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 July 8-14, including the best deals we could find for each.
WATCH IT: Aziz Ansari: Right Now
Once one of the brightest stars on the stand-up scene, Aziz Ansari has been out of the spotlight for a hot minute. And it takes him roughly two minutes into his new Spike Jonze-directed Netflix special to address the circumstances surrounding his extended hiatus. In January 2018 — mere months after the Harvey Weinstein scandal ignited the #MeToo movement — a widely-circulated Babe.net article detailed a date between Ansari and a Brooklyn woman that ended in a troubling sexual encounter. The comedian issued a public apology and then promptly went radio silent, re-emerging with his “Road to Nowhere” tour earlier this year. Right Now was filmed during the tour’s Brooklyn dates in May 2019, and begins with Ansari ambling onto the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s cavernous auditorium and taking a seat on a downstage stool. “I’m sure some of you are curious how I feel about that whole situation,” he remarks. “And it’s a tricky thing for me to answer… ultimately I just felt terrible that this person felt this way. And after a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me and made me think about a lot.”
The hour-long set that follows reveals just how many thoughts have been bouncing around in Ansari’s head during his time away. Where his past specials have mined comedy from his familial and romantic relationships, Right Now takes a macro view of an entire country in transition. Extrapolating from his own experience, Ansari skewers extreme wokeness and cancel culture, while also pointing out how being more attentive to other peoples’ specific identities and personal pain can only benefit society as a whole. (For the record, Donald Trump’s name is invoked only once, and even then in passing.) He even calls out material from his own past he’d never perform today, from his gentle ribbing of his cousin Harris to a Parks and Recreation storyline that plays more creepy than cute in 2019. And while the second half of Right Now finds Ansari retreating into more familiar territory — discussing his Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother, as well as his new girlfriend — he pushes himself to filter those subjects through a new mindset, one that’s keenly aware of how transitory time, and comedy, are. “I saw the world where I don’t ever get to do this again,” he admits as the special winds down. We’ll have to wait and see where Ansari goes from here, but Right Now captures the moment where he sheds one comic voice and tries to find another.
Aziz: Ansari: Right Now is currently streaming on Netflix.
WATCH IT: When Harry Met Sally (30th anniversary)
Thirty years after the debut of writer Nora Ephron’s classic romantic comedy, some elements are outdated, sure, but there’s still so much to love. Besides, isn’t part of the fun of it marveling at the feathery hair that was once the trend? And, trust us, the story of friends examining whether their relationship is strictly platonic or something more — that Casablanca-watching scene, the sweet moment in the museum and the hilarious incident in the deli — is still every bit as wonderful to watch.
When Harry Met Sally is available on Amazon .
WEAR IT: Stranger Things clothing
With the Stranger Things fervor at fever pitch, it’s no wonder that clothing inspired by the show is selling out at some retailers. However, fans can still get their hands on costume versions of the cool, colorful romper and the patterned yellow shirt that Eleven wears in this season’s mall-themed season. Trust us, you’ll be the most stylish partygoer come Halloween (or, you know, outdoor shopping mall patron now) in these threads.
Stranger Things costumes are available at Spirit Halloween.
The world’s most popular ginger teams with some of his most famous friends, including Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Chris Stapleton, Chance the Rapper, Khalid, Stormzy, H.E.R., Eminem, 50 Cent, Ella Mai and Travis Scott, for the all-star event of the year.
WATCH IT: The Farewell
A crowd-pleasing hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical drama features a breakout dramatic turn from Crazy Rich Asians scene-stealer, Awkwafina. Cheekily introduced as being “based on a true lie,” the story turns on a well-intentioned falsehood that an extended Chinese family tells their elderly matriarch, Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao). Diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, her children and grandchildren choose to keep that particular detail secret, instead contriving a wedding to explain away what could be their last reunion. Gently paced and lovingly observed, The Farewell inspires fond memories of early Ang Lee films like The Wedding Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman while also welcoming a rich new voice behind the camera to the screen.
