The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Oct. 19-25, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
WATCH IT: I Love a Mama’s Boy documents extreme family drama
While you might think from the title of TLC’s latest docuseries that it’s about women who love them a so-called mama’s boy, in fact it’s the opposite: the subjects are women in a relationship with a man who’s uncomfortably close with his mother. They hold hands at the spa together, cuddle with one another and go on dates. One mother even trims her son’s back hair! Worse, the moms are less than receptive to the other women in their son’s lives. When one of the men tells his mom that he feels caught in a competition between two people he loves, she says, “Well, it is a competition.” Another mom actually brings another woman to meet her son, which is bad enough, but she does it when him and his girlfriend are meeting her! Brutal. All this is particularly awkward, because the couples are at a critical time in their relationship — they’ve just moved in together or they’re planning a wedding. Expect it to end with some major decisions about how and whether the couples move forward. — Raechal Shewfelt
I Love a Mama’s Boy premieres Sunday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. on TLC.
STREAM IT: Imelda Staunton is one seriously scary nun in the new horror movie Amulet
After traumatizing the Hogwarts student body as Dolores Umbridge, Imelda Staunton gets in touch with her spooky spiritual side in Amulet, the directorial debut of British actress, Romola Garai. The Oscar-nominated Saunton plays Sister Claire, a seemingly sweet nun who comes to the aid of traumatized refugee Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) who is escaping demons from his past. Offered sanctuary at a rundown home that belongs to an isolated young woman and her dying mother, he soon discovers that strange things lurk in the hallways and rooms of his new abode, suggesting that Claire might have ulterior motives. How strange are these sights? Check out this freaky clip, where Tomaz investigates a case of severe toilet stench and finds a scary surprise when the water drains. It’s Bob Vila’s worst nightmare. — Ethan Alter
STREAM IT: Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer go head-to-head in The Witches
The whimsical stories of Roald Dahl, author of children’s classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, have been brought to life again and again in Hollywood. The latest adaptation stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway, as the leader of a coven of witches who can’t stand children, and Octavia Spencer, as the wise grandmother who warns her grandson to stay away from them. And not a moment too soon! (Nineties kids will remember that Hathaway’s role was played by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 version of the tale.) Directed by Back to the Future and Forrest Gump’s Robert Zemeckis, the new family flick also features Chris Rock and Hathaway’s The Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci. — R.S.
The Witches premieres Thursday, Oct. 22 on HBO Max.
STREAM IT: Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray reunite for the New York story On the Rocks
Seventeen years after Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray trade Tokyo for the Big Apple in On the Rocks, which arrives on Apple TV+ after premiering at the New York Film Festival. When frustrated writer Laura (Rashida Jones) suspects that her husband (Marlon Wayans) might be having an affair, she seeks marital advice from her own relationship-challenged father, Felix (Murray). Rather than try to alleviate her suspicions, Felix eggs her on, and the duo are soon enjoying after hours father/daughter adventures around Manhattan. Although there are aspects of Felix that seem patterned after Coppola’s own father — Godfather director, Francis Ford Coppola — Murray puts his own distinct spin on the part, playing him as a Peter Pan-ish gadfly whose effortless charm masks a certain emptiness of purpose. Here’s a director and star who just get each other. — E.A.
On the Rocks premieres Friday, Oct. 23 on Apple TV+.
STREAM IT: Borat strikes back with Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
What have you accomplished during quarantine? Apparently Sacha Baron Cohen went and shot a whole secret Borat sequel, which we should’ve been tipped off to when video leaked of the actor and comedian staging a racist singalong as he pranked a gathering of the far-group called Washington Three Percent. Borat 2, which if length of movie titles (see above) equate to quality will be the best film of 2020, hopes to recapture the off-the-wall guerilla hilarity that made Cohen a sensation when 2006’s Borat raked up big bucks at the box office and was incessantly imitated by your office mate for the next three years straight. The early returns (meaning trailer) look promising, especially with the addition of newcomer Irina Novak as Borat’s daughter, Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev. — Kevin Polowy
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm premieres Friday, Oct. 23 on Amazon Prime.
