What'cha Watchin'?

Chronicle Editor Kimberley Jones gives this new cover of High Fidelity a spin

Zöe Kravitz in High Fidelity

High Fidelity (Hulu)

Did the world need another rendering of Nick Hornby's comic novel about a record store owner on a quest to figure out why his relationship failed? The kind of people that relate to the obsessive music fans depicted in Hornby's book and Stephen Frears' 2000 film starring John Cusack – these collectors and mixtape makers, seriously judgey about other people's tastes, kinda jerky – will reflexively say no; they are nothing if not purists. Me, I always preferred the book to the movie ... which makes me a different kind of jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

To get back to the original question: The original question is the wrong question. What the world needs is to know how bedazzling a performer Zoë Kravitz is, and this new Hulu miniseries – executive produced by Kravitz and starring her as Brooklyn record store owner Rob – is the perfect showcase for that. Kravitz has always projected cool-girl vibes, and that carries over here, too (only a cool girl could pull off Rob's black leather duster jacket). But she also gets to be vulnerable and nerdy, horny and raging; also, a very sloppy eater of sugary cereal. She gets to be all of the things – a real live girl! – and that is what makes the miniseries' gender switch not a gimmick but a great starting point to explore heartache and halting steps at new love in the time of Tinder and Spotify playlists. The episodes run a tidy length – roundabouts 30 minutes each – but they feel full and textured, borne out in the production design (a cracked iPhone screen, bodega coffee) and the chemistry between the cast, including Rob's employees: Dolemite Is My Name breakout Da'Vine Joy Randolph in the Jack Black role and David H. Holmes as Rob's watchful, tender best friend. Oh, and the music's terrific. Naturally.

Love Island (Hulu)

For more plasticine girls and boys, you'll want Love Island – the UK version, not CBS' chintzy U.S. knockoff that flopped last summer. This winter edition is currently being filmed in a stunning South African beach house turned Orwellian nightmarescape: As ever, there are dozens of surveillance cameras tracking 24/7 the goings-on and gettings-on of some extremely good-looking Britons. This season's been a slow starter, but now that some couples are feeling comfy enough to act a little soppy, and other couples are ready to claw each other's eyes out, Love Island is right back to being the ickily addictive social experiment we've come to love. Crack on.

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What'cha Watchin'?, High Fidelity, Hulu, Nick Hornby, Zoë Kravitz, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, David H. Holmes, Love Island

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