Filmmaker Cullen Hoback makes a compelling detective in documentary series “Q: INTO THE STORM.”
The U.S. vaccine rollout continues to grow, and optimism regarding returning to normalcy for much of 2021 grows with each new vaccine shot in an arm. Industry experts continue to make projections around business, culture, and technology. Their ideas, from decarbonized aviation to climate-friendly diets, are inspirational. One thing you won’t hear from forecasters is talk about streaming as a future trend. The fact of the matter is streaming was popular pre-COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines bring growing audiences to streaming platforms Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount Plus, and Apple TV part of our daily routines.
We’ll be returning to bars, movie theatres, and restaurants soon, but we’ll continue to stream entertainment. Consumers want to continue streaming movies, music performances, and series. The question is how brands and media channels will partner on new offerings.
What I’m Watching:
Q: INTO THE STORM (HBO)
Filmmaker Cullen Hoback (“Terms and Conditions May Apply”) makes a compelling detective traveling the globe and interviewing owner/operators of extreme imageboard websites like 8chan in the six-part documentary series “Q: INTO THE STORM,” currently airing on HBO and streaming on HBO Max. Hoback’s no-judgment storytelling pushes through conspiracy theories and political events to learn more about the QAnon movement and the emerging media pundits, politicians, and web engineers like Fredrick Brennan promoting it. Hoback has a core mystery driving his documentary series. He aims to find and identify Q, the mysterious leader of the QAnon movement. I’m convinced he’ll be successful.
Genius: Aretha (Hulu)
Actress Cynthia Erivo delivers artistry, passion, strength, and style as ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin in the eight-part National Geographic miniseries “Genius: Aretha,” currently streaming on Hulu. Series creator Noah Pink collaborates with ‘Genius: Aretha’ writer/producer Suzan-Lori Parks and director Anthony Hemingway for a miniseries rich with ensemble performances, period production details, and emotional storytelling. Erivo stands tall at the center of the series with a powerful portrayal of Franklin throughout multiple stages of her career. It’s what fans have come to expect from Erivo’s following standout work in “The Outsider” and “Widows.” She’s someone who generates excitement with every project.
What I’m Excited to Watch:
The Serpent (Netflix)
Actor Tahar Rahim (‘A Prophet’) headlines the limited series “The Serpent,” the real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, a murderer and thief targeting travelers in 1970s Asia. Jenna Coleman (“Victoria”) co-stars as Sobhraj’s stylish partner-in-crime. “The Serpent,” from co-directors Hans Herbots and Tom Shankland, debuts April 2 on Netflix.
WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (Hulu)
“WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” filmmaker Jed Rothstein pulls back the curtain on the most compelling tech business story in recent memory, the rise of coworking startup WeWork to global dominance and a $48 billion valuation. Rothstein delivers an in-depth look at WeWork with a focus on the controversial leadership of co-founder Adam Neumann. “WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” debuts April 2 on Hulu.
Behind the Screens:
News of George R.R. Martin developing a “Game of Thrones” play for Broadway, London’s West End, and Australia comes from ‘The Hollywood Reporter.’ The stage play tells the story of The Great Tourney of Harrenhal, a tournament of archery and jousting set 16 years before the “Game of Thrones” series. Popular characters like Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister will be in the stage play. According to the news story, producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson plan to premiere the stage play in 2023.