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 Sept. 7-13, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, early reports indicated that the cause was cardiac arrest. Two months later, on August 28, the Los Angeles County coroner officially classified his death as a homicide caused by excessive doses of the powerful drug, propofol. Speculation turned almost immediately to Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, who was eventually charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. (Murray served two years of his four-year sentence, and was released on parole in 2013.)
How investigators solved the case is chronicled in the new documentary, Killing Michael Jackson, which explores the events following the King of Pop’s death through the eyes of three L.A.P.D. detectives: Orlando Martinez, Dan Myers and Scott Smith. This exclusive clip from the documentary (watch above), which includes previously unseen crime scene photos and footage, illustrates the trail of evidence that initially led the trio to suspect Murray. On the Monday following Jackson’s death, a search of his house turned up a “treasure trove” of evidence from Murray’s doctor’s bag, as well as discarded needles and empty bottles of drugs that he had attempted to hide. “We knew that sometime during this medical emergency, Dr. Murray had stopped either giving CPR or had waited to give CPR and cleaned up everything,” Martinez explains. “If he would have had taken it with him… we would have lost that element of the hiding and trying to cover up.” — Ethan Alter
Killing Michael Jackson premieres Monday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. on Bounce.
If you enjoyed your time in the DC Fandome, you’ll want to be on the bridge when CBS All Access unveils Star Trek Day. Set to launch on September 8 — 54 years after the very first episode of Star Trek aired on CBS — the celebration of all things Trek will feature a line-up of virtual panels drawn from the franchise’s long history. Available to stream on StarTrek.com from noon until midnight, the programming includes remote reunions of cast members from every classic Trek show, from The Original Series to Enterprise, as well as peeks ahead at such currently-airing shows as Lower Decks and Discovery. (Don’t be surprised if Discovery’s history-making new cast members make an appearance.) In between panels, Trekkers can shop for far-out merchandise, download new emojis and take part in a Twitch pub quiz. Make it so! — E.A.
NBC Universal’s streaming service kicks off its first fall season with a pair of new documentaries, both of which speak to the current moment.
Sonia Lowman’s Black Boys explores the fraught experience of growing up Black in contemporary America at a time when major and micro-aggressions all too often hold young men back. Executive produced by NFL superstar, Malcolm Jenkins, the film invites successful Black men like Carmelo Anthony, Dr. John King Jr. and Jemele Hill to provide advice and reassurance to the next generation.
Yoruba Richen’s The Sit-In digs deep into The Tonight Show archives to chronicle a consequential week in February 1968 when entertainer and activist, Harry Belafonte, sat in for Johnny Carson. Over the course of five episodes, several of which have been lost to history, Belafonte interviewed such major figures as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Aretha Franklin and Sidney Poitier, who directly addressed the social and racial problems facing the country. Echoes of the present day definitely aren’t coincidental. — E.A.
Black Boys and The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show premiere Thursday, Sept. 10 on Peacock.
WATCH/PLAY IT: If you still want your MTV, click here
The 2020 VMAs have come and gone, so now it’s time to celebrate old-school MTV — you know, the days when the channel actually played music videos. First, check out A&E’s origin-story documentary Biography: I Want My MTV, starring the original VJs and the network’s founders, ‘80s icons like Annie Lennox, Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Sting, Mark Mothersbaugh and Dee Snider… and even yours truly, who waxes poetic about Madonna and Adam Ant.
Then, apply everything you learned from that doc with the MTV: The Throwback Party Game, by testing your knowledge in ‘80s and ‘90s categories like Award-Winning Videos, Best of Unplugged, the Brits, Headbangers, Hip-Hop Hits, Pop Anthems, Queens of MTV and Teenage Angst. It’ll feel like your own at-home episode of Remote Control! — Lyndsey Parker
Biography: I Want My MTV premieres Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. on A&E; MTV: The Throwback Party Game is available on Amazon.
STREAM IT: See Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia like never before on That Golden Girl Show! A Puppet Parody
Twenty-eight years after The Golden Girls ended, the beloved characters are back in the form of puppets. Based on an acclaimed stage show that debuted in New York City in 2016, fans can catch up with the women in 16 episodes of this fanciful take on the sitcom. In a clip exclusive to Yahoo Entertainment, the mini version of the smart, funny, sarcastic yet sensitive Dorothy spends a typical day at home, which includes some of the few idyllic memories of childhood that she’s kept from being shattered by her quick-witted mother. She also shares a hilarious, unintended exchange with the puppet of her racy roommate Blanche. As the show puts it, “Devoted fans will fondly remember our four girls from Miami, and for the first-timers, this will be a joyful introduction to the brilliance of that television series.” — Raechal Shewfelt
That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody will be available Monday, Sept. 14 at Broadway on Demand.
