What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
This weekend’s agenda is full of captivating women’s stories, from a fictionalized account of renowned sex researcher Virginia Johnson to Patricia Arquette’s stunning turn in Boyhood, and more.
Season 1 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex ended with a monumental declaration from Bill (Michael Sheen), Dr. Masters, to Virginia (Lizzy Caplan, who just got an Emmy nomination on Thursday), his research partner in all things sex. And if the titillating promos for season 2 reflect what the series will be offering, you can be bet we’ll be tuning in religiously beginning with this Sunday’s premiere.
There is no bond as meaningful to a woman as that with her best friend, especially the one she grew up with, and Rufi Thorpe’s debut novel beautifully explores that relationship—the tie that binds even as women grow up and apart. In The Girls from Corona Del Mar (Knopf), Lorrie Ann seems perfect, the beautiful, charming girl who’ll take the world by storm, but as she and her best friend Mia get older, they endure loss, illness, distance, parenthood, and life paths neither ever expected. But their friendship, battered and confused as it may become, endures, captured with lyrical authenticity by Thorpe.
Thank goodness Australian songwriting powerhouse Sia decided to take a break from penning hits for the Katy Perry and Rhianna long enough to put together her own album, ’cause 1000 Forms of Fear is full of powerful summer bangers (like the first single “Chandelier”) and complex ballads. Sia walks the line between popchart topper and idiosyncratic songwriter and man, does it sound good.
Boyhood, written and directed by Richard Linklater (the Before Sunrise trilogy, School of Rock) and out in theaters today, distills 12 years of shooting into two hours and 40 minutes of film to tell a touching, honest story of a boy growing up in Texas. Worth watching for the mesmerizing logistical feat in itself, Boyhood features stellar performances by its stars Ellar Coltrane (the boy-turned–young adult), Ethan Hawke (as his father), and especially Patricia Arquette, whose incredible performance as a single (and sometimes not single) mother evokes all of the joys and stresses that come with raising kids and the hope, sadness, and anxiety of watching them strike out on their own.
Courtney Love turned 50 this week, so we’re digging Hole’s era-defining album out of our archives. Live Through This, which was released in 1994—just four days after Kurt Cobain was found dead from an apparent suicide—melds the best of grunge, alternative, and rock, with feminist lyrical matter and Love’s raw, desperate howls elevating the catchy hooks and fuzzy guitars to a status that makes it worthy of our attention even 20 years later.
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