Dust off your Peloton and get ready for this week's picks: Cycling on screen, a mother goes to the extreme, soccer teens in the extremes, and a podcast that goes way back in the past.
Tour de France: Unchained - Netflix
Picked by Senior Editor Dina Ross
The trailer for this new docuseries is breathtaking - emotional athletes at the peaks of their careers, trouble on the pavement, and incredible views of France. The documentarymakers followed teams competing in cycling's top event last year. I'm not a cycling enthusiast, but the years of blood, sweat and tears these stars have put into their sport is not lost on me. I'm looking forward to hearing from cycling pros who add context and feeling to what we see on the world stage each July. Plus: a shout-out to the producers who saw a headline pun and went for it.
Critérium du Dauphiné - Peacock
Picked by Newsletter Writer Graison Dangor
If you want live action, and not a wrap-up of last year's big race, here is another option for you. While I almost never put TV on in the background, I make an exception for cycling races, which are the perfect mix of slow TV and occasional bursts of excitement. An hour might go by as you chop carrots or fold shirts, listening to the pleasant murmur of the commentators, glancing now and then as riders move in unison through quaint European villages or steadily climb mountain passes. Then out of nowhere, the commentators launch into excited play-by-play: a rider has broken from the pack and set off a chase. Or a close, uneventful race has devolved into a jumbled free-for-all sprint once the pack sees the finish line. And then the moment is over, and you go back to chopping or folding. The Critérium du Dauphiné, an eight-day mini-tour of France, finishes on Sunday.
A Thousand and One - Amazon Prime Video
Picked by Lawrence Banton
One of the more underrated films to be released this year is A Thousand and One. Teyana Taylor stars as Inez, a young mother on a quest to reclaim her life and get her son Terry back after he was put into the foster care system. After spotting him on a New York City block, she decides to take matters into her own hands and kidnaps him from his foster home. The two then set out to start life anew in a different part of the city. Aside from being a heart-wrencher with an unexpected ending, it is also one of those classic New York City stories – one where the city takes up a silent, yet massive role in the plot.
Yellowjackets: Season 2 - Showtime
Picked by Growth Associate Keara O’Driscoll
To be blunt, this show is actually crazy. Like nuts. But in the best way possible.
I was inspired by Lawrance Banton’s review of Season 1 to check Yellowjackets out for myself, and I was not disappointed.
If you somehow watched the first season and haven't gotten to season two – now is the time. If you haven't even started - let this be your sign. This season has all, well, most of our favorites from season one while keeping close the memory of those lost. Season 2 introduces us to the adult versions of two more surviving members of the Yellowjackets, Lottie and Van. The season also includes more hints as to what really happened to Travis, a massive cliffhanger, and more awkward teenage energy than the first season (hard to believe, I know). Side note: if you loved this show and are looking for something else along these lines, Netflix’s Fear Street Trilogy has a very similar vibe in terms of nostalgia and thrill but less of the Lord of the Flies undertones.
Hell on Earth series (from Chapo Trap House) - Patreon
Picked by Reporter Alex Vuocolo
The podcast Chapo Trap House is mostly known for its comedic takes on contemporary American politics, but it also occasionally dips its toes into history. Its latest history series, Hell on Earth, is a deep dive into the Thirty Years' War, which took place between 1618 to 1648 and was fought primarily between member states of the Holy Roman Empire and France, along with other European groups. Co-hosts Matt Christman and Chris Wade make the extremely dense material accessible by balancing blow-by-blow chronology with original analysis, while still tossing in plenty of the original podcast's patented sense of humor.