The It List: Netflix doc tells the story of youngest person ever to be cryonically frozen, 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' return with major changes, Janelle Monáe's time-twisting horror film 'Antebellum' heads to VOD and the best in pop culture the week of Sept. 14, 2020

·15 min read

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Sept. 14-20, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

STREAM IT: Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice documents parents’ loving, long shot quest to save their baby girl

“How far would you go for your loved one?” asks the trailer for this doc, which is fascinating on a scientific level but also just on a human one. For the Thai Buddhist family featured, the answer is very. As the parents watched their sweet, baby daughter, nicknamed Einz, struggle with brain cancer, unable to even move by herself, they made the non-traditional decision to freeze her, in the hopes of bringing her back to life once medical technology can save her. At the time of her death in January 2015, she was the youngest human to undergo cryonic preservation. “My heart was rebelling,” the father, Sahatorn, says of his thinking. “Maybe there was a chance.” He explained further in a BBC interview nine months after Einz died that he thought of turning to cryonic preservation on the very first day of his daughter’s illness. “I felt a real conflict in my heart about this idea, but I also needed to hold onto it,” he said. Can you blame him? And how likely is it that Einz, whose real name is Matheryn, will actually live again? — Raechal Shewfelt

Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice premieres Tuesday, Sept. 15 on Netflix.

WATCH IT: The all-star indie drama Blackbird is a real family affair

One year after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Roger Michell’s intimate ensemble drama, Blackbird, arrives in theaters and on VOD on Sept. 18. (Fathom Events theatrical screenings are also planned for Sept. 14 and 15.) And what an ensemble it is: Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill play the parents of an all-star extended clan that also includes Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Rainn Wilson, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Anson Boon and Lindsay Duncan. There’s a sad reason for this particular family reunion — Lily (Sarandon) is dying of a degenerative disease and decides to bring her brood together one more time before ending her life on her own terms. Needless to say, her plan stirs up plenty of mixed emotions, and cause long-buried secrets to rise to the surface. But there’s also some joy amidst the tears, as evidenced by this exclusive clip from the film. At the dinner table, Lily’s grandson, Jonathan (Boon), reveals that his life’s dream is to become an actor and proceeds to show off some serious singing skills. Talk about a family talent show. — Ethan Alter

Blackbird debuts Friday, Sept. 18 in select theaters and on VOD services, including FandangoNOW and Redbox.

WATCH IT: Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune return — new and improved!

The beloved game shows, forced to stop filming in March and cut their seasons short because of COVID-19, are revving back up. Each of them has adopted some changes, of course beginning with policies meant to stem transmission of the virus. Other than that, the new season of Jeopardy! — its 37th! — features Ken Jennings, the man recognized as the show’s greatest player of all time, joining the cast as a consulting producer. His duties will include presenting entire categories of clues, host Alex Trebek teases in a preview, though Trebek will remain the man behind the podium. The quiz show has a new logo, too.

As for Wheel of Fortune, viewers will notice that contestants will find a new minimum amount that they can win by spinning the bonus wheel: $38,000, in honor of the show’s impressive 38th season. And, in one of those precautions, contestants will each be given his or her own “spinning cap” to place over each spoke of the wheel when they spin, so they can spin without touching the actual wheel. — R.S.

Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune return Monday, Sept. 14; check your local listings.

STREAM IT: Social thriller Antebellum ties our present to past

We’ll try to keep things vague here, since Antebellum is one of those films that the less you know about going in, the better. So don’t read any reviews (besides this one), don’t even read the IMDb summary or watch the trailer. What you should know: It’s a haunting social thriller in the same vein as Get Out (directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz and produced by one of Get Out’s producers not named Jordan Peele, Sean McKittrick) with two disparate timelines: one following Eden (Janelle Monáe) enslaved in the Antebellum South, the other following successful author and speaker Veronica (also Janelle Monáe) in present day. How do these two worlds tie together? It’s not only what makes for the film’s big twist, it’s also exactly what the filmmakers want you to think about while watching it. — Kevin Polowy

Antebellum premieres Friday, Sept. 18 via on demand services including FandangoNOW, Xfinity and Redbox.

STREAM IT: Ewan McGregor rides again in Long Way Up

In 2004, Ewan McGregor and his close friend Charley Boorman hopped on a pair of motorbikes and set off for New York City, heading east from London. The adventure, shot as a docuseries fittingly titled Long Way Round, was followed by 2007’s Long Way Down, chronicling the duo’s ride from John o’Groats in McGregor’s native Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. And now, more than a decade later, the pair are back on their bikes for a third installment, Apple TV+’s Long Way Up, in which they journey some 13,000 miles from the southernmost tip of South America, in Argentina, up to Los Angeles on electric Harley-Davidson LiveWires. What could have been written off as a movie star’s vanity project has found a firm fanbase thanks to its heart, travelogue footage and series of engrossing and endearing mishaps — from busted bikes and disfiguring bug bites to passport drama and the indignity of McGregor having starred in three Star Wars films but going completely unnoticed by fans visiting its famed Tunisian set. Along the way, McGregor and Boorman, an actor and TV personality in the U.K., embark on charity projects for UNICEF and cut it up with their reunited production crew, which devotees will be glad to know includes the return of bumbling Swiss cameraman Claudio. Trust us: With all due respect to Moulin Rouge and a string of Hollywood hits, McGregor has never been more charming than when he’s entertaining his Kazakhstani hosts with a singalong, rinsing gasoline out of his eye or giving himself a middle-of-the-night pep talk. — Erin Donnelly

Long Way Up premieres Friday, Sept. 18 on Apple TV+.

