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It’s the perennial question: With streaming platforms constantly offering new content, what exciting thing will be on (and actually worth turning in for) in the coming days? Well, we’re here to help you sort through the chaff. Here are three things to watch over the weekend.
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It: in theatres June 18
In a documentary from the filmmaker Mariem Pérez Riera, the actress and dancer Rita Moreno is the focus; reflecting on the contours of her epic Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar-, and Tony-winning career. Born in Puerto Rico in 1931—she’s readying the house for her 87th birthday party as the film begins—Moreno moved to New York with her mother as a young girl, discovering dance by the time that she was six and quickly becoming her family’s main breadwinner. What followed was a contract at MGM, which she landed in the early 1950s; but there were years and years of hackneyed “native girl” parts before Anita in 1961’s West Side Story came along. (Even now, she holds that skirt-twirling firebrand dear; Anita, as Moreno puts it, was a woman who “did not cower.”) It was a seminal role; yet as Moreno describes the rest of her life’s story—and she does that very effectively, with both humor and eagle-eyed precision—she makes it clear that being a woman of color in Hollywood, especially during the mid-to-late 20th century, was never easy, even with an Academy Award. For every high—West Side Story, The Electric Company, Oz; protesting the atom bomb tests; sitting alongside Sammy Davis Jr. at the March on Washington; raising her daughter—there were dizzying lows, both professional and otherwise; years without work, a torrid love affair with Marlon Brando that drove her to the brink of suicide, a botched abortion, an unhappy marriage. Moreno struggled—mightily—and yet, all this time later, she’s still here. “That’s why you must never really believe anything, I mean about your fame and all that kind of bullshit,” she reflects. Fame—like life—goes up and down; and now, as she’s nearing 90, “it’s up.” Among the people on hand to sing Moreno’s praises are Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Whoopi Goldberg, George Chakiris, and Norman Lear.
Physical: June 18 on Apple TV+
Apple TV+’s new comedy-drama stars Rose Byrne as Sheila Rubin, a self-loathing housewife in 1980s San Francisco who transforms into a Jane Fonda-esque aerobics guru. Discussing the part with Vogue, Byrne—who hasn’t done a regular television series since Damages—pointed to the boldness of the show’s storytelling, as conceived by writer-producer Annie Weisman. “I read the pilot and I was so arrested by it. [Sheila is] the ultimate antihero and I was like, ‘How do you root for her?’ She’s living in this terrible space of lies and they just get worse and worse,” Byrne said, “but the world of this show was full of potential.” The comedian Rory Scovel co-stars as Sheila's husband, Danny, a professor who runs for city council.
The first episode of Us: June 20 on PBS
Tom Hollander (The Night Manager, Pride & Prejudice) and Saskia Reeves (Roadkill, Luther) are Douglas and Connie Peterson in this two-part adaptation of David Nicholls’s 2014 novel, about an English couple on a grand tour of Europe as their marriage is beginning to unravel. One part travel fantasia—Paris! Amsterdam! Barcelona!— and one part Scenes from a Marriage, Us is by turns funny, moving, and completely charming. (Tom Taylor co-stars as the Petersons’ moody, towheaded son, Albie.) The first half of the two-part drama airs on Sunday at 9:00pm.
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Originally Appeared on Vogue