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The It List: Pennywise returns for more killer clown mayhem in 'It Chapter Two,' Sacha Baron Cohen takes surprising dramatic turn in 'The Spy,' NFL season kicks off and the best in pop culture the week of September 2, 2019

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The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Sept. 2-8, including the best deals we could find for each.

BINGE IT: Sacha Baron Cohen gets serious in Netflix’s new espionage drama, The Spy

British prankster Sacha Baron Cohen takes on his most unlikely, and unrecognizable, role yet: serious dramatic actor. The former Ali G./Borat/Bruno plays real-life spy, Eli Cohen (no relation), in the latest drama from prolific Israeli writer/director, Gideon Raff — best known for creating the series that became Homeland here in the U.S. No American remakes are required in the case of The Spy, as Cohen and the rest of the cast — including Noah Emmerich, making a quick return to the spy trade after wrapping The Americans — are speaking English. Compared to a lot of Netflix series, this is a relatively quick binge, consisting of a mere six episodes, most of which clock in the 45-minute range.

The first installment is mainly focused on set-up, depicting how the Egypt-born Cohen was recruited into the Mossad in the late 1950s and the rigorous training he experienced before being dispatched into the field. Episode 2 plays more like a thriller, with the novice agent embarking on a mission that involves such James Bond-like activities as roof-scaling and fisticuffs. To his credit, Cohen doesn’t try to channel Sean Connery or Roger Moore; instead, the typically boisterous actor studiously underplays every scene, observing the action rather than trying to dominate it. He disappears so completely into the part, even Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin wouldn’t be able to recognize him. Oh wait… — Ethan Alter

The Spy premieres Sept. 6 on Netflix.

WATCH IT: It’s Pennywise vs. the Losers Club all over again in It Chapter Two

Round 1 of the Bloody Derry Bowl that pitted killer clown Pennywise against the six-kid tag team known as the Losers Club ended in a draw. Twenty-seven years later, those children are all grown up, but their shapeshifting nemesis remains eternally youthful… and just as deadly. Adapting the second half of Stephen King’s mammoth 1986 novel, director Andy Muschietti’s sequel is equally sprawling, clocking in at a super-sized 169 minutes. But not to worry, you’ll get plenty of blood for your buck, particularly in one sequence where Jessica Chastain — who plays the adult version of the coolest Loser, Bev — is submerged in the sticky red stuff. Surrounding the Oscar-nominated actress is an ensemble that includes James McAvoy, James Ransone, Isaiah Mustafa and Bill Hader, who all but steals the movie as the group’s resident cut-up, Richie.

But let’s be honest: The main reason you’re eager to return to Derry is to see more of Bill Skarsgård’s clown prince of horror. And the Swedish actor has a number of memorable moments, particularly in the film’s early sequences before the escalation of the plot requires the introduction of a less-scary CGI Pennywise. We’re also offered teasing glimpses of the clown’s long, long history in Maine, which could easily provide fodder for a Skarsgård-led prequel installment should It Chapter Two equal or surpass the first movie’s monster-sized $700 million global gross. One way or another, It is far from over. — Alter

It Chapter Two opens in theaters on Sept. 6. Visit Fandango or Atom Tickets for showtime and ticket information.

WATCH IT: The NFL’s 100th season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5

Football is officially back Thursday with an NFC North showdown as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers take on Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears. All eyes will be on how Rodgers, a two-time NFL MVP, gels with his new head coach after last season's drama. On Sunday, plop yourself in front of the TV and enjoy some marquee matchups as the Los Angeles Rams visit the Carolina Panthers (any Super Bowl hangover for Todd Gurley and crew?), the the Dallas Cowboys host a division rival and Jadeveon Clowney is expected to make his debut with the Seattle Seahawks after Saturday's trade. But the most-buzzed about game will come Sunday night as Tom Brady and his Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers. If football isn't really your thing, maybe Carrie Underwood will pique your interest. The country superstar is starring in a new open for Sunday Night Football with a little help from Joan Jett. — Taryn Ryder

  • Packers vs. Bears: Thurs., Sept. 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

  • Rams vs. Panthers: Sun., Sept. 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Bengals vs. Seahawks: Sun., Sept. 8 at 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Giants vs. Cowboys: Sun., Sept. 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Steelers vs. Patriots: Sun,, Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Watch NFL games on your phone for FREE with the Yahoo Sports app.

