The It List: HBO's 'Watchmen' series debuts, Angelina Jolie rocks Maleficent’s razor-sharp cheekbones again, 'Pulp Fiction' turns 25 and the best in pop culture the week of October 14, 2019

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 Oct. 14-20, including the best deals we could find for each.

WATCH IT: HBO is about to find out who watches the Watchmen series

In its original comic-book incarnation, Alan Moore’s seminal 1986 graphic novel, Watchmen, offered a superhero yarn that doubled as an up-to-the-minute sociopolitical statement. Set in a version of the 1980s where caped crusaders are outlawed, a seemingly simple murder mystery expands outward to encompass cosmic proportions. Moving back and forth in time, Moore’s story depicts the world’s gradual slide towards nuclear armageddon, fueled by corporate interests, paranoid politicians and an all-powerful blue being created from the same energy that may destroy the world. Damon Lindelof’s sequel series — made without Moore’s involvement — picks up 30 years after the world-changing event that concludes the comic, and continues the source material’s attempt to reflect current issues through the lens of a grounded superhero story. (Those who primarily know Watchmen via Zack Snyder’s divisive 2009 movie version should be aware that the show hews closer to the comic book than the film.)

Yahoo Entertainment saw the pilot episode of the series at New York Comic Con, and can report that Lindelof makes room for a number of visual and verbal callbacks to events that occurred three decades ago within this universe. (And yes, certain characters from the comic recur in the series, including Jean Smart as an older version of Laurie Blake a.k.a. the second Silk Spectre, and Jeremy Irons as a character whose identity fans will instantly decipher.) But he’s also moving the story forward, centering events around Regina King’s Tulsa-based police detective, Angela Abar, who leads a double life as the vigilante Sister Night. Her fellow officers are caught up in a skirmish with the Seventh Calvary, a white supremacist group that has adopted the teachings (and image) of Rorschach — a disturbed, violence-prone loner who is either a domestic terrorist or freedom fighter depending on what you see in his ever-shifting mask. Moore himself never intended for Watchmen to have a sequel (wishes that DC Comics has notably ignored) and Lindelof has already suggested that his nine-episode show might similarly be a one-and-done situation. If he continues to follow Moore’s example, you can be sure it’ll go out with a bang. — Ethan Alter

Watchmen premieres Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

WATCH IT: Angelina Jolie is razor-sharp in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Before she joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of The Eternals, Angelina Jolie flies again as Maleficent, the Dark Fae anti-hero at the center of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty-inspired fractured fairy tale. Picking up five years after the events of the first film, Mistress of Evil wrings a lot of drama from a supposedly happy event: the marriage of Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson). Maleficent’s uncertainty about the match hardens into distaste when she meets her mother-in-law to be, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer). The Jolie/Pfeiffer showdown is worth the price of admission, but Maleficent’s true legacy is the epic cosplay it inspires at genre conventions the world over. Jolie’s own transformation was originally overseen by visual effects icon, Rick Baker, and reportedly involves cutting cheekbones that are modeled after Lady Gaga’s forehead horns, goat-eye contact lenses, and ears and teeth designed to come to an extra-sharp point. All in all, it’s a lewk that every other Disney villain wishes they could pull off. — E.A.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opens in theaters on Friday, Oct. 18; visit Fandango or Atom Tickets for showtime and ticket information.

WATCH IT: Grab a Royale with cheese and settle in for a 25th anniversary screening of Pulp Fiction

Roger Ebert called Pulp Fiction the most influential movie of the 1990s — a claim often echoed — but Quentin Tarantino's contemporary classic, which turned 25 on Monday, might be the most influential film of the past quarter-century, period. The movie not only triggered countless copycats and cemented the word "Tarantinian" as its own subgenre, it laid waste to traditional ideas of structure, narrative and chronology in American films. Above all, though, Pulp Fiction is entertaining as hell — full of dynamite performances, killer music, shocking moments and one of the greatest monologues ever committed to celluloid. In other words, Pulp Fiction is endlessly watchable, which is why we suggest giving it yet another spin in celebration of its silver anniversary. — Kevin Polowy

Buy Pulp Fiction on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Modern Love will warm/melt/break your heart

The TV incarnation of the popular New York Times column stars Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey and many, many more — seriously, the cast is huge — as people in various stages of love. In eight, stand-alone episodes, all based on true stories, we see characters hurl a wedding ring, ride in an ambulance, take a pregnancy test, break down in tears and, best of all, embrace. Get ready to cry like you haven’t since last week’s episode of This Is Us. — Raechal Shewfelt

All eight episodes of Modern Love will be available Friday, Oct. 18 on Amazon.

READ IT: Ronan Farrow’s headline-grabbing Catch and Kill hits shelves

The journalist's anticipated book has put the Matt Lauer scandal back in the headlines. In his page-turner, Farrow interviews former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, who accuses the former Today show host of raping her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Lauer said the accusation is "categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense." He called the encounter an "extramarital affair." You can read all about it as the book, which also recounts Farrow chasing the Harvey Weinstein story, is on shelves now. — Taryn Ryder

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators is available on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Office Ladies is a meeting you’ll actually want to attend

Six years after the cameras stopped following the crew at Dunder Mifflin, Pam and Angela are back! Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who are best friends in real life, will go over all 188 of the cringey, comical episodes, while adding some behind-the-scenes scoop, in a new podcast. It’s the perfect thing to listen to while plotting a prank on your co-worker. — R.S.

Office Ladies is available on Apple Podcasts.

