What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: TMNT: Mutant Mayhem, Reservation Dogs, and More

This week's recommendations also include a real-time thriller, a coming-of-age romantic dramedy, and Jason Statham kickpunching a giant prehistoric shark... again!

by | August 3, 2023 | Comments


There’s only one word we can use to describe this week’s picks, and it starts with a “cowa” and ends with a “bunga.” Along with the animated return of four turtles who are also teenagers and mutants and ninjas, we bring you the conclusion of a real-time thriller miniseries, the return of yet another great Taika Waititi project, the return of a Nertflix coming-of-age dramedy, and one MEGa-movie about why you should never go in the ocean.

Heading from the sewer straight into theaters is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

Yes, the TMNTs have been around since the late ’80s, but this is a brand new iteration of the classic material, bringing its own artistic style — it looks like a comic book come to life — along with a fresh voice cast and new story details, and that’s the first reason to check this one out.

The second is that while the supporting cast will be very recognizable to your ear — which we’ll get to in a second — the four main turtles are voiced by relatively unknown actors in an effort to cast actual teenagers. Plus, the foursome recorded much of their dialogue together to encourage improvisation and form better chemistry. As for the big-name supporting cast, well, that’s the third reason to join in this mayhem, because it includes Ice Cube as the main villain Superfly, Jackie Chan as Master Splinter, and Ayo Edebiri from The Bear as April O’neil. And if you want more, how about Giancarlo Esposito, John Cena, Post Malone, Paul Rudd, and Rose Byrne. On top of all that, Seth Rogen serves as a producer, co-writer, and the voice of classic Turtles villain Bebop.

The film is already Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer, and if reading the word tomato made you hungry for pizza, then this is definitely the movie for you.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Taking over your TVs this week is the thrilling finale of Hijack on Apple TV+.

This seven-part miniseries stars Idris Elba, and that’s the main reason to watch this one. He’s the man. That’s it. That’s the reason. He stars as a corporate business negotiator who has to use his skills to try and stop a hijacking on a seven-hour flight.

And if the words “seven-part” and “seven-hour” caught your ear, that’s because the series takes place in real time, much like another hit thriller series, 24, which is a good second reason to catch it.

The final reason is that it’s Certified Fresh at 86% on the Tomatometer, with a Critics Consensus that says: “Largely devoid of storytelling turbulence and benefiting greatly from its real-time pacing, Hijack is a glossy but effective thriller that achieves genuine liftoff.”

Where to Watch: Apple TV+

Another show that’s definitely worth your time this week is the third-season premiere of Reservation Dogs.

The first reason to visit this series is that it was created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo. It follows the lives of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma, with storylines inspired by events from Harjo’s childhood.

The series features all Indigenous writers and directors, along with an almost entirely Indigenous American cast and production team, which was a major focus during the development process — and another good reason to check it out.

Plus, not only are seasons 1 and 2 Certified Fresh, but they’re at 100% and 98% on the Tomatometer, respectively. And considering this is the series’ final season, it might be worth checking out before it ends.

Where to Watch: Hulu

Also still pumping in the world of TV is the Netflix series Heartstopper, back for season 2.

A good reason to check out this coming-of-age romantic dramedy is that it was created and written by Alice Oseman, based on her webcomic and graphic novel of the same name. It tells the story of a gay schoolboy who falls in love with a classmate.

And not only was season 1 a major hit with critics, Certified Fresh at 100% on the Tomatometer, but the Audience Score is a whopping 96% too. Basically everyone loves it.

On top of that, Heartstopper was one of the top English series on Netflix within a couple days of its release, increasing the popularity of not only the graphic novel on which it’s based, but also many of the songs used in the series as well. To top it all off, the series earned nine nominations and five wins at the inaugural Children’s and Family Emmy Awards.

Where to Watch: Netflix

And finally, if you’re willing to jump back into theaters, you can check out Meg 2: The Trench.

The 2018 undersea thriller The Meg may lack a Fresh score on the Tomatometer, but what it did have was the ability to draw large audiences, pulling in over $530 million at the worldwide box office and paving the way for a sequel. In other words, it’s a crowd-pleaser, and to further please those crowds, the first film’s star Jason Statham is back. Why he would venture back into the ocean is beyond us, but in any case, he’s back!

And if Statham’s return is its own reason to see this one, then so is the return of not only more megs — aka megalodon sharks — but this time they’ll encounter other giant prehistoric sea creatures as well. Plus, behind the scenes, director Ben Wheatley brings a great combo of skills for this movie, having worked on psychological thrillers like the adaptation High-Rise with Tom Hiddelston and action comedies like Free Fire with Brie Larson, so he’s definitely well-equipped to handle something like a giant shark adventure.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Hopefully our recommendations helped you fill up your entertainment calendar this weekend. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you watched, whether it was on this list or not!

Thumbnail image by ©Paramount Pictures

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