Kumail Nanjiani debuts podcast, ‘1917’ hits Blu-ray, Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ turns 30

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for March 23-29, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

Before their semi-autobiographical romantic comedy The Big Sick transformed them into one of Hollywood’s rising power couples, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani were a pair of indoor kids who hosted a podcast called… The Indoor Kids, which ran from 2011 to 2015. With all their outdoor activities suspended due to the coronavirus, the duo are back inside — and back behind the mic — for a new audio series that launched this week, Staying In With Emily & Kumail. As those who saw The Big Sick know, the couple has a personal reason for abiding by strict shelter in place procedures: Gordon suffers from a rare autoimmune disease that places her among the most vulnerable group of Americans during the current pandemic.

Before she was a screenwriter, Gordon worked as a couples’ therapist, and Staying In is filled with helpful tips for how to cohabitate in close quarters with your significant other and practice self-care during challenging times. (All proceeds from Staying In will be donated to charity.) But the podcast also doubles as a funny and touching insight into their own relationship, whether it’s the mundane details of their daily routine or more revealing moments, like Nanjiani admitting to feeling scared any time that Gordon leaves the house without him to take a walk. “I feel like while we’re together, I can protect you,” he says, choking up. “I know that’s obviously not rational in any way.” That’s not the only time that the actor admits to getting emotional: While in self-quarantine, he’s still keeping up with the intense workout regimen that transformed him into a buff superman. “I’ll work out and get really emotional,” Nanjiani confesses. “I’ll literally be working out, sit down and have a little cry and then go back to the next set!” So that’s what it sounds like when superheroes cry. — Ethan Alter

Staying In With Kumail & Emily can be downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

True story: The other day I heard the unmistakable sounds of comedian and famed podcaster Marc Maron coming from my 7-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Why and how in the world could she be listening to WTF, I wondered. She wasn’t, thank God. She was listening to Maron read the children’s story Turkey Trouble. Maron, it turns out, is one of the dozens of celebrities who have contributed kiddie-friendly readings to the SAG-AFTRA-backed website Storyline Online. There, you can also hear Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog, Annette Bening read The Tooth, Allison Janney read Carla’s Sandwich, David Harbour read The Alligator, Rami Malek read The Empty Pot, Michelle Yeoh read Lotus & Feather, Oprah Winfrey read The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen and much more. Perfect for when you need a break from homeschooling to listen to WTF. — Kevin Polowy

Visit StorylineOnline.net for videos of various celebrities reading children’s books.

Admittedly, a WWI thriller about a desperate, against-all-odds mission sending two British soldiers (the excellent George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) behind enemy lines to deliver a critical message may not be the perfect vehicle to take your mind off of a global pandemic. But Sam Mendes’s stunningly- filmed heart racer, which was shot to look like two continual long takes and was considered the favorite to win Oscar’s Best Picture before it was upset by Parasite, is must-watch material if you haven’t seen it yet. The home entertainment release also provides new insights into how exactly Mendes, his Academy Award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins and crew were able to capture the action in such mesmerizing fashion. You can get a taste with our exclusive clip (watch above) from the bonus features. — K.P.

Buy 1917 on digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray or DVD on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ celebrates three decades since its release

Madonna’s been at it for so long that it can be hard (even for the most diehard of fanS) to remember where you were and what you were doing for the release of every single one of her hits. But “Vogue,” co-produced by Shep Pettibone, is one of the special ones — a decade-defining dance song both beloved and controversial, instantly sparking cool black-and-white video images of Luis Xtravaganza Camacho and Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and the platinum-blonde queen herself moving to the music. And while it was an early example of cultural appropriation — as the series Pose reminded us of in its most recent season — it also changed house music, and the world, forever. — Beth Greenfield

“Vogue” is available from Apple Music and Amazon.

WATCH IT: Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey lead a new crop of recent theatrical releases that are soaring onto VOD this week

Harley Quinn is usually a trend-setter rather than a trend-follower, but after Disney and Universal moved up the digital release dates of some of their recent theatrical releases like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Invisible Man, Warner Bros. decided to join the fun. So only a month after its theatrical release, Birds of Prey — helmed by game changing director Cathy Yan and starring Margot Robbie as the Cupid of Crime alongside Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as her new accomplices — will be available to purchase on digital platforms on March 24. While it’s set in the DC Extended Universe, don’t expect a lot of crossover with AquamanWonder Woman or even Suicide Squad, but bonus points for providing a handy visual guide for how to create the perfect breakfast sandwich.

Birds of Prey won’t be flying onto VOD solo: Warner Bros. is also making the Michael B. Jordan courtroom drama, Just Mercy, and the recently-released Ben Affleck comeback vehicle, The Way Back, available to watch digitally the same day. Other studios are now jumping into the early release pool in earnest: Sony’s Vin Diesel action vehicle Bloodshot will hit digital services on March 24, and the Lionsgate faith-based drama, I Still Believe, follows on March 27. Even Disney has more new releases to mine: the Pixar film, Onward, is currently available to purchase on digital services and arrives on Disney+ on April 3. — E.A.

