What to Watch This Week | A coming-of-age, Brady Bunch and Barbie
Best enjoyed with a glass of chardonnay.
Show of the Week: Sweetbitter premiers on May 6th
Adapted from Stephanie Danler's novel Sweetbitter, this new 6-episode series set to air on STARZ on Sunday has already generated plenty of hype. Not only was Sweetbitter a national bestseller, and not only is Danler co-writing the series herself, but Steiner Studio has also built an entire working restaurant in Brooklyn's Navy Yard just for the show, complete with actors who have undergone training at The Culinary Institute. True to the book, however, food and restaurant life are only important in as much as they reveal the main character Tess's hunger for experience and belonging. The show is very much meant to be a coming-of-age, about that moment when "you're waiting for your life to start and it has already started."
Here's what else to watch this week:
Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie if you want a short but sweet documentary
This new Hulu documentary featuring commentators Roxanne Gay and Gloria Steinem on the evolution of the Barbie doll isn't earth-shattering—Barbie is now equally as synonymous with girlhood as it is with setting unrealistic standards—but offers a fascinating history nevertheless. The first blond-haired Barbie doll came with a scale set to 110 pounds and a book on dieting—but how far have we come? A recent Frida Kahlo doll, meant to celebrate "inspiring women," ironically came devoid of Kahlo's curves and signature unibrow (Selma Hayek, who played Kahlo in the 2002 biopic, gave the doll two emoji thumbs down on Twitter). The good news implied in Tiny Shoulders is that the Barbie craze might finally be on its way out.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy if you want to feel inspired
The Fab Five is back, and the Netflix revival offers so much more than the generic portrayal of gay and straight men we saw in the early 2000s. The premise of the show has remained the same: five gay guys fix up an adult male badly in need of an intervention. But where the earlier version focused mainly on providing seemingly pathetic bachelors with some fashion sense, the revival adds a more sincere and personal intervention, tackling real issues that men deal with, including Black Lives Matter, loneliness, homophobia, and most poignantly, masculinity itself. Amid a year of bad news perpetrated by some unsavory men, Queer Eye is a glimmer of hope.
Dear White People if you want a savvy drama
Netflix made a series based on the acclaimed 2014 film of the same name, and, surprisingly, it stands on its own. The show, which takes place at the fictional Winchester University and centers around a savvy and self-aware student-hosted radio show called "Dear White People," returns for its second season on May 4th, this time with an intentional takedown of Trump and the turmoil that's ensued on college campuses since his election. If the second season is anything like the first, the show will balance politics with character development with aplomb, refusing to give easy answers to complicated questions about race, identity, and belonging.
The Brady Bunch Movie if you want to get lost in time
This movie is hilarious, and the kind of blissfully uncomplicated, just-for-fun satire that could have only come about in the late 90s. Alice sleeps in the refrigerator, Greg and Marcia start an illicit romance, poor Jan becomes goes from insanely jealous of Marcia to possibly unhinged, and all the while we finally get some clarity on how the Brady family really got together in the first place. The movie is available for streaming on Hulu starting May 1st for a limited time.
And a podcast for your morning commute
The new LGBTQ podcast Nancy is hosted by the "super queer, super fun" duo Kathy Tu and Tobin Low. Though Tu and Low claim to cover "all things queer," the podcast offers moving (but not sappy) stories on everything from coming out to childhood memories that will appeal to all who listen. This episode featuring comedian Leana Waithe is a great place to start.