Instant Picks of the Week 6/16/17
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
OH, HELLO (Netflix)
OH, HELLO is like a fever dream of niche Broadway references, the Ben Nye old age makeup kit, and entirely too much tuna. The most shocking thing, though, is that enough people paid attention to the shorts from Nick Kroll’s stupidly brilliant KROLL SHOW to make OH, HELLO a success. The Comedy Central parody of reality television features John Mulaney and Kroll as George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon (respectively), two geriatric New Yorkers with a local cable station prank show called “Too Much Tuna.” As the series progressed, “Too Much Tuna” transformed into “Oh, Hello,” a Woody Allen-esque “film” about the pair’s misadventures in the Big Apple. The Br’dway show blends the two, with George and Gil narrating a play they’ve written about two middle-aged men living in New York who are definitely not based on George and Gil, with a prank or two mixed in. OH, HELLO is the epitome of “had to be there” humor; it’s a good laugh, but you’re left with the same level of minor dissatisfaction that you feel when watching YouTube videos of a concert you weren’t at. Furthermore, the subject matter is so deeply rooted in New York City that, unless you are intimately familiar with NYC, half the jokes will likely go over your head (they did mine). Unsurprisingly, Kroll and Mulaney’s improv produces the special’s highlights, moments in which the two drop the bit and riff on each other, the audience, and special guest star Steve Martin, making up for the missed beats along the way. In short, OH, HELLO is good fun and functions best as a reminder to watch Mulaney’s stand-up and Kroll’s KROLL SHOW after you’ve finished it. [Aya Lehman]
STEVEN UNIVERSE – “Mr. Greg” (S3E08, Hulu)
Most of our Crossfader readership acknowledges that media awards are largely arbitrary (particularly the Emmy’s), but if there’s any show that deserves to take one home, it’s STEVEN UNIVERSE. Rebecca “Make It Gayer” Sugar’s animated masterpiece tackles every heavy-hitting social issue under the sun from gender and sexuality to race and mental health—all wrapped up in lore so intricate it gives GAME OF THRONES a run for its money. Previous episodes submitted for Emmy consideration (“The Answer” and “Lion 3: Straight to Video”) required a fair amount of background knowledge about the show to fully appreciate, which some fans believe led them to fall short. However, with the announcement of “Mr. Greg” as this year’s submission, STEVEN UNIVERSE might finally take home the gold. This episode truly captures everything great about the show and what it’s capable of: gorgeous animation, cinematic influences, character depth, universal themes, and to top it all off, the whole episode is a musical! Sure, it helps if you understand that Pearl and Rose were aliens who came to earth and loved each other until Rose fell in love with Greg and gave up her corporeal form so Steven could exist . . . but you don’t have to unpack all of that to understand the pain of losing a loved one or a parent and having to confront the person you believe is responsible. Yet, the little winks and nods of musical theater humor keep the tone nice and balanced, lending so much more meaning to the somber moments. “Mr. Greg” is not only my personal favorite episode of STEVEN UNIVERSE, it’s a perfect taste for anyone curious about the series. [Kate Brogden]