ScreenCrush Staff Picks for What to Watch the Weekend of May 26
If you can’t decide what to watch this weekend, ScreenCrush’s Staff Picks are here to help. They’re like the recommendations at an old video store, except you don’t have to put on pants or go outside to get them. Here are four things to watch this weekend:
For as long as art has existed, men have used women as their inspiration. But what if a man was a woman’s creative muse for once? Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins’ Amazon series I Love Dick subverts that trope and explores just what’s so taboo about female desire. Adapted from the fictional memoir of the same name, I Love Dick stars Kathryn Hahn as Chris, a New York filmmaker who becomes infatuated with Dick (Kevin Bacon), a famed artist/cowboy/mystery man. Chris begins writing kinky love letters to Dick, an expression of her sexuality that both fuels and complicates her marriage.
All but one of the episodes are directed by women, including Soloway, Andrea Arnold, and Kimberly Peirce. Beyond being a quick binge (it’s only eight 30-minute episodes), I Love Dick is a must-see for Hahn. An actress long unappreciated in small roles, Hahn finally gets the lead she deserves, and she fully commands every moment she has onscreen.
I Love Dick is available on Amazon.
Michelle Dean’s article for Buzzfeed about the murder case of Dee Dee Blancharde, possibly by her daughter Gypsy Rose, ranks as one of the wildest true-crime stories I have ever read. Now it’s got it’s own shocking documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest from director Erin Lee Carr. If you read the story, the archival footage and interviews alone makes this a worthwhile 90 minutes. If you haven’t read the original article, wait until after you watch the film; you’ll almost certainly be even more drawn in if you don’t know what’s coming. Documentaries are only as good as their subject and their access. Mommy Dead and Dearest has one of the most jaw-dropping subjects I’ve ever encountered, and it has great access to many of the case’s survivors, including Gypsy Rose, who finally gets to tell her own side of this unbelievable tale.
I gave the latest film from director Antonio Campos an honorable mention on my top 10 last year, but it’s worth far more than a footnote. Rebecca Hall delivers a remarkable performance in the title role of Christine, a visceral portrait of a lonely reporter struggling with the senselessness of depression. You don’t need to be familiar with the devastating true story of Christine Chubbuck to appreciate the film, which regards its subject with startling empathy. Campos and Hall aren’t just recreating an overlooked moment in history; they’re mounting an inquiry into one woman’s emotional inner-life, and although so much of that life remains punctuated with question marks, Christine tries and often succeeds in understanding her as best — or as much — as it possibly can.
Christine is available on Netflix.
If there’s one notable casualty from the 2017 TV Upfront season, it’s time-travel shows. And yet, Syfy’s 12 Monkeys endures not only a third season (streamed this past weekend in its entirety), but a fourth and final chapter is due in 2018. Syfy goes well beyond the 1995 adaptation of Chris Marker’s 1962 La Jetée to incorporate an expansive, emotional drama that has as much fun referencing time-travel pop culture as it does expanding its own centuries-long mythology. You’ll never have as much fun screwing with causality or re-thinking stories you’ve already witnessed, especially with hilariously offbeat regulars like Emily Hampshire’s Jennifer Goines (wonderfully supplanting Brad Pitt’s Jeffrey). Best of all, the third season moves forward with such breakneck pace that Syfy premiered all of it in one weekend; the perfect complement to two full seasons already on Hulu.