Among the millions trapped in a heat wave? Check out these streaming shows and movies to watch in an air-conditioned room, including "Rap Sh!t" from Issa Rae, "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," "Persuasion," "Extraordinary Attorney Woo," and our throwback this week, "Mean Girls."
Rap Sh!t - HBO Max
Picked by Producer Lawrence Banton
It's been just over six months since the end of Issa Rae's and HBO's hit comedy series Insecure. Since then, fans of the Los Angeles-based show have patiently waited for the next project. Rap Sh!t has finally arrived and will premiere on HBO Max on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. The show, based in Miami, will follow two high school friends who reunite years later to form a rap group. It's loosely based on the story of Miami-Dade county's very own rap duo City Girls who are also serving as executive producers. With Rae at the helm, I'm expecting non-stop laughing throughout the eight-episode series.
Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel: July 2022 - HBO Max
Picked by Producer Jack Gallop
There’s a reason Real Sports has been on the air for over two decades: it never fails to deliver world-class storytelling through intriguing investigative journalism. Real Sports is a monthly, hour-long show containing four 60 Minutes-style segments. I would describe it as the polar opposite of the more common sports journalism format that entails talking heads arguing about whether Jordan or LeBron is the GOAT. In Real Sports’ July 2022 edition, the audience gets an in-depth look at the culture of sumo wrestling in Japan, how the World Series of Birding works, and the human element of the people inside professional mascot suits. It’s always a joy to dive into worlds you could never otherwise get a chance to see, and Real Sports lets you do that while leaving you with more knowledge than you had before you clicked play.
Persuasion - Netflix
Picked by Sr. News Editor Dina Ross
Persuasion was all over my Netflix recommendations this week, so I decided to bite and see what all the fuss was about. This film is for those who need to fill the gap before Bridgerton Season 3 comes out. It's a modern — but not too modern — adaptation of the classic Jane Austen story of love and loss. I enjoyed Dakota Johnson in the lead role as Anne Elliot, a headstrong young woman unexpectedly reacquainted with the long-lost love of her life. For Austen fans who tend to prefer her books over the screen adaptations, I'm not sure this will thrill you. But for those who enjoy the classics in a more accessible way, it might be worth a watch.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo - Netflix
Picked by Digital Editor Mike Nam
Another show surging in popularity in South Korea is making a splash on Netflix here. However, in a complete about-face from Squid Game's intensity and violence, Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a heartfelt series that follows a new lawyer named Woo Young Woo, who also happens to be on the autism spectrum, as she joins a big-time law firm. Her colleagues, despite a rough introduction, are largely supportive and her mastery of the law allows her to shine. Considering the subject matter, the show has sparked some debate with some critics who contend it to be too fantastical and narrow in its storytelling by featuring a high-functioning character. But a number of activists and critics — including Florida's first "openly autistic" lawyer — have also expressed that the positive portrayal of Woo and her kind co-workers and friends are important steps in pop culture. In any case, it seems like a sweet courtroom procedural so far, and I'll continue watching to see where Woo's journey leads.
Mean Girls - Netflix
Picked by Growth Associate Keara O’Driscoll
If you are in the mood to watch something grool this weekend (I meant to say cool and started to say great), Mean Girls is the fetchest flick on Netflix. (I know. I cringed at myself typing that sentence too.) The film has been on the Top 10 list after landing on Netflix this month. Lindsay Lohan stars in this cult classic, among future A-listers, including Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried. The film also features a stacked lineup of SNL alumni, including Tina Fey (who also wrote the screenplay), Amy Poehler, Tim Meadows, and Ana Gasteyer, and was produced by the king of SNL, Lorne Michaels. The film depicts a typical high school experience. Remember when you were homeschooled in Africa by two scientists and then moved to the suburbs of Illinois only to become the most loved and hated person in your high school? Yeah, me too!