WATCH IT: Those meddling kids foil all the crimes in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion

(Photo: Hanna-Barbera)
(Photo: Hanna-Barbera)

All 41 episodes of the original classic cartoon series, following the exploits of the ever-groovy Mystery Inc. gang, arrive on Blu-ray for the first time in this deluxe box set that also includes a Funko keychain, mini Scooby-Doo encyclopedia, and three brand-new featurettes among the slew of bonus content. All that’s missing is the Scooby snacks. Zoinks! — Marcus Errico

The 50th anniversary Scooby-Doo box set is available Sept. 3 at Amazon.

WATCH IT: Olivia Wilde’s hilarious directorial debut, Booksmart, lands on on Blu-ray, DVD

We'll admit we might occasionally find some glee in a tired Hollywood reboot or sequel tanking at the box office. But that was certainly not the case with Olivia Wilde's original, immensely entertaining, wickedly witty directorial debut, which pulled in a disappointing $22 million total at the box office despite near-unanimous praise from those who saw it. (By comparison, Good Boys made almost as much in its opening weekend.) The coming-of-age comedy about a pair of best friend bookworms (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) who vow to catch up on the partying they missed through high school in one night is destined to find the audience it deserves on DVD and Blu-ray, where it lands this week. — Kevin Polowy

Buy Booksmart on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.

READ IT: A never-before-published Dr. Seuss book guides kids on a fun trip through art history

The late Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of 42 children’s books, is back with Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum, after the manuscript and sketches were discovered in 2013 and completed by illustrator Andrew Joyner. The kid-friendly tale revolves around a horse leading a tour through an art museum, explaining the meaning of art and showing actual works by Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and other greats. Be sure to look out for appearances by beloved Seuss characters like the Grinch and the Cat in the Hat, too. — Raechal Shewfelt

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

HEAR IT: Iggy Pop drops hotly-anticipated new album, Free

Following his 2016 comeback album Post Pop Depression with members of Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys and 2018 joint EP with Underworld, the 72-year-old punk-rock legend finds himself in a somber and solitary state of mind, with an 18th studio album that reflects on the “exhaustion of post-tour life." — Lyndsey Parker

Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl at Amazon.

WATCH IT: Level up your life during BET’s Black Girls Rock! Awards

If you’ve been craving a little more Black Girl magic in your life, look no further. On Sept. 8, BET is celebrating the achievements of the black women who are breaking boundaries and setting trends across all industries from entertainment to politics at the annual Black Girls Rock! Awards. This year’s show will be hosted by the hilarious Emmy Award-winning actress Niecy Nash and will honor kickass women, including If Beale Street Could Talk actress Regina King, Album of the Year award-winning artist H.E.R., Congresswoman Lucy McBath, “Level Up” singer Ciara herself and more. The extravaganza will also feature show-stopping performances and presentations from award-winning entertainers like Erykah Badu, Common and Issa Rae. — Paulina Cachero

The Black Girls Rock! Awards airs Sunday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. on BET.

PLAY IT: Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit gives you an entire fantasy world in one handy box

(Image: Wizards of the Coast)
(Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Even a Dungeons & Dragons obsessive like Joe Manganiello had to start somewhere. In order to entice new players into a world of magic, monsters and multi-sided dice, Wizards of the Coast have created an introductory “Essentials Kit,” which eases you into the shallow end of D&D gameplay. As the name implies, this essentials-only box includes an easy-to-follow rulebook, an included adventure called Dragon of Icespire Pike,and enough action for one to five adventurers, plus a Dungeon Master. Caveat emptor: Once you enter the world of D&D, there’s no coming back… except to eat dinner every now and then. — EA

The Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Target.

