Sometimes there are weeks where there seems to be something for everybody. This is one of those weeks. From real-life-based scammers to a robot uprising, plus new movies from Steven Soderbergh and Jennifer Lopez – whatever floats your boat is facilitated here.

On with the television!


“Inventing Anna”
Friday, February 11, Netflix

Scammer season continues! This week’s biggest show is “Inventing Anna,” based on the real-life story of Anna Delvey nee Sorokin (played in the film by a comfortably over-the-top Julia Garner), a New York socialite who claimed to be a German heiress but was, in actuality, a Russian-born nobody. Watch as she cons her way into glittery parties, sweet-talks some of the most powerful financiers in the city into investing in her cockamamie schemes and burns every bridge she walks across (in her designer heels). It’s a scintillating story, made even more propulsive and watchable by the fact that it’s still going on. (We won’t spoil anything so just Google her after you watch.) Even if you’ve watched last fall’s episode of “20/20” detailing the case, you’ll still find out new details here. This is the latest Shonda Rhimes production for Netflix (based, in part, on a New York magazine article by Jessica Pressler) and could just as easily share the name as an earlier series of the super-producer, since this is quite the scandal. [NEWS]

winter tv finale
Book of Boba Fett Episode 6

“The Book of Boba Fett”
Wednesday, February 9, Disney+

What started off as a somewhat conventional spinoff of Disney+’s wildly popular “The Mandalorian” has turned into something stranger precisely because, a couple of weeks ago, it just decided to become “The Mandalorian.” Now, with all of the characters in the same rough geographical area and both sides of the street more or less taken care of, hopefully the actual character of Boba Fett (introduced in “The Empire Strikes Back” and played here by prequel actor Temuera Morrison ) will have his moment to shine. Will he be able to fend off the slimy Pyke Syndicate while also engaging in all-out gang warfare (aided by his right-hand woman Fennec Shand, played by Ming-Na Wen)? What will happen to the mod squad, Tatooine’s cuddliest biker gang? And did Pedro Pascal even put on that helmet for a single second of this new show or did he deliver his lines into his cellphone on the way to the gym? We hope at least some of those questions will be answered, not necessarily in that order. Whether or not this is the final chapter of “The Book of Boba Fett” remains to be seen. Either way, we’re excited to see how this one wraps up. [EXPLAINER]

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winter tv watch list movie

Thursday, February 10, HBO Max

hbo max

Steven Soderbergh, the Oscar-winning director of “sex, lies, and videotape” and “Erin Brockovich,” has been under the employment of HBO Max for the last couple of years, churning out underseen gems like “Let Them All Talk” and “No Sudden Move” (not to mention the fascinating, elliptical, choose-your-own-adventure TV show “Mosaic”). This time he’s got a movie with a killer premise and a wonderful leading lady. In “KIMI,” Zoë Kravitz plays an agoraphobic technician working for a SIRI-style start-up in Seattle. One day, while at work, she hears what she believes to be a murder. (Also, it takes place during the pandemic.) This lean thriller, written by David Koepp, looks like it could be a nifty update of the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Rear Window” for our stay-at-home, digitally obsessed, pandemic- plagued modern times. Set a SIRI or Alexa reminder to watch. [TRAILER]

winter tv watch list documentary
Tuck Rule

“The Tuck Rule”
Sunday, February 6 at 8:30 pm, ESPN

How’s this for a Super Bowl pre-game? “The Tuck Rule,” named for the infamous pretext for overturning a crucial play in a highly contested game between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders back in 2002 (that would have massive repercussions for both teams) is the latest in the “30 for 30” series of documentaries from ESPN. What makes this 50-minute film an even bigger draw is that Tom Brady and Charles Woodson, the two players in the midst of the long-ago controversy, sit down and watch the footage together. The former college teammates reunite at Brady’s Miami mansion; this, after all, was the play that sent Brady to his first of seven Super Bowl wins. If that isn’t a set-up for some great drama, we don’t know what is. [TRAILER]

winter tv watch rewatch of the week
sony pictures

“panic room”