WATCH IT: Biography: Farrah Fawcett Forever
If you think of Farrah Fawcett only as the blond one of TV’s original Charlie’s Angels or the woman in that swimsuit poster, then we must insist that you tune into A&E’s deep dive into the actress-turned-cancer advocate’s life. This is much more than a recitation of her acting roles. Her personal story is told by celebs including fellow Angels co-star Jacklyn Smith; snippets of footage from interviews that both Fawcett and longtime love Ryan O’Neal gave during her life; and clips from the 2009 documentary Farrah’s Story that captured Fawcett’s final days before dying of anal cancer feature prominently. Perhaps the most telling story about Fawcett being deeper than she appeared comes from the star for herself, who’s hairstyle was once more popular than Jennifer Aniston’s the Rachel. In a vintage TV interview. Fawcett recounts how she once negotiated a better salary for herself than her representative. She then paid him his percentage of the lower salary he’d secured and fired him.
Biography: Farrah Fawcett Forever airs July 9 at 9 p.m. on A&E.
HEAR IT: Farscape: Best of Series Soundtrack
The Henson Company’s groundbreaking sci-fi serial turned 20 years young in March, and as a birthday present, Barnes & Noble is releasing a “Best of Series” soundtrack on vinyl. Spanning Farscape's four epic seasons, the music selections include Subvision’s pounding Season 1 and 2 title theme, and Guy Gross’s score for the cliffhanging final moments of the Season 4 finale. Can we get a "Frell yeah"?
Farscape: Best of Series Soundtrack is available on vinyl exclusively at Barnes & Noble starting July 12.
WATCH IT: Broad City: The Complete Series on DVD
Broad City ended earlier this year at precisely the right time — after a fruitful, bitingly hilarious five seasons on Comedy Central, where it was initially adapted from a web series created by stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. The series drew raves for not only painting a more relatable portrait of young women trying to flourish in New York than something like Sex and the City, but for its feminist, sex positive and rageful ideals, not to mention some proudly gross asides. Now it lands on DVD in its entirety as a boxed set, where fans can just go home and watch their favorite episodes on repeat and those who've slept on it can find a perfect excuse to finally dive in and see what these beautiful kweens are all about.
Buy Broad City: The Complete Series on Amazon.
HEAR IT: Various Artists, Tiny Changes: A Celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight'
Members of the National, CHVRCHES, Death Cab for Cutie, Biffy Clyro, the Hold Steady, Manchester Orchestra and more come together to honor Scott Hutchison, lead singer of Scottish indie darlings Frightened Rabbit, who tragically took his life last year. Proceeds from these covers of tracks off Frightened Rabbit’s landmark 2008 album will go to Tiny Changes, a charity established by the Hutchison family to raise awareness about mental health.
WATCH IT: The Blair Witch Project (20th anniversary)
Speaking of Sundance favorites, it’s been two decades since The Blair Witch Project became a literal overnight sensation in Park City and then rode that hype train straight into multiplexes in the middle of the 1999 summer movie season. Despite being surrounded by star-powered spectacles like Armageddon and The Haunting, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s no-budget, no-star, no-frills found footage stunt became a legit blockbuster, grossing over $140 million by the end of its run. The film also infuriated as many moviegoers as it scared, and the debate over its fear factor has continued to this day. Our take? The Blair Witch Project is best appreciated as a psychological drama instead of a freaky ghost story. At the end of the day, the legend of the Blair Witch is just a MacGuffin for what Myric and Sanchez are really interested in: depicting how group dynamics implode when the veneer of society is stripped away. That said, the film’s final moments — capped by a chilling last shot — continue to keep us up at night.
Before tragedy strikes, Pride Rock’s Simba is a young lion cub who just can’t wait to be king like his dad, Mufasa. (Be careful what you wish for, kid.) Just Play’s new talking, roaring toy preserves the younger, happier lion king in plush form, and is guaranteed to bring smiles to your own cubs as well. Push the button on his paw, and Simba will turn his head, speak and let loose with a growl or two. Whether you’re a human or a lion parent, there’s no better way to wake up than with an adorable cub roaring in your ear.
The Lion King Roaring Simba Plush is available for $29.97 at Walmart.
This compilation is the first release from Trojan Jamaica, a new record label founded by Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr and superstar drummer for the Who, Oasis, Johnny Marr, et al. The curated collection features Toots & The Maytals, Freddie McGregor, Robbie Shakespeare and others performing classic blues, R&B and early rock songs that first inspired the reggae revolution.
Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.