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!
I originally came across Miranda Hart in “Call the Midwife” where she plays one of the beloved midwife characters. And then more recently, she was one of the bright points in the new “Emma” movie as Miss Bates. So I was super excited when I strayed across this, her own show, while browsing Hulu. It was even more shocking to realize it had been around and my beloved Tom Ellis was the romantic lead (before his “Lucifer” days, as this is like a completely opposite character). They’re both just so delightfully lovable. And the humor is just the right brand of wacky British comedy that I like best. In particular, Miranda’s overbearing mother has a bunch of lines I’ll probably be, what I call, quoting (inside joke for those who’ve already watched!) for quite a while. Such fun!
I’m one of those people who played “Magic: The Gathering” for quite a while there. I never actually got into buying the physical cards, but I played the free Xbox versions quite a bit for a few years. Hearthstone is essentially the “Magic” equivalent for your smartphone. There are pay-to-play options, but it’s quite doable to play a bunch of this game without spending any money, something that’s a must for me with phone games. If you have any interest in extremely geeky card battle games, this is definitely a fun one to check out.
I definitely was one of those people who swore off this show once I learned that Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn were leaving. But, quarantine folks, it calls for desperate measures! So the other week I started watching…and then binge watched the two whole seasons that I missed. And, I came around. I still prefer Heidi and Tim, but Christian Siriano, especially, grew on me as the new mentor. He doesn’t try to be Tim Gunn and has his only little pet-peeves and things he focused in on. He also wasn’t an overwhelming presence, which was my initial concern when I heard he was taking over that role. Karlie Kloss is also fine as the host. She doesn’t add that much, but she’s also not a distraction. I also really liked the winners of both seasons with these two, so that’s always a plus!
It probably comes as a surprise to absolutely no one that one of my comfort activities is to watch horror movies. Well, horror movies that purely entertain and don’t make me uncomfortable. One of my favorite horror movie series of the past decade is the “Happy Death Day” Duology, in which a young woman named Tree is living the day she was murdered over and over and over again in a “Groundhog Day” like time loop, hoping that finding the killer can stop it. The original, “Happy Death Day” is funny as hell and very creative, and the second one, “Happy Death Day 2 U”, manages to expand upon the mythos without ruining anything. And the biggest reason I love these movies is Tree herself. Tree is a subversion of the ‘Final Girl’ trope, as when we meet her she isn’t very nice, and breaks all the ‘rules’ of surviving a slasher movie. But Tree grows and changes as her story goes on, without losing her edge. She’s the best Final Girl since Sidney Prescott. I love these movies so freaking much.
I almost shrieked when I saw that this was streaming on Hulu. “Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law” was a huge favorite of mine during the end of it’s run. I was in college, I subsisted on Adult Swim, and “Harvey Birdman” was up there with “Venture Bros” and “Metalocalypse” for favorites. It’s essentially Birdman, a Hanna Barbera character, reimagined as a lawyer, representing other Hanna Barbera characters for committing various crimes (that more often than not riff on the character’s schtick. Think Shaggy and Scooby getting busted for pot, things like that). It takes clips from old shows and mixes it with new footage to make something weird and hilarious. Gary Cole plays Harvey, and other cast members include John Michael Higgins, Paget Brewster, and Stephen Colbert. It’s so snarky and funny and kind of nostalgic. And filled with lawyer humor, a humor I am VERY familiar with.
So Serena and I have been doing our best to keep in touch during quarantine. One of the ways we’ve done that is by playing online adaptations of various card and board games on boardgamearena.com with our husbands. My favorite of the games we’ve been playing is Sushi Go! It’s a card game where you basically collect sushi dishes for points. It’s simple, it’s really cute (as the sushis all have little faces and stuff), and the only downside is that it’s making me crave sushi during a time where sushi isn’t as easy to come by.