The It List: ‘Baby Drivers’ introduces the next generation of NASCAR stars, Martha Stewart throws a star-studded tag sale, Tom Cruise takes flight in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and all the best in pop culture the week of May 23, 2022


The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for May 23-29, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

STREAM IT: Baby Drivers profiles the next generation of racers

They call them Baby Drivers, and you can watch them hit the road in an all-new reality series that premieres on Discovery+ on May 23. Come on down to Southern California’s Adams Motorsports Park — one of the first African American owned go-kart tracks in America — and marvel at these youthful speed demons, who may one day graduate from a simple kart to a souped-up NASCAR machine. As these young drivers get their Dom Toretto on, coach Troy Adams watches from the pit, evaluating which racer has the right stuff to compete on the circuit for major paydays. Go ahead: You tell them that competition this fierce looks like kid’s stuff. — Ethan Alter

Baby Drivers premieres Monday, May 23 on Discovery+.

WATCH IT: The Great American Tag Sale With Martha Stewart is a garage sale with class

Of course, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart’s garage sale is better than ours. Not only is her two-day event organized by a team of professionals, but she also kicks it off with a preview cocktail party attended by the likes of Blake Lively. (The Kardashian‘s matriarch, Kris Jenner, even pops up in a video phone call to request some specific items.) Naturally, the discarded stuff is unlike what any of us would find in our grandparents’ attic. Among the roughly 10,000 pieces that Stewart is selling to benefit Mount Sinai Hospital’s Martha Stewart Center for Living are several varsity jackets that she received as annual Christmas gifts from David Letterman. In addition to documenting the goings-on at Stewart’s New York farm, the special includes tips for hosting our own successful tag sales… which we know will never be as good as the one seen here. — Raechal Shewfelt

The Great American Tag Sale With Martha Stewart airs Wednesday, May 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

STREAM IT: Emergency is a super-funny and super-vital dark comedic thriller

From the moment the KD Dávila-written, Carey Williams-directed comedic thriller Emergency premiered at Sundance, the comparisons to Superbad* (*but with a twist) poured in. “It’s definitely a deconstruction of that type of movie,” Dávila told us recently. The two main characters — Black college best friends Sean (RJ Cyler) and Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) — sure think they’re in a movie like Superbad as they plan a night of raucous campus partying. But the good times stop rolling when they and their Mexican-American roommate Carlos (Sebastian Chacon) discover a drunk white girl passed out in their living room. Too afraid to call the cops, the guys attempt to transport “Goldilocks” to safety, resulting in one of the sharpest, funniest and most topical college comedies to arrive in years. Watch an exclusive clip above. — Kevin Polowy

Emergency is now playing in select theaters and premieres Friday, May 27 on Amazon Prime Video.

STREAM IT: Martin Freeman gets serious in his new BritBox series The Responder

Whether he’s playing Tim Canterbury, Arthur Dent or Bilbo Baggins, you can always count on Martin Freeman to get audiences chuckling with his trademark deadpan humor. But the British actor leaves all that behind in his new series, The Responder — a new cop drama coming to BritBox on May 24. Like Michael Chiklis before him, Freeman undergoes a dramatic transformation to play Chris Carson, an after-hours frontline responder in Liverpool whose personal demons are exacerbated by his dangerous, demanding job. This exclusive clip from the series reveals just how close to the edge Chris is, and allows Freeman to flex some serious acting muscles. — E.A.

The Responder premieres Tuesday, May 24 on BritBox.

STREAM IT: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 zips onto digital platforms

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the Godfather Part II of Sonic the Hedgehog movies,” a rather astute entertainment journalist once said. And it’s true: Sonic 2 is definitely the second movie in what’s sure to be a trilogy of its kind. And yeah, it’s pretty good, too — which is especially good news considering Hollywood’s awful track record at turning video games into movies. (Not for nothing, but Sonic 2 is now officially the highest-grossing video game adaptation at the U.S. box office.) Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is back, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) is still cracking wise any chance he gets, and Idris Elba joins the party as the extraterrestrial threat Knuckles. What else can you ask for? Check out a deleted scene featuring James Marsden and Tika Sumpter from this week’s digital release above. — K.P.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is available Tuesday, May 24 on digital and releases on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 16.

WATCH IT: Tom Cruise feels the need for more speed in Top Gun: Maverick

With the exception of his Mission: Impossible series, Tom Cruise generally has a “no sequels” policy when it comes to his previous blockbusters. But the actor clearly couldn’t resist one last turn in the cockpit as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell — the high-flying Navy pilot that piloted Top Gun to the top of the box office charts in 1986. Originally filmed in 2018, and delayed repeatedly due to the coronavirus pandemic, Top Gun: Maverick soars into theaters at last, and it offers a super-sized spectacle that definitely fits the biggest of big screens. In the twilight of his career, Maverick is brought back to help a younger crew of Top Guns pull off a top-secret mission and, not surprisingly, teaches the new kids some old tricks. Filled with numerous nostalgic nods to the original film (and the ’80s in general) Top Gun: Maverick also boasts up-to-the-minute special effects and stunt piloting, making it a film that will truly — cue the synths — take your breath away. — E.A.

Top Gun: Maverick premieres Friday, May 27 in theaters; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.

