31 December 2021

December Recap

Quick pause before our normal post-holiday content to bring you all the shit we loved this month. We hope 2022 is better for all involved. 

1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This review went up a few weeks back and it was a different kind of read for me but surprisingly enjoyable. If you're looking for something a bit dark and you like ghost content, this would be a good read for you. - MG

2. Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

I won't be putting a review of this on here because Meghan already did back in 2018 (and it's A+ work) but know that it was definitely one of my favourite reads this year and I would recommend it to anyone who has the patience for long fiction and character work. - MG

3. Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

I still have about 200 pages left of the first in Jonathan Franzen's coming trilogy, but as with all his work, I am loving it. Crossroads focuses on one family in the 1970s and each character is more awful than the next. Cannot wait to see how he wraps up the first in this series and when the second one will come out. - MH

1. Before Sunset

This is the sequel to Before Sunrise, which I wrote about in our November recap and it was nearly just as good. The same two characters meet up in Paris all these years later and it's clear their chemistry has never wavered but their lives are totally different now. Listening to them in conversation makes me question if I've ever actually talked to anyone for real before. The cool thing is the film itself comes 10 years after the first, so even the audience and the actors themselves have appropriately aged. I have one more film left in this series that I can't wait to watch. - MG

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in Before Sunset

2. Carnal Knowledge

Every December we wrap up movie club by watching movies that are having their 50th anniversary. This year we did movies from 1971 and I chose Mike Nichols's Carnal Knowledge. All three of us ranked this very highly and Jack Nicholson gives a "demon-level performance" (Ben's words). It mostly follows Nicholson and Art Garfunkel trying to get laid in college and in early adulthood. I would highly recommend! - MH

Jesse Plemmons and Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

3. The Power of the Dog

If you are interested in the Oscars at all then you will want to check out Jane Campion's newest movie The Power of the Dog. It stars Kirsten Dunst (our favourite), Jesse Plemmons, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The score is so good and has been haunting me for days after watching the movie. Any review you read will tell you to avoid learning about the plot as much as possible. Go in blind and enjoy. - MH

1. The Sex Lives of College Girls 

I watched this on a whim when it got put on Crave because Mindy Kaling wrote it. I was worried it was going to seem a bit adolescent for me but I really, really liked it. It's about four girls in college and their experiences with dating, academics, work-life balance etc. I thought it was super funny and charming and went through it very quickly. The Ringer podcast "Jam Session" recently said all we're looking for in TV these days is a good hang and I couldn't agree more. This is exactly that good hang we're seeking. - MG

2. Yellow Jackets

After a spell of unfinishable TV series I feel like I've been hitting homers lately and I am loving Yellow Jackets. It jumps between present day when a number of plane crash survivors are trying to solve a crime that happened to one of their fellow survivors, and decades in the past during the plane crash itself. I've paused on the season because Scott has been off work and I'm not watching it with him but I can't wait to hop back into it. It's honestly pretty scary, but the cast is so awesome and the story is so compelling that I will keep watching even if I spend a lot of the episodes looking away from the TV. - MG

a scene from Yellow Jackets

3. Veep

I finished Veep this month finally and what a fucking show. I have been very into sitcoms lately because apparently my attention span is getting worse, and this is just the best of the best in TV comedy. It makes me understand why Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Emmy after Emmy (because it was getting a bit ridiculous if you hadn't seen the show). She is smart, funny, manipulative, conniving, endearing and unbearable all at once and I can't imagine anyone not liking the show. - MG

4. And Just Like That

Well, I'm doing it, aren't we all? I have to say, so far I don't really care for it. I'm finding a lot of the plot points pretty cringey and I don't like how they patched up the holes since we've last seen all of these characters but, I just can't not watch it. - MG

Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag

5. Fleabag S2

This is maybe the first month in years where I have barely watched any television... One of the few things I actually watched on the small screen was a rewatch of Fleabag with my boyfriend. He had never seen it and we were looking fo something short. Season two is my absolute favourite tv series ever, and I have watched the last episode multiple times just for the monologues. Everyone needs to see the hot priest!! - MH

1. The Watch - "The Best TV Shows of 2021"

I look forward to this podcast every single year! At the end of every year The Watch brings on guest Sam Esmail (creator of Mr Robot and Emmy Rossum's husband) to count down their top tv series of the year. This is where I usually prioritize anything I haven't seen yet. If you are into television, these are the recommendations I highly trust. - MH

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