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.


Reprising their roles after a mere three decades, Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso) and William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) star in Cobra Kai, based on events since the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament and The Karate Kid film series. Thirty-four years after his defeat in the tournament, Johnny’s decision to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo reignites his old feud with Daniel. Johnny’s interaction with his first student Miguel is reminiscent of the relationship between Daniel and Mr Miyagi; Miguel is a different kind of student though, and ructions occur when he begins dating Daniel’s daughter Samantha. The family drama intensifies when Johnny’s estranged son Robby goes to work for Daniel. The series has received positive reviews for its portrayal of relationships, and of how Johnny and Daniel are both unable to leave the past behind. Series 1 and 2 will air on Netflix from 28 August, with Series 3 to be released in 2021.


The wait is finally over – Bill & Ted Face the Music is out via video on demand on 28 August! It has been 29 years since Bill and Ted had their last most excellent adventures. In this long-awaited and much discussed reunion, the middle-aged pair are given 78 minutes to write a song to save life on earth and the universe, so obviously they travel to the future to take the song they have already written from themselves. This time, their daughters will accompany them as they aim to fulfil their air-guitar playing rock and roll destiny. Bodacious! And remember: be excellent to each other. Available online through Amazon, iTunes and Google Play, while related merch can be found at


What to Watch, Read and Listen to

If you’re unable to holiday abroad at the moment but yearn to get away, why not travel vicariously to Paris in Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Rosell Lim, the author of the critically-acclaimed Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune. In this literary vacation, Vanessa is a psychic who doesn’t want to see other people’s fortunes (and misfortunes) in the tea leaves. Despite changing her beverage to coffee, she finds herself still in trouble as she needs to escape the matchmaking expert sent by her parents, who are despairing of her non-existent love life. When she learns of how she will die, she flees to Paris to be with her aunt Evelyn, another psychic. Readers will be swept away as Vanessa and Evelyn enjoy second chances and new beginnings, together with the magical sights and sounds of one of the world’s most romantic cities – all without leaving your house.


What to Watch, Read and Listen to

Katy Perry releases Smile on 28 August, bumper-full of summer pop tunes. Perry allegedly wrote the album while in one of the darkest periods of her life, where she had lost her smile, writing on Instagram ‘This whole album is my journey towards the light – with stories of resilience, hope, and love.’ Perry has sold a staggering 45 mn albums worldwide, and Smile will no doubt add a significant number to that total. It features the hit singles Daisies, Harleys In Hawaii, and Never Really Over, as well as the title track, which have been released over the last few months while production issues were resolved. The songs on this album perfectly sum up mixing joy and pain without being too down on yourself.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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