A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
I was going to make a joke about how hot it is out and how hot the stars are in the first of the three things to watch this week, but I’m too busy sweating to amuse you all.
It feels hell hot in multiple places around the world, so please check on the vulnerable (pets, young people, the elderly) and try to stay cool.
My suggestion: Stay inside and watch and listen to some of the offerings here.
‘The Gray Man’
How can you ignore a film that stars Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans and Regé-Jean Page?
The answer is you cannot.
In this spy thriller, Gosling and Evans play a pair of shadow CIA agents who are trying to off each other. There is plenty of fast-paced action, with Gosling getting compared to James Bond in online chatter.
It starts streaming on Netflix Friday.
We can thank Issa Rae for this one, even though she’s not starring.
The “Insecure” star/co-creator served as executive producer and wrote the debut episode for this series about two estranged friends who come together to form a rap duo. “Keep It” podcast host Aida Osman and “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” star and rapper KaMillion play the lead roles.
The comedy is set in Miami and very much giving shades of the real-life rap duo City Girls, but with the wit of Rae and her team in a comedy that’s as much about female empowerment and life as it is hip-hop.
The first two episodes are streaming on HBO Max, which like CNN is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.
‘Virgin RIver’ Season 4
I don’t usually drop shows here that have been on for a while, but I kept hearing about “Virgin River.” And now I understand why.
Set in a small town, it’s soapy and has romance and drama. If that doesn’t scream “addictive comfort viewing,” nothing does.
This season, there’s a question of paternity as a main storyline, along with everything else going on in a remote corner of Northern California. If you’re looking for a binge, start with season one and keep it rolling.
Season four is currently streaming on Netflix.
After having released his electric album, “Fear of the Dawn,” in April, Jack White has gone acoustic for his latest.
“Entering Heaven Alive,” out Friday, came together from a bunch of music White had created that didn’t quite fit in the same project.
“No matter how much I tried to make a sequence out of the songs, it just seemed like you were taking a Miles Davis record and putting it in the middle of an Iron Maiden record,” White told Variety. “It had an ‘Oh, that’s interestingly jarring thing’ to it, but it wasn’t breathing or flowing.”
I, for one, can’t get enough Jack White music, so I’m not unhappy about two distinct albums.
Odesza, the electronic music group currently made up of Harrrison Mills and Clayton Knight, is hoping their latest album brings people out to party in person.
“You basically write another album, because you’re adapting all the music to the live setting, blending old songs with new, remixing little aspects,” Knight told Billboard. “It’s a full-on project.”
The duo’s accompanying tour is more performance art than DJ sets on some level, and it’s as much designed to dazzle attendees as it is to get them dancing.
“The Last Goodbye” is out Friday.
Raise your hand if either an ex reached out to you or you reached out to an ex, or you considered it, after Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck eloped.
I plead the fifth as my husband reads this newsletter (he’d better and I am no fool), but let’s just say that Lopez and Affleck’s finding their way back to each other after decades had some of us in their feelings.
Much has been made about Lopez’s number of marriages (now four), not to mention multiple engagements and relationships, when in reality she’s hardly the first (or the last) in Hollywood to keep trying when it comes to love.
And isn’t the saying that it gets greater, later? Best of luck to Bennifer 2.0.
I worked out for the first time in a minute because of Emilia Clarke and have been paying better attention to my diet.
The revelation from the “Game of Thrones” actor that she’s “missing” parts of her brain, after having suffered two devastating aneurysms, was a huge wake-up call. Clarke’s case is a stark reminder of how life can change in an instant.
She is just the latest example of a celebrity using a deep personal crisis to inform and help others.
Not only did she survive, but she’s thriving and helping others with her Same You organization, which seeks to educate others about and help those who have suffered from strokes and brain injuries.
I have so much admiration for how she is using one of the darkest periods of her life to shine a light on an important subject.
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