Before the drama of COVID-19 — remember back that far? — chants of “build that wall” and photos of kids in ICE detention centers horrified the country. That’s the tension that’s injected into this new drama series, in which a former border agent (played by Michael Chiklis) comes out of retirement to help someone get across the border and evade his former colleagues.
2. Ashanti vs. Keyshia Cole
By now if you don’t know about Verzuz — in which legendary musicians go head to head with the 10 best songs in their respective catalogs — you either missed 2020 completely (which, if you did, I’m jealous) or are allergic to the internet, which, honestly, I’d be jealous of too. Saturday’s matchup is between Grammy Award-winning artist Ashanti and multi-platinum-record-selling crooner Keyshia Cole in what is slated to be a showdown heavy on heartbreak records and ’00s fun.
3. The Carlos Watson Show
Dubbed the “fastest-growing talk show in YouTube history” by Good Morning America, OZY’s online interview series is now in its second season. Keep up with the biggest names in news and entertainment as Carlos interviews The Daily host Michael Barbaro and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Check out all the episodes right here.
4. Greta Thunberg and the Dalai Lama
Our pressing environmental crisis felt like a footnote with everything else going on in 2020. COP26 — otherwise known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference — was postponed until November due to the coronavirus, despite this past year’s record number of natural disasters. Well, some people refuse to wait for the conference to address the crisis. Today at 10:30 p.m. Eastern, catch the 18-year-old Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg and the 14th Dalai Lama in a free virtual conversation. It’s part of a new docuseries, narrated by Richard Gere, called Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops, that seeks answers to how humanity can (maybe) still save itself.
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Last year’s implosion of Bon Appetit over its minority-unfriendly policies sent a lot of people looking for a better alternative. That’s Whetstone, a minority-owned print and digital culinary magazine taking readers around the world from Peru to Iran to South Dakota. While the publisher took a break from print during the pandemic, it’s just announced that it’s coming back strong in 2021.
2. Sex With Eugene
You don’t have to be a sex addict to be addicted to OZY’s popular sex column, Sex With Eugene — after all, where else will you learn how to handle a partner who never climaxes, or a husband who’s watching a lot (and we mean a lot) of gay porn? OZY Editor-at-Large Eugene Robinson to the rescue!
3. I Came as a Shadow
To the world, Georgetown’s John Thompson was a legendary basketball coach, but his autobiography — published posthumously in August — is the inside story of a lifelong struggle. Don’t worry if you don’t like sports: Dr. Christina Greer, OZY’s editor at large, says this story of a man who grew up in the Jim Crow South and became the first Black head coach to lead a collegiate team to a championship is “about a whole lot more than basketball.”
4. Walking With Ghosts
Before playing a therapist in the critically acclaimed HBO series In Treatment and Bill Ward in the Anglo-French reimagining of War of The Worlds, Gabriel Byrne first pursued Catholic priesthood. In fact, his first introduction into cinema wasn’t until he was 29 — and before that, the Dublin native held jobs as an archaeologist, bullfighter and Spanish teacher. Byrne details this journey and more in his memoir, Walking With Ghosts, out next week.
5. Breasts and Eggs
Using the relationship of two sisters, Japanese author Mieko Kawakami, tackles the subject of body positivity head-on in her 2020 novel Breast and Eggs, which also happens to be her first in English. Filled with colorful banter and comedic prose, she cleverly weaves the story of two sisters: one, whose daughter desires breast implants and the other longs for motherhood, in what turns out to be a relatable read from cover to cover.
We all know how it feels to wake up after eating three bags of pizza rolls. Like us, pets need nutritious meals to feel their best. Our friends at Spot & Tango have created revolutionary, 100 percent human-grade dog food so your BFF can live their happiest life. Best of all, their meal plans start at only $6.99 per week with free shipping.
Since Grimes debuted as an artist in 2007, she’s been a poster child for enigmatic music thanks to her eerie synths and interpretive lyrics. Her latest offering, Miss Anthropocene, released in February, continues this trend, offering dark, cryptic tunes with a techno backdrop. The Canadian-born artist is still tinkering with it months later: Just a couple of weeks ago, she had the album art switched out for something she likes better.
2. Midnight Train
With so much going on in 2020, you may have missed the 13-track album titled Midnight Train by Kenyan Afro-pop group Sauti Sol. I know I did. Though it was released last year, the music is not depressing in the slightest. In fact, it’s surprisingly inspirational, filled with robust horns and vibrant instrumentation as the Nairobi-based band shows off the pop boy-band sound that has made them a sensation across the continent.
3. Books and Boba
Need help compiling your 2021 “to read” list? Look no further than this podcast — a monthly chat focused on Asian and Asian American literature that will get you up to speed on best-sellers and under-the-radar gems with author interviews, commentary and publishing news. Unfortunately, boba doesn’t come with the podcast — but try this recipe to make your own while you listen.
Maybe resolutions are too much after the year we’ve all endured. But going into 2021, you can at least make sure to remember the new year with this app that allows you to shoot a home movie based on one second of footage recorded each day. The everydayness of it may also help you stick to your other daily goals, like walking 10,000 steps or watering your houseplants.
Yes, you could start the new year with another frustrating diet that messes up your relationship to food and makes you miserable. Or you could … not. We’re on the “eat whatever we want, the world is ending” diet, but if you’re actually trying to eat healthier without getting sucked into diet culture shaming, then check out the anti-dieting app Wellory, which pairs you with a nutritionist who encourages you to take photos of your food (which you’re already doing for Instagram, right?). The app’s personalized nutrition coaching doesn’t come cheap — it’s $60 per month — but investors are already betting on it, with $4.5 million raised as of last month.
3. The Walk
This isn’t a to-do list tracker — it’s a thrilling British audio game that also functions as a pedometer, encouraging you to walk your way through the story as you get your daily steps. It’s from the creators of the beloved Zombies, Run! app that gets users to run with an ongoing, multi-season story about how they’re going to get eaten by zombies if they don’t — only the Walk’s a bit gentler and kinder.