‘The Real Friends of WeHo’ Proves Not All Representation Is Good

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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.

Skip: The Real Friends of WeHo

The Real Friends of WeHo is vapid dreck that assumes queer people would have any interest in watching six gay influencers come together to talk about themselves for 42 minutes. If I wanted that, I’d loiter at an Equinox during Pride month.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“Nobody asked for this. There was not one single person in the world who was looking at the scope of reality television offerings across the world and thought to themselves, “You know what we really need? A show about six conceited gay men talking about how great they are, nonstop, for an hour.” Yet, that’s exactly the Rumpelstiltskin curse we’ve had forced upon us with MTV’s newest show, The Real Friends of WeHo, premiering Friday.

What ultimately lands on our televisions isn’t even offensive enough to make the (extremely tacky and unfunny) joke that this show sets the gay community back by 50 years, because it simply doesn’t have enough power to do so. To set back progress, you actually have to impose a threat. But no one here is invested enough to put that much energy into the show. At least the Real Housewives have the good sense to step on each other’s necks to get to the top of the food chain; the Real Friends can’t free their heads from their own asses long enough to make that a possibility.”

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Skip: Shrinking

Shrinking is an insufferable therapy “comedy” that’s about as funny as, well, actually having a bad therapist (who among us hasn’t had to dispute a copay for ditching a hack shrink?). Harrison Ford, your time is precious. Don’t spend it on Apple TV+!

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“You can feel the urge to laugh shriveling up and dying with each passing minute of Shrinking, a new half-hour Apple TV+ series from Jason Segel, Bill Lawrence, and Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein. Premiering Jan. 27, the series is about a grieving therapist who shakes up his life, and practice, by letting patients know precisely how he feels, and then getting intensely involved in their issues. Boasting grating turns from its overdoing-it cast, scripts that are like nails on a chalkboard, and the participation of Harrison Ford in a role, and project, that’s beneath him, it’s the nadir of ‘high concept’ comedy.

Putting a figurative punctuation mark on every line and scene, Segel, Williams and Miller never fail to elicit groans. Ford, on the other hand, merely makes one sad—not because his turn is particularly moving (he does the best he can with a broad, two-dimensional character), but because it’s depressing to see him stuck with subpar material that requires him to literally growl with displeasure and enthusiastically sing along to Sugar Ray’s ‘Every Morning.’ Even when brought low by scenarios that are stale or clunky (or both!), the legendary actor refuses to unduly mug, thereby proving to be the only actor to emerge relatively unscathed. Still, Ford is better than Shrinking, and so too are most other comedies currently on the air.

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See: Missing

Missing is a sleek new entry in the told-entirely-online mystery genre that updates the classic mystery format for a brand new audience. Funny, frightening, and oh-so meme-worthy—it should not be as good as it is!

Here’s Fletcher Peters’ take:

“Media keeps getting teens wrong. While it may seem ridiculous when shows like Euphoria portray some teens as throwing ridiculously giant parties and wearing clownish outfits, believe it or not, a handful of teens do live like Alexa Demie does in the show. The Fault in Our Stars, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and The Kissing Booth, three wonderfully cheesy romance films, tried to convince us that teenagers are emotionally mature enough to fall in love—and they are! And now, Missing tries to prove to us that a young woman would be able to solve her mother’s disappearance on her own—and, guess what? It’s plausible.

You may have seen the viral video of Storm Reid yelping ‘STOP SCROLLING!’ to her phone camera, filmed to promote the movie. The memes are hilarious, a facet of the internet we’d probably see via June’s social media in the movie if it weren’t as focused on the mystery. Missing knows how to grab its audience—it understands what folks on social media fixate on, it fully comprehends how teens text, and it knows what kind of electrifying enigmas young audiences want to see. Plus, Storm Reid gets more than the five minutes of screen time she gets on Euphoria here, and that’s well-deserved.

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See: The Legend of Vox Machina

The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 continues the show’s Dungeons-and-Dragons-for-dummies conceit, with a gorgeously animated world expansion and clever twists. And, bonus: you don’t have to spend 12 hours reading the rules.

Here’s Shannon O’Connor’s take:

Vox Machina is based on the popular Dungeon & Dragons-roleplay web series Critical Role, starring some of the video game and anime industries’ most beloved voice actors. In 2015, friends (and beloved voice actors) Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham and Matthew Mercer brought their household Dungeon & Dragons game to the internet. Since the debut of the webseries’ first campaign, in which the friends role-play and wisecrack for hours at a time, Critical Role has blown up into a cultural phenomenon.

And like any good fantasy-adventure, Vox Machina balances its heart and humor perfectly. The pitch-perfect comedic timing of the cast helps deliver some of the show’s most hilarious one-liners. Abrupt musical moments from Scanlan—music is part of his magical powers, after all—are always a crowd-pleaser, with some surprising stand-outs this season.”

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