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[Binge This Week]

Binge This Week: ‘Old Guard’ on Netflix, ‘Planetary,’ Janet Jackson’s ‘The Velvet Rope’ and more

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Old Guard
Photo: Netflix / Courtesy
  • Comic Book: Planetary

    From the current glut of superhero stories has come super-antiheroes: mere humans devoted to taking down superheroes (The Boys), or self-hating superheroes destroying themselves (The Umbrella Academy). Planetary, an epic 1998-2009 comic series created by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, goes a different way. Its characters, while wisecracking and damaged, love humanity and love dealing with monsters, aliens and weirder stuff still. (“It’s a strange world; let’s keep it that way,” goes their mantra). While Netflix could bring Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner and The Drummer to the screen, this series, collected in one big omnibus, is meant to be read and imagined. Wildstorm/DC, $45. –Geoff Carter

  • Music: Janet Jackson: The Velvet Rope

    It’s widely considered one of the most influential pop albums of all time, and it’s the perfect record for both reflection and hope during this time of uncertainty. Featuring Joni Mitchell on “Got ’Til It’s Gone,” Jackson’s 1997 magnum opus chronicles her experiences with domestic abuse, sexuality, losing a close friend to AIDS and more, removing the “velvet rope” barrier between herself and her fans. It’s peak Jackson—simultaneously joyful, powerful and free. –Leslie Ventura

  • Book: Action Park

    Life today is all about safety restrictions. Even if you ignore the pandemic lockdown, we live in a world of seat belts, air bags and soft, cushioned edges. Escape the guardrails by venturing into a foreign land known as 1980s New Jersey in the new book Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park. It’s co-written by Andy Mulvihill, the son of the park’s bombastic late founder, so expect inside knowledge and first-person stories of a dangerously fabulous bygone time. –C. Moon Reed

  • Television: Old Guard

    Imagine being a social justice warrior all your life and feeling like you’re not moving the needle in making the world a better place. You, too, would look as world-weary as Andy, the immortal fighter Charlize Theron plays in Old Guard. In the hands of a less capable action star, Andy would be a cliché of punches and drop kicks, but not under Theron’s watch. With cheekbones as sharp as her battle axe, she lays waste to the baddies with such brutal grace you won’t be able to take your eyes off her. Netflix. –Genevie Durano

  • Television: Hanna

    If it feels like you’ve seen this one before—child with (mutant?) fighting skills grows up isolated in a forest, training to destroy her enemies—you haven’t until you’ve witnessed Esme Creed-Miles in the title role. Even when she’s not speaking, the young actress brings haunting expressiveness to the screen, and during two seasons (so far) she’s joined by an impressive supporting cast that includes Joel Kinnaman, Mireille Enos and Yasmin Monet Prince. Equally recommended for fans of martial arts and family drama. Prime Video. –Spencer Patterson

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