So this week has been pretty chaotic. We move out of our office in 2 weeks and I’ve been helping coordinate that and with the other departments on my floor leaving at the same time (our building is being renovated) it’s a mishmash of meetings, packing, chatting with coworkers about how weird it is to have our departments separated for the next year. Anyhoo, because of all this, I haven’t been that diligent about updating this post. There’s just been so much going on. However, there are some good things here for you to occupy some brain space with.
At the heart of these shows is a radical humanity — selling very convincingly the idea that while we might all die alone, the key to getting through life lies in the collective. That we must seek help, and we must band together, and keep those bonds strong, even when faced with difficult conditions.
I normally do not care about sports. I don’t pay much attention to sports and I generally find their dominance in the trending topics on Twitter to be very annoying. That being said, this was a welcome sports-related thing that I came across on Twitter and I believe everyone should take a couple minutes out to read it. Especially my white readers. It’s a wonderful piece of writing.
This came across my twitter (or was it a facebook group? I don’t remember) and it’s just as good when I read it the first time. I miss The Toast SO MUCH and I wish it would come back.
You know what would’ve been an amazing block of TV? Parks & Rec, The Good Place, Brooklyn 99, and Schitt’s Creek. All my favourite feel-good comedies together. But perhaps we’d have never gotten The Good Place without Parks & Rec first. Like, could you imagine Joan Callamezzo interviewing Moira Schitt? I’m dying at the thought. It doesn’t feel like it’s been 10 years since the show debuted, but it has and EW has a fun slideshow about the wacky minor characters that I’ve had open all week and only just read this morning.
On the Shelf
I’m about halfway through Roar and I’m not exactly enjoying it. The first story was good, but the rest have been… less than good? Especially the last story I just finished. I am not enjoying this, but maybe I’m just not the kind of person who enjoys short stories? Idk.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. For the next couple of weeks I may not be doing What I Read posts, so I’ll figure out something else to fill your hearts during that time. Until then.
Where did March even go? This has been a bit half-assed because of time constraints, but idk, read this when you’re bored at work? This edition is a wee bit late; I wanted to wait out the weekend because I went to an excellent art show and I wanted to share pictures. Unfortunately, the Starbucks I had right before that made the rest of the night not great, but I did eat a very tasty cake and the art was great, so all was not lost.
Luke Perry died and it’s weird and sad.
Aunt Becky being the Beckiest Becky to ever Beck might be the greatest news story of the entire month and a lot of shit went down this month. But it is just extremely satisfying schadenfreude.
And James Gunn is back for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Spoiler Alert: In this one they shoot Peter Quill into the sun.
And shout out to Dr. Jen Gunter who is currently my favourite thing about Twitter (closely followed by the return of Nicole Cliffe). She should get a Nobel Peace Prize just for dealing with the vagina mansplainer alone.
I watched Velvet Buzzsaw and it was… not terrible. It was actually kind of good? I think? I can’t remember exactly, it was a month ago, but I did not hate it. It is, however, absolutely ridiculous and bonkers.
My favourite gay babies are back for season 3 and I’ve realized I cannot watch Queer Eye and Schitt’s Creek on the same day because I will cry myself into dehydration. NOW GIMMIE THOSE EPISODES YOU FILMED IN JAPAN!
Drag Race Season 10 is finally on Netflix so I’m slowly making my way through it. I need more time to watch TV. I’m very behind.
Because I pay for HBO (what I do for Game of Thrones) I now get Crave (a Canadian streaming service), so instead of watching all the movies I have on my to-watch list that are on Crave, I’ve been binging Frasier in the background while I do laundry and put on eyeliner.
To celebrate International Women’s Month, I went to see Better Than This: Evolution of Women in Musicals at the Havana Theatre and it was great! The four performers were delightful and did not disappoint in the singing department. One of them was basically a Disney princess out of costume. It is ridiculous how good her voice is. It’s hard to go wrong with songs from famous musicals paired with history of musical theatre, but the night was excellently capped off with an impromptu sing-a-long with another group who were at the back of the restaurant while we ate dulce de leche.
