You know how you really want to reread Harry Potter during this pandemic, but maybe you’re not so sure about JKR right now? But you are still really craving a trio of friends who are clearly good fighting a fight against evil? And there’s also a lot of humor and a magical school that’s just out of sight of the world that we live in?
And as always, I know you want to know if I’m talking about the Percy Jackson book series or the movie series. And the answer to that is “What movie series?” We do not mention the movies in this house because my daughter is a die hard Percy Jackson fan and has a visceral and bone deep hatred of the movie, and it all started with the trailer, though she did give the actual movie an honest try.
Don’t worry, though. Nobody hates the movies more than Rick Riordan hates the movies:
May I suggest spending some time with the Alvarez family (and Schneider) during the pandemic?
When this show first came out on Netflix, several friends asked me if I had watched it. For some reason, they thought a show about a single mom with a gifted (and headstrong) teenage daughter as well as a pre-teen son would work for me. Perhaps it was also that the grandmother lived with them and had lots of interactions with the teens? The focus on mother-daughter relationships? What I’m saying is I have no idea why my friends who know about my life as a single mother, my interest in YA, and how much I love senior + teen combos would be something I would dig.
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Akilah, seriously, a self-help book about ending things? How on earth could that be a comfort read?” And you’re right, mostly, but think of it this way: The pandemic has made a lot of things clear to us and sometimes those things are things (relationships, jobs, etc) we need to let go of but for some reason, we just can’t seem to. In Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud, he walks you through some steps and activities to help you figure out if you really need to let go of that thing or maybe stick in there just a little longer.
As I was looking through my Goodreads to find inspiration for N and landed on this title, it clicked that I should write about it. I was also inspired because I recently recommended the book to two friends of mine in two separate industries who were thinking of quitting their jobs but weren’t sure about it.
Listen, I tried to resist the siren call of The Masked Singer (FOX/Hulu). My best friend asked me way back at the start of season one if I was watching. “The show with the weird dog thing?” I scoffed. “Absolutely not.” And I didn’t watch it. I was one hundred percent uninterested. I don’t think I even knew or cared what the premise was, but I just kept seeing the dog costume billboard around town and was like HARD PASS.
But, as often happens in my house, I was tricked into watching, which is to say my daughter was watching it in the living room, and I happened to catch an episode. And then I had to watch more.
I rewatched Living Single (Hulu) over the winter, and I regret nothing.
For one thing, I couldn’t remember if I had seen all of the episodes before or not, and it turns out that–much like with The Bernie Mac Show–I had seen almost all of them. I went to college before the last couple of seasons aired, which is why I have less memory of them, but DON’T YOU WORRY. I can still quote the pilot episode almost verbatim. There are so many great lines and exchanges in the first episode alone. I mean, it’s really solid.
“What do you think the world would be like without men?”
“A bunch of fat, happy women and no crime.”
“And he just up and left, just packed his raggedy old duffle bag and left…
I have recommended Kim’s Convenience (Netflix) to lots of people looking for something fun/comforting to watch.
It’s about a Korean-Canadian family (the Kims) who constantly clash because the parents are immigrants and the kids are Canadian-born. The main conflict in the family is between Jung and Mr. Kim (aka Appa) who are estranged. Jung has done some time in juvie and generally fallen off the beaten path of expectations from his family. This, of course, affects all the other family relationships because Mrs. Kim (aka Umma) desires a relationship with Jung and wants the two men to reconcile and Janet is the little sister trying to forge her own path to independence while maintaining a good relationship with her parents and staying loyal to her brother.
Okay, so I have considered rewatching Jane the Virgin many times during this here pandemic. For one thing, it is on Netflix, which means it’s easy to access and binge watch (if you’re into that type of thing). And for two, it is an absolute joy and a delight.
Here are all the reasons you should watch Jane the Virgin:
For one thing, the episodes are short, and I don’t know about you, but I love a 30-minute dramedy. People over on the Twitter are always clamoring for longer episodes, but I don’t need longer episodes. What I want are longer seasons. The first three seasons are eight episodes and the fourth is ten, and I don’t know about you, but I would love a solid thirteen. However, I am here to tell you that Issa Rae and co. do manage to pack a lot into those short episodes and seasons, which is why the people are clamoring for more.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted series to take you through the pandemic, may I suggest Giant Days by John Allison?
It’s a comic book series that has also been conveniently packaged into fourteen multi-issue volumes plus two bonus collections. (There are also three novelizations, but I haven’t read them so will not be discussing them.) I don’t know about you, but sometimes words words words on a page are too much so I like to turn to graphic novels because the pictures give me something else to look at and I still get to read. It’s win-win, especially when the illustrations are engaging, fun, and include sight gags. You know, like the ones in Giant Days (illustrated by Lissa Treiman and Max Sarin).