Lockdown List #7

Another week, here’s five of the best…

Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe hailed 'perfect tonic' amid ...

TV: Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe (BBC iplayer)

At a time when terrestrial TV has never felt more redundant, with half the population watching streaming services instead, and the other half on a seemingly never ending quest to fill their days with running, baking and gardening, it felt novel to have a genuine TV event that we could all get behind. Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe is the closest we have gotten to essential television since the lockdown began.

Brooker has always been a reluctant voice of reason in a country that finds common sense so sorely lacking, but in these dark times he is needed more than ever. First and foremost, Antiviral Wipe is hilarious. This is no mean feat considering the dark subject matter, but then that sweet spot between genius and provocateur has always been Brooker’s raison d’ĂȘtre.

His latest diatribe is perhaps his most important. Furious, exasperated, but tinged with hope, this is vital viewing.

Song: Fiona Apple – Cosmonauts

Fiona Apple is one of those artists that has passed me by over the years, despite, or perhaps because of, my wife’s undying love for her. I have made a concerted effort to listen to some new music over the last few weeks and Apple’s recent album Fetch the Bolt Cutters has quietly been a revelation.

Cosmonauts is the standout track and distills everything that is great about Fiona Apple into a 4 minute pop song. Dramatic piano led verse, sweetly delivered chorus, quirky lyrics. One of the best tracks of 2020.

Podcast: Stephen Merchant on the Hip Hop Saved My Life podcast

Hip Hop Saved My Life with Romesh Ranganathan on acast

Romesh Ranganathan is everywhere these days, and while none of his TV stuff has ever really appealed to me, his hip hop podcast is genuinely great. My favourite episodes are invariably the ones that feature a comedian rather than a rapper (previous guests have included Adam Buxton and Frankie Boyle), so I was always going to appreciate a hip hop chat with Stephen Merchant.

The great thing about this podcast is that you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy it, but you still come away from each episode feeling like you have discovered something new. This latest ep is no different and Merchant speaks passionately about his long standing love of hip hop.

Article: Robert Pattinson – A Dispatch From Isolation (GQ)

I love a celebrity profile. This piece on Robert Pattinson is particularly insightful because he comes across as a complete maniac. Pattinson has done well to move past the Twilight movies to a point where most people are pretty excited about the prospect of him becoming Batman, and this profile confirms his inauguration into the world of being a serious actor. If this isn’t your thing, then I suggest you watch The Lighthouse instead. Wonderful film.

Picture: Borussia Dortmund subs wearing facemasks

Obviously, I’m absolutely delighted that football has returned. This is still weird though…

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