To stave off possible boredom while at home, every week Marhaba delves in to the wonderful world of popular culture to find the best new TV series, movies, books and music.


What to Watch, Read and Listen To

Chosen this week for the fabulous title, and also its immense popularity with kids (and adults) around the world, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants in Space! will be released on 10 July on Netflix. If you are unfamiliar with the show, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants is an American animated web TV series produced by DreamWorks Animation Television, based on the books by Dav Pilkey which led to the film Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and subsequent TV shows. There have been three series, as well as a Hallowe’en and an interactive special so far, and Netflix will now be showing a six-part miniseries. The plot revolves around practical jokers George Beard and Harold Hutchins, and their grouchy school principal Mr Krupp, who has been hypnotised by George and Harold to become Captain Underpants, an underwear-sporting superhero. Again narrated by Sean Astin (Stranger Things), follow the antics of the two best friends and their classmates as they leave earth for a mysterious mission in outer space – you can expect all the usual jokes and pranks!


What to Watch, Read and Listen to

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with movie releases, and another such casualty is Greyhound. Starring and co-written by the multi-award winning actor Tom Hanks, the film was meant for general release in the US on 12 June by Sony Pictures. Due to the pandemic, the distribution rights were sold to Apple TV+, who will release the film digitally on 10 July (you will be able to find some chatter about this story online from Tom Hanks et al). Greyhound is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by CS Forester, and follows inexperienced US Navy Commander Ernest Krause (Hanks) on his first wartime assignment: crossing the North Atlantic while being pursued by German U-boat wolfpacks. Krause is captain of the Fletcher-class destroyer code-named Greyhound, which along with three other light warships must protect a convoy of 37 merchant vessels carrying troops and essential supplies to England. Much of the action takes place in the ‘Black Pit’, where surveillance aircraft are out of range, leaving the convoy at the mercy of the German submarines. This is a tense movie with a quiet, almost subdued performance from Hanks, as he battles both the enemy and his confidence in getting the job done. Make sure to watch until the end – the film finishes with archival footage from the actual convoy ships and troops that took part in the Battle of the Atlantic.


What to Watch, Read and Listen To

And now for something completely different. Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has released his first novel and if you’ve seen his movies, you pretty much know what to expect. Antkind: A Novel centres around B Rosenberger Rosenberg, a pretentious failed film critic, academic and shoe salesman, who is bequeathed a three-month long film, which took its reclusive creator a mere 90 years to complete. Overjoyed, B decides it’s exactly what his career needs and what the world has to see. One small snag: only one single frame now remains following its destruction (thanks to B). He attempts to recreate this lost masterpiece, suffering the usual Kaufman-esque setbacks while offering the public his opinionated commentary on art, identity, comedy and exploration of how memories define our lives – and even takes a swipe at filmmaker Charlie Kaufman. This book will command your attention from page one.


What to Watch, Read and Listen To

The Modfather, Paul Weller, is back and with a cracking new album! On Sunset is the British singer-songwriter’s 15th solo album, and sees the Modfather in a much mellower mood, more reminiscent of his previous work as a member of The Style Council, than with the 1970/80s mod-revival punk rock band The Jam. What Weller shows on this album though is his continued ability to remain relevant and consistent. He flirts with experimentation – West Coast vibes and orchestral soul alongside psychedelic electronica and brass solos – while taking stock of his life. It’s a gentle yet playful collection of tracks that you can imagine listening to in the evening – at sunset – where you and Weller can reflect on the good things in life.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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