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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Culture Corner with Allie Bailey

The Arts Desks’ weekly picks for movies, books, music and television shows

Book (ish): “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian

This short story quickly gained popularity after being published in The New Yorker in 2017, landing Roupenian a well-deserved book deal. The story depicts a young woman hesitantly entering a relationship with an older man and details the unfortunately common experience of finding yourself stuck in a romantic situation. The success of “Cat Person” can be attributed to how much this tale resonates with many women. The way the story highlights the power dynamics within relationships and the urgency of enthusiastic consent make this a must read. (Seriously, I couldn’t recommend this more!)

Movie: “21” dir. By Robert Luketic 

One of my favorites, this exciting and brainy movie follows a college kid who finds his way into an underground math club of sorts. Kevin Spacey plays a professor by day and Vegas gambler by night who leads the cohort of math students into a casino card-counting scheme. A little action, a little romance and some complex math come together for a well-rounded and enjoyable watch. 

TV Show (ish): Bon Appétit’s YouTube Channel

With this fantastic channel online, it’s officially acceptable to go down the YouTube rabbit hole. The Test Kitchen members are all charming and extremely talented, each offering some culinary specialty, making this channel so special. There is a creative range of content for a food channel, with unparalleled mini-series and, of course, mouth-watering recipes. My favorite series is “Reverse Engineering with Chris Morocco,” where the test kitchen director and supertaster can only smell, taste and touch food — no looking — before trying to recreate it exactly. “Gourmet Makes” with contributing food editor Claire Saffitz is a close second. Saffitz makes gourmet versions of popular snacks and candy, from Takis to Twix. 

Album: “It Is What It Is” by Thundercat

Thundercat, born Stephen Lee Bruner, recently released his third album “It Is What It Is” and it did not disappoint. He uniquely blends funk, jazz and electronica (among others) into an enticing sound that you can’t help but move to. My favorites from the new album include the star-studded “Black Qualls” with Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington and Childish Gambino, as well as ”Dragonball Durag,” which features thought-provoking lyrics such as “I may be covered in cat hair // But I still smell good.” Bruner described the album as “a bit tongue-in-cheek,” letting us know that we can sit back and enjoy the records for what they are and sending one of my favorite messages: It’s not always that deep. 

Written by: Allie Bailey — arts@theaggie.org


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