Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone still trying to make sense of “the ‘Gordy’s Home’ incident” — and everyone who’s about to be.
That’s because Jordan Peele’s “Nope” lands on Peacock on Friday. And if you don’t know what the above refers to, no worries: No major spoilers here. Just know that Jen Yamato’s explainer and the rest of our “Nope” coverage, collected in this week’s “Catch Up,” will help you wrap your head around everything from the Spielberg references to the fish sandwiches whether you’re seeing the film for the first time or the 15th.
Also this week, we’re joined by “Gangs of London” star Sopé Dìrísù, offer a pair of streaming recommendations for your weekend, and more. As always, we want to know what you’re watching too! Send us your review of a TV show or streaming movie you’ve loved and it may be included in a future edition of Screen Gab. (Submissions should be approximately 100-150 words.)
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Recommendations from the film and TV experts at The Times
I’m going to recommend a small horror film without saying much specific because I want you to experience it fresh. All I’ll say about the plot of “Barbarian” (HBO Max) is it starts with two strangers thrown together in a rented house … and goes to unexpected places. It’s not quite microbudget ($4.5 million) and the presence of some name actors alerts you to its aspirations being higher than run-of-the-mill horror. But “Barbarian” feels independent in the best way. It’s not bound by expected structures and conventions. Its narrative isn’t nonlinear to be different, but to effectively reveal story and character. The performances are right on. Writer-director Zach Cregger lets us revel in the stupidity and awfulness of one character and keeps us guessing about another’s true nature. The plot does rely on some forehead-slapping stuff: “Why would you go in there?” But take that with a grain of salt to enjoy the creepiness, freakiness and fun surprises of “Barbarian.” —Michael Ordoña
If you’re looking for something seasonal yet politically agnostic to talk about with your relatives at Thanksgiving dinner, lean into football and catch up with “Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals” (HBO, HBO Max). This is the second year that the long-running series, which typically follows an NFL team through the drama of training camp, preseason games and roster cuts, has given football fans a rare glimpse inside the locker room during the regular season. This year, we’re following the drama of the Cardinals, who’ve struggled with an injury to quarterback Kyler Murray and losses that could take them out of playoff contention before the series even wraps filming. In addition to words of inspiration, tears and hilarious outtakes, “Hard Knocks” showcases NFL Films’ outstanding camerawork and editing, though you don’t even have to like football to get something out of this season. The first episode features a personal tour of the desert home of Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose art collection includes an artistic rendering of Heath Ledger as the Joker and a large black canvas depicting a lion wearing a crown that left me … mesmerized? disturbed? bemused? Kingsbury later explained it represents him because he’s a Leo. —Vanessa Franko
Everything you need to know about the film or TV series everyone’s talking about
With “Nope” (streaming Friday on Peacock), his third film as director, Jordan Peele turns the lacerating satire of “Get Out” and the persistent suspense of “Us” on a subject he knows well: showbiz. As a pair of Hollywood horse-wranglers (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) attempt to understand, avoid and eventually trap the mysterious force (literally) shadowing their Southern California ranch, and outsmart the child star-turned-cowboy impresario (Steven Yeun) next door in the process, Peele throws a kitchen sink’s worth of screen history at the viewer. Muybridge’s horse. The films of Steven Spielberg. A hand-cranked camera. A bloody incident on a sitcom set. Peele’s ambition may have left many (and not just Logan Paul) scratching their heads, but it’s the endless arguments the film sparked, whether over a fish sandwich after a screening or on Slack here at The Times, that made “Nope” feel like an old-school summer blockbuster. That and Palmer, who gives a performance worthy of an Oscar, Marisa Tomei division: Even if everyone already forgets the plot of this movie, they could be playing clips of her on the awards broadcast for years to come. —Matt Brennan
A weekly chat with actors, writers, directors and more about what they’re working on — and what they’re watching
To use an internet term of art, “Gangs of London” slaps. The U.K. series, which returned for its second season Thursday on AMC+, is the creation of acclaimed action filmmaker Gareth Evans (“The Raid: Redemption,” “The Raid 2″), and it bears both his international stamp — Evans, a Welshman, lived and worked in Indonesia for years — and his exhilarating acuity for putting bodies in motion. One of those bodies belongs to Sopé Dìrísù, whose undercover police officer Elliot Finch is our entree into the world of “Gangs’” leading crime family, the Wallaces. The rising star stopped by Screen Gab to discuss his favorite of the series’ demanding fight scenes, the gangland movies most in tune with “Gangs,” and what he’s watching. —Matt Brennan
What have you watched recently that you are recommending to everyone you know?
