Streaming Must-Sees (and Must-Skips) in September 2023
'Secret Invasion,' 'The Changeling' and 'Painkiller' lead this month's edition of Tune In or Turn Off
Published Sep 19, 2023This past month has been spent playing catch up with a lot of streaming options missed over the summer. I took a punt with Marvel again (not advisable in their current state) and finally got around to watching arguably one of the best shows on television this year. There have also been some new hitters, including a Chilean dark comedy and a new series starring a tremendous LaKeith Stanfield.
Be sure to read our past editions of Tune In or Turn Off here for more streaming hits and misses.
Tune In: The Changeling
The idea of a grown-up fairy tale intrigues me, and while The Changeling didn't completely satisfy that interest, it's still compelling enough to warrant a watch. If anything, seeing LaKeith Stanfield deliver a fantastic performance grounded in so much anguish and emotion is worthwhile on its own.
Tune In: The Bear, Season 2
I watched the second season of The Bear late, and there was a very high bar for the show to clear based on the first season and all of the hype — and by god did it ever clear that bar. As promised, Season 2 not only exceeds the show's exceptional debut, it is arguably one of the best showings of any TV show this year. Christopher Storer ups the stakes (and steaks), going deeper into the interpersonal relationships of the chefs and drawing us deeper into their catharsis over food.
Tune In: El Conde
El Conde imagines a world where the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet never dies; instead, he's a vampire who goes on to live for another 250 years until he finally decides to perish. The film is a perfect example of finding humour in the darkest times. Beautifully shot in black and white, El Conde brings together humour and provocation, using the vampire motif in a deliciously biting manner.
Turn Off: Painkiller
Painkiller, a limited series targeting the pharmaceutical bigwigs behind the ongoing opioid crisis, attempts to show greed at its worst, but the show takes it to the point of becoming farcical. Matthew Broderick plays Richard Sackler so broadly, it feels appropriate that he would sprout a moustache just to mischievously twist it. A lot of good can come from dramatizing the devastating effects of the ongoing opioid crisis while deservedly vilifying those responsible for beginning the epidemic; unfortunately, Painkiller misses the mark.
Turn Off: Secret Invasion
I got off the Marvel train a while ago, but knowing how important the Secret Invasion storyline is to the comics, I was curious how the Skrull takeover would play out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps because the majority of the MCU has already been established without any mention of the Skrulls, it was harder to incorporate so far down the line — but with one foot in and one foot out, Secret Invasion is a half-baked effort.
Tune In: Star Trek: Picard, Season 3
The final season of Picard packs on the nostalgia and feels alongside a fun adventure full of riveting twists and turns. Making up for a lacklustre Season 2, Patrick Stewart says goodbye to one of his most beloved characters in with just enough pomp and circumstance. I wouldn't go as far to say that it's the Star Trek of old, but it's an appropriate farewell for a stalwart of the franchise.
Tune In: Stephen Curry: Underrated
For all his talent and accomplishments, there's an odd case to be made that Stephen Curry is underrated. Certainly as he was coming up the ranks, "under-sized" was an attribute often associated with Curry — but even after literally changing the game, he still has his doubters. Underrated gives some interesting insights on the athlete, both on the court and off, and is well worth a watch for fans of Curry, as well as sports fans in general.