Sarah Paulson is wickedly cold, yet alluring, as Ratched in the Netflix series of the same name.
From funny reads and comics to videos that will have you star-gazing or getting a good night's sleep, here are the Delano team's 10 tips of the month.
Looking for a fix of the warm fuzzies? “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler is the answer. In this first autobiography, star of “Parks and Recreation”, who became a household name thanks to “Saturday Night Live”, delivers an honest and hilarious look back over her life and career with bits from friends including Seth Meyers. Her humour is warm and smart and kind. I found her advice on not getting the pudding (a metaphor for Emmy nominations) particularly uplifting. JB
I’m absorbed in the oddly marvelous “The Museum of Whales You Will Never See” by writer and artist A. Kendra Greene. It’s part travelogue, part history and culture, but mainly provides a wealth of fun facts about Iceland which has more than 265 museums, including (ahem) the idiosyncratic Icelandic Phallological Museum. Yep, you read that right. Who knew? NG
It’s not exactly a recent release but after roughly nine months of reading, I finished Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and fulfilled my 2020 new year’s resolution to read this epic classic. The core of its plot has been re-told in numerous adaptations. But it accounts for maybe a third of the book, with the rest assorted philosophical musings by the author. Was it all worth it? Let’s say I won’t be returning to this novel--if it can even be called that--any time soon, but it sure feels like an achievement. CS
I recently signed up to The Athleticfor its great coverage and in-depth analysis of the English Premier League, Bundesliga and the NFL, as well as US College Football. The site allows readers to pick their sporting interests and even the writers they follow--the deal was sealed for me when I heard that German football journalist Raphael Honigstein was on their roster. DR
I recently stumbled across Baumgartner Restorations, which has quickly become my favourite YouTube channel. With more than 1m subscribers, the videos show art conservator Julian Baumgartner meticulously clean and restore paintings to their former glory. Baumgartner talks his viewers through different techniques--don’t ever staple a canvas to its frame--but also the philosophy behind conservation. There is something mesmerising about the process. And if you’re battling insomnia, you will find in the comments section that many viewers use Baumgartner’s dulcet tones as a free sleep meditation app. CS
Lunarbaboon’s relatable and therapeutic comic strips about family and private life have sustained me through a big part of 2020. Since September, creator Chris Grady stopped working for webtoons. But, the good news is he has pledged to continue making them for social media platforms. We need more comics like this. JB
Disney+ has arrived in Luxembourg but I will not be tuning in for Marvel, Star Wars or the Disney back catalogue. The streaming platform is also home to US musical sensation Hamilton. The rap musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton couldn’t be timelier viewing with the US election looming on the horizon. Having won 11 Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy and a host of other accolades, the diverse cast and mix of musical genres brought something truly new to Broadway. And the original Broadway cast is now available to watch right here in the grand duchy. CS
The four-part Netflix docuseries Challenger: The Final Flightchronicles the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, when all seven crew members aboard--including New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe--were killed just 73 seconds after takeoff. Sure, it feels slightly propagandistic but kudos to the team behind it for making it feel so modern. NG
Netflix series “Ratched” is a beautifully crafted show based on the character created by Ken Keasey for his iconic novel “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (and, credit where it is due, by actress Louise Fetcher in Miloš Forman’s superb film). Sarah Paulson is wickedly cold, yet alluring, as the title character with dark secrets who inveigles her way into a top position as a psychiatric institution, but the wonderful Judy Davis is equally great as rival nurse Betsy Bucket. But it is the dazzling costumes and sets that truly make the series stand out--a masterclass in style. DR
Watch the trailer to “Ratched”.
Listen to this
The new album from soul collective Sault, “Untitled (Rise)”, has been on loop on my phone for the last week. It is a brilliant follow-up, or a companion piece, to their spectacular June release “Untitled (Black Is)”. Less directly political than its predecessor, “Untitled (Rise)” still manages to voice dissent and promote black pride while enticing the listener to dance their socks off thanks to its compelling grooves. DR
Listen to ‘Strong’ from the album “Untitled (Rise)”.