Welcome to a bumper edition of The Edit, which should hopefully keep you entertained all weekend.
As always, let me know what you think of this issue or send your own recommendations of things to read, watch or listen to by hitting reply. If you enjoy The Edit, please tell other people about it either by forwarding the e-mail on or posting a link to theeditmail.com on social media.
Here are this week’s picks:
Explaining the plot of rom-coms always makes them sound terrible, so I’m not going to do that here. This Netflix movie starring, written and produced by Ali Wong and Randall Park does things a little differently but still very comfortably fulfils the basic requirement of laugh, laugh, laugh then cry your eyes out essential to any film in the genre. Oh, and it also stars Keanu Reeves playing himself in one of the most bizarre performances you will see this year (or maybe ever).
The parents of a child actor who has been abused by a Hollywood producer accept a £3 million pay off in exchange for their NDA-enforced silence. This is a difficult and disturbing watch. It’s compelling viewing as we see the impact of the situation upon the family but offers very little in terms of light to balance the shade. The first two parts are on BBC iPlayer now, with the series concluding on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Meet the cast of BBC drama Dark Money (Radio Times)
Publishers told Matt Cain his semi-autobiographical novel, strung together with the music of Madonna, was too gay so he turned to the crowd-funding platform Unbound to get it out in the world. A year later, with film rights sold and a paperback edition on the shelves he is well and truly proving his doubters wrong.
The story spans almost three decades of Charlie Matthews life, from his discovery and immediate obsession with Madonna as a nine-year-old through to leaving for university and a new life in London and on to the challenges of going back home and reckoning with his parents inevitable mortality. There’s a familiarity to Charlie’s experience which I think makes this book so appealing to gay men, and also anyone who has felt like an outsider.
"I was told my book was 'too gay' to publish - but now it's going to be made into a movie" (Manchester Evening News)
I’m fairly sure I don’t need to set this one up but I’m including it this week for anyone who is on the fence about starting the new series. You absolutely should. I wasn’t a big fan of the season two; I found it quite boring at times and felt that it was only really held up by its own hype. The new series could not be more different. It is really fun and entertaining with just enough frights to keep you on edge. The world of Hawkins is so meticulously rendered and immersive that it is no surprise 18 million people watched all eight episodes last weekend!
BONUS: Stranger Summer - a Stranger Things inspired Spotify playlist
The lovely Alice Beverton-Palmer explores the connections between certain women and gay male society in this fascinating new podcast series. So far she’s spoken to comedian and London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, author Juno Dawson and female drag queen Fanny Minka who all offer valuable and thought-provoking perspectives on what makes certain female characters so appealing to a gay male audience.
I’m giving away a copy of Chernobyl on Blu-ray to two lucky readers. All you have to do is subscribe at theeditmail.com (which you most likely already have) and then retweet this:
If you didn’t catch Chernobyl on Sky Atlantic earlier in the year, you need to see this series! Not only does it shed light on one of the most shocking incidents in modern history, it is also brilliantly acted and utterly compelling to watch. The best TV show I have seen this year.
Chernobyl is out now to download and keep, on DVD from Monday and on Blu-ray from 29th July.
Competition open to UK readers only, closes 23:59:59 on 29th July.
Are you following The Playlist on Spotify? It’s my regularly updated playlist of the 30 best new songs with recent new additions from Naaz, Au/Ra and Ashley O.
Phew! That’s all for this week. A huge thank you for reading, especially if you have got this far. If you’re not yet subscribed to receive issues in your inbox, whack the blue button below.
Have a great weekend!