Fri April 17, 2015
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Daredevil' And Credulity

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 11:28 am


Last Friday, Netflix dropped its latest 13-episode bundle of original programming: the grim and occasionally grisly superhero drama Daredevil, based on the Marvel Comics mainstay of the same name. Starring Charlie Cox and a large supporting cast, the show takes place in a bleak New York City neighborhood that's ruled by a murderous crime syndicate and defended by blind lawyer Matt Murdock, whose other heightened senses make him an oft-overmatched but extremely resourceful crime-fighter.

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Fri April 17, 2015

Clone Drama 'Orphan Black' Returns, As Complex And Complicated As Ever

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 3:25 pm

Tatiana Maslany (center) plays several different clones on the BBC America series Orphan Black.
BBC America

For fans of BBC America's majestically complicated drama Orphan Black, this might be the toughest task they face all year: Explaining to newbies what the heck is going on just before the new season starts on Saturday.

Spoiler alert: Several plot points from the new season are discussed below

The series started with Sarah Manning, a con artist and onetime street urchin, stumbling upon a well-dressed woman who looked exactly like her, crying on a train platform — just before jumping in front of an oncoming train.

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Fri April 17, 2015
Code Switch

Deaths Of Unarmed Black Men Revive 'Anti-Lynching Plays'

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:06 pm

Lauren Lattimore (left), Wi-Moto Nyoka, Edmund Alyn Jones and Courtney Harge rehearse a scene from Blue-Eyed Black Boy, a play about lynching that was written around 1930.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

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Thu April 16, 2015
Movie Reviews

The Internet Of Spooky Things Is Alive In 'Unfriended'

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 10:41 am

Shelley Henning stars as Blaire in Unfriended.
Universal Pictures

What scares teenagers?

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Thu April 16, 2015

Broadway Passes The Bechdel Test With 'Fun Home'

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Sydney Lucas as Small Alison and Michael Cerveris as her father in the new production of Fun Home.
Joan Marcus


Thu April 16, 2015
Movie Reviews

'Monkey Kingdom' Is Best When It's All Monkeys All The Time

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:44 pm

Monkeys on Castle Rock from Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom.
Jeff Wilson Disney

As much fun as a tree full of toque macaques, Monkey Kingdom is arguably the most entertaining of Disneynature's eight features. But purists will recoil as soon as The Monkees theme enters, and there are times when the story told by narrator Tina Fey probably doesn't reflect the extraordinary images directors Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill captured.

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Thu April 16, 2015
Movie Reviews

Two Unmoored Souls Too Gloomily Drawn In 'Felix And Meira'

Hadas Yaron and Luzer Twersky in Felix and Meira.

In the 2012 drama Fill the Void, Israeli actress Hadas Yaron was incandescent as an Ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv girl who, following the sudden death of her beloved older sister, is pressured by rabbis and relatives to marry her brother-in-law in order to preserve family unity. She suffers agonies over the decision, but never doubts the legitimacy of the Hasidic community that sustains her.

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Thu April 16, 2015
The Two-Way

Yoda? Is It Thou? Figure In 14th-Century Manuscript Looks Familiar

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 3:25 pm

A religious volume from the early 1300s includes this image of a monk who resembles the Jedi Master Yoda of the Star Wars films.
The Britsh Library

A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from the Star Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction.

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Thu April 16, 2015
The Salt

The Chinese-Mexican Cuisine Born Of U.S. Prejudice

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 4:20 pm

In the Fortune Garden kitchen in El Centro, Calif., near the Mexican border, cooks speak to each other in Cantonese, and waiters give orders in Spanish.
Courtesy of Vickie Ly/KQED

If you ask people in the city of Mexicali, Mexico, about their most notable regional cuisine, they won't say street tacos or mole. They'll say Chinese food. There are as many as 200 Chinese restaurants in the city.

North of the border, in California's rural Imperial County, the population is mostly Latino, but Chinese restaurants are packed. There are dishes in this region you won't find anywhere else, and the history behind them goes back more than 130 years.

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Thu April 16, 2015
Book Reviews

'Natural Born Heroes' Is Self-Help The Special Operations Way

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 10:16 am

In April 1944, a Nazi commander on the island of Crete was somehow mysteriously and miraculously kidnapped right under the nose of the Germans. No shots were fired, there was no bloodshed and no sign of a struggle. General Heinrich Kreipe simply vanished.

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