Surviving a setback: textbooks, new music, movies and much more about dealing with disappointment | Society

Comedy

There is no shortage of standup that requires the raw product of hapless, disappointing life and turns it into laughter. That is a sizable part of what comedy does. But for significant, massive laughter fashioned from rather critical scenarios of disappointment, search no further more than James Acaster’s profession-finest 2018 display, Chilly Lasagne Dislike Myself 1999. It takes two reduced times in the Kettering man’s lifetime (getting dumped by his girlfriend in favour of, er, Mr Bean and remaining dumped by his agent after an on-air PR gaffe) and – in two several hours of gasp-inducing, gut-bustingly amusing standup – recasts those people disappointments as mere staging posts on the route to comedy glory. Brian Logan


Television

Brace oneself … Unpleasant Betty. Photograph: Andrew Eccles/Disney/Getty

Disappointment hangs around Betty Suarez, the Latina titular character of Unappealing Betty, like a sword of Damocles, waiting around for the moment to eventually tear her aside. The series commences with her disenchanted: her occupation as an assistant at Mode magazine is unglamorous, and her colleagues are visibly displeased at getting pressured to accommodate her poncho, braces and sanguine self-assurance – attributes that are “unchic” in the entire world of mid-2000s substantial fashion. It will make for ironic viewing now: transplant Betty into the 2020s and you can picture her with a viral Instagram account targeted on thrifting and sustainability Mode’s cruel receptionist Amanda, the obvious embodiment of the 00s “it girl”, would be remaining behind in her wake. Jason Okundaye


Songs

No surprises … it’s Radiohead.
No surprises … it is Radiohead. Photograph: Roger Sargent/Shutterstock

Extremely several bands change sadness into magnificence quite like Radiohead. Though Thom Yorke’s writing often revolves spherical menacing, downtrodden critiques of consumerist culture, the chorus of Kid A’s Optimistic helps make use of one uplifting mantra: “You try the finest you can / You attempt the greatest you can / The best you can is fantastic enough”. At times of self-question, my lover frequently recites this chorus to me, quickly accepting its indicating independently from the song. It’s a basic phrasing, but a welcome reminder even so that in everyday living and lyricism, we have to discover from our failures. Jenessa Williams


Guides

My Brother is a Superhero

Eleven-yr-previous Luke Parker’s knowledge of comics is encyclopedic. Costumes, symbols, talents, origins – he’s a superhero savant. This can make it continue to a lot more galling that even though he nips off for a wee, his maths-obsessed more mature brother Zack is provided superpowers by a viewing alien. Luke’s jealous disappointment, coupled with his dedication to mentor Zack (or at least get him donning a cape), styles David Solomons’s hilarious novel My Brother Is a Superhero, whole of fraying fraternal bonds and a mission to help save not a person, but two worlds that will require all Luke’s knowhow – as perfectly as Zack’s powers – to succeed. Imogen Russell Williams


Film

Lady vengeance … Olivia De Havilland and Montgomery Clift in The Heiress.
Woman vengeance … Olivia De Havilland and Montgomery Clift in The Heiress. Photograph: Paramount Images/Allstar

In the 1949 film The Heiress, Catherine (Olivia de Havilland), a rich but dowdy disappointment to her autocratic father, falls tough for Morris (Montgomery Clift), who in flip disappoints her. William Wyler’s gripping melodrama is a dazzling depiction of disillusion, giving De Havilland with an amazing, Oscar-successful job, in which she adjusts the wick on her all-natural luminosity like it’s a gasoline lamp that can bathe the space in brightness or make shadows leap large across the wall. The sorrow of the underestimated, unloved soul pervades the movie but Catherine’s ultimate act of vengeful disdain will make it also the cruellest achievements story, as a wilting wallflower comes to know her intrinsic self-well worth as hardly ever prior to. Jessica Kiang