13 Films & TV Shows To Watch
Written by Amanda Lederle & Kweighbaye Kotee
Musical islands, homecomings, teenage therapy, cocaine-filled Wall Street's, and mom gangs are just a few of the new films and shows we have on our list. Click on the images to view the trailers.
This unique and exciting series showcases how moms can be badasses too!
When three moms feel stuck in their individual situations (a cheating husband, a sick child, and struggling to provide), they decide to turn to suburban crime together: robbing a grocery store. This show is as thrilling as it is full of hope. The quicksand of consequences tied with the money they’ve stolen leaves this band of robbers with unplanned decisions to make. What else is a mom to do? This show features pop culture greats Retta (Parks and Recreation, 2009–2015), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, 2007–2015), and Mae Whitman (The Duff, 2015), and the second season is currently on Netflix.
This chilling series comes back to TV as a classic reboot. Appropriately, it is hosted by comedian/horror genre extraordinaire Jordan Peele.
The premiere episode of this dark series stars contemporary actors like Kumail Nanjiani, Tracy Morgan, and BFF alum Diarra Kilpatrick. Future episodes include Adam Scott, John Cho, and Sanaa Lathan. Welcome back to the “dimension of imagination.”
From executive producers Joe and Anthony Russo (the Russo Brothers), who brought you The Avengers (2018 and 2019) and the Captain America movies (2014 and 2016), comes a new graphic novel-inspired show about a teen superhero gang.
This unlikely team of misfit teenagers is training to use their superpowers to master the deadly arts. It’s like seeing Tarantino X-men teenagers who come to training at Hogwarts. The teens are trained by Master Lin, played by Benedict Wong, who you may recognize as Wong from Doctor Strange (Derrickson, 2016). This also stars Netflix darling Lana Condor from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Johnson, 2018). Viewers may also like The Umbrella Academy (2019), a Netflix show also based on a graphic novel.
Trying to understand your sexual identity among your high school peers can be devastating. So Otis and Maeve started their own student-run underground sex therapy business. The diverse cast in Sex Education brings a variety of sexual experiences and issues to the show, creating a window into their self-education about their sexual awakenings. Take a look at this refreshing coming-of-age story that will have you visually impressed by the colorful 80s fashion and wide-angle aerial shots. Also, any mention of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) has my heart.
You would think you’d seen enough of an alcohol-soaked, cocaine-filled Wall Street type after the excesses of The Wolf of Wall Street (Scorsese, 2013). But then you see this show starring Don Cheadle and Regina Hall, laced with the humor of comedy duo and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and you realize you are in for a new treat.
Set in 1987, Black Monday documents the worst stock market crash in U.S. history. It is packed with punchy lines, and years of talent fills the screen. The ridiculousness of any Rogen/Goldberg film combined with the high-stakes worlds of Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990) and The Wolf of Wall Street (Scorsese, 2013) makes this show a must-see.
If you ever wondered what it would feel like to get heart palpitations, watch the first five minutes of the first episode of this show.
This novel adaptation from German writer Volker Kutscher is a dark look into a pre-Nazi takeover. This investigative crime drama is set in 1929 and is as rich in its character storylines as it is [beautiful] to look at.
The story follows the main investigator and his unlikely partner, a female typist/“woman of the night" who is also an aspiring detective. This film noir is not short on intensity, and it is currently the most expensive TV series filmed in Germany.
Emmy-award-winning creator Lena Waithe brings you into an inner-city neighborhood in Chi-town, aka Chicago. This African-American community drama centers around a neighborhood influenced by violence, drugs, and despair. Like in HBO’s Baltimore-based drama The Wire, (2002–2008), characters try to figure out how to survive, but in the south side of Chicago.
HBO does it again. The epic magnitude of this show’s impact will go down in TV history. It was once expressed to me as "a divine gift from the TV gods," and it goes without saying that Game of Thrones changed this generation of TV watchers. The number of awards this show has been nominated for and won is astounding. The number of character storylines, costumes, cinematography, and graphics are beyond comprehensible. If you want to see what a show with a budget of, on average, $10 million budget per episode looks like, just watch GoT.
And if you are itching for more stories about Westeros after this current and final season, don’t forget that the show was inspired by the twelve book series by George R.R. Martin.
Welcome to the phase where our big screen stars come to the small screen. Finally, we see Julia Roberts on TV in this Amazon Prime Video series, an adaptation of the podcast by the same name.
Robert’s character, Heidi Bergman, recalls her time as a caseworker in an inpatient facility helping soldiers transition back into society. She later realizes the intentions of the company were not what they had been made out to be. This psychological thriller is directed by Sam Esmail, who also directed Mr. Robot (2015–).
Two high school best friends reunite as a dominatrix duo. This comedy is only about 15 mins per episode, for a total of 7 episodes. It may be unconventionally short for a TV series, but good writing is efficient! A story about bravery, acceptance of others, and self-acceptance.
“Hold on to your nips, because we’ve got news for you!” If you love good zingers, and stories about female relationships and coming to terms with change, this is your next movie to watch.
In her directorial debut, writer/director/executive producer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson teams up with heroine-film hitmaker Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, 2011 and Ghostbusters, 2016) to bring a female point of view to rom-coms. If you love plots involving female friendships and the woes of relationships akin to Sex and the City (1998–2004) and buddy films like Knocked Up (Apatow, 2007), you will appreciate this film.
Also, you won’t want to miss the moment when the song “Dreaming of You” by Selena is played in a bodega. It’s like that moment in Harold and Kumar (Leiner, 2004) and Bridesmaids (Feig, 2011) when they sing Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On”: a reminiscent moment in time for us early-90s teens.
This film stars Gina Rodriguez, Dewanda Wise, and Brittany Snow, along with special cast mentions RuPaul as your classy drug dealer, and Questlove as the party DJ. This film celebrates our favorite rom-coms from John Hughes and adds a new modern flare.
Who runs this world? Bey. Like her, love her, or not, this performance documentary will go down in music history. The Coachella performance is double dutched with behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals, the mental and physical struggle of a mother going back to work (yes, Beyonce is human), and quotes and recordings from powerful, influential individuals like Nina Simone, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou.
This film was a celebration of African-American culture, and it clearly marks Beyonce as an activist and reinstates her status as an icon.
Even Sandra Oh watched it and dedicated her speech to Beyonce at this year’s Time 100 gala, in a speech originally intended to celebrate her immigrant mother. To see a video of Oh’s speech, CLICK HERE.
Guava Island stars its writer, Donald Glover, singer-superstar, Rihanna, and everyone’s little sister from Black Panther (Coogler, 2018), Letitia Wright.
This 56-minute musical premiered at this year’s Coachella and is currently available on Amazon Prime Video. It starts with an animated intro to set the backdrop of this political love story between lovers, the island, and music.
This film brings me back to that pop culture moment when Glover released his music video for “This is America” in 2018, which was also performed during a factory scene. The vibrancy of the culture is not missed in this stylistic, colorful piece of independent magic. It reminds me of the beautiful stories and imagery that were seen in City of God (Meirelles and Lund, 2002) and West Side Story (Robbin and Wise, 1961)
Amanda is a film enthusiast that has dedicated their life to mental health awareness, CreateBeing.com. Amanda has a background in Film Studies and lives with their partner and their chinchilla, Chewbacca in Toronto, Canada.