STREAM IT: Unpregnant is a road trip comedy with an unlikely twist
Earlier this year, the indie drama, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, gained national acclaim and attention for its timely depiction of the current state of abortion rights in America. Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Unpregnant follows a similar narrative journey, but in a different part of the country and with a noticeably different tone. Where Never Rarely followed its pregnant teen heroine on a desperate journey from small-town Pennsylania to a Planned Parenthood clinic in New York, Unpregnant sends Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) — a college-bound senior with big life plans that would be derailed by a baby — from Missouri to New Mexico in order to have an abortion. She’s accompanied by her former best friend, Bailey (breakout Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira), and, based on the trailer, the duo get into a series of comic scrapes on their way to their final destination. Unpregnant may seem to have more laughs than Never Rarely Sometimes Always, but it’s ultimately just as serious about advocating for a woman’s right to choose. — E.A.
Unpregnant premieres Thursday, Sept. 10 on HBO Max.
PLAY IT: Hulk out on the bad guys in the new Marvel’s Avengers video game
This might be the closest thing yet to being in a Marvel movie. Square Enix’s cinematic smash-‘em-up video game let’s you take on waves of wrongdoers as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and, best of all, the ever-lovin’ smash-happy Hulk. While pummeling baddies (in single-player or co-op mode) is pure joy, the game also has a surprisingly strong storyline involving Cap’s apparent death and the self-appointed mission of newbie supe Kamala Khan to reassemble the Avengers, thwart an insidious conspiracy plot and save the day. Publisher Square Enix promises to make even more of Earth’s mightiest available to play post-launch, including Black Panther, Hawkeye and (as a PS4 exclusive) Spider-Man, along with more DLCs expanding the game universe and roster of heroes and villains. — Marcus Errico
Marvel’s Avengers is now available in standard and deluxe editions for PS4, Xbox One, Windows and Stadia from Amazon and other retailers.
WATCH IT: Enjoy ‘80s classics The Goonies and Beetlejuice on 4K Ultra HD
A small miracle occurred as we headed into the sixth month of quarantine: Our kids finally, finally (finally) grew tired of watching Descendants and Zombies over and over (and over). This has cracked open an unexpected window for us to show them more movies we watched as ‘80s babies… so what perfect timing for two of our favorite family-friendly staples to get fancy new 4K Ultra HD treatments. Warner Bros. has released both The Goonies and Beetlejuice in the most current home video formats (also both Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, though the kids aren’t quite ready for those). The special features on each are the same as their previous Blu-ray releases (though Goonies comes as a gift set with assorted swag), but these adventures of Mikey, ‘Geuse and friends have never looked better. And believe us when we say they look so, so (so) much better than Descendants and Zombies. — Kevin Polowy
WATCH IT: Check out some Phantoms of the popera
If you feel like watching a high school musical for the modern age, check out Netflix’s new series Julie and the Phantoms. The plot has something to do with the titular character starting a band with three actual ghosts haunting her from the year 1995, but judging from the cutesy trailer — and the fact that actual High School Musical creator Kenny Ortega is at the helm – we have a feeling this show will a lot less scary than, say, Marilyn Manson’s new record. — L.P.
Julie and the Phantoms premieres Thursday, Sept. 10 on Netflix.
HEAR IT: Study Marilyn Manson’s Chaos theory
No, Marilyn Manson has not gone country. But for his 11th studio album, We Are Chaos, he has teamed up with Shooter Jennings (son of outlaw country icon Waylon), who’s previously worked with Tanya Tucker, Duff McKagan, Wanda Jackson and Brandi Carlile. Jennings co-produced and co-wrote all 10 tracks with the gothic shock-rocker, who has intriguingly described the album as “a wax museum of my thoughts, a study of the chamber of horrors in my head.” — L.P.
Download/stream We Are Chaos on Apple Music.
BUILD IT: Build your own brick masterpieces with four new Lego Art sets
Have you ever constructed a Lego creation so cool-looking, you wanted to frame it and hang it on your wall? The toy giant’s new line of Lego Art sets makes that dream a reality. Fill up your canvas with specialty tiles that click together to create 2D pop-culture portraits that you’ll be proud to display in your home. Lego Art’s inaugural sets include replicas of Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe painting, as well as Marvel’s signature hero Iron Man, that fab quartet known as The Beatles and the sinister Sith from Star Wars. And these pictures are easy to “paint” over: Each canvas can be repeatedly reassembled to display different portraits whether it’s John and Paul or Vader and Kylo. — E.A.
Lego Art sets are available at Lego.com.
COLLECT IT: Funko’s exclusive Star Wars concept Pop! figures salute the Celebration that never was
Funko had big plans for Star Wars Celebration 2020. And although the biennial fan event, set to run Aug. 27 to 30 in Anaheim, was a COVID cancellation, the toy maker is still offering several exclusive Pop! figures made specifically for Celebration. The best of the bunch: this quartet of bobbleheads based on the original concept designs of Luke Starkiller, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Boba Fett by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie. If you’re lucky, you might find Chewie and the Fett-ster on the Funko site (if not, head over to eBay), while proto-Luke and his pop’s Pop! are available, respectively, at FYE and Game Stop. — M.E.