WATCH IT: The ACMs show must go on

A pandemic isn’t going to stop Music City from celebrating its finest. The 55th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will take place in Nashville for the first time ever this year, broadcasting safely from three iconic local venues: the Grand Ole Opry House (where Taylor Swift will sing “Betty,” her first performance on a country show in seven years), the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. Reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM-winner Keith Urban will host the ceremony. — Lyndsey Parker

The 2020 ACM Awards air Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

STREAM IT: Reminisce on the brilliance of The Mary Tyler Moore Show 50 years later

American actress and commediene Mary Tyler Moore (as Mary Richards) sits at a desk in a scene from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' (also known as 'Mary Tyler Moore'), Los Angeles, California, 1970. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Mary Tyler Moore (as Mary Richards) sits at a desk in a scene from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 1970. (Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

When a sitcom about single career woman Mary Richards moving to Minneapolis without a man — gasp! — went on the air on Sept. 19, 1970, it broke new ground. The idea that a woman was moving up in the world entirely on her own and was enjoying it just wasn’t seen on TV. After all, The Brady Bunch was still on the air; The Donna Reed Show had only ended four years earlier. Consider too that the television industry was so old-fashioned at the time that, when the producers, including James L. Brooks, wanted Mary to be divorced, they were shot down. Viewers would never put up with such a storyline, they were told. And so the story was rewritten so that the main character was left at the altar. Nevertheless, the result was much the same: Mary’s life was full of vacuuming, wiping the dishes dry and cooking, yes, but for herself. She spent just as much time lobbying her boss for a salary equal to the men in the office, taking the then controversial birth control pill and dishing with her friends. The Emmy-winning show ended up running for seven seasons, just as women were once again seeking equality, and ended up giving its many viewers the chance to see a woman on-screen as they’d never seen her before. In other words, she made it. — R.S.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show is currently available on Hulu.

WATCH IT: Dancing With the Stars returns with some fresh faces

Tyra Banks will host the ballroom dancing competition show this year, making her the program's first Black female host. Derek Hough will serve as a judge, replacing Len Goodman who is unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. As for the contestants? This shouldn't be a boring season. Figure skating Olympian Johnny Weir, rapper Nelly and Tiger King star Carole Baskin will all vie for this year's mirrorball trophy. — Taryn Ryder

DWTS Season 29 premieres Monday, Sept. 14 on ABC.

HEAR IT: Keith Urban’s career is full speed ahead

Keith Urban is having a busy week! In addition to hosting the ACM Awards on Sept. 16, his 11th studio album, dropping two days later, promises to be just as star-studded an affair. The Speed of Now Part 1 features guest spots with fellow country A-lister Eric Church, pop star P!nk, super-producer Nile Rodgers and rising country artist Breland. “When I collaborate, I’m always looking for that ‘third thing,’” Urban said in a press release. “That’s what interests me the most — when the sum of the parts becomes even more than what I envisioned.” — L.P.

Download/stream The Speed of Now Part 1 on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Larry Wilmore returns to the talk show game with Wilmore

Here’s one thing you can count on with Larry Wilmore: He always keeps it 100. Four years after the untimely cancellation of The Nightly Show, the writer and performer will once again be commenting on the issues of the day on Wilmore, an all-new weekly chat show that launches on Sept. 18 on Peacock. Besides interviewing a bevy of guests from the worlds of entertainment, politics and beyond, Wilmore will also directly address the election cycle with his usual mixture of pointed humor and trenchant commentary. — E.A.

Wilmore premieres Friday, Sept. 18 on Peacock.

STREAM IT: Paris Hilton tells all in This Is Paris

Most of what we’ve seen from the celebutante — one of the women who necessitated the creation of that term in the first place, actually — has been an act, Hilton says in this new doc about her life. Hilton, 39, has explained while promoting the film that she experienced trauma by way of emotional and pysical abuse while attending a boarding school in her teen years, which led her to make poor decisions, such as filming a sex tape, in the years afterward. “I feel like the world thinks they know me,” Hilton says in a noticeably deeper voice than the one she often used in her long ago days on The Simple Life. “No one really knows who I am.” — R.S.

This Is Paris premieres Monday, Sept. 14 on YouTube.

