Here comes the weekend again, so it's time to relax and peruse our what-to-watch list. Cheddar's Digital Team recommends stories about Detroit's notorious Black Mafia Family, horror on an isolated island, a deadly South Korean game, and catching up with the Roy family on HBO Max.
BMF - Starz
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
Starz is living up to its promise to continue serving African American and female audiences with the premiere of its newest series BMF. It’s the story of the notorious Black Mafia Family, originally out of Detroit, and their ascent to the top of the illicit drug trade. The story begins with the head of the BMF, Demetrius Flenory, aka Big Meech, and how he came to power. If you’ve enjoyed previous productions from executive producer 50 Cent, including the Powerverse, you’ll likely enjoy this action-packed drama as well. The show just got underway and streams Sunday morning at midnight for those with the Starz app or airs Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on the cable network.
Midnight Mass - Netflix
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
Horror director Mike Flanagan is a Netflix stalwart. Two of his films, the dark thrillers Hush and Gerald's Game, as well as his popular miniseries The Haunting of Hill House, have all premiered on the streaming platform. So it's no surprise that his latest series Midnight Mass is haunting the "Top 10" category on Netflix as we enter the spooky season. The seven-part series takes place in a dying fishing community that begins to experience bizarre events after the arrival of a new priest at the town's old church. While Flanagan has directly adapted Stephen King's work in the past (Gerald's Game and the underrated Doctor Sleep) this original story is arguably his most soulful homage to the legendary horror author. At the same time, Flanagan has become more and more assured in his vision, combining melodrama and humor with a pervasive atmosphere of mysticism and dread. Start October right this weekend with a Midnight Mass.
Squid Game - Netflix
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
It's the horror-thriller drama from South Korea fast becoming the most-watched Netflix show ever. Squid Game is a mixture of a lot of elements that have come out of East Asia over the years, drawing from works like Battle Royale, Oldboy, and Parasite. The show follows some down-on-their-luck people heavily in debt (a top-of-mind issue in South Korea) being given an opportunity to win a huge cash prize — albeit, by playing deadly variations of children's games. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk spins an addictive nine-episode arc about personal morality, class warfare, and nostalgia with a haunting score, striking visuals, and an emotional core that left one reviewer weeping. But, be warned. There's quite a lot of brutal onscreen violence and gore, so the squeamish may want to skip this one.
Succession: Seasons 1& 2 - HBO Max
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
Right now I'm brushing up on the Roy family, the fictional-ish media moguls who are about to come back for more brutal backstabbing in Season 3 which premieres on October 17. The first two seasons follow Logan Roy, the elderly patriarch of a media and entertainment conglomerate, as he struggles with handing over the keys to the kingdom. Ostensibly, the company will go to one of his adult children, but a whole cast of characters — dressed in designer duds, dining on the finest cuisine in the world's most fabulous locales — consistently forces those plans to change. It sounds like it could be a description for a pretty good, long-running sitcom, but it's much more cringeworthy than laugh-worthy. These characters are at times heartless, soulless, and out to pick each other off. But you're compelled to keep watching to find out who will succeed. I've got to finish Season 2 soon, so I'll be ready for the conniving to continue mid-month.