Saturday, January 23, 2021

1. Bling Empire

Wealth and fame are so unfair. So why can’t we look away? Maybe it’s just that rare window into what life would be like if our wildest, filthiest dreams came true … or maybe it’s just the branding. Either way, Bling Empirefollows in the footsteps of such disgustingly decadent fantasy cosplays as MTV’s Cribs, VH1’s The Fabulous Life of…, Bravo’s Real Housewives and others. A mashup of Crazy Rich Asians and Gossip Girls, it’s quickly become a Netflix must-watch for the rich, the famous and the hopelessly wannabe rich and famous.

2. Girl Daddy

Like many women, Beth Stelling has had to fight the patriarchy for more than a dozen years. But unlike most of them, she works in comedy — which means this jokester gets to fight dirty. Just watch a few minutes of her HBO Max special to catch the ease of her wit. Case in point: Nodding to a tattoo she got for an old ex, Stelling asks if the audience knows “how hard it is to get laid with another man’s name on your back?” … before deadpanning, “Not hard.” Cue the giggles, pop the popcorn and check her out this weekend.

3. WandaVision

This superhero drama begins with all the giddy charm of a ’50s-era sitcom … but by the end of the very first episode, viewers are struck by a fantastically eerie dread. That shaky feeling is what first hooked Marvel comic fans on the spinoff tales of the telekinetic Wanda Maximoff — or, as Avengers moviegoers more readily know her, “Scarlet Witch” — and her husband, “Vision,” an android with abilities of his own. And that delicious tension only builds since this unbingeable Disney+ series releases new episodes every Friday.

1. Icons

First, Virgil Abloh’s must-have “off-white” series took the world by storm. Then, in 2018, Louis Vuitton named the Chicago streetwear designer the artistic director of its men’s line. That made him the first African American director of a European luxury brand. He shares that influence with his newest book, Icons. Far more than just a 352-page coffee table bauble, Icons powerfully shows off Abloh’s creative process — with revealing prototypes, original text messages and pieces straight from the Nike archives. You can buy the book on Nike’s SNKRS app as well as Off-White’s website and Canary—

2. The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

This young-adult fiction treat by Amy Noelle Parks tells the story of two teens navigating relationships and science. Evie is a young girl riddled with anxiety, and Caleb is her best friend who’s been in love with her since kindergarten. As Evie gains confidence with the help of life-changing therapy, she begins to draw the attention of a new boy into her orbit. Which predictably leads Caleb to finally act on his unprofessed affection … beginning with a plan to woo her by shedding his friend-zone baggage.

3. Mexican Gothic

This New York Times bestseller by Silvia Moreno-Garcia shifts the classic gothic horror trope. The young Noemi Taboada sets out to the Mexican countryside after receiving a bizarre letter from her cousin, Catalina, who says people are living in her walls and her new husband is trying to poison her. So begins a story full of village healers and strange visions, incestuous marriages and sleepwalk dreams, as Noemi finds herself unable to leave … just as you won’t be able to stop reading this inspired story that bears notes of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and the classic British morality tale of Jane Eyre. 

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1. 1000 Words

Courtesy of the red-hot South Korean rap scene, the sibling duo Lil Cherry & GOLDBUUDA carry the torch with this single off their latest album, Chef Talk. Known for their outlandish music videos and mumble rap style — a hip-hop microgenre where the emphasis is on the melody and not, you know, whether you can actually hear them — this pair opens the rabbit hole true music obsessives have been waiting to fall into.

2. On Being

Between always looking for an outlet to charge up and using our faces to buy things, sometimes it can feel like we’re the machines ourselves. Luckily there’s a podcast to deal with that angst. On Being, simply put, reminds us of what it means to be human, hosted by Krista Tippett, who was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2014 by President Barack Obama for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” Each episode of the Peabody Award-winning public radio show offers reflective conversations that serve as useful self-check-ins.

3. I Spy

What if James Bond did an interview? Or if the Pink Panther got in front of a mic? Could you imagine a sit-down with Carmen Sandiego? The bummer is that you likely wouldn’t learn much: After all, spies have an earned reputation for being tight-lipped. Until now. Brought to you by Foreign Policy, I Spyis a podcast wherethe spies finally spill the beans. Hosted by Emmy-winning actress Margo Martindale, you hear from the people who uncover secrets, turn loyal men and women into double agents and so, so much more, in an experience that will have you racing to the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. — once it reopens, of course. 

4. Hasta la Vista, America

Now that Trump has left the premises, Alec Baldwin has to retire his famous Saturday Night Live impersonation of the president … right? Maybe one day, but thankfully not quite yet. Hasta la Vista, America: Trump’s Farewell Address, written by Kurt Anderson and read by Baldwin, is a 42-minute audio compilation of “speeches” conducted by a satirical Trump, from his farewell address to the 2021 State of the Union remarks he would have given if he hadn’t exited the White House for a one-way flight to Mar-a-Lago.

1. Hamburger with Beetroot

There are hamburgers, and then there are Australian hamburgers. These bad boys are a mouthful, loaded up with a bevy of toppings that include egg, bacon, onion, pineapple and, yes, pickled beets. When you team all that up with a meaty Angus burger, you’ve got yourself a hearty, tasty meal to grill up on any barbie (that’s barbecue for you Yanks).

2. Sambusas

Think hard-fried dumplings. Or a crispy, not so overwhelming, meat pie. Actually, you know what? There is no worthy comparison to this absolutely tantalizing Ethiopian dish known for making taste buds dance. The thin, flaky exterior meets whatever fillings your heart desires, although lentils are the popular local choice. Either way, it’s the one-of-a-kind spices that make this dish soar. If there are no Ethiopian restaurants near you, fear not: Follow this recipe, and your taste buds will thank you.

3. Chipsi Mayai

French fries for brekkie? Oh, the audacity! If anyone questions your life choices, just tell them this Tanzanian dish is so popular that it’s served on pretty much every street corner in the country. Chipsi mayai is basically a french-fry-stuffed omelet, combining the Swahili words for fries (chipsi) and eggs (mayai). Douse it with chili sauce and you may have just found your new favorite morning staple.

4. Skyr

In America, it’s yogurt. In Germany, it’s quark (which lends itself well to cheesecake). In France, crème frâiche. And in Iceland, it’s skyr. They’re not all the same but have similar consistencies, and the nonfat Nordic take on these globe-trotting dairy products is made by incubating skim milk with live cultures and then straining to yield a thicker, creamier consistency. Skyr has been popular for hundreds of years because it pairs so easily with other foods — everything from berries and honey to crackers and cheeses — making it the star of whatever occasion you bring it out for.

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