I went to Sticky: A Post-It Note Art Show on Saturday, which was awesome and inspiring. It’s easy to forget how many talented artists work and live in Vancouver because the art scene isn’t always overt, and I really appreciate having such an accessible and fun reminder that we do have quite a thriving art scene. Bonus: I got free Post-Its!
I went to my first pub quiz this month and it was Sex & the City themed. I probably should’ve studied up, but our team did not do too bad (fourth place!) and perhaps I will stop talking about restarting the SATC rewatch and actually do it.
The finale of The Passage was fantastic and I really hope it gets a new season just to fill in the blanks, because HOLY COW THE FINALE. This was a great show to reignite vampires in the pop culture realm after all that Twilight nonsense and I do not think it was as appreciated as it should have been. Also, I could use another season of watching MPG be a hot dad.
MEGAN AMRAM WROTE AN EPISODE OF THE SIMPSONS AND IT WAS GREAT LET HER WRITE MORE.
Sandra Oh was on SNL looking amazing as usual. The skits were meh, but it doesn’t matter because I’d watch Sandra on anything doing anything.
Canada is finally getting Adult Swim as a channel (as opposed to the Cartoon Network) so maybe now my friends will stop pressuring me to watch Rick & Morty? Although I don’t give a fuck about Rick & Morty and I’m just gonna use it to watch Bob’s Burgers (thanks Netflix) and King of the Hill.
I downloaded Over My Dead Body, but I haven’t listened to it yet. A co-worker told me it wasn’t great and I have so many podcasts I listen to that it doesn’t seem like I should waste my time. Do you like it? Should I bother?
Binge Mode is doing a ramp up in preparation for THE LAST SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES.
I also went back through Binge Mode episodes I’d skipped over and listened to their deep-dive of The Good Place, which just made me miss The Good Place.
The Cut on Tuesdays has a “How I Get It Done” series and it is very good.
Show Your Work has had a great string of episodes in March and I recommend listening to them all.
The High Low did an interview with Fatima Bhutto that I recommend. It was uploaded a few days before the Christchurch shootings but I didn’t listen to it until a couple days after that and it was a lot, but worth it.
I started listening to Unrelatable, but I’ve only done one episode so far so I will refrain from judgement.
I listen to Nicole Byer’s Why Won’t You Date Me? which led me to listen to not only her episode, but also the episodes featuring John Mulaney and Aparna Nancherla of the Good One podcast.
Have I recommended Lainey’s other podcast, What’s Your Drama? yet? Go listen, it’s so good!
At the Movie Theatre
I saw and loved Captain Marvel and now that we are SO CLOSE to Avengers: End Game, I just want to devour all the CM thought pieces so I’m distracted from the thought that my precious bb Steve might die. As of this writing, the movie has broken one billion dollars, so take that angry dudes. Also, one of the best things to come out of Captain Marvel?The CM/Valkyrie shipping.
I finished The Witch Elm, which ended half expectedly and half not. It was very good, but I am ready to read something that is not from the POV of a white dude (even if it is important to the story).
I got my first book from years and years of entering the Goodreads giveaways and it’s an ARC of Cecelia Ahern’s new collection of short stories called Roar. So far, so good, even if the metaphors are kind of hitting you over the head with it’s obviousness. It works in a short story format.
Anyway, that’s it for this edition of the Pop Culture Brief. At least my bujo has no other notes so if I missed writing something down in it, I missed writing about it here and have forgotten it completely. What to look forward to? Obviously only Avengers: End Game, season 2 of Killing Eve, and the last season of Game of Thrones because nothing else is happening in April. Until then!
