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10 Best New Movies and Shows to Watch This Week That Aren’t the Super Bowl

This is a week where the Super Bowl takes place (on February 11) and a new series about Christian Dior’s post-World War II fashion movement (“The New Look”) also premieres. The bounty of television keeps giving. Also this week: the streaming premiere of “Bottoms,” the end of “La Brea,” a new documentary about Black astronauts (“The Space Race”) and the return of Jon Stewart to “The Daily Show.” Plus so much more! Sounds like it’ll kind of be a momentous week, huh?

On with the television!

“The New Look”

Wednesday, February 14, Apple TV+

the-new-look-ben-mendelsohn-christian-dior
Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior in “The New Look” (Apple TV+)

This new historical drama focuses on Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn), in his post-World War II period when he created the fashion line that unofficially went by The New Look. There are plenty of wonderful actors playing famous historical figures – Juliette Binoche is Coco Chanel, Maisie Williams is Catherine Dior, John Malkovich is Lucien Lelong and Glen Close is Carmel Snow. (Emily Mortimer, Claes Bang, Nuno Lopes and Zabou Breitman are also in the cast.) Incredibly, this is not a Ryan Murphy production. It was instead created by Todd A. Kessler, co-creator of “Damages” and “Bloodline.” And don’t worry about “The New Look” going out of fashion anytime soon – a second season is already being developed, totally couture and ready for the runway. [TRAILER]

“La Brea”

Tuesday, February 13 at 9 p.m., NBC

La Brea - Season 1
Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC

Remember “La Brea?” The heavily hyped, just-as-heavily promoted high-concept network drama about a sinkhole that opens up in Los Angeles, allowing access to a prehistoric world? Well apparently there were two more seasons, which got significantly stranger as they went along (Season 2 dealt with a research project in the far future that was actually causing these magical sinkholes and season three saw dinosaurs running around willy nilly). Sadly, there can only be so much madcap fun for so long. And tonight’s season finale is also the series finale. Maybe Syfy or somebody can revive it, though. They love dinosaurs right? [TRAILER]

“Bottoms”

Tuesday, February 13, Prime Video

Ayo Edebiri stars as Josie, Rachel Sennott as PJ and Summer Joy Campbell as Sylvie in “Bottoms” An Orion Pictures Release (MGM/Patti Perret)
Ayo Edebiri stars as Josie, Rachel Sennott as PJ and Summer Joy Campbell as Sylvie in “Bottoms” An Orion Pictures Release (MGM/Patti Perret)

One of last year’s very best movies, “Bottoms” is a howlingly funny high school comedy about a couple of “ugly lesbians” (the movie’s terminology, not ours) played by Rachel Sennott (who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Ayo Edebiri, who decide to start an underground fight club at their school as a way of meeting other gay girls. The premise is, admittedly, wonderful, but co-writer/director Emma Seligman’s execution is what make is such a riot. The movie is absurd and surreal (you’ll figure this out early on when one of their classmates is in a cage), embroidered by a gaudy 1990s color scheme and a sense of humor that sometimes is startlingly dark. With brilliant, fearless casting (Marshawn Lynch is their counselor and Kaia Gerber is outstanding as the token hot girl), a kick-ass score co-composed by Charli XCX and a velvety 91 minute runtime, “Bottoms” is the very definition of must-watch. This will be played at slumber parties for years to come. It’s the closest thing we’ve had to a new “Heathers” – and without that earlier movie’s meanness, replaced with sensitivity and nuance. [TRAILER]

“The Space Race”

