Watching: Your Next Buzzy Binge

And the week in new movies.

By Margaret Lyons

Dear Watchers,

As part of the charity fund-raiser Comic Relief, the Irish network RTÉ One released two new “Normal People” short sketches: one that imagines Connell and Marianne 40 years from now and one that’s a present-day crossover with the Hot Priest from “Fleabag.” Feed it to me like grapes.

I hope you’re staying safe. See you Wednesday.


I miss parties

A scene from “Say I Do.”Netflix

‘Say I Do’

When to watch: Starting Wednesday, on Netflix.

If you are looking for an upbeat background show, something where you can either fold laundry and half watch or focus in briefly and feel absolutely overcome by your love for humanity, this new series seems poised to be the next buzzy binge. It’s emotional and endearing but maybe a little more complicated than the show can address from within.


“Say I Do” is very much in the vein of “Queer Eye”: Couples who have endured a major hardship are thrown “dream weddings” by the interior designer Jeremiah Brent, the fashion designer Thai Nguyen and Chef Gabriele Bertaccini. Some of the participating couples are already married, and some are already engaged, but everyone is dealing with some kind of grief or trauma that one partner wants to move past through a surprise wedding.

While the show does plenty of the fun party-planning things you would expect, it’s less about “Do you want buffet style or seated?” and more about weddings as a nexus of healing — which feels like one of the exact reasons contemporary wedding culture is so bizarre. On the one hand, yes, I wept for the woman who finally received a diagnosis for the learning disability whose vagueness haunted her entire life. On the other, blurring actualization with matrimony is far from a universal good.

But yay! A party! Especially when celebrations are so hard to come by, the emphasis “Say I Do” puts on gatherings is less garish and more joyful than it might otherwise seem. It’s not the show’s fault that we don’t have a better ritual for catharsis. Until we do, this is plenty of fun.

I don’t know, is there something where a British veterinarian holds a bird of prey, or anything else?

Peter Wright in a scene from “The Yorkshire Vet.”Acorn

  • Yes, that’s “The Yorkshire Vet,” a documentary series about the real-life veterinary practice that inspired the “All Creatures Great and Small” franchise. Five seasons are now streaming on Acorn.
  • Nickelodeon is reviving the “Nick News” banner, and its first outing, Monday at 7 p.m., is the hourlong program “Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special,” hosted by Alicia Keys.
  • PBS’s two-part doc about women of color in politics, “And She Could Be Next,” airs at 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. (Check local listings.)


Your newly available movies of the week

Ji-hu Park in “House of Hummingbird,” directed by Bora Kim.Well Go USA

Five years after his departure from “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart returns to political comedy as a director with “Irresistible” but struggles to keep up with the times. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams send up the tacky excesses of a continental singing competition in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.” But our critics had a better time with smaller films, like the understated Korean drama “House of Hummingbird” or “The Ghost of Peter Sellers,” a Peter Medak documentary about a never-released 1974 pirate-themed comedy.

Some independent films are available via “virtual cinemas,” which share the rental fee between the distributor and the art-house theater of your choice.

Unless otherwise noted, other titles can generally be rented on all the usual platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. — Scott Tobias

‘The 11th Green’ (A Critic’s Pick, available via Theatrical-at-Home virtual cinema)

It is not really a spoiler to reveal that one of the many stimulating scenes that follow shows the movie’s current president (never named, but a clear Barack Obama stand-in played by Leith M. Burke) engaged in a lively conversation with Eisenhower (George Gerdes) and an extraterrestrial being who bears an incidental resemblance to the hippie Christ spaceman of Larry Cohen’s “God Told Me To.” — Glenn Kenny (Read the full review.)

‘Beats’ (A Critic’s Pick, via Eventive virtual cinema)

During the rave sequence, a hint of chromatic aberration increasingly gives way to color and collage, to a point where the cinematography and editing appear to be tripping. Maybe it’s overkill, but this tender, detail-filled movie lives for the moment. — Ben Kenigsberg (Read the full review.)

‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ (Netflix only)

Balancing a hat on top of a hat, David Dobkin’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” tries to add even more humor to an event already legendary for its excesses and battiness. The result is a movie so eye-searingly extra it makes “Mamma Mia!” look bashful. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review.)

‘The Ghost of Peter Sellers’ (A Critic’s Pick)

It might look like a documentary about the making of a cursed, never-released 1973 comedy; but this moving personal essay by the director Peter Medak feels like nothing so much as an extended therapy session, one designed to exorcise smarting memories and make peace with a complicated past. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review.)

‘House of Hummingbird’ (A Critic’s Pick, via Kino Marquee)

This focus on the aftermath of tragedy reflects the writer-director Bora Kim’s insistently non-melodramatic approach. She doesn’t avoid strong emotions or personal crises; if anything the story has one too many disasters. But as a filmmaker she’s more interested in the quiet that can come when you’re alone with your thoughts and — like Eun-hee — believe that you’re alone in the world. — Manohla Dargis (Read the full review.)


East Coast slickness meets heartland folksiness in “Irresistible,” a political satire so broad and blunt that it flattens every joke and deflates every setup. Movies like this should skip and jab; instead, this second feature from the writer and director Jon Stewart (after his impressively accomplished prison drama, “Rosewater,” in 2014) lumbers and flails. — Jeannette Catsoulis (Read the full review.)

‘Lost Bullet’ (A Critic’s Pick; Netflix only)

[Guillaume Pierret] avoids the crutches familiar to many American movies: Guns don’t figure much besides the shot that gets Lino in trouble, and there aren’t big explosions, either. Rather, the action scenes rely on legible choreography and fluid editing. — Elisabeth Vincentelli (Read the full review.)

Also newly available:


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