The Self-Seriousness of ‘Fast X’ Is Killing the Franchise
There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.
We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.
Skip: Fast X
Fast X is ludicrous, incomprehensible, and so drawn out that it’s a wonder the franchise’s tires have held up for this long. That might be the mindless action some audiences crave, but with more explosions than a coherent plot, Fast X is a near-fatal crash.
Here’s Nick Schager’s take:
“Fast & Furious is one of Hollywood’s all-time most lucrative franchises. It is also one of its dumbest, and that inanity continues apace—by which I mean, at breakneck speed—with Fast X, the tenth (!) chapter in what has become a monument to absurd action-extravaganza excess, laughable platitudes about family, and Vin Diesel’s superhero-sized ego.
‘Fast X’ Is Even More Ridiculous and Exhausting Than You Think
It’s additionally a summer-season series that allows myriad actors not on the Marvel and DC payrolls (and a handful who are!) to earn blockbuster salaries, which is about the only excuse for the majority of these individuals to be wasting their talents on such nonsense.”
See: The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid defies expectations and silences detractors with a sprawling sense of wonder and nostalgic magic. Though it’s not a perfect film, ethereal star Halle Bailey effortlessly takes Disney’s live-action remake to soaring new heights.
Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:
“Uproar, hullabaloo, ruckus, or pure pandemonium. Whatever you want to call it, that was undoubtedly the atmosphere in a packed theater, full of excited people clamoring for the best seats to see a story they’ve already seen dozens of times: Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. That energy is fitting, since the same amount of fuss has been surrounding The Little Mermaid for the better part of five years. Yes, that’s half a decade, for those keeping track of how long racist “fans” have been petitioning to have a white actress in the lead role of Ariel the mermaid in place of star Halle Bailey.
‘The Little Mermaid’ Is So Good, Thanks to Halle Bailey’s Perfect Ariel
How truly gratifying, then, that The Little Mermaid splashes salt water into the eyes of its detractors. The film is far from a mere remake; it expands the universe of the original movie, with a sprawl that jumps off the screen and directly into its viewers’ hearts. The charm of the original doesn’t just remain intact, it’s augmented tenfold. Some new songs and shaky visual effects may not feel so seamless when jammed into an already bloated runtime. But even when its pacing stumbles, The Little Mermaid remains magical, thanks largely to the brilliance of Bailey, who is destined to bring this iconic role to a new generation.”
See: XO, Kitty
XO, Kitty spins off Netflix’s hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with a little less straightforward charm and much more heightened goofiness. But all of that cheese makes for a breezy, lighthearted rom-com as warm as the summer sunshine.
Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:
“Netflix has struggled to create another teen romantic comedy as strong as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which blew up online and garnered a massive following after its August 2018 premiere. Following that summer success—which also brought the equally pleasant, office-set rom-com Set It Up to the platform—the streamer tried to capitalize on Noah Centineo’s charm, with films like Sierra Burgess is a Loser and The Perfect Date. It followed up those uninspiring releases with splashy teen movies like He’s All That and Work It, neither of which worked either. Even the two sequels to the original To All the Boys weren’t quite as good.
‘XO, Kitty’: ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ Spinoff Makes the Grade
Could XO, Kitty, a To All the Boys spinoff series following Lara Jean Covey’s (Lana Condor) younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart), break Netflix’s rom-com curse? Seeing how the show brings back To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before author Jenny Han, there seemed to be a big chance. But it turns out that XO, Kitty, which premieres May 18 on Netflix, can’t drum up off-the-charts chemistry like To All the Boys and lacks Centineo-levels of charisma—yet the premise is just enticing enough to make it worth the watch.”
See: Queer Eye Season 7
Queer Eye Season 7 finds the Fab Five bringing their unique balm of tender guidance to the Big Easy, with one particular episode spotlighting a fellow queer resident of the city, and highlighting the heartwarming importance of community support.
Here’s Barry Levitt’s take:
“Queer Eye has gone from a sleeper hit to one of Netflix’s biggest shows. The series features five glorious queers—Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk—surprising people across the country and transforming their lives for the better in just one week. Plenty of reality television is rooted in conniving drama and shocking twists, but Queer Eye offers something far more uplifting, wholesome message. Considering that the world often feels like a slow-motion car crash these days, it’s no wonder the show has taken off.
‘Queer Eye’ Takes on Internalized Homophobia in Its Best Episode Yet
One of the reasons Queer Eye is now onto its seventh season with no signs of slowing down, shattering the so-called Netflix curse, is because the Fab Five are so loveable. The group’s earnestness and genuine ability to forge connections with just about anyone is inspiring, and everything each of the guys says feels like it comes from the heart; if JVN ever complimented me, I would treat their words as gospel. It’s easy for anyone watching to imagine how this gorgeous bunch of queers would improve their own lives. And Season 7, set in New Orleans, confirms that Queer Eye isn’t slowing down; in fact, a particular episode shows that the Netflix hit is actually better than ever.”
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