What to Watch in February 2021 | StageMilk

What to Watch in February 2021

Written by on | The Acting Lifestyle

We’ve gotten through what might have been one of the strangest holiday seasons of our collective lives, and we’ve arrived in 2021. Whether you’re in lockdown, heading back to work, or you’ve got a few weeks of vacation time left, hopefully, you’ve found yourself with a bit of time to check out some of the newest streaming releases. Give yourself a little boost of inspiration for the beginning of the year by checking out brilliant performances, writing, and all-round production quality without having to leave your house! 


If you have so much as opened your Netflix account since Christmas Day, you will have seen the trailer for Bridgerton. This colourful period drama is based on a series of eight novels by author Julia Quinn. Think Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey but under the almighty production strength of television’s heavy hitter, Shonda Rhimes. (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Private Practice). The show boasts an incredible cast of diverse performers. The creators artfully addressed their colourblind casting by unshackling themselves from “historical accuracy” with a rather simple narrative premise: the King fell in love with a woman of colour, thus elevating the status of all people of colour within this world. This simple and elegant answer to what had previously seemed an all too complicated problem is setting a new standard for creativity and inventiveness when it comes to addressing the issue of race and culture in historical or ‘period’ projects. 

Why should I watch it? 

For starters, the cast is brilliant. Every performer fits seamlessly into the world of the series and delivers on the exquisite writing which places story and stakes at the forefront. It’s difficult to choose stand-out performances in this incredible ensemble, but I do have some personal favourites. Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury is stunning; a true masterclass in performing status, but maintaining a humanity that is so moving and relatable. Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton is so lively and charming; whenever she is on screen I simply cannot look away. 

This show has everything: great writing, top-notch performances, and is just so beautiful to look at. There are stunning costumes and dance sequences and breathtaking settings. Oh yeah, and Julie Andrews voices the mysterious, Lady Whistledown! In true Shonda Rhimes fashion, Bridgerton is oh so watchable. 

The Queen’s Gambit    

I know, I know, another Netflix period drama based on a novel. What can I say? The formula works! Written and directed by Scott Frank, The Queen’s Gambit is based on Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel of the same name. The story follows Beth Harmon, an orphan prodigy, on her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player. It’s full of tense (but somehow thrilling) chess sequences. But its true strength is in the heartbreaking and life-affirming relationships between our protagonist and the people she meets on her journey. Once again we have a stellar cast, great writing, and gorgeous production quality. 

Why should I watch it? 

In The Queen’s Gambit, everything happens between the lines. As characters sit across from one another, ready to face off in chess, the connection between them is revealed in tightly packed mid-shots. Anna Taylor-Joy, in particular, conveys so much of the story, and her character’s connection to others, whilst saying nothing at all. It’s a masterclass in performing in a mid-shot. This makes it a must-watch for actors who want to start 2021 by challenging themselves to work on what is possible within the confines of the ever-familiar self-test frame. Also worth checking out is Harry Melling’s performance as Harry Beltik; Dudley Dursley is all grown up and he has some serious acting chops to show us! 


This one is for all you voice actors out there. Soul is the new Pixar Animated Studios and Disney Plus exclusive released October 11 of 2020. It follows the story of jazz musician and music teacher, Joe Gardener, as he tries to reunite his body and soul after becoming accidentally separated. It’s moving, heartwarming, and everything you’ve come to expect from Pixar. Aside from the artful animation, and the existential ponderings of what makes a life worth living, Soul is jam-packed with quality performances from a top-notch cast. The cast includes: Tina Fey (30 Rock), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), Graham Norton (The Graham Norton Show), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), and, of course, the incomparable Jamie Foxx. 

Why should I watch it? 

Jamie Foxx’s performance will be inspiring to anyone with even the slightest interest in voice acting. His performance is a real lesson in just how much expression and storytelling is possible through the vocal instrument alone. He has set the bar high for any of you out there who’d like to give animation a shot at some point in their career. 

The Third Day 

You may know Dennis Kelly from his plays (Love and Money, Osama the Hero, D.N.A). He’s also the writer of the cult-classic, Utopia, and now the new HBO miniseries, The Third Day. It’s hard to say too much about it without giving away any spoilers, but this should be top of the list for any fans of the folk-horror genre, or psychological thrillers generally. It strikes a unique, and constantly shifting, tone, and provides satisfying plot pay-offs across three segments: ‘Summer’, ‘Autumn’, and ‘Winter’. Jude Law plays Sam, who we meet in the midst of a nervous breakdown and in trying to escape the devastating events of his life, ends up on the remote island of Osea. 

Why should I watch it?

Jude Law’s performance is incredible. This is one of those dream roles you hope to get at some point in your career, but only when you are good and ready for it. There is nowhere to hide and the role is incredibly demanding, but Jude Law delivers. It’s not an easy watching experience by any means, but it’s well worth your time and attention. 

Schitt’s Creek

This last one is probably not news to anyone. After the release of its sixth season in January 2020, the show absolutely swept up at the Emmy Awards; if it wasn’t on your radar before, then it surely was by mid-2020. But, given the year we’ve all had, it’s very understandable if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, so here’s your chance. With 13 (sometimes 14) episodes each season, you’ve now got 80 episodes of comedy and cringe to catch up on. The premise is pretty straight-forward: the super-wealthy Rose family suddenly finds themselves having lost everything and with nowhere to go. All they have left is a small town named Schitt’s Creek, a town they bought as a joke, where they must now relocate and rebuild their lives. Hilarity ensues as their uber-wealthy habits and attitudes are pitted against the residents of their humble new home. The show has comedy and heart in equal parts and is a joy to watch.

Why should I watch it? 

Each member of the core cast (the Rose family) are phenomenal comedic actors, but each in a unique and varied way. Catherine O’Hara plays Moira Rose, a former soap star, with idiosyncrasies and an unrecognisable accent that is now iconic. Eugene Levy plays her husband, Johnny Rose, and seems to be able to deliver a punchline with a glance; his eyebrows are a gift from the acting gods. Their two children, played by Annie Murphy, and Dan Levy have their own gorgeous quirks and they’re both, frankly, comedic geniuses. The father-son duo, Dan and Eugene Levy are also the creators of the show. In 2020, Dan became the first person ever to win a Primetime Emmy Award in all four major disciplines in one year.


If you’re starting off the year waiting for that first audition brief to hit your inbox, or you’re lucky enough to have a project coming up, give yourself that little boost of inspiration by watching some of the best do their thing. I find this a great way of reminding myself of what’s possible, and what I hope to achieve across my career. Let us know what else you’re enjoying at the moment, and we’ll check it out! 

About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of professional actors, acting coaches and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Emma, Jake, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

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