Birds of Prey and other new releases are available to purchase on Amazon and other digital platforms.

STREAM IT: Miley Cyrus keeps you lit during dark times 

In these tough times, the perky pop star is spreading positivity with her Instagram Live chat show, Bright Minded, every day at 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET. Past guests, whose individual episodes are archived on Cyrus’s YouTube channel, have included Demi Lovato, Amy Schumer, Rita Ora, the cast of Love Is Blind, Trixie Mattel, Hailey Bieber and celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Amen. Among this week’s scheduled guests are Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Duff, Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa and Noah and Trish Cyrus. — Lyndsey Parker

Bright Minded: Live With Miley Cyrus streams daily on Instagram.

WATCH IT: Council of Dads gives us all the feels

If This Is Us makes you sob — in a good way! — then you’ll want to check out this new drama about a man with a terminal cancer diagnosis, who asks three of his friends to fulfill the role of father figure to his young children in the event he can’t be there. The series is based on the book Bruce Feiler wrote about his own experience. Feiler, who continues to write and speak, explained his thinking behind the concept of the council in a 2010 interview with NPR: “I thought, you know what, no one’s ever going to say I didn’t live a full life. But I kept coming back to the girls and would they wonder who I was? Would they wonder what daddy thought? And you think of, in that moment, all the things you’re going to miss, right? So the art projects I wouldn’t mess up or the boyfriends I wouldn’t scowl at or the aisles I wouldn’t walk down.” Expect the series to capture the feelings about what truly matters in life, just when we need it most. — Raechal Shewfelt

Council of Dads premieres Tuesday, March 24 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

READ IT: N.K. Jemisin brings New York to life — literally — in The City We Became

The brilliant mind behind The Inheritance Trilogy and The Broken Earth trilogy launches her latest trio of sure-to-be bestselling tales. The City We Became kicks off N.K. Jemisin’s planned Great Cities trilogy, in which readers delve deeply into the hearts, minds and souls of Earth’s most famous metropolises. The first volume unfolds in New York City, where five citizens (one for each borough) discover that the place they call home is as alive as they are, and it’s in need of their help if it’s going to survive the renewed attack of an ancient enemy. — E.A.

The City We Became: A Novel is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes & Noble and bookstores everywhere on Tuesday, March 24.

HEAR IT: Pearl Jam kicks out the jams on Gigaton

The legendary Seattle band was one the first major acts to postpone 2020 touring plans due to coronavirus concerns, but the good news is, they’re back with their first studio album in seven years. Gigaton has Eddie Vedder and company veering in a vibey, groovy direction, with the nervy, Talking Heads-reminiscent lead single “Dance of the Clairvoyants” providing the alt-rock dance party we all need right now. — L.P.

Download/stream Gigaton on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Mo Willems teaches your kids how to draw

If you’re like us, you’re looking for anything online that’s fun, creative and educational to help keep the kiddies occupied and engaged as the coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools. Mo Willems, author and artist of such nighty-time classics as Elephant and Piggie and Knuffle Bunny, is here to save the day… or at least about 20-30 minutes of it. In collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Willems is offering daily drawing tutorials on YouTube, showing kids (and hey, adults, too) how to pen some of his best characters. He’s also answering hard-hitting questions from young fans, like… “Do you like cake?” You might be shocked to find out his answer. — K.P.

Check out Mo Willems’s lunch doodles on YouTube.

BUY IT: Oh my god, David! Schitt’s Creek Funko Pops are now available for pre-order.

The Rosebud Motel may be closing its doors on April 7, but the Rose family can stay around your home… forever. Funko is immortalizing all four beloved characters — Johnny, Moira, David and Alexis — in vinyl form this summer. As the creative force behind the show, Daniel Levy gets a bonus Pop: If you buy the David figure that sports his standard fashion, you have a 1:6 chance of taking home an alternate version modeled after his stint on an Amish farm. You might say that we’re a little bit excited for these Pops to hit shelves on June 15. — E.A.

Schitt’s Creek Funko Pops can be pre-ordered at Entertainment Earth

HEAR IT: 5 Seconds of Summer keeps Calm and carries on

The Australian boy band is back with Calm, the fourth album of feel good pop-punk, co-produced by the Midas-touched Andrew Watt (Post Malone, Cardi B, Blink-182, Lana Del Rey) and Charlie Puth. — L.P.

