Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation ‘Hamilton’ hits Disney+, Afghan War thriller ‘The Outpost’ premieres, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ author releases new book and the best in pop culture the week of June 29, 2020

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 June 29 – July 5, 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: Orlando Bloom commands a rough-and-ready ensemble cast in the The Outpost, based on the book by Jake Tapper

Released just in time for Independence Day weekend, Rod Lurie’s new combat film, The Outpost, plays tribute to the American military forces still serving overseas in Afghanistan. Based on the 2012 book by CNN journalist, Jake Tapper, the movie dramatizes the Battle of Kamdesh, when Taliban forces swarmed a remote U.S. outpost staffed by a small group of soldiers, setting the stage for what’s commonly regarded as the deadliest conflict in the ongoing Afghan War. Orlando Bloom plays ranking officer 1st Lieutenant Benjamin D. Keating, who addresses the men of Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV — whose ranks include actors like Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones and Milo Gibson — in this exclusive clip from the film. “Our outpost is still the target of insurgents, in case you hadn’t noticed,” Keating remarks in the sneak peek (watch above). “So how do we do our jobs and stay safe? We need to keep a good relationship with the locals. Respect keeps us safe.” But staying safe isn’t an option when the Taliban launches their attack and the 53 U.S. soldiers have to defend the outpost against 400 insurgents. “This was something that we had to really try to get right,” Tapper tells Yahoo Entertainment about how he and Lurie approached the film. “We wanted to have respect and reverence for the fact this story is about real people who died there, while also making a compelling film that people understand in an emotional and visceral way. (Look for our full interview with Tapper later this week.) — Ethan Alter

The Outpost opens Friday, July 3 in theaters and via on demand services including iTunes and FandangNOW.

STREAM IT: You can finally see Hamilton with its original cast 

They were arguably the hottest tickets in Broadway history: passes to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-driven historical phenomenon Hamilton, which began its record-setting run on The Great White Way in 2015. But unless you were in on it ahead of the curve, got lucky in a drawing or are a deeply connected person, odds are you never saw it with the production’s original cast (which also includes breakouts Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr. and Renée Elise Goldberry). Enter Disney+, who forked over $75 million for the distribution rights for a filmed version of the play, and mid-pandemic, we’ll even say graciously expedited its debut for entertainment-starved quarantiners, bumping the film up from its an original date in Oct. 2021 to this Friday, just in time for Independence Day. This, my friends, is your shot. — Kevin Polowy

Hamilton premieres Friday, July 3 on Disney+.

WATCH IT: Investigate Evil with the DVD release of the hit CBS drama 

The Good Wife and The Good Fight creators, Robert and Michelle King, are ready to get Evil with their latest blockbuster drama for CBS. One of last fall’s biggest network TV hits, Evil stars Mike Colter — Marvel’s former (and maybe future?) Luke Cage — as a journalist-turned-seminarian who partners with a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers) and a contractor (Aasif Mandvi) to investigate cases that happen to possess a supernatural flavor. Lost scene-stealer, Michael Emerson, also has a prominent role as an occult expert who likes encouraging good people to break bad. A DVD collecting all 13 episodes from the show’s freshman season alongside deleted scenes and featurettes will be available on June 30. And the Kings are excited for building on the success of Season 1 when the show is able to go back into production. “When you’re looking at Season 1 of any show, you’re looking at the biggest decisions you make,” Michelle King says in this exclusive clip (watch above) from one of the DVD featurettes. Her husband, meanwhile, is happy to know that they’ve succeeded in their mission to scare viewers. “If you had done a show called Evil and then they sit around and talk, it’s not [as good].” — E.A.

Evil: Season One is available on DVD starting Tuesday, June 30 on Amazon.

STREAM IT: John Lewis: Good Trouble looks at life and activism of famed Civil Rights icon

Sadly there’s never been a time when the lifelong cause of Congressman John Lewis has not been timely or topical, but it’s impossible to watch Dawn Porter’s insightful and inspiring new documentary on him, John Lewis: Good Trouble, and not relate it to the civil unrest we’re experiencing in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. The famed Civil Rights icon and peace activist has long preached the notion of “good trouble,” and as Porter told Yahoo Entertainment, despite some protests turning violent, that term still very much applies to what Black Lives Matter activists and supporters are engaging in today. Good Trouble offers an essential look at the history-changing practices and unstoppable spirit of an American hero. — K.P. 

John Lewis: Good Trouble opens Friday, July 3 in theaters and via on demand services including iTunes and FandangoNOW.

READ IT: Beach read Sex and Vanity will transport you to an exotic locale

Kevin Kwan, author of the addictive Crazy Rich Asians series, is dropping a new love story about the collision of cultures. This one is inspired by the classic book A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. Sex and Vanity is about Lucie, the daughter of a Chinese mother born in America and a father with deep, moneyed roots in New York, who’s always turned away from her Asian heritage. When she finds herself falling for someone who doesn’t fit right into her world, which happens to include a fiancé who has the “right” background, romantic comedy ensues. And even if you can’t read this from an exotic locale (such as Capri, where part of it is set) or an upscale restaurant, at least you can find them here. — Raechal Shewfelt

Sex and Vanity is available Tuesday, June 30 on Amazon.

