Maverick Life


This weekend we’re watching: Hannah Gadbsy, Survivor SA and Ballers

This weekend we’re watching: Hannah Gadbsy, Survivor SA and Ballers
Photo credit: Hannah Gadsby / Facebook

Even some of us who aren’t normally avid followers of sports find the World Cup a pretty entertaining spectacle. But if you need a break from the Round of 16 this weekend, we have a few suggestions for alternative viewing.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette 

It’s no exaggeration to say that Australian comic Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up special on Netflix is prompting a moment of genuine soul-searching in comedy.

In the course of a 70-minute show, Gadsby takes her audience on a discombobulating journey from chuckles to rage to deep discomfort. What starts off as a fairly standard stand-up set evolves into something more like a hugely affecting TED talk, probing the purpose of comedy in dealing with prejudice and inequality.

That doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs, and at points it’s the opposite. But if you’re willing to see it through to the end, you will be rewarded with abundant food for thought – and a new appreciation for art history graduates.

Available on Netflix 

Survivor SA: Philippines

M-Net has thrown everything it has at this latest local iteration of the Survivor franchise, and it shows.

It’s a production of international quality, featuring everything we’ve come to expect from this much-loved reality TV contest. Extraordinarily complicated challenges? Check. Scenes of back-biting and betrayal, interspersed with shots of slithering snakes? Check. South African contestants who make you alternately cringe and cheer? Check. Very unsubtle product placement? Check? Actually, that’s something new, and not totally welcome.

Anyway, it’s a hoot. Get involved before Tribal Council snuffs out another torch.

Screens every Thursday on M-Net at 7pm 

Ballers (Season 3)

This US comedy-drama about sports agents is little-known and underrated, but once you get into it there’s much to enjoy.

Local streaming service Showmax is currently broadcasting the third season, but the previous two are available too, and you’re advised to start at the beginning to pick up the vibe. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as an NFL player pivoting to a new life as a sports agent, advising a succession of foolish and troubled sports stars on what to do with careers and money that won’t last forever.

The Rock’s role is essentially the Olivia Pope of the sports world, rescuing celebrity sportsmen from scandals that make the Ashwin Willemse/Nick Mallett showdown look like the stuff of kids’ stories. Plus there’s the chance to see two film legends’ offspring in action: Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington and Jane Fonda’s son Troy Garity co-star.

Available on Showmax

Video of the Week: Space Station Live

Take a look at Earth from the International Space Station. In real time. Proof that technology can sometimes be a wonderful, enriching thing. Cameras won’t always be live, but when they are, it’ll be glorious. DM


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