Instant Picks of the Week 6/2/17
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.
GHOST STORIES (Crackle)
Before Youtube, abridged series, and fan dubs, there was GHOST STORIES. The series originated in Japan in the year 2000 to lukewarm reception. Essentially Japanese SCOOBY DOO, the show followed four teenagers and their talking cat as they solved a different supernatural mystery each week. Bland and inoffensive, the show bombed and seemed destined to be forgotten in the mists of time. In 2005, ADV Films announced that GHOST STORIES would be released on DVD for North American distribution, along with a newly produced English dub. For the translation, ADV was instructed to leave character names and central plot beats unchanged, but to otherwise “do whatever” they wanted with the script. The result was something strange and beautiful, transforming a hackneyed children’s show into a vulgar monument of self-reflexivity. The dub, full of ad-libs and tangential riffing, sounds more like a gag reel than an honest-to-God audio track that was signed off by big media, but even the most hardcore sticklers for subtitles will agree that the ADV version of GHOST STORIES was the way it was meant to be heard. [Ed Dutcher]
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW: MASTERCLASS (Netflix)
I have already covered the pure, perfect goodness that is THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW, so imagine my excitement when I found this new arrival to my Netflix queue. MASTERCLASS finds Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (yes, real names) back in the tent for a non-competitive spin on their absurdly pleasant reality baking show. Paul and Mary recreate the challenging bakes they inflict on the competitors, providing step-by-step instructions and helpful tips not touched on in the main show. Chemistry is as important in television as it is in baking, and boy do Mary and Paul have it. Paul gets all huffy as Mary forces him to chop dried fruits and nuts for half an hour for her Victorian Tennis Cake (“You know you can buy sliced almonds?” “Not in Victorian times!”) while Mary brings all the joy and sarcasm of baking with your grandma and is awfully damn spry for 82. They joke about how much easier it is to bake without the time constraints they put on the competitors—interspersed with clips of various half-baked disasters from the main show. It’s common knowledge that nobody actually cooks the meals on the Food Network, but the amateur bakers vying for their spot on THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW absolutely will. Simon Cowell never got up on the stage to sing, so kudos to Paul and Mary for providing this resource for bakers around the world—and a somehow even more pleasant addition to the BAKING SHOW family. [Kate Brogden]