WATCH IT: Don’t make her drink alone! Ma is available on all home entertainment formats

Is Ma a good movie? Probably not. But is it entertaining? You bet your mama it is. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer has a ball playing against type as a troubled veterinarian's assistant who finds her crazypants fit just right after a group of teens ask her to buy them alcohol in this bats**t B-horror movie from Blumhouse (Get Out, The Purge). Soon she's hosting them at her secluded home for wild parties — and it just so happens the father of one of them humiliated her in high school, so you know where this one's heading. We're not gonna say you'll be rooting for Ma, per se — especially once she starts heading into sadistic territory — but you won't not be rooting for her. — KP

Buy Ma on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.

READ IT: Thinking about running for office? Check out Represent: The Woman's Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World

No less a political pro than Hillary Clinton calls this book a “wonderful resource” for women considering politics. It’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-read instruction manual from June Diane Raphael, an actress you’ll recognize from Grace and Frankie, and Kate Black, the former chief of staff at Emily’s List, a political action committee that supports Democratic political candidates. The two turn what could be a very dry subject into something much more digestible and even entertaining, with chapter names such as "Do I Need to Raise a S*** Ton of Money?" and "Why Is It Important That More Women Run for Office?" — RS

Represent: The Woman's Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

HEAR IT: Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires are The Highwomen

Brandi Carlile and Maren Morris have given Nashville new hope in an era when few female country artists are making inroads on the airwaves or charts. Now they’re teaming with singer-songwriters Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby for this supergroup and continuing to flip the script with their self-titled debut album. — LP

Download on iTunes; buy on CD at Amazon.

STREAM IT: Untouchable provides a full account of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged crimes

“How did he get away with it for so long?” asks one news reporter early on in Untouchable, which chronicles the rise and fall of disgraced Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein. Director Ursula Macfarlane then spends the next 90 minutes illustrating exactly how Weinstein got away with his alleged crimes, which include multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment over the course of his five-decade career. As with many men in positions of power, he repeatedly avoided repercussions through a combination of outsized influence and outright intimidation, not to mention the troubling acquiescence of friends and colleagues who willingly turned a blind eye to his behavior. Macfarlane sets the record straight with on-camera testimony from many of the women whose lives and careers he stopped in their tracks, including actresses Paz de la Huerta, Rosanna Arquette and Erika Rosenbaum, as well as Hope Exiner d’Amore, whose own story of assault dates back to the 1970s, well before Weinstein’s entry into the movie business. Untouchable arrives on Hulu even as Weinstein’s day in court has been delayed, and some of the subjects profiled seem wary that he may escape judgement once again. “It’s not over,” says de la Huerta, speaking both of her own trauma and men’s abuses of power. “It continues.” — EA

Untouchable is currently streaming on Hulu.

HEAR IT: Chrissie Hynde releases jazz covers LP, Valve Bone Woe

The formidable Pretenders frontgoddess showcases her softer side with this jazz-dub side-project, a collaboration with producers and film score composers Marius de Vries and Eldad Guetta that includes lovely covers of the Beach Boys’s “Caroline, No” and Nina Simone’s “Wild Is the Wind.” — LP

Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl at Amazon.

DRINK IT: Downton Abbey wine collection

Downton Abbey Sparkling Rose, Val de Loire, France (Photo: Lot18.com)
Downton Abbey Sparkling Rosé, Val de Loire, France (Photo: Lot18.com)

Here’s the perfect thing to sip while rewatching the acclaimed PBS series before revisiting the Crawleys in movie theaters later this month. Winemaker Lot18 has unveiled a new collection of wines, including a sparkling rosé, from Val de Loire, France, as well as a Bordeaux Blanc and a Bordeaux Rogue, from Bordeaux, France, based on the upper-crust family’s adventures in 1920’s England. Like Lady Mary and the rest, the drink won’t be around forever, as Lot 18 teases that it’s available in “limited quantities.” — RS

The Downton Abbey wine collection is available at Lot18.com or at Cost Plus World Market stores.

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