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The Chippendales men shooting 2006 Chippendale’s Calendar

Welcome to Your Fantasy

I grew up knowing Chippendales, the male striptease club and its shirtless, cuffed, and collared dancers, mostly through Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze’s 1990 S.N.L. sketch. But as this new podcast from Pineapple Street Studios and Gimlet shows, it was once far more than a punch line—Chippendales was an international sensation, and its backstory is like a real-life L.A. noir. Founded in 1979 by an Indian immigrant and a children’s-television producer, it reached its peak by the 80s, with calendar sales rivaling those of the Farrah Fawcett poster. But behind the glossy-photo shoots and still-glossier abs of Chippendales was a dark side, a cocaine-dusted world of corruption and even murder that host and historian Natalia Petrzela unfurls over eight episodes. It’s a true-crime series, laced in cologne, but it’s not all scandal. The show is also a revealing look into one of the best-known but perhaps least understood cultural phenomenas. (Available beginning February 10, —Clementine Ford


Your Honor

In a new drama on Showtime, Bryan Cranston plays a law-abiding citizen who gets swept into a widening web of crime, so it’s hard to watch Your Honor and not think of Breaking Bad. There are echoes, but this series also has roots in classic film noir. Like the hero of The Big Clock, Cranston, a respected judge, is charged with pursuing the truth in a murder case where mounting evidence points to him. As he twists and turns to avert discovery, the judge finds himself more deeply mired in murder, organized crime, and corruption. And Your Honor is set in New Orleans, so the pool is bottomless—and riveting. ( —Alessandra Stanley


Purple Cushions

A January Atlantic article detailed how working from home—hunching and craning while sitting in a chair that was designed for dinner, not an eight-hour day—is ruining our bodies, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. After searching in vain for an affordable and attractive office chair, I found an alternative that has truly improved my days and didn’t cost an arm and a leg: these chair cushions from the start-up mattress brand Purple, which are designed to give the support and comfort of ergonomics to any hard seating. The brand’s Royal bundle, which includes both back and seat support, has kept my usual late-afternoon back pain from creeping in. ($106, —Sarah Hardt



For the past six months or so, I’ve taken to using the extra time in my mornings—freed up by the lack of a commute—to hone my daily shave. My advice: Ditch that five-blade and get a 10-pound, double-edged safety razor. Invest in a boar-bristle brush for lathering. But most important is that you get rid of the Barbasol. I know, it’ll be tough—it was a fixture on my dad’s sink, too—but switch it out for some Proraso shaving cream and you’ll never look back. The stuff takes a little extra time to get the hang of, but once you do, you’ll be walking away from that mirror with a face as smooth as that of a star of an old black-and-white film. ($10, —Alex Oliveira

Issue No. 82
February 6, 2021
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Issue No. 82
February 6, 2021