WATCH IT: A Capitol Fourth rings in its 40th anniversary with more songs and fireworks

A Capitol Fourth turns 40 this year, but the long-running Independence Day concert sadly won’t be able to celebrate in front of a live audience. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s production will feature remotely-taped performances from around the country from such beloved recording artists as Patti LaBelle and The Temptations, as well as Broadway stars like Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mandy Gonzalez. John Stamos and Vanessa Williams co-host the telecast, which will also dig into the show’s extensive archive of past performances, and pay tribute to the African American heroes whose hard work and sacrifices have shaped America over the past 244 years. At least some things never change: As always, A Capitol Fourth will conclude with a live fireworks display that lights up the Washington D.C. skyline. — E.A.

A Capitol Fourth airs Saturday, July 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS.

STREAM IT: Unsolved Mysteries gets a Stranger Things update

The show, featuring creepy music and (often bad) reenactments of unsolved crimes and UFO sightings, returns with producers from earlier versions of that series and Netflix’s modern sci-fi hit Stranger Things. The original Mysteries debuted in 1987 on NBC, before moving over to CBS a decade later, then to Lifetime, where new episodes aired until 2002. In the latest incarnation, fans will get more of those real-life stories from all over the world, set to a new version of the classic Unsolved Mysteries theme song. All of it could help tide over Stranger Things fans who are stuck waiting until at least next year for new episodes of it. — R.S.

Unsolved Mysteries premieres Wednesday, July 1 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Willie Nelson is in full bloom

Just in time to celebrate the red, white and blue, redheaded stranger and national treasure Willie Nelson returns with his 70th studio album. First Rose of Spring features tracks co-written by Chris Stapleton, Randy Houser, Billy Joe Shaver and Toby Keith, all of whom clearly owe the prolific, 87-years-young country legend an unpayable debt. — Lyndsey Parker

Download/stream First Rose of Spring on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: The Truth brings together two French screen legends on VOD

Calling all Francophiles! Here’s your chance to see Gallic cinema icons Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche play mother and daughter in the latest film from celebrated Japanese director, Hirokazu Kore-eda. When screenwriter Lumir (Binoche) brings her husband (Ethan Hawke) and daughter to Paris, she’s prepared for a prickly reunion with her world-famous movie star mom, Fabienne (Deneuve). That prediction proves accurate as Fabienne deals with professional jealousies on the set of her latest movie, while also preparing to publish a memoir that alters key details of her own life and Lumir’s childhood. While The Truth lacks the cumulative emotional impact of Kore-eda’s Cannes-winning favorite, Shoplifters, it’s a pleasure to watch two of world cinema’s very best actresses surprise, challenge and delight each other onscreen. — E.A.

The Truth will be available to rent beginning Friday, July 3 on VOD services including iTunes.

HEAR IT: Sparks continues to spark joy 

L.A.’s madcap Mael brothers, known for their absurdist lyrics, theatrical stage style and dabblings in everything from art-pop to synthpop to chamber-pop, return with a typically uncategorizable yet irresistible song cycle, A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. And with their musical feature film Annette, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, and an untitled Sparks documentary, directed by Edgar Wright, both in the works, it looks like after 24 albums and more than 50 years, Sparks is just getting started. — L.P.

Download/stream A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Get reacquainted with The Baby-Sitters Club 

The landline, clear telephone with colored wires showing from inside used in the latest TV adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s popular YA series of books just might be the perfect encapsulation of Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club. Because while the new series is faithful to the story, following a group of girls working as young entrepreneurs making their way through middle school, they actually bought the retro phone from modern marketplace Etsy. The series, too, promises to be a mix of nostalgia and fresh fun. The cast includes Momona Tamada, who played the young Laura Jean in the Netflix movie To All the Boys : P.S. I Still Love You, as well as Clueless alum Alicia Silverstone as club president Kristy’s mom. — R.S.

The Baby-Sitters Club premieres Friday, July 3 on Netflix.

STREAM IT: George Lopez comes to Netflix with his first comedy special

The comedian is getting personal about his Latinx experience in the special, George Lopez: We’ll Do It for Half, filmed in the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco last year. In the one-hour stand-up show he touches on family, immigration, la gente and the political climate in the U.S. The name of the special comes from a joke Lopez made about President Donald Trump that made headlines in January. Responding to a post on Instagram about a rumor that Iran had put an $80 million bounty out on Trump, Lopez wrote, “We’ll do it for half.”

George Lopez: We’ll Do It for Half premieres Tuesday, June 30 on Netflix. 

HEAR IT: Meet Dream Wife, your new punk crush

This trio of Icelandic and British grrrls, who made Yahoo Entertainment’s list of Best New Artists of 2018 list with their abrasive yet melodic self-titled debut album, are on track to land on 2020 critics’ list with their follow-up, So When You Gonna… Channeling everyone from Gang of Four and the Slits to Babes in Toyland and Bikini Kill, Dream Wife make the sort of exhilarating post-punk-pop that indie dreams are made of. — L.P.

Download/stream So When You Gonna… on Apple Music.

— Video produced by Gisselle Bances

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