STREAM IT/HEAR IT: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band deliver yet again in a moving Letter to You
“The E Street Band is a finely tuned instrument of great flexibility and power,” Bruce Springsteen intones ministerially at the outset of the Apple TV+ fly-on-the-wall documentary Letter to You, which chronicles, in meditative black and white, the recording of the eponymous album. “We are a unit 45 years in the making, decades in the refining, and we bring that power to bear when we engage with you.” Both the doc and the album find the Boss and the band in a reflective mood, tracing their arc from Jersey shore rebels to rock elder statesman preparing to make one more stand. Springsteen, now 71, ponders mortality up and down the track list, most notably in “Last Man Standing,” written after the death of his last living bandmate from his teenage crew, the Castiles, and “Ghosts,” honoring dearly departed E Streeters Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, while celebrating “the beauty and joy of being in a band, and the pain of losing one another to illness and time.” The reunited band is in fine form, and despite the existential themes, seems primed for more glory days ahead. — Marcus Errico
Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, Oct. 23, the same day the album drops on Amazon and elsewhere.
WATCH IT: The Voice returns, safely
After the spring 2020 cycle of The Voice had to pivot and go remote mid-season due to coronavirus concerns, the show returns this fall for a safe, socially distanced and (for the time being) audience-free 19th season on the Universal Studios set. Regular coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and the O.G., Blake Shelton, are back in their big red chairs — along with Blake’s offscreen love interest, onscreen rival and current quarantine partner, Gwen Stefani. — Lyndsey Parker
The Voice Season 19 premieres Monday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
STREAM IT: Armie Hammer and Lily James star in the haunting, classic story of Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier’s novel about a young newlywed moving into the estate that her husband once shared with his late first wife, Rebecca, only to find herself haunted by the memory of her predecessor, was originally published in 1938. Alfred Hitchcock directed the most successful film adaptation, which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine and won the Oscar for Best Picture. In this new take, Lily James and Amie Hammer play the couple. Kristin Scott Thomas portrays housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who remains devoted to the first Mrs. De Winter and, therefore, makes life intolerable for her replacement, always questioning her and comparing her to Rebecca. The lush sets and costumes are especially gorgeous as the drama plays out. — R.S.
Rebecca premieres Tuesday, Oct. 21 on Netflix.
BUY IT: Put some Pop(s) in your Halloween with Funko’s adorably spooky vinyl figures
No tricks: Funko has plenty of fresh pop culture-related treats for your spooky season displays, starting with those eternally popular Queens of Halloween, the Sanderson Sisters. The Hocus Pocus trio immortalized by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker soars into online stores on their broomsticks. Tim Burton fans, meanwhile, can choose between a new batch of Nightmare Before Christmas Pops, as well as Corpse Bride couple, Victor and Emily. Other Funkoween offerings include zombie versions of classic Marvel characters like Wolverine and Mysterio; Pennywise’s creator, Stephen King, with the killer clown’s trademark red balloon; and Bart Simpson as the title character in Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem “The Raven,” a reference to the very first Treehouse of Horror episode on its 30th anniversary. — E.A.
HEAR IT: Rocky Horror does the Time Warp again — on vinyl
Just in time to celebrate both Halloween and The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s 45th anniversary comes this limited-edition, sonically remastered vinyl slab of the iconic soundtrack. Featuring photos of Tim Curry in all his androgynous glory on Side A, and a Side B photo spread of movie-house marquees that have hosted the film during what is the longest theatrical run in cinematic history, this picture-disc is a must-have for collectors. Don’t dream it, buy it! — L.P.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 45th anniversary limited-edition vinyl picture disc is available Friday, Oct. 23 on Amazon.
STREAM IT: Anya Taylor-Joy checkmates the competition in the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit
Part brainy sports movie, part ‘60s-era melodrama, Scott Frank’s seven-part Netflix production, The Queen’s Gambit, should appeal to fans of Searching for Bobby Fischer and Far From Heaven alike. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon, an orphan who turns out to be the world’s next great chess prodigy. But her gameplay is enabled by serious addictions — to alcohol and tranquilizers — that threaten her mental well-being, while her gender makes her an outcast in a male-dominated sport. The series is a stellar showcase for Joy, who appears in almost every scene, and captures the mixture of emotional isolation and single-minded determination that carries Beth from playing chess games in the basement of her orphanage to a global grandmaster tournament in the Soviet Union. Look for Game of Thrones’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Harry Potter’s Harry Melling as a pair of chess rivals who become her unlikely allies along the way. — E.A.
