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.


It’s Shark Week on the Discovery channel this week, with more than 20 hours of shark programming available to watch (peeking through fingers optional). Shark Week has been running for over 30 years and takes viewers underwater to see the remarkable lives of sharks. Air Jaws: Ultimate Breach Off sees experts capturing sharks breach off the shore of Seal Island, South Africa, with one capturing a record-breaking 15 foot breach, while Mike Tyson will go head-to-head with a formidable predator in Tyson Vs Jaws: Rumble on the Reef. After dealing with an attack of nerves and vomiting, Tyson managed to put a shark to sleep by ticking its nose, and credits the show with allowing him to overcome some personal fears he has in life. Meanwhile Shaquille O’Neal has his own shark encounter on ShaqAttack, and Will Smith continues his thrill-seeking escapades for his 50th birthday in Will Smith: Off The Deep End. Shark Week is on until 16 August – no sharks were harmed during the making of the programmes.


A new feel-good movie for the family is Magic Camp, available from 14 August on Disney+. The screenplay was originally drafted by Steve Martin way back in 2014, with changes to writing and production personnel taking place over the next four years. It was then due for theatrical release in late 2018, before the decision was taken to release the movie as a Disney+ exclusive. Andy (Adam DeVine) returns as a counsellor to the camp he went to in his youth hoping to reignite his career, thanks to advice given to him by his former mentor and Magic Camp owner Roy Preston (Jeffrey Tambor). Once lauded as a camp legend, down-on-his-luck Andy gains the respect of his team of rookie magicians and misfit campers, while dealing with former partner and arch rival Kristina (Gillian Jacobs). The movie is based on the real life documentary of magic-obsessed kids from all over the world gathering together at a magic camp, available on Amazon.


what to watch, read and listen to

Fiona Davis has already written two books set in iconic New York buildings. Now, in The Lions of Fifth Avenue, Davis turns her attention to the New York Public Library. Set in 1913, Laura Lyons and her husband live in the library’s superintendent’s apartment. Seemingly, Laura has everything – a beautiful family, living in a grand building – but she wants more for her life. She begins studying at the Columbia Journalism School, with her studies taking her all across the city, then joins a women’s rights club, questioning her life as a wife and a mother. Eighty years later, her granddaughter Sadie Donovan is living her own dream life as a curator at the New York Public Library. Rare books and manuscripts start disappearing, leading Sadie to team up with a private investigator and delve into her family’s mysterious past in order to save her job.


what to watch, read and listen to

Scottish alt-rock trio Biffy Clyro are back with their ninth studio album A Celebration of Endings on 14 August. The first single, Instant History – where electronica meets rock and roll – was released in February 2020, with the album originally scheduled for release in May and later pushed back to August. Arguably one of Scotland’s finest musical exports, the band retains their signature sound on this latest offering, effortlessly changing from guitar riffs and grunge rock to emotional paeans. There is everything from pop-punk influences, acoustic strings and blues guitar to savour on the sing-along anthems, with singer Simon Neil belting out the lyrics with his usual fervour.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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