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.


New to Disney+ is The Mysterious Benedict Society, an adventure series based on the books by Trenton Lee Stewart. Brilliant Mr Benedict (Tony Hale) heads up the Mysterious Benedict Society, who recruits four gifted orphans to infiltrate The Institute, a school run by Mr Curtain (also Tony Hale). The sinister Mr Curtain is using mind control to cause ‘The Emergency’, creating anxiety and depression during an ongoing global financial crisis. It’s up to the four kids to stop Mr Curtain and save the world! The series has a gloriously retro set design, like The Umbrella Academy for younger viewers.


Chris Pratt is starting to corner the market in action blockbusters and sci-fi franchises. He adds to his impressive portfolio with this summer’s big-budget movie The Tomorrow War, out on Friday 2 July on Amazon Prime. Time travellers from 2051 have arrived to warn that 30 years in the future, the human race will be fighting a losing battle against an alien species. The solution? Soldiers and civilians must jump forward in time and join the fight. One enlister is Dan Forester (Pratt), a military veteran, teacher and devout family man. To protect his daughter at all costs, he teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (JK Simmons) in a last-ditch attempt to rewrite the fate of the planet. Check out the final trailer for a sneak peek of the lizard-like ETs and some spectacular visual effects.


Matt Haig, the bestselling author of The Humans and The Midnight Library, is back with another uplifting read. The Comfort Book is a collection of notes, lists, and stories written by Haig over several years, initially intended to be a reminder to his future self that things are not always as dark as they may seem. This self-help manual encompasses an array of sources – history, science, and the experiences of both himself and others – inviting the reader to slow down and appreciate the miracle and beauty of being alive. ‘Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.’ – Neil Gaiman


Gravelly singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti‘s new release is Europiana, the follow-up to his smash 2019 album Singing to Strangers. That album was recorded in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s studio, while this new offering was created during lockdowns at Jack’s home in Oxfordshire. According to the singer, ‘Europiana isn’t a sound. It’s references and inspirations and the emotions they evoke. It’s the music of my childhood summers, remade for today.’ These dreamy tracks perfectly conjure up sunbaked Italian beaches and balmy nights on the French Riviera, with a dash of Europop and the legendary Nile Rodgers thrown in for good measure.

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

Author: Sarah Palmer

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