Sohla El-Waylly, Will Smith, “Maid”: NPR

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Weekly recommendations from hosts and guests Pop Culture Happy Hour



The Netflix series Housemaid came out this weekend, starring Margaret Qualley – and as her mom, Qualley’s real mom, Andie MacDowell.

Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix


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Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix


The Netflix series Housemaid came out this weekend, starring Margaret Qualley – and as her mom, Qualley’s real mom, Andie MacDowell.

Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix

The Netflix series Housemaid came out this weekend, starring Margaret Qualley – and as her mom, Qualley’s real mom, Andie MacDowell. It’s one of my favorite shows of the year, and we’ll be talking about it on the podcast soon. Mara Gay wrote this week about New York City COVID Experience, and it’s worth reading. i am extremely late for Tatum the talking dog on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean I’m not waiting for each of his adventures. And besides, yes, we are going to cover the extremely buzzy Netflix series. Squid game! You’ll have some time to watch it before we talk about it, which is nice with something so discussed. Also on file: Impeachment: American Crime Story and Y: The last man, so if you’re looking for things to check out, these are a few we’ll find out soon! –Linda Holmes

Here’s what else we’re watching this weekend:

What to watch

Jack Whitehall: Travels with my father, Netflix

A listener to our podcast recommended this show to me. It’s called Jack Whitehall: Travels with my father. Jack Whitehall is a young British actor and comedian. His dad is a fuddy-duddy, the funniest duddy of all. He’s an old-fashioned 70-year-old white man who despises new experiences, who idolizes Winston Churchill, who wears a suit and hat everywhere. They travel together, and they bond because they don’t really know each other at all. Dad sent Jack to boarding school when he was 8, and it comes back on the show a lot. The thing about the show is that Jack wants authentic experiences, and the dad wants gin and tonic and finger sandwiches on the Ritz veranda.

A few caveats here. It’s a bit overproduced in the sense that they’re clearly making ends meet to sort of delineate their different worldviews. The other thing is, and it’s a hot take, but skip the first season. That season, they travel to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. There are a lot of fathers who are really openly suspicious and even dismissive and disrespectful of the culture, which the show finds a lot funnier than I am. It improves a lot in the other four seasons that they travel to Europe, the United States, Australia and finally the United Kingdom. season, which left me with a bad taste in my mouth. You will end up feeling for these two men and for their relationship. – Glen Weldon

Youtube

Sohla El-Waylly’s cooking videos, The New York Times Cooking YouTube Channel

What makes me happy this week is part of The New York Times Kitchen YouTube channel, and it’s a series with Sohla El-Waylly, who is one of the many great chefs who were at Enjoy your meal. She’s doing solid content in a bunch of different places now. She and her husband, whose last name is Ham, who is also a chef, are preparing a series for the NYT kitchen called Mystery Menu. What happens is they are given a paper bag with a mystery ingredient in it, and they are told that you have to make dinner and dessert using that mystery ingredient. It’s sort of a Chopped feel, but with super sophisticated and smart chefs who are very, very friendly and work really well together. They’ll give them, for example, pickles, and usually they try to make some kind of salad, some kind of main course, and some kind of dessert with that ingredient. I love how much they love each other, how hot it is and also how creative they are. It’s super wonderful. I highly recommend it. – Linda Holmes

What to read

The participation by Megan Abbott

Last weekend I devoured a book by great novelist Megan Abbott titled The participation. Hard crime fiction is that really stereotypical area of ​​interest for men, and what I love about Abbott’s books is that she has made herself this big niche, where she applies the tone and the film noir style to stereotypically female areas of interest. She has written novels on cheerleaders and gymnastics, among others. In The participation, they are a pair of sisters who together run a ballet school. They are getting ready for their big annual Nutcracker performance. There’s a lot of tension between all the girls wanting to star, including some really horrible hazing going on. But then there is a fire, and a shady contractor comes in to try and repair the damage from the fire, and basically their lives start to implode as a result of this man entering their life. There are a lot of great thematic parallels between the story of the book and the story of The Nutcracker, so it’s all interwoven with all of those things. And Abbott does such a good job detailing the physical difficulties of dancing and creating this really edgy atmosphere that made me feel like I needed to take a bath every time I put the book down. I still love his stuff, and The participation is no exception. – Alan Sepinwall

“Presentation of the real Will Smith”, GQ

The marvelous reporter Wesley Lowery has a really interesting profile in GQ this week about Will Smith. Will Smith is someone who has fascinated me for most of my life. I had a crush on him from a very young age. I have seen most of his films. I’ve been baffled by a lot of his movie choices lately. But this profile really touches on some interesting aspects of Will Smith’s character and how he uses that character as someone super ambitious, someone who wanted to be the greatest movie star in the world, and how he’s always been. very affable and saying all these platitudes about happiness and how much that belies some sort of darker part of Will Smith. If you’ve watched Ted Lasso season two, it feels like the Ted Lasso is revealing somehow. I highly recommend checking out this profile if you are interested in Will Smith as a person. This is probably one of the most revealing he has done throughout his career. – Aïcha Harris

What made us happy recently?

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