Welcome to our tenth installment of Sunday Streaming Suggestions!
Writers Ralph James, Evan Linden, Jack Martin, and Carter Ferryman have delivered another round of classics to stream on your lazy Sunday:
Uncut Gems (2019) - Netflix
As December approaches, it only felt fitting to recommend a film that will remain a Christmas Day staple for the remainder of my life: Uncut Gems. It may be centered around Jewish characters and have an incredibly tense Passover dinner scene, but I saw it on Christmas Day, and that matches my own personal criteria.
Josh and Benny Safdie’s masterpiece follows Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a jeweler in New York City’s Diamond District who can’t stop gambling; even with his life. In debt to his brother-in-law Arno (Eric Bogosian), Howie Bling is constantly harassed by Arno’s hired “debt collectors.” When Howard receives a valuable opal from an Ethiopian mine, he believes that he’s scored big, able to pay off his debt and support his high-wire lifestyle.
Howard, however, just can’t seem to win because he never makes the right decision. With NBA legend Kevin Garnett also in pursuit of the opal, the film turns into an extremely tense, anxiety-inducing thrill ride across Howard’s misbehavior and chaotic life.
With a supporting cast of Julia Fox, LaKeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel and a cameo appearance by The Weeknd, Uncut Gems has everything you could ever want in a movie (if you’re me). I love the anxiety it gives me, I love Sandler’s performance (which should’ve received an Oscar), and it’s the greatest NBA movie ever made. The Safdies are the most exciting directors in film right now and I will be personally offended if you don’t give my favorite film of all-time a chance.
The Night Of - HBO Max
BBC Network’s Criminal Justice premiered in 2008 to positive reception, as it depicted the process of trial and incarceration brilliantly for audience members at home. Eight years later, Richard Price and Steve Zaillian had an idea — one that would draw inspiration from Criminal Justice but take place in the cold, heartless epicenter of New York City.
Riz Ahmed and John Turturro prove in droves why they are two of Hollywood’s slept-on screen wizards. They’re magical for all eight hours of miniseries television — playing the attorney/defendant role with an undeniable chemistry.
The pilot episode of this one-season story is electric — the show creators let the opening crime play out for nearly 70 minutes. It’s like the prologue to the greatest Law & Order episode you’ve ever seen. They set a vivid, disturbing stage that burrows into the mind of a college student whose strict family values and longing for a fun college experience split him in two.
The Night Of is premium television at its zenith. It’s a film that plays out in eight equidistant parts. It’s a harrowing reminder of cultural and political implications within the justice system. It’s a must-watch.
Industry - HBO Max
At first glance, the life of a finance, economics or business major can be seen as two different things: suicidally boring or astoundingly exquisite. Industry demonstrates that it is neither of those things. On the contrary, Industry paints a portrait where there are neon-numbers accompanied by up-or-down arrows, luxurious benefits and incalculable numbers attached to dollar signs, but underneath the current of hierarchical superiority lies a toxic environment that is as damning as it is intimidating and insufferable.
Industry refuses to suck the business industry’s throbbing hard-on and refutes the glorious fascination of investment trading that the first two hours of The Wolf of Wall Street ingrained in the public mindset. It puts on a full display of the great, the awful and the horrifying idiosyncrasies associated with chasing corporate power in the 21st century.
Industry is daring. Industry is challenging. Industry is exactly what television needs at this exact moment in time.
You can watch the first season of Industry on HBO MAX.
Dexter - Netflix
Looking for an addictive show that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat every episode? Dexter might be the one for you.
The Showtime crime drama is centered around Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD who’s harboring a dark secret. After an upbringing riddled with trauma, Dexter evolves into a seasoned sociopath and becomes a vigilante serial killer when he’s off the clock. Aside from his deceased foster father Harry (James Remar in flashback scenes), a legendary officer with the Miami PD, no one knows Dexter’s dark side—not even his clingy, invasive coworker and foster sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), or his complicated love interest Rita Bennett (Julie Benz). Dexter’s firsthand experience with murder gives him an advantage as a forensic specialist, but not without drawing suspicion at times.
As Dexter began airing in 2006, the early seasons can be corny, but the intensity is still there. No matter what your feelings are about the police, there is something indescribably insane about watching someone within the police force secretly slaughter people off-duty and continue to finesse their way through the system. Dexter is essentially just a darker version of Criminal Minds with better writing; you get that traditional, investigative “cop show” angle of the crime drama genre, mixed in with the boldness and complexity of a rule-breaking heavy hitter like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad.