I was struggling coming up with a blog to write. Partly because I don’t feel driven or motivated to write or express myself. And partially because in times of high stress focus and motivation are hard to acquire (for me at least). However, I decided to talk about how my parents and I are still making pop culture (primarily movies & TV) special even though being stuck at home means we’re potentially consuming more pop culture than normal.
How to Keep Pop Culture Special
- Try to limit consumption: I know it’s tempting to watch TV and movies 24/7 to keep your mind off the GLOBAL PANDEMIC. However, as someone who consumed far too much TV and movies in my 20s and 30s, I can speak from firsthand experience on how consuming too much TV and movies makes it less special. I’ve seen a lot of funny memes out there about people living in their pajamas and throwing their daily routines out the window. While that’s funny… I still think it’s important to maintain some kind of routine during this time. I’m not saying wake up at your normal time to allow time for what used to be your commute. I’m also not saying to put the breaks on your pop culture consumption (because seriously, pot calling kettle black). But I am saying to keep to watching pop culture during the time of day you normally did. That way no all-nighter Netflix binge fests that leave you bleary-eyed for your next business video meeting.
- Make a “Must See” List: I am personally taking this time to go through my Netflix queue and Amazon Prime Videos list. I also want to have my parents make lists of things they want to see. We recently watched one off of my Dad’s list, “Stan & Ollie,” a biopic about the comedy duo Laurel & Hardy. It was on his list but we all enjoyed it. I also recorded “Crazy Stupid Love” on HBO and even though I had seen parts of it, I knew my parents would love it. They did. We still have plenty of movies and TV shows recorded on our DVR that we need to make our way through (so that’s kind of a list too).
- Make Watching Movies a Special Event: I’m thinking yummy snacks, cozy clothes (or pajamas) and snuggly blankets. Or I’ve seen people on social media dressing up and having a special meal to break up the monotony of the quarantine. You could even do themed food to match the movie/TV show (e.g., tiger shrimp 🍤 and Netflix’s “Tiger King” 🐅). This past weekend my sister told my parents and I about Marcus movie theatres selling their movie theater popcorn 🍿 curbside. (They are doing it again this weekend. Check the website to see if a location near you is participating.) So we ordered a party-sized bag (the size of 5 large popcorns) and paid for it online and scheduled a time to pick it up. We have so much popcorn we’re eating it more than just during movie watching (and Selby has gotten a few kernels).
- Have a “Watch Party:” Even though we’re socially distancing we can still virtually “get together” to watch things. This article describes different means to virtually watch things with your friends.
- Keep it Light: Now is not the time to watch all those critically-acclaimed gritty dramas. Instead keep aware of the tone of the TV and movies you’re watching and instead watch lighter, funny stuff or really fluffy movies like kids’ movies. My parents and I are going to watch “Best In Show” soon. We had plans to watch it when we first got the popcorn but we got waylayed. I figure now is the time to watch all the comedies I’ve meant to see. I also think I’m finally going to introduce my parents to “The Princess Bride” (it’s a bonus that we’ve started watching “The Young Sheldon” and Wallace Shawn is on that show and of course he’s in “The Princess Bride.” It really is INCONCEIVABLE that they haven’t seen it!)
Entertainment Made During The Pandemic
These are the new things that are being produced entertainment-wise during the pandemic:
- The Daily Show has turned into “The Daily Social Distancing Show”: Trevor Noah is recording the show from his apartment in New York City. It’s done with Trevor’s trademark dry wit but balanced with a considerable amount of care and concern for what’s happening. Trevor Noah even interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci (director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) in a 14-minute segment that packed a lot of information.
- Late Night Shows from Home: Each of the major networks (CBS, NBC, ABC) are having their late night hosts do their shows from their homes.
- Some Good News (with John Krasinski): Actor John Krasinski has started his own YouTube channel featuring a logo designed by his kids and interviews with Steve Carell and a Zoom performance by the cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton.”
- Saturday Night Live From Home: The April 11th show had Tom Hanks host from his home. (Admittedly I didn’t watch much of this because the closed captions were not good.)
- Musicians are putting on live-streaming “concerts” and this article and this article discuss what’s out there. (If I could hear music I would be all over this.)