Staff Picks: Peaches’ “Dick in the Air,” Ottessa Moshfegh’s ‘Eileen,’ and ‘Review’


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.


Typically, I’m too anxious a person to truly enjoy cringe comedy. But at the midpoint of season 2, enthusiasm for Review is once again reaching a fever pitch, so like any good culture writer, I meditated, popped a few Xanax, and finally caught up—and found that the misadventures of Forest McNeil are as hilarious and disturbing as everyone says. If anyone cares to find out how a Waco-style cult shootout could reduce me and other non-sociopaths to literal tears of laughter, I urge them to check out this unlikely comedy about one man’s quixotic attempt to give his life purpose by reviewing life itself. — Alison Herman, Associate Editor

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Moshfegh’s debut novel mixes the setup of midcentury domestic suspense tales with the psychological richness of gothic literature, resulting in an unputdownable story where very little actually happens. Told by a much older — and apparently much changed — version of the titular protagonist, it follows the insecure, repressed, and angry 24-year-old Eileen through the daily drudgery of small-town life with her abusive, alcoholic father and at the boys’ prison where she works. The action ramps up when Eileen meets Rebecca, a glamorous new coworker, and while I had many guesses as to where it would go from there, the book surprised me at just about every turn. Eileen is an addictive psychological thriller, but it’s also a fascinating character study, from an author whose ascension to household-name status seems inevitable. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Peaches and Margaret Cho Antagonizing Los Angeles With Knitted Dicks

Peaches directed her latest music video, teaming up with Margaret Cho and Funny or Die and running amok in Los Angeles in Easter Peep-colored knitted body suits, complete with matching knitted dicks. As the musician did with “Light in Places” — which featured a certain light designed to go certain places — she takes a visually literal approach to the lyrics to “Dick in the Air” (off her upcoming album, Rub). Los Angeles native that I am, nothing pleases me more than seeing Peaches and Cho shock Angelinos during their listless strolls through the Arboretum and the Silverlake Reservoir. The video begins its stunning crescendo 2/3 of the way through, when the lyrics “Balls balls dick dick/Two balls and one dick” repeat, and Cho and Peaches enter a concert hall and proceed, with their respective phalluses in place, to dance around inside of a larger, inflatable phallus. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2 on DVD

When it debuted nearly two years ago, I praised Brooklyn Nine-Nine for its wit and pace, but mostly as a vehicle for the heretofore untapped comic gifts of the great Andre Braugher. What’s remarkable about the show’s progression, through that season and the second year (out this week on DVD) is how the richness of Braugher’s characterization has not only deepened, but the cast around him has grown and gelled into one of the great TV workplace ensembles. Melissa Fumero’s Santiago has maintained the seemingly incompatible notion of a likable type-A; Stephanie Beatriz’s Rosa has shown a bit of the softness under the tough, but without easy plays for sympathy; Chelsea Peretti’s Gina has continued to carve out a niche as one of television’s great weirdos; and Terry Crew’s Terry has proven as delightful as the actor who plays him (which is to say, very). Thankfully, the “keeping asking until she says yes” runner between Rosa and Joe Lo Truglio’s Boyle has been dropped—and even the shipper-friendly will-they-or-won’t-they between Santiago and Andy Samberg’s Peralta has provided some juice and tension. It started out as a good show, and now it’s a great one. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Funniest Oreo Ad I’ve Ever Seen

I went out of my way to “experience” Stephen Colbert’s first Late Show live Tuesday night. As the network hoped and skeptics predicted and Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey noted in his review, the show felt just like Colbert, but with less wit and more product placement. Despite alternating between boredom and concern — full disclosure: I’ve never really been a huge fan of late-night shows — I have to show my begrudging respect for Colbert, because last night’s Late Show is the first for which I could say, without a doubt, that the sponsored jokes were also the funniest ones. — Michael Epstein, Editorial Apprentice