🇧🇷 What to Watch: a movie night pick

And a British comedy

Dear friends,

I’ve finally caught the final episode of Mare of Easttown, and boy, what a show. If you haven’t watched it yet, I really recommend sticking around for the behind-the-scenes section they play right after.

I hope you have a great weekend.


OUR TOP MOVIE OF THE WEEK

The Second Mother

On Amazon Prime, in Portuguese 🍅 rating: 97%

Val is a housekeeper for a wealthy family in São Paulo. She is close with every family member, and acts as the title would suggest - as a second mother, but there are clear reminders of her status. One is the sheer amount of work she has to do, from cooking to cleaning and responding to random demands.

Val’s estranged daughter visits her, a bright kid who is on her way to university. This brings out more of the maid/employer dynamics: if Val is “family”, why would she and her daughter have to sleep in a small cramped room when the guest room is empty?

Questions like these threaten the family’s balance and the uneasy existence that millions around the world have as housekeepers.

It’s a great and well-thought-out drama, one that would make the perfect centerpiece for a movie night or a movie club pick.

📰 Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly: “Muylaert forces us to think big about the clash between idealism and acceptance, a philosophical war that spills beyond the walls of this small story into every corner of our own lives.”


OUR TOP TV SHOW OF THE WEEK

The Thick of It

Now on Amazon Prime. 🍅 rating: 85%

This BBC comedy by the creator of Veep is about the inner workings of the British government. Malcolm Tucker is the ruling party’s fixer — an angry, uncompromising bureaucrat who spends his days dealing with the failures of ministers.

The first season, which spans a quick three episodes, tells the story of a series of mishaps that strike the Ministry of Social Affairs. The minister announces a program that he wasn’t supposed to, and one thing leads to another and he has to name the program on live radio. “Sponge Avengers” is what comes out.

This is a genuinely funny TV show that since its release in 2005 has become a staple of workplace comedies.

Nancy Banks-Smith of The Guardian: “I didn't know I could cackle like a witch discovering a fresh supply of eye of newt, but cackle I could. And cry until the tears dried on my cheeks.”


TOP PICKS OUTSIDE OF NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME

Welcome To Chechnya

On HBO Max, new on the Amazon Prime HBO channel 🍅 rating: 100%

This award-winning documentary is about anti-LGBT policies in Chechnya, and the many instances of abductions, torture, and murder that have accelerated in recent years. It centers on activists’ efforts to protect each other and to help others escape.


TOP PICKS OUTSIDE OF NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME

Trying

Season 2 is new on Apple TV+ 🍅 rating: 94%

This British comedy is about a couple who get priced out of IVFs, so they decide to adopt, which doesn’t prove to be exactly easy. It’s a funny but honest take on the realities of infertility.


That’s it for this week, I hope there’s something in there for you.

The next edition of this weekly letter will be in your inbox Friday, May 18th.

Until then,

Bilal

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