Star Trek: Discovery, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and More — The Weekend Chill

The 69th Emmy Awards took place last weekend, where online platforms Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu garnered 120 nominations, and a fair number of wins. Black Mirror, Master of None, and The Crown all picked up wins, but it was The Handmaid’s Tale that really cleaned up for Hulu, with wins for Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Lead Actress.

The show is confirmed to be getting a second season that takes it beyond Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, and with the first season universally praised, we’re excited to see what comes next. Although its set in a dystopian future, its story resonates uncomfortably with the world we live in, and hopefully the second season will also hold up a mirror in the same way.

The Handmaid’s Tale Is a Terrific Argument Against Orthodoxy

On Wednesday, Netflix gave us the first full trailer for The Punisher spinoff. Frank Castle was a huge part of Daredevil Season 2, and The Punisher promises to be just as brutal and intense, with the trailer looking simply amazing. The release date for the show has not been announced yet, but it has got to be soon, considering it’s a 2017 release.

On Thursday, HBO announced that it has ordered a pilot for a show based on Watchmen — this iteration will have Damon Lindelof at the helm. The comic had been adapted into a decent movie by Zack Snyder, but with the length of the story, a TV show does feel like it would be a better fit for Watchmen. There’s also some more news about the Game of Thrones prequels that HBO is working on. Variety reports that Bryan Cogman, who has worked on the show since Season 1 will be writing a fifth prequel, aside from the four we already knew were in the works. Not all of these will get made into shows, obviously, but HBO clearly doesn’t want Game of Thrones to end after the final season next year. Not too much is know yet, but George R R Martin has ruled out theories that these prequels will be based on his Dunk and Egg stories, or Robert’s Rebellion.

And just in case there was any doubt, BoJack Horseman is coming back for a fifth season. The show, which just released a devastating yet hilarious fourth season on Netflix is one of the most talked about animated shows in recent times, with a powerful mix of silly jokes and real emotional payoff. It’s been universally praised by critics and has legions of dedicated fans, so the new season is no surprise. The reveal came via the official BoJack twitter handle, though the release date hasn’t been stated yet.

That’s all the entertainment news for this week. Welcome back to The Weekend Chill, your one-stop destination for what to watch, play, or listen to this weekend. Here are the best picks:

TV:
The Good Place
A fish out of water comedy set in «The Good Place”, the show is about a woman who winds up in heaven by mistake, and tries to blend in without getting found out. In short, typical wacky hijinks, except that the show — created by Michael Shur, who’s also a co-creator of Brooklyn Nine-Nine — had a very fresh tone, and a surprising twist ending in the first season’s finale.

Starring Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) as the woman who shouldn’t be in heaven, the show had an hour long premiere this week. Without getting into spoilers, the show does a great job of building on the season finale, and finds a way to keep the premise fresh despite essentially hitting the reset button.

Reviews of the new season have been quite positive, and the show’s bright lighting and colourful pastel settings, coupled with a wicked sense of humour, make for surprisingly good television, much like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so give it a try.

How to access: NBC, Season 1 is out now on Netflix India Time commitment: 30 minutes, weekly

Star Trek: Discovery
Star Trek is back after more than a decade, and so far, it looks really promising. Set a decade before the original series, the show takes place aboard the USS Discovery. The first season is split into two parts of eight episodes each, with the second set of episodes due to release in January. The first two episodes will release together on September 24, followed by a new episode every week.

The show will be airing on Netflix around the world, and for the first time, the show’s leads are women, and minorities. While Star Trek has always been inclusive in its vision of the future, this is still more than we’ve seen from the series in the earlier iterations.

Early reactions have been very positive, but reviews aren’t available just yet. However, fans who watched the premiere say that the Trek lore and world-building they hoped for is there, and the visuals are very cinematic. That’s based on just the first two episodes of course, so expect more detailed views in the weeks to come.

How to access: CBS All Access/ Netflix
Time commitment: 8 Episodes of 60 minutes each

Transparent
The Amazon Prime Video exclusive TV show Transparent is back for its fourth season, and it will obviously be available on the online streaming service. The story revolves around a Los Angeles family and their lives following the discovery that the person they knew as their father is transgender.

The show, which stars Jeffery Tambor (Arrested Development) as Maura (formerly Mort) Pfefferman, is partly set in Israel for the new season, as the Pfeffermans go on “a spiritual and political journey [that] digs deep into their family’s history”, brought about Maura speaking at a conference in the country. There, she makes a startling discovery, as the rest of the family follow her and have emotional storylines on their own.

The third season is rated at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has won two Golden Globes. The fourth season, which will be available from Friday with all episodes released together, continues to get good reviews, but falters a little in places. Early reviews say that while the show continues to be great, it’s gotten a little rough around the edges.

How to access: Amazon Prime Video
Time commitment: 10 episodes of 26 minutes each

Movies: Kingsman: The Golden Circle
The sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Golden Circle promises to carry forward the same stylised violence and over the top humour that made the first film so memorable. Based on a comic book by Mark Millar (most famous for Kick-Ass, though he’s also worked on titles like Wanted, Civil War, and Old Man Logan), The Golden Circle brings in the American counterparts to the original characters, while also bringing back Colin Firth’s character, who was shot in the head in the first film.

