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Time Suck: Pop-culture recommendations for April 13-19

Time Suck is a new weekly EW Community feature, in which I and other contributors scour the deep recesses of our pop-culture knowledge to bring you the very best in current entertainment. These recommendations can be consumed in either one minute, one hour, one day, or one week; no matter how much or how little free time you have, we’ve got you covered. So dig in, fellow fans. Whether you’ve got all the time in the world or no time at all, there’s something here for you.

*Warning: Time is a social construct, so not all of these offering will fit exactly into their allotted categories. Just go with it.

One Minute: “Shake It Off” vs. “The Perfect Drug”

This mashup of Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” may be one of the most perfect 3 minutes and 47 seconds you could spend watching a music video. Not only do the songs work perfectly together, but the videos sync up. It’s crazy! This song has become my go-to driving anthem, and it never fails to make me smile. It’s getting to the point where I find myself hoping that Reznor and Swift meet up and record this as a single, then make a new video. Besides, now that I’ve sung its praises this loudly, you know you have to take a few and watch it. It’s a moral imperative! Geek Girl Diva

One Hour: Wizard People, Dear Reader

For anyone who grew up in the nineties—heck, for anyone who knew how to read in the nineties, regardless of age—the Harry Potter books were something of a sacred text. For the first time, well, ever, they made reading genuinely cool, and they ushered a new generation of fantasy (and YA) fans into the mainstream. But being so highly regarded also made Harry Potter ripe for parody. Enter comedian Brad Neely.

In 2004, Neely released Wizard People, Dear Reader, a supposed “alternative audiobook” that was meant to replace the first HP film’s soundtrack. The results are fall-off-your-chair hilarious (even if you’re not a fan of the series). Neely claims never to have read the books, so his entire understanding of the Harry Potter universe is based on whatever had seeped through the general mid-2000s zeitgeist. His alternative narration begins by basically following what’s on screen, but soon Neely is off on side-splitting tangents about Harry, Ron (aka “Ronnie the Bear”), and Hermione’s inner lives, as well as completely unrelated riffs on philosophy and the nature of death. Ariel Kay

One Day: Please Like Me, season 1

The life of Please Like Me‘s creator-writer-star, Josh Thomas, doesn’t exactly seem full of comedic potential: On the same day his longtime girlfriend dumps him (by kindly pointing out that he’s probably gay), his mother attempts to kill herself. If you were looking for a show that slowly eases into life’s harsh realities, this ain’t it. But Thomas (who was already a rising standup talent before he even graduated high school) manages to make his autobiographical series both absolutely funny and often quite touching. We can laugh along at the absurdity of Josh’s new existence—his first date with a boy, his mom’s shaky mental health, his dad’s midlife crisis—all while developing real ties to these characters. The show is just as notable for its compassionate and truthful depictions of depression and of being a confused 20-something as it is for its physical comedy (of which there is plenty).

Please Like Me‘s first season aired in Australia, but Pivot picked up its second season in the U.S. So if you’re already subscribed to that network, you can watch the show on demand. If not, season one is available on Amazon for just $5, a total steal. —AK

One Week: The Book of Abarat series

Most people know Clive Barker primarily as a horror author, and that’s a damn shame. His fantastical young adult series, The Books of Abarat, deserves more fans. More like a map to an alternative universe than a conventional story, the books contain hundreds of Barker’s own full-color oil paintings, which lurk just beyond the next page, waiting to give readers a creepy peek into the author’s imagination.

The series (which is a trilogy at the moment) follows the adventures of teen protagonist Candy Quackenbush. Candy is a bored, brave girl from Chickentown, Minnesota, who manages to open a gateway to the world of Abarat, an archipelago composed of 25 islands, one for each hour of the day (plus another for “Time out of Time”). Abarat is aimed at younger readers, but its inventive characters—such as Candy’s main antagonist, Christopher Carrion, the “Midnight Prince,” whose mouth and nose are enveloped in a kind of high glass collar containing all his nightmares, which give him sustenance—will engage adult readers just as fully. —AK

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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