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.
PLAY: Disco Elysium
You wake up with your head throbbing, and no idea where you are or WHO you are. You’re in a trashed hotel room with whiskey bottles all around you, and when you stumble out into the bright morning light, people treat you like you’re… some kind of policeman? No, this is not a story from Keith Richards’ memoir Life (which is fantastic, by the way) — this is the opening scene of Disco Elysium, one of the strangest and most innovative roleplaying games to come out in the last decade. Disco Elysium takes the isometric RPG style popularized by Baldur’s Gate and more recently Divinity: Original Sin and pushes it to a crazy place. You’re the aforementioned drunk amnesiac detective, exploring Revachol, a steampunky Europeany citystate that is in the midst of political strife between protofacists and communists. There is no combat. Instead, the game unfolds through lengthy, discursive conversations that are both witty and full of big ideas about the world. If you wanna blast a bunch of bad guys with big guns… this isn’t the game for you. But if you’re looking for a slower paced game with brains and heart, Disco Elysium is absolutely perfect. Out now on PC.
READ: Our Man
Richard Holbrooke was a larger-than-life character, the kind of figure who seemed ripped from the pages of a Shakespeare play or John Le Carré novel — and for half-a-century, he was a towering figure in American foreign policy. A brilliant, self-obsessed, inexhaustible diplomat, Holbrooke is most famous for negotiating the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars in the 1990s. In Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, The New Yorker’s George Packer examines Holbrooke’s talent, appetites, grand accomplishments, and grand failures, and in so doing, reveals how Holbrooke’s successes and flaws are a proxy for America’s.
BINGE: The Queen’s Gambit
This marvelous character study about an orphaned chess prodigy with mental health and addiction issues is now the most watched miniseries on Netflix, with over 62 million households having tuned in to see it. But don’t watch The Queen’s Gambit just because it’s popular — watch it for Anya Taylor-Joy’s incredibly nuanced performance, and for the attention to detail in Scott Frank’s masterful writing and directing. Easily one of the best new TV shows in 2020.
LISTEN: Good News by Megan Thee Stallion
For those that love hip hop, Megan Thee Stallion’s long awaited first studio album Good News dropped just before Thanksgiving, and it is flat-out fantastic. Full of club bangers, sex positivity, and genius wordplay, this is an album that has me dancing in my desk chair every time I put it on.
I’ve been experimenting with a LOT of new recipes during the pandemic, many of which are big weekend projects that I wouldn’t dare attempt to make on a random Tuesday night. And then there’s Oyakodon — the PERFECT recipe for a Tuesday. This incredibly simple yet richly flavorful chicken-and-egg rice bowl comes together in under 45 minutes, and is so, so, so delicious. Oyakodon is described by Serious Eats as “Japan’s pizza” because it’s a ubiquitous comfort food — and like pizza, once you have it once, you’re going to want it again, and again and again. I now make it almost weekly. If you don’t have dashi or sake (when I first made this, I didn’t), you can sub in chicken broth and dry vermouth or white wine and it’ll still be finger-lickin’ good.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.