Every week, I post what I have been listening to, watching and reading lately.
This is a slow time for new music, so I’ve been spending most of my time listening to podcasts.
In “Don’t Get Me Started,” Anthony King and Will Hines interview one talented person (mostly LA-based comedians and writers), not about what they do, but about what they love. I’ve listened to two so far, “Eurovision,” which I enjoyed but I kept wishing Amber Petty would talk about how much everyone hates England, and “Thrifting,” (let’s be honest… my favorite hobby) with You’re the Worst writer Alison Bennett, which made me want to move to LA EVEN MORE THAN I ALREADY DO. I cannot wait to listen to more of these!
I love Grantland, Bill Simmons and Channel 33, but the Oscar episode of the Bill Simmons podcast made me so angry. Had I not been at the gym, I would have ripped my arm band off and thrown my iPhone across the room. When discussing the movies nominated for Best Picture, both Bill and Wesley Morris called Room and Brooklyn “Lifetime movies” and complained that Room was from the child’s point of view (essentially making the movie less torture porn and more psychological). Now, I think both men are smart and care about feminism, but the language they chose was disparaging to women–I haven’t seen Room, but Brooklyn is my favorite nominee and I love how simple and beautiful it is, and how it tackles identity and home and immigration. I know these are not as sexy as the BIG IMPORTANT themes covered in The Revenant (THEIR favorite Oscar movie), but it doesn’t mean the movie should be airing on the same channel as the later seasons of Project Runway. I think I need a break from Bill for a while.
When I’m not listening to podcasts, there are two records from 2015 that I sadly overlooked last year.
Ashley Monroe’s The Blade is more Swift-ian than Like a Rose, but I like her version so much better than Tay-Tay’s.
I am so ashamed I never even gave Kacey Musgraves’ newest record a chance. It is lovely and feminist and funny and smart.
I will write about what I’ve been binging for the past two months, but before that, we need to talk about The Bachelor. I 100% started watching this so I could listen to Channel 33’s Bachelor Party podcast (I did watch the first few seasons many years ago). All the shit UnREAL makes fun of–it’s all true. But the women are completely aware of what they are there for–to get naked in the pool on Bachelor in Paradise and shill shit on Snapchat. I tend to mute the segments when the girls have one-on-one time with Ben, as it makes me really uncomfortable, but the obvious producer interference, the talking heads and the interactions between the women are fascinating.
I was so excited to watch Darby Forever, the new web project with Aidy Bryant and Retta (!!!), which is out next month, that I immediately pre-ordered it.
A rundown of (mostly) everything I’ve seen in the past two months with brief reviews:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Dare I say, this was the most enjoyable all of all the SW movies! I love JJ’s commitment to telling a story from diverse perspectives, and his casting was spot-on, as usual.
Carol: The costumes and music made me feel fuzzy inside. Plus it’s just a beautiful love story.
Brooklyn: I’m fully on the Brooklyn-for-Oscar train, because there are no other nominated movies that speak to me in the same way. I loved the scenes at the boarding house in particular, and what they said about women in the 1950s.
Love and Mercy: Paul Dano is amazing and so are the scenes of the Pet Sounds recording. The rest? Meh.
The End of the Tour: I bawled the entire time. Jason Segel captured so much about David Foster Wallace besides his mannerisms… like his spirit. I wish he received more awards attention–he’s breathtaking, and the whole movie is actually wonderful. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The Big Short and Spotlight: TBS is too much like The Social Network (which I ADORE) to win the Oscar, while Spotlight feels a little… too solid.
Best of Enemies: Short-listed for the Best Documentary Oscar (not nominated), this is a fascinating story about the debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during the 1968 conventions. VERY funny and also relevant to today.
Trainwreck: I think we all can agree this was too long, but what I loved most about it was that there was a lot space in the comedy. Previous Apatow movies have quicker editing, but Amy Schumer’s style of comedy just lets everything breathe.
Mozart in the Jungle: I’m so glad Katie made me watch this. Way better than the title would have you believe.
NARCOS: I maybe watched two or three of these and will probably not watch it again unless there is nothing else on TV ever.
The Mindy Project: I thought the storyline with Mindy and Danny was very realistic and well-done. I also appreciated an increased role for Tamra.
Casual: The ending was kind of dark, but up until then, Casual deftly explored dating after 35, open relationships, and the (sometimes) fucked-up relationships with have with our family.
Transparent: At some point, I decided I couldn’t take any more of these horrible people (Josh is THE FUCKING WORST) and quit. Like, why are they so awful and what does it have to do with Maura? This is the one question I want answered and the show has NO INTEREST in sharing it. Judith Light is fabulous, though.
Most of the blog posts I’ve saved are recipes, but here’s a few non-recipes I loved.
Stop Squashing Everyone Else’s New Year’s Resolutions. Hommemaker. I am SO TIRED of everyone being a downer about resolutions. I have constant resolutions–I believe in setting goals and lots of reflection, because that’s how you learn from your actions–so I like to encourage people to do the same, no matter what time of year it is. I just think people get pissy about all the extra people at the gym. Go at 5:30am, there is no one there. TRUST.
How the Mast Brothers fooled the world into paying $10 a bar for crappy hipster chocolate. Quartz. I love fancy chocolate but I’m happy that I’m too cheap to pay that much for chocolate based on packaging.
Sadly, all this TV and movie-watching has not left much time for reading, but I do plan to start the Leah Remini memoir about Scientology this weekend. We’re going to get buried in a snowstorm and after a day or so I will probably be too depressed to leave my bed, so books will be perfect.
What pop culture have you been getting into this week?