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Pop culture and being human.

The HBO Max series is an alcoholic’s worst nightmare

Photo credit: Colin Hutton/HBO Max

We’ve all had too much to drink. And anyone drunk has been hungover. You’re perplexed at how awful you feel despite knocking back 12 drinks in record time. Your mind is foggy, your limbs numb. If you really went ham, then you might even wonder how you got home, or how you landed in bed with a total (nameless) stranger.

Some people learn from their drinking mishaps. In fact, I know people who put down the bottle for good after their first hangover (true story). Yet I know even more people…

Yet the HBO Max comedy manages to turn a shared nightmare into a heist movie.

Photograph by Susie Allnutt/HBO Max

It was only a matter of time before movies and shows about the pandemic hit streaming services.

I don’t watch every show and movie. I’m sure there have been other fictional stories with the coronavirus pandemic as the setting. But HBO Max romantic comedy and heist movie Locked Down is the first film I’ve seen that involves the pandemic. (I haven’t watched Songbird.) I was hoping Locked Down would help me get through what’s hopefully the final stretch of covid, but it only made me feel more sad and miserable. As if I needed to feel even more helpless.


The HBO Max series about love and life has its flaws — and so do I.

Photograph by Zach Dilgard/HBO Max

Contains mild spoilers for Love Life.

I didn’t want to write about Love Life.

For those who have yet to tune in, the HBO Max series follows Darby Carter (Anna Kendrick). Darby, similar to other tropey rom-com characters, is searching for love throughout her twenties and thirties. Yet like most twenty- and thirty-somethings, Darby struggles to love herself. If you’ve read my essays, you know this storyline is my ideal setting for a TV series, movie, or just about anything in life. …

Why I can’t wait to get back on a cruise ship…

Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

Cruises bring out the worst in humanity.

You know, like wastefulness: putting more food on your plate than you can eat and throwing away whatever you don’t finish. Or not picking up after yourself. People drop food and rubbish on the ground and don’t pick it up. Or acting like you’re the only person who exists yet being on a boat that houses thousands of guests and workers. And so on and so forth.

Hear me out: I love cruises.

But I can’t stand how countless privileged guests continuously treat the staff like shit because they think they’re better than…

Blocking out the madness with fictional characters

Photo credit: Eike Schroter/Netflix

I’m not a pretentious person. I know… by writing those words, I come off as pretentious. What I mean is, well, I’ll give you an example: I rather eat at McDonald’s than a fancy steakhouse — even if money weren’t an issue. (Maybe I’m just an idiot.) I’ve spent countless Fridays and Saturdays purchasing *dinner* from 7-Eleven. Sure, alcohol is usually involved, but I love 7-Eleven. Mostly, I crave sloppy food that takes up the entire plate.

I don’t desire sophisticated food for the sake of sophistication. Likewise, I don’t prefer highbrow movies and shows for the sake of them…

The Netflix series provides viewers with imperfectly perfect escapist TV.


Contains spoilers for Dash & Lily.

Watching eight holiday-themed episodes of Dash & Lily makes me long for the day when we’re allowed to leave our homes again — at least without masks. It’s almost impossible to watch the Netflix holiday rom-com and not dream about living in a post-pandemic world, especially if you’re like me and tend to put everything on a pedestal.

I dream of the day when I can finally visit New York City, the setting of Dash & Lily. Every year, without fail, I tell myself — and anyone willing to listen — that I’m going…

Reflecting on life as I turn 30

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Many people spend their twenties in bars with one hand weighed down by 12 ounces, or 1.5 depending on what they’re celebrating — and, who are we kidding, they’re always celebrating something. A friend’s birthday routinely turns into an all-day event as if people are competing for the last drunk standing.

I spent the last year of my twenties *mostly* sober. Okay, maybe more like half the year. But who’s counting? While I’d like to say my decision to put down the bottle was because I’m tired of wasting my weekends drinking my money away, the truth has more to…

Observations while watching ‘Holidate’

Photo credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

Contains spoilers for Holidate.

As someone who’s routinely questioned about his love life at family and social gatherings, a ‘holidate’ sounds like a genius idea: dating someone for the holidays to get your family off your back as being in a relationship is somehow considered the height of American society (that and bragging about cryptocurrency, or owning a house).

Rom-com Holidate stars Emma Roberts as Sloane and Luke Bracey as Jackson. Both actors are right around thirty in real life and portray right around thirty-year-olds in this Netflix Christmas present come early. Sloane suffered a recent breakup, but she and…

We all want to know when this madness is going to end.

Photo by: Jessica Perez/Hulu

Contains spoilers for Palm Springs.

Time loop movies have become so common that Palm Springs’ concept of living the same day over and over again doesn’t seem all that crazy. While Palm Springs is a solid movie, I’d put it behind other time loop flicks like Groundhog Day and Russian Doll — despite being a huge fan of Bill Murray, Russian Doll is my favorite.

The time loop genre has been normalized to such an extent, that it eerily feels like what we’re going through in 2020, where it feels like we’ve been reliving the same day for months.


Life is cliché and no one knows what they’re doing

Photo by Hide Obara on Unsplash

I’ve got a not-so-secret addiction to movies about creative types who appear to have no prospects, and seem destined to perpetual failure. Often lacking originality and laden with predictability, viewers know that these characters will eventually get the ‘Hollywood treatment’ and find happiness and success by the end of the movie. It’s this set formula that’s part of the allure. Last Christmas, a recent member of HBO’s Saturday night movie club, follows this format, but with a twist, gifting viewers with Christmas in July, whether you celebrate the holiday or not.

I love Christmas. Specifically, I enjoy decking the halls…

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