What we'll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.
After we laugh our asses off at the movies with Melissa McCarthy, we’ll be curling up with Judy Blume’s new novel, just like the summers of our youth. Plus new music from Florence + the Machine, Jami Attenberg’s latest book, and the bloody start of Hannibal’s new season—this weekend rules so hard.
Is Spy finally the smart, funny, non-sizeist vehicle Melissa McCarthy deserves? We certainly hope so and we’re gonna find out this weekend. Directed by Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig, Spy casts McCarthy as Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who finally gets the chance to see some action when the government needs an “invisible” agent to apprehend Rose Byrne’s arms dealer. With McCarthy, laughs are expected. And this time it seems they won’t be at her expense.
Sure, we love Judy Blume for writing the YA novels that defined our adolescence, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be devouring her new “adult” novel, her first since Summer Sisters 17 years ago. In it, Miri Ammerman returns to her New Jersey hometown, where three planes crashed just during the winter of 1951-2 (real events!), when she was just 15 years old. A tale as human as any Superfudge story, In the Unlikely Event couches Blume’s ultra-relatable humanity in the complexities of adult relationships. Are you there, Judy? It’s us, DAME, and we love it.
We didn’t know how much our ears (and soul!) were missing the intoxicating vocals of Florence Welch until she finally, after six long years, released her new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful this week. With a perfect mix of grandeur and stripped down quietude, Welch has eschewed the catchy hooks of her past for a sophisticated vulnerability, an album that encapsulates joy and heartbreak without the smoke screen of theatrics.
If you already watch Hannibal, the NBC thriller that follows Dr. Hannibal Lecter a.k.a. The Chesapeake Ripper, you know the season-two finale was perhaps its most gruesome episode yet—series creator Bryan Fuller wanted to make sure the show went out with a bang if it didn’t get picked up again. But it did, and now we get to spend more time with Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia, who got her own hands dirty in last night’s premiere, which we’ll be catching up on (and probably cringing through) tonight.
Jamie Attenberg (The Middlesteins, The Melting Season) takes a nearly forgotten New York icon, Mazie Phillips, and spins a gorgeous tale of historical fiction around the theater proprietess in her latest novel. The Queen of the Bowery was known for doling out advice, money, and, most importantly, hope to the neighborhood’s homeless in the early 20th century, and Attenberg’s book is a fitting tribute to her colorful legacy.
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