Streaming This Week
The suspenseful drama Flight, starring Denzel Washington (a role for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe) has just been released to Netflix. If you feel like taking it back to high school, you can watch the iconic '80s film Say Anything, with John Cusack. For a subtle family drama, check out October Sky with young Jake Gyllenhaal. And for some historical mystery, try The Bletchley Circle, a drama series about four code-cracking women who solve murder mysteries after World War II.
The bad guys have rarely looked so good. Critics and fans are praising The Blacklist, yet another criminal-centric drama similar to Silence of the Lambs, but a bit lighter and less gruesome. Slate's Willa Paskin says, "The Blacklist is aware of the morally complex protagonists who have come before it in the golden age of the antihero, but it is not burdened by grandiose ambitions: It's pure pop." Not to mention James Spader is this show's antihero, and he delivers on the wicked genius role. Time Magazine's James Poniewozik calls Spader "delectably hammy," and says that "he lets the audience enjoy his own sheer enjoyment of playing the outsize role, with every droll one-liner and cultivated sneer."
"When you're fighting for God, souls are at stake." That doesn't sound like a tagline of Extreme Makeover turned church rescue mission, but there you have it. National Geographic's new reality show Church Hoppers is about three hosts trying to help struggling churches fix institutional problems and possibly redirect themselves. "Running a church takes more than faith, and even the holiest of institutions can fall victim to harsh realities," reads the alternate tagline for this show, which premiered November 11. While this statement raises about twenty questions demanding some word choice explanation, here's an overarching question: If a church is struggling in a "harsh reality," who are they going to call? Church Hoppers? Or are there options that this show will chose to ignore instead of explore? Read Kenneth Morefield's take here.
Amidst all the take-offs, sequels, and remakes, this one is probably one of the most anticipated: the surviving members of the hit Monty Python group are reuniting for a full-length project. All of them except the late Graham Chapman will do a stage show in London in July, and a TV special will follow. In a press conference held Thursday, they declared, "People really do want to see the old hits but we don't want to do them in an exactly predictable way." Watch highlights of the humorous press conference here.
With the rising popularity of Netflix series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix is making the move to original movies. This expansion involves a plan to double spending in original programming. Part of this move is probably due to the 7 million subscribers the service accumulated in 2013 after the two shows above were released. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos stated, "What we're trying to do for TV, the model should extend pretty nicely to movies." Read more here.
No sooner does How I Met Your Mother reach the end of its nine-season haul than the spin-off is announced. How I Met Your Dad is happening, and it will star a female lead. HIMYM's Craig Thomas, Carter Bays, and Up All Night creator Emily Spivey will pilot the project, and while it might work in the original show's cast, the feature ensemble will be new. To read a compilation of tweeted hints concerning the new show, read more here.
Taylor Lindsay is a fall intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King's College in New York City.