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Culture Index: Trevor Noah, ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ Tom Scharpling and More

Six things you should check out this week

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There is way too much good stuff floating around there as we close out the fourth month on the calendar. The eagerly awaited TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, finally debuted on Hulu, Trevor Noah is finally hitting his stride on The Daily Show and the story of how one of the biggest newspapers in the world writes about the dead is well worth a few hours in a dark theater. 

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‘The Best Show with Tom Scharpling’

Although The Best Show has been around for over 15 years, the absence of one of the show’s greatest callers, Jon Wurster (Mountain Goats/Superchunk) as “Philly Boy Roy,” has been somewhat noticeable. Thankfully, the former mayor of Newbridge, NJ made an appearance on the most recent of the show that has remained the best weird, cult comedy podcast you can and should be subscribing to. 

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‘Obit’

Ever wonder how the obituaries in the New York Times come together? Vanessa Gould’s stunning documentary on the people that writer about the dead, and sometimes not-yet dead, is a fascinating look at one of the most popular, and weirdest corners of the media world. 

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Doree Shafrir’s ‘Startup’

BuzzFeed writer and editor Doree Shafrir does a perfect job skewering the male-dominated tech world in this, her debut novel. “As the world hurtles ever onward at a breakneck clip,” the book “illustrates the dystopian quality of our destabilizing present by generating nostalgia for it.”

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Trevor Noah’s Trump Impression

With all the Russian connections and weird Sean Spicer soundbites, the Trump presidency has at least made it easier for anybody in comedy to excel, and much like Stephen Colbert recovering from a rough start in the last 100 days, Trevor Noah looks to have found his footing. His imitation of number 45 is especially strong and should serve him well. 

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Netflix

‘Dear White People’

“For those worried that the TV version” of Justin Simien’s 2014 Sundance hit which started streaming on Netflix this week, “would tone down the take-no-prisoners attitude, rest assured: If anything, the racial-satire razors have become even sharper the second time around,” says David Fear

Cul

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

The adaptation of Margaret Atwood classic dystopian novel has been adapted to film and also an opera, but this new series starring Elisabeth Moss, is making the biggest impact. Set in a dystopian future, the rendering of a world where women have no rights will chill you to the bone, and hopefully make you think about where we’re headed as a society. 

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