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04.01.11

The Yes List: An Addictive New Drama with Shades of Twin Peaks

Each week, The Daily Beast sifts through the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, the hunt is on for Rosie Larsen’s killer, ex-porn star Sasha Grey gets into the book business, and everyone jumps aboard the crime noir bus.

No Mad Men? No Problem

AMC’s critical darling may be postponed until early 2012 (shock! gasp! horror!) but there’s no need to ditch the cable channel altogether. One promising (though less fashion-savvy) offering is The Killing, an addictive murder mystery in which everyone’s a suspect. Premiering on Sunday, the immersive drama—based on the insanely successful Danish series Forbrydelsen—boasts a winning ensemble and serpentine plot twists not unlike the groundbreaking Twin Peaks. The gist: The murder of a seemingly perfect girl kicks off a search in the gloomy Pacific Northwest for the killer. Mom, dad, classmates, local politicians—they’re all under suspicion. Jace Lacob talks to the show’s creative team about the touchy subject and the challenges of building an immersive show from the ground up.


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Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Sasha Grey’s Naked Truth

Sasha Grey has long been one of the most enigmatic figures in porn. The adult-film actress has been pushing industry boundaries since her debut performance mere months after turning 18. She gained mainstream recognition for her high-class call girl role in Steven Soderbergh’s experimental 2009 film, The Girlfriend Experience. For three years, Grey documented her journey from no-holds-barred porn ingénue to Hollywood actress through photography, and the end result is Neü Sex, a 192-page monograph hitting shelves this week. The raunchiest—and most bracingly intelligent—name in porn chatted with Marlow Stern about losing her virginity, Charlie Sheen, and America’s problem with sex.


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Andrew Schwartz / HBO

Mildred Pierce’s Magical Mystery Tour

Todd Haynes’ deluxe adaptation of Mildred Pierce, currently running on HBO, is a James M. Cain loyalist’s dream. It offers more than six hours of vintage Cain—lust, greed, betrayal, and cake-baking. (Mildred Pierce must be the only hard-boiled noir ever written about opening a pie restaurant.) But if this marathon of melodrama isn’t enough, Cain obsessives can also book a seat on the “Birth of Noir” express, aka James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare Bus Tour. Sean Macaulay joined hipsters, tourists, and academic types on a ride to Skid Row and the apartment building and train station used in Double Indemnity—and lived to tell the tale.