“It’s fitting that Legion’s second season is the only thing on the air that could make the Marvel adaptation’s first eight episodes look almost restrained by comparison. There’s more of everything, from new characters and alliances to impeccably detailed costumes and surroundings. Jeff Russo’s eclectic score continues to set the mood (and heighten anxiety) with blood-pumping arrangements and the jagged trilling of violins. The inventive storytelling and core ensemble are (mostly) still in place, but Hawley and Nathaniel Halpern have built a whole new reality that is by turns impenetrable and tenuous—as we previously learned, it all depends on the angle.”
Read the rest of our Legion review.
No Thank You, All It Takes To Ruin It All
“No Thank You finds a hook, a refrain, a soulful perspective, and delivers it all efficiently and without fuss. What pushes [All It Takes To Ruin It All] toward greatness is [Kaytee] Della Monica’s poetic, no-bullshit lyrics that capture honest emotional truths about loss and tragedy. By the time she’s comparing someone to an ‘Outdoor Cat,’ those relatable but never clichéd expressions of her heartache and wonderment have helped transform All It Takes into a fantastic and moving document of contemporary mourning, undeniably retro in its stylings but timeless in its appeal.”
Read the rest of our review here.
“The lonely teen boy, the long-shot steed on its last legs, the surly mentor figure softening after years of hard times: All of this sounds like a tearjerker we’ve seen before. But Lean On Pete, drawn from the pages of a novel by author and alt-country singer Willy Vlautin, isn’t here to warm hearts. It’s as unsparing and unsentimental as [Steve] Buscemi’s weathered race-circuit veteran. That’s perhaps to be expected from [Andrew] Haigh, a British filmmaker fast specializing in harsh insights, achingly intimate literary adaptations, and the subversion of typical movie relationships. 45 Years, his last film, was existential nightmare fuel for marrieds, a domestic drama that slowly dismantled the comforting ideal of growing happily old together and remaining content after decades of monogamy. Here, Haigh sidesteps romantic baloney at every turn.”
Read the rest of our Lean On Pete review.
“Minit is a study in prioritization, forcing you to think through exactly how you want to spend that precious minute of life. Explore a seemingly vast and endless desert? Go hunting for new friends? Stand and listen to a painfully slow-talking older fellow laboriously reveal a clue to hidden treasure? Breezy and cute, the game isn’t necessarily going to grip you with its story—it’s much more interested in constructing smart, devious puzzles than it is in offering any thoughtful meditations on the nature or passage of time—but it doesn’t really need to.”
Read about the rest of the games we’re playing this weekend here.
“Superhero comics are often ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun. In a universe where anything can happen, why be serious when you can go way over-the-top? Dark Nights: Metal is a prime example of the joy of unbridled superhero spectacle, and the miniseries’ creators constantly challenge themselves to go bigger with every issue. Just take a look at the cover of the crossover’s final chapter. That’s Batman riding a dragon with the Joker’s face, flying away from a wall of fire with Superman and Wonder Woman at his side. It’s an image showcasing Metal’s emphasis on grandiose superhero fantasy, and the series is an exhilarating adventure through the DC Universe that builds on decades of continuity while still being fresh and invigorating.”
Read the rest of our review here.
“This Is Normal is a new podcast where young people speak openly about their mental health, recollecting the challenges they’ve faced and offering advice on how they overcame them. As part of the Kids In Crisis series from USA Today, the guiding belief for This Is Normal is that sharing one’s stories helps people feel less alone. ... A great listen for both kids and adults, This Is Normal creates a much-needed space for an open and uplifting dialogue regarding mental health.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts.