Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An exploration of fashion, a grim game, and a thought-provoking TV show

Image: State Of Undress

States Of Undress

Yeah, yeah, Vice sucks and only hipster doofuses like their TV channel. But, should you decide to try hipster doofus-dom on for a day and watch something on Viceland, might I suggest its (ostensibly) fashion-themed documentary show, States Of Undress? Hosted by model turned actress Hailey Gates—who, coincidentally, also has a role on the new season (or seasons) of Twin Peaksthe show uses the Fashion Weeks in various countries as a jumping-off point for conversations about women’s everyday lives in these respective places. In the “Pakistan” episode, for example, the mandate for modest dress ends up revealing larger truths about women’s rights (or lack thereof) to self-expression, and the Mrs. St. Petersburg beauty pageant in the “Russia” episode exposes a deep historical wound that has yet to completely heal. Unlike some of her fellow Vice correspondents, Gates doesn’t seem to be pushing a particular political viewpoint or seeking out extreme experiences for their own sake. She’s simply speaking for herself, and her open, intelligent curiosity leads to some surprisingly frank interactions and unexpectedly wide-reaching conclusions. [Katie Rife]


Fallout 4: Automatron

Fallout 4 is a grim affair that lacks the tinges of sci-fi camp from past entries and doesn’t get much out of its self-seriousness, but the game’s first post-release expansion finally puts all that gloom to good use. It centers on a character called The Mechanist who’s come to your stomping grounds and unleashed tons of crazed robots. While there’s plenty of fun to be had in building your own killer-robot companion, this expansion’s final location is its real star. It’s clear that something horrible happened there, and the game subtly reveals that story as you progress further into the bowels of this decrepit building. The bits of narrative you pick up get darker and scarier in concert with your increasingly horrific surroundings. It even ties into Automatron’s broader story in a satisfying way, all of which makes it a more interesting location than almost any in the base game. [Matt Gerardi]

The Path

I grew up in the age of cults, surrounded by cautionary tales and TV movies about “Moonies” and Waco. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to The Path, Hulu’s new series about a “movement,” not a cult, that has a “campus,” not a compound—but that still sure seems to be about a cult. Aaron Paul stars as Eddie, a man somehow old enough to have teenage kids (a jarring jump for some Breaking Bad fans), married to Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), the female heir of the Meyerist Movement. Eddie’s starting to have some serious doubts, but his wife is a full-on believer, aiming to raise their whole family in the movement as well. Complicating matters is Cal (Hugh Dancy), Sarah’s ex and the current head of the compound who’s gradually falling apart. The Path gets occasionally over-the-top with visions and snakes and screaming people locked in rooms. But the three excellent leads help keep the show grounded in the face of such possible dramatics, as the show poses provoking questions alongside a quickly moving plot. What if everything you believed in was a lie? What is it about these movements that fill such a need? You can easily get caught up on this addictive series on Hulu, and as a bonus, Kate Kulzick’s TV Club reviews always include a detailed examination of the score, offering an added dimension to your binge-watch. [Gwen Ihnat]


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