There’s a lot going on right now. Maybe you’re protesting, maybe you’re donating, maybe you’re keeping tabs on the way your representatives are responding to the present moment. Keep doing that!
Our lives are not one thing, though, and you’re also probably looking to escape, however briefly, into a show or a book or an album that might help you shut out the world or understand it a little better. To get the wheels turning, here’s the stuff filling our queues at Portland Monthly this week, from Jerry Orbach to Cowboy Bebop.
Picture this: Lenny Kravitz is walking you through his farm compound in rural Brazil. He has not opened his eyes in several minutes. “That used to belong to Ingrid Bergman,” he intones softly, gesturing to a plexiglass piano. Not doing it for you? Might I recommend Maggie Gyllenhaal, rocking a bouffant, gingerly stroking a theremin in her multilevel Brooklyn townhouse, whispering, “This is the theremin,” or Dakota Johnson, in a baggy blazer, staring you dead in the eyes and saying, “I love limes.”
Architectural Digest, like Bon Appétit before it, has made a staggeringly successful pivot to YouTube, but the difference is that you can watch AD’s content without being reminded of the toxic conditions that produced it. I take that back—you can watch it because it owns the toxic conditions that produced it. There are no faux niceties here. This is unchecked privilege colliding with celebrity worship in discreet six- to 12-minute packages, and reader, it is delicious. The magazine’s Open Door series takes you through the homes (sometimes second or third or fourth) of famous faces from Julianne Moore to Mandy Moore, with less stilted banter than a Vogue 73 Questions video and way more dopamine than any show on HGTV.
Delusional millionaires coo about their wooden bathtubs, stroke their Banksys, blow past their $10,000 hot tubs with a “this old thing?” and absolutely rocket you from your sad little life into an alternate dimension filled with floating bookshelves and home recording studios and gorgeous linens. If the videos generally make me a strange mix of catatonic and smug, they’re not completely useless: the Nate Berkus/Jeremiah Brent episode that I watched last night after mainlining old episodes of Frasier (we’re in full-blown escape mode here, friends) finally inspired me to replace my awful bedding. —Conner Reed, arts & culture editor
For those of us who are still dutifully holed up, masked up, and perhaps fed up with the same old streaming recommendations, Cowboy Bebop is a godsend. The 1998 television show is beloved by generations of anime fans for its stylish presentation, endearing characters and unique take on sci-fi. The show focuses on the crew of bounty hunters scraping by aboard the spaceship Bebop: effortlessly smooth former mob hitman Spike Spiegel, ex-cop (with a heart of gold, duh) Jet Black, amnesiac queen of the triple-cross Faye Valentine, wunderkind hacker Radical Edward, and a Corgi named Einstein.
They wear cool clothes, they say cool things, they fly cool spaceships—and always find a way to just miss the big score that will get them out of this business forever. The show also features one of the best title sequences of all time, a pulse-quickening, finger-snapping 99 seconds that perfectly encapsulates its entire sensibility. At 30 minutes a cut, it never overstays its welcome, and episodes are available on Hulu in both dubbed and subtitled versions. —Brian Breneman, deputy art director