BABY YODA'S BACK
With only two episodes of the second season out so far on Disney+ (and a third this week), The Mandalorian kicked things off by recapturing viewers' attention with big, scary monsters and plenty of action. A surprise side role by Timothy Olyphant? Score! Many-legged ice beasts that could compete with the worst of Harry Potter's Forbidden Forest? Yep. Still, with only 8 episodes expected, we're still waiting to see how successful Mando might be on his quest: Bringing that bright-eyed little Baby Yoda to his people. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)
MEMORIES OF MANDERLEY
Trivia time: What's the only Alfred Hitchcock film to win the Oscar for best picture? If you answered 1940's Rebecca, you're right on the money. That adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's gothic novel was haunting and atmospheric, and seemed like it couldn't be improved upon. Now a new version on Netflix takes all the menace and poetry of the original and replaces it with flat, uninvolving melodrama. This new take stars the reliable Lily James as the new bride of a brooding millionaire (a woefully miscast Armie Hammer), living in a creepy estate and haunted by the specter of his previous wife. 2020 Rebecca is not a good movie, but it might make for an interesting academic exercise: Turn it into a double feature with the Hitchcock original and compare-contrast. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)
The Internet meme machine has blessed us again. @CatVibesTo on Twitter is the latest and greatest meme maker you need to follow, right meow. Based around an up-close gif of a totally chillin' white cat's head bobbing to the beat, each new dank meme mashes up the vibin' feline to bob in time with various songs. Highlights range from a perfectly synced nod to The Mandalorian theme to major pop hits, video game soundtracks, and even fellow meme legend Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." (CHEY SCOTT)
START THE CLOCK
We don't get enough heroines like Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit, now streaming on Netflix. Uncompromisingly brilliant and obsessive, Harmon ascends from the orphanage basement where she learned to play chess to the heights of world fame. The show draws a stirring portrait of women's experiences in a patriarchal, 1960s America. Refreshingly, it disrupts the romanticization of the individual genius in favor of community, found families and the complex impact of race, gender and class on intellectual achievement and mental instability. (LAUREN GILMORE)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Some noteworthy new music hits online and in stores Nov. 13. To wit:
AC/DC, PWR/UP. I'm going to hazard a guess the Aussie rockers' latest sounds pretty much like their first 15 albums. That's not a complaint.
LAMBCHOP, Trip. Each member of the band picked a song for this covers set that includes tunes popularized by the Supremes, George Jones and Wilco.
CHRIS STAPLETON, Starting Over. What else do you do after becoming the biggest new star in country music? (DAN NAILEN)