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.


Reacher Season 1
Amazon Prime, 4 February

Reacher is an upcoming American crime thriller based on the incredibly successful series of books by Lee Child. The TV series was announced in 2019 following the dubious reaction to the movies in which Tom Cruise played the titular character, 6’ 6” blonde Jack Reacher. This new version of Reacher is played by ‘swole’ Alan Ritchson (Smallville, Titans), a more impressive 6’ 2”. The first season has eight episodes, and is based on Killing Floor, Child’s debut novel. The series starts with Reacher entering civilian life after a long career as a military police investigator. Arrested for a murder he did not commit, he finds himself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy with dodgy cops, businessmen and politicians. Using his wits, and probably some muscle, he needs to figure out what is happening in Margrave, Georgia.


The Tinder Swindler
Netflix, 2 February

The premise for The Tinder Swindler is so incredible you would be forgiven for thinking it was a work of fiction. Sadly not, as this documentary movie is the jaw-dropping story of convicted conman Shimon Hayut. Posing as Simon Leviev, the son of billionaire Russian-Israeli diamond mogul, Lev Leviev, the 31-year-old used the dating app Tinder to charm a number of women around the world out of their life savings. Calling himself the ‘Prince of Diamonds’, he used this money to fund his lavish lifestyle, hire staff and a bodyguard – and disappear. His fairytale life became a tale of revenge for these wronged women, who united to bring him down. Tune in from 2 February to see if they succeed in swindling the Tinder Swindler.

Related: See our Cinema Listings for all the latest releases you can watch in Qatar!


Black Cake
Charmaine Wilkerson, 1 February

This has been touted as one of the most anticipated books of 2022, and has been optioned as a forthcoming series on Hulu with Oprah Winfrey as executive producer. Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is of a family’s extraordinary journey forever changed by the choices of its matriarch, and takes place in Jamaica, Italy, the UK and southern California.

In the late 1960s, runaway bride Covey disappears into the ocean off the coast of Jamaica, considered either drowned or a fugitive on the run for her husband’s murder. Fifty years later in California, widow Eleanor Bennett loses her battle with cancer. She leaves her estranged children Byron and Benny a recording of previously unknown stories of her journey from the Caribbean to the US. She also leaves a recipe for a traditional Caribbean black cake. As more of the story is told, Byron and Benny need to piece together Eleanor’s hidden past and honour her final request to ‘share the black cake when the time is right’. This will test the siblings’ relationship, as they will have to resolve their differences in order to understand the mother they have lost and move forward in life.


Give Me The Future
Bastille, 4 February

The fourth studio album by British indie pop band Bastille was executive produced by Ryan Tedder of One Republic fame. Another pandemic-based album, Bastille’s tried-and-tested formula is still in evidence as they appear to forget the present and instead focus on the future. On these 13 new tracks, the dancefloor fillers invite listeners to reflect on the band’s vision of a dystopian universe. Lead singer-songwriter Dan Smith makes reference to the works of writers such as George Orwell and Philip K Dick, while award-winning actor Riz Ahmed makes an appearance on Promises, a spoken word poem of a less apocalyptic future. Elsewhere, Back to the Future and Blade Runner mix 1980s disco and AI-style vocals. Listen to the album in its entirety for maximum impact.

We update weekly with all-new choices, so make sure to bookmark this page! Check out more Marhaba recommendations of the best movies, shows, books, and music here.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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