Hope, hope, hope: Here's what to watch this weekend

This weekend watchlist is all about hope. Our quest is simple: fill your weekend with the best streaming material to distract and uplift. Station Eleven  This HBO mini-series is a pandemic-based drama that started production before the Covid 19 pandemic rocked the globe. The premise is simple: a catastrophic flu-based pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population. What happens to the survivors? Our introduction to the story is through Jeevan, the black sheep of a high achieving Indian-American family. While watching a theatrical production of King Lear, Jeevan notices that the lead actor, Arthur Leander, is displaying signs of a heart attack. His attempt to save the dying actor introduces him to Kirsten, a child actor. Kirsten becomes Jeevan's ward as the pandemic hits soon after they meet. Most of the series is set 20 years after the pandemic, where an adult Kirsten, sans Jeevan, works at a Shakespearian travelling theatre company. The now-dead Arthur Leander's life is the story that anchors all the characters and their arcs. Present-day Kristen and her theatre troupe face a threat The Prophet: a mysterious character who is luring children into his cult. The Prophet's threat, the discovery of a new community of pandemic survivors living in 'The Museum of Civilization', and the departure of members of her theatre family cause Kirsten's childhood trauma to resurface. An exploration of resilience, survival, and self-discovery this 10-part mini-series is a worthwhile watch. Watch it on Showmax before it leaves the platform at the end of May. https://youtu.be/s6xpOJmm-Gw   Russian Doll This Netflix series follows Nadya, a Russian firecracker of a woman, on the day she dies, which is also her birthday. After a disastrous birthday party, Nadya dies in an accident only to find herself back at her birthday party. Time after time, Nadya tries to escape her party only to end up dead and back in the bathroom of her friend's apartment. After one too many goes at the death cycle, she encounters Alan, another disgruntled soul and together they work to unravel the cause of the repeat day. This show is funny, and Natasha Lyonne’s deadpan delivery makes it even better. I was surprised by how affected I was by the inclusion of Alan, a brooding self-conscious banal man played by Charlie Barnett, because of how comfortable I was following Nadya’s carefree adventure. Juxtaposed against Natasha Lyonne's happy-go-lucky attitude, Alan's seriousness, carried off with an endearing gentleness, is quite beautiful to watch: The result is a fun and propulsive show. The biggest themes are bravery, self acceptance and the beauty in being 'other'. Catch season 1 and 2 on Netflix.   https://youtu.be/YHcKoAMGGvY   Good Luck To You Leo Grande I think this movie should be required viewing for all women. 'Good Luck To You Leo Grande' is about sex. What do we know about it? What do we know about our bodies, and our inhibitions? Is one ever too old to (re)discover sex? Well, the answer to the last question, according to this movie, is no. Nancy Stokes is a retired religious studies teacher. Recently widowed, Nancy hires a male escort named Leo Grande to help her tick off the items on her sexual bucket list. This movie is sold as a female fantasy: a beautiful man shows up to tell you that your insecurities are invalid; he then blows your mind, and whoosh: you can now count yourself among the sexually liberated. But that’s not all this movie is about. It challenges stereotypes about womanhood, desire, sex work, ageism, sexism and the most important lesson for me: the importance of trust and communication in sexual relationships. As Nancy discovers who she is, the idea that this journey could have been taken with her husband presents itself. Either way, the message is this: You are never too old to try new things, to become a new person and to have your first orgasm. Watch Good Luck to You Leo Grande on Showmax https://youtu.be/TJcbZoJFLTU    
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