There’s nothing better than a little at-home double feature, and we have the perfect cinematic partner for “KIMI” – 2002’s equally claustrophobic “Panic Room.” Jodie Foster plays a recent divorcee who is stuck in the “panic room” of her swanky Manhattan townhouse with her diabetic daughter (a pre-“Twilight” Kristen Stewart) while three violent criminals (played by Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam) break in to rob the place. (Urban legends about panic rooms circulated the city for years. The movie made the term mainstream.) Directed by “KIMI” filmmaker Steven Soderbergh’s BFF David Fincher, who was clearly in love with the idea of ​​computer-augmented camera moves that allowed him to zip around the house with a dexterity impossible with earthly cameras, “Panic Room” is a total blast whether you’ve never seen it or are watching it for the 10,000th time. (Both films were written by David Koepp.) Hey, if you’re trying to be responsible and stay inside, why not spend it with Jodie Foster and Zoë Kravitz? [WATCH]

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winter tv watch best of the rest

Wednesday, February 9 at 8:30 pm, Comedy Central

This new adult animated series, produced by Stephen Colbert, is probably worth watching at least once, if only to soak in the baffling character design and general aesthetic. The characters look more or less like Weebles, the toys that wobble (but don’t fall down). But the tone of the series seems to be more along the lines of Comedy Central’s adult animation staple “South Park” (which airs just before), as it tackles current social topics in an aggressively in-your-face way. Will it work? Who could say? But whoever decided that adult animation had to always look like this offputting should be pushed out of a plane. [TRAILER]

“The Girl Before”
Thursday, February 10, HBO Max

Well, this sounds creepy! In “The Girl Before,” which has already aired in England, Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw from “Loki” and “The Morning Show”) moves into the absurdly gorgeous house, designed by an elusive architect named Edward (David Oyelowo). The only problem is that to stay in the house, she has to follow Edward’s increasingly bizarre and exacting instructions. Based on the 2016 book of the same name and anchored by performances by some of our best living actors, this could be the perfect kinky miniseries for those who wished that “50 Shades of Grey” was a little bit more like “Architectural Digest.” [TRAILER]

“Star Trek Discovery”
Thursday, February 10, Paramount+

Ready to boldly go (again)? What began as an expensive X-factor, plagued by production woes and released onto an uncertain streaming platform (Paramount+), quickly became a bright spot, not just of current television landscape but of the entire “Star Trek” mythology. “Star Trek Discovery” returns after a winter hiatus for the eighth episode of the fourth season (and its 50th episode overall), with just a handful of episodes to go before the finale. Come along with the now-Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the USS Discovery (including Doug Jones as a freaky alien of course, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz and national treasure Tig Notaro) and chart a course for unknown space! Engage! [TRAILER]

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“big bug”
Friday, February 11, Netflix

Hey, it’s a new Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie! Premiering at home! “Bigbug,” from the visionary director of “The City of Lost Children,” “Delicatessen” and “Amélie,” concerns a robot uprising and some helpful household robots that try to keep their masters safe during the carnage. It’s just the kind of left-of-center concept, which implores the kind of wild visual inventiveness and offbeat humor that the filmmaker is known for, with a vaguely pandemic-y plot that we can all relate to. Every new movie by Jeunet is a gift. It’s so nice that this was delivered to us at home. [TRAILER]

“Marry me”
Friday, February 11, Peacock

Looking for a perfectly acceptable, straight-down-the-middle romantic comedy that will make for perfect Valentine’s Day viewing and whose production values ​​greatly exceed anything on Lifetime? Look no further. “Marry Me,” which is being directed by Kat Coiro (who is responsible for a large swath of the upcoming “She-Hulk” episodes), has a deliciously high-concept rom-com pitch: Jennifer Lopez plays a pop star whose musician boyfriend (Maluma) cheats on her, leading her to say, on stage, that she’ll marry Owen Wilson, who is accidentally holding a sign that says “Marry Me.” The rest is, undoubtedly, romantic comedy gold. Will it do more than make you smile? Who knows. But sometimes that’s enough. [TRAILER]

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