the obamas

7 Shows We’d Like to See From the Obamas on Netflix

Photo: Pete Souza/Flickr

The next show to auto-play after your Queer Eye binge might star the Obamas. The former president and first lady are in talks to produce a series of shows for Netflix. These won’t just be fireside chats responding to the news of the day, or an Obama-style Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics,” sources close to the programming discussions told the New York Times. Instead, the family wants to “highlight inspirational stories.” But if the former first family is going to crash your Netflix and chill session, they’re not going to do it with just any show. We’ve got some ideas for the Obama-Netflix collaboration.

Girl Talk With Michelle and Miss Tina
It’s a sunny early afternoon in Kalorama, and Michelle Obama welcomes us into her post–White House home. The Phantom Thread score is playing softly. There are bagels on the kitchen’s granite island. Barack has left his old iPod on the counter again. Michelle rolls her eyes, inviting us out onto the lush patio. “Bey and Miss Tina are on their way,” she says. Sasha Obama comes down the stairs. This is Girl Talk, where Michelle Obama and Tina Knowles-Lawson talk about black art and hair. This time they’re joined by two of their daughters — Sasha and Beyoncé. Blue Ivy is directing, Sir and Rumi are waiting at home to edit.

Beats With Barack
Barack Obama’s curated playlists became an annual treat during his time in office. From D’Angelo to SZA’s “Broken Clocks,” President Obama has better taste in music than the entirety of D.C. On Beats With Barack he’ll try his own hand at the rap game, spotlighting up-and-coming emcees, and getting into the studio with Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, and Noname.

Southside With You
This is a serious one. Barack and Michelle alternate episodes, going on long walk and talks with select guests. For the first episode, they recreate their first date through the south side of Chicago. In the following episodes, they walk with writers, artists, and activists through Chicago. Barack’s first guest is Chance the Rapper. Michelle’s first guest is Carrie Mae Weems.

Malia Bird
A short that autoplays at the end of her parents’ solo shows. The older Obama daughter, currently studying at Malia Obama University (some refer to this school as “Harvard”) calls her parents. She’s standing outside of the library or a final club or a church, and takes out her phone, which is already glowing with the latest push notification about Trump and Stormy Daniels. “Hi mom and dad. It’s me, Malia. It’s the name you gave me. It’s a good one.” She tells them she loves them, thanks them for running our country, and for raising her.

A Junot Díaz Adaptation
Obama spoke highly of Díaz’s prose in a New York Times interview before the end of his presidency saying that Díaz, and novelist Jhumpa Lahiri, speak “to a very particular contemporary immigration experience,” while “longing for this better place but also feeling displaced.” Either of his short story collections — Drown or This is How You Lose Her — would make for an interesting anthology series. Both texts are full of harsh, brief observations about twisted romances, Dominican machismo, and the immigrant experience. The Obamas could empower Latinx creators to tell this story with a Netflix budget.

For the Hungry Boys!
Three one-hour specials of Antoni from Queer Eye and Barack Obama cooking. Here is exactly all you need to see to understand that this will be an instant classic:

Barack Obama loves guacamole. Antoni, we know, loves “healthier guacamole,” and even avocado and grapefruit sliced and plated, drizzled with dijon mustard (“avocado grapefruit salad”). Barack teaches Antoni how to make his guacamole. Antoni smiles and magically conjures up some chili. Paul Thomas Anderson, lingering in a corner, has brought his own omelette in Tupperware.

This is just a weekly livestream of the Obamas — Barack, Michelle, and Sasha — gathering together on a sectional sofa in the TV room to watch Veep. Joe Biden is watching too, via FaceTime. (They prop an iPad up on some pillows.) Barack shushes him when he laughs too loud. Sasha excuses herself to the kitchen for some snacks, but really sneaks out to meet up with her friends. “they’re watching veep again omg i’m a celebrity get me OUT of here,” she texts Malia.

7 Shows We’d Like to See From the Obamas on Netflix