As election fever tightens its grip on the nation, we all need our little distractions more than ever. Here are 10 of the best diversions available through Sunday.
1. WHAT TO WATCH IF YOU LIKE A THRILLER THAT’S FAR-OUT BUT FUNNY
Based on novels by author Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), this new BBC America series stars Tony-nominated History Boys alum Samuel Barnett as an eccentric time-traveling detective who solves mysteries with his reluctant sidekick Todd, played by Elijah Wood. Executive producer Max Landis has said he’s aiming for “full weird” here, but Barnett and Wood’s snappy banter keeps the tone bright and breezy too. If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, definitely give this a try. The series premieres Saturday, October 22 at 9/8c.
2. WHAT TO WATCH WHETHER YOU’VE SEEN THE ICONIC ORIGINAL OR NOT
Because 1975’s movie musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show remains an all-time cult favorite, Fox’s TV remake arrives to both excitement and suspicion. Still, there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic: Orange Is the New Black‘s excellent Laverne Cox has been cast as wild scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter; original star Tim Curry returns to play the Narrator; and High School Musical director Kenny Ortega will choreograph the dance routines brilliantly. The remake also arrives as society is becoming more aware of the fluidity of gender and sexuality, which makes Rocky Horror’s pansexual characters feel more relevant than ever.
3. WHAT TO WATCH IF YOU CAN HANDLE JAMES FRANCO’S, ERM, “ADVENTUROUS” SIDE
Franco gives his most memorable performance since 2013’s Spring Breakers in this black comedy based on the real-life rise of gay porn star Brent Corrigan. He and Pretty Little Liars actor Keegan Allen play ruthless wannabe producers who take extreme measures to extricate Corrigan (The Fosters‘ Garrett Clayton) from his contract with Christian Slater‘s Stephen, the filmmaker who discovered him. Released on VOD and in select theaters October 21, King Cobra is sharp, shocking and every bit as adult as it sounds.
4. WHAT TO WATCH WHEN YOU’RE FEELING WISTFUL AND REFLECTIVE
After earning rave reviews at film festivals, this sensitive coming-of-age drama from writer-director Barry Jenkins now looks like a genuine Oscar contender. Rising talent Trevante Rhodes stars as Chiron, a young black man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality as he grows up in a tough Miami neighborhood in the ‘80s. His affecting performance is complimented by strong support from former Bond actress Naomie Harris and singer Janelle Monáe, who impresses in her first proper acting role.
5. WHAT TO WATCH IF YOU RELISH A DRAMA THAT’S SINISTER AND SATIRICAL
The first two seasons of this British anthology series, which famously featured an episode involving a fictional Prime Minister and a pig, were so revered that Netflix has paid handsomely to premiere season three globally. Six new self-contained episodes launch on October 21 and creator Charlie Brooker has teased that they tackle themes including “social media and insecurity and populist anger, and maybe the future of military technology, and weird things about video gaming.” Expect the unexpected, basically, but know that it’s going to be provocative.
6. WHICH BRAND NEW MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE TO CHECK OUT FOR FREE
Amazon could struggle to dent a streaming market that’s already dominated by Spotify and Apple Music, but the Seattle-based giant has a couple of aces up its sleeve. First, Amazon Music Unlimited is cheaper than its rivals if you already subscribe to Amazon Prime or own a set of Amazon Echo speakers. Second, users can search for music using song lyrics, which should prove useful when you just can’t remember the name of that bangin’ track you heard on the radio. If this sounds tempting, a free 30-day trial is available now.
7. WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR PLAYLIST FOR A BLAST OF EARLY MORNING MOTIVATION
This promising London band has stood out for a while because they have not one but two female lead singers: childhood friends Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett. “Dancing Makes Us Brave” is their best single yet, a disco-flavored celebration of shimmying your cares away whose chorus is warm, rousing and utterly infectious. It’s a song which will enrich even the most boring of household chores and dismal daily commutes.
8. WHAT TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER IF YOU NEED TO SEE EVERY NEW TEASER FIRST
With its release date less than a year away, the eagerly anticipated Blade Runner sequel now has its own Twitter account and an official title: Blade Runner 2049. The first picture shared was a super-casual set photo showing stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, director Denis Villeneuve and exec producer Ridley Scott, suggesting @bladerunner could be more revealing than some studio-run accounts. Even if you’re slightly horrified by this belated follow-up to Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece, these updates should be pretty exciting.
9. WHO TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM BECAUSE HE JUST MADE HISTORY
NYC teenager James Charles has built a sizable online following by creating flawless makeup looks that he describes as “artsy, avant-garde [and] abstract.” CoverGirl has just hired him as their first ever male model, so check out his ‘gram to see why, at just 17 years old, he’s challenging gender norms in the cosmetics industry.
10. AND, FINALLY, WHO TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM FOR A DAILY DOSE OF ADORABLE
If you only allow one cute pet onto your feed, it should probably be Jiff. This impossibly photogenic Pomeranian, who’s appeared in several TV shows and Katy Perry‘s “Dark Horse” video, now shares snaps from the red carpet to more than 3 million Instagram followers. But Jiff isn’t just a pretty face: he also holds Guinness World Records for “the fastest 10m on hind legs” and “the fastest 5m on front paws.” Honestly, it’s a lot more impressive when you actually watch it.Read More