Tune in each week as Marhaba delves into the wonderful world of popular culture to find the best new TV series, movies, books, and music.


If you’re one of the millions craving for more action from the Marvel Universe, tune in on 15 January for WandaVision, a television miniseries airing on Disney+, the first Marvel Studios’ release on the streaming service. Featuring the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Vision, events take place after Avengers: Endgame, with roles reprised by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. Wanda and Vision are now enjoying the perfect life in suburbia, trying to fit in with the neighbours (‘We are an unusual couple’), and suspecting that everything is not as it seems. WandaVision takes its cue from iconic television shows of the past like I Love Lucy and The Brady Bunch. It’s really quite an ambitious move by Marvel Studios and one that appears to have paid off, given the rave reviews by critics lucky enough to have seen the first three episodes. Two episodes will air on 15 January (a first for Disney+), with another seven to follow.


Fellow Marvel Universe star Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon) also pops up on the screen this week in Outside the Wire. Set in 2036, AI-enhanced American military forces and warlords bent on nuclear destruction wage constant battle. Disgraced drone pilot Lieutenant Harp (Damson Idris) is sent to a military outpost to work with Captain Leo (Mackie), a top-secret android super-soldier. Leo is on a mission to prevent a nuclear attack by finding dormant weapons before the insurgents do. Expect explosions, cyber weapons, battlefields – all the usual requisites for a classic sci-fi action movie! Outside the Wire airs on Netflix from 15 January, and is more of the streaming giants’ successful original content.


Lore by Alexandra BrackenWhat happens if you cross The Hunger Games with Greek mythology? You have Lore by Alexandra Bracken, a sweeping tale of power, love and redemption. The Agon happens every seven years, created by Zeus for past rebellions. The descendants of Greek heroes in modern-day New York City are killing off the Greek gods, now living as mortals, in order to inherit their powers and immortality, becoming a new god. Feisty central character Lore Perseous has abandoned this way of life, until her childhood friend Castor and badly wounded Athena, one of the last original gods, approach her for help. Lore rejoins the hunt, seeking revenge along the way for the murder of her family in the last Agon. This is a brilliant twist on classic mythology with shocking plot twists and a protagonist to cheer for.


Zayn Malik Nobody is ListeningFormer One Directioner Zayn Malik releases his third studio album this week, Nobody Is Listening. The singer shared a video for R&B track Better off the album in September 2020, following the birth of his baby girl with partner Gigi Hadid, with many fans believing this was a deeply personal song inspired by the occasion – backed up by a press release stating that the track and the album would be his ‘most personal project to date.’ This has now been followed-up by his latest single Vibez, another possible exaltation for Gigi and baby. And that, dear readers, is all we know about the album, except it has 11 tracks and is out on 15 January!

Author: Sarah Palmer

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