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Passin' More Time with Pop Culture

collage of Dan's pop culture picks with photos from V-Cat/Content Cafe and Pixabay

April 13, 2020

Whenever I find myself home for long periods of time, one of my favorite ways to unwind is in front of the TV. While I love going for walks, reading and other hobbies, there's just something about settling in for a good movie or binge-watching a series I can't get enough of.

The past few weeks have been the perfect time for that, with many of us finding ourselves with an overabundance of time at home. During this time, I've gotten engrossed in several series, documentaries and movies, and below are a few of the highlights. Each item on the list is available on one of the major streaming platforms - Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+, and some of them are available on DVD from the library. 

  1. High Fidelity” on Hulu: This new adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel brings High Fidelity into modern times by switching things up and making the protagonist a biracial, millennial woman named Rob, played by Zoë Kravitz (in the book and 2000 film adaptation, Rob was a white male Gen Xer). The series follows Rob, a Brooklyn record store owner, and her two friends/coworkers as they navigate adulthood, relationships, career aspirations, and heartache (and discuss music quite a bit along the way). The characters love creating Top 5 lists for almost everything in their lives, and this show is so engaging, so well-crafted and so relatable that it had to be at the top of my list, as I’ve already begun watching it for the second time. Season 1 consists of 10 episodes, which are available on Hulu.
  2. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” on Netflix: You’ve probably heard about Tiger King, or seen many of the countless memes that the show inspired. Now you should watch it for yourself! This eight-episode documentary chronicles the years-long feud between Joe Exotic, the owner of an exotic wildlife park in Oklahoma (tigers being the main attraction) and Carole Baskin, who runs a non-profit called Big Cat Rescue, which aims to shutter wildlife parks like Joe’s (and who Joe accuses of having killed her second husband). The series features interviews with an array of colorful characters, and the events that unfold throughout the doc will leave you in disbelief.
  3. Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer” on Netflix: If your taste for true crime wasn’t sated by Tiger King, check out this three-episode documentary that was released on Netflix late last year. The docu-series follows a group of individuals from around the world who work together online to identify and track down a man who recorded and posted videos to the Internet of himself torturing and killing kittens. To antagonize these armchair detectives further, the man ups the ante by filming and uploading a video of himself killing a human, turning what began as a search for an animal abuser into a worldwide manhunt for a murderer.
  4. Killing Eve” on BBC America: Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is a beautiful Russian assassin-for-hire who murders a prominent Russian diplomat in the series premiere. But after a middling MI5 security officer named Eve (Sandra Oh) gets close to identifying Villanelle’s identity and begins to link together her past assassinations, the two engage in an international game of cat-and-mouse, each equally as obsessed with bringing down the other. This series has everything – action, style, wit, humor, and beautiful cinematography. Season 1 and 2 are available on DVD at the library (and are streaming on Hulu) and season 3 premiered this month on BBC America.
  5. Onward” on Disney+: Disney just released this film in theaters last month, but it’s already streaming on Disney+ (and DVD/Blu-ray copies will be available at the library soon, too!). This warm-hearted family film follows brothers Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (voiced by Chris Pratt), two teenage elves who live in a once-magical society that now mostly resembles our own. On Ian’s 16th birthday, he performs a spell that’s supposed to bring his deceased father back to life for 24 hours, but the spell goes awry, resulting in his dad returning only from the waist-down. Ian and Barley embark on a journey to find a magical gem needed to restore their father’s top half before the spell expires, and learn lessons about love and kinship along the way.


What have you been watching, listening to or reading to pass the time? Let us know in the comments!

Library Staff Reading Recommendations

image credit: Pixabay/Content cafe