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 April 27 - May 3, 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: Embark on a cross-country treasure hunt — and witness the overdue return of Rick Moranis! — with the new Disney+ series, Prop Culture
Move over Indiana Jones: Pop culture relic hunter, Dan Lanigan, is Disney’s newest celebrity archeologist. Lanigan headlines the new Disney+ reality series, Prop Culture, which sends him around the country to locate missing props from some of your childhood Mouse House favorites like Mary Poppins or Pirates of the Caribbean. Each half-hour episode digs deep into the specific movie behind the props, as the host reveals secrets behind the production with the help of some of the people who made it. In order to get the scoop on the Atari-era video game classic, Tron, for example, Lanigan visits with visionary director, Steven Lisberger, and Tron himself, Bruce Boxleitner. But the coolest guest star cameo comes in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids episode, which features a rare on-camera interview with the film’s reclusive star, Rick Moranis. Lanigan presents the ‘80s comedy legend with the glasses and calculator watch he wore as accident-prone scientist, Wayne Szalinski — a role he’ll be reprising in the upcoming Honey sequel. “You have to have all the tools you need… to build a character,” Moranis says of the importance of props to actors like himself. He also credits director Joe Johnston with for tolerating his infusions of comedy amidst the shrinking spectacle. “I think I drove him crazy a couple of times trying to get more comedy into it, because I was always looking for how to disrupt and get some more jokes in and poor Joe just wanted to make his movie!” Since Johnston is also directing the new film, at least he’ll be prepared when Moranis starts going off-book. — Ethan Alter
Prop Culture premieres on Friday, May 1 on Disney+.
STREAM IT: SXSW Film Festival teams with Amazon to go digital
March's SXSW Film Festival was one of the first major events that was scrapped as the U.S. hunkered down to flatten the coronavirus curve. Its cancellation dealt a crushing blow to independent filmmakers who'd defied steep odds to be accepted into the Austin, Tex. event. This week, though, SXSW is partnering with Amazon to premiere 39 projects from its planned slate, free of charge on the streaming giant. An eclectic batch of narrative features, documentaries (with one highlight being My Darling Vivian, about Johnny Cash's first wife) and television episodes will premiere over a nine-day stretch. The premieres will lack the prestige and glamour that's attached to a major film fest like SXSW, but on the other hand, they could reach much wider audiences now. — Kevin Polowy
The virtual festival will stream from April 27 through May 6 on Amazon Prime.
READ IT: Stephen King delivers four times the terror in If It Bleeds
Constant Readers will revel in Stephen King’s latest offering, a collection of four novellas in the vein of Four Past Midnight or Different Seasons which serves as a welcome, if frightening, diversion from our corona-wracked reality. For HBO fans, the highlight here is the title cut, which serves as a sequel to The Outsider focusing on eccentric investigator Holly Gibney. Gibney, also a supporting character in King’s Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch, shines here in a solo outing that sees her chasing an even more terrifying incarnation of the shape-shifting monster from The Outsider — and provides a ready-made follow-up to the hit HBO series.
King’s storytelling genius is in full effect in the collection’s true standout, The Life of Chuck, a wrenching story of one man’s life told in reverse via three mind-bending sections.
The last two novellas are pure King page-turners: Rat, a new take on the deal-with-the-devil trope featuring a writer and a rodent; and Mr. Corrigan’s Phone, about the undying connection between an old man, a teen boy and the most peculiar instrument of terror: a possessed iPhone.
While If It Bleeds doesn’t quite achieve the lofty heights of his seminal Different Seasons — which contained the source material for two of the all-time greatest King screen adaptations, Stand by Me (based on The Body) and The Shawshank Redemption (adapted from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption) — this new quartet provides a worthwhile excursion into the dark mind of the Master of Horror. — Marcus Errico
WATCH IT: Dive into the Arrowverse with the Blu-ray release of Arrow: The Complete Series
Superman may have launched the big-screen DC Extended Universe with 2013’s Man of Steel, but Green Arrow is the reason we have The CW’s ongoing Arrowverse. Launched in 2012, Arrow starred Stephen Amell as a rough-and-tumble Emerald Archer who quickly salmon-laddered his way into fans’ hearts. The show’s popularity allowed The CW to launch a multiverse of DC-based shows, including The Flash, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, who fought alongside the Arrow in annual crossover episodes, including this year’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which turned out to be Amell’s swan song. Arrow: The Complete Series collects his eight-season crimefighting career — plus all of those team-ups — in one handy Blu-ray box set… bow-and-arrows not included. — E.A.
Arrow: The Complete Series is available at Best Buy.
