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Comedy steps up as a respite from our current woes
Analysis by Lisa Respers France, CNNUpdated: Thu, 21 Jan 2021 22:07:27
A funny thing happened on the way to 2021.
Actually, nothing much amusing has happened in the new year so far --
or leading up to it.
Our collective need for some comic relief right now is no joke.
Luckily, there is laughter to be found.
"History of Swear Words": Nicolas Cage can teach us something
The hell you say!
The actor hosts "History of Swear Words," a new Netflix
series that is both educational and funny. With the help of experts and
celebs, the six-part series "explores the origins, pop
culture-usage, science and cultural impact of curse words."
"Yearly Departed": Leave it to Rachel Brosnahan to give us an
all-female comedy special to kick 2020 out the door.
The "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" star teamed up with writer Bess
Kalb for the year-end -- and still timely -- Amazon special.
Hosted by "2 Dope Queens" star Phoebe Robinson, the show also
features Sarah Silverman, Tiffany Haddish and Natasha Rothwell sending
up the year -- and reminding us that comedy isn't just for the
"The History of Sketch Comedy": Funny isn't just seen,
it can also be heard.
Keegan-Michael Key is just the man to host this new Audible Original
The "Key & Peele" star shares some of his personal memories
about sketch comedy while delving into its history.
"There's a Chinese proverb that states 'The best time to
plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now,'"
Key said. "The good news is when it comes to comedy and sketch,
most of the seeds and trees were planted tens or hundreds or even
thousands of years ago. And every day we are reaping their fruit and
making some pretty damn fine sketch comedy pies."
"Death to 2020": It feels right to end a wrap-up that starts
with a series about swearing with a project starring the Count of
Cursing, Samuel L. Jackson.
He's just one of the stars of the Netflix mockumentary "Death
to 2020." This comedic look back at a year we all want in our
rearview mirror is brought to you, ironically enough, by the creators
of "Black Mirror."
See how it all connects from history to current times? How funny is
For your weekend
Three things to watch:
'American Gangster: Trap Queens' Season 2
Men don't have a monopoly on crime.
That's the premise behind the BET docuseries "American
Gangster: Trap Queens," featuring stories about women who held
their own as crime bosses, such as Perrion Roberts, former drug
ringleader turned criminal justice reform advocate.
The second season is narrated by rapper Lil' Kim and is currently
streaming on BET+.
Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin stars in this series about a
group of relentless publicists who are tasked with doing whatever it
takes to protect their celebrity clients.
We can think of a few who might need their help.
"Flack" starts streaming on Amazon Prime Friday.
Written by Neil Cross and inspired by his novel "Burial," the
plot centers around a man (Russell Tovey) who has never been able to
forget the worst night of his life: a party that led to the sudden,
shocking death of a young woman.
Only he and an eccentric old acquaintance know what really happened ...
and they've resolved to keep it that way. But secrets have a way
of revealing themselves.
Hulu starts streaming the four-part series on Friday.
Two things to listen to:
It's not true that "Nobody Is Listening."
That's the title of Zayn Malik's third studio album. The
former One Direction member and model Gigi Hadid's baby daddy goes
by just his first name these days.
Honestly, the R&B singer can call himself whatever he wants with an
album full of tunes this smooth.
"Nobody Is Listening" is out now.
If Maggie Lindemann has her way, the future of rock is female.
The 22-year-old singer has won fans by blending genres including punk
and pop (see Lindemann's remake of her own song "Friends
Go," with famed Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker) and for her
social media presence.
Check out her EP, "Paranoia," which drops Friday.
One thing to talk about:
"Insecure" is ending with its fifth season and I'm
trying not to be in my feelings about it.
Losing a beloved series when it has been canceled or just run its
course can feel sad -- and 2021 will mark the winding down of several
"Peaky Blinders," "Shameless," "Grace and
Frankie" and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" are just
a few of the shows calling it a wrap this year.
Thankfully, we can take solace in the fact that there is a ton of good
content out there just waiting to be discovered, so chin up.
Something to sip on
US President Joe Biden issued a call for unity across the nation during
his inauguration speech on Wednesday, and the performances by Lady
Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks echoed that.
Watching the three artists, each talented and reflective of our
culturally diverse nation, reminded me we are still one nation, under
Let's hope we move forward, together.
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