August is traditionally seen as a lull month in the entertainment world, but that hasn’t stopped us from digging out 10 fun, fresh and perhaps somewhat unexpected things to check out this week.
1. WHAT TO READ FOR LAUGHS THAT MAKE YOU GASP
Schumer’s first book is billed by her publishers as “a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.” It’s difficult to imagine the Trainwreck star putting her name to something dull; as long as she doesn’t recycle themes from her stand-up routines or Emmy-winning series Inside Amy Schumer, this should be a provocative and hilarious read.
2. WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST FOR HIPSTER POP CREDIBILITY
Carly Rae Jepsen’s heartfelt and sophisticated 2015 album Emotion made her the pop connoisseur’s choice of pop star. Now she earns even more cool points by teaming up with forward-thinking producer Danny L Harle, a member of the London-based meta-pop collective PC Music, for the infectiously blippy club tune “Super Natural.” If you haven’t listened to her since “Call Me Maybe,” you might just be surprised.
3. WHAT TO LISTEN TO FOR A REALLY PLEASANT SURPRISE
Ricky Gervais has revived his cult character from the original British version of The Office, cringey middle-manager/wannabe rock star David Brent, for a new movie opening in the U.K. this week. Netflix hasn’t said yet when it will premiere the film in the U.S., so for now the accompanying album makes a decent stop-gap. Written by Gervais with former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, these songs set intentionally terrible and often very funny lyrics to music which not-so-subtly pays homage to Brent’s idols like Bowie and The Rolling Stones. Some of it is almost worryingly catchy.
4. WHAT STREAMING SERVICE SHOULD BE ON YOUR BINGE-WATCHING RADAR
Netflix’s range of original programming remains superior, but Amazon Prime’s upcoming fall slate could make its larger rival nervous. As well as fresh seasons of award-winning comedies Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent, Amazon has David E. Kelley‘s new legal series Goliath, the 1960s-set feminist drama Good Girls Revolt, and the first-ever TV comedy from Woody Allen, Crisis in Six Scenes, which co-stars the ever-surprising Miley Cyrus. Netflix: it’s your move.
5. WHAT TO WATCH AT HOME WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE
Thanks to a few hundred super-colorful samba dancers and a scene-stealing cameo from the world’s highest-paid supermodel, Rio’s opening ceremony managed to deliver high-impact visuals on a relatively tight budget. Specific details about this Sunday’s closing ceremony are being kept secret, but we reckon Rio’s creative team will once again manage to mix thrifty with thrilling. As ever, Team USA’s enjoyment of the party will largely depend on how many medals they’re bringing home.
6. WHAT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA FOR THRILLS, SPILLS AND LOLZ
Based on an acclaimed Rolling Stone article, this intriguing action-comedy tells the true story of a couple of rookie arms dealers who somehow landed a $300 million government contract to supply weapons to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Director Todd Phillips followed 2009’s sleeper hit The Hangover with a pair of disappointing sequels, but this ambitious romp starring Jonah Hill, Miles Teller and Bradley Cooper looks like a possible return to form.
7. WHAT NOT TO WATCH AT THE CINEMA IF YOU’RE STILL MISSING HARRY POTTER
A buzzcut-sporting Daniel Radcliffe stars in this gritty thriller as a young FBI agent who’s sent undercover to infiltrate white supremacists plotting to make a dirty bomb. It’s another bold career move from the former Harry Potter star, whose recent roles have also included Now You See Me 2‘s impish villain and a corpse with flatulence in offbeat comedy film Swiss Army Man.
8. WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER FOR AN ALTERNATIVE OLYMPICS COMMENTARY
Last month, Ghostbusters and SNL star Leslie Jones briefly quit Twitter after being hit with a torrent of genuinely abhorrent racist abuse. This month, her super-excitable tweets about the Olympics are proving so popular that NBC has now flown her to Rio to help with its TV coverage. Revenge, it seems, is a dish best served in 140-character chunks.
9. WHO TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
As the daughter of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, Frances Bean Cobain has music in her blood. Until now, the 23-year-old has focused her creative energies on making bracingly dark visual artwork, but last week she shared her first ever musical recording on Instagram. It’s only a short clip of Frances Bean covering an old Jimmy Eat World song on guitar, but her voice actually pretty promising. Could she be gearing up to launch a rock career?
10. AND, FINALLY, WHAT TO LISTEN TO WHEN YOU FANCY SOMETHING COMFORTINGLY FAMILIAR
At 70, the country icon’s sparkling soprano has hardly aged and her songwriting remains as polished as her makeup. “I painted my lips red and my eyes like Adele,” she sings on this album’s standout country-pop tune, “Head Over High Heels.” Nothing rivals golden oldies like “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You,” but this is way better than an artist’s 43rd (!) studio album has any right to be.Read More