We don’t usually pick themes for our weekend recs, but when we do, we go all in. The theme of this week: time. “Pachinko” jumps through generations; an early Club Penguin employee injects a healthy dose of nostalgia into his essay about how the game changed his life; Cosmonious High lets you relive high school (as if you were an alien); you’ll have to make some time to check out all of BlackPix’s content; and “Russian Doll” takes the concept of time and flips it on its head. Whew!
‘Life is like a box of timelines’ in ‘Russian Doll’
Remaking “Groundhog Day” was never going to be easy. Netflix nevertheless pulled it off with “Russian Doll,” thanks to a decidedly darker take on constant déjà vu. Let’s just say: Death seems very much inevitable in this show. Season 2 premieres next week, which means you’ll have a whole weekend to catch up on, or rewatch, a great first season.
Travel through time in ‘Pachinko’
“Pachinko,” on Apple TV+, is a captivating drama that follows the story of a Korean family and the challenges it faces in a world dominated by both racism and economic inequality amid loss and other personal struggles. Based on Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel of the same name, the series effortlessly combines multiple time periods, languages and storylines, demonstrating how world history is very much present in people’s everyday lives. New episodes of the miniseries debut every Friday. If you’re just starting to binge it now, do yourself a favor and don’t skip over the iconic opening credit scene: Its joyfulness helps to both frame the show and celebrate its characters.
Waddle down Club Penguin memory lane
This week’s news of a major Club Penguin clone closing down over copyright infringement allegations will undoubtedly bring back memories for anyone who has ever stepped a webbed foot into the long-gone kids’ MMO. For a different perspective, it’s worth revisiting this in-depth reflection from one of Club Penguin’s first employees.
BlackPix offers a good mix of content
One of the premises of free, ad-supported streaming (FAST) channels is that they allow for a cable-like leanback experience with content that may never have found its way into your cable lineup. BlackPix is a perfect example of this: The channel combines feature-length documentaries and films focused on Black athletes, artists and everyday Americans to a 24/7 stream that’s worth adding to your free channel diet. It’s available via Plex and Roku Channel.
Relive your high school experience at Cosmonious High
From Owlchemy Labs, the studio that brought us Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator, comes this new game that takes you inside a high school for aliens. The best way to picture Cosmonious High is to imagine a school that looks like it came out of the brains of Nickelodeon producers who got fired because their ideas were a little too out there. It’s chaotic, fun and surprisingly difficult. Kind of like real high school, I guess? It’s available on Meta Quest and Steam VR.
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