Written by

Mia Quagliarello

9:30 am

Photo Via GQ

All hail Cardi B, a video game that gives us the feels, a comic on the rise, and the life of a cult: this month’s pop culture picks for busy parents have us rap(t).

1. At this point, perhaps only parents in the deepest of child-rearing fogs will not know who Cardi B is, but this column would be remiss if it never put in a plug for music’s new queen. The Bronx-born rapper’s debut album, Invasion of Privacy, came out last month to breathless reviews (“one of the most powerful debuts of this millennium,” says Variety), finally giving us more than her ubiquitous “Bodak Yellow” to sink our spiky heels into. Though controversial, GQ’s Cardi B profile offers a vivid portrait of an artist who’s as fun to read about as she is to watch perform.

2. Wild Wild Country, a new six-episode Netflix docu-series about a religious cult from the early 80s, has viewers riveted. Led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his personal assistant, Ma Anand Sheela, the movement successfully convinced many thousands of well-educated people to move to the tiny town of Antelope, Oregon, where they attempted to establish a utopian city called Rajneeshpuram—and clashed with local residents and the government in the process. The series has inspired much comment from former devotees—called sanyassins—who are filling in the blanks left by the documentary and sharing their own personal stories.

3. We know parenting isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s amazing to see a mainstream video game acknowledge so much. The new “God of War” is the “story that so many in the gaming community didn’t know they needed,” writes Mashable. It features Kratos, a former monster slayer who wasn’t much of a father figure; now he’s raising his young son, Atreus, alone to be a warrior in a strange land. The unusual father-son dynamic was partially inspired by the game’s creative director Cory Barlog’s real parenting experiences.

4. For some levity, try John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous on Netflix. I actually saw this show in the flesh at Radio City Music Hall with my 11-year-old son earlier this year. It was joyful. And while it wasn’t exactly kid-friendly, as far as comedy specials go it was probably as close as we could to get to an act that could work across generations. Mulaney’s squeaky clean demeanor and old-man charm (even though he’s only 35) make for hilarious takes on everything from Stranger Danger assemblies and moments of Seinfeldian mundanity to the absurdity of our politics right now. “For my money, he’s the funniest person in America,” Seth Meyers recently told The New York Times. “He’s this combination of great writing and great performing you so rarely see.” So go see!

5. Self-care is so important for parents, but do you actually heed the call? Thanks to the Forever35 podcast, now you can tap into a wealth of information and inspiration on this topic. The weekly conversation with wellness gurus and writers Kate Spencer (a former VH1 producer, magazine scribe, and member of Upright Citizen’s Brigade) and Doree Shafrir (a former senior writer for Buzzfeed) covers exercise, nutrition, beauty products, meditation, anxiety and stress, and how it all takes on new meaning as we age. Guests share their self-care routines and other tips on how to age well.

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