Rachel Lindsay of The Bachelorette (Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC via Getty Images)

The podcast to listen to

Turn It On, “The Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay Reveals All To Comedian Paul Scheer

The Bachelorette (Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC via Getty Images)

“Perhaps the most talked-about aspect of the new season of The Bachelorette is that the 15-year-old franchise finally has a person of color as the lead. But in this interview, Rachel Lindsay tells Paul Scheer that she’s sick of people asking her how it feels to be the first black bachelorette. She spends the rest of Turn It On proving that people should instead be talking about the fact that she is probably the most genuine and likable person to ever hand out roses on ABC. In this shake-up of the Indiewire podcast’s usual format, Bachelor and Bachelorette superfan Scheer sits down with Lindsay to ask burning questions about what really goes on behind the scenes of the reality show, and gets to the bottom of how many bad kisses she had to put up with before making it to the end of her ‘emotional journey.’”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.

The TV show to watch

Orphan Black

“In Orphan Black’s fifth and final season, creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett will get to share the ending they’ve had in mind since the show’s inception. And while it’s not surprising that they’ve taken the care necessary to give the series the right closure, it is impressive that they’ve been able to navigate such a wide-open premise—of an unknowable number of clones, and any number of parties with a stake in this experiment—and still go out with an energy and focus as strong as they began with. Forty episodes in, the stakes are as high as ever, and somehow it’s only gotten more remarkable to watch Tatiana Maslany inhabit these roles. That’s not to say Orphan Black never got off track (see: Castor clones, Proletheans), but that, following the course-correction of season four, its final season is poised to be the momentous send-off the series deserves.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The book to read


Catherine Lacey, The Answers

“Sitting in a small, white room, a woman spies what she believes is a two-way mirror. ‘It depressed me to think that I might have been looking at another person but seeing only myself,’ remarks Mary Parsons, the protagonist of Catherine Lacey’s complex and haunting second novel, The Answers. She is applying for a job in the Girlfriend Experiment, a project wherein a team of women will serve as girlfriends to one man, an egotistical New York actor-filmmaker named Kurt Sky, to help measure and maximize romantic love. There is, for example, an Anger Girlfriend, a Maternal Girlfriend, a Mundanity Girlfriend, and Mary’s eventual role, the Emotional Girlfriend. White-coated scientists track the participants’ biological signs and strictly regulate the Girlfriends’ behavior, including their eye contact and speech. In the sterile, satirical manner of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, the novel considers whether love is merely a ‘willful manipulation’ and presents this solipsistic idea: people looking for love only wind up finding themselves.”
Read the rest of our review here.

The album to listen to

Big Thief, Capacity

“Adrianne Lenker’s songs offer such a revealing window into herself, it can feel almost overwhelming. The intimate family photos that grace the album covers from her New York folk-rock band Big Thief, combined with her revealing interviews, have been barely a glimpse compared to the confessional nature of her lyrics. On Capacity, Big Thief’s stunning and subtle sophomore record, Lenker positions herself as one of indie rock’s most gut-wrenchingly resonant songwriters. While Big Thief’s debut Masterpiece had winning songs (especially the folksy ‘Paul’ and the heartbreaking ‘Randy’), few come close to the affecting moments she delivers here.”
Read the rest of our review here.


The video game to play

Monument Valley 2

Despite its minimalism—you play a little guy traversing Escher-inspired ruins with each tap on your phone’s screen, and that’s it—the original Monument Valley was featured on House Of Cards and went on to sell some 30 million copies. This week, the small team of designers at UsTwo surprise-released its sequel. The formula generally remains the same, with a few new wrinkles: You’re now operating a pair of explorers, and there’s a newfound emphasis on storytelling, lore, and broad-brush thematics, all of which feels, at least initially, a little out of place in this world. But as soon as the opening orchestral swoon rises up, you remember why you’re playing in the first place: the Zen-like, dialed-in calm of pattering through these pastel spaces, the machine-like thunk of ancient machinery clicking into place, and the ethereal bloom of its soundtrack, growing serenely in your ears as your bus thuds along to its destination. Mobile games don’t get much more richly designed.
Read the rest of our thoughts on Monument Valley 2 here.


The movie to watch

It Comes At Night

“There’s an emptiness at the center of It Comes At Night, the newest film in distributor A24’s ongoing effort to become a household name for highbrow horror fans. And depending on how you view its symbolically loaded yet narratively simplistic approach to post-apocalyptic cinema, that emptiness can manifest as either the cold pit that forms in your stomach in the face of abject terror, or the frustration of fumbling for a light switch in a dark, empty room. Those looking for an identifiable ‘it’ to terrorize the small band of survivors holed up in the secluded cabin where most of the film takes place won’t find what they’re looking for, and those searching for a message to take away from the film—or neatly wrapped up plot points—will be similarly stymied. Instead, what we get is blind animal panic, a nihilistic lashing out at the darkness that will one day swallow us all.”
Read the rest of our review here.