The Best Movies, TV, Books and Music for April

Including Ken Burns taking on Hemingway and the most violent TV show ever

April 1, 2021 7:58 am
logo for the Hemingway biography on PBS
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick take a demythologizing look at Ernest Hemingway on PBS

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise. 

Note, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, release dates are still highly tentative. 

DISCOVER: Gangs of London

A British crime drama via director Gareth Evans, who helmed The Raid — best action movie of the last decade? — and has now made his mark with the most violent show on British television. Yes, the show has been on AMC+ for a bit, but this marks the general cable debut. (4/4, AMC)

Other new TV series and specials: Made for Love (4/1, HBO Max); THEM (4/9, Prime Video); The Nevers (4/11, HBO Max); Mare of Easttown (4/18, HBO); Rutherford Falls (4/22, Peacock); The Mosquito Coast (4/30, Apple TV+)

RETHINK: Hemingway

This three-part series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick strives for accuracy and showcases a different way of looking at the late, legendary author: witness the trailer, which literally opens with the gripe, “I hate the myth of Hemingway — it obscures the man.” (4/5, PBS)

More new documentaries: WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (4/3, Hulu); Sasquatch (4/20, Hulu)

WATCH: About Endlessness

Maybe it is about the little things. Swedish director Roy Andersson presents a series of small moments that one critic raved as “New Yorker cartoons scripted by Samuel Beckett” and another commented “to view them is to abolish gravity.” (4/30, VOD)

More new films coming to the small screen and big: Concrete Cowboy (4/2, Netflix); Chasing Whiskey – The Untold Story of Jack Daniel’s (4/9, VOD); Honeydew (4/13, VOD); Mortal Kombat (4/16, HBO Max and theaters); Stowaway (4/22, Netflix); The Mitchells vs. The Machines (4/30, Netflix); Without Remorse (4/30, Prime Video)

Chopped 420 contestant with host Ron Funchess
“Chopped 420” is your 4/20 programming pick
Discovery Plus

STREAM: Chopped 420

Your 4/20 suggestion: Ron Funches (actor and King Shark on Harley Quinn) hosts this take (toke?) on the Food Network cooking competition, which here includes cannabis as an ingredient. Oh, we’ve done that! (Discovery+, 4/20)

Returning TV series and specials: Top Chef (4/1, Bravo); Law & Order: Organized Crime (4/1, NBC); Academy Awards (4/25, ABC); Top Gear (4/25, BBC America), The Handmaid’s Tale (4/28); The NFL Draft (4/29)

front cover of World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

READ: World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

An illustrated travel guide to the globe by the late Anthony Bourdain, with some assistance from Laurie Woolever, illustrator Wesley Allsbrook, Bourdain’s brother and a few random celebs, including music producer Steve Albini. (4/20)

New fiction: Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff Vandermeer (4/6); First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami (4/6); Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (4/6); The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright (4/20) 

New non-fiction: Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (4/13); The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell (4/27)

DOWNLOAD: The Sketch Factor

Fred Armisen (Portlandia, SNL) plays billionaire Xander Szavost in this meta podcast, where he — that’d be Szavost — serves as judge on a sketch comedy competition. Expect some A-level comedy friends to pop by on this Spotify exclusive. (4/1, Spotify)

LISTEN: McCartney III Imagined

Paul McCartney’s most recent release is reconceived by the likes of Anderson .Paak, Beck, Blood Orange, Damon Albarn, Dominic Fike, EOB, Idris Elba, Josh Homme, Khruangbin, 3D RDN From Massive Attack, Phoebe Bridgers and St. Vincent. (4/16)

More new music: Greta Van Fleet (4/16); The Offspring (4/16); Dinosaur Jr. (4/23); Dropkick Murphys (4/30)

Re-releases and box sets: Taylor Swift (4/9); Fleetwood Mac (4/16); The Who (4/23); Royal Blood (4/30)

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