Farewell to 2021! If you're staying home to celebrate the switchover to 2022, Cheddar's Digital Team recommends some dark humor, bright hopes, throwback thrillers, and a veritable icon of the romantic comedy genre — and no, it's not 'New Year's Eve,' which would be a bit on the nose. Happy New Year!
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
Don't Look Up - Netflix
This dark, absurd satire about scientists (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) trying to convince politicians, television personalities, and the global population that a planet-killing comet is about to strike the Earth had some critics poo-pooing the Adam McKay (Step Brothers, The Big Short) comedy as a too-pessimistic allegory regarding climate change. They charged that it's relatively unfunny and insulting to certain political ideologies. But, since the "doomsday glacier" is potentially going to raise sea levels by 10 feet within the next five years, to me, this mixed bag of a film seems understated and still worth a watch.
Station Eleven - HBO Max
But what if the world does end — but we don't end with it? Station Eleven, a limited series based on the bestselling novel by Emily St. John Mandel, imagines a post-apocalyptic future of people rebuilding after the old world comes crashing down. Unfortunately, originally written in 2014, the story imagines civilization grinding to a halt due to a massive flu pandemic, which might not be everyone's cup of tea as 2021 winds down. However, it's reassuring that while there is darkness in the subject matter, the series looks to uplift and provide hope that humanity doesn't JUST survive but is somehow worthy of survival.
Dexter: New Blood - Showtime
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
WARNING: If you have not watched the original series, this could be a spoiler. Eight years after Showtime put a bow on its hit show, Dexter, showrunners have returned with a continuation series Dexter: New Blood. It's the same premise just with a twist. First off: Dexter Morgan? He's dead. Sort of. The blood-spatter expert for Miami metro's police department, who doubled as a serial killer of known criminals, had to cut ties with the Sunshine State after his part-time killing spree was nearly exposed. After faking his death, he relocated to rural New York where his "dark passenger" took a backseat for more than a decade. But as the saying goes, the past has a way of creeping up on you. Dexter thought he left it all in Miami, including a son who ends up tracking him down. And if you can remember how his mother died and Dexter's own traumatic experience of witnessing her death, then you can paint a picture of where this series is headed. #SinsOfTheFather
Copshop - Amazon Prime Video (Rent or Purchase)
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
Copshop, which hit theaters without much fanfare earlier this year, feels like it was teleported from the early 2000s, and I mean that in the best way possible. The film takes place in a remote police station in the Southwest United States, where a man (Frank Grillo) has gotten himself arrested for protection from an assassin who is hot on his tail. Unfortunately for him, the assassin (Gerard Butler) gets himself arrested as well, and naturally chaos ensues on the cell block. Caught between it all is a rookie cop (Alexis Louder), who is just trying to survive the night. The balance of comedy and action is reminiscent of the best Tarantino knockoffs, and the single-location mayhem feels like an homage to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. If you're a fan of the action films of yesteryear, Copshop is as unreconstructed as it gets.
When Harry Met Sally… - Showtime
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
New Year's Eve makes its debut at the very end of this 1989 classic romantic comedy about two strangers and their not-so-fast friendship. Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) take a post-collegiate road trip together as they both prepare to start their new lives in New York City. Over the next dozen years, as the grads explore love and life in the big city (bringing us this famous NSFW clip), they find out that the Big Apple can feel really small as they run into each other time and time again. If you haven't seen it, or it's been a while, it's a hopeful way to kick off 2022 (whether you're single or not).