It's right about that time. Everybody's favorite Sunday. You know, the one where everybody debates which white person is better than the other white person. Yep. It's the Oscars.
Now, we don't want to talk too much sh*t about the Academy right here because, to their credit, they have addressed the lack of diversity in the voting process and among those involved. Does it address the race issue in Hollywood?
No, but that's not to say that any element of progress when it comes to the Academy, however slight it may appear, should be overlooked.
Remember: Ben Affleck won an Oscar for screenwriting. Time heals most wounds.
Kidding. It doesn't. At any rate, the Oscars, being as white as they are this Sunday, will still be worth watching this weekend, but if you're not feelin' it or feel the need to boycott, we've got this handy list of TV shows and movies that are well worth the watch.
Of course, we could mention Fuller House... but we won't. Sure, watch it for the sake of nostalgia, but remember that it's going to be nightmarish. We don't know, though. Maybe it'll be good. Our hopes are appropriately low.
Sports, movies, HBO, Netflix, whatever. It's what we're watching this weekend.
1. Oscar Sunday
Yeah, we're going to watch it. Two words: Chris. Rock. He sent out a fairly cryptic tweet this morning saying, "See you Sunday... #BlackOut #Oscars."
So... who knows? But isn't that must-watch television? If he does show up, we're fairly confident that he's not going to stoop to kitschy gimmicks, and he's unlikely to pull punches. If he doesn't, who knows?! There's a mystery. We can dig it.
On the other hand, let's talk about how we're still bummed about the nominations. We're getting tired of Jennifer Lawrence, and the Leo Oscar watch is depressing. He's not. Going. To. Win.
Who knows, though? He might. Whatever. The Oscars are what they are, and the Academy is who we thought they were. Watch it, don't watch it, it'll be three hours either worth your while or hours you can't get back. Who knows what to expect?
2. Beasts of No Nation
We're not going to dig too deep into the trenches of Oscar snubbery because let's face it: the Academy doesn't have to acknowledge independent releases on streaming networks like Netflix.
Which, why should they? The price of one movie ticket is more than a month's subscription to Netflix. Netflix and Hollywood would seem at odds with one another, right?
But Beasts of No Nation is certainly worth checking out. The cinematography is dope. The story is well-told. There's really nothing about this movie we're displeased with.
Sure, it's not the most uplifting subject matter (child soldiers in Africa), but Idris Elba is absolutely incredible in this and he definitely deserves more attention in general. #StringerBellForLife
This movie was awesome, but it's not exactly a snub because it wasn't a profoundly impactful cinematic moment. didn't have that lasting effect once the credits rolled, but it's worth more than just one watch.
Shameik Moore (coming to Netflix's The Getdown) plays Malcolm, a black, high-school senior geek trying to balance academic ambitions (applying to Harvard) with his own environment (Inglewood, CA).
There are drugs, danger, rock 'n' roll, bitcoin, hip-hop, brief stints by A$AP Rocky and Rick Fox, and, you know, it's just, dope.
The music is great, the premise is great, the last monologue about race, environment vs. academic standing and "realistic" goals and opportunities is timely and impactful. It's a solid movie, and it's on Netflix. Check it out this weekend.
It's hard to talk about Oscar snubs and not talk about the many black actors and productions that were overlooked, but we should also look at what was a very near-perfect movie that was perfectly cast, Spotlight.
As with most Oscar movies, this was not one of uplifting storytelling save for vindication. It's the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the huge child molestation scandal and cover-up within the Catholic church. It's some heavy, heavy sh*t.
Michael Keaton. Mark Ruffalo. Rachel McAdams. Liev Shrieber. John Slattery. Stanley Tucci. Billy Crudup. The cast is loaded.
It got six nominations, none of whom were Michael Keaton (who, to be clear, was understatedly phenomenal) or Liev Shrieber (who was exponentially more compelling than Ruffalo). Not to put an "All Lives Matter" twist on #OscarsSoWhite, but like, it's always just been #OscarsAlwaysWrong.
Okay, so if you haven't caught up on this show, you need to. We know. The first 2-hour premiere was a bit much, and it was a bit heavy-handed with the Scorseseness of it. But he's done for now. He's not directing another episode you'll see all season.
The show is better for it. Episode two was Bobby Cannevale going crazy. The first 20 minutes of that episode are absolutely hilarious, but there is a slight red flag in all of it. Is he going to be coked up and crazy the whole series, or is he going to reel it in somehow?
Ray Romano is refreshing. Juno Temple is is wonderful. The backstory with Olivia Wilde is great. There are bits and pieces of this show that are just really, really great, but viewing it as a whole, unified idea is still murky.
Last week's success though, was reason enough to keep at it, so that's what we'll do.
This one snuck under the radar last year. The Duplass brothers, along with Steve Zsiss created a really nice HBO show that wasn't much, but it was nothing bad. In a cluttered climate of cable miscues, this is almost as good as finding the next big thing.
Two things about this second season: It's really great when Mark Duplass isn't annoying. You might know him from FX's dead-and-buried comedy, The League, but he's really great in The One I Love (Netflix), Your Sister's Sister, and, most notably, Safety Not Guaranteed. He's great in Togetherness.
Amanda f*cking Peet. One of us has had a crush on Amanda Peet for a while. It was somewhere between her role as the hard*ss withholder from Saving Silverman and the middle of Aaron Sorkin's lone season of Studio 60.
We won't dip into the melodramatic pontifications of, "It's late in the game, but she's really found herself as an actress..." but we're not going to shoot them down. We'll just nod our heads in agreement while secretly thinking, "STFU. PLEASE. STFU," because she's really, truly great so far.
If there's any way to soften the blow of a bad first episode/impression, Netflix is the way to do it.
When you release all of the episodes simultaneously, forgiving missteps is really easy to do because you immediately go to the next episode. In fact, binge watching almost rewards bad TV like that.
Love, recently released on Netflix, isn't bad TV, though. A series produced and created by Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin, the first episode is straight up not good. It gets better though.
Gillian Jacobs (Community, Girls) is fabulous. Paul Rust is great. As a whole, the show is just good, but it's nothing we haven't seen: Judd Apatow mouthpiece for commitment, intimacy, and other relationship issues.
8. Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Saturday, February 27th 8:30 p.m.)
THEY'RE TALKIN' SPORTS? Yep.
Not all the time. We're in the midst of history, though, and you've got to show respect where it's do. The Warriors are a long-shot to tie or break the '96 Bulls single-season win total with a record of 72-10. The Warriors are currently 52-5 with only 27 games left in the season.
This is one of the games they could lose. OKC is one of two teams that could take Golden State in a best of 7, and while it's not history in the making per se (this game won't make or break GS's record), it's one of the best games on tap this weekend.
The best part? Living on the East Coast and trying to catch West Coast games typically sucks. It's hard to start a game at 10 p.m. every night. This game? A cool hour-and-a-half earlier. Skoooooo![Feature Image Courtesy Oscar.go.com]