In certain parts of Canada, this week involved a lot of shovelling, cancelling plans to go outside, and generally hiding from the elements of this god-awful winter. So, you’ve probably already put in some good face time with your television this week but I’m not here to judge. I’m here to enable your obsessive TV habits. Whether you need a new all-consuming show, a light rom-com or a throwback flick to remind you of simpler times, I’ve got you covered. Here are my five picks for what to watch on Netflix this weekend.
Thanks to the Marvel universe, TV shows about young people with powers are having a moment. The Umbrella Academy is not like any of those other shows. It’s weirder, darker, and it’s got a cast that you’re more likely to find in a gritty indie than a superhero epic. Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, and Mary J. Blige star in this series that, at its core, is about family dysfunction and siblings trying to get their sh-t together. You’ll be hooked from the first episode. If you don’t believe me, let Ellen Page herself sell you on the show.
Dirty John is the show that ticks all the binge-worthy boxes. It’s got the obsessive charming sociopath you’re terrified of but also can’t stop watching like You, the true crime element that will make you get lost in a Google hole directly after watching like The Ted Bundy Tapes or Abducted in Plain Sight, and of course, Connie Britton. I binged every season of Nashville (you know, until *redacted* dies) just for Connie Britton. She delivers the same high calibre performance you’d expect from Tami Taylor herself and Eric Bana holds his own as the dirtiest, scariest John. This is the show everyone has been talking about. Ease your FOMO and go ahead and watch it.
You know I couldn’t let a week go by without recommending a cheesy romantic comedy. Fresh to Netflix, this week’s choice is Something Borrowed, starring rom-com queen Kate Hudson and Once Upon A Time’s Ginnifer Goodwin. They play “best friends” whose “friendship” is rocked when one of them (Goodwin) falls in love with the other’s (Hudson) fiancé. I’m using the terms “best friends” and “friendship” loosely because NO REAL FRIENDS WOULD DO THIS TO EACH OTHER. Something Borrowed got maligned by critics when it came out — like most rom-coms do — but it’s a breezy, fun, crowd-pleasing watch. If for nothing else, watch a pre-Emily Blunt John Krasinski deliver one of the sweetest unrequited declarations of love I’ve ever seen in a rom-com.
One of my favourite pieces of advice to give to teenage girls is four words: “break up with him.” It sounds harsh, sure, but think of how often how culture has conditioned young women to put their relationship first or choose the wellbeing of a man over their own. Especially when you’re young and naive about love, I think the best thing you can do is go into a relationship with clear eyes and to know in the back of your mind that if it isn’t working, if it isn’t propping you up and making you happy, you can always BREAK UP WITH HIM. Netflix’s The Breaker Upperers is here for my breakup mantra. The original movie is about two friends, Mel and Jen, who run a company that uses deceptive tactics to end relationships if clients are too scared to do it themselves. OK, I don't condone lying to your partner in order to break up with them, but this premise is hilarious. The New York Times hails New Zealand co-stars, directors and writers, Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami, for their "irresistible comic chemistry."
Center Stage is one of the most defining films of my adolescence. I watched this movie every day for the better part of a year. It was EVERYTHING. Good news? I spent Valentine's Day with one of my best friends, a bottle of wine, and Center Stage, and I'm here to tell you that it holds up. It really, really holds up. This teen drama about a group of dance students competing to get into the American Ballet Company has everything you would want from a dance movie: epic montages, a solid underdog story, romance, and DRAMA. Jody Sawyer (Amanda Schull), Eva Rodriquez (Zoe Saldana), and Maureen Cummings (Susan May Pratt) deliver performances that are just as good as you remember. And yes, Cooper Nielsen can still get it.