September means a new season and in terms of cultural offerings, we're due some of the best of the year. Jennifer McShane picks five things you should have on your radar this month.
For a distraction that isn't tinged in Brexit-woes, Jennifer Lopex's latest film is enjoyable escapism at its best. Lopez stars as Ramona, New York stripper and supported by a wildly exciting cast – Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Julia Stiles, Lizzo and Lili Reinhart – these women hustle lots of wealthy men to support themselves in the big financial crash of the late '00s. Jenny from the Block (and her fabulous female crew) have still got it.
Hustlers is in Irish cinemas from September 13
The show to stream
Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), a wealthy student from Santa Barbara, California, has known since age seven that he's going to be the President of the United States. But first, he'll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School. To get elected Student Body President, secure a spot at Harvard, and stay on his singular path to success, Payton will have to outsmart his ruthless classmates without sacrificing his own morality and carefully crafted image. Full of dark comedy and sly satire, Ryan Murphy's The Politician offers a rare glimpse into just what it takes to make a politician.
They are expecting big things from the first season, as according to reports, they have plans for multiple with every season planned to centre around another political race to win to get to the White House.
The Politician will premiere on September 27
K–12 by Melanie Martinez
It isn't easy to do a conceptual album and pull it off. But before Beyoncé set a standard with Lemonade, US singer and alt-pop songstress constructed a whole world around the character Cry Baby— a version of herself reimagined. The subsequent album was a triumph using a childlike alter-ego to explore the dark sides of being a girl trying to grow up. Now, her alter-ego returns. And this time in a coming-of-age fantasy tale, Cry Baby, again played by Martinez, is starting to grow up.
In K-12, her second album and first feature film of the same name, she goes to a boarding school whose student body includes kids with magical powers, evil adults and angels who descend from above. As the story unfolds, it's not all sweetness and light. In fact, it's your hellish school days come to life.
But amongst the kaleidoscopic of imagery, very real, modern issues are tackled, including bullying, bulimia, transphobia and gender inequality. Watch the film (fully available on YouTube or with any stream of the album) before you listen to the pop-infused album would be sound advice. It's quite an experience for the senses.
K–12 by Melanie Martinez is available now
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
It's the publishing event of the year, so we couldn't leave this one out. After years pondering the elusive ending of The Handmaid's Tale, author Margaret Atwood returns to Gilead. But now it's 15 years after we left Offred and much has changed. Her monumental novel and her Handmaids never left the modern psyche, in fact, it was the opposite; we see them now, more than ever. They became a symbolic symbol of resistance as Trump assumed power and the right's of women around the world were called into question.
You won't be able to resist the allure of The Testaments – be sure to check out our first-look review.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Vintage, approx €20) is out Tuesday, September 10
The series to watch
The Capture on BBC1
For those of you with a Bodyguard-shaped hole in your life, your next must-watch comes in the form of The Capture, a six-part thriller starring Callum Turner as a soldier who, when we meet him, has just had his conviction for murder in Afghanistan overturned. But CCTV footage from a night out back in London links him to another crime that he insists he didn’t commit – and from there a web of deception must be untangled. It also stars Holliday Granger of the brilliant film, Animals. Binge-watch TV at its very best.
The Capture continues on Tuesdays on BBC1 at 9pm
Main photograph: @brie_sparkles