Here comes the weekend again, so it's time to relax and peruse our what-to-watch list. Cheddar's Digital Team is offering up a much-delayed science-fiction epic, Issa Rae delivering authenticity with insecurity, a based-on-a-true-story national tragedy, and a comedy about showbiz family drama
Dune - HBO Max
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
Based on the classic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, Dune follows the operatic story of Paul Atreides, a chosen one figure played by Timothée Chalamet, who leads an uprising on a desert planet against his rivals, the Harkonnen family, and the galactic emperor. If you saw the unique 1984 David Lynch adaptation, you get the gist that there are giant sandworms, weird characters, and a healthy dose of mysticism. This much-anticipated Denis Villeneuve version was, like many films, repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic but will now be in theaters and streaming on HBO Max starting Thursday.
Insecure: Season 5 - HBO Max
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
My pick for this week is HBO's Insecure, starring Los Angeles native Issa Rae. If you've never seen the show, I envy you — there are four full seasons waiting for you. This Sunday, the fifth and final season (I know, the world might as well be ending at this point) will air. Over the last five years, we've grown to love Issa, Lawrence, Molly, and the rest of the crew purely off of relatability alone. We've watched the growing pains of the group as they balanced adulthood, career paths, the occasional stepping out on relationships, and even the near-end of a precious friendship. But it's those qualities that have the Insecure crowd completely riveted for the upcoming season. In Season 4, we watched twin flames Issa and Lawrence make their way back to each other after parting to test the waters, but will the two be able to overcome the wrench thrown their way in the form of an outside baby? I can tell you right now if they don't, I may never forgive the writers.
Dopesick - Hulu
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
The opioid epidemic that swept the United States from the '90s through today had its origin in the powerful narcotic Oxycontin, a brand peddled by Purdue Pharma, a company owned entirely by the Sackler family. Hulu's limited series Dopesick dramatizes the story behind the inception of the drug, the marketing and distribution deluge that followed, and the people who suffered the most from it. An all-star cast including Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, and Peter Sarsgaard play composites of real-life figures, but Michael Stuhlbarg plays the alleged architect of the epidemic, Richard Sackler. Four episodes of eight have dropped, and while at times the messaging about addiction can get heavy-handed in an afterschool special kind of way, it's well worth it to get a sense of how so many lives became tragically and irrevocably altered by a drug company hell-bent on sales.
The Other Two - HBO Max
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
Lately, I've been binging on The Other Two, a sitcom that premiered on Comedy Central in 2019, but just released the finale of Season 2 on HBO Max a few weeks ago. The light-hearted comedy, created by former Saturday Night Live head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly, tells the tale of a family in entertainment — although the two adult children, played by Heléne Yorke and Drew Tarver, are still struggling to get their big breaks as their teenage brother's career takes off. Another SNL alum, Molly Shannon, plays the momager, but is far less cringeworthy than many portrayals of parent-managers — this mom actually seems to love all of her kids (even the not-yet-famous ones). No matter the trouble this fam gets into in each 30-minute episode, it usually leaves you smiling in the end. And what's not to love about that?