It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
READ: The Pillowman
Most people first became aware of Martin McDonagh through his wonderfully bantery, explosively violent films — In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and the phenomenal, award-winning Three Billboards over Ebbing Missouri. But before he was a rockstar filmmaker, McDonagh was lighting up stages on both sides of the Atlantic with some of the most incredible, original plays I’ve ever read or seen. The Pillowman is arguably the best of them: in The Pillowman, a writer in a totalitarian state is arrested because the macabre fairy tales he writes have started to come true. This is a very, very violent play, and yet it is also full of hilarious laugh out loud dark humor and moments of incredible pathos. If you love Quentin Tarantino movies, you’ll love this.
Charlie Kaufman is perhaps the most original screenwriter of his generation — from Being John Malkovich to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his films are endlessly inventive explorations of what it means to be a person. In my book, Adaptation is the very best of them. In Adaptation, a screenwriter by the name of Charlie Kaufman (yes, that’s right — he wrote himself into his own movie!) struggles to adapt The Orchid Thief, a book about a man who poaches ghost orchids. If this sounds weird, it only gets weirder from there. Equal parts Hollywood satire and human drama about our own abilities to adapt and change, Adaptation is perhaps my all time favorite movie, a masterclass of writing and direction that features not one but TWO excellent performances from Nicholas Cage. Rentable on Amazon.
PLAY: System Shock 2
In 2007, Ken Levine’s game Bioshock took the gaming world by storm with its story of a sunken world gone wrong and it’s incredibly free-form, immersive-sim gameplay that allowed you to approach problems a zillion different ways. But Bioshock was not the first game to do this. In the ’90s, Ken Levine’s System Shock series created the template for the “immersive-sim” by combining roleplaying elements with the gameplay of a first person shooter, and for me, System Shock 2 is just as amazing as Bioshock. In System Shock 2, you’re a hacker on an abandoned space ship, battling zomboids infected with genetic disease using conventional weapons, hacking skills, and psyonic abilities (aka: magic!). Beyond the stunning array of tools at your disposal, this is also one of the spookiest, most atmospheric games I’ve ever played — I still bug out when I hear the zomboids yell “SILENCE THE DISCORD!” It is a a 21 year old videogame, and yes, that means the graphics are gonna look… dated, (see this article for tips on how to mod the graphics to look better), but it really doesn’t matter. The gameplay is so good you won’t notice the graphics for long. Currently on Steam.
LISTEN: Exile on Main Street
From 1968-1972, the Rolling Stones were the biggest band in the world. During that five year stretch, they released classic after classic after classic — Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and, of course, Exile on Main Street. Recorded in a villa in the south of France while the Stones were literally tax exiles, this is arguably the Stones’ best album, full of crunchy guitar and dirty blues and bluegrassy western swoons and big arena singalongs. Put it on when you’re making dinner and you’ll find yourself dancing around your kitchen as you cook.
At first, Dave seems like it’s just going to be a show about potty humor. This is, after all, a TV series about a narcissistic rapper who goes by the name Lil Dicky and whose big hit song is called “My Dick Sucks.” But by mid-season, the show busts open and becomes something totally different — a story about a narcissistic rapper, yes, but also a story about friendships, relationships, mental health, and going after your dreams. There are episodes in here that absolutely took my breath away. Streams free on Hulu.