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[Binge This Week]

Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher,’ podcast ‘Imaginary Worlds,’ ‘The Venture Bros.’ and more

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gets Eric Molinsky talking on podcast Imaginary Worlds.
Photo: Lucasfilm LTD / Courtesy
  • Film: Disclosure

    Actress Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), writer and director Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix), actress Mj Rodriguez (Pose) and actor Chaz Bono (American Horror Story) share their experiences as trans artists in this original documentary and official Sundance 2020 selection. With an official mission of “provoking a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people,” Disclosure highlights the increasing visibility of trans people in Hollywood while discussing the very real violence and injustice leveraged against those within the community. Netflix. –Leslie Ventura

  • Music: Phoebe Bridgers' Punisher

    Phoebe Bridgers is such a prolific collaborator—The 1975, Bon Iver, Conor Oberst, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker are just some of the artists with whom she has worked—that it’s nice to see her expand her solo work. Her sophomore album, Punisher, comes three years after debut Stranger in the Alps, and it feels like the perfect soundtrack for a summer that finds most of us hunkering down. It’s rife with loss and heartbreak, and catharsis, too: Play “I Know the End” several times in a row and see if you don’t feel like you’ve gotten something off your chest. –Genevie Durano

  • Television: Venture Bros.

    When Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer created their animated sci-fi comedy The Venture Bros. for Adult Swim in 2004, their goals were modest: to goof on Hanna-Barbera’s Jonny Quest and to contemplate failure—generational failure, institutional failure and (mostly) male failure. Seven seasons in, it has gone from parodying sci-fi action to becoming one of the best examples of it, with Marvel-quality world-building and cutthroat family drama to rival Game of Thrones. Name another show on which a shape-shifting David Bowie (impersonated) runs the criminal underworld. And—very important—it’s hilarious. Hulu. –Geoff Carter

  • Podcast: Imaginary Worlds

    How do filmmakers create alien aesthetics? Can villains be good? Are time-travel stories, such as Back to the Future, really a form of therapy, or are they emotional stumbling blocks? In this compelling podcast, host and public radio veteran Eric Molinsky delves into the stories behind the stories of science fiction, fantasy and beyond. There’s even a large back catalog divided into categories like animation, horror, Star Wars, monsters, video games and comic books. –C. Moon Reed

  • Music: Mekons

    Their meetup plans thwarted by the pandemic, the Mekons instead recorded new album Exquisite “in lockdown on mobile phones, broken cassette recorders, clay tablets and other ancient technologies,” with members scattered in London, LA, New York, Chicago and points beyond, according to their Bandcamp notes. The results? Shambolic, sonically dextrous, lyrically defiant and a bit mysterious. In other words, it sounds like a Mekons record.

    If you’re not already familiar with the band—forged as an arty punk outfit during the late ’70s in Leeds, England, before evolving into something earthier and far more multifaceted—Exquisite makes for a solid intro, rolling out Western tumbleweeds like “Escalera” and “Nobody” to go with such bouncier bits as “The Inhuman” and “Corn & Grain.” The project also serves as a welcome excuse to dig back through essential entries like Fear and Whiskey (1985), Rock ’n’ Roll (1989) and Oooh! (Out of Our Heads (2002). Fun awaits. –Spencer Patterson

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