From action to fashion, and historical drama to super-modern comedy, On the Beat is pogoing all over the place this week. Here are 10 pop culture highlights to check out throughout the coming week.
1. WHAT TO TUNE INTO SO YOU CAN FOLLOW WHAT THE HECK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
Considering how much is written about Game of Thrones, it’s remarkable how little we actually know about the new season. This time around, there are just seven episodes instead of 10, and Kit Harington (who plays fan favorite Jon Snow) says the action will unfold at a faster pace. Oscar-winning British actor Jim Broadbent has joined the cast as an “old professor character,” and there’s also a somewhat improbable Ed Sheeran cameo to watch out for. You can also look for returning cast members, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, who have been in the series from the start. But to find out any more, you’ll just have to tune into the season premiere on HBO this Sunday.
2. WHAT TO WATCH WHEN YOU’RE READY FOR AN INTENSE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE
This pitch-black British film is actually based on Nikolai Leslov‘s 19th century novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, which was itself inspired by Shakespeare‘s iconic villainess. Rising star Florence Pugh gives a magnetic performance as Lady Macbeth, a vibrant teenage bride who rebels spectacularly against the patriarchal constraints of 19th century England after she’s forced to marry a dour middle-aged man. Hitting theaters Friday, it’s a gritty and riveting tale of manipulation, betrayal, and deadly willpower.
3. WHAT TO LISTEN TO WHEN YOU NEED A PROPER PICK-ME-UP
Due to an ongoing legal dispute with her former producer Dr. Luke, it looked as though Kesha might never release music again. So it’s no wonder that this comeback single, dropped without warning last Thursday (July 6), sounds so cathartic. In the past, Kesha has shone on frothy electro-pop songs, but “Praying” is a bombastic and emotion-packed ballad that shows her voice doesn’t need Auto-Tune technology to soar. The kaleidoscopic video, directed by Madonna/Lady Gaga collaborator Jonas Åkerlund, is also supremely moving.
4. WHAT TO WATCH WHEN YOU CAN GIVE IT YOUR FULL ATTENTION
Writer-director Marti Noxon based this powerful film on her own battle with anorexia, and it shows: To the Bone offers an empathetic and enlightening insight into the horribly destructive eating disorder. Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, The Blind Side) delivers a sensitive and authentic performance as Ellen, a longtime sufferer who seeks treatment at a group home run by an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves). There’s already been some controversy over the film’s depiction of such a difficult topic, prompting online conversations. The film debuts on Netflix this Friday.
5. WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM BECAUSE SHE’S ABOUT TO BECOME MASSIVE
Though Zendaya‘s role in Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t as substantial as it could have been, she’s a real scene-stealer as Michelle, a dry-witted classmate of Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker. The 20-year-old actress and singer, who came to prominence on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up, and was spotted in Beyoncé‘s “Lemonade” music video, is also lighting up the Marvel movie’s promo campaign, so check out her socials for a real glimpse of a star in the ascendance.
6. WHAT TO TRY IF YOU LIKE HISTORY WITH A TWIST
Created by Craig Pearce, who co-wrote the screenplay to Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, this new TNT series supplies a lively take on the early life of William Shakespeare. Wide-eyed and dashing, Laurie Davidson portrays the young playwright as he arrives in London and tries to make it in the competitive world of Elizabeth theater. Don’t expect blemish-free historical accuracy when it debuts Monday, but Will has plenty of spirit and inventive production values — here, the hustle and bustle of 16th century London is soundtracked by a clever selection of contemporary pop songs.
7. WHAT TO WATCH WHEN YOUR JULY COULD REALLY USE SOME LIGHT RELIEF
In theory, we don’t need another scripted comedy about a seemingly successful adult who’s a magnet for embarrassing scenarios. But because the excellent Andrea Savage (Veep, Episodes) created and stars in this new TruTV series premiering Wednesday, it’s surely worth a try. She plays a confident comedy writer who keeps slipping up in front of family and friends played by awesome actors like Jason Mantzoukas, Judith Light, and Judy Greer. If you do tune in, ready your cringing muscles for a serious workout.
8. WHO TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM FOR UNEXPECTED FASHION INSPO (YES, SERIOUSLY)
Think you know Céline Dion? Think again. In recent months, the French-Canadian belter has emerged as an unlikely style icon who hangs out in Paris with Vogue‘s legendary editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Trendy stylist Law Roach has been credited with helping the beloved singer to modernize her look with outfits from edgy labels like Vetements and Off-White. So next time you struggle through “My Heart Will Go On” at karaoke, know that you’re actually being kind of cool.
9. WHAT TO DIP INTO WHEN YOU FANCY SOME HARMLESS ESCAPISM
Premiering Thursday on The CW, this British adventure series is a blast if you don’t take it too seriously. Lois & Clark‘s Michael Landes plays a rough diamond American explorer who teams up with a refined British lady (Elementary‘s Ophelia Bond) to track down buried archaeological treasures located all over the globe. Landes and Bond have a winning chemistry that survives even the sillier storylines, and they’re helped by a likeable supporting cast that includes Jane Seymour and former Doctor Who guest star Shaun Parkes.
10. AND FINALLY, WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER FOR TOTALLY UNFILTERED OPINIONS
Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is brilliant on Twitter because he doesn’t really play by the rules: he follows nobody, rarely replies to tweets, and signs off every post like an text message from your pop: “As you were LG x.” But as he prepares to release his first solo album, due this fall, Gallagher’s very random and hilariously blunt tweets are becoming more frequent. Spare a thought for his poor brother (and former bandmate) Noel, who Liam often compares to a “potato” in front of 1.95m followers.
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