Shortly after Avatar: The Last Airbender joined Netflix, the mid-2000s animated series became the streaming giant's No. 1 show. The saga of teens on a quest to save the world from evil has a reverent fanbase, and its Netflix arrival precedes a planned new live-action adaptation. Set in a mythical world of four distinct nations, each home to magicians that can harness, or bend, the power of the elements (earth, wind, water, fire), Avatar centers around the return of a boy destined to save the world. While its intended audience may skew young, Avatar's examination of themes from colonialism to friendship, militarism to courage, are timeless and ageless. (CHEY SCOTT)
POWER TO THE LISTENER
Whenever Killer Mike and El-P hop on a track together as the duo known as Run the Jewels, it seems like they're ready for war. They have a battle-rap energy that makes it seem like they're competing against each other even though they're from the same group. Their new album, RTJ4, delivers a signature lyrical explosiveness while making a critique on society that makes you want to rise up against authority. It's easy to imagine this album being the anthem of revolutionaries. (JEREMEY RANDRUP)
WHO I'M GONNA CALL
Actor Josh Gad scored a coup June 15 in bringing the cast of the original Ghostbusters together (online) for a stroll down memory lane. Bill Murray (inexplicably wearing a sailor's hat), Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts swap stories with director Ivan Reitman (and poke fun at each other) through a pretty delightful half-hour. Search "GHOSTBUSTERS Reunited Apart" on YouTube if you ain't afraid of no ghosts. You can make a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative while you're there. (DAN NAILEN)
Everyone knows that history repeats itself, but the new podcast Flashback shows that history also begets more history. In each episode, host Sean Braswell interviews historians and journalists about a watershed historical moment that was the direct consequence of another watershed historical moment — for instance, how the advent of indoor air conditioning led to structural changes in the American political system, how a conspiracy-driven Henry Ford inspired the Oklahoma City bombing, and how Hitler's meth-prescribing doctor could have inadvertently escalated WWII. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music arrives online and in stores June 26. To wit:
HAIM, Women in Music Pt. III. The pop-rock killers delayed their third album in April, but there's still plenty of summer for digging their breezy new tunes.
Corb Lund, Agricultural Tragic. The Canadian country star releases his first new studio set in four years.