Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A TV series, a webseries, and 3 newly reissued soundtracks

Inside the reissued One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Inside the reissued One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Married season two

I won’t succumb to the tired cliché of “the best show you aren’t watching” to talk about Married, but it’s so tempting: Judy Greer and Nat Faxon excellently portray a long-time married couple, pushing 40 and painfully aware of how their lives haven’t turned out the way they’d hoped. It’s a startlingly realistic portrait of a certain type of marriage—restlessly settled, a little resentful, but ultimately loving—that can hit awfully close to home for viewers in similar situations. Faxon and especially Greer are winning, and the supporting cast elevates the show as a whole: Brett Gelman as Faxon’s wealthy, supremely damaged friend; Jenny Slate as Faxon’s party-girl friend married to a much older man (Paul Reiser, also fantastic); and John Hodgman as another one of Faxon’s pals and co-workers. In the second season, Faxon has found a better, though more demanding job, Greer is tentatively returning to work as a substitute teacher, Gelman is coping with sobriety, and Slate is pushing back against the restraints of her life. The July 30 episode, “The Sandwich,” just killed, thanks in part to a guest-starring appearance by Sarah Burns—which I hope turns into a regular role—as a love interest for Gelman. Creator Andrew Gurland and his writing staff have found the perfect match of material and talent. FX needs to renew this show for 10 more seasons, please. [Kyle Ryan]

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“Cowards”

The great thing about YouTube is that anyone can make a webseries, and the terrible thing about YouTube is that anyone can make a webseries. Amid the sea of options, it’s nice to have some critical guidance, which is why the New York Television Festival’s endorsement of “Cowards” is so helpful. Awarded “Best Comedy Pilot” at this year’s NYTVF, “Cowards” was created by a group of ex-Chicagoans turned L.A. comedy hopefuls and focuses on a group of friends whose kryptonite is social interaction. The comedic misadventures of the socially awkward isn’t exactly a new concept for a comedy series, but the professional production, clever writing, and winning performances from leads Megan Green, Joe Kwaczala, Joe McAdam, and Chris Stephens lift “Cowards” above the average Curb Your Enthusiasm homage. [Katie Rife]

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The soundtracks to Amadeus, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings

Illustration for article titled A TV series, a webseries, and 3 newly reissued soundtracks
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Almost every soundtrack is being released on vinyl these days, from The Sopranos to just about everything that John Carpenter has ever recorded. And while some of those releases can be cause for eyerolls—Forrest Gump, for instance—other soundtracks stand the test of time. That’s the case for three new soundtracks coming out September 11 as deluxe vinyl box sets issued by the Concord Music Group. Amadeus, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings should satisfy both film and music nerds: They all come packaged in heavy-duty boxes and contain posters and booklets of liner notes, and they would all be lovely additions to any burgeoning collector’s shelf. Each brings its own unique kind of thing, too, with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest filling any collection’s edgy, eerie slot, Sir Neville Marriner’s Amadeus kicking in some classical tunes, and Leonard Rosenman’s 1978 The Lord Of The Rings score taking things to Middle-earth. The Rings set is especially nerdy, as it comes complete with a ton of supplementary material, including a reproduced theatrical poster, a lobby card, a map of Middle-earth, a sticker, and a production cel from the movie—all of which are reproductions of items previously only available to Tolkien Fanclub members in the ’70s and ’80s. This is film score nerdery at its most luxurious peak. [Marah Eakin]

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