Let's face it: leaving your house is really overrated. Sure, you probably have to do so to go to work, but on the weekend, when you don't have to work, there's no good reason. So ignore your errands, order a pizza, and get ready to ignore the world! You have two days with which to do absolutely nothing. Let's fill those days up with some pop culture, shall we?
Top pick: The One I Love
There are a lot of indie films about struggling marriages. There are even a lot of semi-improvised indie films about struggling marriages that feature only a handful of actors. But there's never been one quite like The One I Love, which takes a turn in its first act that is best not to know about going in. Suffice to say that The One I Love starts out in one genre, then invites elements of another over for dinner, and the two get along much better than you'd expect.
At the center of the film — already available on demand but also opening in theaters this weekend — are Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), a couple whose relationship is in serious trouble after several years. When the film begins, they're in counseling with a therapist (played with expertly pitched lazy remove by Ted Danson), struggling to go back to the early days of their relationship. It doesn't work. So he suggests they get away for the weekend at a retreat he's sent couples to in the past. And then things shift.
The best thing about The One I Love is that it understands that any relationship in crisis is less about the actual actions that cause the relationship to enter crisis and more about how hard it is to adjust to the fact that any two people who know each other well enough are going to eventually find their passions dulled. The chief competition for a loved one isn't some other person; it's the memory of the way things were, when you portrayed yourself as just a little bit better than you actually were to catch somebody else's eye.
The One I Love stumbles a fair bit in its third act, when it tries too hard to explain what's "really" going on, but for most of its running time, and particularly in its middle 30 minutes, it's an ingenious exploration of how falling out of love sometimes means clinging to old memories long after they're useful.
Binge: The Simpsons
There is only one binge this weekend, and that is The Simpsons marathon on FXX. Most of the show's greatest episodes are airing between now and Monday, so settle down in front of your TV and head on down to Springfield.
Listen: Sea When Absent by A Sunny Day in Glasgow
A Sunny Day in Glasgow is an indie-music lovers background music dream. The indie-pop band's fifth full-length album Sea When Absent was released on June 24, and is a huge step up from the group's earlier, less refined work. The texture created by the six-piece band gives Sea When Absent the feel of a psychedelic album made for happy people who like melodies, and the band is just under-the-radar enough to make you seem cool when you bring it up in conversation.
Start with "The Things They Do to Me," a great song for doing some household chores, or doing absolutely nothing at all.
Read: The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein
Weekends are good for settling in with a long tome, filled with tons of information. That's what you'll find in The Invisible Bridge, the third in author Rick Perlstein's series of four books chronicling the rise of the conservative right. It's possible Perlstein gets too in the weeds in this book, especially since it covers only the years 1973 (the start of Richard Nixon's fall) to 1976 (when Ronald Reagan very nearly unseated a sitting president from his own party). But Perlstein writes so vividly about the world of 40 years ago that it leaps off the page, even for those who didn't live through it.
Plus, his central thesis is fascinatingly teased out throughout. In the ‘70s, Perlstein argues, there was a brief chance when the United States almost had a reckoning, almost realized it was not perfect. And then that mostly went away, in a fashion that affected both major political parties. The Invisible Bridge chronicles that process, and it's unexpectedly riveting doing so. Few authors are as good at teasing out subtle psychological and philosophical shifts in the American body politic.
Sample: BoJack Horseman
Netflix's latest series, BoJack Horseman, has a similar feel to lots of other adult-themed, edgy animated shows, so if you like that sort of thing, it might be for you. Will Arnett voices the title character, a horse who was somehow the father on a family sitcom in the ‘90s (think Bob Saget, but as a horse). Now, his career's on the rocks, and he lives with a guy named Todd (voice of Aaron Paul) while working on his autobiography with a young writer (voice of Alison Brie). There are occasional amusing moments in BoJack, but the show-business satire is warmed over, and the animation is frequently stiff and uninvolving. There's no real idea here beyond "Wouldn't it be funny if a horse did things?" And it is. Just very rarely.
How long should I give it?: If you're intrigued after the first episode, maybe keep going. If not, you can bail.
Sample: The Intruders
BBC America is following up the premiere of the newest season of Doctor Who with its latest original series, The Intruders. And while this show is going to have devoted acolytes, it's no Orphan Black. That show was engaging from the word go, while The Intruders is mystifying from the word go. In the first handful of episodes, it's difficult to say what's happening without reading the press notes BBC America provided, or looking for a plot summary of the book on which the series is based. That might be all right if the characters were involving, but short of a little girl who may not be what she seems, the show struggles in this regard. Still, there are some legitimately unsettling moments throughout, and at only eight episodes, there's always the possibility of a strong payoff. There's an audience for unsettling weirdness, and maybe you're part of it.
How long should I give it?: If you're not at least vaguely interested by the first five minutes, you can check out. Everything that follows is more of the same.