50 Shades of Grey

Weekend Agenda: Facing Our “50 Shades of Grey” Skepticism + More


What we'll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.



Is 50 Shades the campfest we want it to be? Can St. Vincent be any more awesome? Will Tina and Amy tell another Cosby joke on live TV? Only the weekend will tell.

“50 Shades of Grey”

Is 50 Shades of Grey this decade’s Showgirls? We definitely plan on finding out. And, truth be told, we’re kind of curious what U.K. artist and director Sam Taylor-Johnson will do with such, er, impotent source material.

“The Country of Ice Cream Star” by Sandra Newman

In The Country of Ice Cream Star Sandra Newman imagines a dystopian world ravaged by an illness with no cure, wiping out everyone by the time they reach heir late teens or 20s. Earth has turned into a planet populated by children and teenagers, and a girl named Ice Cream Star is the one leading us through it, enthralled, as she tries to find a cure to treat her brother.

“St. Vincent”—St. Vincent

We’re not sure how our favorite former Polyphonic Spree-er could make last year’s self-titled album any better, but with this deluxe version, she somehow did. Five new songs help—one of which, “Bad Believer,” was previously unreleased; and another is the Darkside remix of “Digital Witness.”

SNL 40th Anniversary Special

Sunday’s three-and-a-half-hour SNL Anniversary Special—a mega-version of its normal Saturday night shenanigans—promises to pull out all the stops…but the best ones will be the return of former cast members like Kristen Wiig, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, and, of course, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

“Ella” by Mallory Kasdan

In this children’s book that will stoke plenty of adults Eloise nostalgia, Mallory Kasdan pays homage to the little girl who lives in a hotel, by bringing the story to Brooklyn, and starring a precocious, irrepressible Black 6-year-old heroine named Ella, with a tattooed male nanny, and a decidedly un-Plaza-like hotel-home.

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