Behold, the culture shit you can’t miss this summer.
Television: Trial and Errors
A miniseries explores how five teenagers were falsely accused of one of NYC’s most notorious crimes. In April 1989, a woman was beaten, raped, and left unconscious while jogging in Central Park. But what sent New York City into hysterics was less the crime than the accused: five boys, ages 14 to 16, all either black or Hispanic. Local tabloids called the group a “wolf pack” and warned of “wilding” youths; a real-estate mogul named Donald Trump took out ads in four newspapers calling for the death penalty. The thing was, “the Central Park Five,” as they became known, were innocent. Netflix’s exceptional four-part series When They See Us revisits the decade-long saga, highlighting the injustices the young men faced in this true-crime tragedy. (5/31)
Podcasts: Laugh Tracks
Trending comedy shows that will add some funny to your feed.
What a Time to Be Alive
Each week, hosts Kath Barbadoro, Patrick Monahan, and Eli Yudin riff on offbeat news stories—like Garfield phones washing up on French beaches.
Comedian Ron Funches rambles on about weed, the highs and endless lows of being a comic, and his ongoing efforts to improve himself.
The History of Standup
Wayne Federman re-visits standup’s past, from the rise of the form in the late ’40s to the ’80s comedy boom to the advent of alt- comedy and beyond.
Must-See Summer Tours
1) Wu-Tang Clan, on its 36 Chambers 25th anniversary celebration tour. 5/10–8/2
2) Bikini Kill, playing its first shows since 1997. 4/25–6/11
3) Hiss Golden Messenger, with a new album of folky gems on the way. 5/8–9/15
Back Into Battle
An Iraq War vet returns to the Middle East as Syria crumbles.
Elliot Ackerman left one war and ended up in another. In his new memoir, Places and Names, he recounts his experience, first leading a rifle platoon in the Second Battle of Fallujah, at the height of the Iraq War, and then, a decade later, returning to the Middle East as a journalist, with the U.S. weighing whether to intervene in Syria as ISIS flourishes. What emerges is an intimate portrait of modern war and its lasting tolls, both personal and geopolitical.
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