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Binge This Week: ‘Vivarium on Prime Video,’ ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ on CBS All Access, the ‘Trivia Time’ podcast and more

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Vivarium
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  • Podcast: Nice White Parents

    The road to educational inequity is paved with good intentions—by nice white parents, it turns out, as the title of this five-part series from Serial Productions and The New York Times indicates. This American Life producer and reporter Chana Joffe-Walt digs into a Brooklyn public school and its fumbled attempts at integration over its 60-plus-year history. But this is not just a story of one school; it’s the landscape of the modern American educational system, where resources are diverted to white kids, and kids of color are left behind. In a summer that saw racial injustice get double billing with a global pandemic, this is essential listening for the start of the school year. Nytimes.com/2020/07/23/podcasts/nice-white-parents-serial.html.–Genevie Durano

  • Movie: Vivarium

    A common complaint about Las Vegas—and many major metropolitan cities—is that the houses all look the same. That concept gets taken to a whole new level in the strange and unsettling Vivarium, in which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots take a life-changing tour of a new community, Yonder. Sorry, can’t divulge more than that, but the plot of this Lorcan Finnegan film is tailor-made for anyone who feels tortured by the stay-at-home world in which we currently live. Prime Video. –Ken Miller

  • Podcast: Trivia Time

    Whether you’re stuck at home in isolation or on a multiday road trip, this is the podcast you need right now. Modeling their show after your favorite pub quiz, Trivia Time’s hosts come up with five different rounds per episode, testing your knowledge of classic subjects, celebrity and pop culture, music and general trivia. Print out the score sheet so you can keep track of your wins (or losses). It’s the perfect pandemic game. Triviatimepodcast.com. –Leslie Ventura

  • Television: Star Trek: Lower Decks

    If you’re a Star Trek geek who joined CBS All Access to see Patrick Stewart reassess Jean-Luc Picard but left disappointed when Picard failed to, er, engage, consider returning for Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated comedy from Rick and Morty alumnus Mike McMahan that’s set in the Next Generation era. While Lower Decks is no R&M, there’s an optimism here other Trek reboots have misplaced—and also an uptight dude being suckled by a giant baby space monster, which is never not funny. CBS All Access. –Geoff Carter

  • Music: Unwound

    When Vern Rumsey died on August 6 at age 47, his former band Unwound hadn’t released an album or played a show in almost 20 years. It had never expressed any interest in reuniting, either, yet the bassist’s death feels like an ending nonetheless, for the rare group worthy of standing with Fugazi atop rock’s post-hardcore mountain.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Olympia, Washington, trio—Rumsey, singer/guitarist Justin Trosper and Sara Lund, who took over the drum seat from Brandt Sandeno early on—a stack of potentially ear-changing work awaits. The suggestion here is to start with 1995’s New Plastic Ideas, and then proceed forward or back depending whether you gravitate toward the more experimental tracks (forward) or the more pummeling, straight-ahead stuff (back). Either way, try to end up at 2001’s sign-off, masterful double-LP Leaves Turn Inside You. Like virtually everything Unwound recorded, it’s both intense and intensely creative, and Rumsey’s rumbling basslines are its backbone. RIP. Unwound.bandcamp.com. –Spencer Patterson

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