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[Binge This Week]

Binge This Week: Netflix’s ‘Love on the Spectrum,’ ‘The Connect’ podcast, Washed Out’s new album and more

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Love on the Spectrum
Photo: Netflix / Courtesy
  • Podcast: The Connect

    It only took three episodes for versatile writers Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion to reach peak podcast hilarity; Concepcion impersonated a sports radio call-in guest requesting more movies about super-smart sharks (a la Deep Blue Sea), while Serrano compared the near-escapes of Morris Chestnut in Boyz n the Hood and Charlize Theron in Prometheus. This new must-listen allows the two awesome dorks to create a theme that connects very different pop film favorites, like “mean mentors” as the parallel between Whiplash and The Devil Wears Prada. It’s straight-up addictive fun. Theringer.com/the-connect-podcast. –Brock Radke

  • TV: Love on the Spectrum

    Chuck out all your preconceived notions about what a dating show is like, because while this Australian documentary follows a group of young adults looking for love, it’s refreshingly absent of artifice and pretension. All are on the autism spectrum and have varying degrees of difference, but what they do have in common is the desire to make a human connection, a not-so-easy proposition given their struggles with socialization and communication. There’s so much heart over these four episodes—it would behoove neurotypical bachelors and bachelorettes to take note. Netflix. –Genevie Durano

  • Sports: Major League Baseball

    Sixty-game schedules. Crowd-less stadiums. The DH in the National League. Seven-inning games for doubleheaders. Runners placed on second base to begin extra innings. Expanded playoffs. Yes, 2020 MLB is a different-looking animal, and that list of weirdness doesn’t even account for the COVID-19 shutdowns of—and subsequent scheduling nightmares for—teams like the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. Yet when Mike Trout steps into the batter’s box to face Clayton Kershaw, you know what it feels like? Baseball, same as always. And it’s somewhere on the cable dial almost every single night, ready to ease our troubled minds the way only baseball can. Even now, and even like this. –Spencer Patterson

  • Podcast: Critical Role

    So you’re curious about Dungeons & Dragons, but you don’t want the commitment of actually playing a tabletop role-playing game. Thanks to the internet and its robust nerd culture, you can live vicariously through other people’s fantasy adventures. Podcast channels are full of folks broadcasting their games, but Critical Role is one of the biggest and most popular. Every Thursday at 7 p.m. the group—comprising its voice actors—livestreams their campaigns at twitch.tv/criticalrole, which are then available as a podcast. For all the ways to enjoy, visit critrole.com. –C. Moon Reed

  • Music: Washed Out: Purple Noon

    Thanks to artists like Tame Impala and Washed Out, it’s likely we’ll soon enter a modern-day phase of what karaoke addicts call “yacht rock.” That’s fine; after four years of orange-tinted kleptocracy, we could all do with a sailboat ride, bottomless mimosa and music that sounds like silk undergarments feel. With its fourth album, Purple Noon, Washed Out—still one Ernest Weatherly Greene Jr.—breaks decisively with the “chillwave” sound that made its early records Life of Leisure and Within and Without must-haves, embracing hookier choruses, chewier beats and more intelligible lyrics. It’s still good—“Too Late” deserves to be a radio hit, if such things still exist—but the spacey shimmer of earlier songs like “Before” is refined away. That’s all right. Once you’re onboard, it’s smooth sailing. –Geoff Carter

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