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.


Lisey’s Story is based on Stephen King’s 2006 novel, with all eight episodes written by King himself. He first expressed an interest in making a screen version of his favourite book back in August 2017, wanting to make a TV series rather than a movie to allow for the story to unfold over a longer period of time.  Two years later it was snapped up by Apple Inc, with J J Abrams joining as producer. The terrifying thriller centres on widow Lisey Landon (Julianne Moore), who is pursued by persistent professor (Ron Cephas Jones) wants to get his hands on manuscripts left by Lisey’s author husband Scott (Clive Owen). The series sees Children of Men stars Moore and Owen playing a couple again and is a mix of classic King themes: imaginary worlds, the literary process, grief and riveting suspense. Available on Apple TV+ from 4 June, with episodes every Friday.


There is more paranormal activity to watch this week in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga again play real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in the follow-up to The Conjuring 2 and the eighth instalment in the expanding Conjuring Universe franchise. The movie is based on the true life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who in 1981 was the first person in US history to plead demonic possession while standing trial for murdering his landlord. This is not strictly ‘based on a true story’, but is a fun movie with plenty of action, scary moments and the odd bit of humour thrown in for good measure. Available on HBO Max from 4 June and selected cinemas in Qatar – see our listing for timings.


Actress Catherine Steadman is best known as Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey, but she is also now a bestselling author. Her new novel, The Disappearing Act, is an unputdownable mystery/thriller that captures the ups, downs and absurdities of Hollywood. British actress Mia travels to Los Angeles to join the madness of pilot season, where networks and studios look to add new shows to their schedules. A fish out of water, she meets fellow actress Emily who asks Mia for a favour – and then disappears.
Perplexed, Mia doesn’t know what to do, until Emily shows up at her home the next day. Except this woman isn’t Emily, she’s only pretending to be her. Mia is forced to decide between solving the mystery of where the real Emily is and jeopardising the role of a lifetime. The Disappearing Act is out on 8 June.


Blue Weekend is the eagerly awaited third studio album from British alt-rock quartet Wolf Alice. Three singles have already been released – The Last Man on Earth, Smile, and No Hard Feelings – part of a stunning collection of songs with the band’s tried-and-tested variety of musical references. Singer Ellie Rowsell’s vocals are outstanding as always, packing a real emotional punch. It was difficult to know how Wolf Alice could top their Mercury Prize-winning second album Visions of a Life, but it would seem the band has raised the bar yet again. Out on 4 June.

Check out more Marhaba recommendations of the best movies, shows, books and music here.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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