Your Best April
BYT at large | Mar 31, 2017 | 9:00AM |

Spring has sprung! The cherry blossoms don’t look too bad and neither does April. Here are the reasons the next 30 days will be good.

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Make Trouble by John Waters available April 11

John Waters gave a speech to the graduating class of 2015 at the Rhode Island School of Design that, of course, “went viral,” thanks to its plainspoken words of advice on life as a creative person. The text of that speech has been collected in a new book just in time for graduation season 2017, entitled Make Trouble. -Matt Byrne

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire available April 18

Jeff Lemire’s a hugely talented graphic novelist and writer whose work has been compared to that of both Raymond Carver and Steven King. His new graphic novel, Roughneck, follows a brother and sister who attempt to re-connect after years of silence by hiding out at a hunting camp in the woods. The artwork that I’ve seen thus far has been fantastic, I’m stoked for this one. -Matt Byrne

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Colossal in theaters April 7

Colossal stars Anne Hathaway as a hard-partying lady who hits a rough patch in her life and soon after discovers that she has some sort of psychic bond with a Kaiju-style monster attacking cities on the other side of the world. And apparently, based on a handful of early reviews, the movie gets even weirder from there. I’m in! -Matt Byrne

Film and Talk: A Legacy of Mies and King: Modernizing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library @ National Building Museum April 13

As you may (hopefully) know, Washington DC’s central library, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library closed in March for a 3-year renovation project. If you didn’t know that, or if you’re not sure why the library is a big deal, you might want to check out a free event at the National Building Museum on April 13 that features a screening of Modernizing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, a documentary about the legacy of the library and Francine Houben, the woman chosen to lead its renovation. -Trisha Brown

Sandy Wexler on Netflix April 14

Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix exclusive, Sandy Wexler, looks bad in a different way from the way his movies usually look bad, which is novelty enough to make me morbidly curious about this one. Sandler plays a legendary, lumpy talent agent in the 1990s who falls in love with one of his clients, played by Jennifer Hudson. He’s doing a funny voice, is dressed goofy, and managed to rope in cameos from a bunch of famous people. I dunno, dude. -Matt Byrne

Born in China in theaters April 21

The latest offering of Disneynature docs, Born In China, is a survey of the rich and varied wildlife in China. These annual Earth Day releases aren’t the most hard-hitting or revelatory, but man, sometimes it’s just nice to watch footage of wild animals on the big screen, you know? -Matt Byrne

Woods Love Is Love available April 21

The psych folkies in Woods have never made a bad album, so why would they start now? Love Is Love was written and recorded in the weeks following the election and word is that it’s a very thoughtful and meditative collection of tracks. Big fan of these guys, as well as thought and meditating, so I’m in! -Matt Byrne

The New Year Snow available April 28

It’s been nine years The New Year released their last album, so you can imagine my delight when they announced a new full length is coming out this month! These pioneers of sleepy, guitar driven indie rock have been crafting perfect albums for more than two decades (the band features the songwriting duo Bubba and Matt Kadane, who formed The New Year following the dissolution of their old project, Bedhead), and I can’t wait to check out the perfectly-titled Snow after such a long wait. -Matt Byrne


Meow Madness on Hallmark Channel April 3

The Kitten Bowl is the Hallmark Channel’s delayed-response knockoff to the Puppy Bowl, which airs on Animal Planet on the same day as the Super Bowl. Meow Madness is a spinoff of The Kitten Bowl, paying tribute to NCAA Basketball’s March Madness (though this airs in April). For fans of: cats, kittens, kitties. -Matt Byrne

Prison Break miniseries premieres on Fox April 4

I genuinely worry that the glut of high-quality TV in the 21st century is keeping people from revisiting the glorious spectacle that was Prison Break. For those who were only 11 years old when the show premiered in 2005, the central premise was simple: in order to free his brother from death row, Michael Scofield tattooed the prison blueprint onto his body and then got arrested so he could break them both out from the inside. The show eventually went off the rails, but season one’s brand of completely nuts was suspenseful and fun as hell. Considering the new miniseries requires that Michael returns from the dead, I’m hopeful it will live up to its own legacy. -Trisha Brown

Talk Show the Game Show premieres on truTV April 5

Guy Branum is incredibly funny and I’ve got high hopes for his new series, Talk Show the Game Show, which is exactly like what it sounds like: an escalation of the gamification of late night chat shows to its most logical conclusion. Thankfully this series seems self-aware and generally a less @midnight-y @midnight, which is great news. -Matt Byrne

Better Call Saul returns to AMC April 10

Better Call Saul’s first two seasons were better than most of the show it spun off from, so let’s hope that trend continues! Word is we get to actually see the origins of Saul Goodman, the persona we first met in Breaking Bad, this season, so that’s something! But really I could watch this slow moving character drama for eight more seasons without any tangible plot development if it’s as good as those first two seasons. -Matt Byrne

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The Leftovers returns to HBO April 16

The Leftovers is my favorite television show and it’s coming to an end this Spring. It’s melodramatic, ridiculous, intense, and occasionally surreal and funny. Last season’s closing episodes really leaned into the post-apocalyptic David Lynch vibes which I loved, so here’s hoping there’s more of that to come! -Matt Byrne

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A Handmaid’s Tale premieres on Hulu April 26

For probably totally coincidental reasons having nothing to do with current events, Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which features a totalitarian government that subjugates women, has shot up bestseller lists in recent months. The Hulu adaptation of the story has been in the works for about a year, so the Trump presidency doesn’t seem to have directly inspired the miniseries. That said, the current state of political affairs will almost certainly be credited with a surge in Hulu subscriptions within the next few weeks. -Trisha Brown

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Casting JonBenet premieres on Netflix April 28

Netflix is jumping head first into the meta documentary and I am all about it. We’ve seen great examples of this kind of filmmaking with The Nightmare and Kate Plays Christine (which, to be clear, I haven’t seen yet but I’ve heard it’s great and I want to see it so so bad), so I’m not surprised that Netflix has been inspired by these weird and poignant indie docs. The Amanda Knox documentary is a great example of what Netflix is capable of doing when it comes to true crime, and watching them blend the lines of fact and fiction like this is incredibly intriguing and truly spooky. Netflix is truly knocking it out of the ballpark in all kinds of different ways (and they have been for years now) so I have no reason to believe they’re going to drop the ball on this one. -Kaylee Dugan