It's been a hot week full of court documents and news drops. And now, we're ready for a calmer and cooler break with time to breathe. And fortunately, we've got recommendations for podcasts, binge-able television and good reading for your holiday weekend.
Netflix has a show called Sex/Life and the reason I am interested in it is that it is yet another example of Netflix's strange positioning in the streaming wars. It's sort of like if you took Fifty Shades of Grey but actually put sex in it, but then also overlaid a Lifetime movie on that. It has that feeling of softcore Showtime from the '80s. It's funny as hell, and campy, and silly... and you know, they don't make movies like that anymore—your Slivers and your Basic Instincts—your sex thriller or your disaffected housewife infidelity film.
The '90s had a whole world of that and Netflix is weirdly jumping in that pool and maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe streaming is bringing back a diversity of programming—like all these little genres that kind of fell away under the Marvel steamroller. So I can't recommend Sex/Life, necessarily—but I'm happy that the streaming wars are still bringing us new things. I like that we're in that moment. – Audie Cornish
The Jean Smart Renaissance
What's making me happy is the Jean Smart-ification of HBO. The fact that she stars in the amazing comedy Hacks. She's got a juicy, completely different role in the drama Mare of Easttown. She killed it in Watchmen. Jean Smart has been doing the work for decades. I was a fan back in the Designing Women days. She was incredible in the season of Fargo where she played the mother of a Jewish organized crime family. She is such a good actor with such a wide range. And right now she's everywhere and I'm thrilled about it. Give me more Jean Smart—comedy, drama, thriller. I don't care. All of it. I'll take it.