The It List: Jana Kramer plays a desperate parent in 'Soccer Mom Madam,' 'Woman in Motion' recounts the amazing story of 'Star Trek' actress Nichelle Nichols and the best in pop culture the week of May 31, 2021

·13-min read

The It List is Yahoo's weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we're going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for May 31 to June 6, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

WATCH IT: Jana Kramer transforms into the Soccer Mom Madam

Right as her own divorce is in the news, the One Tree Hill alum steps into this ripped-from-the-headlines role of a suburban mom whose bitter breakup with her husband leaves her broke, so she starts an escort service to provide for her children. The Lifetime flick sees Kramer's Anna, based on real-life madam Anna Gristina's story, take a job at her cousin's massage parlor, which is known for "happy endings." However, she goes on to start her own business catering to rich and famous New York businessmen. For years, she stealthily matches powerful men and her roster of beautiful, young escorts, pulling in millions with her kids and suburban-mom friends completely in the dark. Well, until the FBI catches on. — Suzy Byrne

Soccer Mom Madam premieres Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

WATCH IT: Netflix's popular Spirit series gets star-studded, big-screen spin-off

Spirit Riding Free, the popular animated Netflix series, has never shortchanged its young fans, cranking out multiple seasons per year (three seasons in 2017, four seasons in 2018!), not to mention various specials, webisodes and music videos. But the franchise gets a seriously star-studded upgrade with Universal's big-screen adventure Spirit Untamed, casting Transformers breakout Isabela Merced as the horse-loving Lucky and surrounding her with voice talent like Jake Gyllenhaal (as Lucky's dad, Jim), Julianne Moore (as Lucky's Aunt Cora) and Marsai Martin and Mckenna Grace (as Lucky's friends Pru and Abigail). You can hear from the cast in the exclusive featurette above. — Kevin Polowy

Spirit Untamed arrives in theaters Friday, June 4. Tickets are available at Fandango.

STREAM IT: You'll feel ravenous after bingeing on the BBC Select restaurant series Extraordinary Places to Eat

After a year spent indoors eating takeout — or your own home cooking — the idea of chowing down inside an actual restaurant probably seems … extraordinary. Allow the new BBC Select series Extraordinary Places to Eat to ease you back into dining out. The six-part travelogue follows gourmand Fred Sirieix on a chef-led culinary tour of Europe's finest eateries, with pit stops in Venice, Paris, Vienna and Edinburgh, among other historic cities. This exclusive clip from the series finds Sirieix visiting the Yorkshire's own Bettys Tea Room in the company of British TV chef Nadiya Hussain. Warning: Watching them chow down on Fat Rascals and Fondant Fancies will give you serious hunger pangs for the restaurant experience. — Ethan Alter

Extraordinary Places to Eat premieres Monday, May 31 on BBC Select.

WATCH IT: Dylan O'Brien unravels dark drug mystery in Flashback

Wanna feel old? Teen Wolf and Maze Runner star Dylan O'Brien has an office job now, at least that's where we find him at the start of Christopher MacBride's stylish thriller Flashback (no relation to the 1990 Dennis Hopper-Kiefer Sutherland action-comedy). That's before Fredrick Fitzell (O'Brien) starts having horrific visions of his old high school classmate Cindy (Maika Monroe), whom he realizes he hasn't seen since they experimented with a designer drug called Mercury one hazy night, sending him on a dark odyssey to discover what happened to her. Check out an exclusive clip from the film above. — K.P.

Flashback arrives in theaters and on digital services Friday, June 4. Tickets are available at Fandango.

STREAM IT: Watch the bonkers ending of Kristin Davis's buzzy Netflix thriller, Deadly Illusions, now on VOD

When it premiered on Netflix in March, the thriller Deadly Illusions shot to the top of the streaming service's most-watched list as the internet collectively lit up about its crazy plot twists, racy R-rated sex scenes and truly wild conclusion. Now, non-Netflix subscribers can join in the fun as the Kristin Davis-starring film arrives on VOD. The Sex and the City actress plays successful novelist Mary Morrison, who hires the world's perfect nanny, Grace (Greer Grammer, daughter of Kelsey Grammer), to watch over her two children. Before you can say The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, though, the young woman reveals a dark side, openly flirting with both Mary and her husband, Tom (Dermot Mulroney), and displaying disturbing behaviors. It all culminates in a final act that's part Fatal Attraction, part Misery and all bonkers. This exclusive clip from early in Deadly Illusions establishes why Mary is drawn to Grace — and unnerved by her at the same time. — E.A.

Deadly Illusions is available Tuesday, June 1 on most VOD platforms, including FandangoNow. It's also streaming on Netflix.

