The It List: 'Chasing Ghislaine' doc offers in-depth look at Jeffrey Epstein's close associate, Philip Seymour Hoffman's son stars in 'Licorice Pizza,' 'The Beatles: Get Back' explores most contested period in the band's history and the best in pop culture the week of Nov. 22, 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. Here are our picks for Nov. 22-28, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

STREAM IT: Take a long look at Jeffrey Epstein associate in Chasing Ghislaine

With her sex trafficking trial set to begin Nov. 29 in Manhattan, this three-part docuseries delves into the story of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s accused of having helped Epstein sexually abuse minors for years. (Maxwell has always said she’s innocent of the charges against her.) It features author and journalist Vicky Ward, who’s interviewed two Epstein survivors and the man himself, before he died in August 2019, sharing transcripts of some of her conversation with him and, through dozens of other interviews, working to answer the question of why Maxwell was so tethered to Epstein. What did she actually do? And why? In this exclusive clip of the James Patterson-produced show, New York journalist Christopher Mason explains to Ward what the connection between Maxwell and Epstein looked like up close. — Raechal Shewfelt

Chasing Ghislaine premieres Monday, Nov. 22 on discovery+.

WATCH IT: Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim impress in Paul Thomas Anderson’s deeply personal throwback Licorice Pizza

Spoiler alert: There is neither licorice nor pizza (and thank heavens, no combination of the two) in Licorice Pizza, which beloved auteur Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread) named after an old Los Angeles record store chain in inside joke-fashion. What there is, however, are a pair of deeply impressive performances from leads Cooper Hoffman (son of late Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his acting debut) and musician-turned-actor Alana Haim (of the pop rock band Haim) as a child actor-turned-entrepreneur and twentysomething photographer’s assistant, respectively, who may or may not couple up in 1973 San Fernando Valley. Even more than most PTA joints, Licorice Pizza is definitely a vibe, and though it’s a bit meandering through its second hour of misadventures, critics are absolutely eating this one up. PTA fans should as well. — Kevin Polowy

Licorice Pizza opens in theaters Friday, Nov. 26. Get tickets on Fandango.

WATCH IT: Get a double dose of rising Japanese auteur Ryusuke Hamaguchi with Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

He’s been working steadily in Japan since 2007, but Ryusuke Hamaguchi exploded onto the international scene this year with the double bill of Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, both of which made major waves on the film festival circuit ahead of their U.S. release. Loosely inspired by a Haruki Murakami short story, Drive My Car follows a theater director (Hidetoshi Nishijima) who mounts a new production of Uncle Vanya in contemporary Hiroshima. But the drama doesn’t confine itself to the stage: The themes of Chekov’s play underline the the director’s own life as well, as he wrestles with the lingering grief of a tragic loss and forges a new connection with his driver (Tôko Miura) who has her own turbulent past. The film takes a number of gripping turns during the course of its three hour runtime, and each new detour yields fascinating insights into the characters and their connections to each other. In contrast to the leisurely expanse of Drive My Car, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy offers a trio of three short yarns that all take place at the crossroads of coincidence and chance. Each of the tales in Wheel highlight Hamaguchi’s facility with dialogue-driven storytelling and the small human dramas that result in big emotional payoffs. This exclusive clip from Drive My Car illustrates why his star will continue to rise. — Ethan Alter

Drive My Car premieres Wednesday, Nov. 24 in theaters; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is currently available via Virtual Cinema platforms.

STREAM IT: Peter Jackson gets the Beatles back to where they once belonged

Fab Four fans will be giving thanks this week, when Peter Jackson’s four-years-in-the-making, three-night docuseries, The Beatles: Get Back — a virtual feast of footage — finally premieres on Thanksgiving Day. Compiling more than six hours of never-seen footage originally captured for Michael Lindsay-Hogg's documentary about the band’s 1970 album Let It Be, Jackson’s epic supercut covers 21 days in the studio as the Beatles rehearse for their then-titled Get Back album/film project. While the miniseries, which climaxes with all 42 minutes of what turned out to be the group’s final concert on the Apple Corps roof, captures George Harrison's brief resignation from the Beatles (which was not included in Lindsay-Hogg's original film) and other tense moments, it also showcases Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr laughing, jamming and just happily hanging out — proving that studio vibe at that time wasn’t nearly as acrimonious as previously reported. — Lyndsey Parker

The Beatles: Get Back premieres Thanksgiving Day, followed with Episodes 2 and 3 on Nov. 26 and 27, on Disney+.

