Yes, we're still adding to our summer playlists and TV watchlists as usual. But this week also saw a welcome return to the Friday Five: NBA highlights. So buckle up for the things that made us laugh, dance, and hop up out of our chairs this week -- it's time for Volume 34.
UNTOLD: Malice At The Palace
At this point, most people at least know of the Malice at the Palace. As one of the most infamous, controversial sports moments in the 21st Century, the melee at the end of a 2004 Pistons-Pacers NBA game has been pretty endlessly covered. This week, though, a new Netflix documentary series aimed to show a new perspective on the brawl. Untold: Malice at the Palace features never-before-seen camera angles, as well as interviews with Pacers players, bystanders, and law enforcement, in order to shed new light on the events that transpired in Detroit. It is very player-focused, reflecting a more 2021 approach to covering sports, versus the way the media covered it all in 2004. Malice at the Palace was a pretty dark spot on the NBA and a lot of these players’ careers, so it is illuminating to get new insight on an event that has already been so well-covered. Untold also has episodes coming out on a number of different heavy, controversial sports topics that we are looking forward to watching, especially the episode on the legendary Danbury Trashers. Start with the first episode, and definitely keep an eye out for more!
Jungle - Love in Stereo
Earlier in the summer, we featured the Jungle track “Keep Moving” as part of a Friday Five, and it has certainly been a cornerstone of our summer playlists. Last week, Jungle dropped the rest of their album Love in Stereo, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t include it here. The whole album is fun, with a lot of good grooves that can keep you moving on a hot summer day. We don’t want to over-use “interesting” to describe new music, but it seems to be the most fitting way to describe the vocals across Love in Stereo. Jungle constantly changes it from track to track, with solos from different vocalists, some rap, harmonies, and great features. That’s all over layers of killer beats, horns, and some really cool instrumentation. While “Keep Moving” really gets things going, and still might be our favorite track on the album, “All of the Time” and “Romeo” are also Capital “J” Jams that will keep things going. Whether you’re working, out at the beach, going for a summer drive, or getting your night started, Love in Stereo will fit the mood.
Admittedly, the first time we saw the trailer for Free Guy nearly two years ago, we thought it might be kind of dumb. But now, after spending the pandemic building up momentum, the Ryan Reynolds star vehicle is finally out, and it looks great! The brand new action comedy is getting solid reviews, and we can’t wait to see it in theaters. Based on the trailer, Free Guy takes the typical tongue-in-cheek humor that Reynolds is famous for, and blasts it into a new genre. It looks like a cool entry in the video-game-adjacent world of movies, at least from the trailer, and reminds us of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World -- which we definitely won’t complain about. Clearly, Reynolds gets to be goofy, shows off his action bonafides, and just has a good time. Not to mention, among other stellar cast members, there’s a killer Taika Waititi cameo. When in doubt, go with Ryan Reynolds -- especially during summer blockbuster season.
Speaking of Taika Waititi, his new show (co-created with Sterlin Harjo) Reservation Dogs finally arrived on FX & Hulu. Reservation Dogs puts a new spin on the classic, raunchy, coming-of-age high school comedy, and so far the results are very funny. The show takes place on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma, giving a cast of characters and setting the type of exposure that it rarely gets, which is awesome. The band of delinquent teens at the center of the show is hilarious, as are the secondary characters, which include a clueless cop and an underachieving “Spirit Guide.” Reservation Dogs has heart, too, touching on socio-economic issues within the community, as well as things like grief and family. There are only a few episodes out so far, but it is definitely worth giving a shot, and we’ll be following along closely for the rest of the first season.
Isaiah Miller Dunk
Rounding out the week, we have to shout out one of our favorite moments from the NBA Summer League. The Minnesota Timberwolves have one of the league’s most exciting dunkers on their roster in Anthony Edwards, but even in his absence, the Wolves made sure to keep the highlight reel going in Las Vegas. Isaiah Miller, signed by Minnesota as an undrafted free agent, displayed his freakish athleticism more than once throughout the exhibition games, with his most impressive play coming against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. Just the confidence and audacity to take off from where he jumped is worthy of recognition, never mind how hard he threw the ball down. The sheer athleticism is beyond impressive, and we’d be lying if we said we haven’t just watched this dunk on repeat for the last few days. There are no guarantees, but we’d be surprised if we didn’t see Miller back in the Friday Five once the regular season kicks off.