READ IT: Ali Wong writes letters about life in Dear Girls

Wong lets everyone listen as she shares her best life advice with her two baby girls. Of course, as anyone familiar with Wong would expect, it’s not the typical snoozefest about faking it until you make it or throwing a dinner party. Instead, Wong‘s book features chapters called, “How I Trapped Your Father,” and “Hustle and Pho.” Along the way, the Always Be My Maybe star riffs on everything from Jessica Seinfeld’s Instagram feed, to the importance of getting a blowout the day before giving birth, to — you guessed it — Keanu Reeves. — R.S.

Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life is available on Amazon.

HEAR IT: The Muffs release No Holiday, their final album with Kim Shattuck

Kim Shattuck, the influential frontwoman of this powerpop-punk L.A. trio, tragically passed away at 56 on Oct. 2, after a two-year secret battle with ALS. But she worked on one last Muffs album as her health deteriorated, enlisting a fourth member, guitarist Adam Schary, to “be her hands.” Shattuck’s long legacy lives on in this swan-song collection. — Lyndsey Parker

Download on iTunes or Amazon.

READ IT: Lupita Nyong'o delivers in her children’s book Sulwe

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

We already know Lupita Nyong'o is one of the best actors of her generation, but did you know she's a blossoming author as well? The 12 Years a Slave and Black Panther star follows in the footsteps of folks like Jamie Lee Curtis and Evangeline Lilly in moving from screen acting to penning children's books. And what a gem she's produced right out of the gate. Sulwe is a beautifully written, enchanting story of a young black girl learning to love her dark complexion (and herself) with the help of a supernatural visitor. Enhanced by gorgeous drawings by Vashti Harrison, this is one of those exquisite, deeply felt children's books the adult reading it enjoys just as much. — K.P.

Sulwe is available on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Jimmy Eat World teams up again with Justin Meldal-Johnsen for Surviving

Arizona’s finest are back with their ninth collection of tightly-wound emo jams. Like 2016’s Integrity Blues, this one was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen, best known for his work as a multi-instrumentalist in Beck’s band. — L.P.

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

READ IT: Elton John’s extraordinary life revealed in his first official autobiography

Me: Elton John
Me: Elton John

Sir Elton may be retiring from touring, but he’s been in the spotlight more than ever recently. Following the critical and commercial success of his dazzling musical biopic Rocketman, the rock legend is telling his story in book form — and naming names — in what is certain to be one of the juiciest and un-put-down-able books of the year. — L.P.

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography is available on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Living With Yourself doubles your pleasure with double Paul Rudds

You can never have too much Paul Rudd in your life. The actor stars alongside himself in the Netflix series Living With Yourself. Described as an "inventive existential comedy," the eight-part series follows Miles Elliott (Rudd) who is struggling both personally and professionally. Rudd plays two versions of his character. "It occurred to me, ‘What if you could meet another version of yourself?'" creator Timothy Greenberg explained to Entertainment Weekly. "Would that be a good thing? What might you learn from them? Can you model yourself after them or… might it make you feel even worse about yourself?'" — T.R.

Living With Yourself premieres Friday, Oct. 18 on Netflix.

READ IT: Celebrate six decades of wall-crawling fun with Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular

(Insight Edition)
(Insight Edition)

Insight Editions’s latest coffee-table book should catch Spider-Man fans just like flies. Chronicling the character’s humble beginnings as the last hero to grace the cover of the soon-to-be-defunct title, Amazing Fantasy, to his current status as the Marvel Universe’s most popular citizen, From Amazing to Spectacular features colorful covers and action-packed splash panels from the Marvel archives. Author Matt Singer also conducted extensive interviews with some of the writers and artists who have been responsible for some of the best, worst and weirdest Spidey stories every spun. (Lookin’ at you, Clone Saga.)— E.A.

Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular is available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.

PLAY IT: Kick your Nerf game up a notch with the Ultra One Blaster

Nerf’s latest blaster is a game-changer for those who want a faster and more furious foam dart battle experience. For starters, forget about time-consuming reloads: the Ultra One’s motorized blaster comes with a 25-dart capacity drum, as well as on-board storage. And the darts themselves go father—up to 120 feet farther—thanks to their lightweight material and high-flying Aerofin Technology. — E.A.

Nerf’s Ultra One Blaster can be purchased at Amazon, Target and Walmart.

READ IT: Hoda Kotb’s I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By aims to inspire

If you're in the market for more of a family friendly read, then Hoda Kotb's new one is for you. The Today co-host said her Instagram community inspired the book, in which she shares a collection of 365 sayings and quotes meant to inspire and lift up the reader. "Like B12 shots for the soul," she told Parade.

I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By is available at Amazon.

WATCH IT: Unbelievable twins doc Tell Me Who I Am debuts on Netflix

Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a documentary this year with a story as unbelievable as Ed Perkins's riveting Netflix film Tell Me Who Am I. Twin brothers Alex and Marcus were 18 in 1982 when Alex crashed his motorcycle on an English countryside road, leaving him with no memory beyond the recognition of Marcus. As Marcus then fills in the blanks for his brother and paints memories of an idyllic childhood, it soon becomes clear that they lived through a much darker, more sinister past — one that Marcus chooses to shield his twin from well into their adult years. As the sometimes tough-to-watch but ultimately powerful doc builds to a shocking conclusion, a deeply profound portrait of the brotherly bond emerges.

Watch Tell Me Who I Am on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe drops new solo album One Man Gang

Finnish glam band Hanoi Rocks never quite got their due, as they broke up just when they were on the cusp of fame — during their first American tour, opening for Motley Crue — after their drummer Razzle Dingley was killed in the infamous Vince Neil car crash of 1984. But they have been cited as a major influence by Guns N’ Roses, Poison and pretty much every Sunset Strip band of the ‘80s, and pouty, peroxided frontman Monroe has never given up. His 10th solo album of glittering garage rock features a cameo from a fellow underrated legend, Captain Sensible of the Damned. — L.P.

Download on iTunes; buy on CD at Amazon.

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