Many of the other characters from the first film are coming back too, including Taron Egerton, who comes back as the protagonist, Eggsy; along with Merlin (Mark Strong), Charlie (Edward Holcroft), and Roxy (Sophie Cookson). New faces include Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Pedro Pascal, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Elton John. Sadly, while Firth’s Galahad beat death, things were more final for Mark Hamill’s Professor Arnold.

Early reviews of the film have been mixed, with its long length bring one area that was pointed out. It doubles down on everything that the first film had to offer — for better or for worse. However, it promises a lot of fun, even if it does go off the rails at some point, according to the reviews.

How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 2 hours and 21 minutes

Wonder Woman
After a string of critical misses, Wonder Woman released in June this year and gave the DC Universe a boost with a hit that was loved by reviewers, and made money to boot. The film is out now on DVD and whether you missed it or if you just want a copy to rewatch, now’s your chance. The film packed in Wonder Woman’s origin story with a fish-out-of-water element as the warrior who grew up on a magical island learning to fight makes her way through the modern (well, World War I era) world.

Although the film wasn’t without flaws, its been a beacon of hope for DC, and paved the way for Justice League, which releases this year. Starring Gal Gadot as Diana of Themyscria (the name Wonder Woman isn’t actually used in the movie), along with Chris Pine as an American spy working for the British during the first World War, the film was directed by Patty Jenkins, who has been confirmed to return to the director’s seat for the sequel, which is set during the Cold War, and will release in 2019.

Wonder Woman Is a Much-Needed Win for the Flailing DC Universe

The reviews for the film were largely positive, with our own review describing it as a much-needed win for the flailing DC Universe. The film dealt with serious issues that are as relevant today as they were in the World War I era it’s set in, but also kept a wry sense of humour going. The action scenes, particularly at the climax, were one area where it fell a little short.

How to access: Out now on DVD
Time commitment: 2 hours and 21 minutes

The Big Sick
If you missed it in the cinemas, The Big Sick is now out on DVD. Written by, and starring Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, the film is a semi-autobiographical story that had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It follows an interracial couple and how they deal with cultural differences, and is loosely based on the relationship between Nanjiani, and his co-writer Emily V. Gordon.

Gordon’s character is played by Zoe Kazan, and others in the film include Holly Hunter (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), who play Gordon’s parents, Anupam Kher and Shehnaz Treasurywala, to name a few. Nanjiani and Gordon got married in 2007, and the film mostly deals with a fictional retelling of the events that lead up to this, and the end credits include actual photos of the two at their wedding.

The film holds a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was praised for being funny, heartfelt, and intelligent. The film was uniformly praised by critics who hailed it for revitalising the rom-com genre, and the performances, especially of the two leads, have also garnered a lot of praise.

How to access: Out now on DVD
Time commitment: 2 hours and 4 minutes

Video games: Project CARS 2
Project CARS released in 2015, and its sequel is out now on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The series has a wide selection of tracks and vehicles, and leans towards the simulation side of realism, but Project CARS 2 is reportedly more accessible and easier to pick up than the first game was.

The format of the game remains familiar, with career mode letting you work your way up from racing go-karts to supercars, and other modes such as quick races, and online races against other people all being available. The race tracks are real tracks or close replicas, including famous tracks from the past that aren’t in use anymore, and the game also has dirt tracks and ice this time around.

The game although the game is said to be easier to get into there is still a lot of complexity, and it’s no arcade racer. Most reviews say you’ll have to master braking, and it’ll take time and patience to build the skills you need to win. The PC version of the game also supports VR with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and does a great job in VR — provided you have the hardware to handle it.

How to access: Steam, Xbox One, or Playstation 4
Time commitment: As much as you want, really

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
A surprise reveal at last year’s PlayStation Experience, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a fighting game from Street Fighter and Resident Evil hitmaker, Capcom. Pitting characters from both the Marvel and Capcom universes in combat, it’s a fresh take on the long-running series, whose last entry released in 2011.

The four face buttons allow for two pairs of light and heavy attacks, with controller triggers allowing you to swap between your fighters or activating Infinity Stones — modifiers that let you boost your stats. In addition to this, you can indulge in over the top attacks known as Hyper Combos. From Iron Man using a giant cannon, to Dead Rising’s Frank West ramming a trolley full of makeshift weapons into opponents, these are crazy spectacles that make the gameplay more entertaining than you would expect.

The gameplay is entertaining, with a focus on accessibility, but the production values are far from what we’ve come to expect. There’s a smaller character roster this time, and a nonsensical plot, but hopefully the accessible gameplay and over the top combos will make up for some of that.

How to access: Steam, Xbox One, or Playstation 4
Time commitment: As much as you want, really

NBA 2K18
The long-running NBA 2K basketball sim gets a new entry with NBA2K18. The series got its start under Sega, before moving to 2K sports; tire’s been a new entry every year since 1999, and teams, and players are replicated with a great deal of care. The series is famous for its career mode, something that’s become a staple of other sports games today.

The latest iteration of the game looks amazing, and promises nuanced and thoughtful gameplay for basketball fans. The AI has also been beefed up, and plays more in tune with the way the teams being simulated really would. Some issues from earlier versions have also been addressed, but NBA 2K18 has also added micro-transactions to a greater degree than before.

Reviewers have been praising the game, particularly for making individual players feel unique and more like their real world counterparts, and overall, the game sounds like a real step up, but there is the question of how the micro-transactions will impact the experience.

How to access: Steam, Xbox One, or Playstation 4
Time commitment: As much as you want, really

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