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Editors' pop culture picks

The things we watched, listened to and streamed this week as we settled back into our normal routines.


Since radio is cool again, I have to share my new favorite podcast, "The Intern." This show is about a young woman, Allison, who recently graduated college and is trying to make it on her own in New York City with a career in tech and media. Allison talks about everything from her personal life to her work life to carrying a mattress on the subway because she doesn't have a car and can't afford a taxi to Ikea. This isn't a scripted series - it's real life. Whether or not you end up in New York after graduation, all new college graduates will be something of an intern - maybe not literally, but figuratively. It's comforting to listen to her story and relate to another young person just trying to figure herself out. (Mary Schrott, news editor)


Although I am keenly aware that there is a plethora of fantastic new shows out there - to the point that it has started stressing me out - I keep finding myself logging into Hulu and watching episodes of the sitcom, "Community," instead. From "Rick and Morty" creator, Dan Harmon, this witty show about the eccentric students of fictional Greendale Community College is jam-packed with meta humor. The show is simply hilarious, and its immense self-awareness allows it to comment on the nature and structure of traditional American sitcoms. I'm one season in, and unless it starts to grow stale, "Community" will continue to keep me from the shows on my to-watch list. (Devon Shuman, culture editor)


Following his 2013 debut, "The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards," Brooklyn-based writer Kristopher Jansma returns with his second novel, "Why We Came to the City." Whereas "Leopards" was a quirky bunch of chapters about a dysfunctional writer, "Why We Came to the City" centers on five friends trying to navigate New York City in their post-college years. The characters themselves are as real as anyone - full of oddities and characteristics and flaws that make them feel like my own friends. When Irene is diagnosed with cancer, they're all forced to grow up in a way no 20-something should have to. With the same beautifully constructed sentences that made me fall in love with his first novel, Jansma constructs a fully realized narrative, laced with humor, sarcasm, longing and grief. This coming-of-age story will stay with you long after you close its pages. (Britton Perelman, managing editor)


Whether on the beach or in the car, I spent a good part of my Spring Break captivated by "The Storyteller." The story revolves around Sage Singer, a shy 20-something who befriends an old man with a dark secret. As Josef confesses his past as a WWII Nazi officer, Sage also learns the details of her grandmother's experience at the same death camp. Filled with detailed accounts of life at Auschwitz told from the points of view of both a soldier and a survivor, "The Storyteller" reads more like fact than fiction. It's chilling, but it's impossible to put down. (Marissa Stipek, outgoing opinion editor)