Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

6 things to watch, listen to, read, and play this weekend

Mike Colter as Luke Cage
Photo: David Lee (Netflix)

The TV show to watch

Luke Cage

“As Luke Cage’s second season unfolds, the series and its protagonist draw power from the past, both in confronting and embracing it. And in doing so, Luke Cage becomes the first Marvel show (not including Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to not only best its first season, but also maintain most of the momentum. The character and show regain a lot of their swagger—even the expansion into Brooklyn, where new antagonist John McIver, a.k.a Bushmaster, has been marshaling his forces, hardly causes a stumble. The 13-episode mandate is still more curse than blessing, but though the pace is stubbornly deliberate, your patience will be rewarded by the story [Cheo Hodari] Coker and his writing team have crafted.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The album to listen to

Kamasi Washington, Heaven And Earth

“No one’s making music like Kamasi Washington. His albums are longer-than-feature-length epics, painting nearly wordless narratives through a seamless combination of R&B, iconic ’60s and ’70s jazz modes, and the cinematic power of orchestras and choruses. Heaven And Earth is 30 minutes shorter than [Kamasi Washington’s] powerful three-hour debut, but it might be even more ambitious, splitting its 16 tracks into a concept album in two halves: the first reflecting the world as it is, the second depicting Washington’s optimistic vision of the world as it should be. Both sides are rendered with the same palette, but Washington masterfully defines the identity of each.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The podcast to listen to

Latino USA, How I Made It: The Man Behind The ‘Gooooooooool!’


“With the possible exception of the “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” guy, no announcer has made a more indelible contribution to our competitive vernacular than Andrés Cantor, the hispanophone soccer announcer famous for his one-word, many-voweled exaltation of triumph… Though not the first to call goals with his particular delivery, Cantor says his calls are a natural consequence of describing the climax of game strategy unfolding… Cantor clearly understands his international legacy as a fanatical bellower, but would rather be judged by true soccer fans for his ability to describe and analyze a game well as it plays out on the pitch. You might say it’s his one true goal.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The movie to watch

The King

“[The] premise seems like a stretch on paper, and at times [director Eugene] Jarecki himself seems to be floundering, asking a member of his crew, ‘What do you think I’m doing with this movie?’ To help him figure it out, he drafts a disparate group of Rolls passengers and confidants, from political strategist James Carville to musician John Hiatt (who starts weeping almost immediately upon entering Elvis’ car) to Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin to actor Ethan Hawke. The ‘Elvis = America’ equation may have started as a murky metaphor, but Jarecki manages to flesh it out by the end of the film.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The comic to read

Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge, Nancy Drew


Nancy Drew #1 is the perfect example of how to initiate a character into this brave new world of rebooted media franchises, fun and full of nods to previous canon without relying so heavily on it that it will confuse new readers. As [Nancy Drew] returns to her former home town to investigate a mystery that cuts a little too close, the first issue gracefully introduces her social circles past and present, including some appropriately updated Hardy brothers.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The video game to play

Quarantine Circular

“It’s a fraught first-contact story about an alien stuck in quarantine on a military vessel and the crew members who set out to deduce why it’s here and whether its arrival has any connection to a plague sweeping the planet. The story doesn’t unfold as elegantly as Mike Bithell’s last video game short story, Subsurface Circular, but Quarantine pushes his formula into some effective new directions, both thematically and structurally.”
Read about the rest of the games we’re playing this weekend here.


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