August 11, 2023
The Republican Tears, Fantasy Romance, and Revisionist Westerns That Got Us Through the Week
I think i t’s fair to say we are finally well and truly in the dog days of summer, and as a Leo who celebrated her birthday this week, I love it. I love the leisurely days and nights when , if you’re in a major city, it feels like a solid third of your fellow residents have skipped town , or if you’re lucky enough to be on vacation, a whole industry exists to make your life as relaxing as possible. It is also prime Content Consumption (TM) time—whether that’s binging TV after work because all your Friends are out of town and the airs at very inconvenient times; stocking up your for beach time; or collecting any and all recommendations for what to listen to on your road trips. We’ve got you covered on all fronts. 2 / 10 Watch on Apple TV+ Watch on Apple TV+ It takes seven hours to fly from Dubai to London, and that’s how many episodes are in the new Apple TV+ series All of them feature Idris Elba trying to save hundreds of people from dying on a hijacked plane. I repeat: This show stars Idris Elba. If you are not sold yet, I’ll go on. The show is riveting and nerve-racking. It features a brilliant ensemble performance, especially by Neil Maskell, who plays the lead hijacker in a mission whose purpose reveals itself very slowly. The plot and motivations and character development are nuanced and never trite or expected. is just the latest great, extremely bingeable series from what is in my opinion the best of all the billion streaming networks. Also, again, Idris Elba is in this. 3 / 10 Read Read I admittedly was immediately pulled in by this book’s colorful, rainbow-light cover—then when I read “Victorian mansion in the woods,” “cultish community,” “abandoned baby,” and “unique mysterious abilities” in the summary, I was hooked! This is a strange, feverish novel of a woman who learned she had an insane gift to travel to the past, so she escapes her abusive family to California…then she makes a friend…gets pregnant…secludes herself to her friend’s house in the woods to practice her gift and give birth…other Women are drawn to the house…they become a cult of sorts… there are many children…the children start to grow up and…question things. Stuff Gets Bad! I’m only halfway through this family cult drama, but it’s fully pulled me in. It’s insane and dreamy and messy and truly, just a batshit premise that kind of makes no sense but also makes all the sense in the world. I’ve been reading this in 50- page chunks, and whenever I come up for air, I feel like I’m coming out of the same druggy haze the women come out of after performing their Open moon ritual in the Eastern Wing. But in a fun, non-culty way. 4 / 10 Watch the final season of Watch the final season of The Rez Dogs are back for one last go around. The first two episodes find the gang trying to make their way back to Oklahoma—and Elora finding out her daddy is both fully white alive. Bear is being haunted by memories of his shitty absentee father and his hilarious spirit guide, who died at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Will Bear make it back to the rez? Will Elora find her dad? Will Cheese get better art utensils? Will Willie Jack’s family be OK? This group of teenagers are one of my favorite TV families. Every week we’re one week closer to never hearing Willie Jack shyly smile and say, “I love you bish, ” ever again. And that’s when I will enter a state of mourning. 5 / 10 Listen to Listen to If you saw me wandering around Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn looking absolutely horrified over the last few weeks, it’s probably because I was , a new podcast from the and Serial productions, about a deeply troubling case from a few years ago. A nurse who worked in the fertility clinic at Yale was suffering from opioid addiction and siphoning off fentanyl from the clinic’s supplies, replacing it with saline. As a result, dozens of women underwent egg harvesting procedures without any pain relief—the “fentanyl” that was being pumped in via IVs was actually just saline. As you can imagine, the process was awful: Not only were they in unimaginable pain, the attending doctors and nurses didn’t believe them, since the fentanyl vials appeared to be full. The podcast follows the women who underwent the procedures (and the pain) as well as the trial of the nurse, and talks thoughtfully about the culpability of this one woman, versus the whole of Yale’s medical apparatus. (If you’re squeamish, I’d recommend avoiding this one while driving.) 6 / 10 Watch Watch I tend to be skeptical of westerns, so naturally, I didn’t give this series a try until seemingly every person in my life bullied me into starting it— that took eight months. What’s I’ve come to find out is that is also a western, meaning the women and non-white people in it have actual agency and other cool stuff. If you didn’t get enough Emily Blunt in —me n either—try this. 7 / 10 Gen Z will surely be rolling their eyes at me for this one, considering this album has been out for over a year, but I’ve been sucked into the psychotic, gothic opera masterpiece that is Ethel Cain’s latest album, the 2022 . The 76-minute long concept album chronicles the life of a fictional version of Cain as she reckons with her sexuality while choked by religion’s grip, only to “meet a gruesome end at the hands of a cannibalistic psychopath.” GENIUS, I tell you! If your summer has been a bummer like mine (not even the Rat Girl Summer of 2023 that was promised), “Family Tree (Intro)” and “Gibson Girl” are the perfect melancholic tracks to set your spiral to. Cradle yourself to sleep with Alabama nightmares! 8 / 10 Enjoy Republican tears after their loss in Ohio Enjoy Republican tears after their loss in Ohio This weekend, I heartily recommend drawing a bubble bath, pouring yourself a glass of wine, and firing up this video segment of pitiful Ohio Republican responses to being spectacularly defeated at the ballot box this week. ICYMI: On Tuesday, Ohio voters in a special election deliberately scheduled in freaking August to suppress the vote. Ahead of a forthcoming referendum in November that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, the Tuesday election proposed raising the threshold for getting ballot measures into the constitution to 60% instead of a simple majority. Hmm, can’t imagine why they’d do that! Despite Republicans’ —and certainly, their —they still lost, because abortion rights are popular and forced birth is not. To that end, I can think of no better way to spend the weekend after this last hell-ish post- year than to sit back and sip on some anti-abortion Republicans’ tears. 9 / 10 Read Read Some days, you just need a horned-up fantasy book about dragons. Back in middle school, I found that in Anne McCaffrey’s series, which earned me the dubious honor of being referred to as “dragon girl” by my so-called friends. This past weekend, I found it in , which BookTok and book vlogs are going fucking nuts over. This isn’t some overhype, either. is in no way a perfect work of fantasy, but it is a perfect fantasy-romance pageturner, in that the dragons are cool, the plot is engrossing, and the sex scenes are hot (though very hetero). Reading it reminded me of devouring or the first book or the newest release back in that day—when you carry the book to the bathroom to brush your teeth and stay up way too late rushing to the next cliffhanger. Loved it. A book for all dragon girls. (Synopsis .) 10 / 10
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