HEAR IT: Wham, bam, Def Leppard says thanks for the glam

[embedded content]

Sheffield pop-metalheads Def Leppard have always worn their glitter-rock influences on their Union Jack-emblazoned sleeves. Frontman Joe Elliott even has a side band, Down n Outz, inspired by his love for glam pioneers Mott the Hoople. And his main band’s 12th full-length album, the T. Rex-referencing Diamond Star Halos, is Lep’s most glamtastic yet, inspired by Mott, Marc Bolan and, of course, David Bowie. (Legendary Bowie pianist Mike Garson in fact plays on two Diamond Star Halos tracks, and more surprisingly, Alison Krauss also lends guest vocals.) It’s a full-circle record that pays homage to Def Leppard’s past while sounding unexpectedly modern; lead single “Kick” will be a huge crowd-pleaser when Lep go on tour with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett this summer. — Lyndsey Parker

Diamond Star Halos by Def Leppard is available Friday, May 27 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Robert Pattinson is an Emo Bruce Wayne — and it totally works — in The Batman

At this rate they’re going to be rebooting Batman every 5-10 years for the rest of eternity. But if the finished product is as good Matt Reeves’s simmering detective thriller The Batman, we’ll allow it. Ex-Twilight star Robert Pattinson puts some serious grunge on his sparkle as “Emo Bruce Wayne,” and the rest of his soon-to-be rogues’ gallery is filled out by Zoë Kravitz’s proto-Catwoman, Paul Dano as a Seven-inspired Riddler and an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as the up-and-coming Penguin. The Batman scored major love from audiences and critics, with a sequel already on the way. But first the new Dark Knight hits Blu-ray with bonus features that include multiple featurettes and deleted scenes (like one featuring a certain Clown Prince of Crime) with director’s commentary. — K.P.

The Batman releases on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, May 24 on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Liam Gallagher is solo and feeling supersonic

[embedded content]

Liam Gallagher just revealed that he hasn’t seen his older brother/former Oasis bandmate Noel Gallagher in 10 years, but he has clearly moved on to other superstar collaborators. This title track of his third solo album, C’mon You Know, was produced by Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and features Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig on saxophone, while “Everything’s Electric” was produced by Greg Kurstin (Adele, Beck, Paul McCartney, Kelly Clarkson, Sia) and co-written by Dave Grohl, who also plays drums on the track. But Liam is still in a nostalgic state of mind: Shortly after his new LP’s release, he will headline England’s Knebworth Park, the site of one of Oasis’s most legendary concerts, on June 3 and 4. It will a comeback moment that Liam promises will be “biblical.” — L.P.

C’mon You Know by Liam Gallagher is available Friday, May 27 to download/stream on Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Ron Howard zooms in on celebrity chef José Andrés in We Feed People

[embedded content]

The Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind tells the true story of chef José Andrés non-profit World Central Kitchen, which has rushed to feed the hungry in the wake of natural disasters and other tragedies for over a decade. In the documentary, which premieres on Disney+ on May 27, Andrés reflects on how his organization got its start in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which made him realize that his work was about community. That’s how how World Central Kitchen continues to roll, even as they dish out meals in war-torn Ukraine and grieving Buffalo, N.Y. — R.S.

We Feed People premieres Friday, May 27 on Disney+.

HEAR IT: Wilco invites you into their Cruel world

[embedded content]

Wilco’s 12th studio album — actually, a double-album — finds the seminal Americana band returning to its roots, as Cruel Country consists primarily of totally live takes, with minimal overdubbing, recorded at Wilco’s Chicago recording studio the Loft. Cruel Country marks the first time that all six Wilco members have recorded together in the Loft since 2011’s The Whole Love, and band leader Jeff Tweedy has described it as their most country-leaning record yet. The album doesn’t just dive into Wilco’s past, but — true to its title — the songs also explore America’s complex history. Tweedy explained in a statement: “Because it is the country I love, and because it’s country music that I love, I feel a responsibility to investigate their mirrored problematic natures.”— L.P.

Cruel Country by Wilco is available Friday, May 27 to download/stream on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: The National Memorial Day Concert returns to PBS live and in-person

Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the 2022 National Memorial Day Concert. (Photo: Paul Morigi/Capital Concerts/PBS)Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the 2022 National Memorial Day Concert. (Photo: Paul Morigi/Capital Concerts/PBS)

Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the 2022 National Memorial Day Concert. (Photo: Paul Morigi/Capital Concerts/PBS)

After two years of virtual performances due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2022 edition of the National Memorial Day Concert returns to the nation’s capital for its first in-person event since 2019. And this year’s 90-minute telecast — hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna — will take full advantage of being back on the National Mall. Tributes are planned to General Colin L. Powell, who died last October, as well as Vietnam War combat medic, Francis Whitebird, and a Gold Star family grieving the loss of their two sons. Abraham Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address will also be read to mark the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial. The lineup of musical guests includes Tony Award winners Lea Salonga and Brian Stokes Mitchell; American Idol favorite Pia Toscano; Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens and, of course, the National Symphony Orchestra. — E.A.

The 2022 National Memorial Day Concert airs Sunday, May 29 on PBS.

WATCH IT: Yo! MTV raps again

The program that quite literally changed the course of hip-hop history nearly 35 years ago returns, amid a very different pop-cultural landscape in which most television is consumed digitally and rap music is now officially the most popular genre in the U.S. The reboot kicks off this week on streaming service Paramount+ with a Freddie Gibbs takeover, with new hosts Conceited and DJ Diamond Kuts taking over the roles made famous by Doctor Dre and Ed Lover. Future episodes will star Latto on May 31, Saba on June 7, JID on June 14, Shenseea on June 21, Tee Grizzley on June 28, IDK on July 5 and Trina on July 12. — L.P.

Yo! MTV Raps premieres Tuesday, May 24 on Paramount+.

— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo