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.
30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men
There isn’t an American sports fan who doesn’t know the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. The Miracle on Ice, as it became known, was the showdown of America’s scrappy and seemingly overmatched hockey team, and their unbelievable win over the powerhouse team from Russia, a squad that had a history of destroying every team placed in its path. The Americans had no business winning the game, but they would leave the Olympics with a gold medal for their efforts (after another win against Finland).
What almost no sports fan knows is the story as seen from behind the glass of the Russian bench. The game took place near the peak of the Cold War between America and Russia, and the hockey teams became symbols of their nations, but as Of Miracles and Men shows, Russia was not the monolith its made out to be. What was viewed as a huge victory for the U.S. was a crushing blow to the Russians, a group who had bonded together under less than ideal conditions. The 30 for 30 series is best when it’s telling human stories that just happen to involve sports, and Of Miracles and Men is a story of a group of people you probably hadn’t considered much before this.
Dan Harmon is one of the most interesting creative minds around. He is without a doubt a creative genius. He’s the mastermind behind Community and the criminally underrated Rick and Morty, but he’s also got other indie-cred comedy titles under his belt. However, he’s also a fairly self-destructive character, and it’s out in full force just as often as his wit is in Harmontown. The documentary, which follows him around on a 20 city podcast tour, shows Harmon at his best on stage and at his worst off it. He’s portrayed as a complicated person, who is as often the villain of the film as he is the hero.
Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Garden
Louie CK is still the king of standup, but Aziz Ansari has made his case for the throne. The hilarious comedian and actor has been putting a considerable amount of time into his standup and it has paid off in spades. He’s at the top of his game, delivering his insights into modern life through the lens of his sometimes loud and animated, or occasionally more subdued persona. Regardless of how he’s delivering a line, it’s always pitch-perfect.
Drunk History: Season 2
The concept of Drunk History is pretty simple. It answers the question, “What do the most significant moments in history look like through the eyes of an alcoholic?” The answer, as it turns out, is “They look hilarious.” A cast of talented regulars are joined by celebrity guests, as they act out the re-tellings of historic moments that are delivered by a drunk narrator. Season 2 of the show features appearances of Weird Al as Hitler, Aubrey Plaza as Sacagawea, Retta as Sylvia Robinson, Patton Oswalt as Charles Sumner, Jack Black as Orson Welles, Nick Kroll as Ronald Reagan, and too many other notable appearances that you’ll want to see.
Rich Hill would be the perfect documentary to put in a time capsule. It presents an unflinching look at the lives of three boys living in the poverty-stricken town of Rich Hill, Missouri. The teens go through the standard struggles of growing up, but their experiences are compounded by the difficulties of poverty. Ultimately a compassionate and empathetic look at these lives, the film does well to illuminate the struggles that most people so fortunately do not have to experience — but too many, like the boys of Rich Hill, do.