Whether you’re starting Monday energized and ready to go, or feeling a little stressed and in need of some chill, this week’s On the Beat will definitely have something for you. Here are 10 ways to keep yourself entertained, whatever your current mood.
1. WHAT TO WATCH IF YOU LIKE A CHALLENGE
This British crime drama series premiering Friday on Cinemax has a daring structure: its title is “killer” spelt backwards because Rellik is a murder mystery told in reverse. Beginning with police shooting a suspect, it backtracks gradually to reveal the machinations of a serial killer who uses acid to slay his victims. In the process, he manages to disfigure but not kill the case’s chief investigating officer (Game of Thrones‘ Richard Dormer). Written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams (who also penned Starz’s crime hit The Missing), Rellik is a little confusing to begin with, but ultimately blooms into a clever and carefully-plotted series that rewards patient viewing.
2. WHAT TO STREAM FOR A DAZZLING LEAD PERFORMANCE
Chiwetel Ejiofor is always excellent, but he gives an especially bravura performance in this religious biopic debuting Friday on Netflix. He plays real-life pastor Carlton Pearson as he grapples with a potentially ruinous crisis of faith: when a death in the family causes Pearson to question the existence of hell, he faces the wrath of his Pentecostal peers. Director Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) doesn’t always extract maximum tension from this deep-rooted theological dilemma, but scenes showing Ejiofor’s pastor preaching from the pulpit are riveting. He’s flanked by a fine supporting cast that includes Danny Glover, Condola Rashād, and Martin Sheen.
3. WHAT TO WATCH FOR HILARIOUS SHOWBIZ REVELATIONS
It’s no accident Graham Norton is the U.K.’s number one chat show host. The Irishman has a warmly playful sense of humor that puts Hollywood A-listers and top British TV stars at ease. Airing Friday night on BBC America, the first episode of his show’s 23rd season sees him joined by Spider-Man star Tom Holland, pop singer Kylie Minogue, and husband-and-wife acting duo Emily Blunt and John Krasinki. They’ll all be promoting their latest projects, of course, but Norton will surely coax some very funny and (just slightly) embarrassing anecdotes from them along the way.
4. WHICH TOTALLY FABULOUS FASHION INSTAGRAM TO FOLLOW (DAAAHLING)
This throwback account’s handle is only slightly misleading — it’s actually dedicated to showcasing classic photos of supermodels from the ’80s and ’90s. This was a veritable golden age when the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford ruled the New York and London runways, and rivaled movie stars for fame and glamour. If your Instagram feed is looking a little drab and dreary at the moment, following this account will definitely provide an upgrade.
5. WHAT TO TRY IF YOU’RE A BIT OF A POTTERPHILE
Airing Wednesday on The CW, this hourlong documentary offers a glimpse into the recent Harry Potter exhibition at London’s British Library. As well as delving into the traditional folklore that inspired the franchise, it includes glimpses of JK Rowling‘s formative drafts and drawings. To complete the “Potter party” vibe, it’s narrated by Imelda Staunton (who played Harry’s fearsome headmistress Dolores Umbridge) and features readings of Rowling’s text from fellow cast members David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davies, and Miriam Margolyes.
6. WHAT TO GO SEE EVEN IF YOU AREN’T SUPER-KEEN ON TENNIS
This sports biopic opening Friday benefits from impeccable casting: Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason bears a genuine resemblance to famously private tennis icon Björn Borg; the talented but polarizing Shia LaBeouf is a perfect fit for his fiery rival John McEnroe. Director Janus Metz Pedersen (True Detective) paints both men sympathetically as his film rallies to a genuinely tense final encounter on Wimbledon’s iconic Centre Court. His film could probably dig deeper into Borg and McEnroe’s respective psyches, but there’s no denying it’s an entertaining and illuminating ride anyway.
7. WHAT TO LISTEN TO IF YOU LIKE A POP SONG THAT FEELS REAL
Just over a decade ago, Kate Nash made a splash with terrific debut album Made of Bricks, a super-relatable set of endearingly rough-around-the-edges pop songs. Her career since has had ups and downs, and she’s branched out into acting with a supporting role in Netflix hit GLOW. But her new album Yesterday Was Forever feels like a return to form, and “Karaoke Kiss” is a definite highlight. After verses in which Nash almost raps, it blossoms into a glorious sunburst of a chorus that captures the rush of romantic attraction. As ever, Nash’s quintessential Britishness adds to her charm: when she sings, you can really tell she’s a Londoner.
8. WHAT TO GO SEE IF YOU ENJOY SUPER-HIGH-STAKES DRAMA
This political thriller opening in theaters Wednesday is a little old-fashioned, but in an appealing way. Jon Hamm stars as an American diplomat who’s summoned back to back to war-torn Lebanon 10 years after leaving so he can negotiate the release of a kidnapped ex-colleague (Quantico‘s Mark Pellegrino). Rosamund Pike co-stars as a CIA boss who fears the kidnapped agent could spill vital military secrets before he’s freed. Thanks to a taut script from Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy and compelling performances from Hamm and Pike, who bounce off one another beautifully, Beirut is a superior slab of big-screen entertainment.
9. WHAT TO PLAY WHEN THE SITUATION CALLS FOR SOME MOOD MUSIC
Though this Kentucky-born performer hasn’t scored a second hit as indelible as her 2014 breakthrough “2 On,” she’s definitely built a loyal following and plenty of critical kudos. Dropping Friday, her third album is a glistening collection of contemporary electro-pop, trap and R&B music that benefits from crisp production and effortlessly sultry vocals. Whether she’s getting melancholy on “Faded Love” or showing her more determined side on “No Drama,” Tinashe is always coolly compelling.
10. WHAT TO TRY WHILE YOU WAIT FOR SEASON TWO OF STAR TREK: DISCOVERY
Netflix is aiming to tap into our collective nostalgia for classic sci-fi with this lavish remake of the cult ’60s series. The new Lost in Space stars Toby Stephens (Black Sails) and Molly Parker (House of Cards) as heads of a family of future explorers who find themselves marooned on a strange and dangerous planet. Wisely, showrunners Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Gods of Egypt) have tried to modernize the show by re-imagining the original’s most popular character, Jonathan Harris‘s Dr Smith, as a female officer played by Parker Posey. As with all Netflix shows, you’ll be able to gauge its success by tracking the Twitter buzz after it premieres Friday.
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