WATCH IT: Mena Suvari and Stuart Townsend fall madly, deeply in Grace and Grit

Mena Suvari and Stuart Townsend do not play characters named Grace and Grit in the new romance based on Ken Wilber's 1991 book of the same name (but come to think of it, Grit is a pretty badass baby name). And yet those are certainly characteristics with which Treya (Suvari) and Ken (Townsend) approach life's difficulties when their love story turns tragic with a breast cancer diagnosis. Sebastian Siegel makes his directorial debut with this tearjerker that co-stars Frances Fisher and Mariel Hemingway. Watch an exclusive clip from the film above. — K.P.

Grace and Grit arrives in theaters and on digital and on-demand Friday, June 4.

BUY IT: Benedict Cumberbatch goes from the Sorcerer Supreme to Spy Supreme in the period drama The Courier

When he's not busy saving the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the likes of Dormammu and Thanos, Benedict Cumberbatch likes to kick and relax with a good, old-fashioned period piece. Inspired by a true story from '60s-era England, The Courier features the Sherlock star as a reserved businessman who takes part in a clandestine operation run by MI6 and the CIA. Needless to say, the plan goes sideways, but Cumberbatch retains his composure throughout playing the world's most ordinary spy. The actor explains what drew him to the character in an exclusive clip from a featurette included on the Blu-ray edition of The Courier. "He's extraordinary, because he's so ordinary," Cumberbatch says. "He's so far from our perceived image of what a spy character is or what a hero even is." — E.A.

The Courier is available Monday, June 1 on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD at most major retailers, including Amazon.

WATCH IT: The entertaining America's Got Talent returns for Season 16 (!)

Judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum, along with host Terry Crews, are back for a new season of the competition show. It marks Cowell's return to television following last year's hospitalization when he broke his back in an electric bike accident. As Mandel said this week on Today, "I think that Season 16 is the light at the end of everyone's tunnel." Auditions will feature many memorable acts, but a standout is sure to be a group of nurses from New York City who worked during the pandemic. — Taryn Ryder

AGT premieres Tuesday, June 1 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

STREAM IT: Discover how Nichelle Nichols changed space travel on TV and in real life in new Paramount+ doc Woman in Motion

Fifty-five years ago, Nichelle Nichols boldly explored the final frontier alongside the all-male crew of Gene Roddenberry's landmark sci-fi series, Star Trek. As the only Black actress to be featured in a major network genre show, Nichols served as the pioneering inspiration for a whole generation of female performers and scientists. The new Paramount+ documentary Woman in Motion explores how the Illinois-born actress changed the real-life space game by getting involved in the NASA recruiting program in the '70s and '80s, ensuring that women and people of color were in consideration for key jobs at America's top space agency. May Nichols continue to live long and prosper. — E.A.

Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA premieres Thursday, June 3 on Paramount+.

HEAR IT: Indie trailblazer Liz Phair emerges from exile

After focusing on TV and film composing during the past decade, the celebrated Exile in Guyville singer-songwriter returns with her first album of original songs in 11 years. Nearly three decades after she made history with Exile, Phair, now 54, reunites with longtime producer Brad Wood and reflects on missed connections, modern love and middle-age, sounding as whip-smart and relevant as ever. Welcome back, Liz. — Lyndsey Parker

Soberish by Liz Phair is available Friday, June 4 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: The Kennedy Center Honors seal the legendary status of five pop culture greats

As always, this year's recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors are so accomplished, so distinguished that they don't need much of an introduction. The new class includes actor Dick Van Dyke, music star Garth Brooks, choreographer Debbie Allen, singer-songwriter Joan Baez and violinist Midori. They'll be recognized by many of their equally famous peers in a ceremony that was supposed to have been taped in December but, like many things, was delayed by COVID-19. Now, musician Gloria Estefan — who was herself honored in 2017 — hosts this ceremony, which manages to stand out in a sea of awards shows for its highly selective status. Van Dyke, who starred in the modern, sophisticated Dick Van Dyke Show in the '60s and went on to an impressive career in TV and film, confirmed as much when his name was announced in December. "Since the creation of the Kennedy Center Honors, just over 200 have been honored with equal care," the decorated actor said. "Being included in that small, illustrious group is the thrill of my life." — Raechal Shewfelt

The 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors air Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

HEAR IT: Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams gets frank about her favorite movies on the new Frank Film Club podcast

"Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams hosts the new podcast "Frank Film Club." (Photo: Rapt)
"Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams hosts the new podcast "Frank Film Club." (Photo: Rapt)

Move over, Michael Bolton: Maisie Williams is a real cinephile. The Game of Thrones star assembles three of her good friends — and fellow filmmakers — for the Frank Film Club podcast, where they wax eloquently about some of their favorite movies. The inaugural episodes find the quartet chatting about the 2019 British film Rocks (currently streaming on Netflix), as well as the 1975 documentary favorite Grey Gardens. Fresh episodes will be released every Tuesday and Friday, and they'll cover titles ranging from Pixar's recent, animated Oscar-winner Soul to the classic Susan Sarandon/Geena Davis vehicle Thelma & Louise. Whatever the movie, expect the discussion to be engaging, entertaining and, above all, frank. — E.A.

