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An adaptation of Fernando Aramburu’s 2016 novel, Patria, which sold more than a million copies and has been translated into over 30 languages, is now streaming on HBO Max. Told through the perspectives of two families, this eight-part Spanish-language drama covers the 30-year period of brutal armed conflict between the Basque-separatist organization E.T.A. and the Guardia Civil, the oldest law-enforcement agency in Spain. It’s a complex history that is conveyed with nuance and proficiency, and the two lead actors, Elena Irureta and Ane Gabarain, excellently anchor the show with their impassioned performances. ( —Bridget Arsenault


Midwest Modern

If you’re in search of a time-line cleanse, might I suggest giving Midwest Modern a follow? The Twitter account is run by Josh Lipnik, a Detroit architect who takes the majority of the photos on it himself. Wander down side streets adorned with pre-Helvetica shop signs and feast your eyes on old Art Deco landmarks: churches designed by actual Saarinen associates, and ones that just look like they could have been. Instead of spouting off about the “real America,” sometimes it’s nice to take a virtual stroll. ( —Daisy Alioto


Hannah Bass

One can take only so much television. Hannah Bass, a London-based interior designer turned tapestry guru, proposes a solution: Why not take up needlepoint? Her beautifully designed kits are for beginners and experts alike, although the former group may find that, say, her map of Berlin, or trompe l’oeil alphabet letters, take some time to master. Start now, and aim to complete one by the end of lockdown. Goals are good! And your sofa or nursery wall will be forever grateful. ($107, —Ashley Baker


Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen

This podcast is fairly new, but I can’t believe we aren’t all talking about it. It outlines the scheme of the Hollywood Con Queen, who preyed on film and television aspirants—makeup artists, fitness trainers, photographers—by calling them up and impersonating high-powered executives, such as the real-life producer of Wonder Woman, Deb Snyder. She’d then offer a dream job, a position on a big-budget action movie shooting in Indonesia, telling them the gig was theirs if they could fly out as soon as possible. From Jakarta, things would get truly crazy. Investigative reporters Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis, the show’s hosts, aren’t the first to cover this story, but they are the first to unmask the Con Queen, a pursuit that is just as interesting as the truly bizarre scheme at the heart of it all. (—Clementine Ford

Issue No. 79
January 16, 2021
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Issue No. 79
January 16, 2021