Welcome to our fifteenth installment of Sunday Streaming Suggestions!
Writers Jack Martin, Ralph James, Sarah Smith, and Carter Ferryman have delivered another round of streaming suggestions for your lazy Sunday.
Twin Peaks - Netflix
When one decides on a new television series, they typically weigh this factor above all others: the ability to be swallowed whole by a reality apart from theirs. David Lynch’s golden brainchild, Twin Peaks, epitomizes the separation we desperately desire from the world we experience in 2021.
Set in a small town in Washington, Twin Peaks follows an FBI agent named Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) investigating the murder of Laura Palmer, the small town’s local prom queen. Cooper quickly became one of my favorite characters in television history with an astounding charm that will leave you falling further head over heels for him scene-by-scene.
The first two seasons came out consecutively in the early 1990s on cable television, which surprised me greatly because there are some rather visceral and inherently dark moments embedded throughout the 30 episodes. Once you fly through the first eight episodes in season one, the second season gets off to a relatively slow start but builds a momentum that I’ve yet to see replicated in investigative dramas. If you’re looking for a show that is much less a snack and more of a four-course meal of fine dining, then Twin Peaks is your calling card.
Euphoria - HBO Max
Teen angst is often a narrative for must-see television. No one does it as terrifyingly real as Sam Levinson. HBO’s newest lovechild follows Rue Bennett (Zendaya), an introverted 17-year-old weaving in and out of a vicious drug addiction as she navigates her waning years of high school. Euphoria is equal parts fever dream and cold realization — the web of characters that inhabit Rue’s Los Angeles suburb feel over-exaggerated, but vital and important to the landscape Levinson has meticulously created. Zendaya’s award-winning performance succeeds primarily in her narration — she feeds off Levinson’s hopelessly brilliant writing.
One could argue that, of all the shows in an era striving the art of the “stream,” Euphoria is the cinematographic granddaddy of them all. It feels as though A24 rounded up Hollywood’s best visual savants and molded them into one heaping super team — colors, camera angles/movement and the music (don’t get me started on the soundtrack) all mirror and imitate the stature and emotions of every teenager, accomplice and mentally disturbed parent.
The show’s pilot lures and finally locks the viewer into a rollercoaster watch — Euphoria is the darkest, most visually stunning coming-of-age tale in a long time.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) - Netflix
Movie time! This week, I bring you a cult classic worthy of abundant praise and endless rewatches. It’s fun, funny, and family-friendly, making it the perfect movie for a night in with your parents, your significant other, or your dogs (which is most often the situation I find myself in). Presenting the 2010 indie BANGER, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
I could list a number of reasons why Scott Pilgrim is a stand-out, but I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize the cast, which is possibly the best compilation of before-their-prime A-list actors in the history of cinema. Bear with me as I list a few: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Kieran Culkin (where my Succession boos at?) Brie Larson, and Anna Kendrick. And that’s just scratching the surface.
The film follows the adventures of Scott Pilgrim (Cera) as he attempts to win the heart of the world’s first e-girl, Ramona Flowers (Winstead). However, in order to make her his girlfriend, Scott must first defeat an army of her evil ex-boyfriends in hand-to-hand combat. The film is an adaptation of a graphic novel, and it stays true to its comic book roots by showcasing clever cinematography, unique editing, and old-timey sound effects that drop it somewhere between one of those classic kung-fu video games and an archetypical hero’s arc adventure. Scott Pilgrim has a little bit of everything, but most of all, it is perfectly executed, hilarious, and timeless. I can’t think of a single good reason not to like it.
Jackass (any of them) - Prime Video
My first purchase of 2021 was a seven-DVD collection of all the Jackass movies—a purchase that I will never regret. No film series better epitomizes the meaning of friendship more than Johnny Knoxville and co. participating in the wildest stunts and pranks to ever grace the silver screen.
I’ve given each of the Jackass entries and their .5 outtake compilations five stars on Letterboxd. Few films provide as much laughter and joy for me, which is why I embark on an annual binge of all of them.
They speak to my inner child. Whether it’s Bam Margera supergluing his hand to his father’s hairy stomach, or Dave England and Steve-O playing beehive tetherball, the possibilities for raucous fun are quite literally endless. How many other movies feature a dildo bazooka?
As I delve deeper into the mindset of an insufferable movie snob, it’s good to reset my palette with A-plus dick jokes and 30-something-year-old men hurting each other for their profession. You may have to spend $3 to watch them, but it’s well worth it.