TV and Streaming
In the web series they created and star in, 20-somethings Heather Abbott and Breanna Benedict capture the awkwardness that ensues when you move into your first Chicago apartment with a bunch of strangers. It’s The Real World for the millennial set — but funny. Season 2 wraps up Dec. 19 at apartment101show.com.
Just ahead of the final season of Game of Thrones, another George R.R. Martin story gets the TV treatment. Based on his science-fiction novella, the show follows a group of scientists who venture into space in search of an alien but face dangers aboard their own ship. Premieres Dec. 2 on Syfy.
The Red Line
Ava DuVernay is an executive producer of this new Chicago-set drama about how the accidental shooting of a black doctor by a white cop affects three families across the city. Noah Wyle stars alongside a cast that includes Jefferson Park native and Chicago theater stalwart Michael Patrick Thornton. Premieres early 2019 on CBS.
Local comedian T.J. Jagodowski (you know him from the Sonic commercials) stars as a former drug addict trying to revive his career as a music producer at his now-dilapidated recording studio. The web series features some of the funniest talent in the city, including Jeff Murdoch and Tien Tran. Streaming now at studiobseries.com.
Cinematic Encounters: Interviews and Dialogues
From 1987 to 2008, Rosenbaum was the film critic at the Reader. Now he returns with a collection of interviews with many of the directors he championed, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Jim Jarmusch, and Orson Welles. December, University of Illinois Press
Drug Warrior: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo and the Rise of America’s Opioid Crisis
The former Chicago DEA chief’s memoir focuses on his most memorable arrest: Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo. Feb. 19, Hachette Books
Lincoln’s Confidant: The Life of Noah Brooks
Wayne C. Temple
The first full-length biography of the Illinois journalist who made Lincoln famous and went on to become the president’s most trusted adviser is a compelling look at friendship in a tumultuous White House. January, University of Illinois Press
The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago
In this memoir, Chicago’s most celebrated civil rights attorney recounts more than four decades of exposing police violence and corruption, including the Jon Burge torture ring. Feb. 12, Haymarket Books
The Wilco frontman drops his first solo collection of all new material, recruiting Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and son Spencer. The stripped-down project recalls the clean production and confessional lyrics of Wilco fan favorite A Ghost Is Born. Nov. 30
With his fourth solo album, the West Side rapper and poet delivers a succinct yet reflective work full of winding, alliterative lyrics and dusky, loping beats assembled by underground producers such as Elements and Malci. Feb. 22
The local pop-rock singer-songwriter follows up his acclaimed self-titled LP from 2015 with another batch of morbidly funny piano-based tunes, featuring guest appearances by Nina Nastasia and Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker. Dec. 7
The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Associated Ensembles
The Art Ensemble of Chicago
What better way to spend a frigid Saturday indoors than listening to a full day’s worth of avant-garde jazz? This 21-disc box set amasses the legendarily adventurous group’s complete recordings for the storied German label ECM. Nov. 30
Plainfield-based Forbidden Games concocts a cross between Railroad Tycoon, Ticket to Ride, and Monopoly. Use tiles to build railroads while collecting stocks and goods by drawing cards featuring illustrations by Disney artists. $50
Graham Elliot is among the celebrity chefs who contributed to this culinary contest from the Nerdologues. Contestants draw cards (colorfully illustrated by local artist Kevin Budnik), then take part in their own Chopped-style battle. Whoever comes up with the best recipe wins, but all without dirtying a single dish. $25
Finally, a role-playing game that isn’t an indefinite Dungeons & Dragons campaign. This offering from Make Big Things is set in a world on the brink of collapse, with all the details filled in by participants. Dice rolls and card draws steer the action, with plenty of jokes thrown into the instructions. From $10
Up to 40 people can play this Prohibition-themed game from Waxwing Puzzle Company. Participants can side with either the Mob or the feds, but things aren’t always as they seem: A player might be a double agent, a rat … or just trying to have a cocktail. $35