WATCH IT: Potterphiles put to the test in Hogwarts Tournament of Houses

One of the few A-list British thespians not to appear in a Harry Potter movie, Helen Mirren finally gets her shot at a Wizarding World sequel… sort of. Her dameness will be hosting this four-episode trivia-based game show pitting fan-comprised teams representing Hogwarts houses against each with special appearances by franchise stars (Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Dan Fogler) and celeb super fans (Jay Leno and, um, Pete Davidson) and chances for viewers at home to play along online for prizes. Plus, did we mention Helen Mirren? — Marcus Errico

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses premieres Sunday, Nov. 28 on TBS and Cartoon Network.

WATCH IT: Encanto makes yet another Disney animated delight this year

Disney Animation is having itself a year. First there was the gorgeous and sprawling Raya and the Last Dragon, then the surprising super-charmer Luca from Pixar, now comes Encanto — a vibrant, feel-good ode to family from Zootopia masterminds Byron Howard and Jared Bush, who co-directed with Charise Castro Smith. And while the story about a young Colombian who’s the only one without a “gift” in her enchanted clan (Chet Haze is gonna relate to this one) has all the feels and lessons aplenty, it’s the toe-tappingly addictive Latin grooves of Lin-Manuel Miranda (also having a year between this, Tick… Tick! Boom and In the Heights) that really make this one sing. — K.P.

Encanto opens in theaters Wednesday, Nov. 24. Get tickets on Fandango.

WATCH IT: Soledad O’Brien searches for answers to necessary questions in the HBO docuseries Black and Missing

Among the many questions raised by the media frenzy surrounding the Gabby Petito case earlier this year is why the press seems inordinately focused on stories involving missing white woman. Changing that narrative is one of the ideas explored in Black and Missing, a new four-part HBO docuseries created by veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien and documentary filmmaker Geeta Gandbhir. For three years, cameras followed sisters-in-law Derrica and Natalie Wilson, founders of the Black and Missing Foundation, which devotes its energies towards raising the profiles of Black missing persons cases, like the tragic stories of Tamika Huston and Pamela Butler. And just as O’Brien is never shy about critiquing her press colleagues on her Twitter feed, Black and Missing saves some of its harshest barbs for media organizations that propagate what’s become known as “missing white woman syndrome.” — E.A.

Black and Missing premieres Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

WATCH/STREAM IT: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett feel the love one last time

A decade after the pop diva and the legendary crooner began their beautiful musical friendship (which led to the Grammy-winning jazz duets collection Cheek to Cheek), Gaga joined Bennett, which was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016, for his final official studio album, this year’s Love for Sale. Now that album, as well as Bennett’s 95th birthday, are being celebrated in One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Filmed in August 2021 at two sold-out Radio City Music Hall shows (Bennett’s final two public performances), the TV special features Gaga covering four jazz standards ("Luck Be a Lady," "Orange Colored Sky," "Let's Do It" and "New York, New York") and a Bennett solo set that includes "Watch What Happens,” "Steppin' Out," "Fly Me to the Moon" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." The show then closes with three iconic duets that will surely bring on all the waterworks and feels. — L.P.

One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga premieres Sunday, Nov. 28 at 8p.m. on CBS and streams live the same day on Paramount+.

STREAM IT: Singles search for 'holidates' in 12 Dates of Christmas

The second season of this reality dating show features three singles — Amanda Jenkins, Markelle Smith and Danny Escalante — getting to know potential love interests in a cozy holiday setting that includes snow-capped trees, a fireplace, Santa, reindeer and, of course, a hot tub. What kind of dating show would it be without that? Each of the singles is determined to find love with someone worthy of taking home to meet the family — and, you know, to have some fun. The trailer gives us a glimpse of them skiing, kissing, talking smack about each other in the confessional and, yes, clinking shot glasses in the hot tub. Another reason to watch: Insecure standout Natasha Rothwell narrates. — R.S.

12 Dates of Christmas premieres Thursday, Nov. 25 on HBO Max.

READ IT: You’ve Got Red on You reveals how Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead became a zom-com classic

Shaun of the Dead is one of the most widely-discussed horror movies of the 2000s, and the movie’s director, Edgar Wright, as well as stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have already shared plenty of behind the scenes stories about the 2004 zombie comedy. Believe it or not, though, the full story remained unwritten… until now. Released on the heels of Wright’s latest film, Last Night in Soho, Clark Collis’s You’ve Got Red on You is the definitive account of how Shaun of the Dead came to be, featuring new interviews from the core creative trio, as well other key members of the cast and crew. Collis also covers Wright’s rough beginnings in the entertainment business, including his pre-Shaun first feature that he’s alternately proud of and embarrassed by. Take this book with you the next time you book a table at the place that does all the fish. — E.A.