Monday, February 12 at 9 p.m., Nat Geo

NatGeo
NatGeo

This is going to be awesome. “The Space Race,” a brand new doc from directors Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Lisa Cortés “weaves together the stories of Black astronauts seeking to break the bonds of social injustice to reach for the stars, including Guion Bluford, Ed Dwight and Charles Bolden, among many others” (according to the official synopsis). The film will “profile the pioneering Black pilots, scientists and engineers who joined NASA to serve their country in space, even as their country failed to achieve equality for them back on Earth. From 1963, when the assassination of JFK thwarted Captain Ed Dwight’s quest to reach the moon, to 2020, when the echoes of the civil unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd reached the International Space Station, the story of African Americans at NASA is a tale of world events colliding with the aspirations of uncommon men.” When you think you’ve seen every space documentary finally a new one comes along with a unique angle that shines a new look at the history of the program. [TRAILER]

“The Marvels”

Disney+

The Marvels
Marvel Studios

“The Marvels” – it’s not so bad! Marvel Studios’ latest misfire was ripped apart in reviews and on social media. But if you’re basically expecting an extra-long episode of the super charming Disney+ original series “Ms. Marvel,” you probably won’t be disappointed. “The Marvels” links up three of the MCU’s brightest heroes – Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau, cool superhero name TBD (Teyonah Parris) – who unite against an evil enemy with vague intentions and a link to Captain Marvel’s past (played by Zawe Ashton). Together, they get into wacky adventures trying to save the galaxy, with a trip to a planet where everyone sings and a lot off stuff with Captain Marvel’s cat, who is a hideous space monster in the guise of a cuddly pet. The chemistry between the three main actors is palpable, the production design and visual effects are bight and fun, and it’s only 105 minutes. Pretty good right? [WATCH]

Justin Hartley on CBS Tracker
Justin Hartley in “Tracker” (CBS)

“Tracker”

Sunday, February 11 after the Super Bowl, CBS

“Reacher” might be over (for now), but you could do worse than this “Reacher”-y new CBS series. “Tracker” has Justin Hartley starring as Colter Shaw, described as a “lone-wolf survivalist” who “roams the country as a reward seeker, using his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement solve all manner of mysteries while contending with his own fractured family.” CBS must think a lot of this new primetime drama to stick it in the coveted post-Super Bowl slot. And hey, it will at least tide us over until “Reacher” returns to Prime Video. [TRAILER]

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

Monday, February 11 at 10 p.m., Comedy Central

So instead of getting a new permanent host for “The Daily Show,” Comedy Central decided to maintain its rotating cast of anchors with one except – a once-a-week appearance by “The Daily Show” legacy anchor Jon Stewart. And honestly there is something comforting about Stewart taking on the madness of the current political landscape. Even if it is just one night a week. [TRAILER]

“Players”

Wednesday, February 14, Netflix

Valentine’s Day deserves a new original romantic comedy, right? “Players” is about a group of friends who run little schemes to help each other out with their relationship endeavors. But what happens with the female friend in the group (the always-great Gina Rodriguez) actually falls for a stud (Tom Ellis)? Will that upset the applecart of the friendship? Especially if another member of the group has feelings for her? Sounds juicy right? “Players” has a great cast that also includes Joel Courtney, Damon Wayans Jr. and Liza Koshy and looks like a ton of V-Day fun. [TRAILER]

“The Dynasty: New England Patriots”

Friday, February 16, Apple TV+

It’s a new documentary series about the New England Patriots. Considering the kind of emotions that the franchise brings up in people, some will be very excited about this and others might throw their TV out of the window in protest. Either way it should be gripping television! [TRAILER]

“This Is Me … Now: A Love Story”

Friday, February 16, Prime Video

This might be the streaming event of the year. Timed to coincide with the release of Jennifer Lopez’s brand new album (also titled “This Is Me … Now”), this is a narrative feature that draws inspiration from the album and Lopez’s actual life (including her apparent sex addiction???) Directed by music video whiz Dave Meyers and featuring appearances from Keke Palmer, Trevor Noah, Post Malone, Sofia Vergara and, yes, Ben Affleck, this mini-movie, described as being “from the soul of Jennifer Lopez” might be a train wreck or it could be transcendent. Either way, we’re watching. [TRAILER]

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