The Week in Pop: TV, lit, movie and more recommendations

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The Week in Pop: TV, lit, movie and more recommendations

Posted on: June 15th, 2014 by tommyj

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It’s time for my Friday roundup of cool books, TV shows and more you may have overlooked this week. (I already covered the music in The Week in Music.) In no particular order, these go to 11:

1. Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the unforgettable film, and AMMO Books has just published a beautiful hardcover full of photos and images of the original screenplay, handwritten by Lee.

2. Park Bench. I’m happy to see Steve Buscemi‘s web series is still thriving; this week AOL posted new episodes featuring Fred Armisen, Dick Cavett, Debbie Harry and others.

3. Adam by Ariel Schrag. I’ve enjoyed Schrag’s comics for years (Awkward, Likewise), so I was eager to grab her new coming-of-age novel, which follows a teen boy who is exposed to all sorts of new experiences when he visits his gay sister in New York.

4. Under the Sheets with Lily McMenamy. The fashionable teen (and daughter of model Kristen McMenamy) has a charming web series for Vice; take a look at her first episode with guest Natasha Lyonne.

5. Battle of the Network Stars on ESPN Classic. Here’s hoping the network will resume its Monday night marathons of this classic competition show after the World Cup. I always need more Gabe Kaplan in my life.

6. Marry Me. I’ve watched a few fall pilots, and so far the funniest one I’ve seen is this NBC offering starring Ken Marino and Casey Wilson. Make a mental note to watch in a few months, and with any luck the network will keep it around.

7. Rik Mayall. News of the British comedian’s untimely death inspired me to watch some old episodes of The Young Ones, which are still funnier/weirder/smarter than most comedies on TV today.

8. The High Road with Mario Batali. The chef delivers another delicious web series (this time, for Hulu). The premiere features George Stephanopoulos, and look for Jimmy Fallon and Anthony Bourdain on upcoming installments.

9. Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican. I’m about one-third through my former colleague’s engrossing new novel, in which students at a collapsing Catholic school go through a much rougher time than I ever did (and my public school days weren’t pretty).

10. The Wonder Years. The long-awaited set won’t arrive until fall, but it’s still exciting to get little details along the way, like pics of the packaging.

11. Led Zeppelin Played Here. This week I saw Jeff Krulik‘s doc that tries to find out if the rock legends really played a school gymnasium in 1969. If you can make an upcoming screening, I recommend it; the film also reinforces how important it is to hold on to physical materials — concert posters, newspapers, tickets — so we can prove to our grandchildren that such miracles can happen!


Get Whitney’s song/band recs in The Week in Music

Read the June 6 edition of The Week in Pop

More recent highlights on Pop Candy:

Read Pop & Pop, our limited series about fatherhood and pop culture

Whitney interviews director A.J. Schnack about his Branson, Mo., doc

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