What to watch at home this week? Which is the best series to watch? What about the movies to watch this weekend? Which are the best TV shows to binge? NOW STREAMING makes your search simpler.
What: Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
Who: Remember Gordon Ramsay going to restaurants that are down in the dumps and trying to stop their Kitchen Nightmares? Well, now imagine a person coming to your home that is the absolute epitome of clutter with closets full of unused clothes, sinks full of soiled plates and garages full of unopened cardboard boxes and trying to tidy up things. Well, they made an entire series out of it, where Japanese “tidying expert” Marie Kondo goes from home to home in America fixing up one room after the other with her own unique principles.
Why: As with many things Japanese, there is therapy at play here. By tidying up homes with her KonMari (that was easy) Method of organising things by categories and not by location, Marie “sparks joy” in the lives of the families. So, just categorising stuff into clothings, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous) and sentimental items brings a couple closer to each other or helps a widow better understand her grief. It’s unlike any show you’ve seen before and the ludicrousness – Marie says thank you to every item that is being discarded – is the USP of Tidying Up.
Why Not: Marie Kondo does not exactly have a very dramatic style of expression. She is a lot of smiles and a lot of hugs and that overt sweetness can be monotonous at times for a show like this. Also, she can’t understand English and having a translator do most of the talking is often an audio-visual deterrent. And it did feel a little odd to see the wife being asked to clear up the kitchen and the husband told to fix the garage. That’s not too tidy, is it?
What: The Last Laugh
Who: The latest in the recently conceived sub-genre of films where old men get together to rob banks or go to Vegas or have a school reunion is this breezy comedy starring Chevy Chase (National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live) and Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, The Goodbye Girl). Chase plays retired talent manager Al Hart who meets his first standup comedian client Buddy Green, played by Dreyfuss, at a luxury old age home and they both soon figure that retirement is not for them. So they hit the road for a cross-country comedy tour with hilarious consequences.
Why: There’s an old school light-handed feel to things, especially the banter between the two men, who are clearly enjoying themselves. It doesn’t feel like a 2019 film at all and that is a great thing, just breaking the clutter of snazzy, geeky, slapdash narratives. Halfway into The Last Laugh, the still-bewitching Andie MacDowell (Sex, Lies, and Videotape) waltzes her way into the film and makes it even more watchable. But it’s the adorable awkwardness of Chase mixed with the cheeky charm of Dreyfuss which is the beating heart of the movie.
Why Not: The Last Laugh goes on for a little too long, delaying the inevitable. The twist, if you can call it that, is guessable early into the film and doesn’t really have as big an impact on the audiences as it has on the characters. Given the premise, the film could have actually been so much more fun, whether it’s the lines or the situations.
What: The Night Of (2016)
Where: Hotstar Premium
Who: Adapted from the BBC drama Criminal Justice starring Ben Whishaw, this eight-part HBO series has Riz Ahmed playing a Pakistani-American college student Naz who’s accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side of New York City. We see snatches of what happened that night in the first episode and then get into the court case and Naz’s life in prison even as the did-he-do-it question continues to loom large. John Turturro plays John Stone, an eczema-riddled bottom-feeding criminal court lawyer, who takes up Naz’s case.
Why: Just in terms of a murder mystery, The Night Of ranks right up there with the best, from the scripting to the mise-en-scene. But it’s the performances of the two men at the top that makes the series such a satisfying binge. The change in Naz thanks to the incarceration is brilliantly portrayed both emotionally and physically by Riz, who went on to win the Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Limited Series. And the way Turturro builds Stone in his lonely moments is a masterclass in acting. The denouement in the final episode has its fans and detractors and you need to make your way there to find out which side of the fence you are on.
Where: James Gandolfini had played Stone in the 2012 pilot but passed away the next year.
Did You Know
Season 2 of The Good Place is now streaming legally, on Netflix.
Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, which beat Mother India to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1958, is now streaming on Mubi.
Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Senna, Asif Kapadia’s documentary on F1 racing legend Ayrton Senna, is now streaming on Netflix.