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The Weekend Watchlist

Ian Waldie

Bachelor in Paradise (Season 5)

Look, I know this is trash. The Bachelor series is a giant enterprise that often exploits and/or gives a platform to awful human beings about three times a year. Most of the storylines are fake, but the romances that do work out are forever re-visited and shoved down our throats as if to say, “SEE THIS IS ALL VERY PURE AND WHOLESOME TELEVISION!” It’s maddening, but it is very hard not to give credit to the franchise’s summer iteration, Bachelor In Paradise. Most of the contestants know they are in on a joke, everyone is hooking up and/or serial dating, and the opening credits are admittedly hilarious. This season is not the best as the series is starting to become tainted by off-season dating and storylines stretching across multiple Bachelor properties, but it IS still great, bingeable, funny drama to end your summer watching. The Colton and Tia storyline starts out on an extremely relatable and heartbreaking note (until you realize Colton is a fame-whore), and the other couples just seem to lie to each other in order to gain more screen-time. Every rose ceremony is borderline genius television as we watch contestants desperately try to make connections in order to stay on the show for a couple more days. It’s fun and ridiculous and in my opinion, we all deserve it!

Available to stream on Hulu.

Insecure (Season 3)

Insecure is back with more intention and confidence than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Issa/Lawrence will-they-or-won’t-they storyline over the past two seasons but now that Lawrence is completely out of the picture, is it outrageous to say that I don’t really miss him? This season Issa and Molly are at their funniest and most unapologetic, and their friendship has always been the real beating heart of the show. Season 3 is also proving worthwhile thanks to Y’lan Noel’s Daniel, Issa’s old friend-with-benefits who is really getting a chance to shine. As always, another draw of this season is the absolutely undeniable soundtrack, offering up some of the freshest artists in hip hop and R&B that mesh perfectly with the show’s energetic and emotional vibe. I leave every episode feeling rejuvenated by the zingy dialogue, soothing aesthetic and emotionally driven storylines. Insecure is definitely back, and I could not be happier about it.

Available to stream on HBO Now & HBO Go.

Shelby Cadwell

I’ll fully admit that most of my Burt Reynolds knowledge comes from seeing him make guest appearances in sitcoms and doing voices on animated shows like Archer and Robot Chicken, but I hope to rectify that situation this weekend by catching up on a few of his classic films that I’ve missed. RIP.

My Name is Earl (2005-2009) - In addition to being a truly awesome and hilarious show, My Name is Earl features Burt Reynolds as a recurring side character named Richard Chubby, the owner of a strip club called Club Chubby (among many other local businesses). Norm Macdonald appears in his full “SNL Celebrity Jeopardy” glory as Chubby’s son, “Little Chubby.” Reynolds manages to make Chubby both charmingly hilarious and terrifyingly unhinged at the same time. For Chubby-centric episodes, see Season 2’s “Jump for Joy” and “Two Balls, Two Strikes”.

Available to stream on Hulu.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - I feel like I’ve seen enough references and homages to Smokey and the Bandit (including some extensive references in the previously mentioned My Name is Earl) that I basically already know the story, but I couldn’t list Burt Reynolds classics without mentioning this film. I know there’s a pretty rad Trans Am and lots of car chases, so sounds like the sort of thing I’d sit and watch on a Saturday afternoon.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

The Longest Yard (1974) - Okay, so I’ll fully admit I’m not a huge fan of football movies (although I’ll also admit that I far prefer football movies to watching real football). But I do generally like prison movies, and scrappy underdog movies, so I feel like The Longest Yard will still appeal to me. Also, mid-70's Burt Reynolds with his shirt off, so that’s a pretty solid selling point too.

Available to stream on Hulu.

The Last Movie Star (2018) - In what has ended up being one of Reynolds’s very last screen credits, The Last Movie Star was written by Adam Rifkin with Burt Reynolds in mind for the starring role. The film tells the story of an old movie star with a waning career who is talked into attending an “awards ceremony” that turns out to be a small-time gathering of fans. Given the introspective and self-referential nature of the story, I feel like watching this will be a good way to honor Burt’s memory.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Matt Linton

About a month ago I signed up for a free week of Starz on Amazon Prime. I fully intended to cancel the trial before getting charged (poor grad student) but forgot, so now I feel like I should at least get my money's worth. Surprisingly, there's a lot of good stuff on there, so consider this my advertisement.

Do the Right Thing (1989)

I loved BlacKkKlansman (it's currently my pick for best movie of the year) and I've somehow never seen what's generally regarded as Spike Lee's masterpiece. The movie features an impressive cast (including Danny Aiello, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Rosie Perez) and centers on rising racial tensions in a New York neighborhood in the middle of a heatwave.

Available to stream on Starz.

Gotcha! (1985)

Oh my god, Gotcha! is on Starz. There are a handful of films that I associate with my cable TV-addicted childhood. The Last Dragon, BMX Bandits, and Gotcha! are at the top of the list. The first of those has become one of my favorite movies, the second...does not hold up, and the Gotcha! I'm pretty sure I haven't watched it since I was 12 years old (so, a long time ago). The movie stars a young Anthony Edwards (Top Gun, ER) with a glorious head of hair as a college student obsessed with playing paintball on his college campus (with very realistic looking pistols - simpler times). He ends up getting caught up with a beautiful Russian spy (played by Linda Fiorentino) on the run from bad guys. I'm pretty sure there's a theme song that starts "Gotcha! Gotcha where I want you..." unless I made that up myself. I am absolutely going to watch Gotcha! this weekend.

Available to stream on Starz.

Foxy Brown (1974)

Okay, so they also have Grease 2 and Some Kind of Wonderful, but I can't do that deep a dive into my childhood all at once. Instead I'll try to fill in one of my film gaps with Pam Grier's blaxploitation classic. Despite Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown being a favorite, I've never seen Grier kicking ass at the peak of her fame. This film should round out the weekend pretty nicely.

Available to stream on Starz.

Opening in theaters this week...

[Click the posters for more information]

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