The stereotype of a fairy tale princess is as follows: a damsel in distress (who may or not be unconscious) waits for a man to rescue her and save the day.
The new Hulu movie, The Princess, takes this stereotype and smashes it into pieces. When we first meet the title character, simply known as The Princess (Joey King), she is laying on a bed and wearing a beautiful white wedding dress. Opening her eyes and sitting up, her hands and legs are chained together. After refusing to marry King Julius (Dominic Cooper), she must fight against an army to save her family and her kingdom. Aided by Linh (Veronica Ngo), they join forces to stop Julius before he takes what is not his by any means possible.
The Princess is easily one of my favorite films of the year. This is my kind of princess. She is a badass, she is intelligent, and is not afraid to fight for what is important to her. It is a glorious, bloody, and gory 90-minute tale of a young woman who is not waiting to be rescued. We need more stories like this.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I find cleaning my home to be a chore that I would do without if I could. But it has to be done, so I just suck it up and get it done.
Dirty Rotten Cleaners premiered on A&E last year. This reality show follows two different cleaning companies in Florida as they clean the properties of their customers. Their task is more much than the standard clean. Many of these houses are filthy, filled to the brim with junk, and covered in mold.
What I like is that unlike other programs within the reality television genre, the truth about this job is not glossed over. It is genuinely gross and dangerous. Similar to its’ sister show, Hoarders, the clients are not used for a laugh or pushed into a stereotype. They are merely the patrons who need their properties cleaned.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Dirty Rotten Cleaners is available for streaming on Hulu.
The new Hulu movie, Fire Island, is a modern LGBTQ-centric adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen novel. Noah (Joel Kim Booster, who also served as the screenwriter and executive producer) and Howie (Bowen Yang) are part of a group of five queer friends who spend a week every summer on Fire Island. They stay with Erin (Margaret Cho), who is their unofficial “mother”.
While on the island, Howie has an immediate connection with Charlie (James Scully), a handsome doctor. Noah, on the other hand, gets off on the wrong foot with Charlie’s lawyer friend Will (Conrad Ricamora). Over the course of the week, there is miscommunication, possible romance, and unspoken feelings that will force these men to speak their truths and find the courage to open their hearts to love.
I love this movie. It is funny, charming, entertaining, and adorable while being true to Austen’s original text. It proves that love is love and underneath it all, we are all human beings. These days, representation counts more than ever. This film is a lovely romance, a delight to watch, and the perfect thing to watch during pride month.
When we are told of fairy tales, of Princes and Princesses, of Kings and Queens, most of the narratives end in the same way. The reality of this world is not as black and white and far more complicated.
The 2017 Hulu miniseries, The White Princess (based on the Phillipa Gregorybook of the same name), is the story of the marriage of Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy). It starts off as a marriage of convenience, to end a decades-long civil war. The obstacles are many: Henry’s controlling mother, Magaret Beaufort (Michelle Fairley), Elizabeth’s love for another, and the belief that a missing York heir could unseat Henry from the throne.
If this union cannot bring England together, it could mean another generation who will know nothing but bloodshed and death. When a young man appears, claiming to be Elizabeth’s brother and the rightful heir, the fate of the nation rests on the shoulders of the young Queen. Does she follow her heart and the husband whom she has fallen in love with? Or does she choose her family over Henry?
This series is so good. The acting is superb, the drama is nailbiting and the power behind the throne is the women. What they lack in rights and a voice, they make up in intelligence, fortitude, and a backbone is nothing short of badass.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The White Princess is avaliable for streaming on Hulu.
There is no more infamous 1990’s couple than model/actress Pamela Anderson and her musician ex-husband Tommy Lee. The release of their sex tape in 1995 was both a novel event and a harbinger of the upcoming change when it came to Hollywood and celebrities.
The new eight-part Hulu series, Pam and Tommy, is the story of said sex tape and the whirlwind it created. It starts with a constructor worker named Rand (Seth Rogen, rocking the ultimate 90’s mullet). Unhappy that he has not been paid for his work and drowning in debt, he sneaks back into the house and steals a safe. Among the items in the safe is a private tape of newlyweds Pamela Anderson (Lily James) and Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan).
Selling it as both a means of revenge and paying his bills, he has no idea what he is about to unleash on the world.
The narrative type is the following: “you think you know, but you have no idea”.
I’ve only seen the first episode so far. I’m not completely hooked, but there is enough of a narrative that I am curious where the series is going. The draw so far is the lead actors. James is completely unrecognizable underneath the wig, the prosthetics, and the voice. It’s certainly an out-of-the-box role for her, but not in a way that I think will be detrimental to her career. So far, I’m impressed. Stan is not as much as a stretch, but he is certainly effective as Lee.
There is no stronger love than a mother for their child. There is also no stronger force when said mother believes that her child has been wronged.
