Sunday brings the biggest night in cinema, the Academy Awards, but if you’re feeling a little over awards season by now, here are 10 other ways to keep yourself entertained this week.
1. WHAT TO TRY EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT A TOTAL PETROLHEAD
When Top Gear returns to BBC America this week, it’ll be the third season fronted by the current lineup of Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid. And as the trio’s chemistry deepens, LeBlanc reckons, they can push the long-running motoring show in playful new directions. “Every season we try to progress it. What we’ve done this time is broaden the appeal of the show. This year the films are bigger and have way more comedy,” the Friends legend recently explained. The result isn’t just a great car show; it’s a great all-round entertainment show, too. You can look for Top Gear on Sunday evenings at 8/7c.
2. WHAT TO WATCH FOR STYLE, SUBSTANCE, AND SIMMERING TENSION
This classy crime drama debuting Monday on AMC gives another juicy role to James Norton (Grantchester, War and Peace), the British rising star tipped as a future Bond. He plays Alex Godman, the London-raised son of a Russian mafia boss who’s carefully avoided the family business by pursuing a strait-laced banking career. But when rumors about his heritage begin to scare off investors, he finds himself sucked back into the dangerous and often amoral world of organized crime. Based on Misha Glenny‘s acclaimed nonfiction book McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, this sleek and self-assured series is worth sticking with despite a few slow-moving interludes.
3. WHAT TO LISTEN WHEN YOU’RE CRAVING A TOUCH OF CLASS
British singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn describes her new album as “nine feminist bangers” that celebrate the “sense of liberation” she feels after going through the menopause and a divorce. The cult musician who was previously one half of Everything But the Girl (remember their huge ’90s hit “Missing?”) brings a wealth of experience to these elegant, relatable and super-literate electro-disco tunes. “Am I queen, or something else I might have been?” she asks on pulsing opener “Queen,” contemplating her own legacy and future role in society. Pop music can be a horribly youth-centric place, but Record proves some voices just get better with age.
4. WHAT TO GO SEE THIS WEEKEND FOR ITS SERIOUSLY STELLAR CAST
Jennifer Lawrence reunites with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence for this stylish-looking adaptation of Jason Matthews’ popular espionage novel. She plays a Russian ballerina who retrains as a spy after injury ruins her career, only to be thrown into conflict on her very first mission when she falls for a persuasive C.I.A. agent (Joel Edgerton). Lawrence always brings serious star power to the screen and she’s flanked here by fantastic actors including Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Joely Richardson, Jeremy Irons, and Ciaran Hinds. Opening in theaters Friday, Red Sparrow is another interesting choice from an actress who’s refusing to rest on her laurels.
5. WHAT TO WATCH FOR JOKES THAT KEEP YOU ON YOUR TOES
It’s fair to say that Atlanta‘s second season arrives on a tidal wave of expectation. The offbeat comedy-drama series took home multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards first time around, and these new episodes were delayed so creator-director-star Donald Glover could appear in upcoming Star Wars spin-off movie Solo. But early reviews suggest Robbin’ Season will be worth the wait. Debuting Thursday on FX, it follows Glover’s college dropout Earn as he pedals hard to prove his worth as a music manager to cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), a talented rapper whose star is rising. Expect a little more darkness this time out, but just as much surreal and ingenious humor.
6. WHAT TO STREAM IF YOU’RE STILL MISSING THE GOOD WIFE
Many fans felt The Good Wife ended a little abruptly in 2016, but this spin-off series maintained its high standards when it picked up the action just a year later. Debuting Sunday on the CBS All Access streaming service, season two once again revolves around two tough female lawyers at different ends of their career: the seemingly indefatigable Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and her super-ambitious goddaughter Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie). Expect 13 more slices of tight, topical storytelling that’s not afraid to venture into dark and quirky territory, performed by an awesome cast that also includes Audra McDonald, Cush Jumbo, and Justin Bartha.
7. WHICH BRIGHT NEW POP TALENT TO CHECK OUT
Rotterdam-raised singer Naaz Mohammed began making music in her bedroom against the wishes of her conservative Kurdish parents, who feared the music world was no place for their daughter. Having slowly won them over, she’s now building online buzz with a series of beautifully melodic, intimate-sounding pop songs. Her latest track “Loving Love” is a big-hearted call for across-the-board equality with a lovely chorus that hits you like an endorphine rush. At just 19 years old, she’s definitely an artist to look out for.
8.WHAT TO STREAM FOR AN ENTERTAINING SNAPSHOT OF CONTEMPORARY BRITISH LIFE
Writer Ayub Khan-Din won acclaim for his depiction of multicultural British life in the hit 1999 film East is East. Now, he explores the difficulties of modern social integration again in this six-part comedy-drama series set in a fictional northern English town. The plot centers on a delicate merger between two local high schools who’ve never really mixed: one has a predominantly Asian student population; the other is mainly attended by white kids. Premiering Monday on the Acorn TV streaming service, Ackley Bridge manages to balance thought-provoking topical insights with some enjoyably salty comic relief.
9. WHAT TO LISTEN TO IF YOU LIKE SONGS THAT ARE ROMANTIC, BUT NOT CORNY
Taken from the soundtrack to upcoming movie Love Simon, this sultry tune teams break-out star Khalid with Normani, a member of girlband Fifth Harmony. Their voices dovetail pleasingly, and the lyrics feature a sweet plea for emotional intimacy. “I see you’re focused, yeah, you’re so independent,” Normani sings before the chorus. “It’s hard for me to open up, I’ll admit it.” Her former bandmate Camila Cabello has already launched a successful solo career; this infectious duet gets Normani’s off to an impressive start.
10. AND FINALLY, WHICH TWITTER ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW IF YOU CAN’T RESIST CLASSIC BRITISH COMEDY
This fan-led Twitter account is dedicated to “all things classic British television” with a particular emphasis on vintage sitcoms like As Time Goes By, Are You Being Served?, and Absolutely Fabulous. It’s so fastidious when it comes to posting about beloved actors’ birthdays and anniversaries that it’s now amassed nearly 17,000 followers. Give it a follow for a daily dose of nostalgia that will remind you of shows that are still popular in syndication and on streaming platforms, and maybe introduce you to a few new ones, too.
What are your plans for this week?Read More