Kareem's Weekend Boost (March 4-6)
What to Watch, Read, or Listen to This Weekend
First, I want to thank all of you who have responded to my Weekend Boosts with such enthusiasm. I read all your comments and take them to heart. As I’ve said before, I want these weekly suggestions to be an informal but informative exchange. With that in mind, here we go again, friends...
Channing Tatum stars as an ex-Army Ranger tasked with taking an Army dog to the funeral of the dog’s long-time handler. When I first saw the trailers for this film in theaters, I was torn: I love dogs but was worried this story might be too heavy-handed with manufactured sentimentality. I was wrong. This combination road trip/buddy movie is funny, touching, and earns whatever sentiment it provokes in the audience.
Although it is enormous fun watching the dog and Tatum’s contentious relationship, the heart of the movie is how these two creatures—damaged physically and emotionally by war—come together to heal each other. The insights into how we hurt and how we heal is applicable to all of us, not just those traumatized by combat.
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Gilded Age (HBO Max)
From the creator/writer of Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age brings all the same pomp and pettiness of upper-class drama, but transplanted to 1870s New York City. They maintain the British show’s upstairs/downstairs melodrama as we share the struggles of both the servants and the snoots. The difference is that this is America, and the attempts by some of the long-term wealthy to duplicate the class system of England are met with the harsh realities of the rising self-made millionaires and their unbridled ruthlessness.
Of course, this being America, there’s more of a race component than in Downton Abbey, with a young Black woman’s ambition to be a writer while trying to escape the restrictive reigns of her successful father. The series is about people trying to find their own voices and identities outside of society’s strict confines. It’s historical drama with a conscience—as well as magnificent sets and costumes.