Kid Cudi’s “Entergalactic” (Netflix), directed by Fletcher Moules. I was recommended it by my friend because he felt so seen by it and I couldn’t agree more. The project is so incredibly well put together, I wanted to know who everyone that worked on it was. The way my heart was beating so intensely throughout the film .… I think art should be critiqued by how it makes you feel, not whether you alone think it’s ‘good’ or not, and this made me feel. So strongly. So completely. Had to sit and reassess my life after watching it.
What’s your go-to “comfort watch,” the movie or TV show you go back to again And again?
“South Park” (Comedy Central, HBO Max) or “Rick & Morty” (HBO Max, Hulu). Need I say more? I will though. Sometimes you just need to switch off and laugh, and the outrageous humor of both these shows is the perfect tonic for just how ridiculous the world can seem at times. With “South Park” especially, the wit of it and how it distills and parodies the world can be a really great lens through which to interrogate what goes on around us.
Which film or TV show helps you get into the brain space of “Gangs of London”?
I can’t say I actually watch anything to get me in the mood for a shoot. I rely more on the script and the world we’ve created together as a production, but when I saw “Blade Runner” (HBO Max), “Casino Royale” (Netflix) and “Gomorrah” (HBO Max), I found three projects that really echo the tone of our show.
The series has been acclaimed for its action sequences. Which is your favorite so far, and why?
Across the whole show so far? There are too many to choose from. But in [Season] 2 alone, it’s Luan and Ed vs. the Georgians in the mud in Episode 4, and I’m not even in that one! I just find this fight to be the most grounded and realistic of the fights we’ve done so far, and the context and what they’re fighting for is so immediate and desperate. It’s sloppy and messy and not at all glamourous. I do not envy [co-stars] Lucian [Msamati], Orli [Shuka], Rom [Blanco] or any of the stunt team who shot it, as I’d rather not spend an hour after every shoot day showering off the mud. But it was so worth it for that final sequence.
Listings coordinator Matt Cooper highlights the TV shows and streaming movies to keep an eye on
[Editor’s note: There will be no listings in Screen Gab next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. What’s on TV this week will run as usual in Calendar on Sunday, Nov. 27. We will return to regularly scheduled programming on Friday, Dec. 2.]
Fri., Nov. 18
“Best in Snow” (Disney+): The aforementioned Tituss Burgess also hosts this new snow sculpting competition.
“Disenchanted” (Disney+): Amy Adams reprises her “Enchanted” role in this star-studded 2022 sequel to the 2007 fantasy comedy.
“Emeril Cooks” (Roku): Someone’s in the kitchen with Emeril Lagasse in this new cooking show.
“The Great British Baking Show: Holidays” (Netflix): The seasonal edition of the competition returns for Season 5.
“Inside Job” (Netflix): The animated sitcom set in a super-secret government facility is back. With Christian Slater.
“Mickey: The Story of a Mouse” (Disney+): See how a cartoon rodent became an internationally recognized corporate mascot in this new documentary.
“Murder at Yellowstone City” (AMC+): There’s gold — and blood — in them thar hills in this 2022 mystery drama. With Gabriel Byrne.
“Nope” (Peacock): There’s a UFO in them thar hills in Jordan Peele’s 2022 sci-fi/horror/western mashup. Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star.
“The People We Hate at the Wedding” (Prime Video): Kristen Bell, Ben Platt and Allison Janney might be three of them in this off-color 2022 comedy.
“Slumberland” (Netflix): A young girl has a fantastical adventure in this 2022 fable based on a classic comic strip. With Jason Momoa.
“Spirited” (Apple TV+): Ryan Reynolds and the aforementioned Will Ferrell team up for this tune-filled 2022 take on “A Christmas Carol.”
“Inventing the Christmas Prince” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A rocket scientist (Tamera Mowry-Housley) falls for her hunky supervisor in this new TV movie.
“A Country Christmas Harmony” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): A country music star (Brooke Elliott) reconnects with a former flame in this new TV movie.
“Next at the Kennedy Center” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): “A Joni Mitchell Songbook” features contemporary artists tackling classic tunes by the beloved singer-songwriter.
Sat., Nov. 19
“Messi” (Peacock): Get up close and personal with Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi in this new sports doc.
“Life in Colour” (BBC America, 5 p.m.): See how animals use color in order to survive and thrive in this new series hosted by David Attenborough.
“Three Wise Men and a Baby” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): Three brothers unexpectedly find themselves on diaper duty in this new TV movie.
“The 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” (HBO, 8 p.m.): The reluctant-to-be-inducted Dolly Parton heads this year’s class of honorees.
“Santa Bootcamp” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): An event planner (Emily Kinney) meets a hunky chef in this new TV movie. With Rita Moreno.
Sun., Nov. 20
2022 FIFA World Cup (Fox, FS1, Peacock, Telemundo): The quadrennial international soccer tournament kicks off in Qatar and runs through Dec. 18.
“Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium” (Disney+): The rock legend holds court at Chavez Ravine in the final stop on his last-ever North American tour.
“Yellowstone: One-Fifty” (Fox Nation): Kevin Costner is your guide in this new four-part special marking the sesquicentennial of Yellowstone National Park.
“American Music Awards” (ABC, 8 p.m.): Wayne Brady hosts, Bad Bunny leads all nominees and Lionel Richie collects career kudos.
“A Waltons Thanksgiving” (CW, 8 p.m.): The Depression-era clan gathers ’round the table in this new TV movie based on the 1972-81 TV series.
“The L Word: Generation Q” (Showtime, 8 p.m.): This reboot of the LGBTQ-themed drama returns with new episodes.
“The Walking Dead” (AMC, 9 p.m.): The horror drama presents its series finale.
Mon., Nov. 21
“Death in the Dorms” (Hulu): This new true-crime series reexamines murders that took place on college campuses.
Angela Lansbury tribute (TCM): The dearly departed star is remembered with a 24-hour marathon that includes the 1962 thriller “The Manchurian Candidate” (5 p.m.).
“Dancing With the Stars” (Disney+, 5 p.m.): Find out who’s going home with the mirror ball trophy in the competition’s season finale.
“Below Deck” (Bravo, 8 p.m.): The reality series set aboard a luxury yacht sails in for a 10th season.
“Kids Baking Championship” (Food Network, 9 p.m.): They’re talking turkey in a special Thanksgiving episode.
“POV” (KOCE, 10 p.m.): Two healthcare workers in Myanmar set religious and ethnic differences aside to work together in the 2022 documentary “Midwives.”
Tue., Nov. 22
“Our Universe” (Netflix): Morgan Freeman explains it all to you in his warm, reassuring baritone in this new science series.
“Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would” (Netflix): The departing host of “The Daily Show” takes the stage in a new stand-up special.
“Welcome to Chippendales” (Hulu): Men dance sans pants in this new true-crime drama about the fall of the strip club empire. Kumail Nanjiani stars.
“The Automat” (TCM, 5 and 8:30 p.m.): Serve yourself with this delectable 2021 documentary about a bygone restaurant chain.
“Bachelor in Paradise” (ABC, 8 p.m.): It’s checkout time in the spinoff’s Season 8 finale.
“American Masters” (KOCE, 9 p.m.): Canadian singer-songwriter and Indigenous rights activist Buffy Sainte-Marie is profiled in a 2022 documentary.
“The Bermuda Triangle: Into Cursed Waters” (History, 10 p.m.): The truth is out there — or rather, under there — in this new docuseries.
Wed., Nov. 23
“Andor” (Disney+): This above-average “Star Wars” series starring Diego Luna as a rebel with a cause ends its first season.
“Blood, Sex & Royalty” (Netflix): The steamy saga of Henry VIII and his ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn, is retold in this new historical series.
“Echo 3” (Apple TV+): A scientist’s brother and husband join forces to find her after she goes missing in Colombia in this new action drama. With Luke Evans.
“Good Night Oppy” (Prime Video): Opportunity, the little Mars rover that could, is saluted in this 2022 documentary.
“Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” (Peacock): Adam Devine reprises his role from the musical comedy franchise in this new spinoff series.
“Wednesday” (Netflix): Scream queen Jenna Ortega plays the Addams family’s resident goth girl in this new comedy. With Catherine Zeta-Jones.
“Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies” (KOCE, 8 and 9 p.m.): This new two-part special marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the young pharaoh’s tomb.
“Shaq” (HBO, 9 p.m.): Get up close and personal with NBA great Shaquille O’Neal in this new four-part series.
“Criminal Minds: Evolution” (CBS, 10 p.m.): They’re getting the BAU back together in this reboot of the 2005–20 procedural. Joe Mantegna stars.
Thu., Nov. 24
“Christmas at the Greenbriar” (Fox Nation): A widowed mother (Alicia Leigh Willis) reconnects with a former flame in this new TV movie.
“Good Rivals” (Prime Video): This new three-part series tracks the storied rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico’s men’s national soccer teams.
“Love Lizzo” (HBO Max): The singer, rapper, flautist and activist shares her struggles and triumphs in this new documentary.
“The Noel Diary” (Netflix): A novelist (Justin Hartley, “This Is Us”) has an unexpected connection to a woman searching for her birth mother in this new TV movie.
“The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS” and “The 96th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” (CBS, 9 a.m.; NBC, 9 a.m.): The annual procession takes place in NYC.
“The National Dog Show” (NBC, noon): Prized pooches strut their stuff in Philadelphia in the annual competition. John O’Hurley and David Frei co-host.
NFL Football (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): A cornucopia of Turkey Day matchups kicks off with the Buffalo Bills versus the Detroit Lions.
“My Southern Family Christmas” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): A woman poses as a journalist to get closer to her biological father (Bruce Campbell) in this new TV movie.