The Movie Guru: “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Heartstopper,” and more streaming treats
The Movie Guru
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
Set 10 years after the end of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” the series technically stars an understandably depressed Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s secret weapon, however, is a sassy, utterly delightful 10-year-old Leia Organa. I won’t spoil the circumstances of how they meet, or what happens next, but it’s more than enough adventure to fill an entire miniseries.
Ewan McGregor has clearly put a lot of thought into his portrayal of Obi-Wan, expertly portraying a tangle of emotions not explicitly stated in the script. Moses Ingram is formidable as a Sith bent on capturing Obi-Wan for the glory of the Empire. Jimmy Smits is delightful as always as a returning Bail Organa, while Joel Edgerton brings unexpected depth to Owen Lars. Vivien Lara Blair is a treat as young Leia.
Though the series hasn’t finished airing (Disney+ puts up a new episode weekly), I’m excited for the rest of the journey. Clearly, this is a corner of the Star Wars universe worth revisiting.
It’s rare to find a show that makes you happier just by watching it.
For a lot of people though, “Heartstopper” will be that show. Based on the graphic novels by Alice Oseman, it’s an incredibly sweet, warm-hearted story about two British boys falling in love. Though it’s not always smooth sailing for either the duo or their friends, the mood is always so gentle and emotionally hopeful that the light never really dims.
The show follows Charlie (Joe Locke) a 14-year-old British schoolboy who was forcibly outed by classmates the year before. When he develops both a friendship and a crush on the straight rugby player he sits next to in class, his friends think he’s heading for heartbreak. Nick (Kit Connor), the straight rugby player in question, might be headed for something else entirely.
If you don’t like teenage shows or have a low sugar tolerance, “Heartstopper” won’t be magic. But if you need a little sweetness in your life, it might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Prehistoric Planet (Apple TV+)
Most dinosaur documentaries tell their story through a combination of scientists and bones, with the occasional recreation sprinkled in to keep things interesting. BBC import “Prehistoric Planet,” however, does something far more magical. They treat dinosaurs the same way other documentaries treat lions – watch this gorgeous footage of them living their lives while David Attenborough explains what’s going on.
To do this, the show combines everything paleontologists have learned about dinosaurs with a sprinkling of modern animal behavior and some gorgeous CGI. The seamless fusion of all the elements must have taken a ton of work, but the results feel so effortlessly natural they seem almost magical. There’s even an element of danger, just like there always is in documentaries.
Each episode features a different environment, from the shoreline to forests, with a wide host of dinosaurs featured in each. Whether it’s lesser-known creatures or new facts about your old favorites, there’s always something more to learn. The dinosaur-loving 12-year-old who still lives in your head will love every second of it.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.