3 February 2022

January Recap

January sucks. It's so long and the weather is terrible. Not to mention most of us spent the month under severe Covid restrictions (again). But sure, here's the content we consumed...

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout

I am late to reading this as it's a Pulitzer Prize winner from 2008 but I only just got it for Christmas. I found it very slow to start but was really into it by the end, especially the parts of the book that concerned Olive's family directly. Meg's full review from a while back is here so I won't be going into more detail about it but I am excited to watch the adapted miniseries. - MG

a still from the Olive Kitteridge miniseries

The Push by Ashley Audrain

I got about 1/3 through this book and then quit it cold turkey because I actually couldn't mentally handle finishing. It's a 2021 novel from a new Canadian author and it's such great writing but the story is so dark. I made my aunt Laureen read it just to tell me what happened and she pointed out that the place I'm in in my life with young kids probably made the experience of reading it worse. I would maybe consider coming back to this later in my life but for now I can't even handle looking at the cover so it's being shipped to New Brunswick to torture Meg instead. This is the first time I've ever quit a good book because it was too hard for me to handle. - MG

Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan

This was my first read of 2022 and I really enjoyed it. My boyfriend got it for me for Christmas based off a few critical recommendations and a comparison to Sally Rooney. I read this really quickly during a few snowstorms we had in New Brunswick this month. It's about a young woman dealing with a toxic relationship and breakup. Review coming soon! - MH

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfengh 

I was so into My Year of Rest and Relaxation and immediately ordered all of Ottessa Moshfengh's books. Unfortunately I have yet to be blown away by any of her other books (Death in Her Hands reviewed in full here). This one's about a very disillusioned 20-something living in a small town outside Boston. She meets this charismatic woman at work one day and they share an extremely weird tonight together. Review coming soon! - MH

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This was a big reading month for me because Meg and I both recently got reading lights to attach to our books... One of my new years resolutions was to read more in bed before going to sleep. This book is very out of character for me but was recommended by a friend. I was looking for something light and almost rom-comy, which People We Meet on Vacation promises to be. I wasn't super into it, but wouldn't pan it. Review coming soon! - MH

Yellowjackets S1

This show is so good but pretty dark. It follows a high school girls soccer team after a plane crash in the wilderness, and flashes between their survival efforts and a time in the future when those who survived are middle aged adults. I watched a lot of this between slits in my fingers but I still really enjoyed it and have recommended it to everyone I know. It has that perfect combination of being twisted but fun at the same time. Cristina Ricci crawled out of whatever hole she's been in since Casper and is begging for an award for her role as Misty Quigley. You can watch all of s1 on Crave. - MG

a still from Yellowjackets

Goliath S4

Scott and were both very into the first three seasons of Goliath. Billy Bob Thornton shines as an alcoholic lawyer with a quick wit, and the character Patty from this series has to be one of my favourite female characters on television. S4 we both found a bit slower. Each season covers a specific legal case and s4 is about a pharmaceutical company being held accountable for the opioid epidemic. It really came together in the end but we had to drag ourselves there, unfortunately. All 4 seasons are available on Amazon Prime. - MG

Ozark S4 

I was a bit hesitant to start the new season of Ozark because I find it to be an extremely stressful show, but once I started it I couldn't stop watching. Season four is the final season and Netflix has split it into two parts. The first part is only seven episodes long so was easy to binge. There are many shocking moments and a really great final scene. Jason Bateman is one of my celebrity crushes and I love him in this role. - MH

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark

Cheer S2

I was so into season one of Cheer and cried like three times watching it. It's a documentary that is very similar to Last Chance U (which is about football) and is BEAUTIFULLY shot. The crew gets so much amazing footage of these athletes and I wish there were 200 episodes because I love watching people tumble, stunt, jump, and dance. This season had A LOT of storylines because it touches on covid interrupting their 2021 season, major riffs in the team, and a very serious court case against one of last year's team members. The competition results were spoiled for me by both my friend Lily and my sister, but I still enjoyed every single episode leading up to Daytona! - MH 

Before Midnight

I finished off this amazing trilogy this month and even though Meg hyped this final film up as being her favourite, I think it was maybe my least favourite of the 3. I just don't think anything can compare to the naivety of the first film, but I also had a hard time believing this married couple still had this much to talk about. I much preferred it when they were pseudo-strangers with uncertainty about their future. Having said that, it was still awesome and you definitely need to watch all three! The first two are on Crave but then this one is on Amazon Prime. - MG

The Alpinist

This got recommended to me after I posted on here about my obsession with Free Solo and it is definitely worth watching if you're into climbing documentaries. It follows Canadian climber Marc-Andre Leclerc who is into solo ice climbing, which is a whole other kind of fuckery from solo rock climbing - as if that could get any worse. It's on Amazon Prime and some of the footage is wwwwwiiiiiiiiiiilllllddddd. - MG

Marc-Andre Leclerc solo ice climbing

The Card Counter

We've been doing a big push in our house to watch all the 2021 releases left on our watchlist. One of the first ones we watched when Ben got home from Ontario was Paul Schrader's new movie The Card Counter. It stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe. There is some gambling in it (obviously from the title), but this movie went in a direction I was not expecting at all. I gave it five stars. - MH

The Worst Person in the World

This was one of the movies I wanted to see the most in 2021. I really like the filmmaker (Joachim Trier) and have enjoyed his other stuff (Oslo August 31st, Thelma, Louder Than Bombs). His newest movie is also set in Oslo and is centered on a young woman who doesn't really know what her next step is. She can't really commit to one romantic relationship or one career. There's some cool storytelling in a few scenes and I was particularly into their decision making in the scene were she takes mushrooms. If you're down with subtitles, I would recommend this one! - MH 

a still from The Worst Person in the World

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion 

New Brunswick has been under another lockdown and I think this one has made me the most stircrazy/unhinged. Ben and I were looking for something light to start our Friday night off with and we decided to try Romy and Michele's High School Reunion because neither of us had ever seen it but we always heard positive reviews. We both really enjoyed it and laughed a lot throughout. It's a perfect reminder of how beautiful female friendship is!! - MH 

Chatty Broads Episode 338

I have really come around to Bekah Martinez from Arie's season of The Bachelor. She annoyed me a ton on the actual season but in following her since then and even getting into her podcast, I find her very enjoyable and really admire a lot of her lifestyle/parenting/relationship advice. I really like this podcast which she co-hosts with Jessica Ambrose, but I especially liked this episode where her and her partner Grayston discuss their relationship story. They got pregnant accidentally a few months into dating and they are so candid about how that experience changed their relationship, and how negative things were for a while. I am always a fan of people who aren't puking up rainbows and sunshine and I think there is a lot of mature and critically thought our relationship advice in this episode. Linking it here. - MG

WTF with Marc Maron Episode 1258 (Zoe Lister-Jones) 

One of the recent episodes of Maron I really enjoyed was when he interview filmmaker and actress Zoe Lister-Jones. I would never say she is an excellent filmmaker, but I have always kind of kept an eye out on her projects. When I was A LOT younger I really enjoyed Breaking Upwards a movie she and her real-life partner Daryl Wein made about trying to be in an open relationship together. I find her quite charming and like her brand of humour. I thought her interview was really engaging and I love hearing people talk about trying to make art with their significant other. - MH 

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