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‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ Should Make Maya Erskine a Superstar

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/Amazon
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty/Amazon

There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

See: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a remarkably fresh and witty take on a stale movie that’s really only remembered for giving us Brangelina. It’s a dark, inventive, and well-paced spy series, and irrefutable proof that Maya Erksine is the kind of natural comedy star Hollywood rarely sees anymore.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“For those of us old enough to remember the dawn of this wretched century, the title Mr. and Mrs. Smith probably triggers the idea of wildly intense costar chemistry. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s 2005 film of the same name famously ignited a firestorm of cultural obsession and gave the world “Brangelina,” after the two leads became an item around the time that the movie was shot. The film’s existence became inseparable from the Hollywood couple that it spawned, so much so that a remake seemed inconceivable. Good luck to the pair of actors who would take up the titular roles; recreating a spark so electric that millions of people believed your predecessors fell in love on set is like trying to bottle lightning a second time—it was already a miracle that it happened once.

The New ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ Will Make You Forget Brangelina

Unless, as it turns out, you’re Donald Glover and Maya Erskine, who star in Prime Video’s version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, now streaming. The series—which is based on the 2005 film but is far closer to the short-lived 1996 TV show—finds the two actors playing house together in a luxurious apartment in New York. John (Glover) and Jane (Erskine) Smith might look like your average thirty-something Silicon Valley transplants, funneling their tech money into an outrageously expensive metropolitan lifestyle. But they’re simply playing to their cover: This newly married couple have never even met before when they wind up inside the same townhouse one afternoon, sent there after being contracted for high-risk espionage by a mysterious company.”

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Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa and John Cena in Argylle.

Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa and John Cena in Argylle.

Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures

Skip: Argylle

Argylle had all of us wondering who the real Agent Argylle was after months of torture by the movie’s trailer. To get to the answer, you’ll have to sit through an insipid plot, endless shootouts, and atrociously rendered CGI. It’s more sigh than spy, and who wants that?

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“As a director, Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, the Kingsman series) is like a brasher, more cartoony version of Guy Ritchie, all ‘crazy’ badass bluster and pop genre posturing, and he doesn’t alter his over-the-top ways with Argylle, a scattershot and empty-headed spy story that futilely tries to tap a Romancing the Stone (or even The Lost City) vein. Its comic touch almost as heavy-handed as its slow-motion-drenched action is dull, it seems primarily designed to answer the question, ‘How many movie stars can one fiasco squander?’

‘Argylle’ Has So Many Stars, Yet So Little Fun

Argylle (in theaters Feb. 2) is brimming with marquee names but at the center of its nonsense is Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard), the author of a popular spy series concerning Argylle (Henry Cavill), whose heroic exploits play out on screen in goofily extravagant sequences that don’t resemble 007 so much as Austin Powers, replete with bright primary colors, fanciful settings, and absurd outfits.”

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(l-r) Katie Maloney, Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Lisa Vanderpump, James Kennedy, Lala Kent, Tom Schwartz, and Scheana Shay.

(l-r) Katie Maloney, Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Lisa Vanderpump, James Kennedy, Lala Kent, Tom Schwartz, and Scheana Shay.

Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo

Skip: Vanderpump Rules Season 11

Vanderpump Rules Season 11 demonstrates that Lisa Vanderpump is better at bottling rosé than she is at bottling lightning a second time. Expectations are high for the post-Scandoval season, but the fallout is coasting on fumes, and the show needs another jolt of drama—fast.

Here’s Alec Karam’s take:

“Can you believe it’s been less than a year since the reality TV scandal to end all scandals? Last March, the “Scandoval” broke, revealing Tom Sandoval was having an affair with co-star Raquel Leviss behind his longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix’s back. Many lives have been lived since, but we pick up Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules in June 2023, just months after it all went down. The season starts on a rather uninspired note: Ariana and Katie discussing the impending opening of their sandwich shop, Something About Her. It’s not exactly riveting TV, made worse by the fact this shop is still not open—to this day.

The ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Post-Scandoval Season Premiere Is a Snoozy Bummer

The premiere picks up with Tom Sandoval filming a reality competition show, Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, leaving him absent from the premiere. Meanwhile, firestarter Raquel—who now goes by Rachel—has checked herself into a treatment facility, leaving last season’s duo of terror out of commission. Despite the renewed attention and explosive ratings, the Scandoval momentum seemingly has slowed immensely. Unfortunately for Ariana, the middling premiere only serves to prove that, while Sandoval is morally corrupt, he might be the force keeping the show moving.”

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Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

Marvel/Disney

See: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a high-flying throwback to Saturday morning cartoons, an adventure made for kids that happens to also be the best Marvel TV show in a minute. Perhaps if the folks at Marvel just admitted all of this stuff is really for kids, it might all be this fun.

Here’s Jesse Hassenger’s take:

“Part of the recent disappointment with the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes from the feeling that it’s flubbing some of its loftiest supposed goals. Over the past few years, Marvel has made a lot of gestures toward embracing a trippier multiverse of sometimes-cosmic stories, expanding the roster of heroes to show greater diversity, utilizing a bolder visual palette that doesn’t render every environment as another green-screened slab of slate-gray overpass, and (on TV, at least) operating at smaller scales than the usual world-ending Avengers-level crossover. How does all of that add up to a glorified Zoom call of a movie like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or a dreary non-event of a show like Secret Invasion?

The Best Marvel Show on TV Right Now Is a Cartoon for Kids

The dirty secret of Marvel is that it’s easier to fulfill certain creative ambitions when the movies or shows in question inch (or leap) further away from the company’s inner circle of continuity. Sony’s Spider-Verse cartoons, for example, have become a gold standard in comic-book adaptation by embracing their nerdy roots and stylistic boldness, outside the watchful purview of honcho Kevin Feige. The animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, meanwhile, doesn’t technically come as far out-of-house; it’s a Disney production, with the new second season airing on the company’s cable and streaming channels. But it’s hard to imagine that it receives much executive scrutiny.”

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