STREAM IT: All In: The Fight for Democracy previews the looming battles ahead for Election Day

This year’s presidential election is expected to see a record turnout, but what if you show up at the polls and are unable to vote? The disproportionate access to the ballot box — particularly among minority voters — is the main subject of a new documentary from Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés. Premiering on Prime Video on Sept. 18, the film features extensive commentary from Stacey Abrams, who narrowly missed becoming Georgia’s first Black female governor in a gubernatorial election that was famously riddled with accusations of voter suppression. Abrams has since launched a national organization to fight for free and fair elections, and brings her firsthand experience to All In. Watch it, and then get your own voting plans in order. — E.A.

All In: The Fight for Democracy premieres Friday, Sept. 18 on Amazon Prime.

HEAR IT: Nick Cordero’s music lives on

Following the tragic coronavirus-related July 5 death of Broadway star Nick Cordero comes Live Your Life: Live at Feinstein’s/54 Below. The live 2019 recording of Cordero's cabaret show was music-directed by Emmy-winner Michael J. Moritz Jr. and features performances by Cordero’s colleagues from the theater world, like Zach Braff, Kathryn Gallagher, Drew Gehling and Sara Chase. The album will be released on what would’ve been the actor’s 42nd birthday, Sept. 17, with proceeds going to his wife Amanda Kloots and their 1-year-old son, Elvis. — L.P.

Live Your Life: Live at Feinstein’s/54 Below is available on CD on Amazon.

PLAY IT: Brush up on your history with a most excellent Bill & Ted trivia game

Here’s a trivia game that’s definitely not bogus. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Historical Travel Trivia Game invites you to hop in Rufus’s phone booth alongside the Wyld Stallyns and answer questions drawn from centuries’ worth of recorded history. Featuring a magnetic board that’s ideal for your home tabletop or car, plane or train travel, not to mention a wide variety of brainteasers and challenge cards, this game is — what else? — most excellent. — E.A.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Historical Travel Trivia Game is available on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Michael Cohen spills more Trump Tower and White House secrets in the podcast, Mea Culpa

On the heels of his headline-grabbing book, Disloyal, Michael Cohen — President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney — launches a tell-all podcast. Debuting on most podcast platforms on Sept. 14, Mea Culpa will draw on the lawyer’s own experiences working with, and allegedly covering up for, Trump before and after he entered the Oval Office. Cohen is recording the weekly audio series from his home, where he’s currently serving the remainder of his three-year prison sentence for tax evasion and campaign finance violations under house arrest. — E.A.

Mea Culpa premieres Monday, Sept. 14 on most podcast platforms, including Apple.

HEAR IT: Bright Light Bright Light whisks you away to Fun City

Electropop artist, DJ and frequent Elton John collaborator Bright Light Bright Light, aka Welshman Rod Thomas, recruits a who’s-who of LGBTQ+ icons and allies for a joyous tribute to queer culture. Among the special guests on Fun City are Erasure’s Andy Bell, Scissor Sisters’s Jake Shears, Sam Sparro, Justin Vivian Bond and Blonde Ambition-era Madonna backup singers Donna De Lory and Niki Haris. Thomas will celebrate the record’s release with an all-star Sept. 18 livestream benefit show from Manhattan’s Club Cumming, featuring a cameo by venue founder Alan Cumming himself. — L.P.

Download/stream Fun City on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Journey to 1950s Italy with Audrey Hepburn with newly remastered Roman Holiday on Blu-ray

Actors Gregory Peck as Joe Bradley and Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann in the film 'Roman Holiday', 1953. Here they visit the Colosseum in Rome together. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Gregory Peck as Joe Bradley and Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, 1953. Here they visit the Colosseum in Rome together. (Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

It doesn’t seem like any of us are going on holiday in Rome any time soon, but at least there’s this classic 1953 love story to keep us dreaming in the meantime. Audrey Hepburn won an Academy Award for playing a European crowned princess who escapes her embassy while in Rome and strikes up an ultra-charming relationship with Gregory Peck’s American expatriate journalist. (You might even be able to fool the kids into watching it with you if you tell them it’s a “princess movie.”) Considered a gold standard in early rom-com filmmaking, Roman Holiday hits Blu-ray this week newly restored and remastered, as if it didn’t already look beautiful enough. — K.P.

Roman Holiday on Blu-ray is available Tuesday, Sept. 15 on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Ace Frehley sends a kiss to the heroes on his list

Origins, Vol. 2, the ex-KISS Spaceman’s second album honoring his musical heroes (following 2016’s Origins, Vol. 1), features covers of classics by Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Mountain, Deep Purple, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and more, with guest appearances by rockers Lita Ford, John 5, Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander and fellow KISS veteran Bruce Kulick. Clearly Frehley is still in the (New York) groove. — L.P.

Download/stream Origins, Vol. 2 on Apple Music.

— Video produced by Gisselle Bances