WATCH IT: A Parks and Recreation Special revisits Pawnee
We’re literally ecstatic that the entire cast from Parks and Rec is reuniting — in character! — for charity. Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir and Retta will all step back into the roles they played on the single-camera sitcom, which ran from 2009 to 2015. The storyline for the scripted, half-hour episode is that Poehler’s Leslie Knope wants to connect with her friends even while social distancing. That’s so Leslie! The special is a fundraiser for Feeding America. — Raechal Shewfelt
A Parks and Recreation Special airs Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.
HEAR IT: Kenny Chesney is Here and Now
It’s ironic that the country superstar’s new album was inspired by his travels around the world, since it’s now dropping in the middle of an international pandemic when tourism has screeched to a halt. But Here and Now just might be the escapist summer soundtrack we all need right now. “It’s going to have a high fun factor,” Chesney promises in a statement. “People work hard, and need music that makes them smile, that kicks them into a happy place.” — Lyndsey Parker
Download/stream on Apple Music.
WATCH IT: Westworld’s Season 3 finale brings us closer to Robo-pacalypse
For its explosive, twisty third season, HBO’s brain-bending series decamped from the titular robot-ruled theme park to the high-tech “real world” of future Earth to tackle such thorny issues as free will vs. fate, humanity vs. technology and, of course, killer androids vs. people. Through the first seven episodes, we’ve witnessed shocking revelations involving the show’s most popular characters, and we expect no less from the finale, which is titled “Crisis Theory.” But be warned: With HBO just renewing Westworld for a fourth season, expect more questions than answers. — M.E.
Watch the season finale of Westworld Sunday, May 3 on HBO and stream the full season on HBO Now.
BUILD IT: Rev up your inner Vin Diesel with Lego Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger
With the pandemic shuttering movie theaters around the world, Universal has idled Fast & Furious 9 until 2021. So Lego stepped up with the next best thing for the F&F family. This intricately detailed 1,077-piece re-creation from the brickster’s advanced Technic line features the Charger’s monster V8 engine, moving pistons, double-wishbone suspension, a wheelie bar, nitro canisters in the trunk and a fire extinguisher in the cockpit in case things get too hot. — M.E.
Lego’s Fast & Furious Dodge Charger is now available on Lego.com.
WATCH IT: Great British Baking Show champ Nadiya Hussain shows off her star baker skills — and kitchen shortcuts
On your marks … get set … bake! Or cook. Though she’s famed for winning over Paul Hollywood with her sweet treats, Great British Baking Show Season 6 champion Nadiya Hussain is branching out to include family-friendly dinners in her new Netflix show. While viewers certainly have more time to spend in the kitchen these days, the British mom of three is focusing on making every second count with her “cheeky time-smart hacks.” Her budget-minded culinary shortcuts are interspersed with footage from meals shared with real-life families as well as interviews with food producers known for helping time-strapped cooks make more for less. Long story short: The quarantine cooks among us should feel no shame in those freezers full of no-fuss, steam-and-serve veggies. — Erin Donnelly
Nadiya’s Time to Eat premieres Wednesday, April 29 on Netflix.
STREAM IT: Download The Office creator Greg Daniels's new Amazon show Upload
The Office. Parks and Recreation. King of the Hill. The Simpsons. These are the television credits to one Mr. Greg Daniels, who recently revisited The Office's 2005 premiere with Yahoo Entertainment. And that's really all you should need to know when deciding whether or not to check out Upload, the first show Daniels has created since Parks and Rec. Daniels has said he's been working on the streaming series, which he describes as a "mix of sci-fi, mystery, romance and comedy" and is set in a future where people can be "uploaded" into a virtual afterlife as they near death, for the past six years. We're expecting the show, which costars Robbie Amell, Allegra Edwards and Andy Allo, to be heavenly. — K.P.
Upload premieres Friday, May 1 on Amazon Prime.
HEAR IT: JoJo’s life is calling
Former child pop star JoJo, who just won a Best R&B Song Grammy for her “Say So” collaboration with PJ Morton, is all grown up now — she turns 30 this year! And on Good to Know, her fourth album and first since 2016, she seizes full creative control, releasing the record on her own label imprint, Clover Music. — L.P.
Download/stream on Apple Music.
READ IT: It’s tea time all the time with The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook
Bring a spot of civility to your self-isolation with this aptly aristocratic recipe book. Lavishly illustrated with images from the beloved British series and food photos to die for, the Afternoon Tea Cookbook compiles an encyclopedic array of goodies you can attempt at home, from Bakewell tarts, Scottish shortbread and Battenberg cakes to curds, clotted cream and every conceivable kind of tea sandwich — everything you need for a perfect cuppa… except the accents. — M.E.
The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook is now available at Walmart.
