It’s Oscars weekend, which means awards season is coming to an end and so is the Academy’s never-ending attempts to make dumb changes to the show and then inevitably change back those changes. They tried to take away some of the Best Song performances, but after backlash (how DARE they try to deprive us of Jennifer Hudson’s voice?), they reinstated the performances of all the Best Song nominees. Then, they tried to give away two of the most important categories during commercial breaks, which read like a slap in the face to the hard work of the unsung heroes behind the camera. They reversed that decision too. Following along with the Academy’s choices has become its own entertainment, but since the show is this Sunday, the drama is almost over, and we’re going to need some other ways to entertain ourselves, right? Aside from some last-minute homework for Sunday’s broadcast, here are my five not-really-related-to-the-Oscars picks for what to watch on Netflix Canada this weekend.
If there’s anything more entertaining for me than Oscars missteps, it’s the full day my hairdresser and I spent watching all six episodes of Dating Around. Five first dates. One second date. That’s how every episode of Dating Around starts but despite the repetitive premise, each one is distinct and addictive in its own way. You’ve probably already seen the clip of Gurki Basra’s horrible date — one of her five turned out to be a chauvinistic assface — or you’ve read her recap the experience to Refinery29. Gurki’s episode is one of my favourites of the season because of how well she handles herself, but the award for best suitor looking for love has to go to Leonard, episode five’s widower. I could have watched six hours of sweet, shy Leonard going on dates with age-appropriate women. MORE OLDER-PEOPLE-DATING CONTENT, ASAP. Dating Around is fascinating social voyeurism but it’s also a great example of an organically diverse cast (two episodes include queer couples).
This Oscar-nominated documentary is about the taboo surrounding menstruation in an Indian village and in developing countries around the world. It’s up for Best Documentary Short. In the Hollywood Reporter’s annual anonymous interview with an Oscars voter, the member of the Academy had this to say about the film: “It's about women getting their period, and I don't think any man is voting for this film because it's just icky for men.” That stupid take just made me want to watch Period. End of Sentence. even more. It reinforces the point of the film, which is that talking about periods is still so “icky” for some (read: men) that young girls are suffering because of the stigma. The film, directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, follows women in the rural Hapur as they make pads and educate their community about periods.
Sad news for both of these Marvel shows broke this week. The Punisher and Jessica Jones have been cancelled. One of the reasons for the cancellations has to do with the end of Netflix’s deal with Marvel, and the pending launch of Disney’s own streaming service. The others may have something to do with Jessica Jones’ showrunner leaving the show and actors on both series pursuing other projects. Both shows had strong first seasons so if you’re sad about them getting the axe, or if you just want to know what you missed out on, why not revisit them from the beginning? If you need any more convincing, Oscar-winner Eminem is such a fan of The Punisher, he wrote an all-caps Stan-style letter to Netflix on Twitter. You know he’s serious because he signed off with his government name.
One Day At A Time was trending on Twitter this week because it’s on the brink of cancellation. After showrunner Gloria Calderón revealed that the show was in jeopardy, fans got into formation to fight for a renewal. Bottom line: The show needs more viewers. It’s got an almost-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, and it’s hailed for its authentic portrayal of a Latinx family. Plus, it’s really funny. A show like One Day At A Time that tackles tough topics in a heartfelt and representative way is exactly what — corny alert — the world needs right now. The first three seasons are streaming on Netflix now. Let’s get it those viewers so it makes it to Season 4.
More Oscar Nominees
If you’re the type of person who used to cram for exams, you’re probably trying to get through a whole bunch of Oscar-nominated movies in the next 48 hours. Well, Netflix Canada has you covered for at least some of the movies nominated on Sunday. There’s Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s emotional masterpiece that’s nominated in most of the major categories. There’s Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, up for Best Picture, and my personal favourite nominee. There’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Costume Design. Avengers: Infinity War is also streaming on Netflix and it’s up for Best Visual Effects. If you’re behind on all these titles, you’ve got lots of homework to do before Sunday. Get cramming.