What to watch the week of Friday, July 24

Daniel Ings, Antonia Thomas, and Johnny Flynn in Scrotal Recall, on Netflix

Scrotal Recall” is a terrible title for a genuinely sweet British sitcom, a romantic comedy built around one man’s odyssey to contact former partners after he’s diagnosed with VD. Johnny Flynn’s hapless single is an old-fashioned romantic in a modern soul, shaggy but personable, witty, and smart. A doctor’s visit confirms that he has chlamydia, and he wakes of from a night of binge drinking to find he’s called every woman he’s slept with in the last couple of years and left a voice message.

It sounds like the set-up for juvenile sex jokes and bad behavior but it’s really quite touching. Johnny really is looking for true love and each episode is built around his meeting with a former partner. They are touching peeks into the bittersweet pleasures of dating, courtship, and the ways we touch one another even in brief encounters. Meanwhile, he’s struggling with the realization that he’s really in love with his roommate (Antonia Thomas), an artist who is about to be married and (as the flashbacks show) was once in love with him. There’s nothing explicit here, but it’s definitely for adults.

Netflix lists this as one of their originals but more accurately it is one of their exclusives. It was originally produced for Channel 4 in Britain.

But seriously…. That title?

Queue it up!

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Chris Evans (Captain America himself) makes his directorial debut with the romantic comedy “Before We Go.” He and Alice Eve are uncommonly beautiful strangers who meet after a missed train and spend the night walking and talking through the streets of New York City. It’s PG-13 for language and suggestive scenes and arrives on VOD before theaters.

Much kinkier and weirder is the indie film “Felt,” about an artist who battles her traumas by channeling her anger and confusion into art. On select cable systems and VOD services. Not rated but features adult material.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “Unexpected,” starring Cobie Smulders as an unmarried high school teacher who discovers she’s pregnant at the same that one of her teenage students does. R for language.

Netflix and Amazon Instant Prime

Glee: Season 6,” the final 13-episode season of the “hey kids, let’s put on a concert” of network TV, is available to both Netflix and Amazon Prime customers. I’d offer a quick review but frankly I bailed on this show long ago. Queue it up on Netflix or add to Amazon Prime watchlist.


If you’ve been hitting the summer blockbusters in the theaters, you may have seen the trailer for the “Rocky” spin-off “Creed” set to open this fall. Netflix has the first generation of the boxing movie dynasty, from the Oscar-winning underdog drama “Rocky” (1976) to “Rocky V” (1990), with the champ broke and reluctantly retired. Carl Weathers’s Apollo Creed appears in the first four films, instilling Stallone’s Rocky with the eye of the tiger in “Rocky III” (19) and inspiring Rocky to go cold warrior in “Rocky IV.” Not necessary homework for “Creed,” mind you, just a little backstory for the curious.

Queue ’em up! Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V.

Amazon Instant Prime

Amazon adds another HBO show to its Prime service: Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom: The Complete Series,” his entertaining and often frustrating take on cable news featuring a cast of brilliant professionals who act like hormonal teenagers whenever emotion comes into the picture. 25 episodes of top-rate actors delivering Sorkin’s brand of liberal idealism. Add to watchlist.

Dwayne Johnson is “Hercules” in the 2014 film version of the legendary muscleman hero that suggests he’s more self-promoting mortal man than demi-god with a crew of mercenary cohorts promoting his myth into work-for-hire. It’s PG-13 for battle scenes and violence. Add to watchlist.

Hulu Plus

The BBC America “Intruders: Season 1,” about a secret society that chases immortality through possessing the bodies of others, is the only season of the supernatural show. Watch it here.


Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.