What to Watch: ‘The Americans’ and Another Getty Family Drama
From "Trust" to "Billions," it's a weekend of nail-biting sagas.
Welcome to What to Watch, a series where we tell you the best shows, movies and series out right now, both on networks and streaming services.
If you had asked me a year ago what true crime story would captivate audiences enough for a movie and subsequent FX drama, I might have given you an answer like “the Patty Hearst kidnapping” or “a shiny penny that Ryan Murphy found on the ground outside La Brea.”
In fact, the expansion pack for All the Money in the World is as different from the film as the movie Annihilation was to its source material. Though Trust’s greatest strength lies not in its ability to CGI Christopher Plummer into already-shot scenes but in Donald Sutherland’s searing portrayal of a patriarch that isn’t far off from what I assume, he’s like in real life. Another breakout star is Harris Dickinson as the kidnapped Getty. The tone is very different from American Crime Story, so if you’re looking for witty banter, this familial saga might not be for you.
The Mechanism (Netflix)
If Narcos met City of God, you’d have The Mechanism, a down-and-dirty Netflix original out of Brazil. It’s also not unlike The Wire in that it drops you right into the story and keeps its vernacular close to its chest, so expect to be slightly confused (but ultimately satisfied).
Hey! Billions is still on TV! The first and second seasons appealed to a demo that seemed entirely comprised of men like Damien Lewis’ Bobby Axelrod–a hedge fund genius who toes morality and legality with finesse. Meanwhile, his opponent, US Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), bulldozes through scenes like Javert on a mission. It’s a good binge for anyone who can’t tolerate House of Cards anymore…for whatever reasons.
The Americans: Season 6 (FX)
Rounding out a week of serious dramas, it should say something that the return of The Americans casts a larger shadow than the rest. This captivating portrait of a “couple” of Russian sleeper agents living out a supposedly quiet life in suburbia is in its final season, and already the rumors are flying that the show will ultimately come down to husband Philip (Matthew Rhys) versus wife (Keri Russel) as they get nearer to a reality where Gorbachev and the USSR make this couple’s hard work ultimately irrelevant. (Though it’d be great to have a coda in which the show jumps a few decades and lands squarely in the 2016 election cycle.)
Conor McGregor: Notorious (FX)
If you are a sports fan (like many of you are!), you’ll love this insider’s look at MMA star turned boxer, Conor McGregor. Firstly, it was filmed over four years, making it the Boyhood of celebrity docudramas. From his very humble beginnings (living with his girlfriend at his mother’s house; cashing in on unemployment) to his current peak of success, Notorious appeals not only to McGregor aficionados, but any fan of “hero’s journey” storytelling.
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