It’s been two years since “Normal People,” a series adapted from Sally Rooney’s novel of the same name, debuted on Hulu. Depending on how warped your perception of time is lately, that may feel like it was just last week. Or perhaps the experience of watching the show glimmers in your memory like a relic from another lifetime. I’m of the persuasion that I’ve been just long enough that I’m ready for another Rooney adaptation, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating “Conversations With Friends,” which arrives on May 15.
If that seems far away, you can start any hankering for British drama this weekend with the first episode of the four-part “Masterpiece: Ridley Road,” about a Jewish hairdresser who infiltrates a neo-Nazi group in the 1960s in London. Or skip the drama and try Showtime’s “I Love That For You,” starring “Saturday Night Live” alums Vanessa Bayer and Molly Shannon as hosts on a home shopping network. The second season of the comedy series “Ziwe” premieres this weekend on Showtime as well.
Continuing in the comedy wine, Mike Myers plays multiple characters in the Netflix limited series “The Pentaverate,” a spinoff of his 1993 film “So I Married an Ax Murderer,” premiering on Thursday (May 5, naturally). It also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jeong, Debi Mazar and Jennifer Saunders. And “Hacks” is back for Season 2 on HBO Max on May 12. (More grist for those of us marveling at the elastic nature of pandemic time: “Hacks” debuted a year ago.)
The absorbing documentary series “The Staircase,” about the writer Michael Peterson’s trial in his wife’s death, is getting the dramatization treatment on HBO Max starting Thursday. Colin Firth and Toni Collette play the couple, but I’m now interested in seeing Parker Posey portray the prosecutor Freda Black, who was an outsized character in the documentary. “Candy,” another true-crime tale, starring Jessica Biel and Melanie Lynskey, arrives on Hulu on May 9.
The real housewives of both Atlanta and Beverly Hills return in May, as do “Basketball Wives” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.” On the documentary front, Netflix has “Meltdown: Three Mile Island,” about the 1979 nuclear accident in Pennsylvania, and “Our Father,” about the children of a fertility doctor who secretly inseminated patients with his own sperm.
And for those who’d like to escape the space-time continuum – and who can blame them? There’s “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” starting Thursday, as well as “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and the first part of the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” both on May 27th.
What are you looking forward to watching this month? Drop me an email.
WEEKENDS ARE FOR…
🍿 Movies: Five horror flicks to stream.
🎭 Theater: “POTUS” is a new Broadway satire about presidential enablers.
🖼 Art: Even the “wrong” Picasso (now in Washington, DC) can be right. And Basquiat and Matisse are on offer in New York.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
I got my first bunch of local asparagus this week and put it to excellent use in Eric Kim’s recipe for creamy asparagus pasta, with its silky, seaweed-laced sauce. The dish features a speedy and very smart technique: You boil rigatoni in water seasoned with a sheet of dried kelp (such as Korean dasima or Japanese kombu), then add more kelp to garlic and red onion-spiked heavy cream. Sliced asparagus and slivers of toasted seaweed (gim, nori or seaweed snacks) are folded in right at the end for freshness and crunch. I doubled the asparagus, using the whole big bunch, and there was still plenty of the savory sauce to cover it all. The subtle umami flavor of the seaweed reminded me of a good aged Parmesan – albeit with a delightful saline kick.
Philadelphia Phillies at the New York Forest, MLB: It’s very early. But Mets the Mets are good. In the latest edition of The Athletic’s MLB power rankings, the Mets were No. 2, behind only the powerhouse Dodgers. On Friday, five Mets pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter. And their starter for Sunday, Max Scherzer, hasn’t lost a regular-season game since last May. 7 pm Eastern on Sunday, ESPN.