Must List: Week of July 26, 2009
Brooke Elliott on ''Drop Dead Diva''; Def Leppard, Poison, and Cheap Trick on tour; the U.K. ''Life on Mars'' on DVD, and 12 others make up the countdown of pop culture gems YOU and the EW staff love this week
BROOKE ELLIOTT on Drop Dead Diva
The concept — a thin but shallow woman’s soul lands in a larger woman’s body — is a potential minefield. But the Lifetime dramedy is clever and heartfelt, respecting people of all sizes. And what makes the show really work is its funny, believable star, Elliott. The newcomer more than holds her own in a cast of industry vets, including the fab Margaret Cho.
EMMY NOMINEE KRISTEN WIIG
The SNL star gets a hard-earned nod (her first) for aping finance guru Suze Orman, one-upping the world as competitive Penelope, and convincing us that Target is really Turgit. Head to Hulu for her greatest clips.
LIFE ON MARS (U.K. Version)
We dug the U.S. adaptation, but the Brit original is even better. The final episode is not just different — it’s a jaw-dropper.
LUNGS, Florence & The Machine
Don’t know from Lungs? Think Sarah McLachlan-esque pop, with attitude. The album is beautiful and scary, especially the haunting ”Rabbit Heart.”
THE BACHELORETTE finale on ABC
We always make our toughest decisions in Hawaii, and franchise favorite Jillian has a biggie: Will the rose go to Kiptyn or Ed? But wait! It may not be that easy. ABC teases that someone has an ”unexpected confession” to make. Will booted bachelor Reid propose to Jillian, or does one of the other guys have a secret? (Note to self: Try not to hold breath until July 27!)
Wii SPORTS RESORT
Wii the people can only bowl, box, and play tennis for so long until we crave…Ping-Pong and parachuting! The first round of Nintendo’s games pack was lively, but limiting. The new suite boasts a dozen sports, including fencing, canoeing, and archery. We may never again go — wait, what’s it called? — outside.
Catherine Deneuve mesmerizes as a woman driven mad by sexual repression in this 1965 psychological thriller, remastered in HD with commentary from Deneuve and director Roman Polanski.
HOTHOUSE FLOWER AND THE 9 PLANTS OF DESIRE, by Margot Berwin
If you’re still looking for a summer read, dive into Berwin’s lush debut novel about Lila, a weary New Yorker who’s drawn into a world of quixotic strangers and exotic botanicals.
IN THE LOOP
Would that all international accords were so worthy. Loop, a hyperliterate political satire, brings British wonks across the pond to square off against their U.S. counterparts, including James Gandolfini. It’s smarty, arty fun.
READER’S CHOICE: MUSIC
DEF LEPPARD, POISON, AND CHEAP TRICK on tour
Some bands run out of gas, while others are at their best on the road. This hair-metal rock-out delivers big, with each group nailing its classic hits for devoted fans who clearly don’t need nothin’ but a good time. —Submitted by Shorty
READER’S CHOICE: MOVIES
YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG
”I am so looking forward to the documentary Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. It’s about the woman who created and starred in the radio comedy series The Goldbergs, which then became the first TV sitcom. She then won the very first Emmy for Best Actress! I love show biz history, and this is so right up my alley.” —Kathleen
READER’S CHOICE: TV
I SURVIVED… on the BIO Channel
”On my Must List is the new season of I Survived…. These are inspiring true-life stories of survival from the people who lived them.” —Tom
READER’S CHOICE: DVD
”The tale of two disturbed, eccentric women is captured beautifully in this HBO original movie starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.” —Sarah
READER’S CHOICE: MUSIC
”SKIPPER DAN” video, Weird Al Yankovic
”In this video, featuring animation from frequent They Might Be Giants collaborator Divya Srinivasan, Al sings the sad story of a wannabe actor forced to take up work as a ”jungle cruise” guide at a theme park when the acting gigs don’t pour in. The lyrics alternately tickle the funny bone and tug at the heartstrings.” —Dan
READER’S CHOICE: TV
MAKE IT OR BREAK IT on ABC Family
”I found myself hopelessly drawn to this show after flipping through the channels a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m hooked. It’s so awesomely cheesy! Like Gossip Girl, it’s definitely a show that, as an adult, I should be mortified to admit I watch — but I just don’t care!” —C.O.