Friday Five, Vol. 12
March Madness is officially here, which means this weekend will be dominated by wall-to-wall basketball coverage. However, here at King Penguin, we like to think we have range. So, beyond basketball, here is the comedy, internet content, and Oscar-worthy cinema that has had our attention this week.
Today marks the start of the most beautifully chaotic weekend on the sports calendar: The opening rounds of March Madness. There are going to be multiple college basketball games on at pretty much all hours of the day, which is an absolute dream for sports fans, gamblers, and anyone that likes to root for an underdog. Usually the first days of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament provide fans with the most thrilling upsets, as scrappy upstarts bust brackets everywhere. It’s the one weekend a year where almost everyone you know will be betting on sports in some way, shape, or form. So fill out your bracket, set up as many screens as you can, and get comfortable. And don’t forget, heroes get remembered, but legends never die -- especially in March.
Last Chance U: Basketball
In case you’re still craving more basketball after the tourney games end, Netflix has you covered. For the last few years, Last Chance U has been inspiring viewers with incredible stories from JUCO football fields, as players go after one last chance at athletic success. This year, the Netflix series moved from the gridiron to the hardwood, and it has not disappointed. Last Chance U: Basketball immediately brings the viewer into a story that feels a lot like Coach Carter, from the fiery Coach Mosley to the players trying to succeed at East Los Angeles College. Switching to basketball has allowed the series to take on a new, maybe more relatable feel, especially for non-football players. Viewers get to see the raw emotion from the players on the court, and get to know most of the roster, considering it is a smaller team. There are ecstatic highs and heavy, emotional lows, and once you get started on the series, it’s hard to stop watching. We don’t know about you, but March Madness definitely won’t be the only college basketball on our TV screens.
Architectural Digest Celebrity Homes
In the last year, it seems like the entire country has become obsessed with browsing Zillow for dream homes -- Saturday Night Live even did a sketch about it. Here at King Penguin, we have hit the logical next step to Zillow deep-diving: Architectural Digest’s celebrity tours. The series takes viewers inside celebrity homes, and we get to see how the rich and famous really live. Beyond getting to see some dreamy pool setups, though, we have found it really interesting to see what inspires these stars, what art they like, and how they design spaces to be more creative and comfortable. Specifically, we are incredibly jealous of the office setups that would make working from home a much more invigorating experience. Aside from design, the AD series also leans into the same trend of a show like Hot Ones, where you get stars who are much more open and vulnerable than in talk show interviews. We get to hear Dakota Johnson casually talk about her personal relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, or Kevin Love talking about records that mean a lot to him. If you want to get jealous of some dream homes while also hearing some great celebrity stories, join us down the Architectural Digest rabbit hole.
Oscar nominations came out this week, and for our Friday Five, we figured it was time we recognized the most-nominated film of the year: Mank. It was a little surprising to see David Fincher’s film receive 10 nominations, if only because it never really picked up a lot of momentum after its November release. But we loved the movie, which tells the story of Herman Mankiewicz (“Mank”) writing the script for Citizen Kane. Don’t let the black and white picture scare you off! Fincher borrows stylistically from Kane, generally seen as one of the greatest films ever made, as well as a bunch of other great movies from Old Hollywood. He also used a script written by his late father, Jack, which is another inspiring piece of the production. The acting performances, writing, and score are all super impressive, which would explain all of the nominations. So whether you want to see a breakout performance by Amanda Seyfried, hear some fast, witty dialogue, or just immerse yourself in the culture of Old Hollywood, Mank has you covered.
Nate Bargatze: Greatest Average American
One of the things we’ve missed the most in the last year has been live stand-up comedy shows. While it won’t be quite the same as sitting with a big group, enjoying communal laughter, Netflix has at least given us something this week to ease the pain: A new special from comedian Nate Bargatze. He might not be a household name yet, but Bargatze already has two incredibly funny specials out on Netflix, with The Tennessee Kid and a half hour on The Stand-Ups. The Nashville comedian’s sets are super relatable, and he’s an incredibly funny storyteller that talks a lot about the mundane parts of life. Bargatze’s comedy is also great because it can appeal to just about anyone -- whether you’re watching with family, friends, or your parents, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a laugh this weekend, look no further than Nate Bargatze’s Greatest Average American.