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Monday, May 18 – Community Virtual Table Read

TV and film cast reunions have certainly hit a spike since the beginning of the quarantine, with shows like Parks and RecreationChuck, and Fresh Prince of Bel Air coming back together to raise money for various organizations. But few have been as heavily anticipated as Community’s upcoming virtual table read of their fifth season episode, “Cooperative Polygraphy.”

The event, which has been put together to raise money for World Central Kitchen and Frontline Foods, reunites Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Daniel Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, and Jim Rash, alongside the show’s creator Dan Harmon. While the original episode originally featured Walton Goggins, his part will now by played by The Mandalorian and Narcos star Pedro Pascal. Even Keith Sletterdahl, lead singer of The 88, will be involved to sing the show’s opening theme song.

But this table read also comes on the heels of Community’s arrival on Netflix, as well as continued rumors that a Community movie is in the works. Maybe this is just the beginning of Community’s return after almost five years away. Either way, it’ll be great to see this cast back together again when the table read drops at 5:00 P.M. ET on Community’s YouTube page.

Tuesday, May 19 – “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins

Amongst the cavalcade of teen dystopian novels of the 2000s, Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy stood out by not focusing on the romance between its characters, but rather, the power of one woman fighting against the government and the political cogs that continued to let the poor suffer and the rich survive, which concluded with the remarkably bleak “Mockingjay.”

A decade after Collins wrapped up “The Hunger Games” series, she’s returning to the world of Panem in the prequel novel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Taking place 64 years before “The Hunger Games,” “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” future president Coriolanus Snow at the age of eighteen, when he’s tasked with being a mentor to one of the tributes in the 10th Hunger Games.

This novel about the future “Hunger Games” villain already has a film adaptation in the works, directed by Francis Lawrence – who directed three of the four Hunger Games films – and written by Little Miss Sunshine and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire writer, Michael Arndt. Panem was a rich world, full of history and generations of suffering, so it will be interesting to see what Collins’ return to this series holds in store.

Wednesday, May 20 – What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows’ first season surprisingly did justice to Taika Waititi’s vampire parody film, but with its first six episodes, the second season might have surpassed it.

Airing Wednesday nights on FX and the next day on Hulu, What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampire roommates living in Staten Island. Tonight’s episode, “The Return,” is the first to be written and directed by series co-creator, Jemaine Clement, but if you’re thinking of jumping right into the series, the last two episodes have been some of the funniest television this year. “Colin’s Promotion” is about “energy vampire” Colin (think Michael Scott, but his ability to drain a room of its energy is actually a supernatural ability) using his new position at his job to discover the incredible potential of his abilities. Last week’s “On the Run” had vampire Laszlo going into hiding as Jackie Daytona, a Pennsylvania bartender with a gift for teaching women’s volleyball.

What We Do in the Shadows is by far one of the best comedies currently on the air, a brilliant take on the mockumentary genre that finds new and surprising ways to improve upon this premise each week.

Thursday, May 21 – At Home with Radiohead

With getting together in large groups out of the picture for the foreseeable future, it’s hard not to miss going to concerts. Even at this point, seeing a terrible band with a bunch of strangers sounds like a dream come true. While it’s not nearly the same thing, thankfully, the internet has come to the rescue to at least alleviate this nostalgia for live music.

Radiohead, who have created a massive archive of their music recently, have done an excellent job of helping transition to this no-concert-going reality we are now all in. Every Thursday at 5 P.M. ET for the last several weeks on their YouTube page, the band have been putting on At Home with Radiohead, a live show from their archive for their fans to enjoy from the comfort of their homes.

The concerts so far have spanned the last two decades of Radiohead’s career. So if you’re a Kid A fan, check out their 2000 show in Dublin. Want to see the show that Jonny Greenwood called their festival experience in America? Watch last week’s Bonnaroo performance from 2006. No matter what you pick, watching one of the greatest live bands perform some of their best shows is going to sate your concert-going desires for at least a few hours.

Friday, May 22 – The Trip to Greece

Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip series has become one of the finest comedy series of the last decade, solely by letting Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon try to make each other laugh over the most delicious meals throughout Europe.

In their fourth film in this series, The Trip to Greece, it’s merely more of the same. Coogan and Brydon eat lavish meals and do ingenious impressions and that’s all that is needed. The dynamic between Coogan and Brydon always feels like returning to visit friends after years away.

The trailer for The Trip to Greece states that this is the final film in the series, and honestly, it’s kind of shocking they got so much material out of so little. And yet, it’s almost bittersweet to say goodbye to this series, with its hilarious conversations and wonderful friendship.

Saturday, May 23 – Ready or Not on HBO

Ready or Not was the perfect late summer release last year, a joyously weird and crazy story that couldn’t help but remind of other fun horror films like You’re Next or Cabin in the Woods. While Ready or Not was the ideal film to watch with a rowdy theater, with its release on HBO, it’s a great film to shout at and laugh about in the comfort of your own home.

In Ready or Not, Grace (Samara Weaving) discovers that her new husband’s family has a tradition, where anyone entering the family has to play a game on their wedding night. When Grace draws the most dangerous game the family can play – Hide & Seek – her new family has to try and hunt her down and murder her before dawn.

With an especially game cast that includes Adam Brody and Andie MacDowell and a deliciously odd script that only gets more insane as it goes, Ready or Not is the ideal film for a spirited, wild movie night.

Sunday, May 24 – Run Season Finale

Created by Vicky Jones – who directed the original stage show, Fleabag – and executive produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Runis a show about finding a new future by falling back into your past.

The great Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson play Ruby and Billy, respectively, a couple who haven’t seen each other in fifteen years. They both agreed that if one day, one of them were to text “RUN,” and the other also responds, “RUN,” the two will meet on a train at Grand Central Terminal and travel the U.S. together. Run mixes comedy, romance and some thriller elements in a series full of regret, curiosity about the choices we make in our lives and what could’ve been.

Wever and Gleeson are fantastic, as the show slowly unravels their past and present to each other and to the audience, full of twists and turns that change their dynamic. Run is one of the most intriguing shows of the year so far and at only 3 1/2 hours, there’s no reason not to marathon the entire series before the finale.

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