What To Watch While You’re Stuck At Home: ‘Cobra Kai’, ‘Woke’, ‘The Boys’ and More

With the pandemic stretching on (and on and on) it can get a bit tiresome to try and figure out how to spend out free time. There are movies, sure, but for much of the country, even where theaters are open, going out is still a risky business. And so, as we stare into the face of another weekend at home, we’ve rounded up another list of fantastic shows for you to enjoy from the safety of your couch.

Woke (Hulu)

Based on the works of cartoonist Keith Knight, who also write the series, Woke follows the life of cartoonist Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris) who, following a terrifying incident of police brutality, can’t help but see the world in a different light. While the topic of the series is deadly serious, Woke approaches the difficult subject matter with gut-bursting hilarity—seriously, I laughed out loud numerous times per every 30 minute episode—and warmth. Mixing animation and live action, Woke explores the realities of life for America’s Black communities and allows us to take a look through the eyes of someone whose entire world and philosophy has been turned upside down.

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

Originally making its home on YouTube Red, this sequel to The Karate Kid has been one of the best kept secrets of the last few years. Now available on Netflix, where the series will continue, this is not only an excellent revisit of the original trilogy, it’s also an amazing look at the difference a few decades can make. While trilogy star Ralph Macchio reprises his role as Daniel LaRusso, the focus here is on William Zabka’s Johnny, the villain of the original movie. Now in his 50s and going nowhere, Johnny decides to restart the dojo where he learned karate, Cobra Kai. The focus on Johnny allows for a new perspective on the character of Daniel (one particular poignant moment reframes the events of the first movie in a new light, completely altering our perceptions of what happened) and the movies we all grew up loving. Far from being a nostalgic cash grab, however, Cobra Kai is a work that lives up to the movies that spawned it and brings new depth to the whole series.

The Boys (Amazon Prime)

With a recently premiered second season now available, now is the perfect time to hop on Amazon’s delightfully disturbing deconstruction of the superhero genre. Based on a comic book legend Garth Ennis, The Boys reimagines a Justice League-esque group of heroes backed by corporate entities with agendas of their own. It can be tough to watch, but Karl Urban’s performance as Billy Butcher, a man on a mission to bring down the destructive superhero team of The Seven, is so wonderfully and horrifically madcap that it’s hard to look away.

Doom Patrol (HBOMax)

Speaking of superhero deconstruction, now that Warner Brothers has officially moved Doom Patrol from their soon-to-be-shuttered DC Universe the HBOMax, you, too, can enjoy this zany take on superhero teams. While the characters themselves date back to the 60s, the first season of Doom Patrol takes its tone largely from Grant Morrison’s insanely meta run of the series back in 80s and 90s. As such, this is a series for which the fourth wall is merely a suggestion, one that can be ignored as needed, which results in a wild and hilarious trip deep inside the DC mythos. Anchored by a voiceover performance from Brendan Fraser, Doom Patrol is less about superheroes than it is overcoming your past to become the best that you can be. While season two ends a bit abruptly thanks to COVID-19-related delays, the journey of watching Doom Patrol more than makes up for a few faltering moments.

The Vow (HBOMax)

Continuing HBO’s tradition of captivating and breathtaking true crime documentaries, The Vow takes on one of the weirder cases of the last decade with their exploration of NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”), the bizarre self-improvement cult that collapsed after allegations of sexual slavery and resulted in the arrest of actress Allison Mack. The series offers a bizarre rabbit hole of deceit, betrayal, lies, and coverups. While it doesn’t necessarily reach the heights of some of HBO’s other true crime documentaries, The Vow is a much watch for anyone who can’t get enough of the winding, twisting world of real life crime.

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