Honestly, this week. It’s FINALLY spring and the weather has been beautiful and I want to be out there enjoying it as much as I can before the flowers and bees start doing it and cause my allergies to go bezerk. But I haven’t been able to because work has been actual work this week (not particularly enjoyable work, for the first time since September) and I am grumpy and just want to eat spicy chicken strips. But I have a blog post to write about the few things I’ve managed to read in what sliver of free time I’ve had this week.
It’s only March but I’ve spent the majority of 2019 debating whether or not I should be Moira or David (from Schitt’s Creek) for Halloween this year (wardrobe will NOT be a problem). I’m reading this as research in case I decide to be Moira.
I have been dying to watch Shrill since I heard it was becoming a show, but since it’s on HULU and I’m in Canada, I can’t watch it unless a Canadian outlet decides to pick it up (Hello, Crave). Until then I will just have to read about how great it is.
I really want to see this and live a life unencumbered by men.
My favourite, sweet little show is ending, but this week they aired their best episode yet and I just want to curl up in it. Honestly, only Canadians could make a show that leaves me so emotionally fulfilled even if it makes my mascara run from laughing and crying.
So last week was the longest week ever, but it still didn’t allow me enough time to finish my post, so I’m combining two weeks in one. Except here I am at the end of the second longest week ever, again, and Daylight Savings Time has zapped any energy I had, Starbucks’ stock has probably risen because I’m basically mainlining espresso at this point, and even though I’m not particularly busy at work at the moment I still can’t seem to find enough time to read everything. I guess this is what happens when Daylight Savings Time lands in the middle of Mercury Retrograde.
It’s the end of February already and I am so ready for spring, except there is still snow on the ground and I hate it. BUT, the sun is out, I’m no longer leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark, and I’ve finally been able to wear the sunglasses I bought myself for Christmas, so not all bad!
Billy Porter’s tuxedo gown is the single most beautiful thing I’ve seen on the red carpet in years and I am in mourning that no one will ever top this.
[At the first fitting in the gown,] I felt alive. I felt free. And open, and radiant. And beautiful! Which has not always been the case for me. I haven’t always felt so good about myself. It really is astonishing how much of an affect clothes have on your spirit.
Since I was snowed in I had time to watch things while they were still being talked about on Twitter!
Russian Doll: A M A Z I N G. I loved this so much. It’s smart and funny, but still dark and kinda sad. The cast is fantastic and I may never tire of hearing “sweet birthday baby!” Also, this is the first time a show actually made smoking look cool to me, and I think smoking is heinous in real life.
Umbrella Academy: I had no expectations going into this because I wasn’t familiar with the comic books, but Mary J Blige and Ellen Page are in it so I was going to watch it, regardless. Luckily, it was great and that finale? Oof. So glad it got renewed for season 2!
Kidnapped in Plain Sight: Ok. Have you seen this? It’s a mess. Like, the entire situation is so bonkers that I cannot process how absolutely idiotic those parents were. I mean, dude literally fucked that whole family and they just came back asking for more! Even with Berchtold doing HIGHLY SUSPECT GROSS PEDO GROOMING SHIT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. I mean, I can’t even comprehend how this guy pulled his dick out and Jan’s dad was all like “I’m not into penis, but my grown-ass adult male friend, who lies in my daughter’s bed with her, needs to be relieved, and I will do the charitable thing and give him relief!” W H A T?! I just… I cannot.
Dating Around: The mustache guy retweeted my tweet about how I didn’t think he and Lex were cute together and I’m pretty sure he is just trolling twitter for any slight mention of himself. However, can we talk about Gurki and that the human embodiment of male toxicity, Justin? The fucking caucacity of this motherfucker.
Killing Eve: I’ve had this on my DVR for ages and when I finally had the house to myself one evening I figured it was time to finally start this. AND THEN I WATCHED THE WHOLE SERIES IN ONE SITTING. Yes, Killing Eve is so goddamn fabulous that I did not move or pick up my phone (aside from one 20 minute break to do dishes, use the bathroom, and reject my friend’s offer to watch a movie together) for 8 hours. And then when it was over I just wanted to relive the whole thing again. Can we talk about how magical Sandra Oh is? And Jodie Comer? AMAZING. I haven’t loved a show this much since Hannibal and I am ECSTATIC that it is returning for season 2 in April.
