STAY TUNED WITH PREET
Preet Bharara, the aggressive former U.S. Attorney in New York, who was fired by President Donald Trump, will not stay silent. On his new podcast, "Stay Tuned with Preet," Bharara and a growing list of prominent guests give insiders' perspectives on today's most pressing political issues. So far, the former federal prosecutor has talked with Judge Jed Rakoff, who is known for his stance that the death penalty is unconstitutional; director and writer Judd Apatow (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Anchorman) on sexual harassment in Hollywood; chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov on the Russian government's strategy for sowing fear and doubt; and Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, who defended NFL players' right to kneel during the National Anthem. Episodes are free to download. (MITCH RYALS)
It's impossible to keep up with all the shows. Everyone's always telling you to watch this show or that show or this other show. If you have an Apple TV, which carried Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and other apps, you could usually keep up with the shows — most of them, at least. But if you wanted to watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or Transparent, or Man In the High Castle? You needed to stream it on your computer with Amazon Prime, or you needed this thing they called a "Roku." Nevermore. Amazon and Apple made a deal, and as of last week Amazon Prime Video is available on Apple TV. Enjoy all the shows. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
SHOULD WE BE FLATTERED, OR ... ?
For those obsessed with all things Gilmore Girls-related, the arrival of a new series by Amy Sherman-Palladino was cause for much rejoicing. Her new show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, takes the writer's skill for rapid-fire banter and balancing drama and comedy back to late '50s New York City as a housewife reacts to her husband's sudden departure by hopping on a beatnik performance stage and pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time in standup comedy, Lenny Bruce-style. The show's a delight, especially Rachel Brosnahan in the title role, and featured an odd moment about halfway through the show's first episode. An African-American woman takes the stage and says, "This poem is about Spokane: 'Spokane, Spokane, Spokane. Man. The rumble of lumber trucks, Spokane. Robbers of the indigenous, Spokane. Spokane, Spokane, Spokane. Man." To which the emcee responds, "Don't need to go to Spokane now!" The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon Prime. (DAN NAILEN)
ON THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music arrives online and in stores Dec. 15. To wit:
EMINEM, Revival. Shady's back, and this time he's targeting the president with his angry rhymes instead of his ex-wife or the pop star du jour.
G-EAZY, The Beautiful & The Damned. The Oakland rapper tries to follow up his Top 10 hit "Me, Myself & I" on his third full-length.
LINKIN PARK. One More Light Live. One of the band's two vocalists, Chester Bennington, died earlier this year, and this live set is drawn from their last tour.
N.E.R.D., No_One Ever Really Dies. Pharrell's pre-"Happy" crew blends soul, funk and rock to great effect on their best songs. This is their first new set since 2010. (DAN NAILEN)
A MOBILE MONUMENT
Having been the lucky recipient of a very unexpected early Christmas gift, I've been spending plenty of time lately exploring the wide world of iPad gaming. The very first game I added to my new device is the utterly mesmerizing indie puzzle game Monument Valley 2, the follow-up to Ustwo Games' critically acclaimed 2014 breakout Monument Valley. (Though it was released for iOS back in June, MV2 just became available to Android users last month.) Monument Valley 2 features the same isometric worldview as its predecessor. Players are tasked with guiding their polygon character through a series of maze-like puzzles by recognizing optical illusions and otherwise impossible-seeming dimensions in each level. This time, though, players guide both mother Ro and her child through a more story-driven world featuring 14 puzzle "chapters," each filled with stunning, colorful scenes and peaceful background music. I loved Monument Valley 2 so much I played it in entirety in a single two-hour sitting, feeling like a boss each time I discovered the tricky solutions. Monument Valley 2 was named 2017's Best Mobile Game at the Game Awards show on Dec. 7. (CHEY SCOTT)