SPIRIT IN THE MATERIAL WORLD
The return of FX/Hulu's RESERVATION DOGS for its second season was cause for much rejoicing at my house, as the Oklahoma-set show about Indigenous young adults trying to survive boredom in a small town and the death of a close friend was one of my favorite shows of 2021. The second season premiered in early August, and it's great so far. I'm particularly happy about the consistent appearances of Spirit (Dallas Goldtooth), the hilarious ghost of a warrior who claims he died at Little Bighorn and who acts as a guide to the conflicted mama's boy Bear. Spirit and Bear's scene trading wisdom inside construction-site Port-o-Potties in the episode "Roofing" is hilarious, and not just because of the Blazing Saddles-level flatulence audibly emanating from Spirit between line readings. (DAN NAILEN)
While it's not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe's realm of God Butchers and a murderous Scarlet Witch has been 100-percent kid-friendly, they do look like colorful Care Bears flicks compared to the grim, somber tone of the DC Extended Universe. Thankfully, DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS remembers that, "Oh right, comic book heroes should sometimes be for the kiddos." The tale of Superman's dog, Krypto, having to team up with a ragtag group of powered pets to defeat a supervillain gerbil (voiced by Kate McKinnon having an absolute blast) who captures the actual Justice League members won't blow anyone away, but it's full of heart and a few legit laughs. It's a true superhero movie for the whole family, one that balances action, adorableness and jokes (beware of cute weaponized kitties!). (SETH SOMMERFELD)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Aug. 26:
MUSE, WILL OF THE PEOPLE. The showy English arena rock veterans dip their toes into the dark and gloomy modern political landscape with an album centered on defiance.
STELLA DONNELLY, FLOOD. The Aussie's sophomore LP finds the singer-songwriter often sounding like countrywoman Courtney Barnett's sunnier, poppier little sister.
EZRA FURMAN, ALL OF US FLAMES. The trans rocker's latest finds her skillfully brooding her way through songs about the internal support of queer communities in times of crisis.