Lady Gaga debuts ‘Chromatica,’ ‘AGT’ returns with Sofia Vergara, HBO Max streaming service debuts [Video]

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for May 25-31, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

STREAM IT: Judge Gary Busey takes the bench in the new Gary Busey: Pet Judge

In the age of COVID-19, we need something light and funny — ridiculous, even — and Gary Busey, known for his big personality, has stepped up to provide it. The Point Break actor will fill the role of many TV judges before him as he rules on cases about pets in a six-part series more akin to Portlandia and the Eric Andre Show than the People’s Court. “Is Gary Busey a real judge?” a trailer for the new show teases. “Absolutely not. Does Gary Busey know anything about animal law? Probably not.” In an early clip, Busey rules in one case someone should “take corn chowder and pour it all over your genitalia.” When the woman asks if that applies to men and women, he says yes and adds that it applies to many types of animals as well, including “mongooses, mongeeses, mongoose.” Case closed. — Raechal Shewfelt

Gary Busey: Pet Judge is available May 25 on Amazon Prime.

WATCH IT: America’s Got Talent returns with a fresh face

Sofia Vergara joins the talent competition show as a new judge this season with Heidi Klum coming back after a brief hiatus. They replace Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough whose dramatic exits made headlines late last year. Creator and executive producer Simon Cowell and comedian Howie Mandel will take their usual seats at the judge’s table, while Terry Crews returns as host. So, what can viewers expect this year? You’re in for an oinking good time. Check out an exclusive sneak peek below:

Season 15 of America’s Got Talent premieres Tuesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

HEAR IT: Lady Gaga welcomes you to planet ‘Chromatica’

The shapeshifting pop diva’s sixth album sees her returning to her home planet — disco dance-pop, that is — with ‘90s-throwback club bangers like “Stupid Love” and a top contender for song of the summer, the Ariana Grande duet “Rain on Me.” Elton John and K-pop girl group Blackpink also join the cyberpunk rave party. But lyrically, Gaga goes deep, exploring her personal trauma on what she calls this “beautiful abstraction” of a healing album. — Lyndsey Parker

Download/stream on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: HBO Max launches with a slate of original shows and a Westeros-sized back catalogue 

In 2021, HBO Max will be the only place where you can see the #SnyderCut of Justice League. But WarnerMedia’s new streaming service has plenty of content to keep you occupied until then. Launching on May 27, HBO Max will feature a library of classic TV shows from its premium cable namesake — including Game of ThronesThe Sopranos and The Wire — as well as Warner Bros. produced series like Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The feature film catalogue, meanwhile, includes beloved Studio Ghibli productions like Spirited Away, as well as Hollywood franchises like the DC Extended Universe movies and The Lord of the Rings. HBO Max’s original offerings, meanwhile, will eventually include reboots of Gossip Girl and Adventure Time. On launch day, you’ll be able to binge on Love Life, a contemporary Sex and the City starring Anna Kendrick; the ballroom competition series, Legendary; fresh Looney Tunes cartoons; The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo (more on that below); and the sure-to-be buzzy documentary, On the Recordwhich made headlines earlier this year for its coverage of sexual misconduct in the recording industry. — Ethan Alter

HBO Max launches Wednesday, May 27. 

STREAM IT: Space Force takes off on Netflix

A parody of President Trump’s proposed Space Force from The Office creator Greg Daniels and starring Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and Jimmy O. Yang? What is not to love here? Internet commenters have already pointed out that Carell’s General Mark R. Naird comes off like a slightly more well-adjusted military spin on Michael Scott, and if Space Force is half as funny and profound as The Office, we are in for another bureaucracy-lambasting treat. The 10-episode season also marks the first posthumous role for the mercilessly funny Fred Willard (Best in Show, Modern Family), who died May 15 at the age of 86. — Kevin Polowy 

Space Force premieres Friday, May 29 on Netflix.

READ IT: An official Friends cookbook will be there for you when the rain starts to pour

(Image: Insights Edition)

Nobody told you life was going to be this way: You’re stuck inside, your fridge is empty, your cooking ambition is DOA. Kick your food game out of second gear with the very first Friends-inspired official cookbook. Set for release by Insight Editions this September, and available for pre-order now, the book includes over 90 recipes based on the beloved series, including the Just for Joey Fries Board, Chandler’s Milk That You Chew plate, Rachel’s English Trifle and Monica’s Friendsgiving Feast. We can’t wait to get a whiff of Phoebe’s Smelly Cat cookies. — E.A.

Pre-order Friends: The Official Cookbook on Amazon.

HEAR IT: The Killers bring you a grand illusion

Vegas’s venerable alt-rock stadium stars conjure the magic on their sixth full-length record, Imploding the Mirage, recruiting special guests like Lindsey Buckingham, k.d. lang, Weyes Blood, the War on Drugs’s Adam Granducil, Blake Mills and Lucius. — L.P.

Download/stream on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson get high marks in The High Note

Nisha Ganatra’s music world tale pairs nicely with Gina Prince-Bythewood’s sorely underrated (and underseen) 2014 favorite, Beyond the Lights. Bypassing theaters for a direct-to-VOD premiere, The High Notes features Black-ish star — and daughter of real-world musical royalty — Tracee Ellis Ross as Grace Davis, an R&B singer whose once-hot career has cooled of late. But her personal assistant, and aspiring producer, Maggie (Dakota Johnson) has grand plans to change all of that… plans that, unfortunately, run headlong into the harsh realities of the recording biz. The chemistry between Ross and Johnson is pitch perfect, with Flora Greeson’s script smartly presenting them as ambitious women eager to control their own destinies in a male-dominated industry. Comic relief is handily provided by scene-stealers like Ice Cube as Grace’s easily frustrated manager and June Diane Raphael as the flamboyant housekeeper. While the obligatory romance between Johnson and Kelvin Harrison Jr. feels tacked on, The High Note hits an enjoyable high whenever the two female stars are sharing the same frame. — E.A.

The High Note will be available to rent on Friday, May 29 on VOD services including FandangoNOW and Vudu.

STREAM IT: Seinfeld’s 30th anniversary is real — and it’s spectacular

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as himself, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer and Jason Alexander as George Costanza in “The Kiss Hello” episode of Seinfeld. (Photo: Carin Baer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

It’s not quite Festivus, but this Seinfeld milestone is a pretty big deal nonetheless. While the pilot episode of the sitcom — then called The Seinfeld Chronicles — actually premiered on July 5, 1989, it was critically panned and NBC declined to pick it up. Thanks to one cheerleading, possibly psychic TV executive and a four-episode extension, however, the show got its second chance to shine the following summer. May 31, 1990 marks not just the air date of the second episode of Season 1 — titled “The Stake Out,” and featuring a post-breakup blow-up between exes Jerry and Elaine and the very first mention of “Art Vandelay” — but also the beginning of Seinfeld as we know it. Three decades later, we’re still hooked on the Soup Nazi, “Serenity Now!” (RIP Jerry Stiller), puffy shirts and being the master of your domain. — Erin Donnelly

Seinfeld is available to stream on Hulu.

STREAM IT: Kids can have a laugh with Elmo before bed

La la la la, la la la la — it’s Elmo’s world… and we’re just living in it. The Sesame Street monster with a heart of gold has been a source of reassurance for young kids amid the coronavirus, and his résumé grows with his own nightly show, The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo, on the new streaming service HBO Max. Not unlike Fallon, Corden or Colbert, the lovable and innocent red Muppet hosts celebrity guests in the new original series, which clocks in at 15 minutes. He even has a Carson-like sidekick, Cookie Monster. (Rosita is stage manager.) Star guests in the first episodes include Fallon, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X and Jonas Brothers — not that young viewers even know who they are — making for fun music collaborations and light banter, the easy-breezy kind of stuff you want right before bed. — Suzy Byrne

The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo premieres Wednesday, May 27 on HBO Max.

STREAM IT: Acclaimed indie The Vast of Night falls on Amazon

There are no big names in The Vast of Night, Andrew Patterson’s directorial debut about a radio DJ (Jake Horowtiz) and switchboard operator (Sierra McCormick) in 1950s New Mexico who discover some very odd frequencies coming through on their dials. But the low-budget, sci-fi drama has scored very big kudos since debuting at 2019’s Slamdance Film Festival and subsequent events like the Toronto International Film Festival. “Discovery” is the key word being tossed around by critics (the film currently holds a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes) — both in terms of this indie gem hitting streaming this week and its newly arrived filmmaker. — K.P.

The Vast of Night premieres Friday, May 29 on Amazon Prime.

STREAM IT: Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich investigates the life and crimes of the billionaire financier

Netflix’s latest true crime docuseries examines how the convicted sex offender used his wealth and power to carry out his abuses. It’s based on James Patterson’s bestseller Filthy Rich and is directed by Lisa Bryant. The four-part series features interviews with survivors as Jeffrey Epstein was accused of abusing women and underage girls for decades. He was found dead in prison last year as he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges. His death was ruled a suicide. — T.R.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich premieres Wednesday, May 27 on Netflix.

WATCH IT: Cheers to 30 years of the iconic Lifetime Original Movie

If Lifetime Original Movies were people, by now they’d have been divorced many, many times — you don’t want to know how many secret families their husbands had — and they would have survived perilous circumstances to become an advocate, or at least someone who avenges the death of her daughter/sister/friend. But seriously, the network is celebrating three decades of its often empowering, always juicy original films this year by releasing more than 50 new ones, featuring stars such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White. Next up is a ripped-from-the-headlines take on I Was Lorena Bobbit, executive-produced by Bobbitt herself, which tells the story of her cutting off her husband’s penis in 1993 and the cultural hysteria that followed. — R.S.

I Was Lorena Bobbit premieres Monday, May 25 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime. Check local listings for the others, which are scheduled to air throughout the year.

STREAM IT: Get stranded with Survivor on the 20th anniversary of CBS’s pioneering reality hit

Jeff Probst, April 2001. (Photo: Anacleto Rapping/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Twenty years ago, a group of castaways landed on the beaches of Borneo and changed reality television as we know it. Survivor premiered on May 31, 2000, and became an instant pop culture sensation as audiences at home watched the contestants form alliances, compete in challenges and deliver fiery Tribal Council speeches. Much has changed in the show’s two decade-and-counting run (except for Jeff Probst’s taste in clothes, that is), but re-watching early seasons on CBS All Access, it’s clear why the Survivor game format was built to last for 40 seasons… and beyond. — E.A.

All 40 seasons of Survivor can be streamed on CBS All Access.

WATCH IT: Leonardo DiCaprio offers a history lesson with Grant

Who was Ulysses S. Grant, really? The History channel analyzes the Civil War general-turned-United States president through a combination of dramatic reenactment and the commentary from historians for which it’s known in a three-part miniseries. There’s a lot to pull apart since Grant was alternately described as “a bloody butcher,” “a belligerent drunk” and “the greatest general of his time.” The series will recount how the Union Army leader pivoted to bring together a nation more divided than ever. While the subject is interesting by itself, the series has added star power in the form of executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio. — R.S.

Grant premieres Monday, May 25 at 9 p.m. on History.

READ IT: Pick up some fresh DC and Marvel adventures for all ages of readers

(Image: Amulet Books)

You’re never too young to get hooked on superheroes. Harry N. Abrams’s ongoing series of My Mighty Marvel First Books adds two new Marvel characters to its growing library: Captain America and Spider-Man. Featuring bright colors and classic Marvel artwork, these board books provide origin stories that’ll teach pre-k and kindergarteners how to spell “radioactive spider” and “Red Skull.” Elementary school readers, meanwhile, can follow DC’s ongoing Crossover Crisis in the second installment of Amulet’s YA trilogy, The Flash: Supergirl’s Sacrifice. Picking up directly after the events of Green Arrow’s Perfect Shot, the book finds the Scarlet Speedster racing to enlist Supergirl and Superman in a universe-threatening event. Look for the trilogy-capper — starring members of the Legends of Tomorrow — in the not-too-distant future. — E.A.

The Flash: Supergirl’s Sacrifice and My Mighty Marvel First Books are available on Tuesday, May 26 on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn host Haircut Night in America

The married couple will throw a special that’s exactly like it sounds — people will cut their own hair on national television. America’s top hair stylists will guide stars like Kelly Osbourne and Lindsey Vonn, plus frontline healthcare workers through a DIY haircut, color and style from their homes. What can go wrong?

Haircut Night in America airs Friday, May 29 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

WATCH IT: An investigation into Brittany Murphy’s tragic death

Brittany Murphy, December 1, 2009. (Photo: Brian To/FilmMagic)

The Clueless and Girl, Interrupted star’s life was tabloid fodder in her final years, but her death — in 2009 at age 32 — was a mystery, only made deeper by her husband Simon Monjack’s death months after. While Murphy died of pneumonia, anemia and multiple drug intoxication officially, there’s been speculation about foul play involving Monjack (he denied it), black mold in the home (once owned by Britney Spears), poison and other theories. Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery looks into all that with experts, including forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who claims it’s “impossible to rule out murder.” The documentary, which doesn’t paint Monjack — who died in the same room Murphy did months later — in a flattering light, also includes the last interview with Murphy’s estranged father, Angelo Bertolotti, before he died in 2019, and seems him expressing doubts about her cause of death. — S.B.

Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery airs Tuesday, May 26 at 9 p.m. on ID.

WATCH IT: The Invisible Man creeps into your home

Universal’s Dark Universe monster-verse apparently suffered a quick death after the 2017 Tom Cruise bomb The Mummy. Don’t hold that against The Invisible Man. This fresh and thrilling spin on the classic yarn is the rare reboot that’s existence is fully justified. Our focus pivots from the mad scientist to the woman he torments, as Elisabeth Moss flees an abusive marriage with a tech scion (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), then gets haunted by him after his suicide. Writer-director Leigh Whannell pulls us in from the opening escape sequence, and the tension never lets up, so much so that it’s incredibly easy to overlook a few gaping plot holes. The fact that Moss’s Cecilia is constantly doubted and thought to be crazy the second she mentions “an Invisible Man” gives the film some extra vitality when you look at it as an allegory about believing women. Between helming 2018’s Upgrade and now InvisibleSaw and Insidious writer-turned-director Whannell is quickly becoming one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the genre. Home entertainement extras include deleted scenes, a director’s commentary with Whannell and various making-of mini-docs. — K.P.

Buy The Invisible Man on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Jimmy Buffett flips the switch

Jimmy Buffett · Book on the Shelf

No more wasting away in Margaritaville! The Key West king is finally back with his first album in seven years — and judging from track titles like “The Slow Lane,” “Cussin’ Island,” “Live Like It’s Your Last Day” and especially “Half Drunk,” it seems like Life on the Flip Side is just the aspirational de-stressing soundtrack we all need. — L.P.

Download/stream on Apple Music.

— Video produced by Gisselle Bances

Source link