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Friday Five, Vol. 101


This week, the Friday Five is all about the legends. Two iconic filmmakers have returned to the big screen. One of our favorite performers is back in a hit TV role. And, sadly, we said goodbye to an all-time musical great. All of that greatness makes Volume 101 one for the books!

 

Slow Horses Season 2

One of our favorite shows of the year is already back for Season 2, and we couldn't be happier. Apple TV+'s Slow Horses hits a bunch of our core genres as a British spy/crime thriller, based on a series of novels by Mick Herron. It features a group of disgruntled MI6 rejects, led by Gary Oldman in a killer performance, and featuring a stellar cast of supporting actors. Season 2 feels like it hearkens back to more of a Cold War thriller, whereas Season 1 felt really rooted in the current age of social media and terrorism. This season, a cell of sleeper Russian agents from the Cold War has been activated, and it is up to the motley crew in Slough House to stop them. Luckily, Apple is giving us a multi-episode premiere today to get us kick-started. However, we'll have to suffer through week-to-week suspense after this release. We can only hope the series builds off of where it ended in Season 1, and takes a leap in its second group of episodes. Slow Horses has also already been renewed for at least two more seasons, which means we'll get to grow plenty familiar with this cast of characters. For now, we are just excited for some more white-knuckled, action-packed TV to be back on the air.

King Penguin Friday Five Slow Horses
Courtesy: Apple TV+
 

The Fabelmans

We've taken a couple weeks off from the traditional Friday Five model recently, so we've missed a couple major film releases. Have no fear -- there's plenty of time to catch up! The release we are most excited about is the latest from Steven Spielberg, his semi-autobiographical The Fabelmans. While not *explicitly* autobiographical (at the very least, the names are changed) Spielberg used The Fabelmans to tell his own coming-of-age story, and has a star-studded cast playing the leading roles. Paul Dano and Michelle Williams headline as the main characters' parents, while Seth Rogen plays the wacky uncle, with Judd Hirsch, Julia Butters, and even David Lynch rounding out the cast. This Oscars season features a number of directors with films that serve as memoirs, capturing pivotal moments in their lives, and Spielberg's is probably the best. The director has made so many iconic features, many of which are amongst our favorite movies ever. How does someone become inspired to straddle the line of creative and commercial success to make things like Jaws, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Saving Private Ryan? The Fabelmans attempts to tell the story of the birth of the artist behind such masterpieces.


King Penguin Friday Five The Fabelmans
Courtesy: Universal
 

James Cameron Film Breakdown

Speaking of iconic directors, a certain filmmaker behind two of the three biggest movies ever is back after a thirteen year hiatus. James Cameron, the man behind box office monsters The Titanic and Avatar (along with masterpieces like Terminator and Aliens) has finally managed to complete his latest project, Avatar: The Way of Water. The film is a long-awaited and much-anticipated sequel to 2009's Avatar, and like the original, it has been delayed due to a lack of technological development. While we are excited for the actual film (which may just make an appearance on this list), we are maybe even more excited for the press tour for the movie. First up? A stop at GQ to break down his most iconic films. It is so cool to listen to Cameron talk about the technical process behind creating some of the biggest, most impactful movies in cinematic history. Whether it was the camera technology needed to create Avatar or the costuming and practical effects used in Terminator, Cameron has always innovated. And his drive to innovate is just as inspiring as his never-ending creativity. He insists on pushing the boundaries, as well as holding off on his project until he has the necessary technology to make his vision come to life. Between Cameron's breakdown, this great GQ profile, and all the interviews about the films' stars learning how to free dive, we have to say we're pretty psyched to see the visionary filmmaker's latest work.


King Penguin Friday Five James Cameron
Courtesy: GQ
 

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

From master filmmakers to legendary musicians, we are covering our bases in Volume 101. While we usually use this spot to celebrate newly released music that we've had on repeat, this week is a bit different. We've mostly been listening to Fleetwood Mac in honor of the late, great, Christine McVie, the singer and keyboardist, who passed away on Wednesday. Fleetwood Mac is one of our all-time favorite artists, and we've had the (arguable) GOAT Rumours on loop, in addition to some of the band's other huge albums. McVie wrote some of the biggest tracks on Rumours, like "Don't Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun" and matched fellow singer Stevie Nicks in the number of stellar vocal performances she had through the years. Just listening through Rumours is pretty astonishing, because it is 40 minutes of musical perfection -- made while the band absolutely fell apart in their personal lives outside the studio. McVie was able to write hit songs about her marriage ending and moving on in her love life, which is a testament to her abilities on that end. And of course, she turned in some iconic performances on the band's 1997 live album The Dance. While Fleetwood Mac has existed in a number of iterations over the years because of personal issues, McVie's death feels pretty heavy, because she had such an outsized impact on the band's biggest musical contributions. Artists across the industry, including bandmate Stevie Nicks and the group Haim, paid tribute to McVie this week, and it feels only right that she takes her spot here in the Friday Five


 

Pepsi, Where's My Jet?

On a much lighter note, Netflix has an incredibly fun docuseries out about an absurd true story that will really make your weekend. In the 90s, Pepsi ran a campaign that, among other things, promised a Harrier Jet to anyone willing to earn enough "Pepsi Points." While the commercial (and promise) was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, there was no fine print. So, an entrepreneurial young man took Pepsi at their word, and all hell broke loose. Pepsi, Where's My Jet? is a look at the battle between two hustlers and the entire Pepsi Corporation, and it hits just the right notes with a self-aware tone, engaging story, and incredible talking heads. Everyone in the doc, from "The Kid" to the lawyers and the heads of marketing, are really entertaining characters. Plus, we get sightings from various celebrities that served as spokespeople for Pepsi throughout the decade. There's also a fun through-line of each interviewee taking the "Coke-Pepsi Challenge" and blindly taste-testing the competing colas. We always love learning about wild, untold stories, and this certainly qualifies.

King Penguin Friday Five Pepsi, Where's My Jet?
Courtesy: Netflix

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