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.

The X-Files

I just started watching The X-Files thanks to the wonderful TV shrine that is Netflix. It reminds me of my favorite Disney show from childhood, So Weird, which I now realize was just X-Files, Jr. My Internet is broken right now, so please watch in my stead while I busy myself searching the sky for UFOs. — Isabella Biedenharn, Editorial Apprentice

The Leftovers (HBO)

While I thought I’d have a hard time discussing a show whose title evokes crusty beans in a Tupperware, The Leftovers, in its pilot episode, more than transcended its unappetizing connotations. Firstly, there’s the cast of actors I’ve been wanting to see more of for quite a while: Justin Theroux (SO good in Mulholland Drive, before he became SO good in tabloids), Liv Tyler (LOVE Tyler), Ann Dowd (always), and Marceline Hugot (in a silent role not too dissimilar from her role as 30 Rock’s very misunderstood Cathy). Secondly, while the show could so easily wander into the realm of corny symbolism or sci-fi or religious explanations of its strange premise, it seems dead-set on remaining beautifully vague, focusing only on the premise’s emotional repercussions for the “leftover” characters. — Moze Halperin, Editorial Apprentice

Wes Anderson-themed playlists on Spotify

Hmmmm. Now I think I understand the true worth of ethically dubious, morally bankrupt streaming sites, which do their part to devalue art in this day and age — Spotify is very good as a sort of overwhelming, all-together library of the very best soundtracks culled together by genius. You could write pages and pages on how cannily music is used in Wes Anderson’s films, and several enterprising souls have tried to make a definitive list of the pop songs and instrumentals that drive his work. Here’s my playlist of choice. It’s also very good work music, giving the “tweeness” of Wes Anderson’s work some purpose, as it’s smart and good without being too intense. Highlights include Bottle Rocket‘s “Over and Done With” by The Proclaimers and various killer tracks by The Rolling Stones, from “2000 Man” to wistful “Ruby Tuesday.” — Elisabeth Donnelly, Nonfiction Editor

Green Girl by Kate Zambreno

Applying conceptual rigor to a quasi-chick lit story and filtering its heroine through the aestheticized male gaze of French New Wave and noir film, Zambreno’s recently reissued novel is both challenging and a page-turner. Too beautifully crafted to dismiss as a “beach read,” it’s a book that nonetheless begs to be read with some sandy grit under your sparkly fingerprints. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief