Nicole Kidman takes ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ on a dark ride and more


A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Pop Life Chronicles newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here. Tell us what you’d like to see more of in the newsletter at

(CNN)Could you use a bit of a retreat?

Yes, please!!!

    Stress that won’t let up is all around us, it seems (and has been for a very long time). So why not take a break and get into:

      Three things to watch

        ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’

        Speaking of retreats, Nicole Kidman stars as a guru at a facility that looks like part paradise, part horror film setting.

          “Nine Perfect Strangers” reunites Kidman with author Liane Moriarty, whose book this series is based on. Kidman scored big with another Moriarty project, “Big Little Lies.”

          This time, Kidman may freak folks out a bit as a mysterious wellness expert who oversees a resort where nine weary city dwellers (played by Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving and others) come for some R & R.

          Between this and “White Lotus,” I am seriously rethinking how “relaxing” these types of trips actually are in reality.

          “Nine Perfect Strangers” is currently streaming on Hulu.

          ‘Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is’

          But let’s not forget his comedy roots.

          If you need a few giggles, check out his stand-up special, “Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is,” where he takes on everything from being part of a famous family to parenthood.

          It’s currently streaming on HBO Max (which is owned by CNN’s parent company).


          If you are a fan of Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard — or dark musicals — you may want to check this one out.

          The pair star in “Annette,” a film about a comedian and opera singer who fall in love at the height of their careers and have a daughter named — you guessed it — Annette.

          That’s pretty much all I can say without revealing any spoilers, but it starts streaming Friday on Amazon Prime.

          Two things to listen to

          Lorde already came for the “song of the summer” title with her “Solar Power” single, which also happens to be the title of her new album.

          And unlike other artists who have been concerned about not being able to have massive stadium tours because of the pandemic, the New Zealander told The Wall Street Journal, “I don’t know if I’m ‘arena girl,’ you know?”

          “I would be in the basement of a sports venue, showering in the basketball lockers — or, like, (the venue) would be named after a fast-food restaurant — and I’d just (think), ‘I don’t know if this is me,'” she said. “I’m an amphitheater girl. I’m a 150-year-old theater girl.”

          The “Solar Power” album drops Friday.

          It’s been a long time, Debbie Gibson.

          Twenty years after “M.Y.O.B.,” Gibson has a new album titled “The Body Remembers.”

          She told Billboard it’s “‘Electric Youth 2021’ in a lot of ways,” referencing her hit 1989 album.

          There’s even a new version of her hit “Lost in Your Eyes,” this time as a duet with none other than Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block.

          “The goal was to make an undeniably special, authentic, well-crafted and yet still raw album,” she said. “I feel great about the fact we found that. I feel like I’ve made an undeniable album.”

          Way to take us back and bring us forward, Debbie. The new album is out Friday.

          One thing to talk about

          Dear Debra Winger, I dub thee the Queen of Shade.

          When asked about her “Terms of Endearment” costar Shirley MacLaine, who played her mother, writing in her memoir that Winger once farted in her face, Winger is quoted as saying “Well, I have never known Shirley to tell the truth about anything” — though she did also add they are “loving friends.”

          She also didn’t shy away from having called “An Officer and a Gentleman” costar Richard Gere “a brick wall.”

          “I probably could have come up with something nicer,” she said, chuckling.

          But it was the revelation that Winger quit the film “A League of Their Own” because they had cast Madonna that garnered the most attention.

          Winger said she didn’t think the film paid enough homage to the legacy of the female professional baseball players for whom it was about, but also said she didn’t “begrudge” the cast who made the film with Geena Davis replacing her.

          Winger had this to say about Madonna: “I think (her) acting career has spoken for itself.”


          Something to sip on

          I worry about Lizzo.

          Now, I know it’s not really my place because we are not acquainted personally, but she brought us all in recently when she shared an emotional video on social media in which she accused people of being “racist” and “fatphobic” in how they have treated her.

          I’ve written about the zaftig singer and the conversation regarding her size before, but apparently criticism ramped up after the recent release of her single “Rumors,” featuring Cardi B.

            And while people could definitely stand to be nicer on social media, I hope Lizzo gives some consideration to whether or not she is making herself more of a target, given the frequent bare-booty photos and videos she has posted.

            I’m all for self-love and celebrating bodies of all sizes, but many of us would love her regardless.