1. Watch Self-Made
Madam C. J. Walker, one of America’s first millionaires.
The story of the African-American beauty entrepreneur becomes a four-part limited series with a tremendous cast that includes Octavia Spencer, Blair Underwood, Tiffany Haddish, and Carmen Ejogo. —Jen Chaney
Netflix, March 20.
2. See The Burnt Orange Heresy
Mick Jagger stars.
Giuseppe Capotondi’s eerie, free adaptation of Charles Willeford’s noirish art-world satire stars Danish heartthrob Claes Bang as a reflexively sleazy art critic who ties his fortunes to an elusive avant-garde painter last seen decades ago. Set in Italy rather than Willeford’s Florida, it doesn’t entirely jell, but see it for Elizabeth Debicki’s heartbreakingly vulnerable performance as the critic’s newfound companion and Mick Jagger’s amazing turn as a filthy-rich art collector — he has a preternaturally creepy presence. —David Edelstein
3. Read The City We Became
A love letter of sorts.
Hugo Award winner N. K Jemisin sets her gaze on the gentrifying neighborhoods of her hometown, New York City. “I’ve been looking forward to this story of a magical battle for the soul of New York ever since I accompanied the famously meticulous author to a park in Inwood where she gathered details for a scene,” writes Vulture’s Lila Shapiro.
4. Watch One Day at a Time
Now with commercial breaks.
Netflix canceled the charming, rebooted Norman Lear sitcom. But its second life begins anew on Pop TV. —J.C.
Pop TV, March 24.
5. Read The Mirror & the Light
Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize–winning trilogy (Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies) comes to a close, following Thomas Cromwell, in his final years, from the aftermath of Anne Boleyn’s death to Henry VIII’s short-lived marriage to Jane Seymour to Cromwell’s own beheading. “It will have us sitting up in bed until 3 a.m., poring over Mantel’s remarkable world-building skills and sobbing that one of the century’s best series has concluded,” writes Vulture’s Hillary Kelly.
6. Listen to Saint Cloud
Alabama singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield makes tuneful, illuminating indie rock as Waxahatchee. Written during a period of introspection following Crutchfield’s decision to get sober, her fifth album under the moniker brims with the wisdom that comes with age, but the real surprise is that Crutchfield has traded in the tart electric guitars powering her early albums for lush acoustics and that it all goes over swimmingly. —Craig Jenkins
Merge Records, March 27.
7. Watch Ozark
A midwestern casino royal.
In the third season, it seems pretty safe to predict that Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) will not straighten out and become super-ethical people whose lives are not in constant peril. But that’s just a theory. —J.C.
Netflix, March 27.
8. Read Wow, No Thank You.
Life in Kalamazoo.
In her latest collection, provocative essayist Samantha Irby dissects (at times in lurid detail) aging, marriage, and the absurdities of everyday life, this time from small-town Michigan. “A breakthrough voice of the previous decade, Sam Irby is poised to reign in the 2020s,” writes Vulture’s Maris Kreizman.
Vintage, March 31.
9. Listen to Local Honey
Brian Fallon, former front man of New Jersey punk rockers the Gaslight Anthem, built a sturdy solo career across roots-rock records like 2016’s Painkillers and 2018’s Sleepwalkers, but on Local Honey, he changes his tune. The new songs explore his experiences as a family man who just turned 40. Gone (for now) are the driving Springsteenian rock workouts of the Gaslight days. In their place are love songs on gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitars and peaceful quiet, the perfect soundtrack for rainy-day reflection. —C.J.
Lesser Known Records/Thirty Tigers, March 27.
10. Read We Ride Upon Sticks
When a poet writes a novel.
Set in a Massachusetts town whose history goes back to the Salem witch trials, Quan Barry’s splendid novel captures the giddy fun of 1980s pop culture in a story about the rise of a high-school women’s varsity field-hockey team via potentially supernatural means. “The prose style is neon, and the laughs do not stop,” writes New York’s Molly Young. “I feel like the author wrote the entire book with an evil grin on her face.”
*A version of this article appears in the March 16, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!