week month, I post what I have been listening to, watching and reading lately.
You Must Remember This
After seeing Hail, Caesar! (a lesser Coen Brothers film, and I will probably forget it in a month), I wanted to hear more old Hollywood stories. Conveniently enough, there is a podcast that explores topics ranging from Charles Manson’s Hollywood to tales from MGM. I started the Blacklist series the other day on the treadmill, and because there are so many episodes–each of which go into great detail–a lot of the information is new, even to a nerd like me.
Due to last week’s Off Your Radar, I’ve been listening to one of my favorite bands from college, Cave In.
This is not new, though, and I’m not listening to much of anything I haven’t posted about on here already. I think de-activating my pro Spotify account (the site is blocked at work) has really affected my ability to find any new music. Well, that and having a job I actually like where I spend eight hours a day working. So it’s been a hell of a lot of Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe and OYR-related stuff because it’s easy right now.
I was sick on President’s Day (womp womp; it snowed anyway) and I was looking for a romantic comedy to zone out to, and after scrolling through my neverending Netflix queue, I ended up on this great little Sanaa Lathan film. She plays Kenya, a serious banker with a love of beige and a group of fantastic girlfriends (one of whom is Taraji P. Henson!) who hires an architect (Simon Baker, forever The Mentalist to my mom) to design her sad backyard. Unfortunately for Simon, Sanaa is looking to find the perfect black man to marry, not a sexy one with a dog who loves bright colors and the outdoors, who happens to be white. Something New examines race in a really intelligent way for a rom com. While it was released almost ten years ago, the movie feels fresh and relevant.
I will absolutely watch anything with Greta Gerwig, but in Mistress America, which she co-wrote, she plays Brooke, an almost unlikeable and barely tolerable woman. When she was first introduced, the movie almost lost me. Brooke has a cutesy way of saying things and seems just slightly out of touch, plus I was convinced she was a pathological liar. But she’s not, and once she and her future step sister Tracy (Lola Kirke) go on a road trip with Tracy’s male friend and his hilariously jealous girlfriend, the movie becomes a delightful Shakespearean farce.
Katie and I have had a lot of conversations recently about the lack of real diversity in Judd Apatow productions. Unfortunately, Love is no different, but it IS very enjoyable. A few months ago I watched Los Angeles Plays Itself, a documentary about Los Angeles in the movies, and so now I really pay attention to the way the city is filmed. Love occupies a similar space as You’re The Worst, by showing the city as a series of far-flung neighborhoods, and that’s the show Love reminds me of the most, though no one lives in as nice of a house as Jimmy. The reviews have made a big deal that it takes half the first season to get the main characters to kiss, but I like that we get to see them bumbling a little in relationships and just as people, so we understand how their humor and personalities mesh well. Gillian Jacobs is a welcome sight, and it’s nice to see a character on TV cuss as much as I do.
For book club, I am reading Oreo by Fran Ross, which is a very funny satire written in the 70s about a girl whose mother is black but whose father is Jewish. I am a huge fan of satire, but the problem is that it has to be very contemporary for me to find it funny. This book is over 40 years old and so much of the racially-based satire is still relevant and hilarious today, which is an incredible feat. Out of print for several years, Oreo has wound up in this year’s Tournament of Books, which I hope gets more people to discover it, it’s really a gem of a book. Plus the cover is freaking beautiful.
Other things I have enjoyed reading this month:
Anohni: Why I am Not Attending the Academy Awards, Pitchfork. Just beautifully written.
Kuties for Kasich, Gawker. Honestly, the funniest thing I’ve read all year. A+.
The Testosterone Takeover of Southern Food Writing, The Bitter Southerner.
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens, The New Republic.
Marcia Clark is Redeemed, New York Magazine. I wanted to write about The People vs. OJ Simpson (a show I like very much) and the arc it gives great feminist Marcia Clark (and sure-to-beat-Kiki-at-the-Emmys Sarah Paulson), but this is so much better.
What pop culture have you been getting into this