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Among the ever-growing number of TV shows and movies available on the major streaming platforms, it’s easy to miss something worth your time as newer and shinier things drop with regularity.
So rather than highlighting the hot new thing, I’m going to take a look back and recommend a couple of shows you might have missed that you should definitely add to your list.
HBO’s Watchmen is simply one of my favourite shows of the last decade (which, I did not expect) considering it’s a quasi-sequel to a graphic novel (as good as the source material may be).
But Watchmen transcends the comic book show tropes that have made so many of them passable at best (Daredevil season one) or unwatchable at worst (Daredevil season three).
Watchmen is many things, and many folks have tried to sum up its complex narrative, diverse characters and greater message. I can’t really do it justice here, but I think ultimately Watchmen is so effective because it illustrates the power of generational trauma, specifically when it involves racism.
Set decades after the original comic series (and the rough Zack Snyder film) as well as dipping back through a century of atrocities via flashbacks, Watchmen highlights the connecting threads of the characters’ origins, their ancestors and what brought them to where they are today.
It begins with a terrifying tableau of the Tulsa Massacre, an event (here comes my white privilege) I had to Google to see if it was real. And yeah, it was. It continues from there, showing how racial injustices ooze from one generation to the next.
Regina King, who plays Angela Abar, also known as Sister Night is simply an incredible, raw force on screen. She tries to unravel a plot which sees herself and her loved ones put in harm’s way, while she tries to hide her identity as a masked vigilante.
Beset against a backdrop of racial violence, an ascendant white supremacist movement and po-lice who wear masks to protect themselves, Watchmen was and remains one of the most im-portant shows of the moment.
The nine-episode mini-series is available now on Crave with the HBO + movies add-on. Showrunner Damon Lindelof has said he’s done with the series, but there’s potential for more Watchmen content in the future.
Now the entire series is finally available on Netflix, it’s time to give the weird, little comedy-that-could a chance.
Dan Harmon’s incredible writing and a loveable cast make Community shine, especially in the first three seasons.
Certain episodes purposely delve into and critique tired TV and film tropes, be it fantasy, west-erns, crime procedurals, epic battles and more, but with a decidedly Community twist.
For instance, a paintball gun contest goes way off the rails as the major prize gets jacked up by a rival school. All of this happens as the characters try to make the most of attending what is probably one of the worst community colleges in America.
The core ensemble cast changes a bit, but the cohesion and genuine moments shine through, de-spite a few missteps. The show is ultimately about finding your family - your crew - who are just as weird as you are.
Following the third season, the show takes some well-documented tumultuous turns, but it’s still worth sticking around for the little inside jokes and call-backs that reward long-time fans. Trust me, after season four, things start to improve, although it never hits its zenith of the first three.
Here’s hoping Netflix will fulfil the show’s prophecy of six seasons and a movie and finally make a dang Community movie already.
Seriously, it’s worth watching for Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) alone.
If you’re in the mood for something new, here are some recent and upcoming releases worth checking out:
Apple TV Plus:
Greyhound, July 10
Amazon Prime Video:
Hanna, season two, July 3
Radioactive, July 24
Canada’s Drag Race, series premiere, July 2
Hamilton, July 3
Solo: A Star Wars Story, July 10
20 Studio Ghibli films, June 25
The Baby-Sitters Club, series premiere, July 3
Crazy Rich Asians, July 6
Umbrella Academy, season two, July 31