Plus four other things we love in pop culture this week.
Finnick Odair’s shocking death in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 left fans craving more of actor Sam Claflin, and the romantic drama Me Before You is here to deliver. Based on Jojo Moyes’ 2012 novel of the same name, Me Before You charts the courtship between a suicidal quadriplegic (Claflin) who finds love with his caretaker (Emilia Clarke). EW’s review calls the film a “charming new Anglo-weepie,” noting that it “may not quite rise to the level of a classic three-hankie tearjerker, but it’s proof that sometimes one or two hankies is more than enough to get the job done.”
Me Before You opens nationwide June 3.“Not That Kinda Girl” by Fifth Harmony and Missy Elliott
After finishing in third place on the second season of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor USA, Fifth Harmony has slowly (but steadily) ascended the ranks of girl group superstardom, joining The Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, and TLC as one of the most prominent all-female sets of the modern era. Their new album 7/27 isn’t hurting their bid for the pop music throne in general, either. Though their smash hit “Work From Home” peaked within the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, their latest LP’s standout track is the club-ready banger “Not That Kinda Girl,” which features fierce guest vocals from rap veteran Missy Elliott. With funky, peppy production blending the best of 80s pop with stomping contemporary beats, “Not That Kinda Girl” is a throwback jam perfect for today’s summer grooving.
7/27, including “Not That Kinda Girl,” releases May 27.Stranger to Stranger by Paul Simon
For decades he’s been a staple on the music scene both as a solo artist and as one half of Simon & Garfunkel, though consistency is an element that has eluded Paul Simon’s recent releases. His last album of original material debuted over five years ago in 2011, and he waited nearly six years to release Surprise (2006) after You’re the One (2000). On his latest genre-defying set, Stranger to Stranger, Simon blends fresh electronic sounds (producer Clap! Clap! worked on several tracks) with traditional instrumentation, proving that legends are well worth the wait.
Stranger to Stranger will be released on on June 3.
It’s common knowledge that reality shows aren’t “real” in all the best ways possible, and the first season of Lifetime’s scripted series UnREAL took a darkly comic look at the inner workings of the genre. For season 2, Shiri Appleby returns as a young reality TV producer whose skills (and patience) are put to the test as her boss (Constance Zimmer) pushes her to forego moral code in pursuit of salacious content for higher ratings. Ioan Gruffudd previously teased his new, steamy recurring role on the series’ second season, previously tweeting that the part had him “hot and bothered,” already, which is more than enough incentive to tune in for more UnREAL.
UnREAL‘s second season premieres June 6 at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
The first season of Netflix’s thrilling drama series Bloodline impressed audiences and critics alike, and the second season lives up to the high standards set by its predecessor. With John Leguizamo and Andrea Riseborough joining an already star-studded cast, including Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sissy Spacek as members of a family with a dark and mysterious history, the stage is set for even more edge-of-your-seat tension as Bloodline enters its sophomore run.
Season 2 of Bloodline premieres in full on May 27 on Netflix.