STREAM IT: Ryan Murphy goes Hollywood with his new Netflix period piece
Next to American horror stories and American crime stories, there’s no genre that Ryan Murphy loves more than classic Hollywood stories. Thus, the super-producer’s new Netflix series, Hollywood, unfolds in post-World War II era Tinseltown and weaves real celebrities like Rock Hudson and Hattie McDaniel (played by Jake Picking and Queen Latifah, respectively) into storylines populated by fictional Golden Age directors (Darren Criss), actors (Laura Harrier and David Corenswet), agents (Jim Parsons) and studio executives (Patti LuPone). The central storyline chronicles the making of a bold new production that promises to explode Hollywood conventions in front of and behind the camera, but as per Murphy house style there’s plenty of primetime soap shenanigans ranging from adultery to blackmail. As the 7-episode series progresses, Murphy borrows a page from Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by rewriting Hollywood history, culminating in a finale that sends the citizens of La La Land careening into a wildly different timeline. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head in disbelief… but you won’t stop watching. — E.A.
Hollywood premieres Friday, May 1 on Netflix.
BUY IT: Beam up an interactive pet Tribble of your very own during the quarantine
The trouble with most Tribble toys is that they’re more like furry decorations than futuristic pets. That changes with Science Division’s new line of interactive Tribbles, modeled after the classic Star Trek critters. Using next-gen Bluetooth science, these fuzzballs can interact with their owners after being paired with a free app available for most mobile devices. After naming your Tribble and assigning it to a Starfleet vessel or space station, you can toggle between three different modes: “At Ease,” offers maximum cuteness as the Tribble gently trills for your attention, while “On Duty” and “Watchdog” put it on its guard against rogue Klingon agents. And if it thinks it’s found one, it’ll raise quite the ruckus. Here’s the best news about this particular breed of Tribble: Unlike their onscreen counterparts, they don’t spontaneously reproduce. — E.A.
Science Division’s interactive Tribbles are available to purchase on the official website.
HEAR IT: The original Cherry Bomb re-blossoms
Following her emergence from retirement last year with The Motivator, her duets album with fellow rock pioneer Brie Darling, the Runaways’s frontwoman Cherie Currie releases her star-studded solo LP Blvds of Splendor. Produced by former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, the 15-track features GNR’s Slash and Duff McKagan as well as Billy Corgan, Juliette Lewis, the Distillers’s Brody Dalle and the Veronicas. — L.P.
Download/stream on Apple Music.
BUY IT: Gaze in wonder at these Wonder Woman 1984 figures from McFarlane Toys
Moviegoers will have to wait until August to see Gal Gadot and Patti Jenkins reunite for Wonder Woman 1984, but toy fans can get a preview of that highly-anticipated sequel now thanks to McFarlane Toys. The company has released two new 7” Wonder Woman posable action figures based on the movie as part of its DC Multiverse line. The first showcases Diana in her vibrant red-and-gold ensemble, armed with two versions of her lasso. The second shows off a bold new look glimpsed in the movie’s trailer — golden armor and detachable wings. Both figures come with a collectible art card and character biography that provide hints at what you’ll see (one day) on the big screen. — E.A.
STREAM IT: The eagerly-anticipated adaptation of Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel Normal People debuts on Hulu
On the surface, Irish teens Connell and Marianne are not compatible: He is poor and popular, she is rich and excluded, but their physical-and-emotional bond leads to sex. When Connell (played by Paul Mescal) devastates Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) by asking someone else to the school dance, the two are estranged until meeting again at college in Dublin, where Marianne is now elite and Connell is teased, and their fickle relationship ensues. According to the New York Times, Rooney has been called “the Jane Austen of the precariat” and the novel, published in 2018, was selected as one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books and received an Encore Award. The 12-episode adaptation is co-directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald. — Elise Sole
Normal People premieres Wednesday, April 29 on Hulu.
WATCH IT: Revisit modern Hollywood classics by spending Sunday Night at the Movies
Some nostalgia can be reassuring when so much is uncertain. With that in mind, CBS is rolling out a beloved Paramount Pictures film every Sunday night in May. First up is 1981’s first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, because hearing Indy cracking that whip to John Williams’s iconic score just never gets old. Future installments include Forrest Gump, Mission: Impossible, Titanic and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. All were blockbuster successes that you probably once knew well but haven’t seen in a while. Just the thing for a movie night at home. — R.S.
Sunday Night at the Movies kicks off Sunday, May 3 at 8 p.m. on CBS.
HEAR IT: Car Seat Headrest opens a new door
The 12th studio album from Car Seat Headrest, Making a Door Less Open, actually opens a new door as the venerable Virginia indie-rock band heads in a new direction influenced by 1 Trait Danger, the electronic side-project of band members Will Toledo and Andrew Katz. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Toledo describes the album as "EDM, hip hop, futurism, doo-wop, soul and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll." — L.P.
Download/stream on Apple Music.
— Video produced by Gisselle Bances