Frank Film Club is available now on all podcast platforms, including Spotify.

BUY IT: J.J. Abrams-directed Super 8 keeps up with technology with a 4K Ultra HD release

Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Ron Eldard appear in the 2011 movie
Kyle Chandler, Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Ron Eldard appear in the 2011 movie "Super 8." (Photo: Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures/courtesy of Everett Collection)

From Lost to Alias to Mission: Impossible to Star Trek to Star Wars, J.J. Abrams has long operated in the realm of splashy television and film. His 2011 sci-fi thriller Super 8, though, marked a deeply personal detour from major IP to tell the story of a group of teens in 1979 investigating strange occurrences in their small town. It was Abrams' own E.T., which was apropos considering the film was produced by his spirit animal, Steven Spielberg. Fittingly, the tech-minded adventure gets a new upgrade with a new 4K Ultra HD version. The newly remastered film comes with more than two hours of bonus content, included deleted scenes, Easter eggs, featurettes and commentary from Abrams himself. — K.P.

Super 8 on 4K Ultra HD is available at Amazon.

HEAR IT: The gang's all here to honor Andy Gill

Following the February 2020 death of Gang of Four post-punk pioneer Andy Gill — whose funky, spiky guitar style influenced everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, INXS, R.E.M. and Nirvana to dance-rock 2000s bands like Franz Ferdinand and the Rapture — Gill's band's catalog gets the tribute treatment. Double-album The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, which was already in the works before Gill died, features Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, System of a Down's Serj Tankian, RHCP's Flea and John Frusciante, Gary Numan, Idles, La Roux, the Dandy Warhols, the Sounds, Warpaint and many other disparate artists who owe Gill and Go4 a massive debt. — L.P.

The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four by various artists is available Friday, June 4 to download/stream on Apple Music.

BUY IT: Galactic guardians Gamora and Nebula join forces in the new Marvel novel Sisters in Arms

Gamora and Nebula star in the new Marvel novel
Gamora and Nebula star in the new Marvel novel "Sisters in Arms." (Photo: Marvel Press)

Before Endgame, before Infinity War — heck, before the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie — Gamora and Nebula were best known as the hyper-competitive daughters of Thanos. Novelist Mackenzi Lee revisits those bygone days in the novel Sisters in Arms, which features the green-skinned Zehoberei and the blue-skinned Luphomoid descending on the distant world Torndune in the hopes of being the first to locate the planet's beating heart for their adopted father. "The raw material that formed the foundation for Sisters in Arms was the already-established adversarial relationship between Gamora and Nebula in Marvel comics," Lee tells Yahoo Entertainment via e-mail. "I got to turn back the clock on their relationship and explore what happened in their formative years that shaped that dynamic. All of this wrapped up in a sci-fi space western setting, set on a strip mined planet controlled by both religious zealots and a megalomaniacal corporation." — E.A.

Gamora and Nebula: Sisters in Arms is available Tuesday, June 1 at all major booksellers, including Amazon.

HEAR IT: The wait is over for Crowded House

After a 10-year hiatus, during which band leader and songwriting phenomenon Neil Finn toured as a guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac, New Zealand's finest finally return with Dreamers Are Waiting. The album sees the group reunited with legendary producer Mitchell Froom, who helmed their first three studio albums and is now their keyboardist; Neil's sons Liam and Elroy also officially join the lineup, proving that talent runs deep in the Finn family. — L.P.

Dreamers Are Waiting by Crowded House is available Friday, June 4 to download/stream on Apple Music.

BUY IT: Give your TikTok videos a glow-up with the new LetsGlow Studio craft kit

LetsGlow Studio helps you light up your TikTok content. (Photo: Sky Castle Toys)
LetsGlow Studio helps you light up your TikTok content. (Photo: Sky Castle Toys)

Looking for a way to light up TikTok? Sky Castle's new LetsGlow Studio collection will help your content shine brighter than the competition's. Each crafting kit comes with a multicolor LED clip that attaches to your phone for self-generated light shows and candy-colored, dance-sync videos sure to score likes and views. Other accessories include super-reflective sticker sheets, nail stickers, sticker tape and even shutter shades. If you need inspiration, visit LetsGlow HQ for tutorials and sample content by the best influencers around. — E.A.

LetsGlow Studio is available for pre-order on LetsGlow HQ and can be purchased on Amazon in July

— Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo