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Olly Alexander and Lydia West in It’s a Sin (2021)

It’s a Sin

When British screenwriter Russell T. Davies created the hit series Queer as Folk, 22 years ago, it was widely considered to be a pioneering moment for the gay community. And yet Davies left one critical thing out—the AIDS crisis. Having come of age in London during the height of the epidemic, he wasn’t yet ready to confront the subject. But now his new HBO Max five-part series, It’s a Sin, sees him take on the painful period. Expertly cast, the show features a slate of young actors, with supporting roles performed by Neil Patrick Harris, Keeley Hawes, and Stephen Fry, who tackle the devastating impact of H.I.V. on London’s queer community with sensitivity, truth, and courage. ( —Bridget Arsenault


Blisshaus Matches-and-Toothpicks Bottle

Some people use toothpicks as a matter of oral hygiene. I’m not among them, remaining loyal to the humble Waterpik. But I do rely on them in my baking pursuits, which means that they must occupy a quasi-prominent place on the kitchen shelf. Upgrade the entire experience with this handy bottle from Blisshaus, purveyors of sustainably produced kitchenware. It works for toothpicks as well as matches, thanks to a scored bottom, so it’s probably wise to order two. ($18, —Ashley Baker


Crochet Kit

You may have thought crochet was a thing of the past, but it’s making a comeback this spring and summer. To capitalize on this trend, why not make it truly your own by making some pieces by hand? Wool and the Gang’s crochet kits not only teach you to craft but also offer designs that play with 70s style without overly embodying it. The options are vast—zigzag sweaters, espadrilles, and crop tops—but the Applause bag is a favorite. Woven from raffia, it’s a beachy take on the bucket, and the brand’s package comes with two wooden handles to round out its updated take on the boho look. ($53, —Clementine Ford

Norman Lear

70 Over 70

That wisdom comes with age might be the kind of aphoristic idea that skeptics scoff at, but this podcast takes it in good faith. Hosted by Max Linsky, who is known for, among other things, the Longform Podcast, and produced by Pineapple Street Media, which Linsky co-founded, each episode is an interview with a person over 70—Norman Lear and Sister Helen Prejean have taken the mike, and Dionne Warwick, Madeleine Albright, and Dan Rather are slated for future weeks. Linsky’s questions are shamelessly earnest, tending toward the abstract and existential rather than the careers and accomplishments of his guests. But this inevitably steers the discussions into unexpected territory, and somehow away from the sentimental, making for a sideways, and unsurprisingly unsappy, look at the lives of these legends and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. ( —Clementine Ford

Issue No. 99
June 5, 2021
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Issue No. 99
June 5, 2021