Some things to watch, read or listen to to distract you from the confusing exciting/sad times to come in the next fortnight.
Lupin on Netflix
Not new but such amazing fun, starring the handsome and charming former stand-up comedian Omar Sy as a modern iteration of a gentleman thief. Absolutely as good as Sherlock was, before it went all mad and self-referential.
This is a movie starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney in a high-school embezzlement scandal based on a true story. I Care A Lot is also out, starring Rosamond Pike, but it is less good. I could have not watched it and that would be fine.
Sorrow & Bliss by Meg Mason
An absolutely stunning portrait of a complex interior life, brought to my attention by Spiker Ella Ward. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to give anything away but this is brilliant.
Cobble Hill by Cecily Ziegesar
I had no idea the author of the Gossip Girl books was so brilliant. This is a novel for grown-ups set in a small enclave in New York with a fun and real bunch of characters, very deftly handled by Ziegesar. Fun from start to finish
Wintering by Katherine May
I really ought to have drawn your attention to this book at the start of lockdown but I got distracted. This book is about the importance of hibernation and various “winters” of our lives, which may (confusingly) happen in summer. I read 3/4 of it and then got put off by her enthusiasm for cold water swimming, but I was given great comfort by the bits that I read.
The Hollywood Con Queen
I really love investigative podcasts that tell winding, strange stories (basically the absolute opposite of the type of podcast I make) or let me into a world that I would otherwise never see. This is a corker, lifting the lid on a bizarre con where Hollywood support staff are lured out to Jakarta on the promise of filmset work that never appears. Weird and brilliant.
Wind of Change
Two journalists try to get to the bottom of a rumour that the anti-communist song “Wind of Change” by the 80s hair band The Scorpions was in fact written by the CIA. Sounds niche, nerdy and dull but it’s really good stuff, told in such a way as to keep you guessing about all sorts of things. Very deft.
Foundering: the We Work story
The picking-apart of batshit tech founders is quite the theme of many American podcasts, there’s another series called Without Fail that gleefully does this and it’s always intriguing; the DropOut is another one.
Carefree business people with their wild ideas and sometimes shady relationship with the truth are always interesting as they live their lives outside the boring rules I slavishly stick to. I also find the mechanics of business and start-ups interesting as it’s so far removed from what I do.
Anyway, Adam Neumann is one such crazy founder dude who started WeWork. This is the story of its meteoric rise and catastrophic implosion.
How about you? Anything you have seen/read/listened to lately that you can share?
I’m probably way behind the curve on this but Succession on NowTV is a very bingeable (is that a word?) comedy / drama.
Sarah Robson says
Thanks so much for all these Esther. This life on repeat syndrome is slightly getting to me, I’m not going to lie.
I’ve been slavishly watching Call My Agent on Netflix which I absolutely adore! My slang French is improving (!) as its subtitled but don’t let that put you off. The cast are all achingly cool in that French, understated way and I have low key crushes on most of them. There’s not a facelift, implant or even much makeup in evidence. It is so funny. Each episode has a guest appearance by a famous actor. My all time fave has to be the one with Juliet Binoche. Am so devastated I’ve seen all 4 series, I might just start all over again. Sorry if you know all this already, but just had to mention!
Evelyn Foley says
I second Call My Agent. It’s a hoot. Am so sorry I’ve finished it. A Very Secret Service is next on the list. Also enjoyed Pretend It’s A City. Fran Lebowitz is a gem.
Hi Esther thanks for your recommendations. I can recommend ‘Homecoming’ on Amazon Prime. It was originally an American podcast/drama by Gimlet Media a few years ago which I was addicted to and they said they’d make it into a film. It’s actually a couple of series and very stylised and brilliant. Julia Roberts produces and acts in it. Excellent.
The Bureau on Amazon Prime. A French slow burn intelligent and very tense spy thriller. Each episode has you wanting more. Makes Spooks look amateurish. Fabulous characters. The plot begins in Algeria and moves to Paris, Syria and Iran. Lots of twists and turns. Gets very scary. Stick with it.
Its a Sin on C4 is the best thing Ive ever seen on TV
If you like the Com Queen, you might like The Crypto Queen too – podcast!
Tori Haschka says
Yes- adored Sorrow and Bliss, plus had great fun with Cobble Hill. In a similar vein, also loved J Courtney Sullivan’s ‘Friends and Strangers’ and Ceridwen Dovey’s ‘Life after truth’
John Sweeny’s podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ is absolutely gobsmaking.
Oh yes!! I forgot to add that one. It’s a corker
‘The Marvellous Mrs Maisel’ on Amazon Prime. Set in 1950s Manhattan, about a Jewish girl who had her life mapped out and now living happily with her husband and two children in NYC.. stumbles into being a stand-up comedian. Very funny.
These are all great, will look out for Sorrow and Bliss. The last great book I read was Other People’s Houses by Lore Segal. A lightly fictionalised (she’s changed some names) memoir of her experience as a 10 year old refugee from Vienna who is placed on the first Kindertransport to England. She writes from a child-to-teen point of view so well, is unsparing in how honestly she captures everything and everyone around her. It gives great insights into the class system in England at the time as she stays in different homes across the spectrum, and into the different ways in which she encountered antisemitism, as well as how she and other family members were treated as refugees. It felt important to have read as well as being a brilliant read. I have not had much of an attention span for anything it’s all been so… but I am very very late, like White Rabbit late, to Breaking Bad. It’s quite good, spread the word.
Thanks for that book it sounds great