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What to Watch on Netflix this December

‘Kings of Jo’burg’, ‘How to Ruin A Christmas: The Wedding’, and more!

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Now that we are within December, I’m tempted to lie through my teeth and say the year flew by so fast. It didn’t. It felt more like a couple of years stuffed in one. Some rest and great entertainment this festive season is essential. Some popcorn, maybe smooth bev, and a whole lot of bingeing.

Netflix will be launching no less than two new local originals.

First, there’s the supernatural drama, Kings of Jo’burg, which marks the first time the Fergusons partnered with the streaming platform to produce a series. Then there’s ‘How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding’. It’s a 3-part romantic comedy special that stars a bevy of local actors soaking us in some festive bubbles.

Kings of Joburg Netflix

The highly anticipated, Bridgerton – a Shondaland first on the service, will also be launching this Christmas (literally on Christmas day) as well Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring the late great Chadwick Bosman and Viola Davis. All of this is and more,coming to Netflix this December.

WHAT TO WATCH 

Kings of Jo’Burg – Netflix Original Series 12/4/2020

The Masire brothers rule Johannesburg’s criminal underworld, but a supernatural family curse and a tangled web of betrayal threaten to destroy them.

How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding – Netflix Original Series 12/16/2020

Prodigal daughter Tumi goes home for the holidays and manages to ruin her sister’s wedding plans. Now she must make things right before it’s too late.

INTERNATIONAL CONTENT TO STREAM

The Holiday Movies That Made Us: Season 1. Will Ferrell in Elf. Episode 1. c. Moviestore/Shutterstock

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Netflix Original Film 12/18/2020

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): Viola Davis as Ma Rainey. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Tensions rise when the trailblazing Mother of the Blues and her band gather at a Chicago recording studio in 1927. Adapted from August Wilson’s play.

Bridgerton – Netflix Original Series 12/25/2020

From Shondaland and Creator Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dyvenor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market.

Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne.

Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future.

Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all. The series also stars Golda Rosheuvel, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh, Polly Walker, Bessie Carter and Harriet Cains and Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown. The series is inspired by Julia Quinn’s novels.

The Holiday Movies That Made Us – Netflix Original Series 12/1/2020

Unwrap the real stories behind these iconic Christmas blockbusters, thanks to insider interviews and behind-the-scenes peeks.

Selena: The Series – Netflix Original Series 12/4/2020

Mexican-American singer Selena and her family work hard and rise to fame in the Tejano music world, navigating challenges along the way.

Big Mouth: Season 4 – Netflix Original Series 12/4/2020

BIG MOUTH (L to R) Alia Shawkat as Roland, Maya Rudolph as Avery, Jak Knight as Del, John Oliver as Harry, Paul Scheer as Schwartz, Mitra Jouhari as Bahar, Maria Bamford as October, and Emily Altman as Milk in episode 1 of BIG MOUTH. Cr. NETFLIX © 2020

On the brink of eighth grade, the friends contend with summer camp torments, shady alter egos, new make-out frontiers and Tito the Anxiety Mosquito.

The Prom – Netflix Original Film – 12 12/11/2020

A group of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shake up life in small-town Indiana as they rally behind a teen fighting to bring her girlfriend to prom.

The Midnight Sky – Netflix Original Film 12/23/2020

This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine (George Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe. Clooney directs the adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s acclaimed novel Good Morning, Midnight, co-starring David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir and Tiffany Boone.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 4- Netflix Original Series  12/31/2020

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina re-imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Over the course of Part 4’s eight episodes, The Eldritch Terrors will descend upon Greendale. The coven must fight each terrifying threat one-by-one (The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness to name a few), all leading up to…The Void, which is the End of All Things. As the witches wage war, with the help of The Fright Club, Nick begins to slowly earn his way back into Sabrina’s heart, but will it be too late?

LICENSED TITLES

Silver Linings Playbook – 12/1/2020

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

iZombie: Season 5 – 12/1/2020

BON APPETIT — While investigating the murder of Eleanor Barba, a chef at a high-end restaurant, Liv consumes her brain and becomes an unrelenting perfectionist who knows just how to break a person to their very core. Meanwhile, Major is on a mission to find out who is betraying the commander.

Leap Year – 12/31/2020

Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.

Bridget Jones’s Diary – 12/31/2020

Bridget Jones is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

Battleship – 12/31/2020

A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

Hannibal – 12/31/2020

Living in exile, Dr. Hannibal Lecter tries to reconnect with the nowwith now disgraced F.B.I. Agent Clarice Starling, and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim.

Ouija – 12/31/2020

A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.

What have you been bingeing on? Hit us up in the comments section below!

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Netflix

Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.

When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.

A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.

The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.

This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.

Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.

Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.

After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.

Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.

In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.

After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.

Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.

THE ENDING

Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.

Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.

In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?

Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.

We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.

What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.

We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.

Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.

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Netflix

First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe,  the world ready to let old baggage go.

The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.

While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.

With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.

It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.

We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.

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