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The Weekend Watchlist

Ian Waldie

Queer Eye (Season 2)

Yes it’s been an entire four months since Queer Eye premiered but season 2 is now already available to stream on Netflix. And, let’s be real, this is really just part 2 of season 1; Netflix had 16 episodes in the bottle and they decided to split them in half to see if we would like the reboot enough for more episodes? I guess? I don’t know, I’m not on the marketing team. Anyway, this batch of episodes is even more uplifting (and better edited) than the previous eight. The guys help out their first woman and trans man, and we get an even better look at their individual personalities, believe it or not. Yes, you may roll your eyes from time to time at their tendency to resort to platitudes and be so earnest when addressing their heroes that it almost seems rude, but at the end of the day, these queers are doing great work, and most of what they say is really true! Self-care is important, especially for those of us who feel like a sentient sack of potatoes most of the time. Probably the best thing going for this show is how real the relationships feel between the Fab Five. Yes, the hero’s makeover is always powerful and enlightening, but if these five queer men didn’t click, the show would not work. It’s perfect, bingeable TV to beat the summer heat. More episodes, please, Netflix! Get the Fab Five OFF Instagram and back to filming!

Available to stream on Netflix

Matt Linton

Luke Cage (Season 2)

Despite some problems I had with the politics of the first season (detailed here) and the fact that it had a far stronger first half of the season than second half, I'm genuinely excited that Season 2 premieres this weekend. Mike Colter embodies the modern comics take on the character, and I'm looking forward to what looks like an increased role for Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Alfre Woodard's Mariah Dillard, both standouts from last season. The sophomore efforts from the Marvel Netflix series hasn't been great so far (neither Daredevil or Jessica Jones quite lived up to their stellar first seasons) so hopefully Luke Cage can reverse that trend.

Available to stream on Netflix

Mr. Robot (Seasons 1 & 2)

So, I straight-up slept on this show. Thanks to good buzz it came on my radar a couple of years ago, but despite going into my mental "to watch" pile, I didn't get around to it until a few weeks ago. Holy crap is it great. Along with an incredible lead performance by Rami Maleck, and a return to form for Christian Slater, the show has a strong supporting cast, inventive direction and writing, and a relentlessly unsettling tone maintained throughout the first two seasons (and the myriad twists and turns contained within). If you, like me, enjoyed the first season of Legion on FX (I haven't gotten to the second season yet) you'll enjoy this, as well.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime

Doctor Who (Series 10)

I still think of myself as a relative newcomer to Doctor Who fandom, not watching the series until well into David Tennant's run as the 10th Doctor (though I went back and started with Christopher Eccleston's 11th). I quickly got sucked in, and for awhile it was one of a few shows I actively kept up with as it aired. Somewhere toward's the beginning of Series 9 (the second with the 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi) I started to get burnt out - or, really, the writing wasn't really working for me and Capaldi's performance as the Doctor, while consistently great, was inconsistently defined by long-time showrunner Stephen Moffat. I finally got around to finishing up the series a few months ago. This week I'm finally getting to the most recent series, and it's a marked improvement in every way. New companions Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) play great off of Capaldi's below-the-surface mischievousness and darkness, and the plotting is welcomingly straightforward this time around. The show won't blow your socks off, and it's not reinventing the wheel, but at its best it's TV as comfort food (for me) and in the middle of a stressful summer it's nice to have the return to form.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime

Shelby Cadwell

Nailed It! (Season 1)

Nailed It! is the first reality TV show (other than the glorious Chopped) that I have willingly watched since Hell's Kitchen premiered when I was in high school - so like, a million years ago. The show just looked too fun to pass up, and I'm glad I took a chance on it. Nicole Byers is hilarious and I love her chemistry with Chef Jacques Torres. The guest judges have been awesome, too. Of course the main reason to watch the show is for the hilarious baking fails (the last episode features a *certain* politician sculpted from cake and one of the results is particularly....memorable), but the thing I really love about Nailed It! is how totally unrehearsed and off-the-wall the whole thing feels. Contestants (and the judges, for that matter) seem to have no idea what is going on about half the time, which makes the whole thing feel so much less *constructed* than most reality TV.

Available to stream on Netflix

Atlanta (Season 1)

I don't know what I can say about this show that hasn't already been said by much smarter people than myself. If you haven't watched it yet, watch it. It is surreal and beautiful and uncomfortable. Donald and Stephen Glover's writing, Hiro Murai's directing, acting across the board (especially Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz) all coalesce into a show that is as poignant and pressing as the other "prestige television shows" that get way more attention.

Available to stream on Hulu Plus

Opening in theaters this week (click on the posters for more information)...

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