A Million Little Things: I gave up on This Is Us because it got tiresome and manipulative in their techniques to get the audience to shed tears (also, it never made me cry), and then I started A Million Little Things, and while it’s kind of in the same vein–a drama high in tragic and emotional storylines–I like it so much more.
Schitt’s Creek: Every episode this season has been better than the last and this week’s episode was no different even though my heart broke for Stevie. I WANT A HAPPY STEVIE (and David’s “Nonchalance” sweater).
Podcasts of the Month
Binge Mode: I finally let myself finished the Harry Potter deep dive, and tbh, I kind of want to re-listen to it all over again.
Hysteria: I added this one to the mix and started with an episode called “What’s Wrong With Men?” because I am always on brand.
Origins: Sex & the City: I listened to the Sex & the City episode of Origins, which had interviews with the cast and Darren Starr, but was overall kind of meh.
David Tennant Does a Podcast With: David Tennant has a podcast! And I’d listen to it just to hear him read a phonebook from 1982, but instead he interviews other celebs. I just added it so I’ll give my impressions on it next month.
We Couldn’t Help But Wonder: After listening to the Origins episode I thought I’d explore another SATC-centric podcast, even though I’ve had really bad luck in this area. We’ll see how this one goes.
I am still loving the A Star is Born soundtrack, and Shallow is still a jam.
Because the weather dictated how much I was willing to go out and do things, I didn’t see anything in the theatre this month or attend any events in the city. Galentine’s/Palentine’s Day got postponed for snow/sickness, so my social life was seriously lacking. March, however, is jam packed with seeing Captain Marvel and a ton of events scheduled, so next month’s brief will be… less brief? Until then!
This week has been a garbage week of garbage things happening and it’s all just piling up and creating a giant garbage mountain and it’s all a bit much and I’d like it to please stop. BUT, since that isn’t how the universe works, and it’s snowing today (again) covering all that garbage in a layer of white nonsense, which is just adding to my irritation… here’s the list of shit I read this week.
On The Web
If I had to choose a Russian Doll birthday/deathday outfit my fantasy outfit would be a gown from Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty collection, but, more realistically it would be the sequin kimono I bought to wear to see Farrah Moan and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo.
I think in Canada — because comparatively to America, we’re different in terms of a lot of issues — but the problem is we marginalize people with very similar issues in this country. And we still need to deal with systemic racism, environmental racism, and how Canada treats the environment here. And how Canadian mining companies around the world treat the environment. I think in Canada, particularly people with privilege, just don’t even know. And this goes back to the conversation of people being silenced, the lack of representation, etc., etc., etc. So yeah, I think we really need to push for Canada to become a climate leader in this world, and really start having conversations about the racism and various issues that exist in this country very much so as well.
The Oscars are on this Sunday, and I, for one, cannot wait to see how terrible this year’s telecast is going to be. Let’s start the hate-fest by reading this.
On The Shelf
Reading The Witch Elm during my lunches, but since one of my coworkers moved departments this week we’ve been having lots of team lunches and I’m losing out on reading time. I’ll probably be on this one through March.
And that’s another week of reading the least terrible things happening in the world today! And it stopped snowing! I need a nap!
It snowed this week. It snowed so much that I missed two days of work. And then it snowed some more, but not enough for us to close again and so basically I didn’t read as much this week (well, I did, but I don’t keep track of it well when I’m not at work) so instead, and in the spirit of Valentine’s/Galentine’s/Palentine’s Day, you get my top 10 favourite rom-coms of all time. These are in no particular order aside from when they popped into my head.
