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Netflix Weekly Wrap-Up: High-Flying Bird, Close, and Kevin Hart Teaching History

It’s Friday again folks, which means our Netflix Weekly Wrap-up is back with five new shows you can easily add to your weekend binge list. So warm up your couches and prep your choice of drink because we’ve got enough shows to fill in the gaps on your to-watch list.

Last week, we covered the Fyre Festival documentary, “Velvet Buzzsaw,” and our quick yays and nays for “Russian Doll” (which now has its own dedicated review). This week, we’ve got Colombian witches, the politics of basketball, and some bodyguard action to keep your eyes glued to your screens.

One Day at a Time (Season 3)

Genre: Situation comedy
Show Type: Series
What it’s about:

A Netflix original starring a Cuban-American family ensemble headed by Justina Machado, “One Day at a Time” is a light-hearted show that dares to tackle modern issues such as sexuality, veteran reintegration, and mental health from a Hispanic family’s perspective. The show’s third season recently debuted on the popular streaming service to some great critic feedback.

Yay:

If you’re looking for a great alternative to family-friendly sitcoms like “Fuller House,” “One Day at a Time” is a great show to tune in to. Fans of the family sitcom genre will appreciate the Hispanic twist to old family arguments usually involved in shows like “One Day at a Time.”

Nay:

Some of the show’s jokes still flop without a canned laugh track, which may put off comedy fans who prefer snappier jokes to the show’s unique family-friendly messages. Beyond that, only the dedicated family sitcom haters would best avoid the show.

Always a Witch

Genre: Fantasy drama
Show Type: Series
What it’s about:

A Colombian romantic comedy about a witch named Carmen who’s transported into present-day Cartagena from the past. “Always a Witch” aka Siempre Bruja, follows Carmen’s journey to make sense of her escape into the future while searching for the love of her life, Cristobal.

Yay:

Magical realism in spades, “Always a Witch” is a quirky show that doesn’t go overboard with its plot despite its premise. If you like the “Charmed” treatment of witchcraft and magic rather than blood, guts, and horror, “Always a Witch” is a great binge option.

Nay:

If the whole “stranger from the past encounters the modern world” trope is not your cup of tea, you can skip “Always a Witch.” Also, due to being a subtitle-heavy show, it’s probably not best for those who prefer to listen to Netflix shows in the background while doing something else.

High Flying Bird

Genre: 
Show Type: Movie
What it’s about:

A basketball lockdown has frozen the Players Association which is unable to start the league. Ray Burke (Andre Holland), an athletic agent, feels the lockdown’s financial stranglehold as his own firm starts scrimping on expenses. With nothing left to lose, Burke goes for a gamble involving rookie players that could shake the industry to force the Association to drop the lockdown.

Yay:


“High Flying Bird” is filled with characters talking about basketball rather than playing it because it wants to focus the discussion on how sports – as institutions – are themselves political systems. If you like sports movies but want a more nuanced approach to the problems that ail an industry, this movie is always worth your couch time.

Nay:

If you’re expecting basketball scenes from a movie about basketball, “High Flying Bird” will be disappointing for you. This Netflix movie focuses on the politics, the business, and the history of sport and the industry that runs it, not the game itself.

Close

Genre: Action thriller
Show Type: Movie
What it’s about:

Sam Carlson (Noomi Rapace) is a bodyguard tasked with the protection of the heiress (Sophie Nelisse) of a recently deceased mining tycoon. With an ambitious stepmother, billion-dollar deals, and corporate espionage, “Close” has all the ingredients of a fast-paced action thriller.

Yay:

“Close’s” plot develops in a straightforward manner that puts an emphasis on the action part of the action thriller genre. If you like seeing daring escapes, satisfying punches, and the tension of the chase, “Close” is a good movie to sit down and watch.

Nay:

“Close” is less investigative and more oriented towards the action part of the thriller genre. If you’re looking for a more puzzle-like thriller filled with layers of conspiracies, there are better thrillers on Netflix than “Close.” Don’t expect “Close” to be a mind-game movie and you’ll be fine.

Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History

Genre: Historical infotainment
Show Type: Movie
What it’s about:

A family-friendly one-hour film starring Kevin Hart with his fictional daughter Riley (Saniyya Sidney), and her friend Jeremy (Eoghan Thomas Murphy) talking about notable African-American personalities in history. The show is narrated by Hart himself while comedic re-enactments of his stories are shown.

Yay:

If you’re looking for family-friendly programming to watch with kids on the couch or just for something light to have playing in the background, “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” is a good option for a one-hour Netflix show. The jokes are light and the trivia is interesting enough to hold your attention.

Nay:

Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” is not an in-depth discussion, analysis, and comparison of records from the past. Anyone wanting a deeper presentation of the personalities and stories mentioned by Hart should be doing their research at a library, not Netflix.

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