From Netflix’s latest comedy special to Sherlock's triumphant return, here's the refined man's guide to the week in culture. —By Keenan Mayo
1The Best New Read
Mind Over Money: The Psychology of Money and How to Use It Better (Harper Perennial, $15.99) by Claudia Hammond
It’s no secret that human beings are hard-wired to make terrible decisions with money. Countless studies reveal that we’re constantly taking on crippling debt, dumping our savings in all the wrong places, and duping ourselves into believing that “100 cents” is actually worth more than “$1.” But as helpful as it is to have our neurobiological flaws laid bare—for more on that, don’t miss Michael Lewis’s terrific new book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, about the work of super-economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky—it’s also great to have a handy path forward. That’s why we recommend author Claudia Hammond’s Mind Over Money: The Psychology of Money and How to Use It Better. Unlike similar works that tackle the always fascinating subject of human error, Hammond, a reporter for the BBC, sets forth some solid, self-help-style strategies for protecting your savings from your worst instincts.
2The Best Binge
Yes, everyone’s favorite British show about everyone’s favorite British detective starring everyone’s favorite British leading man is officially back. Sure, critics haven’t held their tongues criticizing the latest season—and yes, the plots are getting even less believable, as Benedict Cumberbatch’s eponymous sleuth is getting even more over-the-top in his puzzle-solving methods (see: casual heroin addiction)—but it’s still the most addictive and satisfying bro-mance on TV. Next weekend's finale is titled “The Final Problem.” As Sherlock fanboys know all too well, that’s the same title of the original Conan Doyle short story in which the world’s most famous detective meets his demise alongside his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. If you need to catch up, stream the show free on the PBS app.
3The Best New Comedy Special
Jim Gaffigan: Cinco
Streaming available 1/10
When he’s not filming TV shows, eating terrible food, and raising five kids in a tiny apartment in New York’s East Village, you can bet that Jim Gaffigan is cracking hilarious jokes about filming TV shows, eating terrible food, and raising five kids in a tiny apartment in New York’s East Village. This week, the first of his new standup comedy specials hits Netflix, and judging by the teasers, you can expect his refreshing humble-guy schtick to hit right at home.
4The Best New Movie
Nationwide Release January 13
Finally opening nationwide this weekend, director Peter Berg’s hyperkinetic, on-the-ground “docudrama” of the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—and the ensuing police manhunt—is everything you’d expect from Hollywood’s bard of macho: stone-faced heroes, unbridled patriotism, amazing action, taut filmmaking, and, of course, Mark Wahlberg. Many critics are praising it as Berg's best work to date.