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Entertainment Essentials: April 20, 2018

CREDIT (Clockwise from Top Left): Mark Schafer/STX Films; HBO; Hulu; @archerfxx/Twitter

Every Friday, NewsCult Entertainment Editor Jeffrey Malone recommends the entertainment essentials of the week – at least three, often more, and usually at least one cinematic and at least one televisual, but it could be ANY combination.

1. Movie: I Feel Pretty (Theatrically Nationwide) – Amy Schumer’s latest starring vehicle enthusiastically espouses the value of self-confidence, but is it saying that blunt force trauma is necessary to have that revelation? The Big-like concept here is that after violently hitting her head, an insecure woman wakes up believing that she is the most beautiful person in the world, despite no actual physical change. Come for the nimbly handled premise, stay for Rory Scovel’s reactions and Michelle Williams’ wonderfully weird character work.

2. TV: Westworld Season 2 Premiere (April 22 on HBO) – For my money, Westworld Season 1 was a show with elements of greatness but some weaknesses that held it back from true excellence. So if showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have managed to adequately address the bits that have been sagging, Season 2 could be an all-time joy.

3. TV: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Premiere (April 25 on Hulu) – The big winner at the most recent Emmys and Golden Globes is back for its sophomore outing as it sets out to respond to these challenges: Can it survive the sophomore slump? Can it remain just as buzzy and relevant? (And do we want it to remain relevant?) How will it manage as it takes the story beyond the source material? We shall find out, as the fun is in the journey of Gilead seeking to right itself.

4. TV: Archer: Danger Island Season Premiere (April 25 on FXX) Archer has managed to remain appointment television in its latter years by turning into a completely different show with each new season. Last year’s outing, Dreamland, was a 1940s noir, while Season 9, subtitled “Danger Island,” takes us on action-adventure joint in the Pacific in 1939. Sounds Indiana Jones-esque; what then is Sterling Archer’s version of “why did it have to be snakes?”

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