What we’ll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
Did this week’s elections make you want to hide in your house and never come out? Luckily, there’s plenty to do from the comfort of your own home and it all carries the added bonus of distracting you from the real world. Happy weekending!
Everybody better tune in on Sunday to the season two premiere of this droll, poignant, tragically under-watched series ’cause if it gets canceled, we’re all to blame. Sure, following the lives of doctors, nurses, and their patients in the geriatric ward of a hospital might not sound like the most appealing way to spend your evening but trust us, you’ll love it (if you don’t already). Especially when you watch stellar performances by Reno 911‘s Niecy Nash, MADtv alum Alex Borstein, and Laurie Metcalf in the roles of a lifetime.
In a hilarious book that reads like “deleted scenes from literary history,” Mallory Ortberg, co-founder of and resident funny lady at The Toast, imagines what famous characters from classic books might type if they had smartphones of their own. Born from a web series she penned for The Hairpin, no one escapes Ortberg’s wit in Texts—Hamlet, Scarlett O’Hara, Jane Eyre, of course, and even the Wakefield twins all make an appearance. It’s definitely worth texting all your friends about.
It’s Deerhoof’s magnificent weirdness that keeps us coming back for more and this, their 13th album, does not disappoint. Ditching the synths for a more organic sound, La Isla Bonita is a wonderfully disorienting collection of songs that swing from punk to noise to just enough pop to keep us singing along. Satomi Matsuzaki’s non sequitur lyrics and wholly unique delivery are still what ties it all together, and we especially love when she’s singing about us double Xers, like in “Paradise Girls”: “Girls/Who play the bass guitar…Girls/Who are smart.” As usual, Deerhoof is music to our ears.
In 2005 Lisa Kudrow teamed up with Michael Patrick King to create and star in this cringe-worthy satire that skewered reality TV years before we were keeping up with the Kardashians or watching people smush on the Jersey Shore. Lasting only one glorious season, The Comeback followed washed-up star Valerie Cherish as she tried to reclaim her fame. Now it’s making its own celebrated comeback, with a second season that premieres on Sunday. And this time we’re more than ready for it.
Less like a biopic and more like a fictionalized immersion into the 10-year-old existence of the boy who would become the 16th president, The Better Angels gives Abraham Lincoln’s life the Terence Malick treatment (he’s executive producer). Scenes are played out like memories, dreamy landscapes abound, and feelings take precedence over facts, as we experience the trials and hardships young Abe faced and the roles the women in his life—his mother Nancy (Brit Marling) and his stepmother Sarah (Diane Kruger)—played in shaping the man who would end slavery in America.
Feminist folk-lovers’ favorite righteous babe is back with her 18th studio album, one that has Ani DiFranco laying down her social-issues sword and picking up a more intimate cause with songs about motherhood and making a marriage last. Her voice, however, is as arresting as ever and paired with her bluesy guitar plucking Allergic to Water is like a welcome visit from an old friend, the kind you get fair-trade coffee with once every six months or so.
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