Binge and Repeat: Absolutely charmed by Mrs. Maisel

After it snagged Golden Globes for best musical or comedy and best actress in a musical or comedy I couldn’t help but binge Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The series begins with Midge Maisel doing everything she can to help her husband, Joel, succeed with his stand-up comedy routine in the late 1950s. After a disappointing day, Joel announces to Midge that he’s leaving her for his bland secretary and runs off with Midge’s suitcase. From there the viewer watches as Midge has an amusingly spontaneous meltdown on stage at a comedy club in the Village. That’s just in the … Read more

Binge and Repeat: Dive into Dark

Binge and Repeat

Looking for something to watch while avoiding the frozen tundra that once was your backyard? I’ve got you. Instead of rewatching Stranger Things for the third time, I stumbled across the trailer for Dark. Dark is a Netflix original show that takes place in Germany and begins with a missing child and that hurls the characters down the rabbit hole as the sins of multiple generations come back to haunt them. The show, which is available in German with English subtitles or with an English voice-over, will captivate you and keep you glued to the couch as you ask yourself … Read more

The Verve Pipe’s frontman opens up about band’s evolution

Since coming on the alt-rock scene in 1992, The Verve Pipe has always been known for its spectacular live performances and has released a number of radio hits, including “Photograph,” “Hero” and “The Freshman.” The Michigan-based band released two new albums over the last year — the studio album, “Parachute,” and the live album, “Villains — Live & Acoustic.” Founded by frontman Brian Vander Ark, today’s lineup also includes Lou Musa on lead guitar, Randy Sly on keyboards, Joel Ferguson on bass, Sam Briggs on drums, Channing Lee as backing vocals and Craig Griffith on harmonica. The Verve Pipe will … Read more

Test Drive: Chevrolet Traverse draws crowds with its appeal

Our introduction to the fully redesigned 2018 Chevrolet Traverse came during the Connecticut International Auto Show in Hartford last month. With crisp, straightforward lines and slightly larger dimensions than its predecessor, the white Traverse had loads of appeal and drew crowds under its black, white and gold bow-tie banner. Looking deeper, we learned the redesigned Traverse weighs about 400 pounds less than the 2017 model yet provides more passenger room and better fuel economy. Although its 310-horsepower engine has more muscle than the 2017 Traverse, the new version sports better fuel economy — 17 mpg city, 25 highway, compared with … Read more

Conscious Cook: The glory of a new year

“Glory to God in highest heaven, Who unto man his Son hath given; While angels sing with tender mirth, A glad new year to all the earth.” — Martin Luther New Year’s Eve is a glorious occasion to reflect upon the past year, to cherish fond memories, acknowledge important events, and be humbled and educated by challenging moments. With the new year comes new opportunity to prepare a delicious life. While many choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve at a sparkling soirée or decadent dinner party, many conscious cooks choose to revel in their own kitchens. New Year’s Eve at … Read more

Reel Dad: Frances McDormand tries to make sense of Three Billboards

This week, Jonathan Schumann — who co-wrote this column with his “Reel Dad,” Mark Schumann, from 1999 to 2006 — returns to Arts & Leisure to take a look at a new film getting a lot of buzz. Early on in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Mildred (Frances McDormand) storms into a room and happens upon someone reading Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find. The storming in and out is something we’ll see, almost exhaustively, throughout the film. The nod to O’Connor, and this short story in particular, is anything but accidental. The rogues’ gallery of small-town … Read more

Did I Say That? Putting care into gifts

This year I decided to break with Christmas tradition and do something scandalous, at least in our family. I’m going to buy actual gifts. Yes, genuinely selected, paid for on a maxed-out credit card with excessively high interest rates and wrapped in my own inimitably terrible style with parts of the box peeking through, so that on Christmas morning I can experience all the joy and angst of the holiday when I hear my daughters, sons-in-laws, wife and/or dog emit a yuletide groan or growl that suggests, “Why did you waste your money on this?!? I wanted a gift card!” … Read more

Test Drive: Golf SE TSI more refined than standard economy car

Volkswagen’s compact hatchback, the Golf, is priced well above the baseline established by Hyundai, Kia, Chevrolet and others in the economy-car business. Our latest test car, a 2018 Golf SE TSI, is priced in the mid- to high $20,000s, and even the base models come in around $20,000. A base Hyundai Elantra hatchback, well equipped with standard features, starts at about $17,000. Those extra thousands for the VW don’t add much in the way of function or even form; the Golf’s look isn’t dramatically different from that of its predecessor models going back to the 1980s. But it’s not as … Read more

Reel Dad: I, Tonya celebrates pop celebrity

  Years ago, before social media made it easy for opinion to swell, Tonya Harding was America’s favorite villain. This tough, talented and tormented figure skater dared to challenge the reign of the graceful Nancy Kerrigan as the sport’s leading royalty. And, somehow, she managed to find herself in the middle of the sport’s greatest controversy when Kerrigan’s knee got whacked one day after practice before the U.S. Nationals competition in Detroit. For the weeks that followed, between Nationals and the Olympics, people talked about few other things. Never mind what was happening in the world or with the economy, … Read more

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