With more time than normal to sit around and scroll through your go-to streaming service, the Daily Cardinal Arts Desk is happy to give you a series of quality entertainment recommendations. From TV to podcasts, read below for a glimpse into what our friends are up to.
I. TV SHOWS
Staff writer Dominic LeRose recommends “The Last Dance” (ESPN)
ESPN’s widely popular docuseries on the Chicago Bulls’ years of ruling the sports world isn’t just a documentary for the ages — it’s one of the very best documentaries of all time. Featuring present-day interviews with basketball legends and archive footage from years back, “The Last Dance” is a must-see piece of television. Chronicling basketball legend Michael Jordan’s life and career reiterates his stance as one of the very best athletes of all time and artfully explores his life surrounding the Chicago Bulls and his claim to fame. Not only do we get to relive and re-discover the life of a man who for a long time was considered the closest thing to a living God on Earth but we get to explore those around him such as super-stars Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Phil Jackson. “The Last Dance” is simply astounding, a series that even with only four out of the ten episodes aired claims its spot as an essential piece of documentary storytelling and one that will be cherished for decades.
Staff writer John Bildings recommends “Arrested Development” (Netflix)
Let’s be real, you’ve watched “The Office” at least five times now, and “Friends” won’t hit HBO Max until May 27 — and you’ll have to cough up $14.99 per month just to see it. “Arrested Development” on Netflix should be appointment viewing for anyone who enjoys 22 minutes of unrelenting jokes, and breakout comedic performances from each of the Bluth Brothers — Jason Bateman from “Ozark”, Will Arnett from “Bojack Horseman” and Tony Hale from “Veep” — will make even the most fight back tears of laughter. The first three Fox seasons alone should hang in the pantheon of greatest comedy television runs ever made, and the hilarious bits of narration from show producer Ron Howard will have you rolling on the floor – if you can keep up with the jokes. Did I even mention that Joe and Anthony Russo, the guys who made a few tiny little movies called “Avengers Infinity War” and “Avengers Endgame”, were also involved?
From the bottom of my heart, give “Arrested Development” the proper binge watch it deserves. You might finally discover a family that’s even more dysfunctional than your own.
Staff writer John Bildings recommends “Dave” (Hulu)
This show had me in the first half, I won’t lie. Although my initial review of Lil Dicky’s new FX comedy series “Dave” was a bit dismissive, the past five episodes have been some of the best blends of laugh-out-loud comedy and touching drama that I’ve seen from FX since “Atlanta”. With a captivating mental health storyline surrounding Dave’s hype man GaTa in episode five and a phenomenal penultimate episode involving a fight with his girlfriend Ally — played by Taylor Misiak — people who may have walked away from the series should definitely return as soon as possible. It’s proven to be much more than just funny appendage jokes and jam sessions, and I’m interested to see where Byrd and Jeff Schaeffer can take the show next.
Arts Editor Emily Knepple recommends “Community” (Netflix)
Recently added to Netflix, this 2009-2015 sitcom will leave you laughing harder each episode. The cast is quality, with Joel McHale, centering the community college study group. Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, stars in the show with Chubby Chase, Alison Brie, Gilian Jacobs and Danny Pudi. I cannot fall asleep without watching an episode of this show, which is only 20 minutes so binging this show is a very practical activity — you make serious progress in a short amount of time. Do yourself a favor and check this out.
Staff Writer Kisa Sow recommends: “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Unorthodox,” “Glee,” & “Surviving R-Kelly”
Staff writer John Bildings recommends “Molly’s Game” (Netflix)
If you’re an Aaron Sorkin fan, the thought of Jessica Chastain — Oscar nominated for her performances in “The Help” and “Zero Dark Thirty” — taking on the role of a high-stakes poker boss made this one a must watch movie back in 2017. “Molly’s Game” tells the story of Molly Bloom, a former competitive skier who quickly channels her drive for success into one of the largest underground poker games happening in the world. Quickly dealing with celebrities, athletes, business moguls and more, Molly seems to have everything handled until an FBI investigation into her links with the Russian Mob come forward and she’s forced to confront the truth.
Although “Molly’s Game” didn’t quite sweep the box office, the film’s arrival on Netflix was a wonderful way to enjoy everything I fell in love with through Sorkin shows like “The West Wing” and films like “The Social Network”. The screenplay moves at a breakneck pace and features the flurry of whip snap dialogue his fans will know and love, and even though his first-time direction can be confusing at times — anyone in the mood to learn more about this fascinating (and true) Hollywood story will be hooked from the beginning. Throw in a classic “I’m a tough dad, but I love my kids” performance from Kevin Costner and fun turn from Idris Elba as Molly’s defense attorney, and “Molly’s Game” is the perfect way to remember that you’re not under the microscope of the U.S. criminal justice system — I hope.
Staff writer John Bildings recommends “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (HBO NOW, Hulu)
If you consider yourself a fan of the genre like me, then 2011’s romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is probably one you’ve seen plenty of times. Peak “Office” Steve Carrell shines as socially awkward Cal Weaver, a newly single dad trying to move beyond a divorce with his wife and enter the modern dating scene after nearly a lifetime away. Emma Stone as Cal’s daughter Emily, Julianne Moore as his wife Emily and a rare comedic showing from Ryan Gosling as Cal’s womanizing friend Jacob are just a few more of the many wonderful performances in the movie, but there’s much more that can resonate with people between the lines. From learning to find yourself again, to navigating the romantic struggles that stand in each of our ways, it’s an occasionally heartbreaking, but strangely optimistic look into a world we haven’t seen for months now. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” made me want to laugh, cry and cheer at the same time, everything I could ask for as I watched yet another movie during our days of social distancing.
Arts Editor Emily Knepple recommends listening to: “Quarantine Covers” by the Glass Animals, “The New Abnormal” By The Strokes, “color theory” by Soccer Mommy, “Strangers in the Alps” by Phoebe Bridgers and “Petals for Armor” by Hayley Williams.
Staff Writer Anna Patterson shares her podcast recommendations.
Podcasts have been a great way for me to stay entertained without staring at a screen. If you want a laugh, "Best Friends" with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata made me laugh out loud on a run the other day.
If you want something more informative — and credible — "This Podcast Will Kill You" covers a lot of global health topics without being too heavy.
Stream them on Spotify or Apple Podcasts!
Staff Writer Molly Carmichael reminds us of the time we have to read a book.
Quarantine is an opportunity for those who buy books exponentially faster than they read them (me) to catch up — then buy more. “Such a Fun Age” is an engaging story that follows the overlapping lives of 26-year-old directionless babysitter Emira and her boss, the self-branded Alix Chamberlin.
After Emira is accused of kidnapping Alix’s daughter, the women make decisions that highlight the power and disparity of privilege. Though a quick read, the plot is packed with social commentary about race, feminism and social media.
If you’re thinking of buying some new books, see if your local bookstore is shipping. They need support!