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Culture Index: Twin Peaks, Alien: Covenant and the James Bond Time Forgot

Five things you should check out this week

Culture Index

Courtesy of Netflix, Mark Rogers, Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Old favorites revisited dominate the conversation this week, as explorers go back into space to mess with aliens, and David Lynch makes his long-awaited return to Twin Peaks, Washington. But there’s so much more than two iconic classics making a comeback. This week’s list of Rolling Stone editor picks goes far beyond the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder and GI-distress-causing monsters. 

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Returns

Courtesy of Netflix

‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Returns

When Netflix teased the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with Titus Andromedon (played by Titus Burgess) parodying Beyoncé’s “Hold Up” video, the Internet blew up for a hot second. The Emmy-nominated show returns with 13 new episodes this weekend in case you’d rather wait out the late-May heatwave indoors. Will Kimmy (Ellie Kempner) (get that divorce from Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm)? Will Titus hit it big? And will things work out between those crazy kids Lillian (Carole Kane) and Bobby Durst? Guess you’ll have to watch to find out. 

'Switched on Pop' Podcast

‘Switched on Pop’ Podcast

Ever wonder how Ariana Grande’s “Into You” was engineered (by Max Martin et al), on a nearly molecular level, to become such an effective ear worm? Or how the “pop-drop” of EDM has evolved and mutated on mainstream radio? Or what medieval melodies have in common with Justin Timberlake?

As hosted by amiable, brilliant bros, musicologist (and Ph.D candidate) Nate Sloan and musician-songwriter Charlie Harding, Switched on Pop expertly delves deep into current pop radio, placing the creative output of Taylor Swift, Beyonce et al in a larger cultural and historical context. Music theory class was never this fun or addictive.

'Becoming Bond'

Courtesy of Hulu

‘Becoming Bond’

You know Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig. But do you remember George Lazenby, the former male model who, without any prior acting experience, took over the role from Connery as the most famous spy in the world for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? Probably not, especially since the Australian-born Lazenby walked away from the role after that single movie. This Hulu documentary tells his whole story.  

'Twin Peaks' Returns

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

‘Twin Peaks’ Returns

If you listen really quietly at 9 p.m. (or whatever time it premieres in your area) this Sunday night, you’ll probably hear the faint echo of Angelo Badalamenti’s famous theme playing nearby as David Lynch brings us back to Twin Peaks, Washington after 25 years away. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is back for more pie and damn good coffee, and he’s going to encounter a whole bunch of new characters, played by everyone from Jim Belushi to Sky Ferreira.

And if you really want to immerse yourself in Twin Peaks arcana, check out Dover Quartet and their music inspired by the iconic score from the series (they’ll also be performing May 30th at le Poisson Rouge in New York City).

'Alien Covenant'

Mark Rogers

‘Alien: Covenant’

Peter Travers, in his review for Ridley Scott’s followup to 2012’s Prometheus, says “Fans are going to freak out” at what he believes is one of the best films in the entire series. Set 18 years before the very first Alien film (from 1979) this prequel (featuring solid performances from Michael Fassbender, Billy Crudup and Katherine Waterston) restores “the balance between brain teasing and hardcore terror,” Travers raves.