For cord cutters, the anticipation of watching an event live gets transferred over to the weekly dumps of content on the various video streaming platforms. What’s dropping when becomes important knowledge to have, as you organize your queue. If you don’t have time to comb through all the content coming down the series of tubes that make up the Internet, don’t worry — we do. Here are our picks for what you should watch this week.
Kevin Smith has made his career with an audience that’s slightly off the mainstream. They’re a fervent group of fans who will watch anything he watches because of his unique point of view and always intelligent — if not a little crass — dialogue. He’s always been a capable storyteller, but with 2011’s Red State, he also proved to be a much more talented director than he’s often given credit for.
With the scares established by that indie horror flick, Smith set up his fans to really go on a weird journey with him in Tusk. Created from a conversation on his popular podcast, the film aligns a cast of talented actors — Michael Parks, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment — and gives them an out-there script about a podcaster who sets out to interview Internet celebrities and winds up getting turned into a walrus. You did read that correctly. You should probably just watch it and see what happens.
Louie Season 4
Louis CK isn’t just the biggest name in stand-up comedy. He’s also turned himself into a successful star of his own TV show. Louie the show doesn’t have the mass appeal of Louis the stand-up — It’s like an arthouse comedy that will surely be lost on some people. However, into its fourth season, the show is as strong as its ever been. Based loosely off of Louis CK’s career, the show is a collection of unconnected vignettes that range from off-the-wall absurdist, to grounded and emotionally resonant. You never know what you’re going to get, but that’s what makes it so good.
Nicolas Cage has become an easy joke for film fans. His career has taken him on all sorts of strange endeavors and placed him in starring roles in unadventurous vehicles that might as well have gone straight to streaming without a theater stint. However, Adaptation is the perfect case for how good he can be as an actor. The comedic drama from Spike Jonze, which was written by Charlie and Donald Kaufman, is based off of Charlie Kaufman’s struggles to adapt his book The Orchid Thief into a film. His severe writer’s block takes him off the rails.
If you haven’t been watching Ricky Gervais’ comedy-drama Derek — a show first aired by Channel 4 in the U.K. that found a sizable following once it appeared on Netflix — now is the time to play catch up. Written, directed, and starring Gervais, the series follows the quirky but genuine Derek, a nursing home assistant with a love of online celebrities and a penchant for talking to animals. The one hour special – titled simply Special — picks the series back up, and its characters are in new, but difficult, places.
Ken Burns: The Roosevelts
Ken Burns has established his reputation as the preeminent documentarian of all things America. His long, revealing films tackle topics with unmatched detail and reveal to the audience bits of information otherwise lost to history. His most recent subject, the Roosevelts, applies Burns’ lens to the political family that gave us the 26th and 32nd Presidents. With emphasis on Theodore, Franklin Delano, and Eleanor, the film explores the influence and effect the family had on America, as well as the internal familial drama they experienced.