 1940s Golden Age Hollywood, Ryan Murphy’s second original series for Netflix (first was The Politician) re-tells the story of Hollywood as we know it in seven hour-long episodes, and imagines a world where racism and homophobia didn’t get in the way of dreams and success within the film industry.

Those who are familiar with Murphy’s previous works (Glee, American Horror Story, Pose, etc) will be acquainted with the themes and the style of the show, like the elaborate set design, stunning cinematography, beautiful men who all look the same, close attention to social issues and rooting for the underdog. You will know what to expect, and you will get what you expected. Many of the faces will be familiar too, with regular Ryan Murphy collaborators Darren Criss (the reason I watched, and it’s reason enough), Dylan McDermott and David Corenswet returning to the fold, but with some fresh faces to the RMCU (Ryan Murphy Cinematic Universe, just coined it) like Laura Harrier, Jeremy Pope and Samara Weaving. One of the best things about this show is the costumes and set designs, who doesn’t love seeing a bunch of beautiful actors dressed up in 1940s outfits and hairstyles? What Hollywood does best, though, is it tells an alternative story that allows groups that were not represented within Hollywood at the time to see what it would have looked like if they had, without the racism and homophobia they would have had to face. While the show has been criticised for its idealism and lack of focus on the realities of what would have happened, I completely disagree. Who says that people want to see another show that focuses on the harsh and grim realities of social issues? Can’t those who were marginalised and underrepresented want to see a happy story where they live without many obstacles along the way?

Hollywood is 7 hours of pure style and optimism, a good way to fill one of these long days!”

The Eddy
By Lewis Empson

Netflix’s The Eddy is a breath of fresh air when it comes to originality and authenticity. It follows the story of a Parisian jazz club owner, Elliot, who’s struggling to keep his club afloat alongside pursuing his passion for music and maintaining his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter. The atmosphere of the series is wonderfully authentic as the characters spend most of their time in dingy underground jazz clubs or cramped apartments and all of the music played in the jazz club was all recorded live on set.

What really interested me about this series is the involvement of one of my favourite filmmakers, Damien Chazelle; the Academy Award winning director of La La Land and Whiplash. He’s already proved himself in directed fascinating stories centred around music so I was excited to see what he could bring to this series; he directed the first two episodes of the series and absolutely delivers with some impressively long one take shots and beautiful wide city shots that capture Paris in a raw and often bleak nature. The acting is also great throughout making the complicated relationships between characters believable, which in turn make you empathise with the often-sombre situations they find themselves in. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that some of the actors are actually musicians primarily and this is their first foray into acting.

And when these musicians do get to flex their talent, it really shines through with some head bopping punchy jazz numbers.

The Eddy demands your attention with subtle character development and a slow yet rewarding narrative journey; there’s a fair amount of French dialogue so if subtitles aren’t your thing then maybe skip this one, however if you have the time and want a provocative, artistic experience to get invested in then this series is truly something different.

Ricky and Morty – Season 4
By Tabby Down

After the long-awaited fourth series of Rick and Morty hit E4’s screens in November 2019, we were left on tenterhooks thinking: wait, was there only five episodes this time? What is going on?

Thankfully, during this much needed time of television, beginning on 7th May, 6 new episodes are due to be released weekly. As expected, the second half of the series did not disappoint so far. The new episode titled ‘Never Ricking Morty’ was stuffed to the brim with the sarcasm, meta and colourful visuals that have become synonymous with the series. Co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon teased on Twitter in 2018 that 70 more episodes had been confirmed for this iconic animated series but if the track record is anything to go by, it’ll be years before we see all of these come to fruition- for now 5 more will have to do. During these uncertain times it is likely that we’re forgetting to have a laugh every now and again, and this is certain to do the trick.

“20 minutes of burping, portal guns, aliens and whining Morty per week is sure to make a suitable distraction!”

Honestly our world right now isn’t far off being as crazy as the Rick-and-Morty-verse. Whilst, like many of you, I love a TV binge session, the fact that this is spaced out episodically and per week mean that there is now something to look forward to and not end up finishing in one day (although watching the other series doesn’t count). Ricky and Morty Season 4 is now streaming on All4.

The Last Dance
Isaac Shepherd

The Last Dance is an all access documentary that chronicles Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on their historic 1997-98 championship season, wrapped up in a binge worthy ten-part series. Its name sets the scene of a team of ageing stars who knew that it was almost the end of the road. Ahead of its release, critics gave it undivided praise for its wealth of footage and ability to craft what The Independent called an ‘expose’, on an already scrutinised topic.  It Is also fascinating to see how many people this story has captured, with the list of interviewees even including former President Barack Obama. The show shines a light on how extraordinary Michael Jordan was. From athletic superiority to an unrivalled competitive focus, viewers get to see what it takes to be the ‘GOAT’. (Greatest of all time.) Beyond basketball, there is enough drama to catch the non sport-lovers.

“Embroiled in ugly business, salary disputes and clashes between players and management, personalities and ego take centre stage. “

This tension is broken up by nostalgic 90’s cuts and comedic moments highlighted by the antics of Dennis Rodman, notable for his mould-breaking style and friendship with North Korean dictator, King Jong Un. Director Jason Hehir artfully circles each episode back to the gravity and awe of ‘Air Jordan’ himself through powerful quotes and jaw dropping performances on court, the perfect thing to jump start a lazy lockdown week. If you want to feel the chills every time the credits roll, this documentary definitely has the last shot.

Becoming
By Maja Metera

I have always like Michelle Obama – since the day she appeared in one of the iCarly episodes. But I was too young to care about the politics. Now, everyone that was like me has a chance to catch up. Becoming, the book, was like a backstage sightseeing trip around the White House. No surprise that Netflix made it into a documentary.
The film compliments the book perfectly. It shows Michelle Obama during her tour around the United States. It had 34 stops in different states and constantly changing hosts of the talk panels – from Oprah Winfrey to Reese Witherspoon. It was a series of conversations about the White House and everything Michelle talked about in her memoir.

“We follow the former First Lady when she prepares for the night, sings copies of her book and talks to almost hand-picked teenagers during her special meetings with the youth. “

We meet her mother and older brother while watching them flip through old photos.
The documentary shows how warm Barack’s wife is and how much she cares about human-to-human contact with people around her. Even though she says she was never interested in politics, both versions of Becoming prove that she found a way to navigate this world in a very unique and relaxed manner that makes young people want to engage in relations with her.

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