Overrated/Underrated: If we need the Yondr pouch to force us off our phones at concerts, we've got bigger problems


Samira Wiley: In the name of not running afoul of the perpetually spoiler-averse culture of the Internet – by the way, Walter White dies in the end -- let's not speak of anything noteworthy that might or might not have become of Wiley’s character Poussey Washington on Netflix’s “Orange Is in the New Black.” Rather, let’s celebrate that Wiley will soon also brighten terrestrial networks with recent word that she will join the giddy misanthropes on the next season of FX’s “You’re the Worst.” If she brings half the warmth  (and homemade booze) to this series as her star-crossed convict in “Orange,” “You’re the Worst” only stands to get better.

“More Perfect”: Produced by the same obsessively curious minds behind the eccentric podcast and public radio favorite “Radiolab,” this new series takes a deep dive into the history and influence of the Supreme Court. While focusing any further on a branch of government during a particularly ugly election season may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, this series offers an entertaining and illuminating look at the forces and personalities behind cases that in one instance eventually led the court toward deciding the 2000 presidential election (while driving one justice to a nervous breakdown) and the roots of the phrase “cruel and unusual” in the first place. Most of us slept through civics class — it’s worth staying plugged in for this.


“Zootopia” (2015): On the strength of some timely allusions to racial profiling buried amid its candy-colored woodland-noir, Disney’s latest animated film earned some raves on par with those reserved for its celebrated sibling Pixar. While those grown-up topics offer a welcome bite amid “Zootopia’s” otherwise kid-friendly cuteness, the mother ship still shows it has a long way to go from making a multi-generational crowd-pleaser on par with “The Incredibles” or “WALL-E.” “Zootopia" ultimately offers few real laughs, and sprints through its whodunit story line amid secondary characters who are far too simplistic for the film's ambitions.

Fighting tech with tech: Alicia Keys made headlines last week for fighting against compulsive in-concert smartphone use among fans  – a struggle for just about any artist in 2016, to say nothing of nearby strangers. But there's something a little off about her means of fighting the ongoing creep of technology, which looked to ... a technology company called Yondr that presents concertgoers with locked pouches that can be accessed only outside the venue. If we're so helpless in the grip of our screens that the only thing that can save us from technology is another form of technology, maybe we have a bigger problem than Alicia Keys can address.



Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World