This week, a (sort of) He-Man-less He-Man revival returns to Netflix, Welsh teens battle it out in the ballroom, Peter Jackson adds 60 hours of Beatles footage to Disney+ – alongside the debut of the MCU’s Hawkeye – and one of the best films in recent memory will be broadcast on terrestrial television. Here’s what’s new to TV and streaming for the week of Mon 21 Nov – Sun 28 Nov, 2021.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation – Part 2
Kevin Smith’s surprisingly robust revival/sequel of a Saturday morning TV classic returns today. The first helping of Masters of the Universe: Revelation did what all good retellings of older properties should (IMO) do – and that was to rip up the rulebook on what something like He-Man ‘should’ be and make it what it ‘can’ be. In this case, it was the exceptionally risky decision to (spoiler alert) kill off the titular character and (spoiler alert again) have the bad guy win. From there, and to the ire of fanboys everywhere, Smith’s vision involves shifting the usually sidelined female warrior Teela into Prince Adam’s vacated seat, assembling her own Masters to save the ever-in-danger Universe. The result has been a boldly refreshing update to an ageing, toy-schilling property, in the mold of Rian Johnson‘s masterful The Last Jedi. Funnily enough, it also features Mark Hamill.
Streaming from Tues 23 Nov on Netflix.
My Life: Battle of the Ballroom
From Welsh production company Yeti, My Life: Battle of the Ballroom is a special, 30-minute factual programme coming to both CBBC and Player on Wednesday night. The documentary follows two pint-sized competitive ballroom dancers from Blackwood – 13-year-olds Bailey and Summer – as they prepare to Cha-Cha-Cha towards a medal opportunity in Blackpool. Battle of the Ballroom‘s Bailey has autism and visual impairments but is undeterred by either in his dancing career; Summer is apparently a “superstar in the making” with 11 years of dance training to her name already. The world of ballroom dancing has often made for fascinating ‘under the microscope’ filmmaking beyond just Strictly-find BBC One fare (just look at Baz Luhrmann’s camp classic Strictly Ballroom). Add prodigious children getting spray tans to the mix and the result will surely be even more absorbing – and orange.
Weds 24 Nov at 7:30 pm on CBBC and streaming thereafter on iPlayer.
Hawkeye, Season 1
To be perfectly honest, I’m hard-pressed to recommend anything that the one-time star of a P!nk music video, launcher of the world’s most cringe-inducing failed app, and everyone’s least favourite Avenger takes a leading role in. BUT… with liberal (and likely uncredited) inspiration taken from a rather excellent Marvel comics’ run of the same name, plus the absolutely delightful Hailee Steinfeld co-starring, Disney+’s Hawkeye spinoff series is probably a thing you should invest time in. It’s safe to say that those unfamiliar with the MCU will likely be totally lost, but those that haven’t lost interest in the media juggernaut (Eternals, meh, Spider-Man: No Way Home, yes!) will be looking forward to another helping of stylishly-produced superhero action on the small screen. And it’s Christmas-themed so, at the very least, you can stick it on in the background while you give in to peer pressure and put some early decs up.
Streaming from Wed 24 Nov on Disney+.
The Beatles: Get Back, Miniseries
Promising an unparalled look at the Fab Four, Peter Jackson’s predictably-anticipated three-parter, The Beatles: Get Back also lands on Disney+ this week. Taking its name from the working title of Let It Be, the series unearths footage from the making of said album – originally captured by Michael Lindsay Hoff for 1970’s Let It Be, a feature-length, made-for-TV film that has been effectively ‘lost’ since the 80s without an official home release. Jackson also originally intended on making his version in a similar format, but, perhaps a Hobbit-hangover, simply couldn’t resist overindulging in its length, with each part between 157-173 mins long. If you don’t want to crunch the numbers yourself – and why should you? – that’s about 60 hours of undiluted Beatles. “I just can’t believe it exists,” Jackson gushed to the Guardian recently. “But then I can’t believe any of it – that the Beatles let Michael shoot all that footage, that it sat in a vault all this time… What other band in the 60s or 70s allowed themselves to be shot in such an intimate way? There isn’t another. And then I got to edit it. The whole thing boggles my mind.”
Streaming from Thurs 25 on Disney+.
Is there such a thing as over-hyping Parasite? Nope. Never. Possibly the most exciting thing to win a Best Picture Oscar in quite some time, director Bong Joon Ho’s 2019 film is widely, and rightly, considered a modern masterpiece of cinema – and you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity, especially if you’ve not seen it already, to watch it on terrestrial TV this week. Parasite is a perfectly-realised melting pot of genres: Part biting social realism, part gripping – and slightly absurdist – thriller, and part jolting horror, it tells a story that is both geographically and politically specific to the class divides in South Korea (both physical and psychological) and also universally relatable. This particular broadcast is the colour version of the film but if you’re curious about the black and white one, you can find it on Amazon Prime video.
Sat 27 Nov at 12:35 am on Channel 4.
words HANNAH COLLINS
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