These lists were tough to narrow down. And every time I look back at them I am reminded of two things: (1) somehow, TV has taken over my life even more so than 2019 and (2) this year brought me a certain kinda feeling about Russell Brand.
Here are my VIP selections from my lists:
Do you need to laugh? A lot? Get into these drag legends who actually take up plenty of real estate all over the comforting (and free AF!) world of Youtube. For those of you who are familiar with the endless amount of entertainment that emanates from these two queens when they talk in front of a camera, I want you to know that this video showcases Trixie and Katya in their improvisational prime. And for those of you who aren't familiar, watch it anyway if you just want a good old fashioned belly laugh. I showed this to my boyfriend without any context and he died.
"Officers and Wolves" - The Midnight Gospel (Netflix episode)
This soulful animated series is worth a binge. But I keep going back to this episode. Duncan Trussell's "space caster" interviews novelist Anne Lamott, who voices one of the many hippo/dog-like animals that are being harvested in a factory for packaged meat. They primarily talk and laugh about the liberation that comes from surrendering to death, all while the space caster is lodged onto one of the antlers of this creature in the processes of being harvested. Sounds gross and macabre, and it is! But the animation style and the beautiful conversation make this situation almost charming. Not to mention there's a catchy clown anthem in this episode about "bowing down to the worms."
"396: Russell Brand" - Duncan Trussell Happy Hour (podcast episode)
Another point for Duncan Trussell and his symphonic voice! Trussell interviews my panache Russell Brand. Brand beautifully illustrates the trajectory of his life, from his enchantment with celebrity attention to his trials with addiction, leading into his sobriety and its ties to the beginning of a spiritual awakening. This journey has led to Brand to starting his own podcast, Under the Skin, where he interviews teachers that are all the more relevant to our audiences today, including my favorite Eckhart Tolle. Basically, this episode gives you a good introduction into what Russell Brand has been up to since you last saw Get Him to the Greek in theaters.
"One More Year" - Tame Impala (song)
In March, when the pandemic started to become a major concern in the U.S., I freaked out a little bit, as I'm sure many of us did. I found myself listening to this track over and over again, picturing the narrator of the song telling me "Wait one year from now, and see where you are. Not only will you live, but you will witness life more than ever." I look forward to listening to it again in March 2021. Future podcast discussion, Davia??
"One Tree"- Philip Metres (poem)
Poetry is an underrated form of education. This poem in particular has taught me more about conflict and resolution more than any awkward office seminar. "One Tree" reads like a short story, and utilizes the power of story to put a familiar human situation to represent "the same story: two people, one tree, not enough land or light or love." I highly recommend the Poetry Unbound podcast episode in which host Pádraig Ó Tuama discusses and dissects this poem with great insight.
Normal People - Sally Rooney (novel)
This book is LIFE OKAY? It's two people from different backgrounds who are confused as to why they are attracted to each other, why they feel so different from one another, and why they struggle to protect each other, let alone themselves from the weird power-hungry political forces at play that infiltrate the most intimate spaces and relationships of our silly little lives. Can you tell this book is the one for me? Can you feel my obsession? Can you tell that this story makes me feel everything? Read the book. Watch the series on Hulu. Get into it!!!!!!!
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¡Salud! Feliz año nuevo. You know what I mean?