The Queen’s Gambit premieres Friday, Oct. 23 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip retraces the birth of celebrity journalism
This installment of PBS’s American Masters profiles the ‘30s and ‘40s gossip columnist and radio personality, who had an audience of more than 50 million Americans at the height of his career, relentlessly covering high-profile stories, including the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. In fact, the politically outspoken Winchell is credited with pioneering the type of “infotainment” journalism we often see today. (Avid Annie fans will recall that the tabloid reporter is one of a handful of real people, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, that billionaire Daddy Warbucks mentions.) Alongside rare recordings, archival news footage, photos and interviews with historians, Winchell’s story is told by narration from Whoopi Goldberg. Actor Stanley Tucci, who played the influential figure in HBO’s 1998 movie Winchell, provides the subject’s voice. In an essay for PBS, director Ben Loeterman writes, “Winchell’s is the origin story of fake news; there could not be a timelier moment to unpack it for a wide audience.” — R.S.
Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip airs Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on PBS.
WATCH IT: Dragula: Resurrection brings back its ghouls
Nightclub impresarios the Boulet Brothers’ Dragula — the boundary-breaking underground drag show that makes RuPaul’s Drag Race look positively tame — promises "the most beautifully shot footage of drag that we’ve ever seen on TV” with the Boulets’ two-hour Halloween special, Resurrection. Billed as “part-horror movie, part-documentary and part-reality competition” and starring seven deadly past contestants, it’s sure to be the face-crack of this spooky season. — L.P.
The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection airs Monday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on Shudder.
READ IT: John Badham on Directing takes you to film school
John Badham knows a thing or 16 about directing. That’s how many theatrically distributed films Badham has helmed — including favorites like Saturday Night Fever (1977), WarGames (1983) and Short Circuit (1986), not to mention countless television episodes and movies. (Badham has worked largely in TV since the late ‘90s.) With the new book John Badham on Directing, the filmmaker assumes a broader role as worldwise instructor, offering sage tutelage on everything from working with actors to nailing down stories and tones. He also recruited friends like Taylor Hackford, Jodie Foster, Patty Jenkins, Ryan Murphy and Steven Soderberg to “guest lecture” with bite-sized tidbits throughout. A great read for working and aspiring Spielbergs. — K.P.
John Badham on Directing is available on Amazon.
BUY IT: Keep your holidays on schedule with Playmobil’s Back to the Future Advent Calendar
Available November 2020! Back to the Future Playmobil Advent Calendar w/7 vinyl figures - Includes 3 Marty McFly figures, 2 Doc Brown figures, 1 Biff Tannen figure, and 1 Jennifer Parker figure! Reserve yours today before you're OUTATIME! https://t.co/noA9eEEeMc pic.twitter.com/Xa76gvv4dD
— Back to the Future™ (@BacktotheFuture) August 18, 2020
It’s all too easy to lose track of time during the busy holiday season, so allow seasoned time-travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown to pay attention to the calendar for you. Playmobil has unveiled a Back to the Future-themed advent calendar that comes with 24 doors hiding Hill Valley fun. Collect versions of the movie’s classic characters and locations that you can assemble to create a time-tripping tableau just in time for Christmas. Joy to the world and pass the plutonium. — E.A.
Playmobil’s Back to the Future Advent Calendar is available on Amazon.
HEAR IT: Gorillaz go ape on their latest all-star opus
Damon Albarn digs deep into his contacts list for what just might be his cartoon band’s most A-list album yet. Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez features contributions from Sir Elton John, the Cure’s Robert Smith, Beck, Schoolboy Q, St. Vincent, Joy Division/New Order’s Peter Hook, 6lack and many more. We’re already excited for Season Two, but this will be tough to top. — L.P.
Download/stream Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez on Apple Music.
WATCH IT: RZA’s Cut Throat City cuts through the clutter on Blu-ray
It felt like it took forever for Cut Throat City to get here. We first interviewed director RZA and co-star Wesley Snipes at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2018 — and it was a whole two years until the film finally hit theaters and video-on-demand (mid-pandemic) this past summer. We’re not sure what accounted for the delay, but it wasn’t quality control: The Wu-Tang Clan ringleader has made a stylish, entertaining New Orleans-set heist thriller that comes equipped with a dynamic cast (Shameik Moore, T.I., Demetrius Shipp Jr., Denzel Whitaker, Terrence Howard, Ethan Hawke and Snipes) and a lot on its mind. Now it lands on Blu-ray with behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes as part of its score. — K.P.
Cut Throat City is available on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.
HEAR IT: K-pop sensations Seventeen are unstoppable
After racking up 2 billion streams and 4 million in worldwide album sales, K-pop’s “self-producing idols” Seventeen continue their global ascent with their second special album, Semicolon. The record surpassed a whopping 1.1 million in pre-orders before its Oct. 19 release date, so, contrary to its title, this boy band’s career shows no signs of pausing or slowing down. — L.P.
Semicolon is available on Kpop USA.
— Video produced by Gisselle Bances