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RD Recommends: September 2023

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RD Recommends: September 2023
In our new monthly RD Recommends feature, the Reader’s Digest editorial team recommend everything from music, podcasts and books to TV shows, films and events
We have a diverse set of tastes and interests here at Reader’s Digest, so in the new monthly feature RD Recommends, we are going to recommend you some of the many new or recent things our editorial team are enjoying this month.
To start it off for September, there's podcast interviews with iconic musicians, thought-provoking books to star-studded films, the return of a fan-favourite animated series, and much more!

Podcast: The Louis Theroux Podcast 

Having honed his skills as a fearless documentary maker and an all-round status-quo challenger, it’s no surprise that Louis Theroux makes for an endlessly engaging podcast host. Featuring a series of freewheeling interviews with (mostly) prominent figures from the worlds of film, music and television, it’s an intellectually stimulating but effortlessly enjoyable show largely thanks to Theroux’s laid-back demeanour and dry sense of humour.
"As a fearless documentary maker, it’s no surprise that Louis Theroux makes for an engaging podcast host"
For fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Episode Five is a must-listen. In this episode, Theroux interviews the mystical band leader himself. What makes this conversation particularly engaging is Theroux's candid admission of not having extensive prior knowledge of their music. This authenticity results in a disarmingly honest and occasionally humorously awkward exchange, shedding light on Cave's everyday, human side.
Eva Mackevic

Film: Dumb Money

Dumb Money film poster
This new biographical comedy-drama film tells the real-life story of how in 2021, a small investor called Keith Gill (known as "Roaring Kitty" online) put the squeeze on at least two hedge funds who had bet that shares for the brick-and-mortar video game shops GameStop would fall. Gill and his Reddit/YouTube followers invested, leading to them making millions, and big investors losing billions, before trading on the stock was restricted to prevent a market crash.
The impressive ensemble cast includes Paul Dano (as Keith Gill and Pete Davidson as his clueless brother), Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman as real Wall Street big shots, as well as America Ferrera, Anthony Ramos and Sebastian Stan. Directed by Craig Gillespie (Cruella, I, Tonya) and in cinemas from September 22, this film takes an amusing and entertaining look at how small investors disrupted the financial system in the US so much that Gill ended up testifying before Congress. Recommended for fans of 2015’s financial comedy-drama The Big Short or any of the excellent actors involved, Dumb Money is a sure bet.
Ian Chaddock

TV show: Futurama, Season 11

My controversial opinion is that Futurama is much, much funnier than The Simpsons, so I was beside myself to hear that it would be returning to our screens once again—this will be its third rise from the ashes of a studio cancellation in 24 years. Even before the first episode premiered, the show was typically reflective of current events—John DiMaggio, who plays the mouthy robot Bender, initially refused to confirm his return until the producers increased his and other cast members’ fees, a debate that became prescient of the ongoing Writer’s Guild strike.
"Futurama’s new season brings satires of Bitcoin, cancel culture and, deep breaths all, a pandemic "
And good news, everyone! The 11th season holds up, invigorating Futurama’s sci-fi surrealism, spoofy quips and well-seasoned character ensemble with satires of Bitcoin, cancel culture and, deep breaths all, a pandemic. In one self-reflective moment that Futurama does so masterfully, the crew assert that broadcaster “Fulu” will reboot “any old” junk. I’m so glad they did.
Becca Inglis

Book: Hangman by Maya Binyam

Hangman by Maya Binyam book cover
Maya Binyam’s debut novel Hangman is hard to define. It doesn’t seem to slot neatly into any genre and the distinctive style won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it tells a memorable story of a man (about whom we are given few details) as he returns home to an unnamed country in sub-Saharan Africa after 26 years in America. Everything is very vague—all the travel arrangements were made for him but we aren’t told who by, an unknown person is picking him up at the airport and taking him somewhere. It seems he doesn’t know much himself, although he does know that he is trying to find his dying brother. To do this he must navigate bureaucrats, taxi drivers and strangers whose lives are strangely tied to his own.
At times, Binyam veers into the absurd and surreal, with the narrative taking on a dreamlike quality. The novel’s strongest moments lie in interactions between characters, revealing thoughtful observations about exile, cultural identity and the nature of diaspora.
Alice Gawthrop

Event: Mul X Baltic pop-up shop

Mul X Baltic pop up shop
Newcastle is more than just steak bakes and fake tan, despite what you may have seen on reality TV show Geordie Shore. If you happen to find yourself along the banks of the Tyne between now and October 29, it’s worth venturing across the Millennium foot bridge and over to Gateshead to catch The Art of Disco Mul X Baltic pop-up shop.
"Although the exhibition has ended, fans can still buy Mul artwork and merch from the Baltic gallery"
One of Newcastle’s most famous and eye-catching graffiti artists, Alex Mulholland is well-known around toon for his cartoon-style, large-scale hearts with eyes and legs. Locals may recognise his iconic designs from shop shutters and building facades from Jesmond to Gosforth, as well as Steenbergs Yard in Ouseburn. Although the main exhibition has now ended, fans of Mul can still purchase original Mul artwork and merchandise from the Baltic art gallery, or just come in for a browse to see his colourful creations.
Annie Dabb

TV show: Sex Education, Season Four

Sex Education is one of Netflix’s flagship shows; it’s solely responsible for a rise in babies being named Maeve and Otis, after all. The show is coming to an end this month though, as the final season arrives on September 21. The show is both heartfelt and hilarious, and—hence the name—very sex positive. The show presents healthy sex and relationships in all their possible forms, which is a refreshing change from some current TV programmes. Sex Education, also, isn’t a show aimed only at young people, as it follows the lives of parents of the teenage characters, as well as the teenage leads themselves.  
Sex Education is one of the most acclaimed shows on Netflix. It’s received rave reviews for each of the three seasons that have been released, so you can be sure season four will be essential viewing too.
Owen Scott

Banner photo credit: Louis Theroux by Claire Boxall, from Wikimedia Commons
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