Here’s what we’re reading, watching, playing, and listening to this week
How we’re spending our leisure time.
Everyone has a bit of quiet downtime once in a while. Whether you’re sitting quietly at home or trying to relax on a plane or just giving your busy mind and hands a break, it’s important to relax.
A good way to do that is to read a book, listen to some music or watch a movie or show. See what’s caught our attention for the week of May 4th.
I am a two-program Disney College Program alumni, so safe to say I’m a Disney Parks Fan with a capital F. I’ve never been lucky enough to get the time and resources for an international park trip, but when a new parade for Tokyo Disneyland drops, I drop everything and listen to it. Dreaming Up is Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th anniversary parade and it replaces my favorite parade of all time, Happiness is Here. The new model is bright, peppy, and I just want to dance through the whole thing, which is the perfect music to keep my energy up in a week of testing before weekend elections.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get Carried Away again, and see if I can’t Dream Up a new home screen theme.
Mad Men. I’ve just finished my second run-through of the show about drunks and the people they hurt during the golden age of advertising, and my goodness is it still one of the most stunning dramas of all time. I was much younger when I first watched it, and though the feeling of desperation remained long after the seventh season finale, I remembered little of the pointed dialogue and intense silences.
Though it took place between 1962 and 1970, there is so much about the tragedy of its characters that still reverberates today. Office harassment, sexism, racism, and the naivety of youth — these are characters for which you build tremendous affection despite their flaws, and often because of them. They’re bad people doing bad things written really well.
If you’ve never watched Mad Men, it’s seven seasons of 13 or so episodes, and it’s worth every moment.
I’m not sure how, but I somehow missed out on Community when it first aired a few years back. Thanks to Hulu, I’m now making my way through the entire series and dying with laughter at just about every turn.
The entire cast of Community works incredibly together and the chemistry between all of the actors and actresses is some of the best I’ve seen since The Office and Parks and Rec. The show’s representation of the community college life is far from accurate, but that’s probably for the best. There’s plenty of jokes, heart, and excellent writing to be found here, and I can’t wait to keep watching more.
Also, like the rest of planet Earth, I watched Infinity War last Thursday but won’t say a word. Remember, Thanos demands your silence.
I’m way behind on the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the last Marvel movie I’d seen before this week was the first Guardians of the Galaxy — but a friend of mine was in town and bought tickets to see the new Avengers movie. I barely recognized ANY of the characters that weren’t in the first Avengers, but boy was that movie badass anyway. Without going into too much detail, it has enormous battle scenes, incredible CGI, and a surprisingly dark ending that I really wasn’t expecting.
Oh, and the Infinity Wars memes are already making their rounds, if you’re into that sort of thing. I know I am.
As far as music goes, I’ve been revisiting Paramore’s latest album After Laughter, which I dismissed as “mostly forgettable” when it dropped last year. After giving it a few more listens, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite non-metal albums, with dynamic vocals and great new wave-style composition. If you’re in the mood to feel sad, put on 26 and let the floodgates open.
Like any good person, I saw Avengers: Infinity War this past weekend. Also, like any good person, I cried at the end. A lot. I’m amazed that the Russo Brothers were able to pull the movie off: it was incredibly well paced — I never felt like any scenes were rushed or dragging on. It also just felt like a comic book crossover; the way the film focused on different characters and transitioned between locations felt exactly like I was moving through a giant comic event, only on the big screen.
Elsewhere, I’m fully caught up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and it has become one of my regular shows each week. I also purchased vinyl copies of Ruins by First Aid Kit and Fumes by Lily and Madeleine. I’ve talked about Ruins in this column before, but it’s still my absolute favorite album so far this year. I already owned a vinyl copy of Fumes, but it was heavily damaged when all of my albums fell off my wall one night. I already own both albums digitally, so the vinyl copies will become decorations once I get some screws put in my walls and buy more frames.
What are YOU reading, watching, or listening to this week? Let us know in the comments!
Update, May 4th, 2018: This is a weekly series where we tell you what we’re into, so check back every Friday or Saturday!