Arts & Culture

Southern Streaming: Carla Hall, Black Astronauts, and Andie MacDowell Breaking Bad

February’s standout series and movies with Southern ties

Actors as Priscilla and Elvis Presley by a wedding cake

Photo: Courtesy of A24

Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi star as Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola's drama Priscilla.

When you’re not busy watching Southern stars Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Ray Charles, and Willie Nelson kill their parts in The Greatest Night in Pop, the Netflix documentary on the making of “We Are the World,” February offers even more love for the region in these series and films. 

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Carla Hall of Fame

Chasing Flavor, Max

photo: courtesy of food network/MAX
Chasing Flavor host Carla Hall.

Here at G&G, we are big fans of the ever-charming Carla Hall, the Top Chef favorite, TV host, and cookbook author who has served as the judge of the Food category for our Made in the South Awards and dished out wisdom in our 2019 book, Southern Women. Now, a brilliant TV mind at Max has done what someone should have a long time ago and given Hall a show of her own: the six-episode Chasing Flavor, which dropped February 1, for which Hall travels all over the globe to find the roots of American classics such as shrimp and grits and chicken potpie. 

The Devil Wears Prada? But for the Art World? Groundbreaking.

Upgraded, Prime Video

photo: courtesy of amazon studios
Camila Mendes in Upgraded.

Florida girl Camila Mendes—best known for playing Veronica (of Betty and Veronica) on Riverdale, the bat-crap-crazy teen series based on the Archie comics—takes a star turn in this intern-to-a-difficult-boss tale, out February 9. God knows from my Hallmark habit that I love a rom-com filled with miscommunication and misdirection!

Breaking Barriers—and the Kármán Line

The Space Race, Hulu and Disney+

photo: NASA/Public Domain
Charlie Bolden on the shuttle Columbia.

This National Geographic documentary on the injustices faced by and the ambitions of NASA’s Black astronauts—including Southerners like Charles Bolden—looks, and I do actually fully intend this pun, out of this world. Put me down for logging into Hulu or Disney+ to watch this film on February 13, when it streams the day after it airs on Nat Geo. 

Beehive Tease

Priscilla, Max

Growing up, I watched the 1988 TV miniseries Elvis and Me—based on the book of the same name, by Priscilla Presley—approximately fifty-eleven times. So I was especially excited to see Sofia Coppola’s new dramatization of Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship as viewed through the latter’s eyes when it hit theaters last year, but life or laziness got in the way. Thankfully, it’ll start streaming on February 23.

Willie, Willie, Everywhere

Willie and Me, Video on Demand

photo: Courtesy of quiver distribution
Eva Hassmann and Willie Nelson in Willie and Me.

Despite the MULTIPLE Willie Nelson–related items in last month’s Southern Streaming, the worldwide love for the Red Headed Stranger is in no danger of slowing down. Director (and star) Eva Hassmann is Greta Weingarten, a housewife determined to make it to Willie’s farewell concert in Las Vegas in this road-trip comedy, streaming on demand February 9. 

A Search in the Sunshine State

They Called Him Mostly Harmless, Max

How’s this for a juicy true-crime setup: A hiker dies in Florida, and when a sketch of him is released, other hikers say they’d met the John Doe—only he hadn’t revealed his name. Who was he? As Max teases, after “two years, thousands of devoted internet sleuths, and a miracle of science to identify him,” then “the trouble really starts.” We’ll all find out what that tantalizing kicker means on February 8, when the documentary is released. 

Appalachian Andie

Red Right Hand, Video on Demand

photo: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Andie MacDowell in Red Right Hand.

Asheville’s own Andie MacDowell, arguably one of America’s sweetheart actresses, finally gets to sink her teeth into a villainous role in this thriller that was filmed in Kentucky and will debut on demand February 23. MacDowell stars as “sadistic kingpin Big Cat,” who goes up against Cash, a.k.a. the absolutely NOT Southern Orlando Bloom. Can’t wait to see her get her claws out in what Magnolia Pictures describes as “Yellowstone and Ozark meets the Sopranos.”

Meeting of the Minds

Genius: MLK/X, Hulu and Disney+

photo: National Georgraphic/Richard Ducree
Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Martin Luther King Jr. in Genius.

The charismatic New Orleans native Kelvin Harrison Jr.—whom we interviewed back in 2022—embodies Martin Luther King Jr. in this just-released, eight-part docudrama that delves into the childhoods, lives, and civil rights legacies of King and Malcolm X (portrayed here by Brit actor Aaron Pierre). 

State of the Lone Star State

God Save Texas, Max

photo: Sundance Institute
Richard Linklater in God Save Texas.

For this three-part docuseries inspired by a bestseller by Lawrence Wright, three directors—including another G&G Interview subject, the Oscar-nominated Richard Linklater—return to their Texas hometowns to examine hot topics in the state and beyond: the criminal justice system, the human costs of the oil industry, and the border. God Save Texas: Hometown Prison, God Save Texas: The Price of Oil, and God Save Texas: La Frontera will all drop February 27. 

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