Download/stream Calm on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: After Netflix’s cancellation, One Day at a Time pops onto a new network

The brilliant Rita Moreno’s turn as the wise, stubborn and witty Cuban abuela is reason enough to get into this show, entering its fourth season on Pop TV after it was canceled by Netflix, much to the shock of its fans. But the payoffs don’t stop there. With just the most basic of shoutouts to the original 1970s sitcom of the same name — single mom, two kids, building super named Schneider and a salsa-fied version of the catchy theme song — this remake is one of those shows that inspired your emotions to turn on a dime, laughing one minute and crying the next. And between the stellar cast and the list of serious topics it’s tackled in deep and graceful ways — depression, divorce, LGBTQ youth, suicidality, generation gaps, drugs, immigration, PTSD and more — it’s the perfect show for woke family viewing. — B.G.

One Day at a Time Season 4 premieres Tuesday, March 24 at 9:30 p.m. on Pop TV.

HEAR IT: Catch some Whiplash with the deluxe edition of the film’s official soundtrack release on vinyl

(Image: Craft/Varese)

Before Ryan Gosling played a clear alter-ego of filmmaker and jazz enthusiast Damien Chazelle in La La Land, 2016’s Best Picture winner for one fleeting moment, Miles Teller played a younger version of a similar jazzman in the writer-director’s 2014 debut Whiplash — and he could drum his tail off. At least, when true Best Supporting Actor Oscar champ J.K. Simmons wasn’t hurling chairs at him. The film’s soundtrack and score from La La Land Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz, driven mainly by furiously upbeat percussive slaps and dizzying big band ensemble numbers, has always been vastly underrated. It gets new life, though, in the form of a sleekly-packaged deluxe edition on vinyl, with new remixes by Opiuo, Junoflo and Konrad OldMoney included. If your record player’s in the shop, it’s also available on digital and CD. — K.P.

Buy Whiplash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Deluxe Edition on vinyl, digital or CD at Target.

STREAM IT: We’re all in this, #TogetherAtHome  

The World Health Organization and Global Citizen have teamed up for an intimate Instagram Live concert series #TogetherAtHome to “promote unity amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing protocols.” A-listers John Legend (with cameos by Chrissy Teigen and daughter Luna), Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Niall Horan, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, OneRepublic, Common, Anthony Hamilton and Hozier have already participated. — L.P.

Follow Global Citizen’s Twitter account for updates about this week’s performers.

PLAY IT: The Disney Channel cartoon, Gigantosaurus, roars on video game platforms

If you’re having trouble sharing the video game console with your kids, here’s an all-ages title the whole family can play together. Based on the Disney Channel cartoon series, Gigantosaurus combines various modes of gameplay — cooperative multiplayer adventuring, puzzle-solving and racing — into one pre-historic adventure for 1-4 players. — E.A.

Gigantosaurus: The Game is available at Target for PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One starting Friday, March 27.

STREAM IT: Rufus Wainwright lives la vie en robe

The Canadian crooner and bon vivant is posting a daily #RobeRecitals live song to his Instagram account, direct from his lavish Los Angeles music room. His velvety voice and witty repartee will soothe your soul faster than anything on the Calm app. — L.P.

Rufus Wainwright’s daily performances from his L.A. home can be viewed on Instagram.

WATCH IT: Tacoma FD heats back up with the premiere of Season 2 

A year ago, we would’ve told you Tacoma FD is a perfect treat for fans of the stupidly smart (or is it smartly stupid?) comedy stylings of Broken Lizard. “It’s basically Super Troopers, but with firefighters,” was the easy pitch. But TruTV’s breakout sitcom deserves to cast a much wider net than purely Lizard loyalists. By teaming with fresh faces Marcus Henderson, Gabriel Hogan, Hassie Harrison and Eugene Cordero (covert series MVP IMHO), Lizard alum, creators and stars Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme have crafted a consistently razor-sharp comedy that embraces its inherent silliness while rarely teetering toward corniness. In that way, Tacoma FD almost feels like a Northwestern cousin to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It might be about bored firefighters in Washington State, but it’s never dull for an instant. — K.P.

Tacoma FD Season 2 premieres Thursday, March 26 at 10 p.m. on TruTV.

WATCH IT: Pretty Woman celebrates its 30th anniversary

Well, color us happy! The beloved Julia Roberts flick is due for a rewatch, because it was released in theaters this week in 1990. Then again, do we really need an excuse to watch it? The romantic comedy captures both Roberts and her leading man, Richard Gere, at their most charming. A rollicking theme song, a fun shopping montage and a strong supporting cast make it all the more enjoyable. — R.S.

Pretty Woman is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.

STREAM IT: Ben Gibbard will possess your heart  

The Death Cab for Cutie frontman is broadcasting from his living room every day at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET, via his new Live From Home concert series on YouTube and Facebook. The likable indie-rock icon even takes fans’ requests, playing Joy Division’s “Ceremony” during one performance. Archived episodes can be viewed in their entirety on Death Cab’s YouTube channel. — L.P.

Ben Gibbard’s Live From Home streams everyday on YouTube and Facebook.

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