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Top Picks: Lucy Dacus' 'No Burden,' PBS's 'Democrats/Soft Vengeance,' and more

Michael Pollan's four-part documentary on Netflix masterly narration reveals the crossroads where science, cooking, and dinner parties meet, Fathom Events' 'Renoir: Revered and Reviled' explores Pierre-Auguste Renoir's life and influence over artistic movements, and more top picks.

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Burden of joy

It’s a great pleasure to discover someone who seems to have arrived fully formed with a stack of great songs to share. Lucy Dacus is such an artist. No Burden, her engaging debut, is honest, confessional, and a little sad – but never dull. Her husky alto had us at “I don’t wanna be funny anymore./ I got a too short skirt, maybe I can be the cute one./ Is there room in the band? I don’t need to be the frontman./ If not, then I’ll be the biggest fan.” Get on board. Dacus is going places.

Irish anniversary

On the anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland, SundanceTV is debuting the TV series Rebellion. The show takes place during the 1916 rebellion there, and through fictional characters, the creators explore why various revolutionaries took up the cause and how it affected everyone in Ireland’s society. “Rebellion” premières on April 24 at 8 p.m. Viewers should be aware that it includes adult language.

Peek at political process

Airing as part of the PBS “Independent Lens” program, the film Democrats/Soft Vengeance portrays the efforts of two political representatives in Zimbabwe, Douglas Mwonzora and Paul Mangwana, to craft a constitution for the country following their two parties becoming a coalition government in 2009. The film airs on April 18 at 10 p.m. 

Where science and cooking meet

Food journalist Michael Pollan has turned his 2013 book Cooked into a four-part documentary on Netflix. The one-hour episodes tackle the essentials of cooking by exploring cultural histories and profiling a range of skilled artisans from barbecue pit masters to bakers. Pollan’s masterly narration not only elucidates the crossroads where science, cooking, and dinner parties meet, it reveals a fascinating underworld of microbes and bacteria busy at work in the foods that we cook and eat.

Art at the movies

Go see renowned art at a movie theater with Fathom Events’ Renoir: Revered and Reviled, which will be at select theaters on April 21. The film showcases the artist’s work and also explores his life, including how he influenced the Impressionist movement and then went against it. Check www.fathomevents.com to see if it’s playing near you.

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