Hilary Swank is going where no man or woman has gone before in her brand new Netflix series, Away.
Swank stars as Emma, a headstrong and passionate astronaut in charge of commanding the inaugural mission to Mars.
But achieving such greatness comes at a high price and sacrifice, as the streaming drama paints a clear picture of how difficult it is to juggle family and career responsibilities.
While most of us have never been presented with the opportunity to not only make a pitstop at the moon but then (wo)man a ship all the way to Mars, we easily relate to Emma and her frustrations and guilt.
She’s worked her whole life for the trip, but she’s plagued with the guilt of “abandoning” her family for three years followed by the possibility of never making it back home.
She’s making history, but she won’t be there for Lex’s soccer games — and by showing that scene prior to the big media Mars mission media day, the series aims to underscore how important both these things are to her.
The series has found a middle-ground by balancing the two things that mean the world to her.
Her feeling of guilt is only exacerbated when her husband suffers a stroke the day before the big launch and she finds herself at a crossroads: should she continue on with the mission or go back and be with her family who truly needs her?
“The further away I get, I’m actually just getting closer to being back to you.”
The series paints a working woman’s plight through many different avenues. Her husband, a former astronaut, is sidelined after being diagnosed CCM disorder. While he doesn’t hold it against her and encourages her to “be the best,” there’s a hint of resentment when he’s forced to stay behind and watch her accomplish what was also once his dream.
That resentment is quickly wiped away with pride as Matt is a good man who, despite just getting out of surgery, finds it in himself to convince his wife to “do her job” rather than come home to take care of them.
And there’s the workplace drama appeal that anyone can relate to without ever stepping foot into a spaceship. The entire world has agreed to work together and collaborate on this mission, and while the crew seems to get along with each other initially, the dynamic is fractured after an incident on the spaceship that the audience is made privy to through each member’s individual accounts.
They always say there are two sides to every story and then the truth. In this case, there are four sides to the story, and then what actually happened.
Since we don’t get as much information about the crew members as we do about Emma in the pilot episode, these scenes are crucial for getting a sense of who these people are.
Ram only saw the aftermath of the incident, but he has Emma’s back wholeheartedly and informs Darlene that Emma would never ever put them in danger or get rattled.
Kwesi, the man who was lightly injured in the incident, bluntly tells Darlene that Emma saved his life.
Problems arise with the Yu and Misha’s accounts of what transpired. Misha doesn’t seem to trust Emma and says that she “froze” when put in a dangerous situation. He doesn’t believe she’s a good leader nor does he think she has the necessary experience because an “experienced astronaut doesn’t remove the panel,” which allowed for the pretreat, an acid, to escape and burst into a firebomb. In his version, he claims that he came up with the idea to get the water and pour it on the pretreat, but this contradict’s Lu’s version of events.
While Lu believes Emma was reckless in how she handled the situation, she explains that since she’s the on-board chemist, she’s the one who told Misha to get the water thus proving that Misha’s motivations are self-serving.
Eventually, we hear Emma’s side of the story — Kwesi opened the panel just as she shouted for him not to. When the pretreat oozed out, she pulled him to safety and then disregarded Lu’s suggestion to use water and instead, took off her shirt and tried to capture it with her shirt not realizing that her deodorant would cause a reaction.
She informs Putney that her mistake could’ve killed the whole team. Putney is there to assess Emma’s ability to continue on with the mission as all hell is breaking loose at the command center with each nation urging NASA to pull Emma off the mission.
However, he argues that she dove headfirst into a dangerous and unknown situation to save them all without any regard for herself. That’s what makes her a good leader, and that’s the reason they chose her to command this mission.
“Maybe it’s not in our nature to work together. But the future demands otherwise. And we will come together now in pursuit of a dream that was once thought to be impossible. And if we can do this, we can do anything.”
With Putney’s words and her family’s support, Emma once again gains the confidence she needs to command her team, regardless of whether or not they trust her.
At the end of the day, they’re all in this together. There will always be colleagues who think they are better than you or know better than you. There will be those people that undermine you at every step. And while it’s annoying, it’s usually fine in an office setting, but if your workplace environment is jetting off into Mars to do what’s never been done before, you’re going to need everyone on-board. Ego has no place in space, which Emma makes very clear in her final message to the people of Earth.
They all have to work together to survive because the future demands it.
In the final moments of the episode, the crew successfully takes off on their mission to Mars, but this is just one of the many hurdles they’ll likely endure especially with the odds of survival set at 50/50.
The pilot may have dug a bit into Emma, but one of the best things about the series is that it features such a diverse cast. The crew members represent China, Russia, the U.K, and India, and it’ll be exciting to get to know them and discover what’s fueling their passions. We briefly got a sense of what matters to them with Misha boasting about his grandchildren, Lu mentioning her “friend,” Ram goofing off about his love of women, and Kwesi’s decision to bring along the Torah.
