New Netflix series Dead To Me has a lot going for it — primarily co-leads Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini. They play unlikely friends who originally meet in grief counseling; Applegate is the tightly wound realtor (and she's excellent), Cardellini a hippie-dippie aide at an old-folks home (hello, Ed Asner!). I'm halfway into the series that, as it expands from its simple beginnings, seems to get more complex/convoluted with every character introduced and episode-ending twist. That's no complaint, and what's most appealing thus far is how Dead To Me constantly crosses the lines between sitcom, thriller and drama. (DAN NAILEN)
INLANDER PET PHOTO CONTEST
It's back! We're publishing a pet-themed issue in July, and once again holding a fun pet photo contest for readers. This year, we're asking readers to vote in five categories, and for an overall winner. Pick a category (see Inlander.com/petphotos for details) and send your best pet pics by Friday, June 14, to firstname.lastname@example.org. (CHEY SCOTT)
It's been a long time since I've played a video game as completely life-devouring as Surviving Mars. I fire up the 'ol Xbox around 7 pm and five minutes later it's 3 am and I'm covered in Dorito crumbs. Seriously. This game rules. Hover over the red planet as you meticulously plan and design a sleek and environmentally savvy colony that can sustain human life. Establish resources, handpick colonists and build, build, BUILD! Despite this game's inclination to STEM learning, designing your colony is very much a fine art. Now included with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass. (QUINN WELSCH)
Come for Gilbert Gottfried impersonating Hitler. Stay for the talented lineup of comedians each week trying out their own impression of historical figures. Historical Roasts with Jeff Ross, on Netflix, is different from the uncomfortable, vicious roasts of current celebrities that Ross has hosted over the years. This show understands that the insults in an Abraham Lincoln roast won't work as well if the actual Abraham Lincoln isn't there to get roasted. And that frees up a lighter — and I think more enjoyable — style of comedy. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music arrives online and in stores May 31. To wit:
J. Robbins, Un-Becoming. Jawbox was an underappreciated gem of a band, this is the solo debut of its main songwriter.
Thomas Rhett, Center Point Road. The country rising star just packed out the Arena a couple weeks ago.
Duff McKagan, Tenderness. Guns N' Roses bassist's new solo album was produced by Shooter (son of Waylon) Jennings.
The Warlocks, Mean Machine Music. If you like your psych-rock big and fuzzy, you've probably been waiting for the new Warlocks. (DAN NAILEN)