Spring has finally arrived bringing with it wildflowers, pollen and the promise of new shows and movies. Whether you're looking for an excuse to escape those delightful spring allergies or something to watch, wear or listen to while you're hanging out in the sun, we've assembled a list of pop culture goodness that will have you shouting “Shut up and take my money!” between bouts of sneezing.
Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core
Love Disney? Looking for a wickedly good time with one to five of your closest peeps? Disney's wildly popular board game Disney Villainous, originally released August 1, 2018, just got an expansion pack introducing three additional villains: Hades from Hercules, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog and the Evil Queen from Snow White. Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core recently won 2019 New York Toy Fair's coveted Game of the Year title and is currently available at Target. Choose your villain, defeat the other baddies and may the wickedest player win!
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
If you're looking for a game where the stakes are high, you might want to give Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes a chance. The game's website explains gameplay simply: “You're alone in a room with a bomb. Your friends have information to defuse it. But there's a catch. They can't see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out—fast!” In “Madcap co-op puzzler Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes headed to mobile” Destructoid calls the game “a one-of-a-kind multiplayer puzzle game full of panicked bewilderment and a-ha moments” noting that “it's the type of game that only gets better as you develop a weird shorthand with your group.” Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is available on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan
A stop-motion animated comedy adventure film scheduled for release April 12 is the inspiration for the latest Nike collaboration. More specifically, Missing Link's protagonist—a myths and monster investigator named Sir Lionel Frost—serves as the inspiration behind the Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan slated for release April 9, just three days before the film's release. The Nike News article “Say Hello to the Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan” describes how “Mr. Link's aesthetic plays up the character's Pacific Northwest roots and balances it with a desire to serve as playful foil to the urbane Frost” which is “evident in the shoe's leather-wrapped midsole, cuff links and kurim fur tufts on the tongue that lend a gleefully haphazard elegance to the silhouette.”
Mob Psycho 100
Initially conceived as a Japanese webcomic that debuted April 18, 2012 and ran until December 22, 2017, the anime television series Mob Psycho 100 tells the story of Shiego Kageyama, nicknamed Mob. Mob possesses a sixth sense granting him immense psychic power, but attempts to lead a normal life. The Crunchyroll article “The True Nature of Strength in Mob Psycho 100” praises Mob Psycho's 100's “action fundamentals and aesthetic creativity.” Meditating on the phrase that appears at the end of the show's opening song—“Your Life Is Your Own”—the article notes that the show's “way of measuring personal value and strength flies in the face of traditional action shows, and is why it's been so important for Mob Psycho to depict Mob growing in ways entirely unrelated to his psychic powers.” Kotaku called the show's first season “an absurd, psychedelic feast” stating the show's “frenzied art style is unmatched by any other contemporary anime.” The show is a must-see if you love anime, and an excellent introduction to the genre if you don't.
Middle school is an undeniably awkward time for most people and that's the premise behind the Hulu comedy PEN15 created by and starring Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle. The duo made the bold decision to play fictionalized seventh grade versions of themselves addressing all the uncomfortable topics that go along with puberty. The New York Times article “The Catharsis of ‘Pen15'” said that “watching the show feels remarkably intimate, like reading a teenager's very funny diary.” Beyond the obvious discomfort of watching two adult women acting out the horrors of middle school, Pen15 is ultimately a celebration of friendship, what The New York Times calls “a love story between friends,” proof that the right friends can get you through the most challenging of times—even middle school.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
It's difficult to describe this six-episode Australian television series currently available on Amazon Prime. It's a mystery. It's a romance. It's a drama. It's mystical. It's a psychological thriller. It's also stunningly beautiful to watch, as pointed out by Decider's “Stream It or Skip It: ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock' On Amazon, A Bewitching Thriller That Puts Style Ahead Of Scares” which says, “This new iteration of Picnic At Hanging Rock is spectacularly beautiful to behold. A huge part of that is thanks to director Larysa Kondracki's use of color. There are so many rich emeralds, coral pinks, golden yellows, and midnight blues in each shot that it looks like she spilled a box of jewels onto the screen. Kondracki also uses a lot of intriguing framing devices to highlight a sense of anxiety, as well as quick, inventive cuts that pull us out of the reality of the storyline.” This show might not be for everyone, but for the right audience it's utterly transfixing.
Punch Up The Jam
Love comedy? Love music? Love comedians dabbling in music? Punch Up the Jam might just be your new favorite podcast. The podcast's website describes the premise as follows: “Every week, comedians/best friends Miel Bredouw and Demi Adejuyigbe attempt to fix a popular song despite absolutely no qualifications. PUNCH UP THE JAM is a show cataloging their descent into madness as they review, rewrite, and remix all the hits you love to hate, or just love (until they ruin it for you).”
The Room: Old Sins
It's the turn of the twentieth century. You're in Waldegrove Manor searching for clues about the wealthy couple that used to occupy the manor. The Room: Old Sins is a puzzle video game and the fourth in Fireproof Games' The Room series. The Verge praises the game in “The Room's creepy touchscreen puzzle boxes are better than ever in Old Sins” stating, “Enter The Room: Old Sins and be transported to a place where tactile exploration meets challenging puzzles and a captivating story. Explore a deviously complex dollhouse which transforms at your fingertips in ‘The Room: Old Sins', the fourth entry in the critically acclaimed game series.” The game is available on iOS, Android and Amazon Kindle Fire.
If you're not watching Wynonna Earp, the supernatural Western horror television series that premiered on SYFY and is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix, what are you even doing with your life? Also, Nerdist wants to change that with “5 Reasons to Start Watching WYNONNA EARP Right Now.” “Unless you've literally been living in a fallout shelter for the last year, chances are you've seen some buzz accumulating around a show called Wynonna Earp. The supernatural Western series has earned well-deserved comparisons to TV predecessors like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, but with a freshman season under its belt Wynonna Earp has carved out a space all its own within the quirky horror genre. Since its premiere in April 2016, the show has been a part of some of the most important television-related conversations over the past year—including the significance and impact of queer female representation amidst several high profile series killing off LGBT characters. All that aside? It's deliciously funny, super empowering, just plain smart television.”
Happy playing, wearing, watching and listening!