New to Lightbox in August

The latest seasons of Better Call Saul and Mr Mercedes will stream weekly from next month on Lightbox while new to the Spark service will be American Woman and The Girlfriend Experience.

American Woman is an Alicia Silverstone female empowerment comedy about growing up in ’70s Hollywood Hills that was inspired by the childhood of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.

Most of the reviews for the Paramount Network series weren’t flattering.

“There are no real jokes and few limited signs of intended humour, but the running time strips out room for stakes, leaving an odd situation drama, or sitdram,” The Hollywood Reporter said.

Sitdrams aren’t a thing, because they generally aren’t satisfying, and American Woman surely is not. Each episode presents a problem and a solution, and the rush to resolve in 21-to-26 minutes makes episodes go by quickly and forgettably.

“As a bland comedy about a woman trying to make it without her man, American Woman appears to be riding the #MeToo movement rather than servicing it,” TV Guide said.

The world needs stories about strong, complex women, and though Silverstone’s Bonnie Nolan shows signs of confidence and strength at times in the first three episodes provided to critics … they’re few and far between.

But the Los Angeles Times thought it “enjoyable” and the Boston Globe “worthwhile“.

US critics were much kinder about The Girlfriend Experience, a 2016 “transactional sex” drama about a lawyer who has a double life as a high-class escort.

Entertainment Weekly dubbed it both “a profound meditation on intimacy” and “a daylight-noir origin story for Basic Instinct. Either way, I’m hooked.”

And the New York Times said, “Even when it’s boring, it’s absorbing, like an art video playing in the lobby of a boutique hotel.”

Lightbox has season one but both it and season two can be streamed on Sky rival Neon.

More alluring than either American Woman or The Girlfriend Experience will be the return of Better Call Saul and Mr Mercedes. The latter is set a year after the first and the former catches up to where Breaking Bad began.

Streaming in order of their availability will be:

  • The Girlfriend Experience S1, from August 3
  • Better Call Saul S4, weekly from August 7
  • You’re the Worst S4, from August 10
  • Mr Mercedes S2, weekly from August 23
  • American Woman, from August 24
  • How I Met Your Mother, S1-9, from August 29.

New movies to rent in August will include Life of the Party, Tully, Marrowbone, Breath, Crooked House, Mary Magdalene, Chappaquiddick, Last Flag Flying, Slender Man, The Hurricane Heist, Gringo, 211, Have You Seen the Listers? and The Guernsey Literary& Potato Peel Pie Society.

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5 Responses to “New to Lightbox in August”

  1. We tried Season 1 of The Girlfriend Experience. Unfortunately we didn’t make it through the 1st episode and the series was quickly destined for the recycle bin … just didn’t get on with it. Fortunately there is plenty of other stuff to sample … one of the next shows I’m going to try is season 1 of Goliath.

  2. Was hoping I might see Hulu’s latest show Castle Rock (from Stephen King and JJ Abrams) listed here. Starts this week in the US. Any word who has got it Phil? (Apologies if I’ve missed it posted elsewhere.)

  3. I’d have to disagree with you Rosco. Although not as good as the movie I found GFE S1 entertaining but the creators should never have tried for a S2 – that got binned quickly not capturing the essence of the first (story or characters).

  4. Hi Clint. Have just posted the news that Lightbox will be streaming it from September.

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