Women of the Movement is a six-episode miniseries that aired on ABC before moving to Hulu. It tells the story of the murder of Emmett Till (Cedric Joe) in 1955 and his mother’s, Mamie Till (Adrienne Warren) fight for justice. In August of that year, Emmet is spending part of his vacation with family in Mississippi. Raised in Chicago, he is unaware of the unofficial rules of the Jim Crow South. He supposedly makes a lewd comment at a White woman. Two days later, Emmet is taken in the middle of the night, tortured, and killed.
Upon hearing that her son (and only child) will be returning home in a box, Mamie funnels her grief and anger into ensuring that the men who slaughtered Emmett will spend the rest of their days in prison.
OMG. I was hooked the entire time. At its heart, it is a love story between a parent and their child. If Mamie had laid in bed the entire time, relying on food, alcohol, or another outside source to dull her sorrow, it would be completely understood. Instead, she stood up for Emmet. In doing so, she opened another door to the Civil Rights movement and broke the glass ceiling for both women and Americans of color.
The thing that struck me was that Till was not the first and is certainly not the last young man killed for their skin color. It is almost seventy years since this boy’s life was taken. There is no doubt that the hard work of multiple generations has paid off. But there is still a long road ahead of us.
It would be a shame if Warren does not receive any sort of nomination for this role. It is her performance that held me by the proverbial throat and kept me hoping that justice would prevail, even when history tells us otherwise.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Women of the Movement is available for streaming on Hulu.
She was more than a legendary actress and comedienne who entertained generations of audiences. She was a trailblazer who opened the door to future generations of female performers.
My first introduction to Ms. White was watching TheGolden Girls. After my paternal grandfather passed away, my sister and I would spend Saturday nights with our grandmother. The Golden Girls was regular viewing for us. It goes without saying back then that many of the jokes were over my head. To this day, I treasure these memories and laugh out loud during reruns (which are available for viewing on Hulu).
It takes a smart performer to play a dumb character. Ms. White was clearly one smart cookie. Rose Nylund is a woman with a big heart who was not the brightest bulb in the box.
When she hosted Saturday Night Live a few years, it was a landmark episode as far as I am concerned. It was not hard to see the throughline between Ms. White’s career and the women who have followed in her footsteps.
May her memory be a blessing and may she continue to make us laugh. Z”L.
We can learn a lot about a specific culture or group by simply observing and tasting the meals that are served. These dishes speak to the history, the values, and the traditions that have stayed with these specific people over many generations.
The new season of Padma Lakshmi‘s Hulu series, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, explores the unique holiday traditions of different Americans represented by the food they serve. Each episode focuses on one holiday and tells the story of that holiday via the food that is served and those who eat it.
I have not watched the entire series. But what I have watched, I have enjoyed tremendously. It was made with joy, respect, and the love of a good nosh. If the viewer learns nothing else, it is that despite our outer differences, we are all human and underneath, the same.
For my part, the first episode explored Hanukkah and reminded me how much I love a good latke.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi: Holiday Edition is available for streaming on Hulu.
The truth about men and women is that neither is better or has more rights than the other. Both are equal and both deserve the same treatment. But it is only in recent memory has this idea start to take hold and become accepted practice.
The new FX series, Y: The Last Man, is based on the comic book of the same name. It is set in a futuristic world in which all men have suddenly died. The only man to survive is Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer). With Senator turned President Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane) in control of country, a new order must be established. While Jennifer has her hands on the wheel of the nation, Yorick is on a voyage to understand why every other male is deceased and he is still in the land of the living.
The concept of this show is certainly interesting. The idea of women being forced to stand on their own two feet is always an interesting one. The problem is that the slow burn is too slow. I would have preferred less of a buildup to the inciting incident instead of waiting to the end of the first episode.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Y: The Last Manairs on FX on Monday and is available for streaming on Hulu.
In the fairy tales we were told as children, the stories always ended in a happily ever after. The prince and princess walked into the sunset with nothing but a bright and easy future ahead of them. The reality of that life is far more complicated than childhood tale could create.
The series starts when the teenage princess travels to England to marry. Arthur Tudor, the Prince of Wales (August Imrie). Their marriage was suppose to cement the relationship between England and Spain and create a figurative wall against the power of the French. But Arthur died young, leaving Catherine not only a widow, but childless. Without the heir to the English throne growing inside of her, her fate is unknown.
The solution to the problem is for Catherine to marry Henry. But the question of her virginity looms over their relationship. It is a concern that hovers over the rest of their years together, even after the birth of their daughter (and only surviving child), the future Mary I of England.
The program introduces the audience first to the young girl who has been trained from birth to be a future queen. She then becomes the woman who leads the country when her husband goes off to war and finally, a Queen who realizes that both the man and the crown she loves and will soon be slipping from her fingers.
I have never read the books, so I cannot comment on what changes may have been made between the page and the screen. Either way, the program is fantastic. This world is brought to life with all of the colors and complexities that only a well done BPD (British Period Drama) can bring to audiences. Supported by a fantastic cast, this show is one that is worthy of our television viewing time.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The Spanish Princess is available for streaming on Hulu.
I'm a retiree in his seventies. That may not be significant to many, since there is a bunch of us Baby Boomers around. However, in the year 2,000, when I received a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, I expected to be dead in three to five years.