Part of the story for podcast Dirty John takes place on Balboa Island, California. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Time via Getty Images)

The podcast to listen to

Dirty John

“There are douches and there are scumbags and then there’s Dirty John Meehan. The eponymous greaseball of Wondery’s hit six-episode true-crime series is remarkably devoid of any redeeming qualities as he meanders through a lifetime of crime and manipulation, nursing both drug addiction and relentless grudges against anyone who dares defy his base desires. He’s so evil, in fact, that over the course of the series, Meehan is revealed to be what many consider the scariest type of person on earth: a high-functioning sociopath. Although the saga has the tentpoles of familiar true-crime tropes, know that you haven’t heard this one before.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.


The comic to read

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26

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“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26, an issue presented as a zine curated by Squirrel Girl, [features] works by various Marvel characters to raise funds for a library damaged in a recent superhero fight… [M]ost of the stories in Squirrel Girl #26 are written by Ryan North, who teams up with eight different artists for short comics that take many forms with drastically different styles. Working with a wide array of creators inspires North to think outside the box with his scripts, and he takes advantage of his collaborators’ strengths to pack this issue with impressive stories.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The movie to watch

Mudbound

“[Hillary] Jordan’s novel traded off narrator duties chapter to chapter, decentralizing the drama to create a spectrum of perspectives. [Director Dee] Rees and her cowriter, Virgil Williams, replicate this structure by providing each of the six leads their own running mental monologue. It’s the kind of choice that might irk show-don’t-tell sticklers, but besides amplifying the psychology of protagonists who often bottle what they feel, these eloquent voice-over musings also provide prestige material an uncommon interiority. (Imagine, for a sense of the effect, if it really mattered what the beautiful ciphers of a recent Terrence Malick movie were whispering to themselves and the Almighty.)”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The video game to play

Assassin’s Creed Origins

“Origins is the first Assassin’s Creed to follow the series’ 2016 gap year, and the temptation to use that extended development period to stuff the game with even more of the series’ signature timesinks, collectibles, and distractions must have been immense. Instead, it smartly pulls hard in the opposite direction. Origins sweeps the majority of Assassin’s Creed’s accumulated clutter off the table and into the bin, discarding even some things it was once nearly impossible to imagine these games going without. The result is the leanest, purest Assassin’s Creed since the series began.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The album to listen to

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest

“Working from a list of cinematic reference points [Charlotte] Gainsbourg provided, producer SebAstian renders her intimate, deceptively dark songs on a grand architectural scale, with chiming, oversized synths and Moroder-esque disco beats that belie the songs’ heavy subjects. Gainsbourg—here singing mostly her own words for the first time (and mostly in French)—reveals herself to be a stunningly vulnerable lyricist as she takes on personal demons predominantly marked by grief for the loss of her half sister Kate in 2013. The influence of Gainsbourg’s famous musical parents, both Serge and mother Jane Birkin, has been a constant in her music, but on Rest, she seems less daunted by her lineage, and she begins to bend it to her own ambitions.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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The show to watch

Search Party

“Friends who once seemed destined to drift apart once there were no more brunches to attend or mutual chums to bitch about, Dory [(Alia Shawkat)], Drew (John Reynolds), Elliott (John Early), and Portia (Meredith Hagner) are now bonded by a terrible secret that’s also sure to expose the fractures and dysfunctions in their relationships. … This turn toward the Hitchcockian benefits the scripts as well as the performances: The feeling of the noose tightening around the characters’ necks colors everything from Elliott’s ill-gotten book deal to Portia’s participation in a play about the Manson Family, the manifestations of their remorse and shame … presenting new and thrilling challenges to the cast members.”
Read the rest of our review here.

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