Unlike many of my child-free colleagues, I’m struggling to get much content consumption in at the moment, since I have my little darlings at home 24/7. Between Bluey reruns on repeat for Lulu and trying to steer Max towards the more educational shows on ABC ME, there hasn’t been a lot of watching for Mum and Dad. That, however, is about to change.
Our new Samsumg Frame TV just arrived so we’re scheduling some serious view time over the next few evenings. With its beige wooden frame (called the bezel) it looks just like a sleek piece of art (that you can also change on a whim) that also happens to play incredible high definition shows.
The good thing is that I suffer from entertainment amnesia (to the point where I’m often half way through a movie before I have a sense of vague déjà vu as I realize I’ve seen it before!) so I get to enjoy good TV and films twice.
First on the list is The Handmaids Tale with Damien as he never watched it. The bleak, apocalyptic themes are particularly haunting during this strange time. To really add insult to injury, I’m also reading its sequel The Testaments for maximum Gilead overload.
To temper all the doom and gloom, we’ll be also re-watching some nineties cult films like Stealing Beauty, Empire Records and Reality Bites. The fashion and music will be the perfectly comforting trip down memory lane.
I’ve stocked up on books from my local library in anticipation of further lockdowns, and top of my reading pile is The Glossy Years by Nicholas Coleridge, former Editorial Director of British Condé Nast. An insider’s account of British high society and its glitzy world, it promises to be the perfect bit of escapism I need right now. I’m also finishing off The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words, where linguist Paul Anthony Jones shares a little-known word with an associated historical account for everyday of the year. It’s nerdy, easy to dip in and out of, and if you’re into words, you’ll adore it.
I’d been highly anticipating the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (it’s something a little highbrow to punctuate my back-to-back reruns of Gossip Girl), but given the current situation I was reluctant to head to my local cinema to see it. But good news: it, as well as a whole raft of other new releases, are soon going to be available via streaming services – perfect for long evenings and weekends cooped up inside.
I appreciate not everyone’s viewing tastes run as low brow as mine can, but if you have ever experienced any feelings for The Real Housewives of New Jersey, be it morbid curiosity, a passing fascination, or deep passion (oh hay!), you can’t miss Sexy Unique Podcast‘s scene-by-scene take of its truly insane second season. I have found myself quoting the podcast to people who have never seen the show and “to be quite honest with you” (if you know, you know), even they found it funny. Given we all have a lot of time on our hands and fewer social connections just now, I highly recommend (re)watching each episode and then listening to the corresponding podcast, so that it’s fresh enough in your mind that you can nod along with the hosts’ astute observations and pretend you’re friends IRL.
Last year I banned myself from buying any new reading material and embarked on “shop your stash”, the book version. I am still going strong on working through the unread pile, which is how I came across my dad’s hand-me-down copy of the infamous Thomas Harris thriller Hannibal last week. Dark and creepy, yes, but it’s guaranteed to take your mind off the real world for a few days. Forget everything you might have learned from the movie – this is so much more twisted.
If you haven’t yet seen Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, know that you come for the premise – rich family lose everything, decamp to kooky small town – but stay for the characters, who will feel like your own relatives (in the best way) by the end of the first season. The love this show is infused with is exactly what we all need right now.
I need a good read, like Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins – a beautiful book to inspire my little family to make our own recipes and potions, and aim to reduce our household waste.
I’m currently enjoying Barre Body, who are currently offering five days free online. My body is so sore from sitting at the desk all day, so that definitely helps.
I’m watching this MasterClass course with Kelly Wearstler – Kelly is a creative genius, so to experience her with her teachings in the class has been a treat.
Being financially savvy is one of the most important skills we can acquire – it is the foundation for success in life. But, yes, finance does have a rap for being dry. Enter: Canna Campbell’s Mindful Money. From banking rituals, budgeting techniques, investment strategies and side hustle avenues – there’s a wealth of knowledge to help us get through these financially chaotic times. But ultimately, she makes the world of finance so much more accessible – so you can cut through the intimidating jargon!
Finding The Bright Side by Shannon Bream empowers me to get through life’s hurdles with grace! A beauty pageant winner, news anchor and attorney – people assumed her life was a linear trajectory. However, beneath the glossy exterior was someone who contemplated suicide, faced harassment, countless rejections and told she would “never ever make it” in the news industry. It is her tenacity and willingness to be optimistic no matter how dire the circumstance, that has me constantly reaching for this book during uncertain times.
I love reading Candace Bushnell’s vintage Sex And The City newspaper columns before they were turned into a TV series. Delicious chick lit is always a plus, because sometimes we do need to escape reality. The hilarious banter, glamorous lifestyle and sassy one liners have me laughing all the way to the fridge. The outrageous adventures the four characters embark on, make the ‘90s look more progressive and flamboyant than 2020. Plus the candid insight into living life on edge always inspires me to go that extra bit further and let loose.
I first stumbled across this bestseller when it was featured in Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s instagram selfie – which is just so on brand of me. Feel free to judge away, but Sweetbitter had me hooked from the very beginning, which is a huge credit considering one of my toxic traits is being several chapters deep into five books, simultaneously. It’s got all the ingredients that make for a delightful summer read: gorgeous, witty prose, in a coming-of-age tale of a twenty-something year old, set in NYC. True to its cover art and name, Stephanie Danler’s first novel is delicious.
For many of us, there has, arguably, never been a better time to binge-watch Netflix like it was your literal job. Whilst my suggested recommendations on the streaming platform mostly consist of murder documentaries – my star sign is Scorpio, make of that what you will – I decided it was in my best interest to venture out of said doom and gloom genre, because lord knows none of us need any more of that ATM (cheers, news!) Luckily, I’ve stumbled across the new Netflix docuseries called Cheer – a lighthearted, palatable, fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the lives of competitive US college cheerleaders, albeit with a surprising amount of heart and complexity that I, for one, naively did not expect from a show on the often stereotyped and controversial sport.
Springcleaning and social distancing is made a lot more enjoyable/less lonely with easy listening, and that’s exactly what the Love etc. podcast offers in spades. Centering around everyones favourite topic, L.O.V.E., the episodes include spicy discussions, such as getting “the ick” for your partner, forbidden romances and even an interview with a sugar baby. Very much akin to the equal parts hilarious yet insightful in-depth conversations I’m used to having with my best girlfriends over cheese and Merlot. A true millennial guilty pleasure.
Holding shot image credit from Instagram: @clairethomsonjonville