Hi, all, hope everyone had a good Easter!
I originally was supposed to go back to work tomorrow, but heh heh, no, I’m not, because I got temporarily laid off until the schools go back to normal. Whenever that is. Of all the states in the United States, California’s among those which have gotten hit the worst by our dear little friend the coronavirus, and there are reasons for that, but I’m not going to go into them right now or ever. We hear about it enough as it is. Ugh.
So yeah, settle in, everyone, it may be a long quarantine.
Was that sarcastic enough? I hope so. I miss my job. I miss my families. At the risk of being Captain Obvious, social distancing sucks.
You know what? I propose we hold a worldwide block party when this is all over. Bring potluck. Bring music. Hugs and handshakes are encouraged. And let’s stagger the party dates by time zone so it lasts for a week or two.
But I digress.
Like most people, in the middle of all the handwashing, homeschooling, cooking, and general preservation of health and well-being, I have been binge-watching stuff. Here is a very small sample of what’s been on my screen this month when I’m not reviewing some movie…
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
This. This. This. Is. Awesome. I haven’t felt excited about a current TV show in a long time, and Zoey is a delight. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is simple: San Franciscan Zooey is getting an MRI when an earthquake happens, and suddenly she can hear people singing what they’re thinking. An entire street croons “Help!” to her. A lonely barista leads off on “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Zooey’s best friend, Max sings “I’m A Sucker For You,” which makes her all kinds of uncomfortable. While Zooey’s mystified, she accepts it on a level because it allows her to communicate with her Progressive Supranuclear Palsey-afflicted dad, played by the wonderful Peter Gallagher. The show can be found on NBC, Hulu, and the occasional YouTube ad.
1900 House and 1940s House
Yep, I pulled out these old standbys, and I plan on watching Frontier House and Manor House as well. Not gonna bother with Colonial House or Texas Ranch House because bleh, and I don’t own Regency House Party, so it is what it is. All the museums I work at are currently closed, so I’m liking the virtual Living History hits I get from these. Sure, it’s not the same, but it helps (Miss all you docent people and Museum staff!). If you haven’t seen the House shows, I highly recommend them. You can read my review here.
The Wonder Years
Ah yes, nostalgia out the wazoo here. I watched The Wonder Years as a junior-higher, and I remember feeling gypped because my junior high was nothing like Kevin Arnold’s. As an adult, though, I appreciate the way relationships were portrayed on the show–the kids’ and the adults’. You see Kevin’s parents fighting sometimes, but you see them working through the difficulties and how committed they are to each other. You see the kids navigating their own relationships, where everything feels larger than life, as well as learning to work with their teachers, some of whom seem like they’re from another planet. The only drawback is that the Hulu version has replaced the iconic Joe Cocker theme (and some of the other songs) with groan-inducing Muzak. My eyes have all the daggers for whoever made that decision.
Netflix and Hulu aren’t the only things I’m bingeing on, and the Townsends YouTube channel is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a lot of Living History, especially demonstrations of eighteenth-century cooking methods and recipes, such as mac and cheese and more exotic offerings like eel and tripe (The fried chicken also looks delectable). Plus, Townsends delves into building and camping methods from that time, occasionally going to historic sites. They have a website too, if anyone’s interested, offering all kinds of eighteenth-century goodies. Trust me, once you start watching this channel it’s hard to stop–it’s that good.
I found the wonderful English Heritage channel about the same time I discovered Townsends, probably because they did a collaboration a couple of years ago and YouTube’s algorithm likes that sort of thing. English Heritage doesn’t stick to any particular historical period but does a pretty broad survey, covering Roman times all the way through today. The variety is great–they’ve got cooking demos (many featuring the formidable talents of Audley House’s Mrs. Crocombe), makeup tutorials, stories, visits to historic sites, and artist profiles.
I have been a Justin Scarred fan for years. I found his other channel, Live Fast Die Poor when I was researching for a Disneyland trip, and been hooked ever since. Justin’s content has evolved into not just Disney, but history, Route 66, oddities, and various adventures. This is good stuff, folks. Justin is a former punk band singer who draws and paints, and it’s fun watching him encountering life. Speaking of which, by popular demand he’s growing a beard for as long as the quarantine lasts, so he may just look like a Duck Dynasty guy by the time this is over. I have to wonder what his fiancee, Ally, thinks of it. Anyway, fans are called the “Sometimes Mob” and vids often end with Justin’s trademark pronouncement: “You’ve done your duty. Time to go home and schleep well.”
I always binge on this lady’s stuff. She’s awesome. Her channel is crazy fun–mostly beauty-related, but there’s plenty of history and weirdness. She likes mixing things, too. Candles. Lipstick (Sephora or CVS). Eyeshadow. Highlighter. Bath bombs. Who knows what will be next. Safiya just got married, and she and her husband, Tyler, recreated Morticia and Gomez’s dance from The Addams Family at their wedding reception. That’s how outside-the-box this channel is. It never gets old.
Word to the wise: This show will make you hungry. Korean paralegal Lee Soo-kyung is a divorcee living alone with her dog, and she really loves food. She doesn’t, however, like to eat alone in restaurants because she feels weird about it. Luckily, she has neighbors–insurance salesman Goo Dae-young and former rich girl Yoo Jin-yi, and they all start eating dinner together. Food is a big part of the show, natch, and it plays up the sensuous aspect of experiencing meals. Plus, Dae-young is a food blogger who launches into monologues about how to properly enjoy one’s daily victuals. Seriously. Something will trigger this guy and he’s off. Oh, and there’s also a serial killer, although no cast members die. He’s just there. Sort of.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Confession time: I’ve always liked TNG, but I never got to see all the episodes for whatever reason. Aaaand I don’t have a single bad thing to say about it. My favorite characters vary with each episode. Well, except for Picard–Patrick Stewart could read the phone book and I’d listen. I will say, though, most of the Ferengi and that Q guy are annoying, but they’re supposed to be. Other than that, I have no regrets. Now, I don’t know if this makes me a Trekkie, but it does make me happy.
Well, there you have it. Depending on how long this shelter-in-place stuff lasts, I may be doing another post like this next month or something. We’ll just have to wait and see.
What have you been bingeing on lately? Shows, movies, whatever, it’s all fair game. Thanks for reading, everyone, and see you soon…