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.


Coming from Alex Garland, author of ‘The Beach’ and director of ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Annihilation’, you would expect something quite extraordinary with new TV show Devs. And it is. This is a moody thriller with dabs of sci-fi and horror thrown in for good measure. The central character is Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno, an Alex Garland regular), a software engineer for quantum computing company and secretive Silicon Valley tech pioneers Amaya, headed by Forest (Nick Offerman, ‘Parks and Recreation’). She finds her partner dead after he goes missing, having also just started working for Amaya.


The series explores what part the company has potentially played in his death as Lily investigates the secretive development division in Amaya, along with themes such as free will versus determinism, what it means to be human, and love and loss. The show is available on Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer (UK) and Hulu (US). For fans of the music, an accompanying 37-track score has been released digitally, with a vinyl album and double CD coming later this year.


A great new movie for kids is out this week, as Scoob! sees those pesky kids and talking dog still meddling in solving mysteries! This version of the Scooby-Doo franchise stars the voice of Frank Welker as the eponymous character (fun fact: the only cast member from the original series to reprise his role), alongside Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Gina Rodriguez and Will Forte as the gang, and Jason Isaacs, Tracy Morgan and Mark Wahlberg as other animated characters from the Hanna-Barbera camp. The movie is the first full-length animated Scooby-Doo adventure and tells the never-before told story of him being adopted by Shaggy and the formation of Mystery Inc. After years of solving hundreds of cases, the friends face their biggest challenge yet: the evil plot to release ghost dog Cerberus and the ensuing global ‘dogpocalypse’. Zoinks! Available on multiple platforms, visit for details.


In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week taking place 18-24 May, this week we recommend a book to keep us all going through these turbulent times. Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude is a journal that you can use to culture gratitude, which is so important when considering one’s mental health. Although not a new release, it is recommended for its simplistic way of challenging us to find the positive in life. This bestselling
guide takes the user on a journey of self exploration over the course of 52 weeks and encourages us all to focus on being thankful for what we have, no matter how big or small. The beautifully-designed weekly spread inside the book has an inspirational quote and space for three things to write down each day, as well as a weekly checkpoint. What are you grateful for in your life? It could be starting a new book, watching herbs grow on the windowsill, receiving a message from a friend, brewing a great cup of coffee. Good days start with gratitude, so make writing a daily note a reminder for all the good things you have in life.

Good days start with gratitude


Long awaited is the new album by The 1975, repeatedly postponed but by all accounts ready for download on 22 May. Originally titled ‘Music for Cars’ and ‘Drive Like You Do’, Notes on a Conditional Form saw the first song ‘The 1975’ released in July 2019 and featured the voice of teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, at which time the album was scheduled for release in February 2020. After numerous delays and changes in album cover and packaging, finally we get to hear the new album in its entirety. The 22-song tracklist is the second part of what the band is calling the ‘Music For Cars’ era and sees the band tackle everything from UK garage on ‘Frail State of Mind’ to punk-meets-heavy-metal-meets-pop on ‘People’ to orchestra on ’The End (Music For Cars)’. Something for everyone then! The world anxiously waits for 22 May just in case there are anymore delays…

Author: Sarah Palmer

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