Streaming Now: ‘Blow the Man Down,’ ‘Mozart in the Jungle,’ and More
Streaming services have been a godsend to homes that have them, during these times—here are some of the choice selections today
With so much time on our (washed) hands, it’s good to know what’s newly dropped on the streaming services we can enjoy at home. From Amazon Prime And Netflix, here are a few selections.
Blow the Man Down (Amazon Prime)
Here’s an interesting indie directed by two young, female directors who have obviously grown up on the Coen Brothers films such as Fargo and Blood Simple, and loved Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River. Set in a wintry fishing village up in Maine, the film opens with two sisters grieving over the loss of their mother. But in time, the story becomes about a murder they attempt to conceal. This is a story about small town entrepreneurship—as the local B&B is really a brothel—and about village politics and power plays. There’s a grim sense of humor attached to the whole proceeding.
What I loved here is the gray atmosphere created, the solid performances from the ensemble, the use of the town as a character itself, the musical score, and how all the men are relegated to ‘chorus’, hapless victim, or minor characters. It’s a village where the women ‘wear the pants’, and make life-altering plans involving life and death within dainty floral walls and sunny breakfasts. There’s something tongue-in-cheek about the whole enterprise, and surprisingly, it works—even if only in a minor key.
Breakfast Lunch & Dinner with David Chang (Netflix)
If you analyze the evolution of the popular Food shows; ever since Bourdain, it’s been less about creation (recipes you can cook at home), and more about consumption, with travel and culture as the by-products. David Chang’s Ugly Delicious continued that trend but highlighting how you didn’t have to be fine dining to be worthy of attention; and his latest Breakfast Lunch & Dinner is really about the guest stars and a city of choice, with Food as a major aspect of exploring the city’s culture.
There’s Vancouver with native Seth Rogen, Phnom Penh with fellow first-timer tourist Kate McKinnon, Morocco with model and personality Chrissy Teigen, and Los Angeles with transplanted resident Lena Waithe. Quite often, the show soars, depending on how interesting the guest is within the show’s DNA. Rogen is stoned and hilarious throughout his episode, Teigen genuinely loves Morocco, and Waithe has strong things to say about African-American culture. You’re just left wondering sometimes, if this execution can really still be categorized as a food show.
Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime)
If you want to binge watch, are done with Korean fairy-tale rom-coms, and want something with more cultural ‘meat’; I would highly recommend Mozart in the Jungle. It’s four seasons of 10 bite-sized 30-minute episodes, and the best thing about the series is Gael Garcia Bernal as Rodrigo, the new, upstart, roguish conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra. The characters are all well fleshed out and interesting; and you’ll love the device of how the great composers ‘appear’ to Rodrigo.
The series ran from 2014-2018, and is based on Mozart in the Jungle: Sex Drugs & Classical Music. That should give you a hint to the fact that you don’t even have to love classical music to get into the series. It’s about the clash of personalities and super-egos, the travails of eking out a living in the arts, wonderfully shot in New York, and of course, about relationships, love and lust (and not necessarily in that order). In short, it’s about the jungle-mess we call life. There are so many smart, funny lines, and it’s a joy to follow.
Lead photos from Rotten Tomatoes