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The British have an endless appetite for good police procedurals—Broadchurch, Line of Duty, Whitechapel, and Grantchester, to name just a few. Adding to this list is Vera, an obsession-worthy series adapted by the crime novelist Ann Cleeves, whose books the show is based on, and starring two-time Academy Award nominee Brenda Blethyn as the titular character. Vera is an unlikely lovable lead, a borderline alcoholic mess of a human who has a prickly personality and a steel-trap mind for solving murders as the chief detective with the fictional Northumberland & City Police. The show is as smart as it is fun—think Law & Order: Special Victims Unit meets Miss Marple. Plus, it premiered in 2011, so there are 10 stellar seasons to binge on. ( —Anjali Lewis


Gemini Espresso-Maker

The perfect last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for coffee-lovers everywhere? Espresso pour deux. This Gemini Express stovetop espresso-maker brews two perfect cups at the same time, and the charming green enamel brightens up my morning almost as much as the caffeine. With two cups and saucers included, save the second for a loved one or enjoy them both yourself. Bonus points if you channel your inner barista and upgrade your simple espresso into my new personal favorite: a dirty chai latte. ($48, —Sarah Hardt


The Fence

As a maxim often attributed to Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean goes: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” That’s part of what makes the London-based satirical Web site, newsletter, and print magazine The Fence such a feat. Launched in 2019 and produced with a millennial audience in mind, The Fence lampoons politics, culture, and life among the upper echelons in West London, and the Shoreditch House–frequenting set are often parodied to fantastically witty effect. The young team, angered by Brexit and Donald Trump, take an arch yet breezy approach that offers a refreshing respite from the more somber and self-serious news outlets. ( —Bridget Arsenault


Jump Starter

A dead car battery ranks among the world’s most annoying inconveniences. What’s worse, getting it up and running again requires another human’s help, so you have to act nice and sociable even though you’re late for work, or wherever it is you need to be. But DBPower’s portable jump starter, which is smaller than most laptops and features a flashlight, cuts out the middleman. All you need is an understanding of the cables, and while I’m still somewhat afraid of electrocuting myself, I no longer rely on the kindness of strangers for a boost. ($70, —Clementine Ford

Issue No. 83
February 13, 2021
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Issue No. 83
February 13, 2021