TROUBLE IN PARADISE
You might think a vacation to Hawaii is all you need to escape your problems. The White Lotus, a new series streaming on HBO MAX, begs to differ. It follows a bunch of rich assholes — including a know-it-all sassy daughter played by Spokane native Sydney Sweeney — vacationing in Maui as they turn a slew of minor inconveniences into massive, life-changing problems. And who suffers the most? Of course, it's the staff at the hotel who must grit their teeth and smile as their lives are completely ruined. It's a funny, insightful exploration of classism set in the most beautiful place on earth, and it's probably my favorite show of the year. (WILSON CRISCIONE)
BE THE BEE
Education — everyone knows this — peaks in the second grade. That's when you learn about bees. They not only make honey and can sting you if you accidentally touch them on the pool ladder, but they give directions to other bees by dancing. How cool is that? Now, with the game Bee Simulator you can live the kind of fantasy previously only enjoyed by Jerry Seinfeld: becoming a bee. You can do it all: collect nectar, spread pollen, sting jerks, annoy zebras, all the best things about being a bee. I don't remember learning in Mr. Harding's class about the bee's ability to fill up on "beetro" by landing on cupcakes to temporarily supercharge their flying ability, but it just goes to show you that school can't teach you everything. (DANIEL WALTERS)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
There's noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Aug. 20. To wit:
BLEACHERS, Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night. Jack Antonoff stops making hits for Taylor Swift, Lorde to make some for himself.
LORDE, Solar Power. Speaking of Lorde, let's hope the album is better than the (admittedly breezy) first single and title track.
STURGILL SIMPSON, The Ballad of Dood and Juanita. A bluegrass-tinged concept album from one of country's best — I'll take it! (DAN NAILEN)