Weekend Reads #37

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Review

Okay folks, I finally watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So many of you have recommended it over the past year, and I’ll admit you all were right. Karl and I started on the holiday break and fell in love so fast we slowed down, dreading the end of Season 2. And we watched the Season 2 finale this past Monday. If you haven’t watched this series on Amazon I can’t recommend it enough. It’s witty and funny and the fashion is fantastic and it is just so beautiful to watch. It’s easy to binge it, but it’s so delicious to watch an episode and wait, discussing it, mulling over the content, waking up and being aware of what parts stuck with you. I know I am not the only one who saw bits of herself in Midge, and I even texted a good friend who is my “work wife” as we discuss and inspire one another with our businesses with, “I hope I am the Suzy to your Midge.” Some didn’t like the second season’s focus on the parents but I personally loved it and want Tony Shalhoub to win every award possible for his role. Watch it, you won’t regret it.

The show has inspired us to watch stand-up comedy on Netflix. We have a family account, one for Karl, one for me, one for our daughter, and yes… one for my sister and one for my mom (Shhhh don’t tell Netflix). It’s funny, if I search “Stand Up Comedy” on my Netflix account I get about six offerings, Jim Gaffigan, John Mulaney, and a bunch of women comics I’ve never heard of that I Google to find they’re famous from YouTube. When we search on my husband’s account he can scroll and scroll and scroll and get tons of offerings… though they’re Louis CK, Jim Jefferies, Dave Chapelle, and various other controversial men (and one or two Iliza Shlesinger at the end of the search).

I don’t watch Netflix often. I did go through a period of The Good Place, Glow, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but didn’t finish any of the series. I do love Queer Eye, and have caught a couple episodes of Marie Kondo's new show. While my mom was recuperating from her surgery this winter, I watched a few horrible Christmas movies on my account, and I did watch Dumplin’, Dude, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Sierra Burgess is a Loser. I also watched Ali Wong (she’s the only reason I continue to DVR American Housewife), Dave Chapelle, and John Mulaney. I think the only series I semi-binged on Netflix was The Crown (a binge for me means more than one episode in a day; it still took me two months to finish). So yeah, if you look at my viewing history I do look like a suburban middle-class white lady between the age of 29-45. But why suggest such limited comedy for me?

My husband, on the other hand, watches far more Netflix. He’s all about history, documentaries, space, and art. On his account, we’ve watched series like Marco Polo, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist (which isn't worth watching IMO). We’ve watched a few action films and dramas, and I know he’s watched more on his own time. We’ve watched a few fashion documentaries and pieces about 20th century icons, tastemakers, and changemakers (do check out the one about Susanne Bartsch!). Likely Netflix can tell he’s a suburban middle-class white man over the age of 35, but where in his history does it make it where Netflix thinks he wants to watch Louis CK, especially in January of 2019?

So I am reaching out to you. What comics on Netflix or Amazon do you love and recommend we watch?

Weekend Reads

Speaking of comedy, this week we lost a comedic legend with the passing of Carol Channing. This piece in Variety shares her history and extensive career.

This piece totally blew me away and should be read by any woman or any person raising a young woman. Everything you think you know about Toxic Shock Syndrome is probably wrong. (Lifehacker)

Did you participate in Facebook’s Ten-Year Challenge? I kinda sorta did on Instagram (I didn’t do ten years because ten years ago I had a baby and all the photos are of her not me). It seemed like some fun… but is that all it was? (Wired)

An Australian hospital is doing a trial of “magic” mushroom therapy for dying patients. I love this idea, and hope it starts a trend more use of natural treatments in place of dangerous and addictive pharmaceuticals as well as a more peaceful transition for those at the end of life. (Vice)

The latest trend in fashion is celebrity collaborations. From bloggers to big-time names it’s a way to get a rabid new customer base. Thanks to Forever 21 being the idea-stealing company they are, the validity of these celebrities having true input into their collections is being questioned. Confused? Check out this piece from The Fashion Law.

“We have to hammer on the abusers in every way possible,” Sackler wrote in an email in February 2001. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.” I know I am not the only one who has been affected by the Opioid Crisis.  Knowing what Purdue did to “blanket the country with prescriptions for their addictive medications” and then blamed those who ended up addicted is unconscionable and I hope Massachuttes destroys them in court. (STAT News)

Instagram can be repetitive (oh look another woman in bed with fuzzy socks, a cup of coffee, and a book), demoralizing (another woman with a six-pack talking about body positivity), or dangerous (after seeing 20 beautiful women with the same $100 face cream it’s really tempting to open up Sephora and blow your budget). But in the past couple of months, I’ve seen a positive trend… community. Strangers connecting, sharing advice, supporting one another, finding common ground. This piece from the Atlantic delves into this trend.

And to end this weekend’s reads, an extremely powerful piece from Tabitha Blankenbiller about having your set plans for life be changed. Discusses miscarriage. (Salon)

Today I am celebrating both life and death; a memorial service for a friend and then my sister's birthday. To those attending The Women's March, I wish you a safe, inspiring experience!

For Your Entertainment

On the one-year anniversary of Dolores O'Riordan's death, The Cranberries released “All Over Now”, a new song using vocals that O'Riordan recorded before she died. After her passing, The Cranberries took a break but in 2018 completed the band's final album using demos recorded in late 2017. The album will come out in April, but below is the audio-only video for “All Over Now.”

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. “James Acaster: Repertoire” is a great 4-part stand-up comedy show on Netflix.
    Hari Kondabolu, Maria Bamford, Hannah Gadsby, Hasan Minhaj, and Maz Jobrani have terrific specials on Netflix, too.
    The other great thing is that the more I watch (and especially watch diverse comedians) the more wonderful suggestions appear in the queue.
    Also enjoyed “The Standups” which are shorter episodes from a bunch of different comedians.
    Other white dude suggestions would include Bo Burnham, Neal Brennan, Mike Birbiglia.

  2. These are not comedy shows but I highly recommend watching on Netflix Bodyguard, Narcos, Narcos Mexico, and The Great British Bakeoff. Also, whenever I need a laugh, I watch old episodes of The Office on Netflix. The earlier ones are the funniest.

    I also like watching cute old movies. Last night I watched Becoming Jane (about Jane Austen, stars Anne Hathaway) and last week it was Mona Lisa Smile.

  3. For short viewing tolerance, I highly recommend Salt, Fat, Heat and Acid–especially if you need inspiration for cooking. Grace and Frankie is also a wonderful conversation on aging, with a lot of commentary for women.

  4. I love your weekend reads! There is always something interesting that gets me thinking, that I probably wouldn’t have come across by myself.

    Here’s one I did come across: https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/may/1430402400/helen-garner/insults-age?fbclid=IwAR3jmeMNyVuXnObwGi5bq0pO5StqLwc7K4BFOm2eaReNvIRG6K-omt9iPAI. I am nowhere near an age you could call elderly, but it’s certainly thought-provoking. And makes me wonder what stops me from being that free now!

  5. I always love Dave Chapelle because he somehow speaks my thoughts (I think it has to do with the fact that I grew up in SW Ohio), but by far our absolute favorite comedy special is John Mulaney’s “New in Town”. OMG, is that the funniest thing my husband and I have ever seen, and it holds up over repeated viewings. There’s a newer one that’s good, but that one is the best!

  6. Netflix: I love Mrs. Maisel as well. Tony Shaloub was wonderful in season 2. I also have enjoyed Jessica Jones as well. Daredevil is also excellent. River starring Stellan Skarsgard is also fabulous.

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