Well, it’s certainly been a rough week. This isn’t a political blog, so I’m not going to get into the details, but it seems pretty needless to say that a lot of people are hurting right now. While it’s very important to be involved with and aware of what’s going on in the world, sometimes it can just get to be too much. It’s perfectly fine to step away for a moment, to do something that just makes you feel better, or at least briefly distracts you from things that don’t.
The following three things in pop culture helped me this week. Hopefully they can help you too.
1) Go See “Moonlight“
This excellent film, directed by Barry Jenkins, tells the coming-of-age story of a black man, Chiron, in Miami. Using three vignettes, one from his childhood, one from his teenage years, and one from his early adulthood, it follows his life and the things he experiences while coming to terms with his sexuality. It’s beautifully directed, written and acted, with great performances from the three actors that play Chiron, as well as just about every other actor in the film. It has plenty of early award buzz and I would say it was probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. If it’s playing in your city, go see it. You won’t regret it.
2) Catch Up On Two Great Debut TV Seasons
FX has been somewhat consistently putting out great new series, and this fall was no exception with the debuts of “Atlanta” and “Better Things.” The first one, a comedy-drama (dramedy?) about an emerging Atlanta rapper and the people surrounding him, was created by Donald Glover of Childish Gambino and “Community” fame. The sense of humor from Glover’s stand up is very present in the show, as is an ongoing thoughtful and clever commentary on life in these times. If “Moonlight” was my favorite new movie of the year, “Atlanta” might be favorite new series. One that certainly gives it a run for it’s money though is FX’s other new fall comedy, “Better Things.” Created by and starring Pamela Adlon (who you might be familiar with from “Louie“), the show is autobiographical of sorts, following Adlon’s character Sam as she navigates her acting career and being a single parent to her three daughters. It’s very funny and different from the more predictable comedies found on network TV. Both shows completed their first seasons within the last few weeks (and have already been picked up for a season two), so now is the perfect time to catch up.
3) Watch This Funny and Clever New “SNL” Sketch
This week’s “Saturday Night Live” was much needed and host Dave Chappelle didn’t disappoint. Every sketch was very funny and the ones that needed to hit the hardest did, but one I really appreciated was “Jheri’s Place,” a stranger sketch that hasn’t been getting as much attention. Playing on the idea of post-game analysis, the sketch begins with a weak premise, even weaker jokes and a whole bevy of mistakes. It’s followed by a “post-sketch press conference” wherein said mistakes and flat jokes are addressed by the cast. Chappelle’s excuse? He wanted to be the next “David S. Pumpkins.” It’s just one great sketch from an episode full of them, but if you just need a four minute break, this is a good place to start.
What have you watched, read or listened to this week that helped distract you from current events? Did you also enjoy this week’s “SNL”? Wondering if I’m going to make some sort of joke with this last question? Well GOTCHA. I’m not. But, before I leave you, remember now more than ever…