The return of television’s most authentic mum, a Dance Moms spinoff, and some fantastic mister beasts – all these and more are New to Lightbox this month.
Better Things (weekly from March 1)
“Better Things is, indeed, a love letter to families. Through vignettes of Sam’s everyday life, the show captures the joys and frustrations of single-handedly raising three young humans – the endless car trips to ballet and soccer practice, the family dinners with eccentric grandmother Phil, the school events where Sam ends up motivating a room of women about their periods. It’s sharp, it’s funny, and it’s the most honest portrayal of parenting I’ve seen on television.” / Tara Ward
The Enemy Within (weekly from March 4)
“The Enemy Within is a show that combines all the best things of spy dramas – the thriller pace, the twists and turns, and frankly, the visceral pleasure of seeing someone be very good at complicated stuff is hard to beat – with all the complex detail of a character study, thanks to Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter. The actress gives us complete clarity on what is going on in Erica’s head while also keeping us guessing as to what’s really going on.
It’s a highwire act, and if the show can keep it going for an entire season, we’ve got a winner on our hands.” / Sam Brooks
Creed II (Movie from March 6)
The original Creed, a sequel-slash-spinoff to the Rocky series, was inarguably the best movie in that franchise since the original. Ryan Coogler, who you’ll know as the director of a tiny little independent movie called Black Panther, injected the franchise with a shot of adrenaline – Creed was leaner, meaner and smarter than your parents’ Rocky ever was. It helps that Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone were giving career-best performances, particularly remarkable in the case of the latter, who has been sleepwalking and mumbling since Rambo. Creed II averts the issues of the Rocky sequels, it’s deeper, darker and more philosophical, bringing back popular Rocky villain Ivan Drogo for the pleasure. / SB
Jojo Siwa: My World (special from March 8)
I am absolutely fascinated by teen internet sensation Jojo Siwa. Why is her ponytail so tight? What on Earth is she saying at the start of her vlogs? Why hasn’t she gone through a moody emo phase like the rest of us at 15? First screaming onto our screens as a pop-and-locking child in Dance Moms, Siwa lives, laughs and loves in the spotlight. She has over 9 million subscribers, almost all of them young girls, she has her own juice range at Walmart, she has an incredibly overwhelming bedroom. My one hope for special one off documentary Jojo Siwa: My World is that I will finally get an explanation on why she constantly shouts at me. I’ve done nothing wrong, Jojo, I swear. / Alex Casey
Robin Hood (Movie from March 13)
There’s one weakness I have to confess to: I love Robin Hood content. Whether it’s Kevin Costner, Charlie Hunnam, a fox, or even Russell Crowe – actually, scratch that. The Russell Crowe Robin Hood is unwatchable, even with Cate Blanchett taking part. What I’m saying is that it would take a lot for me to not watch and love this film. And speaking personally, I’m all in for Taron Edgerton’s Robin Hood, who is maybe my favourite of this generation’s class of square-jawed leading men.
It also has Designated Villain™ Ben Mendehlson as The Sheriff of Nottingham and, in a ‘huh, okay’ decision, Jamie Foxx as Little John. Did you know that Jamie Foxx’s birth name is Eric Marlon Bishop? / SB
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Movie from March 13)
Two wildly unimportant and semi-related things:
- I will never not call this series Fantastic Mr. Beasts, and I implore all of you to do the same.
- It’s wild to see Eddie Redmayne go from the unnamed assassin in Elizabeth: The Golden Age to an Oscar-winning actor to the lead in a wildly successful spinoff blockbuster franchise. I have no personal connection to Eddie Redmayne, but I’m proud of him all the same.
Anyway, The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of four movies in the Fantastic Beasts series, which is a prequel to the Harry Potter series, but set in America. So basically, it’s more Harry Potter and it takes that series’ inventive design and puts a Yankee-doodle-spin on it. Add this one to your Potter marathons, people. / SB
Queer Eye For The Straight Guy (Season One from March 16)
No, not the new one. The original one, which has aged better than you think it has! Remember Carson absolutely terrifying everybody? Remember Jai’s beautiful silver hair? Remember how the series was about how the bar is so low for straight men and yet they still need five homosexual men to fix them up so they can even reach that bar?
Now you don’t have to remember it – you can watch the first season right here and do some fun comparing and contrasting.
Plus, the food and wine guy can do more than make guacamole. / SB
Peppermint (Movie from March 20)
One of my favourite categories of film, alongside ‘films about women who lie to themselves’ and ‘films called Magic Mike XXL‘, are ‘films where Jennifer Garner gets to knock people down’. Until Peppermint, it’s been a pretty slim category, consisting of Daredevil, Elektra and the little-seen The Kingdom.
Hell, Peppermint exceeds the category, really, considering it’s a gender-flipped Taken with Jennifer Garner not just knocking people down, but getting a lot of guns and carrying out her cold-blooded revenge after her husband and child are murdered. It’s not exactly what I’d call ‘fun’, but if seeing a charismatic actor shoot a lot of people is what gives you relief, and sometimes it gives me relief, then Peppermint is your early Autumn go-to. / SB
This content was created in paid partnership with Lightbox. Learn more about our partnerships here.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.