Plain and simple: it’s a stellar cast, a simple premise, a glimpse at the sacrifices needed the achieve greatness and a look at the possibilities that open up when people put aside their differences and work together.
What did you think of the series premiere of Away?
What to Watch April 2021 Guide: Manifest, Younger, The Handmaids Tale, and MORE!
Spring showers bring plenty of new content your way this April.
So, who is ready to do some serious binge-watching? We didn’t practice for this all of 2020 to give up now! Especially because there are some really great TV shows premiering and a handful of highly-anticipated shows returning!
Here’s what’s on tap!
Law & Order: Organized Crime – NBC (April 1)
Has there been a more anticipated TV return? Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) returns to the NYPD and joins a new task force while reuniting with ex-partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay).
Manifest – NBC (April 1)
What happened to Flight 828? TV’s biggest mystery continues into season 3. Ben pursues a tail fin that may have belonged to the plane he was on while the rest of the passengers continue to follow Callings.
Home Economics – ABC (April 7)
The new comedy series looks at the uncomfortable and frustrating relationship between three adult siblings from the Hayworth family.
Kung Fu – The CW (April 7)
The reboot of the 1970s drama of the same name stars Legacies actress Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, a young Chinese-American woman who drops out of college and travels to a monastery in China only to return home to San Francisco and find it overrun by crime. As she doles out justice, she finds herself the target of an assassin.
Rebel – ABC (April 8)
Katey Sagal stars as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a blue-collar legal attorney who ruthlessly fights for the cases she believes in. The series is inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich.
Them – Amazon Prime (April 9)
The limited horror anthology hails from Lena Waithe and finds a black family in the 1950s moving into a white neighborhood in L.A. where they not only have to deal with terrible neighbors but also supernatural forces that mean to do them harm.
Fear the Walking Dead – AMC (April 11)
Season 6B picks up with John Dorie reuniting with an old friend who helps him through a dark moment.
The Circle – Netflix (April 14)
The highly-addictive reality series, described as Big Brother meets Catfish, returns for a second season. Contestants move into the same apartment building but never meet face-to-face as they’re only allowed to communicate through a special social media app.
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me – Netflix (April 14)
The sitcom, inspired by Jamie Foxx’s relationship with his daughter, Corinne, finds him playing the role of a single dad and cosmetics brand owner who must navigate raising a teen daughter.
Younger – Paramount+ (April 15)
The seventh and final season of Younger wraps up Liza’s journey at Empirical/Millennial and hopefully reveals if she ends up with #TeamJosh or #TeamCharles once and for all.
Big Shot – Disney+ (April 16)
John Stamos moves on from Uncle Jesse in a new role former men’s basketball coach who gets fired and is forced to become a coach at an elite all-girls school. If you’re looking for a new sports drama with heart, look no further.
Cruel Summer – Freefrom (April 21)
Hailing from executive producer Jessica Biel, Freeform’s newest thriller takes the spot left behind by Pretty Little Liars. Set in the 90s, it follows the disappearance of a popular and charming girl and the nerdy wannabe who is blamed for the crime.
Shadow & Bone – Netflix (April 23)
In the fantasy series, based on a book of the same name, sinister forces plot against a young woman who has the powers to unite her world.
93rd Oscars – ABC (April 25)
As they say in show biz, the award show must go on. The 93rd Oscars, which originally mandated an in-person attendance amid the coronavirus pandemic, have reversed course and are allowing remote participation.
The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu (April 28)
June and her fellow Handmaids go beyond the walls of Gilead following an uprising as they seek freedom in the dystopian series.
Concrete Cowboy – Netflix (April 2)
Stranger Things‘ Caleb McLaughlin stars as a teen who befriends a community of Black cowboys in Philadelphia when he stays with his estranged dad (played by Idris Elba) for the summer.
Thunder Force – Netflix (April 9)
Dynamic duo Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are former childhood best friends who invent a formula that gives them superhero powers.
Stowaway – Netflix (April 22)
A stowaway crashes a mission to Mars and risks the lives of the whole crew on-board. The sci-fi thriller stars Anna Kendrick and Daniel Dae Kim.
Without Remorse – Amazon Prime (April 30)
Michael B. Jordan stars as John Clark, an elite NAVY Seal who uncovers a covert plot while investigating the death of his pregnant wife.
Netflix Renews Spanish Drama ‘Elite’ for Fifth Season Ahead of Season 4 Premiere, Adds News Cast Members
We’ve got some elite news!
Spanish drama Elite has been renewed for a fifth season at Netflix!
The news isn’t all that shocking considering the drama, set in the ritzy private school of Las Encinas in Spain, is one of the streamer’s best performing Spanish originals.
Not only is the cast incredible, the first few seasons were hinged around an intoxicating murder mystery and plenty of steamy love scenes.
The renewal comes ahead of the fourth season, which currently doesn’t have a premiere date. In 2020, filming was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and an outbreak on set.
