The end-credits songs of Girls

Girls is a show I’ve had complicated feelings about over the years (last season almost lost me with Hannah’s Iowa sojourn). But I’ve always been impressed with its ability to wrap each episode up with a fantastic pop song, bleeding from the final scene into the credits. The dramedy set a precedent for this in its third episode “All Adventurous Women Do”: Hannah is grappling with the fact that she has an STD, but she puts on Robyn’s insta-classic “Dancing On My Own” and gleefully dances out the episode with Marnie. The cathartic bit of sweetness makes the show’s prickly themes and bracing characters go down a little smoother. A harsh recent episode where Hannah calls Jessa “the biggest bitch I’ve ever met” (and then some) makes this uncanny ability abundantly clear when the show caps things off with Christine And The Queens’ “IT,” a sauntering electro-jam about self-actualization. From charming oldies (Nancy Sinatra’s “Sugar Town”) to pitch-perfect contemporary tracks (St. Vincent’s “Teenage Talk”), Girls’ music cues allow the episode to cozily linger in your brain. Lena Dunham’s show often makes its viewers wince in discomfort, but at least it has the decency to send them off on a rosier note. For the hell of it, I went ahead and put every episode-ending song on a single playlist. It makes for a pleasant, poppy way to entertain your ears for a couple hours. [Cameron Scheetz]

Cow Tails


The results of any candy poll in which I’ve submitted Goetze’s Cow Tales for consideration have always struck me as null and void, because the candy has never come out the winner, which means the results are obviously corrupted. Cow Tales are the best. A chewy caramel cylinder enclosing a chunky vanilla cream center, Cow Tails are consistently identified by everyone from friends to relatives as “old person candy.” These people are deranged, and I fear for the future of this country, but it also helps to explain why Papa John’s continues to do brisk business—clearly, something terrible has happened to the taste buds of many of our citizens. Nonetheless, I encourage all right-thinking people to hop on board the Cow Tales train. They’re not too sweet, which is a common problem among caramel-flavored candies, and they’re not too sticky, also a frequent difficulty with same. They’re the Goldilocks of candy, just right, and primed to help bring this country back from the brink of good-taste annihilation. [Alex McCown]

Gotham Academy

There’s a glut of Batman content out there, ranging from broad cinematic money grabs (Batman V Superman) to fans-only niches (seemingly any comic at this point). But that’s not the case for Gotham Academy, DC’s fun, breezy title about a boarding school in comics’ most famed city. No prerequisites are necessary to enjoy Gotham Academy; despite a few tie-ins to other Batman-related titles, it more or less functions on its own. A blend between Harry Potter’s setting and Veronica Mars-style sleuthing, series protagonist Olive Silverlock provides the backbone of the series, as the series-long arc follows her slow uncovering of her family’s legacy. That quest is interspersed with mysteries of the week, like a creature lurking in the bowels of the Academy and mysterious students haunting the grounds. Olive and her crew develop close friendships as they Scooby-Doo their way through adventures; none of these characters are more charming than Maps, the young DND enthusiast who sees all her adventures through the prism of a good dungeon crawl. While DC Comics is marketing Gotham Acadamy toward the tween/teen audience, it’s the kind of YA that’s also enjoyable for adults. It’s whimsical without the treacle, exploring coming-of-age themes alongside mystery-solving of both the inner sort and the gargoyle-flying-around-campus kind. DC just published Gotham Academy Vol. 2: Calamity, which collects issues 7 through 12. That amount of content makes it the perfect time to hop into the mystery. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]