Lets take a break from taking about romantic love, and talk about some things I loved this year. If you want to feel like it’s tied to dating or relationships in some way, consider these things to share with someone you love, even if that person is yourself. I’ll stick to things that I personally consumed in 2017, otherwise this list wouldn’t end.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I just binge watched this series over maybe two days and let me tell you, I really loved it. I won’t spoil the show, but here’s the basic premise:
One of the things I love about the show is that, while it centers on a housewife at the tail end of the 50’s coming to grips with major changes in society on the horizon, she isn’t miserable. One of the saddest characters I’ve seen in media was Betty Draper, and while I’m sure that character may have typified many housewives of the time period, that sort of character is ubiquitous. I’d much rather see a new take on the character, and Rachel Brosnahan who plays the titular character does just that.
Oh and the comedy on the show is legit funny. The process and behind the scenes stuff is really cool too, and I can’t say enough about Rachel Brosnahan. She is so dam charming and perfect for this role.
I’d highly encourage reading this article after watching the series:
Master of None, Season 2
I don’t know if I can say anything about the latest season of Master of None that hasn’t already been said. It was a creative leap forward for Aziz Ansari. Two of the episodes stand out as incredibly ground breaking. I’ll avoid spoilers and say that the Denise focused episode and the Random New Yorker episodes are, to me, some of the best pieces of television ever created. Period.
I’ve added things that characters say on the show into my everyday life, the show motivated me to go to Storm King, and in my opinion, has one of the better depictions of what online dating can be like on television.
The Handmaid’s Tale
I specifically subscribed to Hulu for a month to watch The Handmaid’s Tale and it was so worth it. Having never read the book, I came in mostly blind, knowing only the basic premise, and that changes were made in casting characters of all races where the book had predominantly (or is it only?) white characters. I knew that a bunch of actors I think are talented would be in the show. Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and especially Ann Dowd were all phenomenal in all the things you’d recognize them from, so I thought that at minimum it’d be a good show. I was wrong. It is a great show. Highly highly recommend watching it. It’s worth paying for once month or Hulu to binge watch at a minimum.
Look, I know I’m late to the party on this, but I love Homeland. Actually, scratch that. I love Claire Danes so much in Homeland that it makes me love Homeland. She is so damn good. Please don’t spoil it for me, I’m only in the second season.
The Last Jedi
I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan. I don’t obsess over every detail, read every book in the extended canon, or consume every single piece of its lore. All that said, I loved The Last Jedi. I thought it was an absolutely wonderful film, and worth the price of admission. What’s cool about the film was that while it helps to have seen the previous movies before seeing the film, it isn’t absolutely necessary. I dragged took my girlfriend to see it and gave her a 5 minute summary of the original trilogy, prequels, and the previous film and that was all she needed to enjoy the film.
The Disaster Artist
I love a good “bad” movie, and I especially love a movie about a good “bad” movie. The Disaster Artist, a movie about the making of the cult classic film The Room, is phenomenal. I was especially impressed with how good James Franco is at his Tommy Wiseau impression, it’s uncanny.
I remember watching What We Do In The Shadows on a whim. I’d never heard of Taika Watiti, but I’m generally a fan of mockumentaries, the more absurd the premise the better. It’s a great film, so I had high hopes when Watiti was announced as the director of the latest Thor movie. Then the trailers came out, and I was immediately sold.
Thor Ragnarok is probably my favorite comic book movie, bar none, and in my top 5 movies I’ve seen this year…and I average watching a new movie in theatres once or twice a month. Its funny as hell, and most importantly, passes the litmus of “would my girlfriend, who is not into comics, sci-fi, or fantasy stuff, be into it” the answer is yes, so I feel safe recommending it to pretty much anyone.
The Black Thought freestyle
Maybe a few days before Black Thought blessed us with one of the best almost 10 minutes of unbroken freestyles in Hip Hop history, he appeared on Desus & Mero and talked about a not all that serious rap beef The Roots had with The Notorious BIG. When asked if it had come to a rap battle would he have been ready and he said that he had bars ready. So when the freestyle dropped, it was a nice reminder of how good Black Thought is. He’s been rapping for almost as long as I’ve been alive, and that freestyle showed the world what he’s always been. One of the best to ever pick up a microphone.
4:44, JAY Z
I’ve been a Jay fan since middle school, though that probably isn’t saying much. Few musicians have had the sort of sustained career success that Shawn Carter has had. Through that success, musically speaking, he’s been a mostly private guy. Then he released 4:44.
It’s not his best album, but it is one of the most consistent albums when it comes to tone and production. It’s also the album I’d consider to be the most personal. One of the highlights of this album for me was JAY Z’s willingness to not only own up to his failings as a father and husband, but his willingness to be candid about subjects that are very often treated as taboo among people of color. I love that he casually mentions the fact that his mother dates women and then includes a reading of a poem she wrote about her struggles accepting who she is. I love that he mentions seeing a therapist. The album is just so good for so many reasons, and for me, the vulnerability on display really sold the album for me.
24k Magic, Bruno Mars
I feel no shame in saying that I loved the 24k Magic album by Bruno Mars. Will it have a lasting cultural impact? Probably not. Is it one of the best albums of all time. Definitely not. Is it a fun album? 💯💯💯💯
Honestly, all I need is fun sometimes, and Bruno brings it. My personal favorite song on the album is Perm, and I love it unabashedly.
You ever happen upon something that your friends are working on, realize its really cool, and want to share it with people? Because that just happened to me, so here we are. I just discovered a new podcast a friend co-hosts and I loved it. Here the basic premise:
2Crasians is the Asian-American podcast where The Joy Luck Club meets Drunk History. Cindy Yep and Nancy Lee tell funny stories about being Asian-American, have abrupt and disturbing childhood flashbacks, and lovingly blame it all on their immigrant parents.
If that doesn’t convince you, I hope my recommendation will. Its a funny, honest, and irreverent. I just subscribed, like yesterday, and I think you’ll like it. You can find links to subscribe at https://www.2crasians.com/
So there you have it. I think you’ll love these recommendations.
Good Luck Out There.
Also published on Medium.