Streaming Must-Sees (and Must-Skips) in February 2023

Have an 'Extraordinary' month with 'Skinamarink' and new rom-coms from Alison Brie and J.Lo

Photo: Tina Rowden / FX

BY Rachel HoPublished Feb 15, 2023

It's unfortunate that in the one designated "love month" of the year, two new rom-coms that hit streaming missed the mark. To make up for it, though, is a new voice in horror and a fun addition to the superhero genre.

There are also some solid new titles to celebrate Black History Month, including a comedy documentary that has finally hit Canadian streaming and an intense docuseries that's well worth your time.

Be sure to read our past editions of Tune In or Turn Off for more streaming hits and misses.

Tune In: Boys in Blue

Boys in Blue is a four-part docuseries about the North Community High School football team from Minneapolis, MN, set in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the rising tensions between the Black community and law enforcement. The latter is given a particularly interesting texture in this series, as the predominantly Black football team is coached and mentored by members of Minneapolis PD, many of whom are former colleagues of Derek Chauvin, the former policeman responsible for Floyd's death. Directed by Peter Berg (who also directed Friday Night Lights), Boys in Blue is an intense, devastating, moving and altogether important series that brings all of the discourse, protests and violence to ground level, showing us how the social uprisings of 2020 will effect generations to come.

Tune In: Extraordinary

In a world filled with superhero movies and TV shows and their derivatives, it's hard to imagine that there's room for one more. Extraordinary, though, earns its place and then some. Jen (Máiréad Tyers), a 25-year-old costume shop worker living in London still hasn't acquired her superpowers. Living as a mere mortal among the supernatural, she hires a company to assist her on her journey to becoming a superhero, leading to moments of comedic gold and misfortune. Extraordinary is a feel-good show that's as clever as it is heartfelt, with a grounded and charming performance from Tyers in the lead.

Tune In: Kindred

A bit of an odd one as, before Kindred made it to Canadian Disney+ airwaves, it was announced that FX had cancelled the series after just one season. Adapted from Octavia E. Butler's fantastic novel, the show follows Dana (Mallori Johnson), who is beginning a new chapter in L.A. with her partner. She is mysteriously transported to the Antebellum South for brief periods of time before returning back to 2016. Johnson is absolutely incredible in a demanding role, and while the show can be shaky at times, it's a shame FX isn't giving the cast and crew an opportunity to explore the characters and premise further. With its premature cancellation, Kindred's life on Disney+ will probably be short-lived, so be sure to catch it sooner rather than later. (Also, read Butler's book!)

Tune In: Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution
(CBC Gem)

Finally available on a streaming service in Canada, Right to Offend is the informative and hilarious documentary showcasing the history and progression of Black comedy. Featuring commentary from notable comedians such as Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Katt Williams, Steve Harvey, Jimmie Walker and Norman Lear, the film discusses Black comedians as well as the social changes and injustices that they, and their contemporaries, used humour to overcome. An insightful watch that has the fun side effect of going down YouTube rabbit holes to watch the likes of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy in their prime.

Turn Off: Shotgun Wedding
(Prime Video)

It's not to say I had high expectations for Shotgun Wedding, but the trailer looked quite fun, and I always have time for J.Lo, not to mention Jennifer Coolidge. So I was, perhaps misguidedly, disappointed that even with two charismatic actresses leading the charge, the film couldn't rise above a weak script and a slightly awkward performance from Josh Duhamel.

Tune In: Skinamarink

The experimental horror movie that took the internet by storm and then divided it with just as much force. Directed by Edmonton's Kyle Edward Ball, Skinamarink is the unsettling visualization of a childhood nightmare where shadows and dark, empty hallways chip away at reasoned, coherent thinking. There are some who find Ball's feature debut mind-numbingly boring and others who think it's a sign of an exciting, fresh new voice in Canadian cinema. I fall into the latter camp, for the record. Head to Shudder and make up your own mind.

Turn Off: Somebody I Used to Know
(Prime Video)

Dave Franco's second directorial effort, this time teaming up with Alison Brie, is an attempt to rekindle the magic of the rom-com that unfortunately falls short of its goal. A film that will eventually be forgotten among the streaming ocean, Somebody I Used to Know is a decently made and well-acted derivative of My Best Friend's Wedding that will have audiences, mid-movie, Googling where the latter is streaming (on CTV in Canada, FYI). So it's not all bad — Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett are a fantastic ensemble, and the music is excellent.

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