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Best Weekend: Orphan Black, Tig Notaro, Ann Packer’s New Novel, + More


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



Laughter through fears is Tig Notaro’s new M.O. and we’ll be laughing our way through her new Showtime documentary. Plus two must-read books, a new Mary Elizabeth Winstead–starring indie, and, dun-dun-dunnnhhhhh, the return of Orphan Black! Hope you didn’t have any other plans this weekend.

‘Knock Knock It’s Tig Notaro’ on Showtime

A lot has happened since Tig Notaro performed her career-changing comedy set a couple of years ago in the wake of her mother’s death and a breast cancer diagnosis. This Showtime special, which airs tonight at 9 p.m. and follows Notaro and fellow comedian Jon Dore on a week-long tour that has them performing everywhere from fans’ homes to an abandoned warehouse, nails Notaro’s appeal—an intimate performer who can make us laugh in the face of death.

‘Orphan Black’ Season 3 Premiere

Tatiana Maslany has captivated us in her ever-multiplying roles as the clones on BBC’s Orphan Black. This season, which premieres Saturday night at 9 p.m., the plot thickens. A group of male clones, spawned by Project Castor, is revealed, and, we can only imagine, all hell(s) are about to break loose.

‘The Children’s Crusade’ by Ann Packer

The characters Ann Packer (The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, Swim Back to Me) creates stay with you long after you’ve finished turning their pages, and it’s the intimacy of the family saga at the center of The Children’s Crusade that will keep your thoughts arrested for days on end. What begins with a young doctor buying a plot of land south of San Francisco in 1954, becomes a fraught and fractured timeline following his wife and their four children, as all generations navigate the twists and turns of a changing society.

‘Alex of Venice’ starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead

In Alex in Venice, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a workaholic lawyer, suddenly thrust into the woes of family life, when her husband, Chris Messina (who also directed) decides to leave. It’s a quiet and realistic look at a dissolving marriage, set against the palm trees and sunny shores of L.A.’s Venice Beach, one Winstead brings to painful, relatable life. 

‘I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives’ by Liz Welch

A pen-pal relationship between a 12-year-old girl in Pennsylvania and a 14-year-old boy in Zimbabwe, is the unlikely start of a lifetime of friendship, and enormous change for both of their families, as Liz Welch recounts in this non-fiction book about Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda, aimed at young adults but inspiring for not-so-young adults too. 

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