Weekend Recommendations

You Need to Check Out 'Master of None,' 'The Wall,' and More This Weekend

Catch up on some classic comedies, watch people make knives, and binge on a junk food podcast.

by VICE Staff
May 12 2017, 5:33pm

Looking for some stuff to catch up on this weekend? Whether it's TV, movies, books, or anything in between—VICE has you covered. Read on for our staff recommendations on what to take in during your downtime:

The Wall

Doug Liman's last film, 2014's Tom Cruise–starring Edge of Tomorrow, was a fantastic slice of sci-fi action that featured a mind-fuckingly good central conceit, a bevy of explosive set pieces, and a brawny turn from the typically excellent Emily Blunt. The Wall is his follow-up, as well as one of two Liman movies we're getting this year (the Cruise-centered drug smuggling drama American Made is seeing release later this fall); even though its plot—two American soldiers trapped by an Iraqi sniper, with only a flimsy wall in the middle of the desert providing cover—is smaller scale than EoT, the film's no less explosive for it. The soldiers are portrayed by John Cena(!) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the latter of which coming off a star-making turn in Tom Ford's loopy and murderous Nocturnal Animals; despite its post–Iraq War backdrop, it packs a tense, escapist punch even as it gets its hands dirty with political (and spiritual) qualms. (The ending is incredible, too.) —Larry Fitzmaurice, Senior Culture Editor, Digital

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley was a show I expected to hate—I barely know what they're talking about and have no interest in, well, Silicon Valley—but it's become one of my favorite comedies. Somehow, it's gotten even better in its fourth season as it embraces a reboot of sorts, straying away from Pied Piper and toward Richard (Thomas Middleditch) trying to invent a whole new internet. And even with all the laughs (Zach Woods's facial expressions, any interaction between Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr), Silicon Valley manages to be a stealth thriller, with surprisingly intense cliffhangers that make it into a great weekend binge-watch. —Pilot Viruet, Associate Culture Editor

Doughboys

My friend turned me on to this podcast on a long drive from LA to San Francisco, and boy did I underestimate the appeal of hearing people talk about chain restaurants. The pitch is simple: Two comedians, Mitch Mitchell and Nick Wiger, sit with a guest to deconstruct the history, quality, and psychic impact of artery-clogging food brands you know and love—from Outback Steakhouse to Taco Bell to Hooters. It's a nice antidote to the often-maddening state of our national conversation about food—superfood hysteria, anti-science fear mongering, and the barely veiled classism of the modern coastal "diet." Guess what? Amanda Chantal Bacon is why Trump got elected. I'll take a Double Double and a Bloomin' Onion and a meditation on what curbside delivery meant to some guy's high school social life over Instagram Juice any day. —Tyler Trykowski, LGBTQ Editor

Master of None

Master of None was one of my favorite new shows of 2015, an exciting debut that I wouldn't shut up about—and the second season is even better. The series—which is simultaneously serialized and vignette-style—is first and foremost a comedy but includes unforgettable moments that go far deeper than most television: beautiful odes to immigrant parents, ruminations on the horrors women go through on a daily basis, inner conflicts between personal desires and religious obligations. The ambition and creativity is doubled in season two, with Dev (Aziz Ansari) temporarily fleeing to Italy in a lovely homage to Italian cinema and then returning to New York with a love letter to the city's diversity and eccentricity. But saying any more would spoil it, so I hope everyone races through the episodes as quickly as I did. —PV

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign

Had enough of our current political situation lately? You should still read Shattered. Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes's exegesis of how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 US presidential election to—do I even have to say his name?—is a thorough and, at points, dishy behind-the-scenes look at what went so horribly wrong in a campaign that clearly thought it had it right. Since starting this book, I've had friends tell me that it's "too soon" to start picking apart the bones of one of the most stunning elections in American history, and that's fine. Not everyone wants to spend their free time conducting such autopsies while still processing the everyday horrors that are our current political situation in the United States. If, like me, you do? This is a pretty good place to start. —LF

Forged in Fire

If you need something to relax your mind from work-related stress—or in my case, the impending collapse of America—look no further than Forged in Fire, a reality competition show on the History Channel about the art of bladesmithing. Each episode follows a similar structure to Chopped—four bladesmiths enter the forge and are given a difficult task to accomplish in a short amount of time. What separates Forged in Fire from your average reality show is that it's not focused on petty drama but the ancient art of bladesmithing. It's a relaxing watch, in part, because you're rooting for all the contestants—the better the knife, the more fun it is to watch it in action. But what's more endearing is that judges and the hosts are also rooting for each contestant, because at the end of the day, they're just a bunch of dudes who really love good knives. And honestly, same. I wasn't really a fan of knives and swords before I began watching Forged in Fire, but it's opened up a whole new world of escapism and beauty that I'd been yearning for. —Eve Peyser, Staff Politics Writer

Moonstruck

When's the last time you watched Moonstruck? If you've never seen it, why not? Norman Jewison's lovely, utterly hilarious romantic comedy turns 30 this year, and if that's an excuse to watch it for the first or ten thousandth time, then it's as good of an excuse as any. You've got Cher turning in top-tier acting work, Nicolas Cage giving a performance that's funny and passionate without the self-parodic vibes he's given off for the last 15 years, and an amazing screenplay from John Patrick Shanley, crammed with classic one-liners and beautiful turns of phrase that double as mantras for navigating love's choppy waters. I typically don't like drawing lines in the sand like this, but fuck it: If you don't like Moonstruck, do you even have a soul? —LF