Why You Need to (Re)Watch 'Annihilation' This Weekend

It’s the middle of July, and you know what that means. Time to crank the A/C and watch TV inside all weekend.

It’s the middle of July, and you know what that means. Time to crank the A/C and watch TV inside all weekend. Beat the heat by sitting on your couch and catching up on the shows and movies you’ve been meaning to watch. Who needs the beach when you can contemplate the calming waves of the Pacific Ocean with the leading ladies of HBO’s Big Little Lies?

But if you’re not a Nicole Kidman fan, here are five additional streaming suggestions from the Entertainment team at Inverse. There’s a mix of everything here, from a new food documentary to classic ‘80s fantasy. So kick back, relax, and let the streaming begin!

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3Below: Tales of Arcadia

On July 12, the second season of 3Below: Tales of Arcadia begins streaming on Netflix. While unmistakably made for children, complete with cornball humor, there’s a lasting charm to the small-town world of Arcadia that only its creator, Guillermo del Toro, is capable of imagining.

A direct sequel to the 2016-2018 series Trollhunters, the sophomore season follows a group of royal aliens stranded on Earth who must blend in with “hoo-mans.” Featuring an all-star cast of Diego Luna, Nick Offerman, Tatiana Maslany, Steven Yeun, and Hayley Atwell, the show is light, innocent, and genuinely exciting in a way that’s often found missing in modern TV. While you could jump right into 3Below, try Trollhunters first. The shows inhabit the same universe and will collide in a big way when the third and final series, Wizards, airs later this year. — Eric Francisco

the dark crystal

The Dark Crystal

With Stranger Things dropping its third season into our laps just a week ago, chances are good you’ve already binged through it. With the Netflix original going big on its pop culture references and ‘80s movies nods, I thought it might be fun to keep the nostalgia party going with Jim Henson’s 1982 classic, The Dark Crystal, now available to stream on Netflix.

The feature-length film from the mind of Jim Henson tells the story of the Gelflings, a group of elf-like creatures who must work to restore the Crystal of Truth after it’s destroyed by the evil Skeksis — creatures who look like vultures, with terrible tempers to boot. Not only will you get a little boost of ‘80s nostalgia, but the fantasy elements of the film make it the perfect way to relax during these dog days of summer.

Even more impressive is the creation of the puppets and set pieces from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Unlike the uncanny CGI nearly every big summer blockbuster is filled with these days, there’s something especially wondrous about Henson’s efforts to make the world of The Dark Crystal tactile and practical. Plus, it might be nice to bone up on your Dark Crystal knowledge before The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance prequel series premieres on Netflix August 30, 2019. — Allie Gemmil

Annihilation

If you loved Midsommar and its mysterious ending (was it about grief or a bad relationship?), you should definitely check out last year’s sci-fi thriller Annihilation, which is just as thought-provoking and even trippier than the new horror film from Ari Aster. Director and writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later…, Ex Machina) balances the metaphysical with a compelling and mind-bending script.

Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh play a team of scientists, psychologists, and biologists who venture inside a mysterious area called “the Shimmer” to study its qualities after multiple failed attempts by previous teams. This strange zone has created a potentially new life force, and has the ability to alter the cellular structures of its surroundings, often infusing the biology of humans with that of plants or combining animals to create terrifying monsters.

Once inside, the team loses its sense of time and experiences psychedelic moments. Much like the remote Swedish society in Midsommar, the Shimmer isolates the team and pushes their boundaries regarding everything they’d previously known. Smart and slightly horrific, Annihilation remains a fascinating enigma with an ending that will send you straight to the internet for an explanation. — Mae Abdulbaki

dev patel aziz ansari master of none season 2

Master of None

Do yourself a favor and watch Aziz Ansari’s new standup special on Netflix. Then, go back and rewatch Master of None. The series still holds up, offering a mix of clever social analysis that’s often ahead of its time (online harassment, #MeToo) and some incredible comedy. (Ansari and Eric Wareheim’s chemistry is great, especially on their trip through Italy.) You can binge through the entire series in a day or two, but a few standout episodes include “Indians on TV” and “Nashville” in Season 1, and Season 2 episodes “The Thief,” “First Date,” and “Thanksgiving.” Season 1 also has an excellent continuing plotline about a schlocky zombie movie called The Sickening, while Season 2 standout episode “New York, I Love You” features a fake Nicolas Cage thriller (actually Andy Samberg doing an impression off-screen).

There’s plenty to love about Master of None, and even if you binged it all before, you may find something new to enjoy rewatching the Aziz Ansari series in 2019. — Jake Kleinman

Taco Chronicles

Consider Taco Tuesday. Like a taco, it’s often joyous, rewarding, and wholesome. The term was controversially trademarked 30 years ago by Wyoming-based fast food chain Taco John’s (which always includes the ®), and the flagship dish of Taco Tuesday® at Taco John’s has become its Crispy Taco. It’s the dish we all associate with the American-style taco: It’s got a crispy yellow shell, ground beef, and a “mild sauce.” It’s got lettuce and cheese. It’s tasty, it’s boring, it’s iconic.

If American tacos of the past are marked by the admittedly delicious but one-dimensional snack you bought at Taco John’s, the future of tacos in America is, of course, in Mexico. Tacos are about to have a moment, and global streaming technology will entice Americans, broadly, to welcome more taco styles every Tuesday. The first step comes with watching Taco Chronicles (Las Crónicas del Taco), a new series that debuts Friday, July 12 on Netflix.

The trailer for Taco Chronicles teases how different varieties of tacos (asada, carnitas, guisado, canasta, barbacoa, pastor) will be explored in the Spanish-language series. It’s full of tight shots of sizzling, juicy, salted meats, held together with salsa and tortilla. It’s got colorful testimonials from people of all walks of life. The series is a party in honor of Mexico’s emblematic dish, refreshingly free of American pretense.

Taco Chronicles seems like our latest, best shot at tempting our friends and loved ones from the familiar, cumin-scented warmth of ground beef and cheddar cheese. If it works, the future of Taco Tuesday will be richer and more diverse than ever. — Nick Lucchesi

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Media via The Jim Henson Company, Netflix, Paramount Pictures