Well, it's finally here - the spookiest weekend of the year! We had to include a little horror in this week's Friday Five, along with some Halloween-themed comedy. But don't worry, it isn't all scary. There's new music, "new" TV, and a documentary short that you're sure to love. As always, it's all treats, no tricks from King Penguin.
Last Night in Soho
It’s only right to kick off the spookiest Friday Five of the year with a little bit of horror. Edgar Wright is back with his latest project, the much anticipated horror/thriller/psychodrama Last Night in Soho. If we’re being honest, the trailer is a bit confusing, but somehow a young British fashion student is transported (in her dreams?) back into glamorous 1970’s London. She takes the form of a young starlet, played by rising superstar Anya Taylor-Joy, and we get to see everything the city has to offer. There’s great music, bright lights, and a giant billboard for Thunderball. At some point, the young starlet is murdered, and everything takes an incredibly dark turn. Last Night in Soho is definitely a tonal shift for Wright, whose most beloved films include the offbeat comedies Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, but that hasn’t made us any less excited to see how this new thriller comes together. Just maybe don’t watch it too soon before bed.
One of the best parts of the streaming era of television is that shows, underseen when they are released, get a second chance with new audiences once they start streaming. The current hot comedy getting a streaming revival is Champaign ILL. Originally a Youtube Premium show back in 2018, the Adam Pally and Sam Richardson comedy was canceled after just one season, and wasn’t really ever discussed. After it arrived on Hulu this month, Champaign ILL has burst onto the comedy scene, and for good reason. Pally and Richardson star as two 30-somethings who end up back in their hometown after their best friend (and meal ticket) dies in a freak accident. There’s a great cameo from Jay Pharaoh in the pilot, as well as a ton of bit players in supporting roles. The show comes from the crew that created Black Monday, one of our current favorites, so it comes as no surprise that we’ve loved the episodes we’ve seen so far. With all of the buzz it’s now getting on Hulu, there might even be a second season! If you’re looking for a laugh this weekend, head to Hulu for this “new” hit comedy.
“What Up WIth That?”
Speaking of comedy, it was a huge week for us on Saturday Night Live, as they brought back one of our favorite all-time sketches. Jason Sudeikis came back to his old stomping grounds to host, and in honor of his return, they performed a new installment of “What Up With That?” The Kenan Thompson-hosted “talk show” is always entertaining, due in large part to Sudeikis’s role as a tracksuit-wearing back-up dancer. Thompson spends most of the episode ignoring his actual guests, choosing instead to sing the theme song and introduce eccentric performers. This week’s sketch was absolutely star-studded, from the panel that featured all celebrities (Oscar Isaac, Emily Ratajkowski, and Nicholas “Cousin Greg” Braun) to SNL alum like Fred Armisen. As always, it’s hard to take your eyes off of Sudeikis, who launches himself onto the screen and doesn’t stop dancing until after the song ends. We highly recommend going back through the archives and checking out the older sketches, too, but at the very least you should watch the reboot from this past weekend.
The History of NBA Street: Vol. II
Among other things, this week also surprised us with a mini-documentary about one of the greatest sports video games ever created. The Ringer put together “The History of NBA Street: Vol. II,” and while the 45-minute runtime is a little long for Youtube, it’s definitely worth a watch. They go through the creation of the iconic game piece by piece, from the gameplay to the look to the soundtrack. We were heavily inspired by the iconography of NBA Street for a recent project, and it was so interesting to hear how the designers and artists behind the game eventually created the look and style. In the documentary, you also get to hear from some of the streetball influences that helped shape the game. Every aspect of the production was incredibly important to giving the game a truly authentic feel, and it’s awesome to go back and see how and why the creators were so successful.
The War on Drugs - I Don’t Live Here Anymore
After a long wait, the day has finally arrived: There’s a new album from The War on Drugs. We featured the title track in the Friday Five a few weeks ago, but we couldn’t resist including the full album on the day of its release. We can all but guarantee that it will be on repeat constantly this fall and winter, and we are so excited to have fresh music. Just ahead of the album’s release, The War on Drugs dropped another single, “Change,” which did nothing to blunt the anticipation. “Change” is definitely on the more upbeat and energetic side of TWOD’s discography, but it features a lot of the band’s signature sounds. So run, don’t walk, to wherever you stream your music and turn it up to eleven. Because it’s a great New Music Friday.