Check back with Village Life every Friday for Jordan Parker's comprehensive insights on the week's most buzz-worthy programs from top streaming services like Netflix, Crave, Amazon Prime, and beyond.
On Apple TV – Ted Lasso
This one is among the best comedies to ever grace the small screen, and a testament to the fact that good, old-fashioned cheer-you-up television reigns supreme.
Ted Lasso – which works largely because of its incredible cast – follows an annoyingly half-glass-full American college football coach who heads to London to manage a Premier League football (soccer) team.
Everyone says he’s in over his head, and yet Ted Lasso is constantly optimistic, something that rubs off on everyone around him.
Jason Sudeikis was born to play Ted, in this show that’s garnered 11 Emmys and huge praise for its entire cast.
The ensemble includes Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, Hannah Waddingham, Juno Temple, Phil Dunster, and so many more incredible talents. This is an effort that achieves greatness because this cohesive whole work so well together.
It’s a hilarious comfort show I could watch again and again, and you should too.
On Crave – Succession
As we ready for this one to enter its fourth and final season on Sunday, March 26th, 2023, I have a bittersweet feeling.
I’m sad my literal favourite show right now is coming to an end, but also happy it’s almost guaranteed to go out on a high note.
It follows a media empire controlled by the conflict-laden, backstabbing Roy family, each one of them conniving and awful in their own twisted way.
When the patriarch Logan falls ill, the children scurry like rats to try to gain control of the empire, and are even willing to kick each other on their way to the top.
Among them are playboy narcissist Roman, only girl Shiv, incessantly self-important oldest Connor, and black sheep Kendall. Each severely flawed, they spend their time battling for their father’s affection – and battling against him when the former tactic doesn’t work.
The ensemble here is incredible. Jeremy Strong, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook are among the best in this razor-sharp dark comedy, but watch for scene-stealer Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Shiv’s underestimated, disrespected partner.
This is one of the best-written shows to hit TV since Breaking Bad. Don’t sleep on this one.
On Disney+ – The Patient
If I had to name the actor with the most underappreciated comedy-to-drama shift, it’d be Steve Carell.
Mostly known prior for Anchorman and The Office, he has stunned everyone with roles in films like Beautiful Boy, The Big Short, and his Oscar-nominated turn in Foxcatcher.
Disney+ show The Patient sees him flexing his dramatic muscles again, to sterling effect. He engages in a psychological standoff with Emmy hopeful Domhnall Gleeson here.
Carell is psychotherapist Alan, who is kidnapped by patient Sam when he learns the latter is a serial killer. The two play a cat-and-mouse game as Alan is asked by Sam to help him control his homicidal urges.
While the plot isn’t anything to write home about, you need to see this for the chemistry between the leads alone. It’s absolutely electric.
On Netflix – Love Is Blind
Everyone needs to engage in some trash TV, and for me, relationship reality shows are my absolute weakness.
Created by Nick Lachey and his wife Vanessa, this show appeals to me because I find it slightly more romantic than things like Too Hot To Handle. Yes, I’m aware it’s produced heavily, but it feels more genuine than other shows.
It follows singles who enter an experiment where they date a number of people and form strong bonds. They are to build a connection with one person – without ever seeing their face. Dates are done in pods, behind walls between couples, so all they have to go on is personality fit.
Once a couple settles on each other, one proposes. If the answer is ‘yes’, they get engaged, move in together, and start to plan a wedding – Only once the proposal has been accepted do they see their partner’s face.
The point is to see if connections are more than skin deep – And it tests faithfulness based on true bonds and not the physical.
It may seem complicated, but it’s an easy-to-follow, lazy Sunday afternoon binge that I love. The new season came out this week, and I can’t wait to get wrapped up in these new couples.
On Amazon Prime Video – One Tree Hill
I was deeply, deeply in love with cheesy teen dramedies when I was growing up, and if you want my honest opinion, One Tree Hill was the cream of the crop.
So imagine my genuine happiness when all nine seasons were ceremoniously dropped on Amazon Prime Video for my viewing pleasure.
The show follows two half-brothers in a small town – Lucas and Nathan. They share a father who shunned the former and his high school sweetheart mother, and later married the latter’s mother and has a new, beautiful family he embraces.
Lucas and his mother struggle to make ends meet while Nathan, father Dan and wife Deb are well-off and happy on the surface – despite Dan’s pushy behaviour as he tries to force son Nathan to live out his own broken dreams.
Nathan and Lucas share a love of basketball, and when they end up on the same high school team, their worlds collide, much to father Dan’s chagrin. They form a bond on-and-off the court, and their lives become intermingled in ways they never could have expected.
Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Sophia Bush, Hilary Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz star here in a show that provides twist-a-minute drama.
If you love your guilty-pleasure shows to provide gasp-worthy, jaw-dropping moments every episode, this one’s for you.
About The Author:
Jordan Parker is a freelance journalist and runs entertainment firm Parker PR. A huge lover and supporter of the local arts scene, he’s an avid filmgoer and lover of all genres.
A 2SLGBTQIA+ professional, he also works doing Events & Fundraising for the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, and has a passion for giving a platform to queer events and artists.
His writing often skews toward local businesses, productions, events, and covering arts & entertainment. He’s also an avid sports fan and spends every May getting let down by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.
Jordan believes in an open-door policy, and welcomes story pitches and questions from readers.
Email: [email protected]