5 Shows to Watch This Weekend
A raunchy mom comedy, French whimsy, and a new feminist anthem
Best of the Week: Ali Wong's Netflix comedy special "Hard Knock Wife" streams on Sunday
Ali Wong's career exploded after her hilarious special "Baby Cobra," which she performed in her third trimester. Wong opened up a space not just for Asian comedians, but also for mom comedians. While Wong is not the first mom to be in comedy (Joan Rivers also performed pregnant), she does bring a certain glam—her pregnant mom bits oscillate between sex jokes and more overtly political jabs—to pregnancy and motherhood that seem to have been missing. That's why everyone's hyped for her next Netflix special, "Hard Knock Wife." Not only is Wong pregnant again, but rumor has it motherhood has only made her comedy that much raunchier: as she explained to the New York Times, "Sex is not dirty. A C-section is dirty."
Here's what else to watch:
Vida if you want a drama with a point of view
We see but rarely hear about gentrification on TV shows. Vida, which premiered on Starz on May 6th, puts gentrification front and center. Only in Vida the gentrifiers aren't white hipsters, but two Mexican-American sisters (the show's creator Tonya Saracho calls a new class of upwardly mobile Latin Americans "gente-fiers"), brought back home to East LA after their mother dies unexpectedly. Of course, it's not just a show about gentrification, but also about identity, belonging, and that tricky time when you both are and are-not-yet an adult.
You've Got Mail if you need some Nora Ephron in your life
HBO will start streaming Nora Ephron's classic You've Got Mail starting May 1stto celebrate its 20thanniversary. A charming romcom about an unlikely relationship between an independent book store owner (Meg Ryan) and the head of a corporate book chain (Tom Hanks) poised to buy out his weaker competitors, You've Got Mail definitely shows its age (they meet on AOL! And there's actual brick-and-mortal bookstores!), but remains as sweet and sharp as ever.
Amélie if you want a witty and whimsical romance
Amélie, the 2001 French romcom that charmed the pants of American audiences and critics alike, is available for live streaming on Netflix as of May 1st. About a shy Parisian woman who decides to devote her life to helping others find happiness, only to discover an unexpected love herself, Amélie is equal parts quirky and whimsical. When Amélie falls in love she melts into a puddle on the streets of Montmartre; watching this movie, your heart is likely to melt, too.
Faces Places if you want an uplifting documentary
Cannes Award-winning documentary Faces Places also comes to Netflix in May. 89-year-old Agnes Verda, a French New Wave filmmaker, and 34-year-old photographer JR take a road trip together, talking to people living in the French countryside and taking portraits of them, which they print in their van. The film is a moving portrait of ordinary people, and an elegiac paean to a way of life quietly disappearing.
And a new album for your morning commute: Janelle Monae's "Dirty Computer"
Janelle Monae's new concept album Dirty Computer is more explicitly personal and political than her previous work, and it's a revelation. Monae says it best herself: "You have to go ahead and soar, and not be afraid to jump — and I'm jumping right now." Start with the feminist anthems "Make Me Feel" and "Pynk."