Pod Save The People's DeRay Mckesson (Photo: Samir Hussein/Stringer via Getty Images)

The podcast to listen to


Pod Save The People, “American Do-Over

“DeRay Mckesson first rose to public prominence in the wake of Michael Brown’s 2014 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. He built up a sizable social media following, first as a civil rights activist with Black Lives Matter, and later as a 31-year-old candidate in the 2016 Baltimore mayoral election. Though he placed sixth in the Democratic primary, he probably has the largest national profile of anyone in that race, and it’s only getting bigger. This week saw the premiere of his new social justice podcast, Pod Save The People, through Crooked Media. The show isn’t so playful as the political network’s other offerings, but it seems on track to be the most substantive.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The video game to play


“In a move that proves to be Prey’s powerful statement of intent, the game forces you to literally shatter that opulent false reality and confront the truth: You are stuck aboard a spaceship that’s been assaulted by an alien menace, and most everyone else is dead. You’ve been here for god knows how long, your senses manipulated into reliving the same glamorous morning in an attempt to test the morally dubious superpower-granting technology that’s been shoved into your brain. And if watching that beautiful skyline view come shattering around you wasn’t enough to shake you to your core, there’s always the view of a distant, achingly unreachable Earth from the lobby of your real home, the besieged space station Talos-1, to get your gut sinking and put your new nightmare in perspective.”
Read the rest of our game-in-progress coverage of Prey here.


The book to read


Gabourey Sidibe, This Is Just My Face

“Celebrity memoirs often suffer from an obvious build-up to what they know their fans came for—the backstage drama from their biggest project, the relationship that dominated headlines for months, or, in [Gabourey] Sidibe’s case, the role that transformed her from an anonymous twentysomething to an Academy Award-nominated actress. The story of how she became Precious—which involves enough serendipity to deserve its own Lifetime movie—isn’t actually told for almost 200 pages. Sidibe doesn’t seem nearly as interested in her sudden rise to stardom as she is in the less public pitfalls of fame. Her chapter on navigating the world of premieres without the help of a stylist (or the money to accessorize with Gucci or Prada) in the early days of her career feels genuine and accessible in a way tales of celebrity anxiety often don’t.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The show to watch

Master Of None

Aziz Ansari (Photo: Netflix)


“It’s a rich season of television, one that commits to the implied prefix of its title—‘jack of all trades’—without validating the stated suffix. [Aziz] Ansari and [Alan] Yang have devised a format that allows them to indulge a range of creative whims, all grounded in the familiar voice and fixations of the series’ star. It’s a vehicle in which Ansari can probe his Muslim upbringing in one episode—the Shahs put on appearances for more observant relatives during Ramadan, then Dev experiences his own, pork-based spiritual ecstasy at a barbecue festival—and delve back into the ‘phone world’ passages of Modern Romance the next. When Ansari expresses uncertainty about a third season in that New York profile, it’s because he’s unsure that his experiences as a single guy in his 30s can fill another batch of episodes. But this batch demonstrates that Master Of None finds just as much inspiration from the people surrounding Ansari.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The movie to watch

The Wedding Plan

The Wedding Plan isn’t just the Israeli version of a Hollywood movie you’ve seen a hundred times before. It’s also the Jewish Orthodox version, featuring a heroine whose harebrained sprint for the altar stems from something more than just screwball determination. She’s living on a literal prayer that God will find her a new husband by the deadline. And did we mention that the ceremony is scheduled for the eighth night of Hanukkah? […] Maybe that sounds like a drag. Maybe, a secular rom-com enthusiast might complain, the last thing this genre needs is a dash of dogma. But in marrying date-movie conventions to reverent tradition, The Wedding Plan brightens both.”
Read the rest of our review here.