HEAR IT: Film icons drop knowledge on Tribeca Talks podcast
The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival was a shell of its usual shelf this year, forced to go virtual in the early weeks of the coronavirus lockdown. One of the things we missed most about the fest was its always-impressive lineup of heavy-hitting conversations, fittingly called Tribeca Talks.
Tribeca Enterprises is now making a whole bunch of those convos from past fests available for public consumption with its new Tribeca Talks podcast, which kicked off with The Godfather of Tribeca Talks… a conversation with nearly the entire cast of The Godfather (Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Robert De Niro and director Francis Ford Coppola). Other enticing, sometimes surprising, duos on the docket include Barbra Streisand with Robert Rodriguez (available now), Guillermo Del Toro with Alec Baldwin (available now), Jodie Foster with Julie Taymor (Sept. 17) and Common with Nelson George (Oct. 1). — K.P.
Check out Tribeca Talks at TribecaFilm.com.
WATCH IT: The Ozzman cometh… to your TV screen
Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne is like a peek into the diary of a madman, examining the crazy life and times of one of the most revered and resilient rock stars (and reality stars) of all time. The doc features interviews with Sharon, Kelly and Jack Osbourne, as well as with Rick Rubin, Ice-T, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Jonathan Davis and Ozzy’s recent “Take What You Want” collaborator, Post Malone. — L.P.
Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne premieres Monday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. on A&E.
WATCH IT: The Food Network flips the calendar to Halloween
At least the part of Halloween that’s all about sipping on pumpkin lattes and spider-topped cupcakes isn’t canceled! And Food Network is debuting its slate of festive shows well ahead of Oct. 31.
The ninth season of fan favorite Halloween Wars showcases some of the country’s most talented dessert makers working in teams to win $50,000. The fun for the rest of us is being awed by their incredible sugary creations. The 2020 edItion comes with one companion series that shows bakers and artisans competing for a spot in the show and a second starring legends from past seasons.
In Outrageous Pumpkins, hosted by Alyson Hannigan, seven expert carvers will compete individually for a cool $25,000 prize. The network’s special programming also includes Halloween Baking Championship, starring Carla Hall, and a special version of Worst Cooks in America.
Snacks are highly recommended. — R.S.
Food Network kicks off its Halloween programming on Sunday, Sept. 13.
WATCH IT: First Cow comes home to Blu-ray and DVD
Admittedly, First Cow does not sound like the most stimulating film title. “Is it about the president’s cow?” is definitely a thought we had upon first hearing it. But there’s no denying the critical adulation the latest indie drama from writer-director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy) has drawn, with its 96 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as proof. The early-19th century-set film follows the relationship between a cook who’s moved west to join Oregon fur trappers and the Chinese immigrant he befriends. It’s not a film for everyone — if you’ve never heard of Reichhardt, for instance, it might not be your cup of cow’s milk. But arthouse fans will find it to be pretty moo-ving stuff. (Sorry.) — K.P.
First Cow is available on DVD, Blu-ray or digital on Amazon.
WATCH IT: Lucille Ball: We Love Lucy tells the story of an icon
This special explores the woman behind one of the most beloved TV characters of all time, from her roots in Jamestown, N.Y., to her off-screen role as the first woman to run a major studio, the iconic Desilu Productions which was behind Ball’s own shows as well as mega-hits Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. Some of the celebrated women who followed Ball into the (especially then) male-dominated field of comedy, such as Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin and Suzanne Sommers, explain how she inspired them with her bold physical comedy. Can you even imagine anyone else taking on the scene in which Lucy stars in a commercial for miracle product Vitameatavegamin? The man who played Ball’s TV son, Keith Thibodeaux (stage name: Richard Keith), who’s sadly the last living cast member from the classic sitcom, makes an appearance, too, to reflect on his famously redheaded former boss. — R.S.
Lucille Ball: We Love Lucy premieres Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. on Reelz.
HEAR IT: The Flaming Lips bring you new Head music
These Oklahoma eccentrics were always ahead of the (pandemic) curve, social-distancing by performing in sealed plastic bubbles way back in 2004. Now, for their 16th studio album, American Head, Wayne Coyne and company continue their journey into the future with trippy tracks like “Flowers of Neptune 6,” “At the Movies on Quaaludes” and “Mother, I’ve Taken LSD.” The psych-rockers, who have recorded entire albums with Miley Cyrus and Deap Vally and have collaborated with everyone from Grace Potter to Tegan & Sara in the past, recruit Kacey Musgraves this time around for one tune, “God and the Policeman.” — L.P.
Download/stream American Head on Apple Music.
— Video produced by Gisselle Bances