At InsideHook, we do our best to bring you all the latest music, books, movies, TV shows, and other diverse pop culture worth your attention every week, whether we’re explaining why the It’s always sunny Podcast blows every other sitcom rewatch podcast out of the water, chatting with Mark Rylance about his latest film or explaining why a seven-year-old tragic romance suddenly explodes on TikTok.
However, we’re just mere mortals, and there’s only so much we can cram into any given week. With that in mind, we’ve put together these staff picks for our editors to sing the praises of everything they’ve been digging lately that falls under the broad ‘arts and entertainment’ umbrella – the shows they have been binging, the podcasts they have on rotation, the songs they can’t get out of their heads – which they personally recommend checking out. Some of them are new releases, others are decades old, but they are all worth diving into.
I found myself in a quiet California bookstore browsing the fiction section when a group of bookworms started renting a novel within earshot. Listening to their approval, I waited patiently for them to leave before grabbing the book they so admired: lone dove by Larry McMurty. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1986, this cowboy novel follows a cast of authentic characters in the later years of the Old West, exploring themes of age, death, love and friendship. along the way. A book that I wish I could forget just to be able to read it again, think about it if you are a fan of Yellowstone, 1883 or the mini-series of the same name from the late 80s. — Cam Vigliotta, Trade Editor
You might have missed this one when it premiered on HBO Max last winter. station eleven is a 10-episode miniseries, created by Patrick Somerville and based on the 2014 bestselling novel of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel. The show’s premise likely turned out to be mission impossible for HBO Max’s marketing team; a flu pandemic wipes out 99% of the world’s population, leaving Earth to a few stragglers and their eventual offspring – colloquially known as pre-pans and post-pans. It seems cut from conventional post-apocalyptic fabric, and I’m sure watching a pandemic unfold on TV isn’t high on the list right now. But you’d miss what is quite simply the most beautiful, balanced and unexpected TV show I’ve seen in years. Many productions these days like to bounce back and forth between eras, introduce unreliable memories, and swap protagonists. This one makes it look effortless. Everything is working. This is by no means a “passive observation”. You will be confused. You will also spend a lot of time around Lake Michigan. In the end, it’s worth every second. station eleven doesn’t care much about governments or zombies. It’s more about the things we take with us when life runs out of steam – and why we even care. — Tanner Garrity, Editor
Call my agent! (Netflix)
I’m not immune to the charms of Office. I even got into the habit of rewatching some of the different Christmas episodes on a seasonal basis. But despite not airing for nearly a decade, Scranton still seems to have a stranglehold on American TV — and culture as a whole — which is why I watch French TV now. specifically Call my agent!, which is the dramatic workplace antidote to this curdled era of cutesy TV. Known as Ten percent in France (which translates to “ten percent”, a reference to the talent agent rate of pay for the movie and TV stars they manage), the show follows employees of an agency in Paris, and each episode features French stars playing themselves (from Jean Dujardin to Monica Bellucci). But the real standout performances are the actors playing the agents and assistants, especially Camille Cottin as Andréa and Grégory Montel as Gabriel, although everyone is wonderfully mad. In a streaming era full of comedy, it’s refreshing to find yourself laughing out loud in my house and not just tweeting about how a show is “so funny lol”. — Alex Lauer, editor
A recently released album that I have listened to several times is MOTOMAMI, by Rosalie. She does a great job there mixing a wide range of genres such as pop, reggaeton, bachata, bolero and opera. Thematically, there are a bunch of references to spirituality and transformation, contextualized using examples from contemporary pop culture. The sounds and the experimental subjects remind me of something about MIA, one of the artists that Rosalía mentions by name on the track “Bulerías”. All in all a very creative and artistic listen, and I can’t wait to sit down with this album for a while and explore its depth. — Gabriel Serrano, assistant designer
For the past few months, I’ve been training for a half marathon, but it wasn’t until very recently that I discovered that the key to wanting to die a little less on my long runs is actually a good podcast. It’s not a particularly original take, but I’ve found myself flipping through podcasts — especially the single-topic, story-driven variety — at an almost alarming rate ever since. Currently, I’m listening to Culpable – a true-crime investigative podcast that explores unsolved cases where those who deserve blame have somehow escaped justice. It’s weird enough to get me moving at a good clip, but not so much that I can’t listen to it on my night runs. — Lindsay Rogers, Associate Editor
MEGA COLD, MEGA COLD PE
When you listen to any of his projects, you’ll realize pretty quickly that Justice Tripp has a wide range of influences. His debut with Trapped Under Ice provides a base of lean, pitch-perfect hardcore punk where later projects like Angel Du$t twist the formula by introducing pairs of acoustic guitars and experimentation with other genres. MEGA COLD, his first entirely solo release, gives the impression of hearing his brain melt on an EP. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll hear wildly clashing acoustic riffs, breakbeats, hip-hop samples and more. More importantly, everything changes. — John Hill, Social Media Manager
I picked up Jennifer Saginor’s childhood memoir in 2006 at the Playboy Mansion after she appeared in the recent A&E docuseries, Secrets of Playboy. Saginor, the daughter of Hugh Hefner’s longtime friend and personal physician Mark Saginor, details her childhood in the Playboy mansion during the drug days of the 70s and 80s, and her history of sex, drugs and debauchery is infinitely more outrageous and WTF-inducing than any other Playboy memoir I’ve come across. — Kayla Kibbe, Associate Editor
Approaching the 25th anniversary of its first episode airing on Comedy Central, South Park is still on its original channel but has also migrated to HBO Max. The animation is a little different, and there are a ton of new characters in the small Colorado town of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, but not all has changed much in the show’s 25th season. South Park is still a steamy, offensive anime series that’s not for kids despite being filled with kindergarten-level humor, and that’s great. — Evan Bleier, editor
Face the camprun with the hurricane
One day last fall, I stumbled across Australian band Camp Cope on Spotify. I can’t remember if it was because of one of those “people also like” type suggestions or if I was just browsing through the new releases and decided to give it a shot. But it turned out that they had just released the song “Blue”, the first single from their then-to-be-released third album, Run with the hurricane. The album came out just today, so I haven’t even heard it all yet, but this song sent me down a rabbit hole. The band have been around for a few years now, with two more albums under their belt, and it looks like they’re having a while with the new one, which sees them move away from louder, more rambunctious indie-pop. from their beginnings and towards a sunnier, more folk-rock atmosphere that I really appreciate.
A certain hunger by Chelsea G. Summers
A certain hunger by Chelsea G. Summers is a tantalizing read about a food critic gone mad: her descriptions of crusty bread and cheese, gorgeous wines, and the fancy hotels her title character traverses (leaving dead men in her wake) are enough to keep you going. make you want more. Be warned, a bit of cannibalism is involved, but his prose makes everything sound good enough to eat. — Trish Rooney, Editor
Human ressources (Netflix)
The latest round of scammers bad vegan and the deliciously silly baking contest Is it cake? have been getting more buzz since they recently dropped on Netflix, but there’s another new series on the streaming service that’s absolutely worth your attention. Human ressourcesthe animated spin-off of Big mouth, features the same raunchy and lovable Lovebugs hormonal monsters that guide our heroes through puberty on the original Nick Kroll and John Mulaney series, but there are a few new creatures – including a Logic Rock (voiced by Randall Park) and an Ambition Goblin (voiced by Rosie Perez) – who work alongside them to guide the thoughts and emotions of more adult characters this time around. Everything is as funny and insightful as Big mouth, but episode 9 in particular, about a dying elderly patient with dementia and her family’s struggle to cope with the grief of losing her (and featuring an appearance by Henry Winkler as “Keith from Grief”, a talking wool sweater that gets bigger and bigger). menacing the more it is ignored), is one of the best episodes of television you will see this season. — Bonnie Stiernberg, Editor-in-Chief
This article was published in the Inside hook newsletter. Register now.