|Aidy Bryant on season 2 of Shrill (Hulu)|
As a consumer of a lot of culture, I am looking for ways to document it in meaningful and thoughtful ways, so I figured, "Why not share what I'm consuming, entertainment-wise?" So many people ask what I'm watching or reading, and I take in a lot, so this new Media Diaries series is a way for me to both notate and reflect on the pieces of pop culture that I have consumed each month.
Note: I'm only including things I've viewed/read/listened to for the first time, because believe me, it would be embarrassing for me to list every single time I watch 30 Rock or Veep.
*P.S. I have started a Letterboxd account to keep better track of movies I watch, if you want to give me a follow there!*
Little Women (2019)
Started off 2020 with a New Year's Day viewing of this masterpiece. I'm still bitter about how it was completely overshadowed during award season, but whatever. Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig, keep making movie magic together.
Like A Boss (2020)
Tiffany Haddish is hilarious, and so is Rose Byrne, a very underrated comedic actress! Also, Salma Hayek (watch season 3 of the aforementioned 30 Rock if you don't believe me; the way she says McFlurry alone...) Anyway, this was a fun January movie, and I loved how it was really about two best friends with driven personalities focused entirely on their careers and their friendships. Even career-centric movies tend to throw in romantic subplots, so I really appreciated that this didn't!
Back when I thought this was the Best Picture frontrunner...Parasite, I'm sorry I ever doubted you!
Look, once you get past the "one-shot" gimmick, this is a good war movie, rendered beautifully. It's not life-changing, but there are some truly awe-some moments that were really moving for me.
Sorry To Bother You (2018)
This had been sitting in my Hulu watch list for forever and I finally got around to viewing...what a trip of a movie! I'm glad I finally made time for this. It's weird but very powerful.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (Seasons 1-3)
Who would have thought I would have so much in common with curmudgeon-y Larry David? But as someone who believes her manners and social awareness are better than everyone around her (it's the Taurus in me) I feel so much for David every time he complains about a wobbly table or a superfluous social nicety.
I will say, the early seasons of this show are a strange time machine into the past. Can you imagine navigating the Hollywood Hills without Google Maps!? I cannot fathom, and yet Larry and Cheryl have to put up with such obstacles. Really makes you appreciate today's technology!
The Outsider (Began Season 1)
If you aren't watching The Outsider, you are missing out on a thrilling yet contemplative study on grief. Ben Mendelson continues to be one of the most underrated actors working today, and Cynthia Erivo brings a wonderful charm and humanity to a show that could have easily gotten bogged down in its own darkness.
The Boys (Season 1)
In a post-Avengers world, the superhero genre needs some shaking up. Some might say the answer is films like Joker, but if we're being honest, The Boys is a better analysis of the realities of superhero life that I've seen. It is excessively violent, relishing in goriness in a way that even few R-rated superhero movies dare to do, so it is not for the faint of heart, but it addresses the major flaw with the concept of Superman, Captain America, and all those other superpowered dudes: chances are, they'd become psychotic assholes. No one man should have all that power, indeed.
Shrill (Began Season 2)
Aidy Bryant is one of the best parts about today's SNL cast, but she often gets overshadowed by showier cast members. On Shrill, she takes center stage and delivers a layered performance that brings me so much joy. I've only watched the first few episodes of season 2 so far, but I cannot wait to watch more.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
A collection of essays by astute cultural observationalist Jia Tolentino, I found myself resonating with most of the essays a scary amount. From analyzing how self-care and self-improvement is just another form of societal body control to ruminating on our relationship with the internet, Tolentino's writing is pin-sharp and emotive, capturing both a personal history and larger world observations with equal measure.