This week, the Friday Five might just feature the Song of the Summer. But if not, there are still some great movie, TV, and music recommendations to get you through your weekend!
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Summer Blockbuster season doesn’t only include big, loud action movies -- there have to be hits for the whole family, too. And the latest addition to the fun-for-all-ages animated genre is The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Produced by the same team behind Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (which we love), The Mitchells quickly became Netflix’s top-ranked movie this week, and for good reason. Visually, the movie pushes the boundaries, incorporating live action footage over top-notch animation in really interesting ways. There are funny, well-timed jokes that everyone can appreciate, not just kids, as well as family themes that are relevant for all ages. And perhaps most importantly, there’s a scene with Furbies that was basically every 90’s kid’s worst nightmare. So if you’re looking for a good laugh this weekend, fire up Netflix, and enjoy an awesome cast, great writing, and incredible animation.
Nicholas Braun - “Antibodies”
We’ve generally avoided “pandemic-themed” content during the last year, but there are exceptions to every rule. And this week, we couldn’t get Nicholas Braun’s song “Antibodies” out of our heads. Braun, probably most famous for playing Cousin Greg on Succession, first started writing the song as a joke. But after posting and crowd-sourcing the lyrics on Instagram, it quickly grew into something more. He ended up creating a full on pop-punk song that wouldn’t have been out of place on the radio in the early-aughts, working with a professional producer to get the sound just right. The song, and the accompanying angsty music video, went viral over the summer, even making it into Rolling Stone. On top of just being a fun song, Braun donated proceeds from streams (and subsequent merch) to charities that are assisting in COVID relief. As more and more people get vaccinated, and things start to open back up, the video continues to resurface. While anticipation builds for summertime, we may have already found the Song of the (vaccinated) Summer.
As the lines between TV and movies continue to blur, we keep getting higher concept shows with bigger set pieces, and ZeroZeroZero is one of the latest prestige-TV entrants that got a little lost in the shuffle of 2020. The Amazon show is a globe-spanning action-thriller, following a shipment of cocaine between buyers, sellers, and brokers. ZeroZeroZero checks all the traditional genre boxes, with plenty of crooked law enforcement officials, scary cartel bosses, and family rivalries. There are obviously a number of shows in the “drug cartel” genre, but this drama is right up there in entertainment value. A fair warning - the show switches between Spanish, Italian, and English as we jump between parties, so subtitles will be necessary. But there’s plenty of action, suspense, betrayal, and intrigue to make the reading worth it.
Nellybombs - Dana Ave.
When we weren’t busy listening to “Antibodies” this week, we dipped back into one of our go-to albums from 2020, Nellybombs’ Dana Ave. The pop-soul album is really mellow, setting up a great vibe for a work day or the weekend. There’s a ton of jazz influence throughout, and a lot of the hooks feature really great horn and saxophone parts. But all of that mellowness doesn’t mean you won’t be tapping your feet or air-drumming along at your desk (unless that’s just us). This album grooves, and everything musically, from the basslines to the piano to the guitar, is super interesting. Most importantly, singer Nelly Llano’s vocals are spot-on. She’s got a strong, passionate voice that can be soothing when it needs, as well as hit big, emotional notes when the songs pick up. The EP is a breezy 23 minutes, but it plays well on repeat, and you probably won’t even notice when it starts over again. Whatever your weekend plans might be, you should try and work Nellybombs into them.
Eduardo Morgan Gaytán - @Hey.Morgan
Eduardo Morgan Gaytan is a designer on Instagram who creates awesome fonts and lettering that always blow us away. His most recent post, which reads “Get Shit Done” in flowing neon lettering, was speaking to us in particular this week. The design alone is dope, with a color scheme that gives off Miami Vice vibes and a typeface that is bold and unique. But, more importantly, we needed the message this week, too. We’ve got a lot going on here at King Penguin, but that doesn’t mean we don’t fall into creative ruts from time to time. The post serves as a reminder to buck up, put some good music on, put your head down, and get going on whatever project is in front of us. We head to @Hey.Morgan for the design, but this week, we stayed for the message. And hey, maybe it can inspire you guys, too, before you head into the weekend.