TV highlights: Streaming the cinematheques, girls gone bad, ‘Love Fraud’

Launched in late August, Yes Cinematheque features a great many movies you’ll love, including classics that you can never watch too many times.

Love Fraud (photo credit: COURTESY OF CELLCOM TV)
Love Fraud
(photo credit: COURTESY OF CELLCOM TV)
Being deprived of going out to the movies throughout this health crisis has been tough, but Yes’s new streaming option, Yes Cinematheque, allows users to view some of the best of recent world cinema and access a library of more than 500 classics.
Launched in late August, Yes Cinematheque features a great many movies you’ll love, including classics that you can never watch too many times, such as Stanley Donen’s Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.
Yes Cinematheque is partnering with the cinematheques around the country to bring you the movies that have been or would be at film festivals, among them such acclaimed films as Greta, a psychological thriller by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz, and Isold Uggadottir’s And Breathe Normally, a look at the rapport that develops between a single mother and an asylum seeker in Iceland.
There are also movies that were big hits over the last 40 years, including Top Gun, An Officer and a Gentleman, Alien, Get Shorty and Mulholland Drive.
This service could keep you busy for a long, long time.
If you’re ready for a so-bad-it’s-good movie, tune into The Meg on Hot Cinema 1 on September 4 at 10 p.m., and on CinemaTime starting September 6. It tells the story of a group of very attractive marine biologist types who encounter the Megalodon, which is apparently a way of saying “prehistoric shark.” Those two words were what novelist Steve Alten reportedly used to sell his book to Hollywood, and sometimes two words are just enough. The cast includes Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson (The Office) and Ruby Rose. You’ll have to tune in to see who gets turned into shark food and who lives to dry their hair.
If you want something a bit more real, try Love Fraud on Cellcom TV, a four-part Showtime documentary series about a serial con man who marries women, empties their bank accounts and moves on to his next victim. It might sound all too familiar, but the twist here is that the women band together and hire a bounty hunter after the criminal justice system fails them.
Television and the streaming services, however you want to categorize it all, are now presenting many genres of stories that we used to go to the movies to see. Good guys who become lawbreakers, once a common big-screen trope, have been particularly successful on television, with such shows as Breaking Bad, Weeds and Orange is the New Black.
Not long ago, Netflix released the third season of another such series: Good Girls. I recently caught up with this series, which focuses on three moms in suburban Detroit who turn to armed robbery and much more to pay their bills. It’s a bit like any number of female-bonding comedies, if the late crime novelist Elmore Leonard, who wrote many of his best books about the Detroit area, were a script editor.
It’s about Beth (Christina Hendricks, who played Joan on Mad Men), who discovers that her cheating husband (Matthew Lillard) has tanked his car dealership and taken out multiple mortgages on their home so he can come up with cash to woo his young mistress. Her sister, Annie (Mae Whitman, who was Amber on Parenthood), works a minimum wage job and needs money to fight her ex for custody of their daughter, while Ruby (Retta, who played Donna on Parks and Recreation), a waitress married to a security guard, is trying to finance a kidney transplant for her daughter.
These are really fun actresses to spend a few hours with, and the show seamlessly mixes comedy and capers. Even better, every episode manages to end on a cliffhanger. While sometimes these kinds of shows tend to peter out, Good Girls seems to get stronger with each season, and fans have been online lamenting the fact that the filming of the fourth season has been delayed due to the coronavirus.