10. Music & Lyrics
Listen, it should come as no surprise that I love a movie that pays homage to one of my favourite pop groups of all time (Wham!) and Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore are just delightful in this; they have great chemistry and I really like Hugh Grant playing crabby Brit. I find Drew Barrymore adorable in most things and that adorableness is turned up to 10 in this. Besides, Pop Goes My Heart is one of the greatest movie songs of all time. Fucking @ me.
9. Man Up
Have you watched Man Up? If not, what the fuck are you even doing reading this? Go watch Man Up! It’s charming and the main characters are charming even when they’re being assholes. Honestly, it probably would not be as good if it was cast differently, but Lake Bell and Simon Pegg are really great at finding and exploiting the most charming bits about their characters.
8. 13 Going on 30
The Thriller Dance? ✔️ Jennifer Garner being super charming? ✔️ Scrunchies? ✔️ Mark Ruffalo? ✔️ Magic Realism? ✔️ Maybe the most thoughtful 13th birthday gift of all time? ✔️ Mark Ruffalo playing the best boyfriend in rom-com history? ✔️✔️✔️
7. For A Good Time Call…
This is my favourite friend-love movie. You have your tropey characters: the type A brunette and the fun loving blonde, but watching them bond and evolve into best friends from roommates of convenience is so damn great. More positive female friendships in movies, please! Plus, roommates starting a phone sex line to make some cash is just a fantastic premise.
6. Muriel’s Wedding
Another for the friend-love column. This is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s skewers the girl-boy typical rom-com storyline for one where our girl Muriel realizes the real love of her life is her best friend. Toni Collette is amazing in this and watching Muriel grow from leaving her toxic homelife to exploring her newfound independence, and dealing with the fall out from getting the thing she’s always wanted–to get married–was a revelation when I was 16. It’s sweet and sad and comes with an Abba soundtrack.
5. Bridget Jones’ Diary
I don’t even think I need to justify why this is one of my favourite romantic-comedies. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s about as close to perfect as you can get for a fairly formulaic rom-com (not a bad thing), and I am a sucker for retellings of Pride and Prejudice as it is. Plus, Colin Firth. Colin Firth as Darcy giving Bridget that look. Oof.
4. Brown Sugar
It’s been way too long since I’ve seen this, but I watched it approximately 400 times in 2002 and now don’t remember most of the details. My brain is swiss cheese. Regardless, maybe I love this one as much as I do because I love the soundtrack and still listen to it.
3. Bend It Like Beckham
So, yes, I love friend-love rom-coms more than ~romance~ rom-coms. It feels silly to say, but it was SO refreshing to watch this. Indians in a non-Bollywood movie? Amazing! And even though the movie came out in 2002 there hasn’t exactly been a lot of Hollywood/Western movies with Indian female leads dealing with that weird balance of Eastern/family expectations and growing up and living in Western society since then. Progress is irritatingly slow.
Everytime I watch this I either post on Facebook or Twitter about how shitty Annie’s friends are because I have feelings. I have had long conversations about how Lillian is so caught up in her wedding and Helen that she doesn’t even see Annie needs the support of her best friend and that is shitty. No one (well, except her mom and later Megan) supports her while she is on the verge of a breakdown and is in very obvious need of her friends. And yet, as much as it frustrates me (I have the same issues when I watch The Devil Wears Prada) I watch it everytime I catch it on TV. It’s probably because I’ve been Annie, just without the cookie punching.
Even though this list isn’t in order, Austenland is totally my favourite romantic-comedy. It’s based on Pride & Prejudice, so I was obviously going to love this, but also it’s just very silly? Like, on every watch I see some character doing something new in the background and it’s hilarious! They didn’t edit out where the actors are close to breaking and you can feel that the cast just had the best time filming this. When it was on Netflix Canada I watched it at least once a week because it filled me with joy. And then Netflix Canada got rid of it and now I’m sad. Thanks Netflix.
Anyway, now that I’m actually looking at my list I’m realizing how super white it is. That’s fun.