'Veep,' Loudon Wainwright III: The Week Ahead in Pop Culture


A look at the things we're most excited about watching, reading, browsing, and listening to:

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In theaters Friday:

A romantic comedy based on a dating-advice book by radio personality and game-show host Steve Harvey may not sound, from the description, like quality cinema. But Think Like a Man has been greeted rapturously by test-screening audiences—receiving among the highest pre-release scores for any film ever, according to New York—meaning that this may just end up an unexpected hit—the kind of film where, all of a sudden, everyone's talking about it.

If the past few years' coverage of the chimpanzee who disfigured its owner have marred that species' image, Disney and the Jane Goodall's Institute's documentary Chimpanzee will remind us all of one crucial face: chimps are cute.

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On sale Tuesday:

Grammy-winning songwriter Loudon Wainwright III's 22nd album, Older Than My Old Man Now is a forthright, hilarious, and at-times devastating meditation on his own aging—the memories he possesses, the music he's made, the marriages he's had, and the medication he's now on. Check out "Over the Hill," which The Atlantic premiered in February.

As a member of Wolf Parade, Swan Lake, and Sunset Rubdown, Spencer Krug's ragged yowl and elliptical lyrics powered some of the most creative indie rock of the past decade. But his latest release, Moonface's Mount Sinai: Heartbreaking Bravery ranks among his best yet—a weird yet accessible collections of songs about desire.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus made a name for herself playing Elaine in the comedy of the absurd that is Seinfeld. A similar sensibility infuses her latest project, Veep, which focuses on the bizarre uselessness of being Vice President of the United States. Airs Sunday at 10 pm Eastern.

Julian Assange had is TV debut earlier this year when he played himself on a special episode of The Simpsons. Now the WikiLeaks founder, who's under house arrest, is getting his own show, The World of Tomorrow, which will air on Russia Today. It'll also be available on the Russia Today website. Airs Tuesday.


For sale Tuesday:

Elizabeth Gilbert is a polarizing figure: Some love the conversational, confessional style of her mega-hit memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, while others find her a tiresome chronicler of privileged selfishness. Fittingly, her latest book, At Home on the Range, out this week, is likely to have a large number of fans and detractors. It's a cookbook, "presented by Elizabeth Gilbert," of recipes from her great-grandmother. A sweet homage to her ancestor, or cloyingly twee? It probably depends on how much you liked Eat, Pray, Love.

New York Times columnist (and former Atlantic editor) Ross Douthat has written a book about the state of Christianity in America. Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, argues that Christianity's decline is not the fault of secularism, atheism, or inherent flaws with the religion's teachings; rather, it's because the Christianity being preached in America today is not really Christianity at all.

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Eleanor Barkhorn & Spencer Kornhaber

Eleanor Barkhorn and Spencer Kornhaber are senior associate editors at The Atlantic.

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