What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
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After we watch and dissect fall’s most anticipated movie, we’ll be delving into TV past and present, getting up close and personal with Lena Dunham, and indulging our earholes with the likes of Prince and Lucinda. It’s an A+ roster of weekend pop culture.
When Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, about the marriage, secrets, and sociopathic lies of journalist-turned–bar owner Nick Dunne and his “perfect” wife Amy, was released in June 2012, it was the talk of the book-reading world. And now that she’s adapted Gone Girl into a movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, directed by master of intensity David Fincher, it’s the fall film everyone’s been dying to see, especially since the book’s incredibly controversial ending—we won’t give anything away, but we will say it is BANANAS!—has been changed for its silver screen debut. We can’t wait to compare Gone Girl’s celluloid to its pages.
Claire Danes, ugly crier extraordinaire, is back as CIA agent Carrie Mathison for the fourth season of Homeland. Where will the two-hour premiere find our bi-polar heroine, who was left last season watching her beau Brody be publically executed? Apparently in Kabul, in the midst of some serious, high-stakes politico-spy drama, which is exactly what we love this show for. Well, that and Mandy Patinkin, of course.
The raw rasp of Lucinda Williams’s bluesy rock has captivated since the late ’70s, but this is the first time the songwriter has had complete control over her creative output and boy does it deliver. The two-disc opus Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone is Williams’s first on her own label, Highway 20 Records, and its amalgamation of gospel, twang, honky-tonk, and good ol’ Southern soul is the pitch-perfect vehicle for her gravelly musings on past pain, current love, and a future full of possibility.
It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for Lena Dunham’s book of essays—or at least since her $3.7 million advance was announced—and now it’s here, in all its feminist, navel-gazing glory. From recounting her HPV infection to the calories she consumed for a week to the rape she experienced in college, Dunham gives us the smart, self-referential, easily relatable stories we’ve come to know and love her for. “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman,” she writes, and as Jess Zimmerman pointed out earlier this week, telling these stories is more important than ever.
It’s been 14 years since we first met Lorelai and Rory, the fast-talking, pop-culture-referencing single mother-and-daughter duo (played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) of the WB’s Gilmore Girls. But now, finally, our favorite Stars Hollow residents have found a new home on Netflix, where all seven seasons of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved series—featuring vintage Melissa McCarthy!—are available to watch right this very second.
We’ll read anything by Meg Wolitzer—author of such modern classics as The Wife, The Interestings, and The Uncoupling—but frankly we’re thrilled that her new novel resides in the Young Adult genre. Teenage protagonist Jam has fallen in love—deep, heady, first-love kind of love—with Reeve, an English exchange student. When Reeve dies tragically, she falls into despair and, when the story begins, is sent by her parents to the Wooden Barn boarding school for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers.” It’s here that a special instructor teaching a unique class a text about coming undone (Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar) brings Jam face to face with her trauma, and unexpectedly close to her other damaged classmates. A powerful story that perfectly captures the intensity of being a teen—yearning, despair, and, ultimately, resilience—Belzhar might be propelled by a young adult, but it’s remarkable reading for grown ones as well.
This week blessed us with another double-album release from the king of seductive guitar-noodling and swoon-inducing crooning himself. Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum are complementary ventures, one, Art, a futuristic jaunt through blips and bloops, and the other a ’70s-esque visit to the rock-heavy past that has Prince collaborating with the female trio 3rdEyeGirl. From hints of EDM to Neil Young–like licks, this double-dose of Prince will satisfy all of your sonic urges.
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