To stave off possible boredom while at home, Marhaba has delved into the wonderful world of popular culture to find the best new TV series, movies and books.


Everyone is talking about it – Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix. If you are one of the few who hasn’t yet seen it, the clues are all there in the title. This true crime documentary’s main character is Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage – you can see why he shortened it!), a zoo owner-big cat collector-magician-country singer who sports a rather attractive blonde mullet hairdo. The seven-episode series is a riveting must-see binge-fest, along the lines of Making a Murderer and Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist (you should also add these to your list). It follows Joe Exotic as he has run-ins with big cat conservationist Carole Baskin while simultaneously running for office and trying out a career as a country singer. The Tiger King is now an internet sensation, being the subject of memes and unbelievable background stories almost as entertaining as the show. Watch Tiger King and join in the internet craze currently going around.


On 16 March 2020, NBC Universal announced the studio was going to release its theatrical offerings via on-demand providers, due to cinemas being closed and to allow people to watch the movies at home instead. Other studios then followed suit, releasing a number of movies earlier than their scheduled download release dates. One of these movies is the family-friendly Sonic the Hedgehog, which was initially released in the US in mid-February. The movie is the second highest-grossing movie of 2020, and the highest-grossing video game adaptation ever in the US. Ben Schwartz is the voice of Sonic, the super speedy blue hedgehog who is given a bag of rings that create gateways to other planets, one of which sends him to Earth. Sonic is lonely though, and becomes friends with Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), but manages to lose his precious bag of rings. Both Sonic and Sheriff Tom end up on the run from mad scientist Dr Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, who – like all good villains – wants world domination at whatever price. Together Sonic and Sheriff Tom try to foil Dr Robotnik’s dastardly plans while having lots of adventures. Will they make it? Watch the movie to find out!


Escape from it all with a good thriller! The Boy from the Woods is the new offering from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben – his last seven novels all debuted at Number 1 on the NYT bestseller list. He also penned the TV series The Stranger currently on Netflix. The Boy from the Woods is a standalone novel from Coben and centres on Wilde, a mysterious man with no known past who was found 30 years ago living wild in the New Jersey backwoods – hence the name. With no memory of how he got to be living like this or even who he is, Wilde lives off the grid as a security expert, ostracised by the local community. Until a teenage girl goes missing … now it is a race against time to find her while exposing dark secrets that the town wants to stay hidden. This is yet another extraordinary thriller from one of the world’s best writers and promises twists and turns on every page.

This week's top choices for newsletter


Current pop darling Dua Lipa has just dropped her second studio album, Future Nostalgia. This new album is a mix of 80’s pop and disco, based on her memories of listening to feel-good dance tracks by Jamiroquai, Madonna and Gwen Stefani, among others. The 11 songs deal with themes such as new loves and heartbreak, friendship, empowerment and equality. Released on 27 March 2020, Future Nostalgia has already received widespread acclaim for the Grammy award-winning artist. Some are saying that Dua Lipa is one of the greatest pop stars of this generation – Future Nostalgia goes a long way towards affirming this bold claim.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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