Television·Gem Vibe Check

So you watched (and loved) Barbie: Now what?

Unless you’ve been living under a pastel-coloured rock, Barbie might be the biggest media event of the year. So what do you watch once you’ve seen (and loved) Greta Gerwig’s maximalist masterpiece? We’ve got some ideas.

It’s a Barbie world and we’re all just living in it

Barbiecore is having a moment, and it's not just the movie
Margot Robbie (centre) plays Barbie, with her Canadian co-stars Simu Liu (left) and Ryan Gosling (right) (Barbie Movie)

So there's this new movie called Barbie and it's kind of a big deal. 

Mumblecore alumnus turned Lady Bird and Little Women director Greta Gerwig has created one of the buzziest blockbusters of recent years, with one of the most impressive marketing campaigns in movie history.

Barbie is a visual marvel, and the film's over-the-top performances and vibrance will leave you thinking about it for days afterwards. But what do you watch once the dust has settled? 

Best in Miniature 

A tiny room shows a bed with an acoustic guitar on it.
Aba Amuquandoh from This Hour Has 22 Minutes is the host of this unique show. (Best in Miniature)

You've heard about the Barbie Dreamhouse but what if you had the chance to create the house of your dreams — in miniature? How would you design it? 

Enter Best in Miniature: If you appreciated the set decoration of Barbie, and its painstaking attention to detail, this is the show for you. Each season follows a group of miniaturists as they each attempt to create their dream house at a 1:12 scale. 

Kim's Convenience 

Simu Liu stands to the right of Andrew Phung.
Andrew Phung from Run the Burbs also stars in Kim's Convenience. (Kim's Convenience )

Barbie's cast is stacked with A-list talent and one of the main Kens (yes, there are multiple Kens, including Ryan Gosling) is played by Toronto's own Simu Liu. 

In Kim's Convenience, Simu plays Jung Kim, the estranged son of Appa and Umma, a Korean Canadian couple who own a Toronto convenience store.

It's funny and it'll tug at your heartstrings when you least expect it — just like Barbie.

Lido TV

Lido Pimienta is seen in a promotional still from LIDO TV.
Lido Pimienta is also a musician. Her second album, La Papessa, won the 2017 Polaris Music Prize. (CBC Gem)

Barbie's aesthetic is brilliantly bonkers. 

If you're in the mood for high energy and colourful comedy, look no further than Lido TV

Created and hosted by Grammy-nominated artist Lido Pimienta, every episode is an unhinged variety show that tackles serious subjects in often off-kilter ways.

If Barbie's social messages resonate with you, this show also explores timely subjects with humour and heart.

Stay Tooned

A man wearing a Simpsons T shirt stands in front of a convention centre.
Eric Bauza is a voice actor and the host of Stay Tooned. (CBC)

One of the interesting themes in Barbie is how we are shaped by culture and consumerism, including the cartoons that were essentially program-length commercials to sell toys. 

Stay Tooned is a documentary series that explores the history of cartoons and the impact they have had on society, hosted by the legendary voice actor Eric Bauza. 

It's an engrossing watch and reveals a hidden history behind a medium at the centre of our childhoods.

Plus, Barbie makes an appearance during one of the episodes.


One of the biggest themes in Greta Gerwig's film is sexism and how it impacts women's perceptions of themselves. 

Maiden is a documentary that follows the story of Tracy Edwards, a British sailor who captained the first female team to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race (now called The Ocean Race).

It's an inspiring tale of a team of women who overcome barriers to excelling in a formerly male dominated world. 


Amy Winehouse sits behind a drum set in London, U.K.
Amy Winehouse in Prowse Place, Camden, London, 2008. (Blake Wood/Taschen)

One of the great things about Barbie is its killer soundtrack. 

From Billie Eilish to Dua Lipa, the movie is stacked with some serious musical heavyweights and the songs from the film are making waves in charts worldwide

The soundtrack is spearheaded by producers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt. 

Among an impressive body of work, one of Ronson's best-known projects is Amy Winehouse's iconic album Back to Black, which he co-produced. 

He features prominently in the documentary Amy, an exploration of the late singer's life. 

Call the Midwife

Several midwives sit around a table for a meal
Emerald Fennel plays L-R Patsy (left). (Copyright: Neal Street Productions 2014)

It's safe to say that Barbie's cast is absolutely stacked. 

Among them is British actor, writer and director Emerald Fennell, who is best known for writing and directing the Oscar-winning film Promising Young Woman. Fennell plays Midge, Barbie's best friend and an often-maligned character in the toy line's history.

Earlier in her career, Fennell had a role in British drama series Call the Midwife.

The show follows the trials and tribulations of nurse midwives working in the East End of London, U.K., in the 1950s. It's an often lighthearted drama that isn't afraid to touch upon serious issues like prejudice and the importance of local communities. 

You can stream Call the Midwife right now for free on Gem. 

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Oliver Thompson is a writer, producer and musician. Originally from the UK, where he worked for the BBC, Oliver moved to Canada in 2018.

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