Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

New Girl (Fox)

Because I’m probably the last person of my age and gender to start appreciating New Girl, this is less a Staff Pick than a public apology. I hated this show when it premiered. But a few weeks ago, in search of something light and fun to stream on Netflix and intrigued by the following it’s attracted, I gave New Girl another shot. And after I got past the first few, weak episodes, I found a sweet and surprisingly smart show whose secret subject matter is the growing up we still have left to do by the time we turn 30 — and how important our friendships still are at that stage of our lives. —Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Broad City Ladies Paying Homage to Iconic Missy Elliott Video

Apparently tonight’s Broad City starts with an homage to Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Super Duper Fly)” video, the Hype Williams clip in which Missy wears that trash bag suit. In this version, Abbi from Broad City plays the Missy character, while Ilana rocks a full-on ’90s video vixen look and blonde wig. And it’s set to Drake’s “Started From the Bottom,” while they walk through a bank. But the best part has to be when they slam the check against the teller’s window and it reads, “8 FUCKING THOUSAND DOLLARS.” Watch it over at Rolling Stone, or just watch Broad City tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central because why aren’t you already? It’s the best new show I’ve seen all year! —Jillian Mapes, Music Editor

Guernica‘s “The American South: On the Map and in the Mind”

Guernica‘s most recent issue, “The American South: On the Map and in the Mind” is such a good read. There’s an in-depth interview with Jesmyn Ward (National Book Award author of Salvage the Bones and Men We Reaped), essays on serpent-handlers, “aunts,” and Florida, and a staggering amount of great writers sending in feelings and thoughts on what the South means. —Elisabeth Donnelly, Nonfiction Editor

The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel

John Ford’s The Searchers is perhaps the greatest of all movie Westerns — iconic, complicated, gorgeous, and featuring the finest and most complex performance of John Wayne’s towering career. But Glenn Frankel’s recent book The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend is no simple “making-of” tome; he looks at the film with an admirably long lens, going all the way back to the Comanche abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, which inspired Alan Le May’s source novel, and following her trail all the way up to Ford and Wayne. The result is a remarkable melding of frontier history and film theory, as well as a clear-headed look at mythmaking in the American West. —Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Maria Lassnig at MOMA PS1

Maria Lassnig’s painted self-portraiture is multifarious: the 95 year-old Austrian artist has, for the good part of a century, depicted herself as machines, blobs, gun-wielders, cyclopses, porcine creatures — all vaguely possessing features on her own warm, inquisitive face. Dubbing her artworks pieces of “body awareness,” we see here catalogued both the literal and abstract developments in the artist’s form; while it’s unclear whether the bag over her head in Selbstporträt unter Plastik illustrates her body’s awareness of a day without Nasonex or a feeling of vacuum-sealed isolation from other bodies, the scope of the exhibit reveals the dysmorphic longings and burdens of our conventional forms. Her work employs familiar tropes of body-horror, but her exaggeratedly bulbous, grandmotherly features keep them placid and almost comforting. While some would say Lassnig has been stuck in one body for 95 years, her portrayal of her mercurial interiority as externally multiple argues otherwise. On view until May 25th. —Moze Halperin, Editorial Apprentice

Tim’s Vermeer (dir. Teller)

This documentary is about an (incredibly wealthy) engineer and inventor who, upon learning that Dutch painter Vermeer may have used early technology to create his masterpieces, decides to try to recreate a Vermeer himself. If you like nerdy dad humor, art, or technology in any capacity, you’ll be enraptured by this film and the painstaking process Tim undergoes to fulfill his hobby. Another side effect, though, is an overwhelming desire to attempt creation of your own Vermeer copy. —Isabella Biedenharn, Editorial Apprentice

This GIF of Wednesday Addams dancing

I suppose I could have gone with something a little more highbrow like my colleagues above did, but hey, this week has been rough and this GIF (taken from this amazing scene) is pretty much the only thing I want to look at for the rest of time. —Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor