Not one, but two highly anticipated releases hit streaming this week, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Friday Five has got drama, comedy, action and animation, not to mention a brand new summer jam!
Adam Sandler, starring in another drama alongside NBA players? After Uncut Gems, you can definitely sign us up. Hustle, co-produced by Sandler and LeBron James, has been in the works at Netflix for a while, and now it's finally here. Sandler's love of hoops is well-known, and while he is usually out on pick-up courts, Hustle sends him around the globe as an aging scout looking for fresh NBA talent. The Netflix film co-stars the Utah Jazz's Juancho Hernangomez, along with a plethora of NBA players. Boban Marjonovic and Anthony Edwards both get good screentime in the trailer, and other pros like Aaron Gordon also have their names in the credits. Other industry figures like Kenny Smith make appearances in the film, along with A-List Hollywood talent like Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, and Ben Foster. We will always have a soft spot for Sandler's comedies, but it has been fun to see him step into a different kind of role, and after the success of Uncut Gems, we are psyched to see what he's got next.
Peaky Blinders, Season 6
Hustle isn't the only highly-anticipated project hitting Netflix this week. After a years-long wait, the last season of one of our favorite shows is finally here. That's right, Peaky Blinders is back. Season 1 of the hugely successful BBC show began on the heels of WWI, and now the sixth and final season leads into WWII. Cillian Murphy has made the role of Thomas Shelby pretty iconic, but he's not the only huge star in the show. Tom Hardy and Anya Taylor-Joy have also carved out fantastic roles, and there's a murderer's row of TV actors doing incredible work in the cast. Sadly, this is the first season without the late Helen McCrory's Polly Gray mothering the Shelby boys, and we're curious to see how that changes the plot. Over the run of the series, it has been really interesting to see how the show weaves real, historical events into the story of the Peaky Blinders. We're definitely sad to see Peaky Blinders come to an end, but we're glad the creators knew when to bring it a close. If you haven't watched, we're pretty jealous; there are five fantastic seasons to catch up on before taking on the new one. Just pour yourself a few fingers of whiskey and enjoy!
"The Wire at 20" Podcast
Speaking of shows we love, one of our all-time favorites is celebrating its twenty-year anniversary, and now there's a podcast out giving away all the inside details. Method Man hosts "The Wire at 20," which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making and reception of HBO's iconic The Wire. It's so cool to get any sort of inside scoop on one of the all-time great television shows, and Method Man talks to all the important voices behind it. Creators David Simon and Ed Burns are interviewed in the pilot, and other cast members make appearances as the series goes on. The Wire was such an explosive, different series when it aired, and while it might be hard to imagine in the age of prestige TV, it really pushed boundaries in the early 2000's. We love to hear from innovators and learn about their creative processes, but it's focused on something we revere as much as The Wire. We definitely know what we'll be listening to in the car for the next few weeks!
Grump In The Night
While it might not quite be on the level of The Wire or Peaky Blinders, we have an animated short we think everyone should check out this week, especially if you don't have the hours required for TV dramas. Grump In The Night is an animated short we found on Instagram, created by writer/director/producer/animator Kris Theorin, and we highly recommend it. The short itself is very funny and original, and the design of all the characters is really cool. It has a touching family story that feels like it could belong in a Pixar universe somewhere, just on a much smaller scale. But beyond the short itself, Theorin has posted all sorts of BTS content on his Instagram, and we suggest taking a deep dive on that, too. You can see how motion capture rigging turned into the animated characters in the short, and how one "actor" brought all the characters to life.
We are working on a few different animation/motion capture projects at the moment ourselves, so it was fun and inspiring to see someone else's process as they go through it, too.
Abhi The Nomad - "Superbad"
While we just released our beach jam playlist, Friday Five isn't the same without music, so we couldn't leave you without a new jam to get you through the weekend, too. Abhi The Nomad has made a few appearances on the Friday Five, and he's back on the list with his upbeat single "Superbad." A really fun beat grooves through the whole song, and it is very infectious. Even if you can't keep up with Abhi's flow on the lyrics, you won't be able to help but bob your head. There's a great middle section where the beat drops out, then builds back in, switching it up with some new horn parts. "Superbad" feels like it takes inspiration from animated super hero theme songs of the past. At the very least, the beat wouldn't be out of place as a theme for a superhero show, which fits perfectly with the lyrics. "Super Bad" will definitely be in rotation as the weather warms up, because it just makes us want to move, and you can't ask for much else from your summer tunes.