1 Turns out, not all British TV shows are costume dramas about nobility crises of yesteryear. In "Humans," coproduced by AMC, it's comely lifelike robots of the near future who are upsetting the social order. Anita (Gemma Chan, above) is a hot housekeeper bot whose presence wreaks emotional havoc on a hapless suburban family. All is not as it seems in the "synth" community: Fugitive bots are beginning to display emotion, and a feminist synth is going all vigilante against bad guys. In a sadly comedic subplot, William Hurt plays a wry pensioner who grows too attached to his obsolete caregiver Odi (which reminds us of retiring a beloved smartphone). The theme has been explored a million times in sci-fi: What does it mean to be human? But face it, we'll be grappling with these issues in our lifetimes, and "Humans" does it with plausible immediacy. Episode 8, the season finale, is tonight on AMC.
2 Suddenly fried chicken is everywhere in the dining scene, and nobody does it better than the new Kingfield spot Revival (4257 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.). Taking his cues from Nashville hot chicken shacks, chef Thomas Boemer liberally brushes just-out-of-the-fryer chicken with a spice blend that's heavy on the cayenne and paprika, the slow-burn heat penetrating down to the bone. Revival is a no-reservations zone, and the line can stretch into 90-plus minutes. But that fried chicken is spectacular.
3 Chicago's Eleventh Dream Day is one of the great overlooked guitar bands, despite a string of ferocious '80s/'90s albums (including three on Atlantic). Leave it to them to produce a 30th-anniversary record, "Works for Tomorrow," that feels just as vital. Drummer/singer Janet Beveridge Bean sounds unhinged on the Spoon-like opener "Vanishing Point," before frontman Rick Rizzo leads the group through Southern blues-rock, hard psychedelia, post-punk and Neil Young-style guitar workouts. "Works" was recommended by Chicago neighbors Wilco, and Tweedy's Jim Elkington signs on to help restore EDD's classic two-guitar attack.
4 Dramatizing the story of influential gangsta rap group N.W.A. — which included legends Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube — "Straight Outta Compton" is a sprawling, pulsating, nonstop feat of filmmaking. Played with steely-eyed focus by Corey Hawkins, young Dre wants to perform music that mirrors his brutal everyday experience, and the film follows the young men to the heights of hedonistic rap stardom. The power and impact of this movie rests in its scenes of resistance, with violent street imagery that looks like something out of Fallujah — or Ferguson, for that matter.
5 Before you see the new Coen brothers movie "Bridge of Spies," read the book that inspired it. "Strangers on a Bridge," the 1964 bestseller, tells a fascinating true story of Cold War espionage. When an American spy plane is shot down over Russia in 1962, its pilot, CIA agent Gary Powers, is taken captive. Navy commander James B. Donovan is dispatched to arrange Powers' release — by trading him on a remote German bridge for Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet agent. The enthralling inside account is now in paperback.