Guys. 2016 pretty much sucked. So much hatred and violence all around. So many friends and family members had unexpected illness or deaths of loved ones. So many beloved artists died. I mean, my Facebook feed looks like a dumpster fire of sadness, frustration and shocking disgust with pics of adorable children sprinkled in to break up the misery.
And then there’s Trump. I could write a daily WTF post about that clown just based on his idiotic tweets alone.
But, in the midst of all of this, I had a lovely year spent working with and leading people I truly care about (including mah boo!), enjoying time with my family and friends, traveling a bit, drinking lots of chardonnay/champs/vodka, eating the best food, watching a ton of movies and doing my best to blur the madness that is the rest of the world. I have a good life. A great life. I’m surrounded by wonderful people and try to live every day to it’s fullest.
So, to commemorate the end this year, I want to highlight the good things. I’ve got some free time off in the next week and I’m feeling pretty write-y. I’m going to publish a series of posts dedicated to the good things I discovered in 2016. Some things were new this year. Some things I’m super late-to-the-game on, but hey- I’m here now and ready sing some serious praises! And some things I just love and feel like writing about because… why the fuck not?
This Is Us – Friends. If you haven’t discovered this show, you need to. I don’t want to spoil the big reveal in the first episode so I can’t get into a bunch of detail, but it’s about a wonderful, flawed family full of love. It details where they come from and how they came to be in their present day. It’s beautiful and funny and sad with gorgeous character development and exceptional performances from an outstanding cast. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia will make you believe in the biggest, bestest love and give you hope that beautiful people like this exist in the world. If you haven’t watched it yet, grab your Kleenex, set aside about 10 hours and binge the shit out of it. It’s all available to watch on demand from NBC and new episodes start Jan 10.
Drunk History – I honestly can’t figure out how I didn’t know about this show. It’s been on TV for, like, 4 years. It’s based on a Funny Or Die web series that started all the way back in 2007! Where the fuck have I been?!
Creater Derek Waters gets his hilarious comedian/actor friends to re-tell stories of historic people and events while being 9 kinds of wasted. Then he gets famous actors to act out the story being told, complete with lip-sync action of the hilarious, drunken shit the narrator is saying. It’s goddamn genius. We’re talking super famous actors not just some dude you vaguely recognize from a random episode of Law and Order. People like Jack Black, Elizabeth Olson, Will Ferrell, Wynona Ryder, Luke Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph… even my favorite human I’ve never met, Dave Grohl, has made a couple of appearances. And bonus? YOU LEARN SHIT. Actual, real, history. Most episodes are available on Hulu. Grab a cocktail (or 5). Binge it. Love it. You’ll thank me.
Here, have a sneak peek. Watch part of the untold story of Mary Dyer. It’s uncensored, so ear muffs, ok?
Stranger Things – Speaking of Wynona Ryder… Stranger Things is a new Netflix Original Series. And it’s THE most binge-worthy new show of 2016. Seriously. We started it after work on Friday and stayed up until we finished it. It’s only got one season so far and it’s only 8 episodes long. It takes place in the 80’s, so theres a serious dose of nostalgia for all of us old folks. The show follows a group of people living in a small town that starts having strange disappearances. It’s an adventure that takes all of the best parts of X-Files and Goonies, mixes them up and produces the most nail-biting 8 hours of incredible tv. It’s fascinating, scary and slightly corny all at once. If you’re into sci-fi or horror or just plain weird stuff, you’ll love this.
The Mindy Project – Now, this I’ve been watching for years. But it deserves a shout because you know what? It makes you feel good to watch it. And we need shit that feels good. The Mindy Project is the brainchild of the a-mah-zing Mindy Kaling. It’s got all the goodness of a ROM-COM, with the smarts of Parks and Rec and the heart of Scrubs. And much like Parks and Scrubs, it manages to balances the absurd with poignant moments full of feels in the most perfect way possible. Plus, it’s creator, writer and star is a voluptuous woman of color. Mindy Kaling is paving the way for a new Hollywood norm. One that I want all the littles in my life to see and look up to. I love that she is a kind, funny, hard-working lady in the entertainment business, who is beautiful without looking like Barbie and isn’t showing all of her lady bits to get ahead. Her talent and work ethic is what’s gotten her where she is. I love that. So watch her show! Best of all? You can stream every episode on Hulu. Get on it.
Roadies – This is a bittersweet entry. I loved this show, but sadly it only survived one season. It tells the story of a concert tour for an aging road crew from the view point of the road crew. It totally married my love of tv and rock music and concerts and rom-coms and people with big hearts and lots of passion. I loved every second of it. Carla Gugino and Luke Wilson were outstanding. They also featured some really great artists as opening acts like Lindsey Buckingham and John Cougar Melancamp which was a nice hat tip to real musicians. You should check this out. All episodes are available on demand via Showtime.
This is just the teensiest sample of what I’ve been watching, but what I consider to be the best and, really, it just makes me happy. If you haven’t watched them, see if they make you happy too. Next up? Music.