There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.
We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.
See: Squid Game: The Challenge
Squid Game: The Challenge earns the controversy it generated upon an announcement of a real-life version of Netflix’s deadly hit. The game show is less lethal, but no less enthralling, as contestants compete for an enormous cash prize in hyper-complicated tests of will and skill.
Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:
“While watching the murderous, violent, scary Squid Game, did anyone think, ‘Man, do I wish this were real!’ I, for one, did not. In fact, I was grateful to be safe inside my home, watching 455 people die for the chance to win some cash on a fictional show instead of watching this chaos unfold in real time. I’d like to think most people who watched Squid Game weren’t imagining what would happen if the games ever became reality. Alas, at least one person was, because the competition has become an actual reality show on Netflix called Squid Game: The Challenge—and 456 real people are participating.
Although Netflix’s reality-TV recreation of the drama goes against the entire point of the original Squid Game—that it’s sick to not only pit people against each other to earn a living but to gamify the situation—something about Squid Game: The Challenge is so dark, but simultaneously engrossing. Kicking off Nov. 22 with new episodes streaming weekly thereafter, it is as well-produced and enthralling as the 2021 Netflix hit, and better yet (no shocker here), none of these real contestants die. Instead, when someone is eliminated, they’re smacked with black paint and forced to keel over, playing dead. The rest of the competition is almost exactly the same as the K-drama: 456 players, a gargantuan prize of $4.56 million ($10,000 per player), and games that were originally meant for children.”
Saltburn might be chock full of scenes involving bodily fluids, hard drugs, and mind-boggling sex acts, but the real shock is how fun it manages to be beside all that, a feast of raging hormones led by a Barry Keoghan as electric as it is delightfully unstable.
Here’s Nick Schager’s take:
“With his breakout supporting role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2017 thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Barry Keoghan emerged as one of Hollywood’s most excitingly eccentric actors, and on the heels of last year’s Academy Award-nominated turn in The Banshees of Inisherin, he once again steals the show in Saltburn (in theaters Nov. 17), Emerald Fennell’s first writing/directing effort since winning a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Promising Young Woman. As a university freshman who gets a taste for the glamorous upper-crust life through friendship with a wealthy classmate, Keoghan proves an electric menace par excellence. His cunning and carnally devious schemer is the main attraction of this modernized riff on The Talented Mr. Ripley, which is never more than skin-deep and ultimately overstays its welcome but which comes alive when—especially in its latter half—it indulges in its most wildly deviant impulses.
No sooner has Oliver Quick (Keoghan) walked onto the Oxford University campus for his maiden 2006 year than he’s mocked for his low-rent preppy coat. Before he knows it, he’s identified by a fellow student as a kindred outcast, although Oliver is not content to accept that lowly station. Rather, from the moment of his arrival, he has his eyes set squarely on Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), a tall, handsome aristocrat who’s holding court with the nonchalant confidence of the popular and privileged. Oliver bides his time waiting for an opportunity to meet this hunk, and he gets it when he finds Felix stranded thanks to a flat bike tire. Offering to graciously lend Felix his own bicycle, Oliver immediately gets into his target’s good graces and earns a seat at his pub table, this despite the fact that Felix’s cousin Farleigh Start (Archie Madekwe) doesn’t trust this newcomer to their clique.”
EXmas is like the immaculate conception for holiday movie lovers fatigued by their recent choices: Finally, a savior is born! This sweet, hilarious rom-com is the perfect treat for anyone who needs a little extra warmth—or discord—this season.
Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:
“Some years are far better than others for new Christmas content. I know this because I consume them in the same way I do my mom’s raspberry thumbprint cookies: until I am so sick that I don’t want to see another one for 10 more months. So far, 2023 has been pretty bleak when it comes to the genre. Sure, there have been occasional flashes of merriment and good tidings here and there—like in Ludacris’ holiday film that’s also somehow a political thriller, or in the Fellow Travelers Christmas episode that’s far more naughty than it is nice. But for every decent entry into the Christmas canon, there’s a moldy fruitcake wrapped in a gaudy bow. The less we talk about the bizarro Best. Christmas. Ever! or It’s a Wonderful Knife, the better.
Thankfully, one movie has arrived to tip the scales, and it’s the one that no one could’ve expected: EXmas, starring Leighton Meester and her blunt bangs. If you’ve watched the trailer for this movie, which is now streaming on Amazon FreeVee, you know exactly why: It looks like a mawkish, sparsely plotted rom-com that would be another egregious misuse of Meester’s effervescent star power. But being the Gossip Girl devotee and Christmas connoisseur that I am, I was prepared to endure. To my delight, EXmas is one of the year’s most unexpected holiday surprises, a warm and highly amusing comedy that genuinely feels like a 90-minute glimpse into a big family holiday.”
See: Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is both fan service for those of us clinging to Tumblr’s last shred of relevance, and a hugely entertaining, gorgeously animated romp that brings the live-action movie’s cast back together to voice their characters in a breathtaking new adventure.
Here’s Allegra Frank’s take:
“For a certain group of people, life can be divided into two eras: before Scott Pilgrim and after. Whether their entry point was cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley’s fantastic series of graphic novels or Edgar Wright’s 2010 feature-film adaptation, fans of the series have found themselves transfixed by this very funny, very Canadian, very fantastical saga. The story of a video game- and indie rock-obsessed, twentysomething loser fighting for the right to date the girl literally of his dreams, Scott Pilgrim took us on an unexpected, hilarious, heartfelt, and deeply relatable journey over the course of six volumes and a 112-minute film.
The comics’ greatness lay in their fearless commitment to the bonkers premise, which appealed directly to readers around Scott’s own age. O’Malley created a world in which Super Mario-style power-ups actually exist; a burnout bassist is also commonly regarded as ‘the best fighter in the province;’ veganism is a superpower; and a woman’s exes will join together to form a supervillain team, determined to stop her from ever dating anyone else again.”
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