Time to settle in on the day and enjoy yourself some fine mom-themed entertainment, and not only is Serial Mom a great choice for the holiday, it's also a good intro to Kathleen Turner if all you know about her is that she was the voice of Jessica Rabbit. Written and directed by John Waters, Serial Mom (Now streaming on Starz, $3.99 to rent, $6.99-14.99 to own on VOD) puts Turner in the sort of meaty lead role the Prince of Puke would normally reserve for his muse Divine—and Turner makes the absolute most of the opportunity, fully committing to this freakshow and giving real bite what might have otherwise been a slight black comedy about making celebrities out of murderers. Good thing we as a culture don't do that anymore, right? Ha ha ha!
Though it launched right alongside Nintendo's Animal Crossing earlier this year, Bethesda's latest Doom entry (available on PS4, XBox One, PC) quickly got overshadowed by Tom Nook's latest real-estate scam. But that's sort of an unfair comparison to make. Animal Crossing basically became the dominant means of pop-culture escape from COVID-19 for literally tens-of-millions of people. But that shouldn't minimize Doom Eternal's many charms—it's bloody, lightning fast, carnage-fueled charms. And the game is currently on sale at many major retailers (Amazon, Best Buy, other companies trying to compete with those two via price matching) for $20 off. Look, some days you want to shake trees til they're barren, sell turnips, and get stung in the face by bees. And other days you want to rip and tear until it is done. And for those days, now you have a cheaper alternative.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back
This counts as a Mother's Day movie, right? It probably should. Based on the bestselling Terry McMillan book, Stella (Angela Bassett) is a mom—a very hardworking one—who has to be cajoled into taking a trip to Jamaica because she's not been practicing self-care for awhile now. And when she gets to Jamaica with her friend Whoopi Goldberg, she meets young Taye Diggs, who is probably the cutest he has ever been in his entire life (which is saying something). He is also not an idiot, because the second he sees Angela Bassett, he falls in love with her. Don't turn this on (Now streaming, HBO Now)expecting drama of any kind. This is a very laid-back, beautiful, mind-meltingly-gorgeous domestic fantasy that's more like a luxuriant bubble bath in film form. A bubble-bath with an almost always shirtless 20-something Taye Diggs.
The latest burst of jazz-flavored drama from Oscar-winning writer/director Damian Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) isn't lighting up a big screen (because that doesn't really happen anymore unless you've got one of those fancy projector setups in your house or whatever), it's on Netflix. Debuting this past Friday, The Eddy seems like it should be a kind-of-chill slice-of-life about a guy (Andre Holland) running a jazz club in Paris and trying to be a good parent to his estranged daughter (Amandla Stendberg). But because it's Chazelle, it's also a crime-drama about an exile from the States just trying to stay relevant musically while ducking shady underworld types coming after him, that plays out its eight-episode run like an actual jazz ensemble giving its players a lot of room to solo.
Postcards from the Edge and Bright Lights
A Fisher/Reynolds double feature for Mother's Day sure to blurt laughs, evoke gasps, and jerk tears in equal measures for about four hours straight. First, the (barely-) fictional adaptation of Carrie Fisher's relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Postcards from the Edge: starring Meryl Streep as Fisher and Shirley MacLaine as Reynolds. The story (available for rent, VOD, $3.99) is sorta-kinda centered on Fisher's attempts to find and maintain sobriety in the midst of an unsatisfying acting career and the towering shadow of her mother's showmanship, but it also doesn't really matter: Carrie Fisher got Mike Nichols to direct Meryl Streep, as her, in a movie about her life. That's amazing. Chase that bit of loveliness with the HBO documentary Bright Lights, directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, featuring Reynolds and Fisher together—Carrie on the eve of filming The Force Awakens, Debbie in the midst of a Vegas set—sharing true stories of their time in Hollywood, and their time together.
About a year ago, American treasure and cultural icon Michelle Obama came to the Moda Center as part of her national tour promoting her book Becoming. She covered key events in her life from career to motherhood, and discussed the lessons learned from becoming the first Black woman to serve as First Lady of the United States. This documentary (Now streaming, Netflix) is "an intimate documentary" for those who were able to attend last year's show, and for us broke folk who only got as close as catching a glimpse of the Secret Service cavalcade that drove through town. Not sure how “intimate” this “conversation” can get, but I also don’t doubt Michelle’s ability to surpass all expectations. JENNI MOORE
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
I want to reconsider my stance on marriage so that I can marry Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I want it to be one of my daughter’s fathers. It is the lightest timeline. It is the good place. Aside from parenting my child, it is the most uplifting experience I’ve had in the last two years. It's important to be engaged, but mental health breaks are important, too, and while you could just silence your phone and try to ignore each news alert signaling our further descent into doom, it'll be much better to watch Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (now streaming, HBO Now) and fully immerse yourself in pure, batshit joy. ELINOR JONES
There might be no comedy series currently running that is as consistently cathartic as Pamela Adlon's Better Things. It was always good, but the leap the show has taken in its last two seasons (not coincidentally, the two seasons created sans-input from Adlon's former collaborator Louis C.K.) is something to behold. Not every character in the show—not Pamela's character, not her daughters, and certainly not the parade of people storming in and out of her already turbulent life—is likeable, but they're all in their own way extremely loveable, in the hard, complicated, but rewarding way you might recognize in relationships with your own (often-infuriating) family members. The fourth season (it's best yet) is now available in full on Hulu, so if you've been waiting for that binge, here you go.
Hey. Call Your Mom
Seriously, it's Mother's Day. If you can get a hold of her today, reach out. Yes, even if you sent her a card and a box of muffins or whatever. Even if it's only for a few minutes of banal blah-blah. We're living in some fraught and uncertain times. Whether it's Skype, or FaceTime, or Zoom, Discord, texting, actually using the phone as a phone (yuck, what), give mom a call today.
Fetch the Bolt Cutters
They're not gonna fetch themselves, are they. No. No they are not.