Last weekend I watched the usually outrageous Sacha Baron Cohen play it straight in Netflix's new drama series, The Spy.

Inspired by the real-life story of former Mossad agent, Eli Cohen, who successfully went undercover in Syria in the early 1960s, The Spy is an easy-to-digest tale of political intrigue and espionage.

Cohen adopts the persona of a multimillionaire businessman who ingratiates himself with ambitious military leaders and their rich friends, earning an unprecedented level of trust regarding Syria's biggest anti-Israel secret initiatives.


At six episodes, The Spy cuts a similar jig to last year's BBC drama The Little Drummer Girl and, having seen Baron Cohen go "undercover" playing the likes of Borat, Ali G - and a former Israeli soldier in Who Is America – it's interesting seeing him take a serious turn.


Elizabeth Short became known as the Black Dahlia after her grisy unsolved murder in Los Angeles in 1947. Photo / Supplied.
Elizabeth Short became known as the Black Dahlia after her grisy unsolved murder in Los Angeles in 1947. Photo / Supplied.

If you enjoyed the suspense drama I Am the Night earlier this year, you may or may not know an accompanying podcast was released at the same time.

Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia delves into the true events that inspired the series and made family patriarch George Hodel a major suspect in Elizabeth Short's unsolved murder in 1947.

Granddaughter Fauna Hodel is the focus of the television series and the podcast is co-hosted by her daughters, Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile, who explore their family's dark past to tell a story that was 70 years in the making.


Over the last fortnight my playlist has been dominated by an often-forgotten independent hip-hop album from 2005 – Edan's Beauty and the Beat.

Pasting together a collage of psychedelic samples from the likes of Pink Floyd and Brian Wilson over hip-hop beats and razor-sharp rhymes, the raw production of the Boston native-turned-England-based rapper's second studio record has blown my mind all over again.

At just over half an hour, Beauty and the Beat's 13 tracks run together seamlessly but I keep skipping to both Funky Voltron and the wonderfully haphazard Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme. So Good!



If you're a David Lynch fan, get along to the Hollywood Avondale cinema this evening for a screening of the brilliantly bizarre Lost Highway.

The 1997 mystery-thriller sees Bill Pullman play a jazz saxophonist framed and convicted for the murder of his wife, played by Patricia Arquette, after which he inexplicably disappears and is replaced by a young mechanic (Balthazar Getty) leading a different life.

The Trent Reznor-produced soundtrack includes an original score by Angelo Badalamenti and Barry Adamson, with contributions from the likes of David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

The film starts at 8pm but get there early for the retro trailers and cartoons. Tickets are $15.