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Entertainment Essentials: November 16, 2018

CREDIT: Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory; Twentieth Century Fox

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: Widows (Theatrically Nationwide) – Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) is back in the driver’s seat, adapting (along with co-screenwriter Gillian Flynn) an ’80s British miniseries, transporting the action to gentrifying Chicago. Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, and Michelle Rodriguez are the titular widows left to clean up the very expensive mess left behind by their career criminal husbands. Meanwhile, Bryan Tyree Henry and Colin Farrell square off in a high-stakes race for alderman. This is dynamically thrilling and highly resonant pulp entertainment, and one of the best crime sagas in quite a while.

2. TV: The Little Drummer Girl (Premieres November 19 on AMC) – The spy novels of John Le Carré have inspired a lot of great adaptations over the years, and it looks like we’ve got another one on our hands. Florence Pugh plays a young English actress who gets sucked into the espionage world when she teams up with the Israeli secret service to infiltrate a Palestinian terror organization, encountering some dudes played by Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon along the way. Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) handles directorial duties for all six episodes.

3. Podcast: Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend (Debuts November 19) – Conan O’Brien is relaunching his eponymous talk show with a slimmed-down, half-hour version. But before that arrives in early 2019, we can tide ourselves over with the launch of his new interview podcast. It turns out that Conan has always wanted to become friends with all the celebrity guests on his show, but their chats have never been long enough to make that happen. Thus, he has begun Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, in which the conversations will be longer and hopefully more intimate, which sounds like a perfectly Conan reason to launch a podcast. Guests for the first batch of eps include Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Bill Burr, Dax Shepard, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Wanda Sykes and Marc Maron.

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