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  • Tara R reviews: I Highly Recommend…

Last week, circumstance was such that I took New York by storm. This week, circumstance was such that NY (well, at least, my NY oral surgeon) took ME by storm, knocking me down with an unplanned dental surgery. Being “out and about” was quickly replaced with being “down and in bed.” But fear not, by the week’s end, I was 4 series, 2 shows and one good book the wiser.

Things to watch:

Class of ’07 (Prime Video) - Yellowjackets meets Romy and Michelle, this wackadoodle show is a tour de force on so many levels. It’s wildly entertaining, and even a bit profound. The premise: An apocalyptic tidal wave hits during a 10-year High School reunion at an all-girl Catholic school that’s perched atop an island peak. Surrounded by (potentially endless) sea, the now 28-year-old women must push through decades-old drama and unresolved teen angst to find a way to survive the end of times. Quirky, funny, and filled with a well-developed ensemble cast, Class of ’07 is an unlikely but effective ode to girl power and female friendship.

Wellmania (Netflix) – This show has a god-awful name that screams keep scrolling, but, don’t. The lead character in this story is not well, but rather, the screaming epitome of a hot mess, and her antics are so fun to watch. This hilarious yet emotional story tells the woes of a hard-living, feisty food writer in NYC, who is about to land her dream job as a judge on a reality cooking show. On a quick trip home to Australia, she loses her green card and can’t get a new one until she passes a slew of physical tests that prove she won’t be a burden in the US. The jokes are fast and furious, the relationships are complex and deep, and the talent is just off the charts! Watch it.

Unstable (Netflix) – If you watch this for Rob Lowe alone, dayenu. It is enough to marvel at how age seems to have been kinder to him than any other person who’s ever lived. (Friends of mine saw him live last week and can attest that his age-defying glow isn’t just good lighting…) Personally, I could watch any show with an 80’s heartthrob playing a nice-guy domesticated dad (Have you watched John Stamos in Big Shot? Be still my beating heart…) Yet, Unstable is undeniably good – a breezy, fast-paced father-son satire created by, and co-starring, Lowe’s actual son, John Owen Lowe. In it, Lowe senior plays a larger than life, Musk-ian wealthy biotech engineer whose genius is stalling after the death of his wife, and Lowe junior plays his musician son who is as awkward as his dad is eccentric.

Fauda (Netflix) - Maybe you’ve watched it, maybe you haven’t. Probably, you watched back when it was really good and you were obsessed with Lior Raz —and then somewhere around season 2 or 3, you gave up. But this season brings back the thrill, the depth, the madness, and the humanity. These characters are so well-drawn, and their roles are so beautifully acted, that the intensely gripping storyline plays second fiddle to their emotional convolution. Season 4 was phenomenal.

SNL - This week was hosted by the iconic Molly Shannon -- who’s Sally O’Malley character is giving me ALL the feels now that the big 50 is looming out there. The Please Don’t Destroy videos with the writing team are always hilarious, but this one with the Molly Shannon video game was epic.

Things to see:

Seinfeld at the Beacon. I was there for the third (yep, 3rd) time, at his 100th show performed at the Beacon. I must give serious props to the legendary funny man who clearly does it for the love of the game. One of his best threads of schtick is that he enjoys nothing in life — but he shows up and does the thing, whatever it is, because, well, what else is he supposed to do? Well, for Jerry, we showed up and did the thing — and yet again it exceeded our expectations. He’s the king of observational comedy who’s consistently proven that the biggest oxymoron of life is indeed that nothing is everything.

Camelot – One doesn’t think Aaron Sorkin when one thinks Camelot, but from now on they will, and they should. This beautiful production at the theater at Lincoln Center is nothing short of the perfection he brings to most things he touches. It’s elegant, sophisticated, and classy, and the punched-up dialogue stays traditionally on point, distinctly and decidedly un-campy, which I, for one, appreciated. The acting is superb – and Philippa Soo is a vision you’ll hardly recognize from Hamilton.

Who to follow:

Laura Clery looks like she should be on Selling Sunset, but she’s just a mom (and writer, performer, podcaster) and a hysterical one at that. Follow her comedy sketches and videos when you need a boost. Like this one:

What to read:

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

If you were any bit as obsessed with Defending Jacob as I was, the premise of this novel, about a mother who must question whether her son is capable of committing the sins of his fathers, will sound familiar. Mad Honey is a gorgeously written book about just a little bit of everything, actually. The ending was a bit underwhelming, but they often are when there’s no season 2 to be had.


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