Released today, GLOW stars Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) as an unemployed actress in 1980s America who catches her big break in the unlikeliest of roles. At her wit’s end, she decides to audition to be a member of GLOW, AKA the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit. Brie is joined by a talented cast of co-stars who make up her team, including the surprising return of late noughties indie-music darling Kate Nash of ‘Foundations’ fame.
Ahead of the release, critics have been quick to heap GLOW with praise with the series already holding a 96% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics all agree that that the series comprises ten episodes that are uniformly strong - each episode is as compelling as the last, making for an incredibly bingeable show. As one critic put it; “This is the kind of show you'll have a blast watching, and is also compelling enough that you will likely binge the whole thing a weekend. And isn't that the mark of a truly great Netflix series?”
Give it a go: If you are looking for a well crafted comedy with a strong female lead.
Give it a miss: If you’re not into 80s kitsch and nostalgia.
There is very little in the media to give anything away about this teen thriller that also drops on the streaming service today, but if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like it’s set to make for a good kitschy suspense thriller.
Former Disney star Bella Thorne channels her best Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction in a film that sees a teen boy’s one-night stand with a mysterious stranger turn deadly when she transfers to his high school and resorts to desperate means to continue their ‘relationship’. Probably not a glowing advertisement for the feminist agenda, still, You Get Me looks like an enjoyable if trashy teen romp.
Give it a go: If you’re looking for some top notch popcorn trash.
Give it a miss: If you like your thrillers to come with a little more heft.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a decent shark movie (the less said about Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’s debut later this summer, the better) so it’s nice to come across a taut, heart-pumping and genuinely terrifying summer shark movie, featuring unlikely heroine Blake Lively in the starring role.
Lively stars as Nancy, a surfer girl intent on connecting with her late mother by taking an ill-advised solo surf trip to a secluded beach once frequented by her. Shortly after paddling out with her board, Nancy finds herself hunted by a voracious Great White who just won’t quit. Marooned on a buoy just 200 yards offshore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness and fortitude.
Sure, the special effects aren’t great and the premise is unrealistic but damn if Lively doesn’t give it all she’s got. She puts in a stellar performance that leaves you on the edge of your seat for the whole film. As one critic put it; “Lively's muscular-in-every-sense movie-star performance ... ensure every attack and counterattack convulses and grips.”
The Shallows is available to stream on NOW TV.
Give it a go: If the idea of seeing Gossip Girl’s Serena kick a shark’s butt with some excellent MacGyver-like skills.
Give it a miss: If you can’t stand to see characters make stupid decision after stupid decision.
Now available to stream on NOW TV, Woody Allen’s Café Society follows New Yorker Bobby Dorfman to Hollywood, where he falls in love and back again to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Centering on events in the lives of Bobby's colorful Bronx family; “the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.”
Lauded for its lush cinematography and winning performances, particularly from Kristen Stewart (who plays Vonnie, the object of Bobby’s affections), Café Society holds a respectable 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, although some critics did criticise the film’s heavily nostalgic atmosphere and somewhat predictable plot; “It's not a terrible film, and it will find its audience who will no doubt love it, but to me it's just another Woody Allen flick in a sea of Woody Allen flicks.”
Give it a go: If you love old Hollywood and the beautiful visuals that come with it.
Give it a miss: If you’ve seen one too many dialogue heavy Woody Allen movies.
An updated version of Snog, Marry, Avoid without the annoying “Pod” 100% Hotter takes fashion nightmares and gives them makeovers to render them… you guessed it, 100% hotter than they were before! How do they measure this? By asking members of the public to rate their before and after pics of course! Car crash TV at its finest, 100% Hotter is pure trash but I can’t help but watch it whenever a new episode comes on.
Where 100% Hotter differs from the aforementioned Snog, Marry, Avoid is in its tone. Where the latter programme was sarcastic and caustic towards its contestants, 100% Hotter takes its fashion blunderers gently by the hand, incorporates elements of their personality into their new and improved looks and offers genuinely helpful advice rather than just simply tearing them down one nasty comment at a time.
The first three episodes of the series are available to stream on NOW TV now.
Give it a go: if you love makeover shows.
Give it a miss: if you think people should be allowed to wear whatever they damn well please.
Check out last week’s recommendations.
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