You’ve Got Red on You is available Tuesday, Nov. 23 at most major booksellers, including Amazon.

BUY IT: Count down the days to Christmas with your pop culture advent calendar of choice

(Photo: Insight Editions)
(Photo: Insight Editions)

The countdown to Christmas begins as soon as the last Thanksgiving drumstick is eaten. Which means that now is the time to get your advent calendar game in gear. Insight Editions has a slew of pop culture-themed calendars, covering everything from Home Alone and Star Wars to Friends and Harry Potter. And speaking of the Boy Who Lived, Funko has its own Potter-iffic advent calendar with vinyl collectibles behind every door. — E.A.

Insight Editions advent calendars are available on Amazon; Funko's Harry Potter advent calendar is available at Funko.com.

WATCH IT: Three teenage girls in Texas stand on the brink of adulthood in Cusp

"We're all confused, because there is no normal," one of the stars says in this poignant documentary film. "There is no normal in teenage years." Directors Isbael Bethencort and Parker Hill capture teens Brittney, Aaloni and Autumn dealing with the tough stuff — namely, their relationships with each other, love interests and family members — at their homes, in their cars and out in the great outdoors of the Lone Star State. It's alternately sweet, as the girls unintentionally remind the audience of their naivete, cringeworthy and heartbreaking. The latter especially when the girls discuss their interactions with boys. They describe not drinking at parties, because of fear "someone's gonna do something." They say that the girls they know feel pressured into sexual encounters: "Girls are scared to say no. Guys are powerful." — R.S.

Cusp premieres Friday, Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

WATCH IT: T2 + 4K = Good Math

Best Buy
(Image: Best Buy)

When Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released in theaters 30 years ago this past July, it was immediately hailed as a groundbreaking triumph in visual effects (tell us the image of Robert Patrick’s T-1000 shape-shifting from liquid metal to human form doesn’t come immediately to mind). So it’s only right that T2 has gotten a spin through the latest technological advances for a new 4K upgrade with a visual restoration overseen by director James Cameron himself. Bonus features include a brand new 55-minute documentary featuring interviews with Cameron, Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong (!) et al., feature commentaries, deleted scenes and more. — K.P.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day releases on 4K Tuesday, Nov. 23. Buy it exclusively at Best Buy.

READ IT: Take a fab (four) tour of four great cities with a new Beatles-themed guidebook

(Photo: ACC Art Books)
(Photo: ACC Art Books)

The Beatles visited a number of cities during their stint as the world’s biggest rock band, but there are four that truly define their legacy: Liverpool, where they started; Hamburg, where they cut their musical teeth; London, where they recorded their classic records; and New York, where they first thrilled U.S. audiences. The next time you’re in any of those cities — or just want to visit from your favorite armchair — use The Beatles: Fab Four Cities as your guide. Published by ACC Art Books, the tome includes maps, photos and detailed descriptions of major points of Beatles interest, from their Liverpool childhood homes to the underground Hamburg clubs where they rocked out on a nightly basis. It’s a magical mystery tour through the band’s life and times. — E.A.

The Beatles: Fab Four Cities is available Monday, Nov. 22 at most major booksellers, including Amazon.

STREAM IT: Burning shows the all too real effects of the climate change crisis

Oscar-winning director Ava Orner casts her lens on the unprecedented fires that raged in Australia in 2019 and 2020 in this new film. Known as Black Summer, it was a horrific period when more than 59 million acres burned in the nation’s hottest and driest year on record, killing hundreds of people and leaving three billion animals injured or dead. In fact, researchers have since found proof that the health of the planet was affected by the tragedy — even more than it was by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Here, civilian victims of the fires, firefighters, scientists and activists tell their versions of what happened, which both humanizes the story and puts it into context. Orner hopes that the film will motivate viewers to act. Quickly. “I hope it inspires and motivates audiences and governments to urgently act on climate change and the dire emergency our planet faces,” she told Amazon. — R.S.

Burning premieres Friday, Nov. 26 on Amazon Prime Video.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee

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