What to Watch This Month

The latest TV and movies for you to stream in April 2021.

Death, sex, and Judaism collide in Shiva Baby

Name: Shiva Baby
Where: Select theatres and VOD
What: First run film, 77 mins
When: April 2
Genre: Indie
Why You Should Watch: Indie breakout star Rachel Sennott brings humour and complexity to this unique coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of religion, death and sexual politics.

Shiva Baby, a new dark comedy from rising Canadian director Emma Seligman, is nothing less than gospel for a modern Lost Generation. The coming-of-age film follows just a few hours in the life of Danielle, a slightly adrift student stuck in the mire of parental expectations, old relationships, uncertain futures and a moonlighting job as a sugar baby. Her life’s errant threads become hopelessly entangled at a Jewish mourning ceremony.

Seligman doesn’t shy away from frankly portraying the squirming awkwardness and mortifying petulance of early-20s confusion, and there are scenes so unflinching in their portrayal of conflict and angst that they almost hurt to watch. The film’s excellent cast plays perfectly off Seligman’s wry, quick-witted script. The characters in Shiva Baby are spared the quirky, candy-coloured kitsch that’s often imposed upon indie protagonists; on the contrary, Seligman’s characters and the actors that play them are mercifully, almost infuriatingly, human.

Shiva Baby is bitingly clever, uncomfortably honest, minimalist in its presentation and overwhelming in its emotion. But above all, the film is funny in the way that young adulthood itself is funny: just painful enough to be entirely comical; absurd in its masochism.

Screenshot from GENERA+ION

Genera+ion

Where: Crave, HBO Max Original
What: TV series (Season 1; 30 mins/8 episodes)
When: Streaming now
Genre: Dramedy
Why you should watch: Take millennial phenomenon Girls, move it to California and translate it to Gen Z. This Lena Dunham-produced series, created by 19-year-old Zelda Barnz and her fathers, tracks a cast of horny high-schoolers as they explore their sexualities and cope with teenage growing pains.

Screenshot from Girls in Revolt

Good Girls Revolt (2015)

Where: Prime Video
What: TV series (one season; 50 mins/10 episodes)
When: Streaming now
Genre: Historical drama
Why you should watch: Amid the Vietnam War, Manson Family murders and free love movement, a crew of female researchers fight for their right to be reporters in the sexist newsrooms of 1969. From The Rolling Stonespacked soundtrack to the suede miniskirts, it tastefully and believably captures a crucial moment in the history of women in journalism.

Screenshot from The Serpent

The Serpent

Where: Netflix
What: TV series (limited run; 60 mins/8 episodes)
When: April 2
Genre: Crime drama
Why you should watch: In a fast-paced crime spree set on the hippie beaches of 70s Asia, this true story of homicidal con man Charles Sobhraj, also known as the “Bikini Killer,” is spiked with poison, studded with rare gems and bursting with tension.

Screenshot from Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes

Where: Netflix
What: TV series (limited run; 50 mins/6 episodes)
When: Streaming now
Genre: Psychological thriller
Why you should watch: Lucid dreams fill this series, which spins the tale of Louise, a young single mom who has an affair with her boss, a mysterious and alluring psychiatrist. When she befriends his picture-perfect wife, things begin to unhinge. Just take it from singer Tate McRae, who tells us: “You have to watch it, I literally died. It’s so good.”

Screenshot from Concrete Cowboy

Concrete Cowboy

Where: Netflix
What: Film, 111 mins
When: April 2
Genre: Drama
Why You Should Watch: Idris Elba (Molly’s Game) and Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) shine in this heart-wrenching father-son drama set against the urban cowboy scene of North Philadelphia. Though fiction, the story shines a light on the rich, deeply rooted history of Black horsemanship in North America— historically whitewashed by Hollywood. A vibrant film with an all-star cast, it sets the record straight.

Screenshot from Earth Moods

Earth Moods

Where: Disney+
What: Mini-series
When: April 16
Genre: Nature
Why You Should Watch: Breathtaking shots of the natural world set to a brand-new electronic soundtrack, this is a nature docuseries unlike any other. Earth Moods takes a laidback retreat through the world’s most colourful and calming corners to the tune of an original EDM soundtrack. The voiceless nature doc works well and, though far from urgent viewing, it will give you a much-needed escape.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier screenshot

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Where: Disney+
What: Series, first season, six episodes, 50 mins
When: Streaming now
Genre: Superhero
Why you should watch: Marvel develops narrative from Avengers: End Game as The Falcon begrudgingly joins forces with the late Captain America’s troubled sidekick Bucky Barnes. All the good stuff is here: reluctant heroes, troubled heroes, family life messing up “save-the-world” time, wry winks at the audience, shit blows up real good, gadgets galore and yes, rules will be broken.

Screenshot from The Father

The Father

Where: Theatres and VOD
What: First-run film
When: Now screening
Genre: Family drama, 97 mins
Why you should watch: In a career filled with remarkable performances, Anthony Hopkins may give his best yet in this Best Actor Oscar–nominated role as a patriarch waging a losing battle against dementia. The Father is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. The Crown’s Olivia Colman is a deserving Best Supporting Actress nominee for her complex performance. Hopkins is riveting as he struggles against his fate, a sympathetic character in spite of himself.

Screenshot from ContraPoints

ContraPoints: Political Ideology Made for Youtube

Name: ContraPoints
Where: YouTube
What: YouTube videos ranging from 45 – 90 mins
Genre: Politics/ philosophy
Why you should watch: Groundbreaking You- Tuber ContraPoints has become something of a cultural icon in young political circles for her sophisticated analysis, aesthetic mastery and razor-sharp wit.

 

YouTuber ContraPoints (real name Natalie Wynn) is one of the most interesting, incisive and unabashedly unique voices the platform has to offer—just ask her 1.3 million subscribers. Unlike most of the 10- to 15-minute videos that thrive on YouTube, Wynn’s video essays are often the length of feature films. But she keeps her audience’s attention by using airtight reasoning, opulent sets, elaborate costumes and cutting humour to tackle decisive topics like capitalism, racism and transphobia.

 

It only takes a few minutes of watching to recognize Wynn’s undeniable intellect, but her opinions are only elevated by the stunning aesthetics she uses to make her points. In her most recent video—a 90-minute epic inspired by author J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans essays—she uses philosophy and sociology to expertly debunk transphobic rhetoric while lounging in a milk bath, cloaked in a diaphanous gown. In an online ecosystem of cheap thrills and quick fixes, ContraPoints’ meticulously crafted, enduring and relevant videos are a breath of fresh air.

Screenshot from Pasta Grannies

Pasta Grannies

Stuck on what to make for dinner? Every Friday, this channel pays a visit to a new Italian nonna as she lovingly demonstrates how she creates her favourite pasta dish. A different—but always adorable—nonna is featured each week, inviting viewers into the homey warmth of her Italian kitchen. Guaranteed feel- and taste-good content.

Zac and Jay posing

The Zac and Jay Show

Two British pranksters get up to ludicrous antics like sneaking into a red-carpet film premiere with Leonardo DiCaprio, setting up a lemonade stand outside Bill Gates’s house and cracking the code for getting into the famously exclusive Berghain techno club in Berlin.

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