It’s possible the series will return in the spring/summer of 2021.
The upcoming season will see a handful of familiar faces including Samu (Itzan Escamilla), Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Omar (Omar Ayuso), Rebeca (Claudia Salas), and Ander (Aron Piper) as they were held back due to their shenanigans. The drama will also welcome new students Manu Ríos , Carla Díaz , Martina Cariddi and Pol Granch to shake things up.
Deadline also reports that the fifth season has added Argentinan actress Valentina Zenere (Soy Luna) and Brazilan actor André Lamoglia (Juacas) to its cast.
What to Watch in March 2021 Guide: Good Girls, Coming 2 America, The Irregulars, and MORE!
Can you believe it’s almost March?
2021 is flying by, and I have to credit the fact that there has been so much good television available!
Despite COVID-19 still holding a grasp on the world, plenty of our favorite TV shows were able to return to production and deliver outstanding seasons that are keeping us entertained every single day of the week.
March sees a return of some favorites on primetime along with some new additions to streaming.
Here’s everything to watch on March 2021:
Debris – NBC (March 1)
Calling all sci-fi fans! Two international agents are tasked with investigating mysterious wreckage that falls from the sky. As British agent Finola Jones and American agent Bryan Beneventi lead the charge to track down all the debris scattered across the Western Hemisphere, they realize it’s a race against time!
The Voice – NBC (March 1)
The singing competition returns for season 20 with Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson at the helm!
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell – Netflix (March 1)
The documentary on famed rapper The Notorious B.I.G. celebrates his life and tracks his journey to rap king alongside rare footage and in-depth interviews.
New Amsterdam – NBC (March 2)
With the pandemic still in full-swing, season 3 kicks off with a plane crash in the East River.
Good Girls – NBC (March 7)
Your favorite suburban criminals are back for season 4! Beth, Ruby, and Annie continue their life of crime by pouring themselves into Boland Bubbles to wash money for “homeboy.” With the FBI hot on their trail, will they find a way to stay above water?
Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy – ABC (March 11)
After going on hiatus in December, the Shondaland shows return with a crossover that tackles the issue of human trafficking.
A Million Little Things – ABC (March 11)
After a nearly three-month wait, A Million Little Things is finally getting new episodes and it’s going to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the synopsis: “As [the virus] becomes more widespread across the U.S., Boston goes into lockdown putting Rome’s movie in jeopardy and forcing Maggie to return home from Oxford. Because the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, Eddie’s back surgery is cancelled, leading him to take desperate measures to cope with the severe pain.
Love Alarm – Netflix (March 12)
The popular K-drama about an app that alerts people if someone in the area likes them returns for its second season on Netflix!
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal – Netflix (March 17)
You’re familiar with the college bribery scandal that brought down Aunt Becky and other wealthy parents who stopped at nothing to get their children into top-tier universities. The documentary synopsis reads: “Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.”
Everything you’ve heard is true. But you haven’t heard everything. Using real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps the filmmaker behind Fyre brings you Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal pic.twitter.com/kwsqTCSkqq
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) February 22, 2021
The highly-anticipated Marvel action series brings together Falcon and the Winter Soldier, who “team up for a global adventure that will test their survival skills — as well as their patience.” Starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, the action picks up after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” with the first two episodes airing on the streamer on March 19 and March 26, respectively.
The Irregulars – Netflix (March 26)
The Sherlock Holmes spin-off series follows a group of “troubled street teens” who are wrapped into solving crimes and saving London from supernatural elements by the “sinister Doctor Watson.”
Pooch Perfect – ABC (March 30)
Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson is set to host this dog grooming reality competition that’s based on a UK competition of the same name (also hosted by Wilson). The episodes will spotlight 10 dog groomers around the country competing in challenges.
— Jorge Bendersky (@JorgeBendersky) February 19, 2021
Coming 2 America – Amazon Prime (March 5)
Comedic geniuses Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite as Akeem and Semmi to take audiences back to Zamunda, the royal country made popular in the 80s. It’s worth the watch if only for nostalgia’s sake.
Raya and the Last Dragon – Disney Plus (March 5)
After being delayed the coronavirus pandemic, the film will finally debut months later. It’ll premiere simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theaters on the same day! Per the synopsis: ” Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.”
Moxie – Netflix (March 3)
Amy Poehler lends her talents to a second Netflix original about a shy 16-year-old who is inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and publishes an anonymous zine to tackle sexism inside the high school hallways.
Yes Day – Netflix (March 12)
Saying “no” to your kids can be difficult, so parents Allison (played by Jennifer Garner) and Carlos give their kids one day where they say “yes” to all their requests.
Paper Lives (Kağıttan Hayatlar) – Netflix (March 15)
The Turkish drama finds warehouse worker Mehmet (starring Çağatay Ulusoy) working in an impoverished neighborhood where he becomes responsible for a small boy.
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