Does it feel to anyone else as if you’ve watched every show in streamland?
It’s especially hard to find great comedies, which feels like the only counterbalance to doomscrolling.
There’s plenty of comedy, but I don’t love awkward, culpable, cringe-at-the-protagonist humor. I have to want to root for at least one of the main players.
Schitt’s Creek and The Good Place are my two favorite recent superstar standouts (with Ted Lasso hot on their heels), and I’m holding onto each episode of their respective final seasons like letters from loved ones.
But as I fill the gaps, I’ve turned to a lifelong favorite from long before I was born, I Love Lucy.
Not to toot my own horn, but living a sedentary life this year had a literary payoff: I more than doubled my low-bar goal on GoodReads reading 24 books, rather than my guesstimate of 10.
Below are the best* of the bunch**, and holy smokes, were they good.
(All book titles are linked to Bookshop.org. I make no money off these links — I simply want you to buy indie or support your local library!)
The Vanishing Half
Finishing this book broke my heart. After months idling on the waitlist, I borrowed this as an ebook from my library, and lost myself so thoroughly in the overlapping narratives that I was startled — and deeply chagrined — to flip a page and end up at acknowledgments. Surely I still had 20% to go! It’s the kind of book that deserves intensive reading sessions to appreciate the careful spin of prose, but I devoured a page or two whenever I had a moment — waiting for the coffee to percolate, in the procrastinating moments before hauling out of warm sheets on those mid-December mornings. Its abrupt conclusion left me missing my other half. The tenderness, the desperation, the disappointment, the vulnerability and the loyalty humanized each character so profoundly. It’s the perfect gift for sisters, and one I plan to give anyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting the Vignes family.
Sorry to disappear! Blame LA, Italy and the madness of catching up. Pictured: the reason for the distraction.
As a peace offering, here are a few clips that justify staying inside over this glorious weekend.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame indeed. RIP, Prince.
Hamilton miscast. That Angelica! (Side note: Who else is excited to get their hands on Hamiltome?)
Why I’m on Team Alisan Porter on The Voice.
And for your playlist: Some sensational Beatles covers. Hey there, Johnny Cash.
Let them eat cake. Me? I’ll go for the pie.
Rhubarb, banana cream, boysenberry, peach … I am a sucker for pie, on Pi Day or any day.
I love it hot under a pooling scoop of vanilla or cold straight out of the fridge for breakfast. It had a lead role in “Waitress,” (and left me craving pie for weeks) and cameoed in a pathetic song in the gawdawful movie “Michael.” (Thanks for making us see that one over Christmas break in ninth grade, Dad.)
There are some great shops for pie, including Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn, Little Pie Co in Midtown and Whisked and Dangerously Delicious Pies in D.C. I love them each for their gooey, flaky, towering slices.
But when it comes to baking my own, I’ll take a preview of spring flavors, please.
This Strawberry Cheese Pie is one that my grandmother loved to serve at dinner parties. Read More
Call it Gold’s Midas touch. The new documentary City of Gold could be a full-length film packed only with restaurateurs sharing the story of how LA Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold saved their struggling business.
Whether the subject is a single mother from Ethiopia at risk of closing who now races to make enough doro watt to feed Gold’s rabid readers or three Oaxaca-born siblings prepping long-uncool cricket tacos for Gold, his dinner companion Ruth Reichl and the 300 seats of diners angling for their taste, the Los Angeles food community clearly appreciates Gold’s dogged determination to find, research and evocatively describe the many cuisines, carts and far-flung restaurants of the sprawling city.