Not Just Books: December 2017

While we do love us some books, believe it not, we do have a life outside of reading. So to highlight our other pop culture interests, on the last Monday of each month, we each will highlight three other “happenings” from the last month. Big events on favorite TV shows, new movies we’ve watched, old movies we’ve “discovered,” etc. Pretty much whatever we found of particular interest outside of the book world during the last month. Share your own favorite things in the comments!

NOTE: Yes, we know that this isn’t the last Monday of the month and this isn’t a scheduling snafu. Instead, we’re working on a super special and exciting post for next Monday that also happens to be Christmas Day, so keep your eyes out for that!

Serena’s Picks

1487358575482TV Show(s): ALL the HGTV home make over shows

Look, I’m not proud of it, but there’s a good reason for this pick, just hear me out. As Kate knows (as in, this is all she’s heard about for a year now), my husband and I have been finishing the basement of our house. It started as “partially finished” (read: moldy wreck), and over a year we did demo, leveled the floor, added in-floor heat, tiled the floor, re-structured and laid out rooms, built walls, added a reading nook under the stairs, added built-in book shelves, installed a gas fire place, etc etc. And we finally finished this month. And ever since, we’ve been enjoying the new TV room by doing absolutely nothing but veg out in front of it re-living our trauma through the various home makeover shows on HGTV. Seriously, I think we have PTSD, but we can’t stop watching and triggering ourselves. It’s a sick obsession at this point.

mv5bodk2yme5mjetmmqzny00mzzjltgxndatytgzmthlztg1m2e3xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjiwnti1mtm-_v1_sy1000_cr007061000_al_Netflix Show: “Glitch”

This seems to be one of those Netflix shows that is largely unknown by people. The first season came out two years ago, and yet somehow I never really looked at this one, and I’m not sure why. Set in Australia, the story rotates around 7 people who have mysteriously risen from the dead. No bells or whistles, they’re just back, and no one knows why. What’s even more strange is that they’re all back from different time periods, some as recently as a few years, some who have been dead for centuries. As the season progresses we learn more and more about each of these character’s lives and the suspense grows around the mystery of their return. I’ve really been enjoying binging this show and part of it is simply the fun of listening to their accents. “Come this way, mate. That’s right, now just take it easy” all in the classic Aussie drawl.

Movie: “Miracle on 34th Street”

 (I WILL RE-POST THIS ONE EVERY YEAR, I DON’T CARE!) Obviously this falls under the category of old movies we’ve “discovered,” but even that’s not true! Let’s be real, I watch this movie EVERY Christmas. It’s a classic for a reason and there is something to love for just about everyone. You have the romance, the friendship, the family, the humor, the villains, the court room action, and the feel goods. Not to mention, the adult in me loves this movie even more now than I did as a kid, with its main message being that even adults should believe in Santa Claus! And the larger message, that whether or not he was actually Santa Claus was beyond the point: Christmas is about loving and caring for everyone, and in that, Mr. Claus was the epitome of Christmas.

Kate’s Picks

search-party-s2-key-artTV Show: “Search Party Season 2”

So the first season of the darkly hilarious “Search Party” involved a group of New York Hipsters trying to solve the mystery of a missing girl. Dory (Alia Shawkat) is sucked into the disappearance of a college acquaintance named Chantal, and is convinced she met foul play. The season ends with them finding Chantal alive and well and vapid as ever…. except Dory and her friends accidentally killed a man who had been helping them look for her. Season 2 is dealing with the fallout… And yes, it’s still hilarious. My favorite character remains Elliott, played by the snide and snarly John Early, whose mild sociopathy and need for self preservation send him on a disconcerting, but also pretty amusing in some ways, mental breakdown. For those who like their humor dark, give “Search Party” a try, and know that Season 2 is pretty amazing.

23755322_130283744328423_6702880009203054438_nPodcast: “Bigfoot Collectors Club”

I have a fun little obsession with the supernatural and cryptozoology. My favorites include Mothman, El Chupacabra, and The Jersey Devil, and while I’m solidly a skeptic who wants to believe, it’s fun hearing stories about this stuff. Given this interest, I was pretty happy to discover the podcast “Bigfoot Collectors Club”. Hosted by Bryce Johnson and Michael McMillian (one of my faves), this fairly new podcast tackles strange and unnatural events, as well as tales of cryptids, aliens, ghosts, and personal experiences of the unexplained. While I may not be as true blue believing when it comes to Sasquatch, their enthusiasm and earnestness is contagious.

jingle_all_the_way_posterMovie: “Jingle All The Way”

So last year I talked about the movie “Scrooged”, but that is just ONE of MANY Christmas movies that I like to watch this time of year. This year I’m going to talk about the SMASH HIT HOLIDAY CLASSIC “Jingle All The Way”. Is it a good movie? No, not really. But it’s one that my husband and I HAVE to watch every year because 1) We love Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2) it takes place in Minnesota and treats both Minneapolis and St. Paul as interchangeable cities, and 3) Phil Hartman is treasure, may he rest in peace. The plot is flimsy, it feels like one long toy commercial, and it’s super dated and actually pretty problematic in a number of ways, but hey, we can’t deny a cheesy and stupid movie such as this? Put the cookie DOWN!! NOW!!!

What non books have you been enjoying this month? Let us know in the comments!

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